With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, concluding with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Niners started day three by making a splash on a pair of skill position players toward the end of round four when they picked up wide receiver Quinton Patton out of Louisiana Tech (No. 128 overall) and South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (No. 131 overall).
Patton earned first-team All-WAC and second-team All-American honors in his final season at Louisiana Tech, when he racked up 104 catches for 1,392 yards and 13 scores. He went on to run a 4.54 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and will figure into a receiving corps that already features Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boildin, and last year’s first-round pick A.J. Jenkins.
Lattimore found early success with the Gamecocks and was highly touted as one of the best running backs in the country, but his durability is a question. He suffered multiple season-ending knee injuries at South Carolina. However, the 49ers backfield is already loaded up with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James, which should allow Lattimore to continue his recovery process.
The Niners followed up by adding defensive lineman Quinton Dial late in the fifth round (No. 157 overall) and linebacker Nick Moody in the sixth round (No. 180 overall). Dial comes into the Bay Area at 6-foot-5, 318-pounds out of the University of Alabama to add depth along the D-line, while Moody measures 6-foot-1, 236-pounds out of Florida State, providing an athletic option at outside backer.
San Francisco closed out their draft with three selections in round seven – South Florida quarterback B.J. Daniels (No. 227 overall), Iowa St. offensive lineman Carter Bykowski (No. 246 overall), and Rutgers cornerback Marcus Cooper (No. 252 overall).
Daniels, at 6-foot-1, 217-pounds, put up 59 touchdowns in four seasons as signal caller for the Bulls. He added 2,068 rushing yards and 25 scores on the ground in that same span. He joins a young mix of quarterbacks that includes entrenched starter Colin Kaepernick, recently acquired backup Colt McCoy, and former Wisconsin product Scott Tolzien.
|San Francisco 49ers|
|A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFL Draft.
With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, continuing with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals got things started for the West on day three when they used the No. 103 overall pick to select linebacker/defensive lineman Alex Okafor out of the University of Texas. Okafor marked the club’s third consecutive pick on the defensive side of the football after they took offensive guard Jonathan Cooper in round one.
Okafar, who measures 6-foot-4, 264 pounds, was one of the nation’s top pass rushers in 2012 with the Longhorns. He led the Big 12 conference with nearly a full sack per game (0.96), racking up 12.5 on the season to go along with four forced fumbles.
Arizona swung their second fourth-round pick (No. 110) to the New York Giants in exchange for their third and sixth rounders (No. 116 and No. 187). With No. 116 the Cardinals went back to the offensive line when they took the 6-foot-4, 301-pound guard Earl Watford out of James Madison University. He’ll help shore up an offensive line that allowed a League-high 58 sacks last season.
With their lone pick in round five, the Cardinals went with the 5-foot-9, 214-pound Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor. He brings some much needed durability to the Cardinals’ backfield, who has seen current running backs Ryan Williams and Rashard Mendenhall suffer serious injuries in recent years.
The Cardinals added the speedy wideout Ryan Swope (No. 174 overall) and explosive running back Andre Ellington (No. 187 overall) in the draft’s sixth round. Texas A&M’s Swope, who ran a 4.34 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine – the fastest at his position, figures to work as a slot receiver in head coach Bruce Arians’ offense. Clemson’s Ellington adds a runner to the Cardinals stable of backs that can provide a “home run” threat with every touch.
Arizona rounded out their draft with the selection of Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson with the No. 219 overall pick in the seventh round. The 6-foot-6, 262-pound Jefferson red-shirted at quarterback in 2008, but now represents a physical blocker and developing receiver whose size likely intrigued Arizona’s front office.
|A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.
With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, starting with the St. Louis Rams.
St. Louis started day three by grabbing Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones out of Alabama with their fourth-round pick (No. 113 overall).
Jones was considered one of the nation’s top centers in 2012 when he was named to All-American and All-SEC teams, and won Outland and Rimington Awards for best interior lineman and center. He spent the 2011 season at left tackle, moving to the position from right guard after then-Alabama left tackle James Carpenter departed the college ranks to your very own Seattle Seahawks.
St. Louis addressed a pair of needs in round five when they took cornerback Brandon McGee (No. 149), a 5-foot-11, 193-pound product out of the University of Miami, and running back Zac Stacy (No. 160), a 5-foot-8, 216-pound bruiser out of Vanderbilt.
