Seahawks to give fans a different kind of voice

Fan Advisory Council

The Seahawks have asked a lot of their fans over the franchise’s first 37 seasons, and it usually had to do with being very, very loud on game days. Now, they’re offering a lot to 12 fans.

Club president Peter McLoughlin has announced the formation of a “President’s Fan Advisory Council,” and the group of season-ticket holders will assist team executives in the evaluation and enhancement of the overall fan experience.

As McLoughlin put it in announcing the plan, “The Fan Advisory Council will play an important role in our efforts to maintain and enhance the Seahawks fan experience. We will hold quarterly meetings to discuss and focus on a variety of fan related issues including: in-stadium fan experience, game preparation and in-stadium technology.”

Applications for the two-year term on the council are due by July 12, and season ticket holders can apply here.


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Wednesday round-up: Earl Thomas tours NFL Network; Doug Baldwin audio

Free safety Earl Thomas drops by the set of “NFL Total Access” to talk about NFC West rivalries and which club has the best secondary in the League

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Wednesday, June 19, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Free safety Earl Thomas joined NFL.com’s Dave Dameshek Football Program. Dameshek’s segment with Thomas begins at the 22-minute mark of the podcast below:

NFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com looks at the percentages of 2012 game snaps remaining on the Seahawks’ 90-man roster. According to Sando, the team’s current roster logged 87.4 percent of offensive and defensive snaps last season – the highest percentage in the division, reflecting a high player-retention rate year-over-year. The team has come a long way since those 284 roster transactions head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider made during their first year together in 2010.

Sando also passes along notes from ESPN’s fantasy football comparison of Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and Seahawks wideout Percy Harvin.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin joined Sports Radio 950 KJR AM for a conversation with Dave “Softy” Mahler yesterday afternoon, the podcast of which can be found below:

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com discusses the 2013 outlook for quarterback Russell Wilson.

Here at Seahawks.com, team president Peter McLoughlin is seeking 12 season ticket holders to join his new Fan Advisory Council to assist the club in the overall 12th Man experience. If you meet the requirements, feel free to apply here. All applications are due by July 12.

Clare Farnsworth’s Tuesday feature reacquainted us with 2012 fifth-round draft pick Korey Toomer, the uber-athletic linebacker out of the University of Idaho who spent his rookie season on the practice squad before moving to injured reserve after having shoulder surgery early in the year. Toomer has worked at strong-side linebacker with the No. 2 and No. 3 defenses during the team’s nine sessions of Organized Team Activties (OTAs) this spring, as well as during last week’s three-day minicamp, and will look to factor in at the position come training camp in late July.

Wide receiver Golden Tate showed up for the fourth time on NFL AM’s countdown of the Top 100 Plays of 2012, when his 32-yard grab from quarterback Russell Wilson in Week 10 against the Miami Dolphins was highlighted at No. 34 on the list. Of the 67 plays unveiled to this point, the Seahawks are featured in eight of them.

And USA Football will host a Heads Up Football Player Safety Coaches clinic this Saturday at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where master trainer Tom Bainter – head coach at Bothell High School – will educate more than 70 Seattle-area coaches.


Is it football season yet?

Earl Thomas

In case you missed last week’s edition of “Is it football season yet?” I’ll quickly fill you in on what we’re out to accomplish with these weekly blog entries.

Last Friday marked 100 days from the Seahawks’ September 8 regular season kickoff against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. To help the days and weeks prior to that date move along a little quicker, I’m here to deliver you all of the Seahawks happenings for the week to come. From team activities to community events and from player birthdays to national holidays, think of this as your one-stop-online-shop for keeping in touch with all of the Seahawks’ offseason activities.

We’re now just 93 days away from the 2013 regular season, but before we dive into the schedule for next week, we’ll touch on some events to keep an eye on tonight, when a pair of Russell Wilson sightings will take place around Seattle’s SoDo district.

Wilson, joined by Seahawks president Peter McLoughlin, will first take part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand re-opening of the Seahawks Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field. Following that event, Wilson will march a half-mile south along Occidental Avenue to Safeco Field, where he will toss out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Seattle Mariners game against the New York Yankees.

