Spencer Ware Signs Contract

Spencer Ware

Running back Spencer Ware, the Seahawks’ sixth-round pick in last month’s NFL Draft, signed his rookie contract today.

Ware is being used at fullback and tailback by the Seahawks, and his wares have been on display at last weekend’s rookie minicamp as well as the team’s offseason-program workouts this week.

“I want him to learn how to play fullback for us and compete at that spot,” coach Pete Carroll after watching Ware over the weekend. “We’ve seen him run the ball a lot and we know he can. He’s a really aggressive, tough runner and we love that about him. So we’re trying to transfer that nature to the fullback spot.”

In three seasons at LSU, the 5-foot-10, 229-pound Ware rushed for 1,249 yards, including 707 in 2011; and caught 39 passes, with 18 of his receptions coming last season.

The club signed seven of its 11 draft choices last week: defensive tackles Jordan Hill (third round) and Jesse Williams (fifth); wide receiver Chris Harper (fourth); tight end Luke Willson (fifth); defensive end Ty Powell (seventh); and offensive linemen Ryan Seymour and Jared Smith (seventh).

Still unsigned are running back Christine Michael, who was drafted in the second round; cornerback Tharold Simon (fifth) and tackle Michael Bowie, the last of the team’s four selections in the seventh round.


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Patriots at Seahawks featured as 12th-best game of 2012

It’s quite fitting that the 12th-best game on NFL.com’s list of the Top 20 games of 2012 goes to the home of the 12th Man.

The Seahawks’ 24-23 victory over the New England Patriots in Week 6 of last season at CenturyLink Field was unveiled today at No. 12 on their list. In that game, the Seahawks battled back from a 23-10 deficit midway through the fourth quarter, as quarterback Russell Wilson threw scoring passes to wide receiver Braylon Edwards and again to wide receiver Sidney Rice with less than 90 seconds to play. The Seahawks defense then closed the door on Tom Brady and the Pats by forcing a turnover on downs on New England’s ensuing possession to secure the 24-23 win.

The game was somewhat of a coming out party for Wilson, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns, good for a 133.7 quarterback rating. Until that point, Wilson’s arm had been kept under wraps by head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who asked Wilson to avoid risks and play it safe with the football.

Wilson’s counterpart that day, Brady, threw 31 more times than the Seahawks rookie, completing 36 of 58 for two touchdowns and two interceptions – one by cornerback Richard Sherman and another by free safety Earl Thomas.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has his full recap of the game here, and below he explains why this game was ranked where it was:

Patriots-Seahawks featured two of the better clubs from last season, with the bonus being that we rarely see this interconference matchup.

Going a step further, you couldn’t find two more contrasting styles if you tried. Seattle pounds the ball, tries to completely shut down your offense and asks its quarterback to make plays in spots. Meanwhile, New England often places the whole game on its quarterback’s shoulders, while living off takeaways on defense. Consider: Brady attempted 31 more passes than Wilson in this game, despite the fact New England had a two-score lead in the fourth.

All that made for an intriguing matchup decided by one point. Not bad.”


On this date: Russell Wilson plays his way into QB competition

Russell Wilson

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on May 13:

2012: At the conclusion of the team’s three-day rookie minicamp, coach Pete Carroll announces that Russell Wilson will join the competition for the starting quarterback job with free-agent addition Matt Flynn and incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson. “Here’s what I’m going to say about it, he’s going to be in the competition,” Carroll said of Wilson, who had been selected in the third round of the NFL Draft. “He’s shown us enough, he’s in the competition.” Wilson ended up not only winning the competition, Jackson was traded to the Bills last September and Flynn was traded to the Raiders this April.


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Rookie minicamp round-up: Camp Wrap

Rookie Minicamp

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for Monday, May 13, one day after the completion of their three-day rookie minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times profiles quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who took snaps with the No. 1-offense throughout the weekend’s camp.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes from the camp’s conclusion and takes a closer look at the impression Johnson made at camp.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has five early takeaways as camp wrapped up yesterday, including the roles that drafted defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams are expected to fill.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com highlights the two defensive tackles Hill and Williams, noting how the pairs conditioning level kept them a step ahead of the rest throughout the three-day weekend.Defensive Line

O’Neil also has a list of three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out after the weekend’s camp.

