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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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Cyber surfing: Friday

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

Mike Sando at ESPN.com offers his team-by-team selections for the players he expects to be the most dominant future stars in the NFC West. His choice for the Seahawks is hardly surprising: Left tackle Russell Okung. Sando on Okung: “Let’s consider a few specific examples suggesting Okung has the temperament, not just the talent, to excel for years to come. Three examples of Okung’s aggressiveness stand out as I look back on his rookie season: the way Okung drove back and ultimately ticked off Chicago’s Brian Urlacher during Justin Forsett’s touchdown run in Week 6; the way Okung clobbered Kansas City’s Mike Vrabel in Week 12 when it wasn’t really necessary; and the way Okung blasted Carolina’s Captain Muderlyn during an interception return in Week 13.”

Sando also takes another look at one of his earlier items about pressure applied by defenses in the division. This time he focuses on first-and-10 situations, and offers on the Seahawks: “The Seahawks held opponents to a division-leading 71.8 passer rating when sending five or more pass-rushers in these situations. Seattle made effective use of strong safety Lawyer Milloy as a pass-rusher last season, but only one of his four sacks came on first-and-10. Other players with first-and-10 sacks for Seattle: Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane, Chris Clemons (2.5), Colin Cole, Raheem Brock and Jordan Babineaux and (half-sack).”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune continues his “Offseason Rewind” series with a look at press coverage – something the Seahawks always talk about doing more of, but then don’t. Says Williams: “(Coach Pete) Carroll wants to play more press coverage because it takes away the quick, rhythm passing game and forces the offense to make tougher throws down the field and outside the numbers. It’s one of the reasons Seattle drafted big corners in Stanford’s Richard Sherman and Clemson’s Byron Maxwell, along with bringing in Oregon State product and CFL Star Brandon Browner with a futures contract.”

For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, the Associated Press is quoting sources as saying a deal on a new CBA could be reached within 24 hours after significant progress – and perhaps even an agreement – was made on a rookie pay scale during 15 hours of meetings on Thursday. But, the report also says: “The (sources) cautioned, however, that other key issues remained for owners and players to resolve, including free agency and new offseason workout rules.”

Leave it to Adam Rank at NFL.com to come up with six awards he’d like to see the ESPYs add. The Seahawks aren’t mentioned specifically in this “Pick Six” installment, but one-time QB Jon Kitna and cup-of-coffee QB Ryan Leaf are. Rank also considered a “Tony Romo Nice Hands Award,” and no explanation is needed there.

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of stories on the team’s first 35 seasons with a look at 2008. It was Mike Holmgren’s final season as coach, and a forgettable one as an injury-ravaged team finished 4-12.


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Cyber surfing: Thursday

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

Mike Sando at ESPN.com continues his best-of look at the NFC West with some coaching honors. He tabs the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll as “Best Ambassador,” because of the coaching-philosophy clinics he held recently. Says Sando: “The Seahawks’ second-year head coach has led five coaching philosophy clinics over the past three months, meeting with coaches from various levels in Los Angeles, Seattle and at two universities, TCU and Stanford. ‘If we don’t change you one bit, that’s OK,’ Carroll told attendees in the first of two sessions in Los Angeles, ‘but if we make you think, if we challenge you to look at what you are doing and what your world is all about in your coaching, and if you decide to accept what we’re all about, that’s cool, too.’ Carroll speaks from experience, having questioned and ultimately reinvented his approach after the New England Patriots fired him in 2000. Carroll doesn’t need whatever benefits flow his way from these clinics. His passion and eagerness to share is admirable.”

Also from Sando, a look at what he expected to be a competitive division race in the NFC West. Says Sando: “I’m looking forward to a division race that should remain competitive deep into the season. Only the AFC North plays as many division games as the NFC West after Week 8. The AFC West features only three division matchups after Week 12, half as many as in the NFC West, AFC North and NFC South.”

