Wednesday cyber surfing: A potpourri of past and present

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 16:

Mike Sando at ESPN.com checks in with George Koonce, who spent one of his nine seasons in the NFL with the Seahawks, and he has quite a tale to tell: “I had a wonderful wife, beautiful children, money in the bank and a Super Bowl ring back on that day in 2003 when my post-NFL transition took my Chevy Suburban around a 25-mph corner at three times the posted speed. Whatever happened that day was going to happen. I didn’t really care. By the grace of God, I survived what was, in retrospect, a suicide attempt. But paramedics weren’t going to cart me off. No chance. The football tough guy in me refused to get into that ambulance. My wife, Tunisia, drove me to the hospital and saved my life with words, not medicine. ‘George,’ she said, ‘I don’t understand what you are going through, but I sympathize. We cannot reinvent who you are, but we can redefine who you are.’ ”

Also from Sando, a look at the addition of Alex Barron: “Barron gives the Seahawks seven offensive linemen drafted by other teams. That includes choices from every round but the sixth (and two from the fifth).”

And still more from Sando, a look at the team’s “pressure point”: “Tarvaris Jackson earned the respect of his Seahawks teammates by playing through much of the 2011 with a torn pectoral muscle on his right side. Jackson never complained or made excuses. The injury made it tougher for Jackson to take hold of the starting job for the long term. The Seahawks’ inability to make key plays in critical moments left them with a 7-9 record and kept them in the market for help at the position.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald also looks at Tuesday’s addition of Barron: “Barron, a former first-round pick who played at Florida State, hoped that his NFC West tour would come to an end at that Seahawks minicamp, and for now anyway, it has. Barron and three other players who tried out last weekend have agreed to terms on contracts with Seattle. ‘I haven’t gone to Arizona and I don’t plan on going to Arizona,’ Barron said. ‘I’d be fine being home right here.’ A contract in May is hardly a guarantee of a job come September, but it is at least a step in the right direction for Barron, who missed all of last season with a knee injury.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at the crowded situation on the offensive line now that Barron has agreed to contract terms: “At 6-foot-8 and 318 pounds, Barron is long and athletic – he held his own against speedy rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin over the weekend – but has had issues with penalties over his seven-year career. Barron has been flagged 17 times – 14 of them accepted – in his past 17 games started. Barron will compete with Frank Omiyale, Paul Fanaika, Allen Barbre and Mitchell for the backup offensive tackle job behind starters Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini. Last year’s first-round pick, James Carpenter, is still recovering from knee surgery. Seattle now has 15 offensive linemen on the team’s 90-man roster.”

Also at the News Tribune, Dave Boling offers his impressions from the weekend minicamp: “Of the other draft picks, running back Robert Turbin shows a nice burst, and linebackers Bobby Wagner and Korey Toomer are both impressive athletes who flow to the play. Defensive linemen Jaye Howard and Greg Scruggs both are big guys who are lean and have pass-rushing potential.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times also looks at Tuesday’s additions, but focuses on Donny Lisowski: “Lisowski graduated from O’Dea High School in 2008. He played quarterback and defensive back, wrestled and ran track. Lisowski’s speed impressed coach Pete Carroll, who singled him out Sunday after the last of the three practices at the minicamp. ‘He was all over the place out here,’ Carroll said.

Elliott Harrison at NFL.com looks at the QB competitions in the league, including the Seahawks: “Unless (Tarvaris) Jackson plays out of his freaking mind, the odds-on favorite appears to be (Matt Flynn) the former Green Bay Packers backup, who has thrown nine touchdowns and compiled a 123.0 passer rating in two career starts. The other possibility would be to keep them both with the expectation that this is a playoff team in need of two vets. It’s just going to cost GM John Schneider a healthy chunk of change. Don’t forget third-round pick Russell Wilson, who the Seahawks reportedly think can compete, too. The smart money says that’s a year away.”

Also at NFL.com, in his latest “Pick Six,” Adam Rank looks at the best defensive nicknames in league history. The Seahawks aren’t included, but it’s worth a read anyway: “It might be hypocritical to list the Fearsome Foursome after the nickname was used to describe other units (don’t act like you knew that). But the Fearsome Foursome is synonymous with the Los Angeles Rams of the 1960s, which featured Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy. Easily the best nickname ever applied to a defensive unit.”