Curtis Crabtree of SportsRadioKJR.com has his camp wrap story.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a short report and links on the rest of the teams in the NFC West, each of which closed out their minicamps yesterday afternoon.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his camp-wrap story on the roles the drafted rookies will fill and his “Hawkville” blog focuses on the 6-foot-2, 202-pound cornerback Tharold Simon, drafted in the fifth-round out of LSU.

Team photographer Rod Mar has 57 photos from minicamp.

And finally, in honor of Mother’s Day yesterday, we compiled the Twitter well-wishes from Seahawks players to all of the hard-working, dedicated mothers out there, and Farnsworth caught up with mothers watching their sons out at the team’s minicamp, as the parents of each drafted rookie were invited out by coach Carroll and general manager John Schneider to spectate the team’s three-day workout.


Sunday in Hawkville: Tharold Simon ‘fitting’ right in

Tharold Simon

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 12 during the final day of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp:

FOCUS ON

Tharold Simon. In case you haven’t noticed, Pete Carroll likes his cornerbacks tall, long and physical. And the Seahawks’ coach thinks he has found another one in Simon, a 6-foot-2, 202-pounder who was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

“He did a good job,” Carroll said during his minicamp wrap-up Q&A with the media. “He fits the profile of the big guys that we like. He’s long. He’s an aggressive kid. He has good savvy, can anticipate routes and things.

“By the time we get him to (training) camp, I would think he can compete with our guys. He looked kind of in the fashion of guys that we like.”

Today, Simon was working on the right side with the No. 1 defense – the spot where 6-4, 221-pound Brandon Browner has been the starter the past two seasons. Saturday, Simon got some snaps on the left side – where 6-3, 195-pound Richard Sherman developed into an All-Pro corner last season after moving into the starting lineup midway through his rookie season in 2011.

The incumbent backups are Walter Thurmond, Jeremy Lane, and Byron Maxwell – each a draft choice since Carroll arrived in 2010, as well as second-year pro DeShawn Shead.

MAKE THAT OH’HARA FLUELLEN

O’Hara Fluellen, a cornerback from Lincoln, was one of the 37 players at this camp on the tryout basis. Today, he made several nice plays – tipping away a pass intended for draft-choice wide receiver Chris Harper along the sideline; jumping in front of the receiver to intercept a pass thrown by tryout QB Jake Mullin; and deflecting another pass to draft-choice tight end Luke Willson.

Asked if there were any surprises among the tryout contingent, Carroll singled out Justin Veltung, a wide receiver from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School; and Benson Mayowa, a defensive end from Idaho.

“(Veltung) did a nice job,” Carroll said. “And No. 70 (Mayowa) jumped out; he was pretty fast on the edge.

“There were a number of guys that showed some stuff. We’ve got some big decisions to make to try and figure out how we’re going to round out the roster here with five or six guys.”

Which of the tryout players is signed remains to be seen.

“It’s unfortunate, because this is a very difficult team to make and fewer of these guys will get the opportunity to do that,” Carroll said. “But those who do will have earned it and if they can make it through the rigors of camp and early preseason, it will be really exciting.

“Some of these guys won’t play football again. This might have been their last day on a football field. So we tried to show them that we really did appreciate and respect the heck out of what they did for us.”

UP NEXT

The veterans return on Monday to begin the final week in Phase 2 of their offseason program, and the lines during drills will be longer because the team’s 11 draft choices and seven of the eight rookie free agents signed after the draft also will be on hand.

“We’re already picturing how (the rookies) are going to fit in,” Carroll said. “The way to do it really is that we’re going to try and champion the strengths that they have – put them in situations where they can be successful early; not ask them to do a lot of things that are unfamiliar to them. With the thought of trying to build their confidence and a sense that they belong and can fit it. Then we’ll expand.”