Free-agent-to-be safety Lawyer Milloy returned to his Tacoma roots to host a football clinic for kids, and Eric Williams of the New Tribune was there to file this report. Also on hand were running back Marshawn Lynch and wide receiver Deon Butler. Milloy on his hands-on approach to the clinic: “I don’t want to be a guy that sits on the sidelines. That’s not what I’m about. These parents want their kids to get something, and they want them to get it from me. That’s why my name’s on it. And so I think it’s important for me to get out there and have fun with the kids. And it comes natural when you’re having fun.”

For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, the Associated Press is reporting that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith are back in Minnesota to continue their talks aimed at reaching a new CBA after spending Wednesday morning in Florida to address the incoming rookie class. According to the report: “This week, the two sides are working on some tedious components of a possible deal, including a rookie wage system.”

At NFL.com, Albert Breer says Goodell and Smith will be rejoined by representatives from the owners and players on Thursday. Offers Breer: “Legal teams for the NFL and players have met for three days at a Minneapolis-area law firm under the auspices of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, marking the first time that owners and players haven’t been involved in the clandestine talks that started May 31.But owners and players will return to the proceedings Thursday.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the franchise’s first 35 seasons with a look at 1991 – the last of Chuck Knox’s nine seasons as coach.


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The envelope, please

Seahakws.com passes out some honors for the just-completed season:

Best offensive player: Matt Hasselbeck. In the end, the team’s 35-year-old quarterback was at his best, passing for seven touchdowns and throwing one interception in the two postseason games. Like the rest of the team, Hasselbeck struggled down the stretch (10 interceptions vs. four TD passes in Weeks 12-15). But he played his best game (four TD passes, 113.0 passer rating) in the biggest game (the upset over the Saints in the playoff opener). Along the way, Hasselbeck passed for 3,000 yards for the seventh time in his 10 seasons with the club and also won his 74th game (including playoffs) – both franchise records. Honorable mention to Mike Williams, who led the team with 65 receptions; and Ben Obomanu, who went from No. 5 receiver to starting flanker and responded with 14 of his 30 receptions in a three-game stretch at midseason and five more in the division-clinching win over the Rams.

Best defensive player: Chris Clemons. He was, in a word, relentless as the “Leo” end in coach Pete Carroll’s defense. No one was quite sure what to expect from Clemons after he was acquired in a March trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, because he never had been a fulltime player in his previous five NFL seasons – with three other teams. But Clemons exceeded expectations by delivering a career-high 12 sacks, a team-high 22 QB hits and also finishing first among the D-linemen in tackles (48). Honorable mention to David Hawthorne, who moved to weak-side linebacker and led the team in tackles (105) for the second consecutive season.

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Tuesday in Hawkville

A little news from today and a few leftovers from departure day:

 

FOCUS ON

Ben Obomanu. Somewhat lost in the excitement leading up to Sunday’s playoff game against the Bears in Chicago and the disappointment of losing that game was the three-year contract extension the fifth-year wide receiver signed on Friday.

 

Obomanu could be the poster player for coach Pete Carroll’s “Always Compete” approach.

 

Seventh-round draft choice 2006. Perennial “bubble” player when the final roster cuts are made. No. 5 wide-out this season until an injury to Deon Butler gave him a chance to actually start.

 

“There’s a little bit of personal satisfaction, knowing that for one of the first times in a long time you feel wanted a little bit,” Obomanu said Monday as he was cleaning out his cubicle in the locker room. “Instead of having to prove yourself and that you deserve to be around.

 

“Now you get to prove why you were chosen to be around.”

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Monday in Hawkville

A recap of the activities on departure day:

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The last day of school. In the NFL, it’s known as departure day. The players meet for a final time as a team, clean out their lockers and head into the offseason.

“It always feels like that when you have to clean out your locker and say goodbye to your teammates,” wide receiver Ben Obomanu said. “Because you never know which ones are going to be back and which ones you’ll see in the offseason.

“So it’s a little different. It’s a tough time for a lot of us, but at the same time we’re used to it.”

Read more »


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Photoblog: Seahawks Fall to Atlanta.

The Seahawks returned to Qwest Field in Week 15 for a matchup with the NFC leading Atlanta Falcons.

