Wednesday round-up: 2013 running back, D-line & special teams previews

Brock Huard and Danny O’Neil of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” discuss the Seahawks’ new additions along the defensive line and look ahead at how the position group projects heading into 2013

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Wednesday, July 10, about your Seattle Seahawks:

In anticipation of NFL.com’s feature set to run later today naming the most overrated and underrated players in Seahawks history, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times takes his own stab at guessing who might make their list.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says offseason addition Cliff Avril will be counted on to “carry the load” as the team’s top pass rusher.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com continues his positional preview series with a look at the loaded Seahawks backfield, and O’Neil also hosted his latest “Hawk Talk” chat yesterday afternoon, the full transcript of which can be found here.

O’Neil and co-host Brock Huard of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” caught up with former Seahawks quarterback and current Indianapolis Colts signal caller Matt Hasselbeck, who is currently vacationing in Eastern Washington, in the podcast below:

We also have the podcast from O’Neil and Huard’s Seahawks roundtable discussion with ESPN’s John Clayton and NFC West blogger Mike Sando. The foursome talks about what to expect from the club offensively heading into the new season:

NFL.com Around the League writer Marc Sessler ranks the NFL’s Top 8 deepest backfields, and the Seahawks’ quartet of Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, and Derrick Coleman comes in at No. 2.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth wraps up his 2013 positional preview series by highlighting the club’s special teams unit.

In news around the rest of the League, NFL.com columnist Adam Schein labels the New Orleans Saints as 2013′s most-fascinating team – Schein pegged the Seahawks in that same position last year. The Saints and Seahawks square off in Week 13 (Dec. 2) this season on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at CenturyLink Field.

NFL.com Around the League writer Chris Wesseling takes a look at which NFL records could be broken in the season ahead.

In a lighthearted piece at NFL.com, Henry Hodgson – the site’s “exclusive supplemental draft expert” – has his seven-round mock of Thursday’s 2013 supplemental draft.

NFL.com’s NFL Total Access crew ranks the Top 10 greatest touchdown celebrations of all-time in this short video feature.

And for a bit of off-the-field news, club chairman Paul Allen’s album “Everywhere At Once” is set for an August 3 release, but you can preview 13 tracks from Allen and the Underthinkers here.


On this date: Paul Allen’s purchase of team completed

Paul Allen

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 30:

1997: Bob Whitsitt, president of Football Northwest, signs the paperwork to complete Paul Allen’s purchase of the Seahawks. Under Allen’s ownership, the Seahawks have won the only conference championship in franchise history, played in the Super Bowl, won six division titles and advanced to the playoffs eight times.


No Comments »

On this date: Seahawks’ home field becomes CenturyLink Field

CenturyLink Field

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on June 23:

1997: Metropolitan King County Council votes 9-3 to approve a new stadium for the Seahawks, a move necessary for Paul Allen to complete his purchase of the team from Ken Behring.

2011: The Seahawks’ home stadium is renamed CenturyLink Field. The facility had been called Qwest Field since 2004.


No Comments »

On this date: New franchise becomes Seahawks

Seahawks

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on June 17:

1975: The nickname “Seahawks” is selected for Seattle’s NFL team that will begin playing in the 1976 season. “Seahawks” was selected from 20,365 entries, which included 1,741 different names.

1997: Washington state voters pass Referendum 48 that approves funds for a new stadium for the Seahawks, a move necessary for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to complete his purchase of the franchise from Ken Behring. The Referendum got 51.1 percent of the votes (820,354) statewide, including 56.4 percent (275,358) in King County.


No Comments »

Thursday in Hawkville: That’s a wrap on the offseason program

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Club for June 13, when the Seahawks wrapped up their offseason program by concluding their mandatory three-day minicamp:

FOCUS ON: SPRINGING FORWARD  

Three minicamp practices. Nine OTA sessions. Almost two dozen non-OTA workouts. And five players who excelled, from almost start to almost finish.

In honor of the offseason program ending today for the veterans, and taking a huge step in that direction for the rookies, we decided to check in with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to get their informed-plus opinions on which players had outstanding springs.

Darrell Bevell, Percy HarvinBevell opted for two new players, who bring elements an already good offense didn’t have – Percy Harvin, who was acquired in a March trade with the Vikings; and Luke Willson, who was selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft.

Harvin is a receiver, but also a runner, and that versatility – not to mention the productivity he provided the past four seasons in Minnesota – will complement the contributions of All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson and wide-outs Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. Willson is a 6-foot-5, 252-pound tight end who has more speed than anyone that size should. That speed allows him to exploit matchups with linebacker and strong safeties, and his arrival also softens the loss of incumbent backup Anthony McCoy, who tore an Achilles tendon in the first OTA session.

“With the other guys, we know what you have,” Bevell said. “And they’ve all done a great job. But Luke and Percy are new and it’s been good to see how their talents are going to blend in.”

Harvin missed some time because of injuries, but as Bevell put it, “You could see what he brings whenever he was on the field.”

Quinn, in his first year as the D-coordinator, went with a proven commodity – All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas; and a couple of young linebackers – Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright.Earl Thomas

“With Earl, it’s the focus he has and his mindset,” Quinn said. “He has completely captured what we’re trying to do. It just leaps out at you and I’ve been totally impressed.”

Right on cue, Thomas forced and recovered a fumble during the scrimmage-like session that ended today’s final minicamp practice.

“Bobby has put the work in,” Quinn said of Wagner, the middle linebacker who led the team in tackles as a rookie last season. “He’s doing the things when no one is watching – studying video, putting in the extra work in the weight room and the meeting room.”

Wright finished second to Wagner in tackles last season while playing on the strong side. This spring, he has been working on the weak strong, and continuing to make strong contributions.