YOU DON’T SAY

“The grade-school kids are harder than any defense I’ve ever seen.” – quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who was an elementary school teacher between his training-camp stints with the Eagles and Steelers


Saturday in Hawkville: Chris Harper catching the ball ‘beautifully’

Chris Harper

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 11 during the second day of the Seahawks’ three-day rookie minicamp:

FOCUS ON

Chris Harper. When it comes to a show of hands, the Seahawks’ fourth-round draft choice is showing great hands.

It was after Friday’s first practice that coach Pete Carroll offered, “Chris caught to ball beautifully. He really has great hands.”

Harper felt he played even better in the second practice.

“It went way better today than yesterday,” he said. “Yesterday, you just kind of didn’t know what to expect and just didn’t get into the flow and the pace because this is a lot different pace than what you’re used to in college.”

Better yet, receivers coach Kippy Brown agreed with the assessments made by Carroll and Harper.

“Chris has really strong hands and for a big guy he’s very athletic,” Brown said. “It’s just a matter of him learning. We’ve thrown a lot at these guys in two days’ time. I’m sure their heads are swimming. My head was swimming when I first got here.

“But he’s studying hard and he’s getting it. As he gets more comfortable with it, he’ll play faster and that’s what we’re looking for.”

For Harper, it continues to be an exercise in working on his transition game. He was, after all, originally a quarterback at the University of Oregon before switching positions and schools (to Kansas State).

“I’ve still got a long ways to go,” he said. “I’ve only been playing wide receiver for almost three years now, so I can learn from everybody.”

If today’s practice was any indication, things are progressing nicely. The highlight of Harper’s day was his over-the-shoulder catch of a pass from Jerrod Johnson after he had gotten behind cornerback O’Hara Fluellen. But Harper also worked himself free to make other catches, and when he wasn’t open he used his 234-pound body to make himself open.

“The fact that he’s 230-something pounds is what we liked,” Carroll said.

Asked about his bulk, Harper offered, “It helps me a lot, because DBs aren’t used to seeing guys that are like 230 playing receiver. So it gives me an advantage, as far as at the point of attack when the ball is in the air. When they want to get into pushing matches, I’ll usually come out on top of those.”

TRYING TO CATCH ON

Justin Veltung. The receiver/returner from the University of Idaho and Puyallup High School is one of the three dozen players at this camp on a tryout basis. And Veltung is making the most of the opportunity.

He was one of the players the Seahawks had in for a pre-draft visit. Veltung showed enough that they invited him back for this camp.

“He’s a smart guy and he knows what to do,” Brown said. “He doesn’t make very many mistakes and so far he’s been real reliable catching the football. So we’ll see.”

Veltung began his second practice by making a nice falling catching of a pass that looked to be beyond his reach. But before it was over he also had worked his way around a defender to catch a pass on the sideline; caught another pass in traffic over the middle; and reached back while in full stride to grab yet another.

As Veltung was making that last catch, The Heavy’s “How You Like Me Now?” was blaring from the speakers along the sideline. Talk about right on cue.

CALLING PETER NGUYEN

Peter Nguyen, a 5-foot-7, 179-pound running back from Bellevue High School and the University of Montana, was added to the list of tryout players today.

Another back was needed because Darrell Scott, another tryout player, injured himself in the first drill on Friday.

THE SKINNY ON SCRUGGS

Second-year defensive lineman Greg Scruggs had surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his right knee. A seventh-round draft choice last year, Scruggs was injured during a workout in the veterans’ offseason program.

“He stumbled coming out of a bag drill … tried to catch himself and hyperextended his knee,” Carroll said. “It was just a drill by himself and it’s unfortunate that he hit just exactly wrong.”

Scruggs had two sacks among his six tackles as a rookie, when he played in 11 games.

“He’ll come back quickly from this, but it’s still a long haul for him,” Carroll said.

GIANTS ADD SOME CURRY TO THE MIX

Aaron Curry has found a new NFL home. Another new NFL home.

The former Seahawks’ linebacker and fourth pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft has signed with the Giants, and ESPNNewYork.com has the details.

Curry started 12 games as a rookie and 16 in 2010 for the Seahawks. But he lost the starting job on the strong side to K.J. Wright in 2011 and was traded to the Raiders for a seventh-round draft choice in 2012 and a fifth-round pick in 2013 – which the Seahawks used to select guard J.R. Sweezy (last year) cornerback Tharold Simon (this year).

