On this date: Kelly Jennings drafted

Kelley Jennings

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on April 30:

2006: Kelly Jennings is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The cornerback from Miami would start 42 games over the next five seasons before being traded to the Bengals in 2011.


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On this date: Jennings drafted

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on April 30:

2006: Kelly Jennings is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. The cornerback from Miami would start 42 games over the next five seasons before being traded to the Bengals in 2011.


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 30:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times weighs in on the story du jour – the trade of Kelly Jennings to the Bengals. Offers O’Neil: “The Seahawks didn’t see Jennings as a long-term solution at the position, so they re-signed him to a one-year deal. They didn’t even see him as a starter with second-year corner Walter Thurmond poised to start at right cornerback and Marcus Trufant remaining on the left side.”

Eric Williams at the New Tribune also has the story on the trade of Jennings, offering: “Jennings has great catch-up speed and can turn and run with the fastest receivers, but during his five-year tenure in Seattle, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back struggled with making plays on the ball, hauling in just two career interceptions.”

With the trade of Jennings, a first-round draft choice in 2006, Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at the fate of the of the team’s other high draft choices since 2003. Says Sando: “Some of these draft choices would have fared better in Seattle if the team had performed well enough to avoid sweeping changes in the organization. Likewise, those sweeping changes might not have been necessary if some of these draft choices had come closer to meeting expectations.”

Sando also offers his take on the trade of Jennings: “Size matters: The Seahawks have gone big and tall at cornerback. Jennings is listed at 5-foot-11, but he’s slight of frame and struggled in matchups against bigger receivers. Experience does not matter: Jennings was one of two cornerbacks on the Seahawks’ roster with significant starting experience. The team has decided to go young – very young – and Jennings was practically ancient by Seattle cornerback standards at 28. The team felt good enough about its young corners to move on without Jennings.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald has a change-of-pace piece on Tom Cable, the new offensive line coach who played at Snohomish High School. Says Cable, a 1982 grad of SHS: “It’s really a blessing in so many ways. I’m back where I grew up … It’s fun to be a part of this. I used to go to games at the Kingdome, and saw all the great players from Steve Largent to Jim Zorn all the way up to Jacob Green. It’s fun to be here. I’m going to check out a Snohomish High game this fall. The chance to see my mother more often is a pretty neat deal. It’s been a real blessing, it really has.”

Mike Silver at Yahoo.com looks at how Marshawn Lynch’s electrifying 67-yard TD run against the Saints in the playoffs last season is shaping New Orleans’ approach to this season. Writes Silver: “As the New Orleans Saints’’ defenders streamed into a semi-darkened room for their first meeting of training camp in late July, there wasn’t much mystery as to which horror flick might await them. There, at the podium, was high-strung defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, preparing to release more than six months’ worth of pent-up, lockout-fueled frustration. There, on the video screen, was Seattle Seahawks halfback Marshawn Lynch, preparing to rip through the Saints on a 67-yard touchdown that clinched Seattle’s stunning, 41-36 playoff upset of the defending Super Bowl champs last January. Suffice it to say that the Beast was not especially well received by this focus group.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got the Jennings story, and how his trade leaves 16 players on the roster from the team coach Pete Carroll inherited 18 months ago. We’ve also got our weekly Monday metatarsal musings, focusing on the impressive efforts of the special teams in Saturday night’s loss to the Broncos.


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Jennings to Bengals

Cornerback Kelly Jennings has been traded to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Seahawks announced this morning.

In exchange for the former first-round draft choice, the Seahawks will receive defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, a 6-foot-2, 297-pound defensive tackle who was a seventh-round draft choice in 2009.

Jennings started 43 games since being the 31st pick overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, including 14 last season. He leaves the Seahawks after making 200 tackles, with a career-high 55 in 2007, and two interceptions.

McDonald played in eight games for the Bengals last season and had four tackles.