“K.J. just continues to jump out,” Quinn said.

ALMOST LIVE

Coach Pete Carroll ended practice with a scrimmage-like drill, and the players appreciated the opportunity to show what they’ve accomplished this spring.

“It’s fun,” Wilson said. “It was a nice way to finish it.”

The second-year QB led the only touchdown drive, capping it with a 3-yard scoring pass to second-year tight end Sean McGrath. They also set up the TD, as McGrath made a falling grab of a 24-yard pass from Wilson against tight coverage from linebacker Korey Toomer. Wilson also directed a nine-play, 42-yard drive, but Steven Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright. Backup QB Brady Quinn led a drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by Carson Wiggs.

But the defense also had its moments, as cornerback Will Blackmon intercepted a Quinn pass that was intended for rookie wide receiver Chris Harper to go with Thomas’ bang-bang play where he forced and then recovered a fumble.

ROOKIE WATCH: JORDAN HILL AND JESSE WILLIAMSJordan Hill, Dan Quinn, Jesse Williams

The coaches keep asking more from the defensive linemen that were selected in the third (Hill) and fifth (Williams) rounds of April’s draft, and the rookies just keep on delivering.

“They’re real different,” Carroll said. “Jesse is a 329-pound kid and strong as an ox. We see Jordan as much quicker and shiftier, and a very, very good technique player. He has really good leverage and hand placement. He’s exciting.”

Since joining the team for the rookie minicamp in May, Jordan has worked at both the three-technique and nose tackle spots in the both the base defense and nickel defense; while Williams has played both tackle spots as well as the five-technique end position in the base defense.

Today, Jordan got extensive work with the No. 1 line, while Williams got his turn to work with the starters on Wednesday.

“We have moved them around,” Carroll said. “That versatility helps. Both kids are really smart and they get it, and they have really good work ethic. … It’s very exciting that those guys have come in and we think they can add unique dimensions for each one of them.”

PAUL ALLEN TAKES IN PRACTICE

Owner Paul Allen watched part of today’s practice from the sideline.

“It was good to see the owner out here,” Carroll said. “Mr. Allen came out and saw us work on the last day, and it looked like he was having a good time, too.”

Also on hand were former quarterbacks Jim Zorn, the team’s original QB (1979-84) who also coached the position (2001-07); and Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who played two seasons with the Seahawks (1997-98) and is now the analyst for the team’s radio broadcasts.

MARSHAWN LYNCH HIGHLIGHTED IN TOP 100 OF 2013

NFL Network’s countdown of the Top 100 Players of 2013 continued this evening with the unveiling of players ranked No. 30-21. The Seahawks’ Beast Mode back earned a mention at No. 24 on the list.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I think the biggest thing is just to be consistent. Be clutch. And try to dominate. When the game’s on the line, just help our football team win. I think that’s the biggest thing as a quarterback, be a great leader, have attention to detail and have that relentless competitive nature every day. I think that’s the biggest thing I can bring to the table, in terms of practicing and in games.” – Wilson when asked about his goals for the 2013 season


On this date: From Chuck Knox, to Rick Mirer, to Mike Holmgren, to Aaron Curry

Aaron Curry

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 25:

1991: Chuck Knox signs a two-year contract extension through 1993, but the ’91 season would be his ninth and final with the Seahawks as the extension includes a buyout clause. Knox would return to the Rams from 1992-94, after coaching the team from 1973-77.

1993: Rick Mirer is selected with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft. Following a productive rookie season when he started all 16 games and passed for 2,833 yards, Mirer would start 35 games over the next three seasons before being traded to the Bears in 1997.

1997: The Washington State Legislature passes the stadium-funding plan – Referendum 48 – for what would become Seahawks Stadium and is now CenturyLink Field. It is the next step necessary for Paul Allen to complete his purchase of the franchise from Ken Behring.

2008: Mike Holmgren wins the Horrigan Award, which is presented annually to the NFL executive who helps the media do its job. Having not won the award had become a running joke with the team’s coach and reporters who covered the Seahawks.

2009: Aaron Curry is selected with the fourth pick overall in the NFL Draft. Hailed as the “safest pick” in that year’s draft class, Curry would start 30 games at linebacker before being traded to the Raiders during the 2012 season.


Comments Off

On this date: Paul Allen purchases option to buy Seahawks

Paul Allen

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 20:

1993: Ray Donaldson, a Pro Bowl center from the Lions, signs with the Seahawks in free agency. He started 32 games in two seasons with the club.

1996: Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, purchases an option to buy the Seahawks from owner Ken Behring. On the same day, guard Pete Kendall is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Kendall would start 75 games in five seasons with the team.

2002: Former University of Washington tight end Jerramy Stevens is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Stevens would start 26 games in five seasons with the team and catch 45 passes in 2005 – which was then the franchise record for the position.


Comments Off

On this date: Allen’s ownership approved

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Aug. 19:

1997: Football Northwest is approved as the new owners of the Seahawks by the other owners in the NFL. The organization is the football section of the far-reaching umbrella controlled by Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft who purchased the team from former owner Ken Behring.

“It’s great. It’s exciting. And we’re happy that piece is behind us,” is the way club executive Bob Whitsitt views the needed approval. “But I think the biggest thing was when we actually signed the option (to purchase the franchise on June 30).”


Comments Off

On this date: Final step in Allen’s purchase of Seahawks

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 30:

1997: Bob Whitsitt, president of Football Northwest, signs the paperwork to complete Paul Allen’s purchase of the Seahawks.


Comments Off

On this date: Leiweke named CEO

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on June 25:

2003: Tod Leiweke is named CEO in charge of all Seahawks business and administration operations by chairman Paul Allen. Leiweke would remain in that position until 2010, when he left to become part-owner/CEO of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.


Comments Off