Curry played in 11 games for the Raiders in 2011 and two games last season before being waived in November.

“We think we have a good opportunity for him to see if he can re-invent himself a little bit and bring something to our linebacking corps,” Giants GM Jerry Reese said. “If he didn’t work out well for us, we wouldn’t be fooling around with this.

“He’s the fourth pick in the draft a few years ago. Obviously, we think he has some talent. We had him graded high back then. We will see what happens.”

MT. RUSHMORE UPDATE

This camp is all about the present, and hopefully future, for the rookies in attendance. But let’s take a moment to revisit the past.

Last week, we asked you to vote on who should be the fourth “head” on a Seahawks Mt. Rushmore, joining Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones. So far, Matt Hasselbeck is leading with 28 percent of the votes, followed by Shaun Alexander (20.9), Kenny Easley (20), Mike Holmgren (15.9), Jacob Green (8.7) and Chuck Knox (6.6).

It’s not too late to cast your vote.

UP NEXT

The rookie minicamp will conclude Sunday with a morning practice. Monday, the veterans return to begin the final week in Phase 2 of their offseason program.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s pretty similar, minus the music. I don’t think coach (Nick) Saban would like that.” – defensive tackle Jesse Williams, when asked about the pace of these practices compared to those at Alabama


Rookie minicamp round-up: Day two

Good morning, and welcome to day two of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp.

It was a busy day yesterday here at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, as 67 players turned out for the weekend’s competition. The camp’s roster features a mix of 2013 draft picks, undrafted rookie free agents that have signed or agreed to terms with the club, tryout players, and current Seahawks who are still eligible to participate in the three-day camp.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times outlines yesterday’s work of tight end Luke Willson, the Seahawks’ fifth round draft pick who made quite the impact on his first day in the Pacific Northwest.

Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times highlights the performances of a pair of drafted D-linemen – third-rounder Jordan Hill out of Penn State and fifth-rounder Jesse Williams of Alabama.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com profiles the Seahawks’ top draft pick – running back Christine Michael out of Texas A&M – and his pair of massive biceps.

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com recaps a post-practice conversation with Carroll, where coach was quick to call out the tight end Willson’s standout performance. The entry from Henderson also includes some pre-minicamp comments from general manager John Schneider and video analysis from 710 Sports’ Brock Huard on why the Seahawks made Willson a priority in last month’s draft.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune also focuses on Michael and Willson in his report from day one.

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com has his impressions of the Seahawks’ first day of minicamp, and pegs seventh-round draft pick Michael Bowie – the offensive tackle out of Northeastern State, but who started his college career at Oklahoma State – as one rookie to keep an eye on.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his notes from yesterday’s practice session, including an interesting tactic head coach Pete Carroll used prior to the start of camp, “Wilson’s legacy: Carroll opened a morning staff meeting by showing video of [Russell] Wilson struggling with some of the basics, including center exchanges, during the rookie camp last year. Wilson finished the season with a playoff victory and an appearance in the Pro Bowl. Carroll wanted to put into perspective the first day of rookie minicamp so his coaches wouldn’t get down on a young player for struggling early.”

Shortly before yesterday’s session kicked off, the team announced they had signed seven draft choices and eight undrafted rookie free agents to multi-year deals.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth profiles the second-round pick Michael and his “Hawkville” blog recaps Willson’s day, has a look at the makeup of the camp’s offensive line, and offers a positional breakdown of the camp’s 67-man roster.

Insider Tony Ventrella has his video report from the first day of rookie camp, with a brief introduction and look at each of the team’s drafted rookies.

And finally, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at the camp’s first practice in photos.

We’ll be back with more from Saturday’s practice and media availabilities later this afternoon.


Friday in Hawkville: Seahawks kickoff rookie minicamp

Luke Willson

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for May 10, when the Seahawks opened their three-day rookie minicamp:

FOCUS ON

Luke Willson. Oh Canada, indeed. The Seahawks selected the tight end who found his way to Rice University from LaSalle, Ontario, in the fifth round of the NFL Draft because of what his speed might be able to deliver to any already loaded offense.

