Twitter chatter from the first day of the 2013 Pro Bowl:
The view from Russel Okung’s hotel room in Hawaii.
Even the airport in Honolulu knows how to greet our first-time Pro Bowler, Russell Okung:
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, January 16.
Meg Wochnick of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps a Russell Wilson visit to Seattle Children’s Hospital, where Wilson met with 17-year-old cancer patient David Padilla, a senior baseball standout at Timberline High School, “Wilson, less than 48 hours removed from Sunday’s 30-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in an NFC divisional playoff game, spent almost an hour talking with Padilla and also autographing a handful of items for him, including a football and a photo. ‘He was busy,’ said Kari Padilla, David’s mother. They talked about everything from Padilla’s battle with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, to their love of baseball.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at the Seahawks defense and the struggles they had closing out several games this season, “You can’t say that Seattle’s defense was bad this year. The Seahawks allowed the fewest points in the league. They went two straight road games without allowing the opposing offense to score a touchdown, and they weren’t entirely unable to finish out games. The Patriots got the ball back with more than twice as much time as Atlanta had Sunday, and the Seahawks closed Tom Brady and his New England teammates out in four plays. Seattle had strong second-half showings against Minnesota and Buffalo, too. But those four blown saves were enough to constitute a trend that is fairly alarming. It wasn’t just that Seattle allowed points late, but the shockingly improbable ways it found to cough up the lead. … ‘I’m not worried about figuring it out,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s just a snap here or there, but it did happen this year. You can’t ignore that.’ ”
O’Neil passes along a transcript of his “Hawk Talk” chat here.
O’Neil also comments on the future of quarterback Matt Flynn, “…while you could make a case that Flynn is one of the best backup quarterbacks in the entire league, he might not be the best backup quarterback for Seattle. He is a quarterback whose biggest asset is timing and anticipation while Wilson is someone with a plus-arm by NFL standards and exceptional mobility. In that regard, Seattle might be better finding a backup quarterback who is capable of running some of the option plays Seattle has as opposed to a more accomplished passer like Flynn. Carroll was asked, specifically, if it was important to find a backup with traits similar to Wilson’s. ‘It’s a good point and we’ve talked a lot about that,’ Carroll said. ‘It would be nice to have another guy who might be able to be a factor in that way. There’s some really good kids out there. We’ll see.’ ”
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” discuss whether or not opposing defenses will catch up to the Seahawks’ use of the read-option with quarterback Russell Wilson in this short video.
Brock Huard and Mike Salk of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” discuss who on the defensive side of the football can match Wilson’s level of leadership in this short video.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, who coached Russell Wilson in his one season at Wisconsin, chats with 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” on what the future holds for the young quarterback.
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com has a close look at five key players who will be unrestricted free agents this offseason, including defensive tackle Alan Branch, linebacker Leroy Hill, cornerback Marcus Trufant, kicker Steven Hauschka, and defensive tackle Jason Jones.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his “silver linings” from Sunday’s season-ending loss to the Atlanta Falcons, “Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 24 of 36 passes for 385 yards and two touchdowns. He also had seven rushing attempts for 60 yards and a touchdown. Wilson set an NFL rookie record for passing yardage in a playoff game. He became the first player in NFL history with at least 385 yards passing and 60 yards rushing in a postseason game. Wilson’s performance established him even more firmly as a franchise quarterback and one of the best young players in the NFL.”
Sando also has a look at Wilson’s potential path to the Pro Bowl next weekend in Honolulu, Hawaii, “Aaron Rodgers’ withdrawal from the Pro Bowl moves Seattle Seahwaks rookie Russell Wilson one step closer to playing in the game. Wilson was the third alternate for the annual all-star game. Rodgers, Robert Griffin III and Matt Ryan were the three quarterbacks named to the NFC roster. Griffin is already out while recovering from knee surgery. Ryan would be out if his Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl. Drew Brees was named to the game as the first alternate. Eli Manning was the second alternate. Wilson would be named to the NFC roster if Ryan were in the Super Bowl or if one of the other alternates skipped the game.”