McGee’s addition makes sense when you look at the Rams’ current roster, which lists the veteran Cortland Finnegan, and last year’s rookies Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson as the only players at the position for the club.
Stacy adds a physical dimension to the Rams’ run game to play alongside Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson. He finished his 2012 season at Vanderbilt with 1,141 yards and 10 touchdowns and went on to make an appearance in the East-West Shrine Game. He was the only Commodore player invited to the NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.55 40-yard dash and put up 27 reps on the bench press – good for the workout’s top performer at his position.
To take Stacy the Rams gave up their pair of sixth round picks (No. 184, No. 198), which made the fifth-rounder Stacy the club’s final selection of the 2013 draft.
|St. Louis Rams|
|A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival St. Louis Rams in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Three weeks since the start of the 2013 League year, we take an updated look at who has come and who has gone around the NFC West via trades and free agency.
Out: S Kerry Rhodes (released); S Adrian Wilson (released, signed by New England Patriots); RB Beanie Wells (released); WR Early Doucet (released); CB William Gay (released, signed by Pittsburgh Steelers); QB Kevin Kolb (released, signed by Buffalo Bills); QB John Skelton (released); CB Greg Toler (free agent, signed by Indianapolis Colts); LB Quentin Groves (free agent, signed by Cleveland Browns); LB Stewart Bradley (released, signed by Denver Broncos); G Rich Ohrnberger (free agent, signed by San Diego Chargers)
In: CB Antoine Cason (free agent, signed from San Diego Chargers); DE Matt Shaughnessy (free agent, signed from Oakland Raiders); RB Rashard Mendenhall (free agent, signed from Pittsburgh Steelers); LB Jasper Brinkley (free agent, signed from Minnesota Vikings); S Yeremiah Bell (free agent, signed from New York Jets); CB Jerraud Powers (free agent, signed from Indianapolis Colts); LB Lorenzo Alexander (free agent, signed from Washington Redskins); QB Drew Stanton (free agent, signed from Indianapolis Colts); DE Frostee Rucker (released from Cleveland Browns); S Jonathan Amaya (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); QB Carson Palmer (trade with Oakland Raiders)
For a full Cardinals free-agent tracker click here.
San Francisco 49ers
Out: S Dashon Goldson (free agent, signed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers); DT Isaac Sopoaga (free agent, signed by Philadelphia Eagles); TE Delanie Walker (free agent, signed by Tennessee Titans); DT Ricky Jean Francois (free agent, signed by Indianapolis Colts); K David Akers (released); WR Tedd Ginn (free agent, signed by Carolina Panthers); QB Alex Smith (trade with Kansas City Chiefs)
In: DL Glenn Dorsey (free agent, signed from Kansas City Chiefs); S Craig Dahl (free agent, signed from St. Louis Rams); LB Dan Skuta (free agent, signed from Cincinnati Bengals); WR Anquan Boldin (trade with Baltimore Ravens); K Phil Dawson (free agent, signed from Cleveland Browns); WR Marlon Moore (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); QB Colt McCoy (trade with Cleveland Browns); CB Nnamdi Asomugha (free agent, signed from Philadelphia Eagles)
For a full 49ers free-agent tracker click here.
Out: RB/KR Leon Washington (released, signed by New England Patriots); DE Jason Jones (free agent, signed by Detroit Lions); WR Ben Obomanu (released); QB Matt Flynn (trade with Oakland Raiders); DT Alan Branch (free agent, signed by Buffalo Bills)
In: DE Cliff Avril (free agent, signed from Detroit Lions); DE Michael Bennett (free agent, signed from Tampa Bay Buccaneers); WR Percy Harvin (trade with Minnesota Vikings); DT Tony McDaniel (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins)
For a full Seahawks free-agent tracker click here.
St. Louis Rams
Out: RB Steven Jackson (free agent, signed by Atlanta Falcons); WR Danny Amendola (free agent, signed by New England Patriots); S Craig Dahl (free agent, signed by San Francisco 49ers); CB Bradley Fletcher (free agent, signed by Philadelphia Eagles); WR Brandon Gibson (free agent, signed by Miami Dolphins); C Robert Turner (free agent, signed by Tennessee Titans); S Quintin Mikell (released); OT Wayne Hunter (released); TE Matthew Mulligan (released)
In: OT Jake Long (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); TE Jared Cook (free agent, signed from Tennessee Titans)
For a full Rams free-agent tracker click here.