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Camp Carroll: Day 6

A recap of the afternoon practice at Seahawks training camp on Tuesday:

FOCUS ON

Earl Thomas and Mark LeGree. When the Seahawks selected LeGree in the fifth round of the April NFL Draft, coach Pete Carroll talked about using the rookie from Appalachian State in the nickel so they could feature Thomas’ ample talents in other ways.

The talk has turned to action, as LeGree and Thomas continued to work in those roles during this afternoon’s 2½-hour practice.

“We want to put Earl in places where he can be really active because he’s such an incredible player,” Carroll said between practices. “So that’s part of the thinking, to get a ranging safety that can play back there.

“LeGree is a ball-hawk guy, that’s why he fits that role for us. There were other guys you could look at, but that was the guy we thought was the best fit.”

Thomas, the 14th pick overall in last year’s draft, intercepted five passes last season to tie the club rookie record and also contributed 71 tackles to rank fifth on the team. LeGree led the nation with 10 interceptions in 2008 and finished with 22 for his career.

PLAYER WATCH

Kam Chancellor. The Seahawks had big plans for the big strong safety from Virginia Tech when they selected the 6-foot-3, 232-pound Chancellor in the fifth round of the draft last year. After playing in situational roles as a rookie, Chancellor is making big strides now that he’s working with the No. 1 defense at the spot where veteran Lawyer Milloy started last season.

Today, the full complement of Chancellor’s talents was on display. First, he blitzed and got to running back Leon Washington in the backfield. Then, he intercepted a pass in the end zone that was intended for tight end John Carlson. Later, he lifted and dropped Golden Tate after the wide receiver had caught a pass.

ROOKIE WATCH

Doug Baldwin. It’s not just that the rookie wide receiver made a half dozen catches in practice, it’s that Carroll came over to the free agent from Stanford after each one to give him a way-to-go pat.

If you’re going to catch people’s eye, it might as well be those in power. And it wasn’t just today.

Earlier in camp, GM John Schneider was asked about Ricardo Lockette, another rookie wide receiver, and included Baldwin in his response.

“We were able to sign some rookie free agents we’re real excited about in Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette,” Schneider said. “We’re really excited about that group.”

PLAYS OF THE DAY

Tempo-setting play: A new day, but the same results, as middle linebacker David Hawthorne stepped into the hole to put a big hit on running back Marshawn Lynch on the first play of the first team period. Hawthorne opened practice with a similar play Monday, but this one packed even more of a punch.

Offense: Charlie Whitehurst passing to a wide-open Carlson for a touchdown on the final play of practice, to the approval of the 859 fans who attended practice.

Defense: Strong-side linebacker Aaron Curry leaping to bat down a screen pass.

Special teams: Wes Byrum hitting a 43-yard field goal, which prompted Carroll to slap high-fives with the rookie kicker.

COMING, AND GOING

The big addition today was Raiders Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller agreeing to terms with the Seahawks, an acquisition that Carroll called “a fantastic move for us.”

Carroll also confirmed the signings of two other free agents: cornerback Kelly Jennings, a former first-round draft choice who started 14 games for the Seahawks last season; and defensive tackle Jimmy Wilkerson, who was with the Saints last season but also played for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and line coach Todd Wash in Tampa.

Running back Chris Henry has left camp. Henry spent time on the team’s practice squad last season and was on the 53-man roster for one game.

THIS ’N THAT

University of Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian and several members of his staff watched practice. Sarkisian coached for Carroll at USC, as did defensive coordinator Nick Holt … Also on hand for practice was former QB Dave Krieg, who is in the team’s Ring of Honor. … Among the VIP guests were cornerback Marcus Trufant’s family, including his youngest brother – Desmond, a cornerback for the Huskies. … Cornerback Walter Thurmond, defensive end Dexter Davis and defensive lineman Jarrett Crittenton sat out practice with minor injuries, while defensive end Chris Clemons was limited because he had ankle surgery during the offseason.

UP NEXT

The players have Wednesday off before returning Thursday for a 9 a.m. practice and an afternoon walk-thru.