Here’s a quick look at some of Wilson’s pre-first-pitch preparation, courtesy of strong safety Kam Chancellor:

Now, here’s what’s going on next week, June 9-15, with your Seattle Seahawks:

Sunday, June 9:

  • No team activities are scheduled, but the Seahawks Pro Shop grand re-opening festivities continue, as Sea Gals Alicia and Hannah stop by the stadium location from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Seahawks Blue Thunder will also be on hand, entertaining from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Monday, June 10

  • Week No. 9 of the team’s Offseason Program begins at VMAC. Players will report to the team facility for physicals.

Tuesday, June 11:

  • The club’s mandatory three-day minicamp begins. The team is currently scheduled to practice from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Coaches and players will be available to the media following the day’s session.Jeron Johnson

Wednesday, June 12:

  • The club’s mandatory three-day minicamp continues. The team is currently scheduled to practice from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Coaches and players will be available to the media following the day’s session.
  • Seahawks strong safety Jeron Johnson celebrates his 25th birthday. Send some birthday wishes his way on Twitter @Jus_Showoff

Thursday, June 13:

  • The club’s mandatory three-day minicamp concludes. The team is currently scheduled to practice from 11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Coaches and players will be available to the media following the day’s session.

Friday, June 14:

  • The team’s Offseason Program officially wraps up and the break for veteran players begins. The rookies will report for workouts the following week.
  • Holiday: Flag Day – the day calls for a celebration of the adoption of the flag of the United States, but who says you can’t proudly fly your 12th Man flags alongside our nation’s colors? We do it every day here at VMAC.

Saturday, June 15:

  • Seahawks All-Pro Varsity Skills Camp for youth ages 9-14 will take place at VMAC. Participants will work with trained coaches on both offensive and defensive drills and wide receiver Doug Baldwin will be in attendance. Spots are still available for the camp’s second session, set to run from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. You can register here.

Wednesday in Hawkville: Brandon Mebane reverts to baseball-playing days to make one big interception

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 5, when the Seahawks put the wraps on the on-field activities in the OTA portion of their offseason program:

Brandon MebaneFOCUS ON: BRANDON MEBANE

Pete Carroll stopped short of announcing the move of 311-pound nose tackle to extra-strong strong safety, but the Seahawks’ coach was duly impressed with the interception Mebane made during today’s OTA.

“The return was not that good,” Carroll cracked. “But the pick was nice.”

For Mebane, it was his second interception this week as he also had one on Monday. But today’s pick – which came off a pass that was tipped by middle linebacker Bobby Wagner – allowed him to display the full array of his athletic skills.

“I just saw the ball go up and my eyes got real big,” Mebane said. “I was like, ‘Just like baseball. Just catch it.’ ”

Baseball? Mebane played third base, catcher, second base and centerfield while growing up. That was before he grew into a nose tackle.

“That was just like a pop fly,” he said of the batted Brady Quinn pass he intercepted.

But Mebane’s second pick also was a testament to the work he has been putting in. The D-lineman began today’s OTA with a drill where coordinator Dan Quinn had them drop, turn and catch the ball as he threw it. Mebane displayed cat-like quickness in grabbing his.

Marshawn Lynch

PLAYER WATCH: MARSHAWN LYNCH

The All-Pro running back participated in today’s session, Lynch’s first OTA appearance this week. He looked quick and explosive while getting carries with the No. 1 and even No. 3 units.

“He had a nice day today. He got a little running room,” Carroll said. “He’s in really good shape. We’re trying to get him all the way through this offseason and get him ready for the real season. We know what Marshawn can do as long as he’s in good shape, and he’s in fantastic shape. He’s hard as a rock and he’s worked really hard to this point.

“It’s really just take the next step, the next step. Get him through minicamp. Then get him through the summertime. Then show up for camp and get him through the preseason. So that he’s right and ready to go. There’s so much (tread) on the tire and we don’t want to wear down that.”