Expectations will be high for the Seahawks in 2013. If that much wasn’t already clear from the way the Seahawks players and coaches have handled themselves since the loss to the Atlanta Falcons in last year’s divisional playoff round, it will be now, after the staff at ESPN.com has compiled their first NFL Power Rankings of the 2013 season.
The Seahawks rank atop the list, one slot above the division rival San Francisco 49ers, who fell in last year’s Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens rank No. 8 on the ESPN staffers’ list.
ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando (who cast a No. 1 vote for the Seahawks) offered some analysis of the group’s rankings:
“The Seahawks have been gaining on the 49ers for the past couple years. The 49ers were already an elite team. Seattle had more room for improvement. I felt as though the Seahawks caught the 49ers late last season. Seattle did benefit from a run of late-season home games against division opponents.
“Percy Harvin, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril have the potential to become high-impact additions. There was risk in making the Harvin move. Will he run his course in Seattle, same as he did in Minnesota? It’s a fair question, but I think the results will be positive in the beginning, at least.
“The NFC West remained the highest-ranked division with a 12.3 average ranking for its teams. That was up slightly from a 12.8 average at regular season’s end.”
We’re just over one week into free agency and Nate Davis of USA Today has handed out his first offseason report cards, and Seattle should feel good about the mark they’ve earned. Davis tabbed the Seahawks with an “A” grade after acquiring the likes of wide receiver Percy Harvin and defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. The Seahawks were one of just two teams (the Minnesota Vikings being the other) to earn the high mark.
Here’s a look at what Davis had to say about the moves general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have made to this point:
Seattle Seahawks (A): The offense (Harvin) and defense (DEs Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett) have been supercharged, and the pay scale really didn’t suffer much even if GM John Schneider had to part with a few picks, including this year’s first rounder, for Harvin. The Niners should be worried.
Yesterday, we tracked the free-agent acquisitions around the rest of the NFC West, and took a look at why the West will be “a bear of a division in 2013.” Davis’ grades and comments on those clubs are below:
Arizona Cardinals (C): At the outset of free agency, they only had about $3 million available. But new GM Steve Keim has made quite a few moves to churn his roster: he signed QB Drew Stanton and parted with Kevin Kolb, picked up RB Rashard Mendenhall after punting Beanie Wells and completely remade the secondary. But should Keim have devoted his newfound money to a worrisome O-line in order to give Stanton (or whomever) a chance? Maybe next month.
St. Louis Rams (B+): If free agency is any indication, St. Louis is very confident its youngsters are ready to supplant Amendola, Gibson and Jackson. New LT Jake Long and TE Jared Cook should make QB Sam Bradford a very happy man. Armed with two first-round picks, the Rams’ drastic improvement over the past year should continue at draft time.
San Francisco 49ers (B): They chose to move on from all-pro FS Dashon Goldson and a few others. But given this team’s return to NFL royalty under GM Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh, who’s going to argue? WR Anquan Boldin and DE Glenn Dorsey look like cost-effective additions, but is Craig Dahl really the man to fill Goldson’s cleats?
Tuesday cyber surfing: Defense, Irvin finding success; Penalties remain an issue; Week 6 battle of the bests
Good morning, and here’s what’s ‘out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 9.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times wonders if the Seahawks are asking too much of their defense, “Seattle’s offense has given up more touchdowns than its defense the past two games, but can the Seahawks really keep this up when it comes to keeping opposing offenses grounded? ‘I don’t have any idea,’ Carroll said. ‘I’ve been around defenses that have done it from wire to wire. There’ll be a time where some guys are going to have to jump in and help, but right now, with really great fortune, we’ve been healthy and guys are able to do their stuff.’ Seattle is starting a rookie at middle linebacker in Bobby Wagner. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are both in their second NFL seasons, as is linebacker K.J. Wright. Throw in the fact that rookie Bruce Irvin is second on the team in sacks, and it’s reasonable to assume that the trajectory for this team points up. ‘I think we should improve,’ Carroll said. ‘I think we should count on our guys to continue to get better.’ “
O’Neil tells us three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out after Sunday’s 16-12 win over Carolina, “Does it matter when opponents stack up to stop Marshawn Lynch? The Panthers loaded up against the run. Lynch carried seven times in the first half, and five of those carries gained 3 yards or fewer. Carolina certainly gave every indication it was not going to let Lynch win this game yet when Seattle had the ball deep in its own territory, facing thid-and-7 from its own 4 with 2:58 remaining, Lynch was able to run for 11 yards and gain a first down that was essential in bleeding the clock. For all Carolina’s attention, Lynch rushed 21 times for 85 yards in spite of having a 20-yard gain negated by a questionable holding penalty against Russell Okung.”