During the first practice of the team’s three-day minicamp, Willson delivered. And then some.

“He jumped out today. Luke had a very good first day for us,” coach Pete Carroll said after a two-hour practice that was held along the shores of Lake Washington and in 80-degree weather.

“That was probably the brightest spot that you could really see a guy jump out today.”

Not to mention take off, which the 6-foot-5, 252-pound Willson did after taking a pass along the sideline and outrunning defensive backs who are much smaller to the end zone.

“He has really good speed, and it showed up, which is cool to see that on the practice field first day out,” Carroll said.

POSITION WATCH

The right side of the No. 1 offensive line. It was manned by the three linemen who were selected in the seventh round of the draft – Jared Smith at center, Ryan Seymour at guard and Michael Bowie at tackle.

Smith, remember, was a defensive lineman at New Hampshire. As they did with J.R. Sweezy last year, the Seahawks selected Smith with the intention of moving him to offense and line coach Tom Cable has Smith working at center to start with.

“We put him there right from the start to take a look and see if we can utilize his quickness,” Carroll said. “He’s really quick for the offensive side of the ball. He’s got to learn a lot anyway, so stick him in there and make him snap it. He did fine today.  He did just fine today for the first time out.”

Carroll used the term “Sweezy-ratio” while referring to Cable’s latest project.

“It’s going to be one of these things where we see if he can stay up with what Sweez did,” Carroll said. “We’re excited about this, though. We’re very fortunate that we found another guy that we can kind of take forward in a similar fashion.”

If only Smith can take it forward in a similar fashion, because last season Sweezy started the final two regular-season games and both playoff games at right guard as a rookie.

FIFTEEN ROOKIES SIGNED

Before the players took to the practice field, 15 rookies signed multi-year contracts – including seven of the team’s 11 draft choices and eight players who agreed to terms after the NFL Draft.

Draft picks signed: DT Jordan Hill (third round), WR Chris Harper (fourth), DT Jesse Williams (fifth), Willson, Seymour, LB Ty Powell (seventh) and Smith.

Rookie free agents signed: WR Matt Austin, OT Alvin Bailey, DE Kenneth Boatright, LB Ramon Buchanan, LB John Lotulelei, S Ray Polk, OG Jordon Roussos and LB Craig Wilkins.

RM3_7253

TRYING TO CATCH ON

Among the 67 players at this minicamp are 38 who are here on a tryout basis.

Quarterbacks (2): Murray State’s Casey Brockman, McMurray University’s Jake Mullin

Wide receivers (5): North Carolina State’s Owen Spencer, Idaho’s Justin Veltung, Montana’s Gerald Kemp, Mississippi State’s Arceto Clark, St. Francis’ Austin Coleman

Running backs (1): South Florida’s Darrell Scott

Tight ends (2): University of British Columbia’s Victor Marshall; former pro basketball player Darren Fells, who was released on Wednesday

Offensive linemen (6): West Virginia center/guard Josh Jenkins, Harvard guard John Collins, North Carolina State center Zach Allen, Temple guard Pat Boyle, Washington tackle Drew Schaefer, Minnesota-Duluth tackle Jake Bscherer

Defensive linemen (8): Citadel end Chris Billingslea, Bethune-Cookman tackle Harold Love, Idaho end Benson Mayowa, St. Thomas end Ayo Idowu, Oregon State tackle Andrew Seumalo, Richmond tackle Martin Parker, LSU end Chancey Aghayere, Arkansas end Dequinta Jones

Linebacker (3): North Greenville’s Jonathan Sharpe, Ball State’s Rob Eddins, Oklahoma’s Jaydan Bird

Defensive backs (8): Lincoln cornerback O’Hara Fluellen, BYU cornerback Preston Hadley, Boston College cornerback Jim Noel, Ohio State safety Donald Washington, USC safety Drew McAllister, Texas A&M safety Steve Campbell, Middle Tennessee safety JaJuan Harley, Memphis safety Akeem Davis

Kickers (2): SMU’s Matt Szymanski, Portland State’s Zach Ramirez

Snapper (1): Florida State’s Dax Dallenbach

HEY, AREN’T YOU?

