Thursday cyber surfing: Seahawks hold keys to Seattle’s next sports superstar?

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 12.

At the Seattle Times, Jerry Brewer tells us Seattle is in dire need of a new sports superstar. Brewer points to years 1990-2010 as a time when Seattle experienced an unforgettable – and remarkable – run of sports superstars: Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Steve Emtman, Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Walter Jones, Lou Piniella, George Karl and Mike Holmgren. As Seattle continues to search for it’s new sports identity, Brewer offered that the Seahawks have the potential to shape that mold, “With quality talent evaluators such as Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik and Seahawks GM John Schneider in town, you can already see the potential for a new generation of superstars. Seahawks safety Earl Thomas has a chance to be, at least, the best safety in the NFL. If [Marshawn] Lynch goes off, there’s a possibility he could be elite. [Felix] Hernandez is just 26, and with some help, it’s easy to see him taking that final step to becoming a superstar. Matt Flynn, who is expected to be the Seahawks’ starting quarterback this season, could become a star, but if rookie Russell Wilson eventually wins the job and performs at a star level, a small, 5-foot-11 quarterback would have a better chance of captivating a national audience.”

Also at the Seattle Times, Danny O’Neil continues to take a close look at the Seahawks wide receiver position, this time turning his attention to fourth-year pro Deon Butler. O’Neil admits that he has questioned whether or not Butler would land on the team’s 53-man rosters the past two seasons, as he notes Butler’s small stature in a system that favors bigger wide receivers, and points to a leg injury that landed Butler on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to start the 2011 season . In 2012, O’Neil still finds himself questioning Butler’s status among the wide receiver group, but if history is any indication for Butler, O’Neil gives him a good shot at making the squad, “Go ahead, crunch the numbers, but come Sept. 1, I think it would be very hard for Seattle to pick its 53 best players for the roster and not have Butler among that group. That’s not to say it’s impossible. He’s not a special-teams mainstay like veteran Ben Obomanu has been, and he hasn’t shown that uncanny knack as a slot receiver like [Doug] Baldwin did. He doesn’t have the height of [Sidney] Rice, [Kris] Durham or Mike Williams — all of whom stand 6-4 or taller. But Butler is in the conversation for the fastest receiver on the roster, and he has shown a professionalism and ability to bounce back from both adversity and injury. And the past two years have shown that for all the questions of whether he’ll be back, the guy listed as the smallest player on Seattle’s roster has some staying power”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth continues with his 2012 positional breakdown, as he takes a look at the Seahawks linebacking corps heading into the new season. Farnsworth speaks to the group’s healthy mix of youth and experience, “On a team that has been in a constant change since coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over 30 months ago, the linebacking crew has undergone one of the most major transformations under [Seahawks linebackers coach Ken] Norton. The last linebacker standing from the team’s glory days of winning the NFC Championship in 2005 is [Leroy] Hill, who continues to be the starter on the weakside. David Hawthorne took over in the middle for Lofa Tatupu in 2010, but with the team’s leading tackler the past three seasons now with the New Orleans Saints, Hawthorne will be replaced by either the youthful enthusiasm of [Bobby] Wagner or the productive experience of [Barrett] Ruud. On the strong side, [K.J.] Wright played so well as a rookie last season that the club traded former first-round draft choice Aaron Curry to the Oakland Raiders. … This seemingly mismatched collection of linebackers creates an interesting blend of skills and talents that should allow Carroll and coordinator Gus Bradley to play the way they want to, and need to – fast, physical, aggressive and smart – in matching the efforts of the Pro Bowl-laced secondary and line.”


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.”


Seahawks at Oakland: Pillaged by the Raiders

The Seahawks traveled to Oakland in Week 8, hoping to extend their winning streak to three games.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll goes over notes in his office in the visiting locker room in Oakland.

Defensive end Red Bryant fired up his teammates and coaches in the cramped visitor's locker room before the team took the field.

Every Sunday is Halloween for the Raiders fans who inhabit the "Black Hole" in the end zone.

Seattle's defense stood fast in the early going, with linebacker Aaron Curry putting pressure on Oakland quarterback Jason Campbell.

Seattle's running game was stifled by the Oakland defense, including this carry by running back Marshawn Lynch.

Offensive line coach Art Valero gives instruction to his linemen in-between series.

Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was sacked eight times, once resulting in this fumble.

Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu drags down Oakland's Darren McFadden by the jersey from behind.

Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton yells instructions on the sidelines.

Seahawks receiver Golden Tate couldn't hold onto this pass from Matt Hasselbeck.

Tight end John Carlson caught a pass and rambled up the right sideline for a 35-yard gain.

Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant is helped off the field after injuring his knee in the second half.

Wide receiver Golden Tate made this acrobatic catch along the Raiders sideline.

Wideout Deon Butler made a heroic diving effort on this ball, which bounced up and into the hands of the Raiders for an interception.

Seahawks coaches watch the final moments of the loss from the sidelines. After the game, head coach Pete Carroll urged his players and staff to put the loss behind them.