O’Neil also passes along an interesting piece from Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe, who has a look at the Patriots’ accelerated no-huddle offense, which will visit CenturyLink Field this weekend, “The NFL never has seen anything like it, and it may never be the same. How did the Patriots run the offense that fast? What was the key? One word. Not one word to describe it. The Patriots operate their no-huddle attack most often using one word as the play call. More accurately, they use six one-word play calls a game. That word tells all 11 players on offense everything they need to know. Formation. Blocking scheme. Direction on run plays. Routes for receiver on passing plays. Shifts in formations. Snap count. Possible alerts and play alterations. One word. ‘I think the point of it is to try to get everyone going fast,’ quarterback Tom Brady said recently. ‘So as fast as you can get the communication to your teammates, everyone can be on the line of scrimmage, then the better it is.’ “
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the Seahawks’ No. 1-ranked defense, and offers some comments from Carroll on the achievement through Week 5, “The Seahawks are ranked No. 1 in the league in total defense, No. 2 in total points allowed and No. 3 in rushing defense. Fresh off a 16-12 win over Carolina that took the Hawks to 3-2, coach Pete Carroll on Monday talked to the press about the performance. He did not wave an oversized No. 1 finger to liven up his statements. ‘It doesn’t mean much right now … it’d be really nice to be No. 1 at the end,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s a good statement at the beginning of the season that our guys have gotten off to a great start. … It’s fun for those guys to know – it’s a very prideful group – but does it mean anything? Not really. What we’re going to do this week is what counts.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald details Carroll’s frustration with the team’s first-half play in their Week 5 win, “Well for the most part, Carroll was frustrated by the mistakes that kept his team from winning more comfortably. First-half penalties slowed the offense — most notably the holding call on tackle Breno Giacomini that negated a 56-yard Russell Wilson pass to Golden Tate — helping limit the Seahawks to a pair of field goals despite a statistically impressive half. A rather silly penalty on defensive end Chris Clemons also kept the Panthers on the field on their only scoring drive of the half. And in the second half, Carroll was frustrated by the three turnovers that if not for another very impressive outing by Seattle’s defense, would have cost the Seahawks the game. ‘It was a very frustrating game for the most part, because we could not get on top of it. We were playing well and doing some really good things,’ Carroll said. ‘You could feel us executing in different areas that spelled that we could be ahead and taking command of the football game, but we weren’t able to because we got in our own way.’ “
Tim Booth of the Associated Press recaps the impressive performance by cornerback Brandon Browner and the Seahawks defense and their ability to overcome mistakes in the win over Carolina, “There were plenty of moments when the Seahawks defense shined on Sunday and cornerback Brandon Browner was often in the middle. It was Browner’s strip of DeAngelo Williams and subsequent fumble recovery in the third quarter that changed the momentum after Seattle had gifted the Panthers three turnovers, including Captain Munnerlyn’s 33-yard interception return for a touchdown to give Carolina a 10-6 lead. Browner’s forced fumble led to Wilson’s touchdown pass to Golden Tate that gave the Seahawks the lead late in the third quarter. But the burly cornerback wasn’t done. He and Marcus Trufant combined to tackle Carolina’s Louis Murphy at the 1-yard line on third-and-goal with less than 4 minutes remaining when it appeared he would score easily and potentially give Carolina the lead. On fourth-and-goal, Newton rolled out of the pocket, but threw a pass intended for Ben Hartsock into the turf. ‘The four plays down there were really extraordinary,’ Carroll said of the goal-line stand. ‘That’s a fun situation to be in. As a defense that is as intense as it gets and as exciting as it gets to play ball, so much at stake and the game on the line and all that and to come through is really huge.’ “
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com shares some thoughts on the play of rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin, “Irvin, the 15th overall pick, has 4.5 sacks after picking up two in Seattle’s 16-12 win over Carolina on Sunday. That has him on pace for more than 14, which would equal the stellar season turned in by Aldon Smith in 2011 when the 49ers’ top pick was nearly the league’s defensive rookie of the year. Coach Pete Carroll estimated that Irvin played less than 25 of 52 plays against Carolina. That didn’t stop him from getting to Cam Newton twice. His second sack came on Carolina’s final possession, when Irvin forced a fumble that teammate Alan Branch recovered to seal the win for Seattle. He dropped Newton for a 13-yard loss on third down earlier in the game. It was his second two-sack game in three weeks. Irvin isn’t an every-down player. Neither was Smith a year ago, though, so matching his 14-sack season seems like a realistic possibility.”