Jason Smith at NFL.com has a photo essay on the best rookie seasons by team, and the Seahawks are included: “Try as I might, I can’t make the argument for Kenny Easley’s 1981 rookie season over Curt Warner’s in 1983. Easley was the defensive rookie of the year, but Warner amassed 1,449 rush yards and 13 touchdowns. He had a pretty good career, with four 1,000-yard seasons, but he goes down as the guy everyone mistakenly called for interviews trying to reach the other Kurt Warner.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we have not only the word that Barron has agreed, but a look at his participation in the offseason program: “ ‘I just wanted to get somewhere,’ Barron said. ‘I’m pretty confident in my play. I’ve made some mistakes in the past, also. But I’ve gotten to the point where after last season, and coming into the offseason as a free agent, all I want to do is come in and just show that I can play. Because it can’t be talked about, it always has to be shown.’ ”

We’ve also got a look at the winding road that led fifth-round draft choice Korey Toomer to the Seahawks: “Korey Toomer has followed a meandering path to the NFL. But now that he’s here, as the Seahawks’ fifth-round draft choice, the rookie linebacker from Idaho is not only making up for lost time, he’s doing it in a blur. At the rookie minicamp over the weekend, and again in the offseason program workouts this week, the one thing that has stood out about Toomer is that he does everything fast. ‘The dude can run, no question about it,’ veteran linebacker Leroy Hill said on Tuesday, shaking his head. Toomer, in fact, ran himself right into being draft by the Seahawks – even though the team already had selected pass-rushing end Bruce Irvin in the first round and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame website has the word on Cortez Kennedy dominating items as his Aug. 4 induction draws closer: “Included in the prized gift were Kennedy’s 1993 Pro Bowl jersey, a pair of well-worn shoulder pads and a pair of cleats from his NFL career that spanned from 1990-2000.”


Tuesday cyber surfing: Reviewing the offseason, and the rookie minicamp

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 15:

Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers a glance at the Seahawks’ offseason, including what went right – with a couple of items you might have forgotten or overlooked: “The Seahawks signed quarterback Matt Flynn in free agency without paying an exorbitant price. That made it easier to justify using a third-round choice for quarterback Russell Wilson. … Re-signing Marshawn Lynch before free agency and Red Bryant during free agency was critical. Lynch is the focal point of the offense. His running style became inseparable from the Seahawks’ identity on offense. Bryant was the most important defensive player against the run and a leader in the locker room. … Highly valued offensive line coach Tom Cable returned to the team after some speculation that a college program such as UCLA might consider him as head coach. … Free-agent defensive tackle Jason Jones chose Seattle over St. Louis at a reasonable price, making it easier for the Seahawks to part with Anthony Hargrove, who subsequently incurred an eight-game suspension. … The linebacker market was soft enough for Seattle to bring back Leroy Hill without overpaying.”

In her “Between the Tackles” feature at ESPN.com, Ashley Fox tackles the Seahawks’ QB situation now that coach Pete Carroll has added Wilson to the mix for the starting job: “Given that the Seahawks signed Flynn to a three-year, $26 million deal in free agency, he would seem to be the front-runner for the job. But Carroll has said that (Tarvaris) Jackson, who started the final 10 games of last season with a torn pectoral muscle, will get first crack at the first-team reps. Then Flynn. Then, presumably, Wilson. There is nothing wrong with competition in May and June, but if it lingers too long into training camp, it could prove counterproductive. Whoever is going to be the starter will need all the reps he can get.”

ESPN.com also has a survey where you can rank your favorite sports franchise.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times offers some impressions from the rookie minicamp, including this one: “In a draft where the Seahawks surprised a number of people, (Korey) Toomer was perhaps the most under-the-radar selection. A linebacker Idaho recruited out of junior college, he missed the 2010 season after breaking his hand, and while he played well as a senior, he was not invited to the combine. He is long-armed and fast with incredible athleticism. His vertical leap measured 42 inches in a workout, and he looked every bit as athletic as advertised in this first weekend of workouts. He’s playing strongside linebacker, a spot that is locked down by K.J. Wright now, but it’s possible Toomer could land a role in the Seahawks’ nickel defense sooner, rather than later.”

In his “Shutdown Corner” at YahooSports.com, Doug Farrar says the Seahawks could reap dividends from the surprising picks of Wilson and Bruce Irvin, the pass-rusher who was selected in the first round: “While Irvin (the 15th overall pick) impressed through the Seahawks’ 2012 rookie minicamp, the real news came via Wilson, who showed impressive command of an NFL offense in his first opportunity to do so. Despite standing 5-foot-10 5/8 – a fact that had a lot of draft experts rating him as a fourth-round prospect – Wilson displayed many of the positive aspects required for his position. He was consistently nifty in the pocket, rolled out to throw very well, threw his receivers open downfield over and over, and sold play-action like a pro. Head coach Pete Carroll was beyond impressed – with Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson and Josh Portis already on the roster, Carroll insisted that Wilson had already done enough to be in the running for the starting quarterback competition. If Wilson won the job before the season started, he would be just the second third-round quarterback in NFL history to claim that prize – Buffalo’s Joe Ferguson did the same in 1973.”