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has released his first mock draft of 2013 and has the Seahawks selecting 6-foot-3, 358-pound defensive tackle John Jenkins out of Georgia with the No. 25 pick in the first round, “Analysis: John Schneider and Pete Carroll showed great instincts in the 2012 draft, adding players they felt could help them immediately, even as analysts (myself included) questioned slot value. The defense was very good this past season, but I think an interior defender who can occupy blockers, occasionally penetrate and even wreck the pocket from the inside is a need. Jenkins was a little uneven at times in 2012, but has the upside of an impact interior lineman.”
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 26.
The NFL notes that 2013 Pro Bowl rosters will be announced today at 7 p.m. ET on a special edition of “NFL Total Access.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at the improvement of quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense, “Wilson’s yards per attempt — a metric that helps gauge how aggressively a team looks downfield — is up nearly 2 yards over the past three games, a significant bump. What has really exploded is Wilson’s rushing numbers, the game plan becoming focused upon accentuating Wilson’s talents. It’s not just running beyond the line of scrimmage, but moving in the pocket. He’s got license to scramble, evading defenders with maneuvers that are at times almost comical. Earlier in the season, Seattle was trying to grind out victories while grooming a rookie quarterback. Now, the Seahawks are trusting that same rookie to see how far he will take them. ‘We have a front-line, first-rate quarterback going out there in these games and you’re seeing it,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s balling. We trust him in his decision-making because he’s proven worthy of that.’ ”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune rehashes the race for offensive rookie of the year, making a case for Wilson, “Since Week 5, Wilson has thrown for 2,274 yards, completing 65 percent of his passes for 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. During that same stretch Wilson has a 106.9 passer rating, the second best in the league over that span behind only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (110.8). In the red zone, Wilson has completed 56 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.6 passer rating, which is fourth-best in the league.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes about how Carroll and the Seahawks are handling their recent success, “No longer are the Seahawks, the team playing in the NFL’s most remote outpost, the plucky little team that could. They’re quickly turning into bullies. Apparently, three wins by a combined margin of 150-30 tends to make people take notice. So is there any concern the Seahawks could lose their edge now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth and are being called the NFL’s hottest team? ‘Yeah, sure, there is always concern for that,’ Carroll said. ‘That’s what my job is, to not let that happen, so I better be concerned about that. I’m very confident about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and the language that we use and the way we talk, the way they’re talking. I love to hear their comments at this point and how they’ve dealt with the last few weeks. They’re right on point.’ ”
Boyle also notes a roster move from Monday, December 24, as the club released wide receiver Deon Butler from the 53-man roster to make room for the addition of rookie strong safety Winston Guy, who had been serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Jim Litke of the Associated Press tries to make sense of the sound level exhibited by the 12th Man at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, “[Sunday Night Football producer Fred] Gaudelli and his crew hatched a plan to demonstrate that by having sideline reporter Michele Tafoya speak into a microphone as the sound reverberated, then take a step back and try again. When they ran through it before the game, he had a stadium staffer simulate the crowd noise over the PA system. At the point Tafoya’s words were drowned out the system was cranked to 50 percent of volume. ‘So I asked the guy, is it really going to be that loud? He looked at me,’ Gaudelli chuckled into the phone, ‘and said, ‘Double it.’ The guy was right. That much was apparent at the start of the broadcast, when Tafoya interviewed Carroll – remember, the game hadn’t even begun – and didn’t dare stand anywhere but uncomfortably close. Uncomfortable might be the right word to describe the 49ers as well, at least in the early going, when they had to burn timeouts as relatively inexperienced quarterback Colin Kaepernick was having trouble getting the play calls from his sideline. Right about then, he probably wished the 49ers had devoted more time to mastering their silent snap counts. ‘The crowd’s explosive, it really is,’ Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. ‘They love us so much, and it brings so much energy to our football team. They keep us in the game, obviously, and they keep us alert.’ ”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press has reaction from Carroll on the club’s hope to continue to play with an edge, “The blowout of the 49ers grabbed the kind of attention the Seahawks have wanted. ‘The chip on the shoulder? That’s not something we just manufactured for the sake of getting fired up. The guys in this room feel that. Almost every one of these guys has their reasons. I feel like that myself. We just kind of share in that chip and we don’t even have to pass it around,’ Carroll said. ‘We all have one. That’s just kind of how it’s been. Just look, we’re up here in the Northwest and they like talking about us after they talk about everybody else. And that’s OK. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t amount to much but sometimes it does fuel you a little to keep you going. It works for us so we’ll stay with it.’ ”