Henderson also has a closer look at the Seahawks’ decision to take a safety at the end of the game against Carolina, “The Seahawks picked up one first down but still faced a fourth-and-7 from their own 18 before calling a timeout. Carroll, while considering the risk of the Panthers blocking the punt, figured Ryan would be standing at the 7- or 8-yard line, too close to the end zone for comfort. A blocked punt, if recovered by Carolina, could be easily returned for a game-winning touchdown. Even if Seattle were to recover it, Carolina would take over just yards from the end zone. Another factor: the Seahawks, not knowing whether Carolina would come after Ryan, would need to hold their blocks to prevent pressure, potentially giving the Panthers more time to set up their return. The alternative, an intentional safety and a free kick, was more appealing. ‘I thought, ‘Well, shoot – we can stand at the 20 with our guys going full go, full speed chasing the football and we might put the ball back at the other 25 or something.’ It wasn’t even a difficult decision at all,’ Carroll said.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM says addressing the team’s penalty situation still remains a focus for Carroll, “The Seahawks fought back and were able to win against the Panthers, but coach Pete Carroll knows they have areas they still need to clean up. T Breno Giacomini was benched in the first half after picking up a holding penalty that negated a 56 yard pass from QB Russell Wilson to WR Golden Tate and another personal foul on a late hit on the sideline. He was replaced by T Frank Omiyale for a series in the second quarter. ‘I better start reinforcing a lot better than I’m doing. I’m not doing a very good job here,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s not because it’s not emphasized, the message just isn’t hitting home yet.’ Seattle has 44 penalties – the most of any team in the NFL through five weeks – for 363 yards, which is tied for third most in the league. They have two games already with 10-plus penalties this season. While the amount has been cut back the last two weeks, the penalties they have incurred have been more costly. ‘We’ve got very aggressive guys and we’ve sought them out and now we’re dealing with it,’ Carroll said.”
The staff at ESPN.com has their updated NFL Power Rankings and the Seahawks come in at No. 16 on their list, ranking as high as No. 11 (Mike Sando, John Clayton) and as low as No. 19 (Dan Graziano).
Mike Sando of ESPN.com notes that the NFC West is statistically the division that opposing quarterbacks should fear most, “This is the first in a series of posts Tuesday illustrating just how dominant NFC West defenses have been despite facing Aaron Rodgers (twice), Matthew Stafford (twice), Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton through Week 5.”
Sando also notes that NFC West teams lead the League in shutting down running backs.
Lastly from Sando, he has a look at the success the NFC West’s young pass rushers have enjoyed through Week 5, “Four young NFC West outside pass-rushers have combined for 18 sacks through five games. Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks (4.5): Irvin collected two sacks while playing 20 snaps against Carolina. His second sack forced a turnover, allowing the Seahawks to run out the clock on their 16-12 victory. Irvin appears increasingly comfortable as he gains experience. He is the only non-starter of the four listed here. Smith was also a situational player as a rookie. He collected 14 sacks in 2011. Irvin is now on pace for that many.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his first look at the Seahawks’ Week 6 matchup with the Patriots – a battle of the No. 1-ranked defense and No. 1-ranked offense in the NFL.
Tony Ventrella and Farnsworth review the Seahawks’ 16-12 victory over the Panthers in this short video, and Ventrella details the Seahawks’ ability to overcome mistakes en route to victory in his Seahawks Daily from Monday.