Also at YahooSports.com, Jason Cole wonders if Pete Carroll has commitment issues because of his decision to turn the QB situation into a three-man competition: “But shouldn’t the Seahawks have had an answer by now as to who will be their top option for a long-term successor to Matt Hasselbeck? Shouldn’t there be some sense of commitment to Matt Flynn, the former Green Bay backup who was signed in free agency? Shouldn’t Tarvaris Jackson get more than one season to show his ability? ‘At some point, we’re going to have to make that decision and that’s up to Pete to find out how that’s going to unfold,’ Schneider said. ‘We wanted to do it like in Green Bay, where we had a guy and we were always developing someone.’ OK, but … ‘Eventually you have to find someone and settle on that guy. We all realize that.’ “

Alex Marvez at FoxSports.com has a photo gallery of his 32 breakout players in the league for 2012, and he selects K.J. Wright for the Seahawks: “A 2011 fourth-round pick, Wright immediately displayed far better instincts at linebacker than 2009 first-rounder Aaron Curry ever did in Seattle. Wright’s quick emergence led to Curry being traded to Oakland midway through last season. Wright should be even more effective in 2012 since the Seahawks chose two front-seven defenders (pass-rush end Bruce Irvin and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner) in the first two rounds of April’s draft. ”

Here at Seahawks.com, “Monday Metatarsal Musings” makes a rare offseason appearance so we can review the weekend rookie minicamp: “When the Seahawks said they were bringing in 30-something players on a tryout basis to flush out the roster for their three-day rookie minicamp, my initial thought was good luck with that. And that was followed quickly by visions of offensive linemen running into one another while trying to block for a running play; cornerbacks colliding with receivers, and vice versa, on pass plays; and just a mish-mash of mangled assignments. It didn’t happen. None of it. The players – a group that also included the team’s 10 draft choices and 10 other rookie free agents who had been signed after the draft – went through two-hour practices on Friday and Saturday and a final 100-minute session on Sunday. While it wasn’t exclusively an exercise in precision, it was closer to that than the maddening mayhem it could have been.”

We’ve also got a look at the rookies joining the offseason program, and Carroll’s reflections of his draft experience (this one is worth checking out just to see the picture of Carroll as a safety at Pacific).

Remember Brandon Coutu? Sure you do. The kicker, and former Seahawks’ draft choice, has signed with the Jaguars, according to the team’s website.


Irvin, seven other draft choices agree to terms

No need to worry about a no-show by first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin this summer. The pass-rush specialist from West Virginia agreed to contract terms today.

So did seven of the other nine players who were selected by the Seahawks in the April 26-28 NFL Draft: Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner (second round); Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson (third round); Idaho linebacker Korey Toomer (fifth round); Northwestern State (La.) cornerback Jeremy Lane and Kentucky safety Winston Guy (sixth round); and North Carolina State guard J.R Sweezy and Louisville defensive end Greg Scruggs (seventh round).

That leaves only the two players selected in the fourth round – Utah State running back Robert Turbin and Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard – who have yet to agree as the team prepares for this weekend’s rookie minicamp.


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Pickin’ and grinnin’

Prior to the NFL Draft, John Schneider explained that part of his thinking in trading down is whether the two or three players you wind up getting are a better deal than taking the one player available with the original pick.

Then the Seahawks’ third-year GM traded down in the first round on Thursday night and the second round on Friday, picking up two extra draft choices in each deal – for moving back a combined seven spots.

Here’s a look at what the Seahawks got, and what they could have had:

FIRST ROUND

Original pick: 12

Traded down to: 15

Who they traded with: Eagles

What they got: West Virginia pass rusher Bruce Irvin at No. 15; Florida defensive tackle Jaye Howard in the fourth round; Northwestern State (La.) Jeremy Lane in the sixth round.

Who the Eagles took at 12: Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox

SECOND ROUND

Original pick: No. 11 in the round, 43rd overall

Traded down to: 47

Who they traded with: Jets

What they got: Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner at No. 47; Idaho linebacker Korey Toomer in the fifth round, where they did not have a pick because of the 2010 draft-day trade for Marshawn Lynch; Louisville defensive end Greg Scruggs in the seventh round.

Who the Jets took at 43: Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill


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