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com says last Sunday’s victory over the 49ers was “extra special” for wide receiver Doug Baldwin, “As if beating his college coach in lopsided fashion wasn’t sweet enough, Baldwin had his finest game of the season in the win. He had receiving touchdowns of 4 and 6 yards, making difficult catches on each. He made a bobbling catch on a 46-yard gain that set up the Seahawks’ second touchdown. Baldwin finished with four catches for 53 yards. It was the first multi-touchdown game of his career. Then again, big games against the 49ers are nothing new for Baldwin. Four of his seven career touchdowns have come against San Francisco.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has updates from Carroll’s Monday presser, “Carroll said they emerged from the game fairly healthy with only a few issues. He said LB Leroy Hill has a hamstring injury that needs to be looked at. He also said Hill’s backup, LB Malcolm Smith, might have a groin issue as well. It’s something they need to check out. If neither would be available to play, LB Mike Morgan would be the backup at the weakside linebacker spot. Carroll said WR Sidney Rice and DE Red Bryant came out of the game feeling better. Rice had been dealing with a foot bruise and a knee injury heading into last week’s game. Bryant has been dealing with a plantar fascia injury in his foot. CB Marcus Trufant is expected to return to practice on Wednesday from a hamstring strain that has kept him out the last four games. Carroll said they still weren’t sure if CB Walter Thurmond would be able to practice Wednesday. He has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain as well.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his latest “MVP Watch” where Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch show up on his list, “Wilson now ranks seventh in NFL passer rating (98.0) and eighth in Total QBR (70.0) for the season. He ranks third in both categories — 101.5 rating, 75.6 QBR — from Week 2 to present. Much gets made of Wilson’s success at home. He ranks among the NFL’s top five in road QBR after Week 1 (78.8). Only Ryan (85.4), Brady (81.5) and Manning (80.2) rank higher among quarterbacks with more than four road starts during that time. Ben Roethlisberger (72.8), Drew Brees (69.9), Rodgers (69.8) and Robert Griffin III (69.6) are next. Wilson needs one touchdown pass against St. Louis in Week 17 to tie Manning’s rookie record of 26, set in 1998. Manning also had 28 interceptions that season. Wilson has 10, including one on a dropped pass.”
Sando has his most recent “Stock Watch” item as well, and the Seahawks’ coach and GM – Carroll and John Schneider – along with the Seahawks’ receiver and strong safety Kam Chancellor represent three of his four units that are on the rise, “Seahawks’ receivers. Dropped passes doomed Seattle’s offense during a 13-6 defeat at San Francisco in Week 7. Outstanding catches played an important role in Seattle sprinting to a big lead against the 49ers in the rematch Sunday night. Baldwin’s juggling catch in the rain for a 43-yard gain was the longest play for either team. Baldwin added two scoring receptions. Rice made a leaping grab along the sideline. Seattle converted 11 of 12 times on third down while Wilson was in the game.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth catches up with wide receiver Doug Baldwin, cornerback Richard Sherman, and special teams co-captain Heath Farwell on some of their favorite Christmas memories growing up.
We also have coach Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday available here.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 15.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune passes along an interview Seahawks beat writer Eric Williams had with ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr., who gave the Seahawks an overall grade of C- after their April 2012 draft. Now that the Seahawks stand at 6-4 and have received notable production from their top three draft choices, Williams asked Kiper to re-evaluate the Seahawks’ draft, “Overall: ‘They’ve got some production out of this draft, there’s no question about it. Now, ultimately down the road, it’s going to be Russell Wilson. Is he a quarterback that keeps progressing and ultimately becomes a top-10, top-12 quarterback? If he does, then it’s a phenomenal draft to get him in the third round. That’s ultimately going to determine it. And Certainly Irvin, to see how he continues to play. Right now he’s one dimensional. He’s on the field only in pass-rush situations. So we’ll how he develops. So I think the jury is still out to see how they’ve done, but they’ve gotten a lot of numbers. They’ve gotten a lot of guys who have made the team, a lot of guys who have competed and given them some production. So right now, it’s a little better than I thought it would be.’ ”
710 AM ESPN Seattle’s Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of “Bob and Groz” take a moment during the bye week to discuss who the Seahawks’ defensive MVP is in this short video.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, fresh off of being named the NFC’s Defensive Player of Week 10, joined NFL Network’s “NFL AM” in studio with former NFL cornerback Eric Davis to break down his big plays on the field.