Quarterback Jerrod Johnson isn’t the only player at this camp who has previous experience with an NFL team.

Also on hand: kicker Carson Wiggs, wide receiver Phil Bates, cornerback Chandler Fenner, running back Derrick Coleman, linebacker Kyle Knox, tight end Cooper Helfet, linebacker Korey Toomer and defensive tackle Myles Wade.

While Johnson has been in training camps with the Eagles and Steelers, the other eight were with the Seahawks in training camp last summer and/or spent time on the practice squad last season.

QUITE THE HALL

PNWHoFCortez Kennedy, Max Unger and Sandy Gregory were inducted into the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame during a luncheon ceremony today.

Kennedy, an eight-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, is the most-decorated defensive player in franchise history and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Unger, a second-round draft choice in 2009 out of the University of Oregon, was selected the All-Pro center last season and also played in his first Pro Bowl. Gregory is the last of the Seahawks’ original employees, having joined the franchise on March 1, 1976.

UP NEXT

The players will practice again on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and then conclude the minicamp with an 11:30 a.m. practice on Sunday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Right now, what I’m hoping is that they try really hard and they work hard at studying and they show us kind of what their natural way is. We told them we’re looking for the competitiveness, and show us that first. They’re not going to do their assignments all right. They’re not going to be technique sound. But to show us they have real good spirit about them and goodwill about them and can be competitive on a football team, that’s most important.” – Carroll on what he’s looking for from this three-day camp


Rookie minicamp round-up: Day one

Good morning, and welcome to day one of the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp.

Rookies trickled into Virginia Mason Athletic Center throughout the afternoon yesterday for team physicals, player head shots, and administrative meetings. This morning, they’ll get in a round of offensive and defensive meetings and participate in a walk-thru before hitting the fields adjacent to the shores of Lake Washington for a 1:30 p.m. practice. Saturday’s practice will start at the same time – 1:30 p.m. – and Sunday’s session is slated for an 11:30 a.m. start.

Before all that gets going, we have some morning links for you previewing what to look for this weekend:

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his minicamp primer, posing five questions surrounding this year’s rookie class and crop of undrafted rookie free agents.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his camp preview, offering five things to keep an eye on at camp over the next three days.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com has his list of five things we’ll be trying to find out about this year’s group of rookies.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com breaks down NFC West rosters by position as rookie camps start for all four teams in the division this weekend.

Our Clare Farnsworth highlights Seahawks quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who despite not being a rookie, will do most of the throwing for this weekend’s camp.

Farnsworth also catches up with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn on what the two will be looking for, and looking at, over the next three days.

And if you missed it last night, defensive lineman Greg Scruggs underwent ACL reconstruction yesterday for an injury he suffered prior to the 2013 NFL Draft.

We’ll be back with more after today’s practice and media availabilities. Until then, please have yourself a happy Seahawks Blue Friday.


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Bruce Irvin among NFL.com’s breakout candidates for 2013

Bruce Irvin

Last year’s first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin, the 6-foot-3, 248-pound defensive end out of West Virginia, could be slated for a breakout year, writes NFL.com columnist Adam Schein.

Draft analysts questioned the pick of the unrefined pass rusher a year ago, but head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider saw the upside in his tremendous athletic ability and physical makeup.

“I just need a great group of people around me and need to get around a great group of pros who are going to show me how to be a pro on and off the field and I think I’ll be all right,” Irvin said the day he was drafted with the 15th overall pick in 2012.

Despite seeing limited snaps as a situational pass rusher a season ago, Irvin led all rookies with 8.0 sacks, recorded 19 quarterback hits and forced a fumble. In 2013 he’ll be joined at the line of scrimmage by newcomers Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, who combined for 18.5 sacks last season and could help create more space for Irvin to get after the quarterback.

On Irvin, Schein writes: “This cat is a freak athlete. Irvin had eight sacks in his rookie year — and he was still raw. With a full NFL season under his belt, this Seattle pass rusher will become one of the elite sack artists and disruptive forces in the game.”

Also appearing on Schein’s list of breakout candidates for 2013 are Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson, St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins, Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, New York Giants running back David Wilson, Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele, Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Brown, and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley.


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