Thursday will be the first time the free agents the team has signed in the past week can practice, a group that includes six projected starters – QB Tarvaris Jackson, wide receiver Sidney Rice, guard Robert Gallery, defensive tackles Brandon Mebane and Alan Branch and linebacker Leroy Hill.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I think he makes us a more versatile offense. We’ll be able to use he and John (Carlson) in so many different ways. They’ll be on the field at the same time a ton. Thrilled about that flexibility.” – Carroll on Miller


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Miller agrees with Seahawks

Another day, another new player for the Seahawks, Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller, as announced by Pete Carroll.

“This is a fantastic move for us,” coach Pete Carroll said after practice at the team’s training camp. “Zach is a great football player. He’s a great person, and great competitor.

“I think he makes a more versatile offense. We’ll be able to use he and John (Carlson, the incumbent starter) in so many different ways. They’ll be on the field at the same time a ton. Thrilled about that flexibility.”

Miller, 25, caught 60 passes for 685 yards for the Oakland Raiders last season and had a career-high 66 catches in 2009. In four seasons with the Raiders, the 6-foot-5, 255-pound Miller caught 226 passes for 2,712 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Carroll also confirmed the additions of two other free agents: cornerback Kelly Jennings, who started 14 games for the Seahawks last season; and defensive tackle Jimmy Wilkerson, who was with the Saints last season but also played for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and line coach Todd Wash in Tampa.


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Cyber surfing: Friday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 22:

The big news, of course, is that the owners approved a new CBA proposal on Thursday night. But the players still need to ratify it. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen talked with representatives of the players’ group, and he offers: “A vote among its 32 player representatives appears likely Friday after the group received the ‘finishing points’ of the agreement NFL owners approved Thursday. The NFLPA did not receive those details until after a two-hour conference call with player reps came to a conclusion without a vote Thursday night. ‘All in all, despite the games that were played by the NFL, things look much more optimistic,’ a players’ leadership source said.”

Eric Williams of the New Tribune takes a look at Thursday’s actions – and non-actions – from the Seahawks’ viewpoint. He talked to soon-to-be free-agent defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who said: “I have mixed feelings about it. I’m anxious to get it resolved, but you also have to get it right. It’s like when you buy a car, you have to read over the papers so if you get into a lease agreement, you know what you’re signing. But as far as my personal situation, it’s a blessing. I really would like to know where I stand as a free agent and what’s going to happen.”

Williams also has a comprehensive look at the Seahawks who will become free agents once the lockout ends. On his “staying” list: CB Kelly Jennings, K Olindo Mare and Mebane. On his “go” or “likely to go” list: QB Matt Hasselbeck, OT Sean Locklear, C Chris Spencer, SS Lawyer Milloy and DB Jordan Babineaux.

The Seahawks are scheduled to play the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals twice in 2011 – Sept. 25 at CenturyLink Field and in their Jan. 1 regular-season finale in the desert. Sporting News Today has this look at the Cardinals from beat writer and correspondent Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. Says Somers: “The Cardinals are coming off their worst season since 2006, and it’s hard to imagine many other teams with as many weaknesses to address. The most glaring is at quarterback. They need more than competence at that spot; Arizona must have someone who can make plays. (Coach Ken) Whisenhunt, however, has proven his ability as a coach, and playing in a weak division gives the Cardinals some hope.”

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com takes a look at the “ideal” and “bad” fits for some of the players who will become unrestricted free agents. Brooks, a former NFL scout (including a stint with the Seahawks), includes Hasselbeck in his roundup. His “ideal” fit: The Titans. Says Brooks: “Hasselbeck wants to remain a starter, and the situation in Tennessee provides him with the perfect opportunity to be a first-stringer for another year or so. He would step into a lineup with a strong runner in place (Chris Johnson) and an intriguing No. 1 receiver in Kenny Britt. With the support of a front office that is aware of Hasselbeck’s strengths, weaknesses and character (Titans vice president Mike Reinfeldt was a part of the Seahawks’ front office prior to coming to Tennessee), he would have the opportunity to extend his career as a mentor to Jake Locker.”