The Seahawks ran the ball a league-high 536 times last season, and Lynch used his career-high 315 carries to produce 1,590 rushing yards and average 5.0 yards – also a career-bests.

POSITION WATCH: RIGHT TACKLE

Rookie Michael Bowie continued to work with the No. 1 line because, as Carroll explained, starter Breno Giacomini has been in New York to have a knee that’s been bothering him checked out.

The news is good on both fronts: Giacomini will not need surgery, and the reps Bowie got with the first unit in his absence were invaluable for the seventh-round draft choice.

“He could have practice this week, but we wanted to take this time to make sure that we were doing the right thing,” Carroll said of Giacomini. “So he’s in good shape and that’s a really positive report for us.”

On Bowie, he added, “Michael got a great chance to show and it was cool to have him with the first group out there. He handled himself well. It’s a good initial statement that he’s made that he looks like he can fit in. He’s got a lot of ground to make up, but we’re very pleased with him.”

ALUMNI WATCH: CURT WARNER

Three generations of Seahawks running backs were on the field before the start of practice, as Warner had a sideline conversation with Lynch and Sherman Smith, the team’s original running back who now coaches the position.

Smith led the team in rushing from 1976-79 and again in 1982. Warner, the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 1983, ran for 6,705 yards in six seasons, including 1,481 in 1986 and 1,449 as a rookie. Lynch has been the team’s leading rusher the past three seasons.

Lt. Colonel Edward DrummondPULLING RANK

Also at practice was Edward Drummond, a retired Lt. Col. and the youngest of the Tuskegee Airman. He had his picture taken with Carroll and several players after practice.

Drummond, 86, was accompanied by his wife and eight students from Pacific West Aerospace Academy.

UP NEXT

The players will work out on Thursday, but they won’t have their scheduled on-field session.

Friday, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman will sign autographs from noon to 1 p.m. as part of the weekend-long grand re-opening of the Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field. Quarterback Russell Wilson and team president Peter McLoughlin will handle the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Next week, the team’s mandatory minicamp will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with an afternoon practice each day.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Walter is physically capable of showing off. He is a tremendous athlete. He has been in a situation where he’s kind of had to hold back a little bit for a long time. He’s really able to just go for it now.” – Carroll on oft-injured cornerback Walter Thurmond, who we profiled in this story on Monday


Monday in Hawkville: Zach Miller’s one-handed catches really aren’t as easy as he makes them look

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 3, as the Seahawks kicked off the final week of their OTA sessions:

FOCUS ON: ZACH MILLER

Zach MillerThe Seahawks’ veteran tight end does so many things well that focusing on just one could be difficult. Except that when it comes to making one-handed catches, Miller is exceptional.

He had another during today’s OTA session, as well as a finger-tip grab of a pass after he got behind Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor. Miller also had a one-hander in the end zone last Wednesday that earned five-highs from several players – defensive, as well as offensive – and coach Pete Carroll. All three passes were thrown by quarterback Russell Wilson.

“I’ve always had a knack for just being able to get the big paw on it,” Miller said through a smile after the team’s sun-drenched session along the shores of Lake Washington. “It helps that I’ve got pretty big hands.”

But making the one-handers is mental as well as physical.

“You’ve got to understand what kind of passes you can catch like that,” Miller said. “If the ball is coming to you fast, you have no chance. So you’ve kind of got to pick your times to do that.”

While those catches can be uplifting for Miller, the QB who throws the pass and the other offensive players, they can have the reverse effect on the players who are covering Miller.

“If you make a one-hander, the defenders don’t like that,” he said. “They think they’ve got you. Then you stick a big paw out and you bring it in, they’re like, ‘Really, you caught that?’ ”

With Miller, the answer is a resounding “yes,” and comes with the tagline “again.”

PLAYER WATCH: MICHAEL BROOKS

The rookie defensive tackle has now practiced with the team twice since being claimed off waivers last week. But Brooks admits to feeling like the new kid who has entered a new school at midterm.

