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Wednesday cyber surfing: Clemons extension official, Flynn a small sample-size all-star

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 25.

The big news yesterday that was officially announced by the team was Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons agreeing to terms on a new multi-year contract extension. Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com has the story on Clemons’ extension, noting that the team expects him to continue to contribute the way he has since 2010, “The key to the Seahawks taking that next step as far as pressuring and sacking opposing quarterbacks, however, remains Clemons – especially in a season where the defense will face Aaron Rodgers (Packers), Tom Brady (Patriots), Tony Romo (Cowboys) and Matthew Stafford (Lions). Each ranked among the Top 5 in passer rating last season. ‘Clem had a great year again rushing the passer, two solid contributing years for us,’ Carroll said during his wrap session for the 2011 season. ‘But we need more than that. That’s an area that really needs to improve for us to take another step.’ “

Also here at Seahawks.com we have linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. talking with Seahawks Insider Tony Ventrella about the benefits of the team having a full offseason, his own transition from being a player turned coach, and what it was like to be the son of a professional boxer.

Pat Kirwan of CBSsports.com brings us his season projections for 2012, passing out his predictions as to how the divisions will shake out by seasons end. Kirwan has the Seahawks finishing 8-8 in 2012, good for second place in the NFC West behind the San Francisco 49ers, who he believes will finish 10-6, “The ‘Hawks like the way the defense is coming along and have high expectations for rookie pass rusher Bruce Irvin. On offense, there are questions to be answered about the pass protection, quarterback and production from the tight end position.”

Also at CBSsports.com, senior NFL columnist Clark Judge answers the question, “Has Seattle found it’s quarterback in Matt Flynn?” “I’m going to have to pass on this one until I see what happens in camp and early this season,” writes Judge. “Coach Pete Carroll believes he has the right guy, but he thought the same thing two years ago when he traded for Charlie Whitehurst. I don’t care that Tarvaris Jackson goes into camp taking the first-team reps; he should. He’s the incumbent. But the Seahawks didn’t pay Matt Flynn the big bucks in the hopes that he could wrest the job away from Jackson. They’re sure he can. And he will. Now the question: What do they get in return? Ah, that’s why they play the games, people. You can’t help but like what you’ve seen from Flynn, but his resume includes two NFL starts. So this is what you call a leap of faith, and, I know, GM John Schneider has a background with the guy in Green Bay and believes in him. Still, Flynn must prove he belongs.”

Aaron Schatz at Football Outsiders of ESPN.com gives us a list of eight NFC players who deserve more playing time based on their stellar performances in 2011. The piece requires an ESPN Insider subscription, but Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn is Schatz’s first mention, “Flynn signed a three-year, $19.5 million contract with Seattle based on two starts, one in 2010 and one in 2011. His Week 17 game against the Lions will go down in the Small Sample Size Hall of Fame: 31-for-44, 480 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. In the Football Outsiders’ play-by-play breakdown, that was worth 268 DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement, explained here), the third-highest total of any single game by a quarterback in 2011. Bad quarterbacks simply don’t have games that good, even as flukes. Over the past five years, here’s a list of quarterbacks who have had games worth more than 240 DYAR: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Flynn. Going back to 1991, the worst quarterback who had a single game this good was Scott Mitchell. As bad as Mitchell was at times, he also threw for more than 4,000 yards with 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 1995. Seattle would gladly take those stats from Flynn.”

USA Today released their weekly NFL power rankings, and the Seahawks held firm on to their ranking last week at No. 17. The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, and New England Patriots top the list.

Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, writing for Stack.com, offers advice to college student-athletes who are striving to earn leadership roles on their respective teams, as he remembers a conversation he had with an upperclassman as a freshman at Penn State, “I will never forget a conversation I had with a senior cornerback named Bruce Branch. I asked him why everyone on the team always seemed to be hanging out at his house and always wanted to know what he had going on. His response was, ‘We’ve been kicking it since freshman year.’ That statement really stuck with me, and it made me assess my freshman year differently. What I learned was to win your class, because eventually, the players in your class will be the senior leaders on the team. If the leaders respect you, then the entire team will.”


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The Day in Pictures: Friday

The Seahawks underwent a 45-minute walk-thru in their indoor practice facility at the VMAC today, as they made final preparations for Sunday’s NFC West showdown with the St. Louis Rams.

Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst fires a pass.

Kennard Cox (red hat) works as a wide reciever as cornerback Walter Thurmond defends.

Even though the team practiced inside, temperatures in the team's indoor practice facility were in the 30's.

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck smiles with head coach Pete Carroll.

Head coach Pete Carroll called up linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. a three-time Super Bowl champion, to end practice.