Finally, we have the full video of Carroll’s Monday press conference available here.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 20.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says that this current physical and tough Seahawks team is one that former head coach Jim Mora would love, “After Mora was fired, Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over, and what did they immediately do? Start making the Seahawks bigger and more physical. It was a delayed dirtbagging of a football team that had become too clean. Three years later, the Seahawks are among the most rugged teams in the NFL. There’s little concern about whether they’ll push back anymore. They often push first. They excel in rushing defense and rushing offense, two areas that measure toughness. They have graduated from an undersized football team that aspired to be speedy (though it never quite got there) to an oversized squad that is still explosive despite the brawn. Teams don’t come to Seattle and punch the Seahawks in the face now. It’s too dangerous to stick your hands that close to their frothing mouths.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has some observations on the Seahawks offense, noting that they have yet to score a first-half touchdown and two of the three field goals they have converted in the first two quarters of games were the result of turnovers, “The slow starts for the offense are reminiscent of the way Seattle began last season when it didn’t score a first-half touchdown until the fourth game. If you break down the offensive and defensive performances down by halves, it’s evident that so far this season, Seattle remains a team that struggles to get going early in games.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has a look at the improvements of the NFC West division, “Since the NFL’s realignment, this is the first time that the teams from the NFC West have been 6-2 or better through the first two weeks of the season, according to Elias Sports Bureau. And the NFC West’s wins have not come against patsies. San Francisco has victories at Super Bowl contender Green Bay and at home against Detroit; Arizona defeated the Patriots in New England, where quarterback Tom Brady had not lost a home opener as a starter; Seattle handled Dallas at home in a game that most league observers thought they had no shot at winning; and St. Louis outdueled Washington and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald details the play of the Seahawks special teams unit, who he believes set the tone against the Cowboys in Week 2, “Other than when a returner makes a big play, there is little glory on special teams. It’s grunt work that often goes unappreciated, but for the Seahawks, there is no mistaking the importance of special teams play. Carroll has long maintained that his blueprint for winning involves running the ball, winning the turnover battle, playing stout defense, and being strong on special teams. That was precisely the formula Seattle used in its win over Dallas, which is why Carroll said it was one of his most satisfying wins in Seattle, and his team’s special teams play had as much to do with his satisfaction as anything the offense and defense accomplished.”
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports details the next step for Brian Banks, the high school football star who was recently exonerated of a California rape case and who worked out for the Seahawks earlier this year, saying he is set to sign with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League.
In his latest edition of “Chalk Talk,” Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com breaks down Marshawn Lynch’s 36-yard run that came in the team’s 90-yard scoring drive in the win over the Cowboys.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a quick look at injury situations that matter around the NFC West, “The Seahawks hope to have left tackle Russell Okung back from a bruised knee to face Clay Matthews and the Green Bay defense on Monday night. Frank Omiyale started in Okung’s place Sunday and did what coach Pete Carroll called a “credible” job. For Seattle, playing one day later than usual has affected the practice schedule. Players are off Wednesday. They’ll resume practicing Thursday. Seattle will not issue an injury report until then. Carroll did tell reporters earlier in the week that receiver Sidney Rice was healthy. Rice had left the team’s game against Dallas after absorbing a hard hit. He missed some practice time last week with a sore knee.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look at the Seahawks’ Week 3 Monday Night Football opponent – the Green Bay Packers, and details the effectiveness of Lynch and the Seahawks run game through two weeks of the regular season.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 19.
We start with a few roster moves that were announced by the team yesterday – the Seahawks released running back Kregg Lumpkin from the active roster and wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and linebacker Allen Bradford from the practice squad. In their places, the team announced the signing of cornerback Danny Gorrer to the active roster, and the signing of linebacker Korey Toomer and offensive lineman Rishaw Johnson to the practice squad.