“I’m just trying to learn my way around right now and get with this new system,” said Brooks, who was signed by the Lions after April’s NFL Draft.

Brooks did things one way at East Carolina and was learning to do them another with the Lions. Now comes the way defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and line coach Travis Fisher teach their techniques.

“I was just getting used to the way they do things in Detroit, then I get here and I’ve got to switch it all over,” he said.

In his first two practices – Friday and today – Brooks has participated in the individual drills and then been tutored while on the sideline during the team portions.

“It’s been a pretty good transition. Everybody is helping out,” he said. “I’m just watching and trying to learn from the older guys. They’ve been in the system for a while and I’m just kind of feeling my way through.”

POSITION WATCH: RIGHT TACKLEBowie

With incumbent starter Breno Giacomini missing today’s session, rookie tackle Michael Bowie worked on the right side of the offensive line with the No. 1 unit that also included Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, veteran left guard Paul McQuistan, All-Pro center Max Unger and second-year right guard J.R. Sweezy.

Bowie also continued to work with the No. 3 line, along with left tackle Mike Person, rookie left guard Alvin Bailey and fellow seventh-round draft choices Jared Smith at center and Ryan Seymour at right guard.

The extra reps will only help Bowie as he works to earn one of the backup spots on the 53-man roster.

JOSH PORTIS CFL BOUND

Josh Portis, the quarterback released last month by the Seahawks, has signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, the team has announced.

Portis was the Seahawks’ No. 3 quarterback on 2011, when he was active for one game. He was released last August on the roster cut to 53 players, signed to the practice squad and then released in November. Portis was re-signed in April.

UP NEXT

The players will be back on the field Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as they complete the 10 OTA sessions allowed by the CBA that ended the 136-day lockout in 2011.

The Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field will kick off its grand re-opening weekend on Friday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. The ceremonial ribbon cutting will take place at 5:30, with Wilson and team president Peter McLoughlin doing the honors.

YOU DON’T SAY

“He’s ready to learn. He’s listening to everything. He’s asking questions. Which is exactly how you want your rookie to be. He’s making plays out. He’s having some good days. It’s what he’s got to do to be our second tight end. … And he has that speed that he can separate from guys pretty easily. He’s going to be a weapon for us on offense.” – Miller on Luke Willson, the tight end the Seahawks selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft


Cyber surfing: Monday

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 27:

Adam Rank at NFL.com ranks his Top 6 quarterbacks who deserve to win a Super Bowl, and guess who checks in at No. 4? That’s right, Matt Hasselbeck. Says Rank: “Mentioning Hasselbeck on a list like this cannot be done without pointing out that some people feel the Seahawks were robbed in Super Bowl XL. Wherever you fall on that subject … we can agree that Hasselbeck has been one of the best quarterbacks to not get that elusive ring.”

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. takes a look at Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry, who was the fourth pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. Says Williamson: “If a team uses such a high draft pick on a linebacker, the return has to be much greater than what Curry has provided thus far. Seattle needs Curry to be great. Curry is immensely talented. He has the size, strength, speed and explosiveness to excel at any linebacker position in any scheme. But he is a strong-side linebacker in Seattle’s system – not a featured role.”

For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, Mike Freeman at CBSSports.com offers four scenarios of the situation following last week’s talk and entering this week’s talks. After hearing the latest from NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith, one player said: “It sounds like this damn thing could be close to being over.” Counters Freeman: “Whether the damn lockout is really almost damn well over, no damn body knows for sure.”

Here at Seahawks.com we conclude our Rookie Spotlight video series with GM John Schneider taking a look at first-round draft choice James Carpenter, Schneider calls the selection “a very important pick for us.” We also have a look – in words – at Peter McLoughlin’s first nine months on the job as team president.