In the locker room hours before kickoff, safety Lawyer Milloy wraps black tape around his shoe and ankle.

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and head coach Pete Carroll confer in the locker room before the game.

Cornerback Marcus Trufant does his pregame stretching as the low winter sun cast his long shadow across the turf.

Even though receiver Deon Butler is lost for the season with a broken leg, the team's equipment staff prepared his locker as usual.

Butler entered the locker room via wheelchair aided by assistant equipment manager Kyle Stillwell. At right is Butler's close friend Aaron Curry.

Defensive leader Lawyer Milloy followed injured defensive end Red Bryant (right) with an impassioned pregame speech to the team moments before taking the field.

Running backs Justin Forsett and Marshawn Lynch make their way through the fog blanketing the tunnel used in pregame introductions.

Tight end Cameron Morrah is upended by Atlanta's Thomas DeCloud during the Seahawks opening scoring drive.

The Seahawks stuff Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan's sneak attempt on fourth down, but officials ruled for a first down which was upheld after a Seahawks challenge.

Seahawks fans show their displeasure with the ruling on the field after Seattle believed it had stopped the Falcons on fourth down.

Linebacker Will Herring forces a fumble by Atlanta's Jason Snelling, but the Seahawks were unable to recover the loose ball.

Seahawks defensive back Jordan Babineaux provided a highlight with this interception of a Matt Ryan pass.

Babineaux returned the interception 27 yards to set up a field goal by the Seahawks Olindo Mare.

Seahawks linebacker Raheem Brock drives Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan into the turf.

Seattle's Aaron Curry celebrates a defensive play.

The Sea Gals dressed in festive attire for the game, which is the last home game before the holidays.

Charlie Whitehurst entered the game in the second half and engineered a scoring drive capped by his one-yard touchdown run.

Head coach Pete Carroll speaks to the team in the locker room following the defeat.


Thursday in Hawkville

A recap of the day’s activities:

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Lawyer Milloy. The veteran strong safety has been the talk of two towns this week. That’s because he now plays for the Seahawks, but used to play for the Falcons – and they meet Sunday at Qwest Field in what is an important game for both teams.

Milloy’s final season with the Falcons (2008) was the first for coach Mike Smith.

“Lawyer is a great guy to coach,” Smith said. “He was one of our mentors in our first year and really was a big contributor is terms of spreading the message. I believe you’ve got to have players that can be the messengers for your coaching staff. You can’t always be hearing it from the coaches. He did a great job with the secondary room.

“He loves the game. He’s a contact player. When he’s close to the line of scrimmage, you better be aware of where he is because he’s going to be coming to the ball with bad intentions. I enjoyed coaching Lawyer, and I really like the way he approaches the game.”

Read more »


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Seahawks Ring the Bell for Charity

Head coach Pete Carroll led a contingent from the Seahawks to pitch in with the Salvation Army’s annual celebrity bell ringing in downtown Seattle. Carroll, safety Lawyer Milloy, radio announcer Warren Moon and Sea Gals Mischell and Courtney all gave their time to help this great cause and were joined by other local celebrities.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll poses with some young fans while he was bell ringing on behalf of the Salvation Army in downtown Seattle during the lunch hour.

Seahawks broadcaster and former quarterback Warren Moon and current safety Lawyer Milloy pose outside of the downtown Nordstrom where they were bell ringing for the Salvation Army during the lunch hour.

Sea Gals Mischell and Courtney were dressed in their holiday uniforms while bell ringing with other Seattle celebrities.


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Thursday in Hawkville

Players Running Bag Drills on Thanksgiving

A recap of the day’s activities:

FOCUS ON

Jordan Babineaux and Jamal Charles. At some point on Sunday afternoon, they will run into each other at Qwest Field.

But it will not be just a meeting of the Seahawks’ versatile defensive back and the Kansas City Chiefs’ leading rusher. It also will be a reunion of two of the best athletes to come out of Port Arthur, Texas.

Babineaux went to Lincoln High School, while Charles was an all-state player at Memorial High School. Babineaux is 28, while Charles is 23. But there is a connection – their desire to give back to the community. Read more »


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