Tuesday round-up: How do you stop Earl Thomas?

Russell Wilson’s Passing Academy started up in Spokane yesterday, and Darnay Tripp of KREM.com has the story on day one of Wilson’s two-day camp. You can view photos from Wilson’s Spokane camp here.

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Tuesday, July 9, about your Seattle Seahawks:

ESPN Insider Matt Bowen has a detailed feature on how to stop free safety Earl Thomas. Bowen looks at what makes the All-Pro/Pro Bowl fourth-year player so unique, pointing to Thomas’ range, speed, hips, and footwork. It’s an ESPN Insider feature, but here is a small snippet from Bowen’s work:

“There is no question this Seattle secondary of Thomas, Chancellor and cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner will be challenged during the 2013 season, especially with the multitude of upgrades to the receiving units of NFC West teams. But Thomas is still the key. He has an ideal skill set for the Seahawks’ defense. And if you want to make some plays versus the free safety (along with the rest of the Seattle secondary), the combination routes and tight end matchups would be at the top of my call sheet on game days.”

Thomas saw the ESPN piece and welcomes the challenge, clamoring for any opportunity to have the ball thrown his way:

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando returns from vacation and gears back up with his morning look around the NFC West.

Bob Condotta on the Seattle Times joined Sports Radio 950 KJR AM’s Jason Puckett to talk about Richard Sherman’s Celebrity Softball Game and Seahawks expectations heading into 2013 in the podcast below:

Rebecca Wright of The Windsor Star has a story on rookie tight end Luke Willson, who recently returned to his local sports roots of Essex, Ontario, Canada to support the Essex Ravens junior and varsity teams.

Braden Gall of AthlonSports.com ranks the League’s 32 quarterbacks. The Seahawks’ Russell Wilson comes in at No. 12 – what is it about that number, anyway? It’s everywhere. Here’s what Gall had to say about the club’s second-year signal caller:

“Wilson has a lot of Drew Brees to his game. Undersized, savvy, hard-working, underrated athletically and a lightning-quick right arm. Cut from the Rodgers-Luck dual-threat cloth, Wilson is constantly looking to extend the play and make a big throw. He can run around and pick up first downs with his legs if need be, but he’s also adept at throwing on the run. This, and his compact frame, gives him a better chance at staying healthy over other true dual-threats. His statistical and win-loss records as a starter both in college and his first year in the pros speak for themselves.”

Today is the final day to vote in round two of NFL.com’s bracket to determine the greatest uniform in League history, where as of this posting the Seahawks’ current uniforms (No. 6 seed) have more than double the votes of the current jerseys of the New York Giants (No. 3). Voting ends at 3 p.m. PT.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth continues his 2013 positional preview series with a look at the club’s secondary, which includes some compassionate comments from head coach Pete Carroll on Thomas: “…there’s no end to the potential that Earl has, because he’s so fast and he’s so tough. But more than that, he’s just so driven to be great. He’s just driven to be a great player and a great teammate.”

Rex Ryan

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan poses for a photo at Spain’s San Fermin festival (via Jets Instagram)

Team photographers Rod Mar and Corky Trewin bring us a combined 159 frames from Sherman’s celebrity softball game at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium.

In news around the rest of the NFL, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reportedly ran with the bulls – twice – at the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain. According to the Jets, Ryan escaped without injury.

And it’s about a week old now, but Richard Owens of NFL Films has a unique behind-the-scenes Q & A session with NFL Films music composer Dave Robidoux, who has won nine Emmy awards for his work with the organization.


Thursday cyber surfing: Most improved defense in 2012? Seahawks get a mention

Good morning. I hope everybody had a safe and fun Fourth of July. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 5.

Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. sees the Seahawks as being one of the four most improved defenses of the 2012 season, along with the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. An ESPN Insider subscription is required, but Horton offers this on the Seahawks, “This defense plays with a swagger, and is the most physical group that I have seen on film. They have great variety in their skill sets, which allows the coaches to create exotic schemes. Above all, though, they are a young defense that will be good for a long time.”

At CBSsports.com, Jason La Canfora asks us to stop the speculation and controversy when it comes to teams’ quarterback situations – Seattle included – and to let the battles and competitions play out for themselves come training camp, “Give it a little time to breathe,” said La Canfora. “The coaching staffs will be accumulating as much information as possible before making their determinations. No decision maker is going to get too high or too low about a few weeks of spring ball. Some veterans might shine more than the novices, sure, but in these rare situations where there truly is uncertainty about who is going to be under center, the pecking order will change, and in many cases change significantly.”

Here at seahawks.com, we continue with our Rookie Spotlight segment, as Seahawks General Manager John Schneider talks with Tony Ventrella about Seahawks 2012 third-round draft pick QB Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin. “I’m not sure how good a baseball player he was,” said Schneider. “But I know he likes football, so we’re really happy about that.”

Finally, over at NFL.com Marc Sessler pays tribute to Al Davis, who would have celebrated his 83rd birthday yesterday on our nation’s 236th birthday. “Davis, in many way, reflects some of the qualities of our nation’s Founding Fathers,” said Sessler. He was a visionary and more than willing to ruffle feathers to bring his ideas to life. Davis was never boring. Sometimes outrageous. Flawed but unforgettable. Davis had enemies and loyal friends, but those close to him recognized his legacy to be a lasting one. He was an original. Our best wishes to the Davis family.”


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