Coach Pete Carroll has an addition to his blog at WinForever.com, as he emphasizes the importance of moving on from the week before, “So now the challenge this week is the same as last week, even though we’re coming off of a win instead of a loss. We’ve got to leave last Sunday behind and turn our entire focus to performing how we know how to perform come Monday night at home. After all, it’s what we do now that counts.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that one should not judge rookie quarterback Russell Wilson by his lack of height,“Wilson’s height is just one part of his makeup, and not necessarily the most important part. He is a short quarterback, but he’s also a fast quarterback. He’s a smart quarterback. He’s a strong-armed quarterback. He also has really big hands (for whatever that’s worth). Four inches are about all that separates him from being the ideal NFL quarterback prospect. Those four inches are significant, but they might not turn out be the kind of dealbreaker that some have assumed.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says that this Seahawks defense might be the best that they’ve ever had, “The statistics fail to measure the physically intimidating play of this unit, which is its dominant characteristic. And in games at home, it inflames the fans, which, in turn, further energizes the players. ‘The way we want to play is really tough, hard-nosed football,’ Carroll said. ‘And we brought in guys to do that … guys who run fast and hit.’ They certainly do … perhaps to a historic degree.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald notes the improvement of the NFC West division, “…it’s looking more and more likely that the 49ers won’t be the only playoff contender in their division. Arizona was largely dismissed coming into the season thanks to uncertainty at quarterback, but the Cardinals are 2-0 and coming off of shocking win in New England. Going back to last season, the Cardinals are 9-2 since starting the year with a 1-6 record. Seattle also finished last season strong, and after a close loss in Arizona, the Seahawks thumped Dallas on Sunday, physically dominating a Cowboys squad that many had pegged as one of the top teams in the NFC after they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in Week 1. Throw in St. Louis, which after going 2-14 last year opened this season with a close loss at Detroit and a comeback win over Washington, and it is looking more and more like the NFC West is a division of teams ready to push back rather than be pushovers.”
Don Banks of SI.com shares a similar sentiment to Boyle, citing the NFC West as the division with the best combined record through Week 2, “It’s the only one of the NFL’s eight divisions with a pair of 2-0 teams (San Francisco, Arizona), and the division’s cumulative 6-2 record is the best in the league. With one of the West’s two losses coming in head-to-head play (Arizona over Seattle in Week 1), its only defeat outside the division was St. Louis’ last-minute, opening-week loss at Detroit. The West’s 5-1 record outside the division is tops in the NFL, and the division’s 4-0 record in Week 2 was only its second such perfect mark since realignment in 2002.”
Elizabeth Merrill of ESPN.com has an extensive look at quarterback Russell Wilson, “Wilson has been called a test study in a league that hinges on centimeters and is steadfast on black-and-white metrics. A wide receiver is supposed to run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, an offensive lineman is supposed to weigh 300 pounds and a quarterback is supposed to stand at least 6-foot-2. ‘He’s what you call an outlier,’ said former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, whose grading system would’ve subtracted 15 points for Wilson’s height. ‘You go broke looking for those guys. For every guy that you draft that’s three inches and four inches below the accepted minimum, 99 of 100 are going to fail. He’s a real exception. Have you ever talked to him personally? He’s the most dynamic guy you’ll ever be around. He has such an unusual flair. I mean, this guy wins you over with two minutes’ talk. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a quarterback that’s undersized like he is that has been so dynamic.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a closer look at backup left tackle Frank Omiyale’s day against the Dallas Cowboys, “Frank Omiyale, Seahawks: Omiyale started against Dallas while Russell Okung was recovering from a bruised knee. Okung is expected back to face Clay Matthews and the Green Bay Packers’ defense on “Monday Night Football” in Week 3. The Seahawks helped Omiyale some of the time. Omiyale held up without assistance when protecting Russell Wilson’s blind side during a 22-yard scoring pass to tight end Anthony McCoy. Dallas’ Demarcus Ware finished the game with no sacks. Seattle rushed for 182 yards while allowing only two sacks, one of which resulted from an unblocked rusher coming free on Wilson’s front side, away from Omiyale. Seattle got through this game as well as could be expected. The team has averaged 3.5 yards per rush with Okung and 4.4 yards without him. The per-carry average was slightly higher without Okung last season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. There are other variables, however. Okung is easily the most talented option at tackle.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth says that the Seahawks special teams unit met all 12 goals set by special teams coordinator Brian Schneider for the very first time, and catches up with Omiyale about his game against the Cowboys.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 20.