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Cyber surfing: Tuesday

Good morning, on the first day of summer. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 21:

Vic Carucci of NFL.com has this report on Leon Washington, and why the kick returner/running back decided to sign a new deal with the Seahawks in March rather than wait to test free agency. It had a lot to do with the Seahawks trading for him last year, even though Washington was coming off a severe leg injury. Says Washington: “I’m really thankful for that, and that was one of the big (reasons) why I decided to stay out in Seattle because I really feel like we’re headed on the right path. If we can own the NFC West and get a home game every year in the playoffs, it’s to our advantage. The 12th Man (in Seattle) is unbelievable.”

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has the word on the new name for Qwest Field, which has been in the works since CenturyLink bought Qwest in April. In a statement, club president Peter McLoughlin says: “Although the name of this facility will change, the history, tradition and spirit of the 12th Man and the Sounders FC supporters will never change. We are excited about our partnership with CenturyLink and our ongoing commitment to positively impact the fans of the Pacific Northwest.”

For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, sources tell ESPN.com’s Sal Paolantonio that the owners will not vote on a new CBA agreement at their meeting in Chicago today. Commissioner Roger Goodell will update the owners on parameters for a new deal, but the source said: “This is strictly informational. There is nothing to vote on.”

Don Banks at SI.com says the meeting still is vital in gauging when a new deal might be reached. Offers Banks: “This isn’t the week a long-awaited deal gets done between the league and its players, but it is the week a potential agreement could be undone if enough owners don’t like the details that come forth in what is expected to be a full-throated hearing on where the labor negotiations stand and where they’re headed.”

Mike Freeman at CBSSports.com, meanwhile, predicts how each team will vote – or would vote. He has the Seahawks saying “yea.” Admits Freeman: “Yes, I have too much time on my hands, but this is actually instructive. After speaking with people around the league this is how some in football think the ownership vote would go for a new collective bargaining agreement as its being currently constructed.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we take a longer look at Pete Carroll’s Win Forever Workshop last Friday, as well as the team’s 2-14 season in 1992 that was really only half bad.


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Photoblog: Seahawks Fall in San Francisco

The Seahawks entered the “fourth quarter” of their season hoping for a road victory to elevate their playoff hopes, but instead fell to the San Francisco 49ers on the road, 40-21.

On the team charter, head coach Pete Carroll does some final communicating before the plane takes off for San Francisco.

Upon landing, team president Peter McLoughlin, general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll confer on the tarmac.

On game day, members of the team gather in the shower for a pregame prayer. Condensation in the locker room fogs the camera lens, creating the blur.

Defensive back Kam Chancellor walks down the tunnel from the locker room to the field in legendary yet antiquated Candlestick Park, home of the 49ers.

Seattle's Ruvell Martin celebrates in the arms of teammate Mike Gibson after Martin scored his first career touchdown. However, the Seahawks didn't muster much after that on either side of the ball as the 49ers scored 33 unanswered points.

Seattle safety Lawyer Milloy goes horizontal, but it wasn't enough to prevent San Francisco's Vernon Davis from one of his five catches.

San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith tried to take on Seattle cornerback Roy Lewis, who pounded him with a vicious hit.

Seattle's Aaron Curry leapt over the San Francisco line to get a hand on this field goal attempt by the 49ers Jeff Reed which still made it through the uprights.

A small shaft of sunlight illuminated the players during part of the third quarter as the winter sun began to set.

Seahawks return specialist Leon Washington again proved his ability to be special with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter.

Washington is congratulated by head coach Pete Carroll, who called Washington an "absolute stud" during his postgame comments to the team.

Seahawks linebacker Will Herring watches the action from the sidelines during the fourth quarter.

Wide receiver Deon Butler caught this 43-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck, despite early contact from San Francisco's Tarell Brown.

Ruvell Martin made the most of his start due to injuries to Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu, catching this 36-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck in the fourth quarter to set up a touchdown.

Head coach Pete Carroll, team medical staff and players gather around fallen Deon Butler, who broke his leg while catching a two-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Dr. Ed Khalfayan of the Seahawks medical team accompanies Butler off the field on a motorized cart.

Players and coaches including linebackers coach Ken Norton, Jr. didn't see much they liked near the end of the 40-21 defeat which saw the Seahawks give up 40 points and five turnovers in the loss.


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