His “bad” fit: The Seahawks. Says Brooks: “Hasselbeck has repeatedly stated his desire to return to Seattle, but the team is poised to transition at the position. The Seahawks paid a hefty sum to acquire Charlie Whitehurst a season ago, and they need to see if he has the goods to become a franchise quarterback. Also, the team’s reluctance to get a deal done prior to the lockout suggests the front office isn’t completely sold on Hasselbeck as their starter in 2011. Without a strong commitment from the team to remain on board, Hasselbeck would be better served to look for greener pastures.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the team’s first 35 seasons with a look at 1979 – when the Seahawks went 9-7 for the second consecutive season by winning five of their final six games and Steve Largent averaged a career-best 18.7 yards on 66 catches.


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Memorable playoff moment – Jennings

Kelly Jennings was on the field for a play that readers of Seahawks.com voted the best of the just-completed decade. It’s just that Jennings had a completely different take – and view – of Jordan Babineaux running down Cowboys QB/holder Tony Romo after a botched field goal attempt to ice the 2006 wild-card win over Dallas at Qwest Field.

Jennings was a rookie cornerback that season, the team’s first-round draft choice out of Miami. Now, he is about to start his fifth postseason game as the Seahawks head to Chicago for Sunday’s divisional game against the Bears at Qwest Field.

In fact, Jennings is one of only 11 players remaining from the Seahawks’ last playoff team in 2007 – joining Babineaux, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, cornerback Marcus Trufant, defensive tackles Craig Terrill and Brandon Mebane, offensive linemen Sean Locklear and Chris Spencer, linebackers Lofa Tatupu and Will Herring and wide receiver Ben Obomanu.

To help celebrate the Seahawks’ return to the postseason after a two-year absence, Seahawks.com asked Jennings for his favorite playoff moment. Here’s what his view of the Romo play – or Babineaux play, if you will – looked like:

“I was actually coming to block it from the other end. If you look at some of the pictures from that play, I’m actually flying through from the other side and I almost tripped Babs. Because when I flew, he had to jump over me to go make the tackle. So I almost kind of messed that up.”

Jennings didn’t trip Babineaux, who was then able to trip up Romo – short of the goal line, and also short of what would have been a first down.

“As I landed after trying to block it, I looked up to see Babs chasing him. So I kind of had a backroom view. Because I almost knocked Babs down, my thought through the whole thing was, ‘Get him. Get him. Get him.’ ”

Babineaux did, to preserve a 21-20 victory that sent the Seahawks to a divisional game in Chicago – which the Bears won 27-24 in overtime on a field goal that the Seahawks could not find a way to prevent.


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Tuesday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Right cornerback. Kelly Jennings remains the starter as the Seahawks get ready for this week’s game against the 49ers in San Francisco, but rookie Walter Thurmond will continue to get some playing time.

That’s the word from coach Pete Carroll, when he was asked about Thurmond taking over for Jennings during a series in Sunday’s 31-14 win over the Carolina Panthers.

“We’re going to continue to play Walter,” Carroll said. “He deserves to play and he’s doing a good job when he’s in there.” Read more »


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Wednesday in Hawkville

Wednesday in Hawkville

FOCUS ON

Matt Hasselbeck. But he didn’t even practice. And that’s precisely the point. When you have only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and the starter sits out, it’s noteworthy. When the backup – Charlie Whitehurst – has yet to throw a regular-season pass in his NFL career, the starter not practicing is news.

But coach Pete Carroll is hoping it’s only a one-day headline as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the 5-2 New York Giants at Qwest Field.

“He’s feeling pretty good and we’ll look for him to practice tomorrow,” Carroll said of Hasselbeck, who got a slight concussion while being sacked a career-high eight times in last week’s loss to the Raiders in Oakland.

And just because Hasselbeck failed to take any snaps today does not mean he just stood around and watched.

“He’s still involved with everything that’s going on,” Carroll said. “We’ll see how he does in the morning (walk-thru) tomorrow.”

Read more »


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