Here at Seahawks.com we start by bringing you Clare Farnsworth’s next installment of his 2012 Seahawks positional outlook, as he checks out the Seahawks special teams unit. Farnsworth speaks with special teams coach Brian Schneider, who believes that despite the units success a year ago they have the talent and potential to be even better this season. Just how good was this unit? Well, Schneider shared this eye-popping statistic with his group, and then with Farnsworth, “Last season, when the special teams gave the offense the ball inside the 50-yard line, the Seahawks scored 77 percent of the time. Conversely, when the special teams put the defense inside the opponents’ 20-yard, the opposition scored 17 percent of the time. ‘It’s a pretty cool deal,’ Schneider said. “’f we can create a really long field for the defense, we’re really successful. If we get a short field for the offense, we’re really successful. And when you put those numbers on it, it just kind of gives some value to it.’ “
Next up at Seahawks.com we have the unique story behind Seahawks fan Karlyn Moyer’s “Mom Cave”- her own room packed full of Seahawks memorabilia. Moyer shared some photos of her “Mom Cave” on the 12th Man Tour’s visit to Alaska, “Almost 20 years ago, Moyer’s collection of Seahawks memorabilia started with a single stuffed Teddy bear donning a Seahawks sweater bearing Moyer’s name and birth year. Today, Moyer’s collection has grown to include furniture, clothing, flags, figurines, and more – and she has not purchased a single piece of it. ‘I do not buy myself any new things for my collection,’ Moyer said. ‘Everyone I know purchases them for me. Friends and family all ask, ‘Do you have this?’ ” The 12th Man Tour continues with a stop in Spokane this Saturday, July 21.
Rounding out the coverage here at Seahawks.com we have a video featuring Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright, who sits down with Seahawks Insider Tony Ventrella. The two talk about the difference between Wright’s preparation during the lockout-shortened offseason a year ago compared to his first full offseason this year, as well as how he was able to adjust to play at the NFL level so quickly.
NFL.com gives us their divisional power rankings, and the NFC West sits as the seventh-ranked division of the eight in the League, “Despite its consistently low ranking, the NFC West has made strides,” writes NFL.com. “The gap between, say, the NFC East and NFC West has closed dramatically. The NFC West would have been dead last, often by a wide margin, for much of the past decade. It’s a division on the rise with the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals all possessing good defenses.”
Mel Kiper of ESPN.com breaks down summer additions to the NFC West, and althought you must have an ESPN Insider account to view the complete piece, here’s a taste of what Kiper offers on the Seahawks: “Help added: There’s been a notable velocity with which Pete Carroll and John Schneider have remade the Seahawks’ roster over the past 24 months. This year, I think it’ll finally be time to really judge these guys on something more than growth. This is a team that, on paper, can be a winner if it can find some points and keep healthy in key spots. In terms of additions, it starts with Matt Flynn at quarterback. While Tarvaris Jackson is still around, and Russell Wilson deserves to be in the picture as a young player competing for the spot, Flynn has to be the starter in Week 1. With Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin, Seattle has an above-average tandem in the passing game, with the chance to be better. People should remember that Rice is still just 25, with a history of nicks that have limited him. So while I think it should be Flynn, “not enough weapons” can’t be an excuse for anyone. I think we’re all pretty interested to see how much of a pass rush Carroll can create with the addition of Bruce Irvin. I know evaluators who saw the lightning rod out of West Virginia as the best pure pass-rusher in the draft (which is partly a reflection of the class), and Seattle had to have taken Irvin with a specific role in mind. Carroll can use him as a Leo linebacker, with Chris Clemons as a possible model. Barrett Ruud provides some experience at linebacker and Jason Jones filled a hole at D-tackle. But the key is the rush, because consistent pressure could make an already good secondary look spectacular. It starts up front, and Irvin is the key for me.”
Finally, Forbes recently released a list of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams, and the Seahawks find themselves at No. 25 on the list, with an estimated worth of $997 million. Despite their relatively high ranking, the Seahawks are just the 16th-ranked NFL team on the list, behind the Dallas Cowboys (T-No. 3), Washington Redskins (No. 5), New England Patriots (T-No. 6), New York Giants (No. 9), New York Jets (No. 12), Houston Texans (No. 13), Philadelphia Eagles (No. 14), Chicago Bears (No. 16), Green Bay Packers (No. 17), Baltimore Ravens (No. 18), Indianapolis Colts (No. 19), Denver Broncos (No. 20), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 21), Miami Dolphins (No. 22) and Carolina Panthers (No. 24).