Sherman also sat down with the crew of “NFL AM” to talk about the Seahawks’ season, the play of the secondary, and quarterback Russell Wilson.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com breaks down injury situations around the NFC West and offers a few notes on the Seahawks during their bye week, “The bye week gives guard James Carpenter and linebacker K.J. Wright additional time to recover from their concussions. Center Max Unger, safety Kam Chancellor, receiver Doug Baldwin, defensive tackle Jason Jones, running back Marshawn Lynch, defensive end Red Bryant and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald all appeared on injury reports recently. They’ll benefit from the down time as well. One question is whether or not cornerback Walter Thurmond will emerge from the bye as a contributor in the secondary. Veteran Marcus Trufant has been the nickel corner to this point. Thurmond was activated from the PUP list before the bye. He has not yet played, however.”
Sando has a look at where NFC West players stand in the NFL’s Pro Bowl voting, “Players ranking second at their positions include tight end Vernon Davis, tackle Joe Staley and defensive tackle Justin Smith of the 49ers, running back Marshawn Lynch and punter Jon Ryan of the Seahawks and inside linebacker Daryl Washington of the Cardinals. … third [at their position] from the NFC West: tackle Anthony Davis, running back Frank Gore and center Jonathan Goodwin of the 49ers and strong safety Kam Chancellor of the Seahawks. … The NFC West has eight players ranked fourth: fullback Bruce Miller, guard Alex Boone, outside linebacker Aldon Smith, kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. and punter Andy Lee of the 49ers, defensive end Chris Clemons and free safety Earl Thomas of the Seahawks and cornerback Patrick Peterson of the Cardinals. … Center Max Unger and kick returner Leon Washington of the Seahawks are ranked fifth at their positions. … Seven members of the NFC West blog’s all-division team do not rank among the top five at their positions in voting: defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, cornerback Richard Sherman and special-teamer Heath Farwell of the Seahawks.”
Lastly from Sando, he has a few notes on Sherman’s big game that earned him player of the week honors.
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth highlights Sherman’s rise in the secondary, “Sherman now leads the team with four interceptions – to go with the four he had while starting the final 10 games last season. That’s eight picks in 20 games. Sherman also leads the team with 14 passes defensed – to go with the 17 he had last season. That’s 31 PDs in the past 20 games. Sherman is seventh on the team with 38 tackles – to go with the 53 he had last season. That’s 91 in the past 20 games. To say that Sherman has become an impact player on a defense capable of impacting any game doesn’t do justice to the impression this guy is making. And remember, Sherman only found his way into the lineup at left cornerback last year after season-ending injuries to Trufant and Walter Thurmond. Sherman’s response to the biggest day of his still-young NFL career was typical – rapid-fire words, sprinkled with smiles and punctuated by laughs. ‘That’s a testament to the entire defense,’ he said when asked about the unit pitching a shutout (the Jets’ touchdown came on a fumble return). ‘The front seven played great. We tried to tackle well in the backend. I think everybody played a great game. Kam (Chancellor, strong safety) and Earl (Thomas, free safety) were tackling their behinds off. B.B. (cornerback Brandon Browner) was batting the balls down whenever they came his way. And the line, there wasn’t a lot of tackles to be had because of (Brandon) Mebane and (Alan) Branch and Big Red (Bryant) and Clem (Chris Clemons). They were getting on everything.’ ”
Finally, Tony Ventrella recaps the 9th annual Trufant Bowling Classic, a bowling fundraiser put on by Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant and the Trufant Family Foundation to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.
Wednesday cyber surfing: Carroll content with Wilson’s progress, expects great second half of season
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 24.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks need to throw the ball more in the second half of the season, “Seattle can’t expect to run the ball much better than it has been through seven games. Lynch is 7 yards off the league’s rushing lead, and he hasn’t carried the ball this often in the first half of any season since he was a rookie in Buffalo in 2007. Unless the Seahawks want to continue white-knuckling their way through the final nine games of the season, they’re going to have to start opening up the offense. That means putting a little more on the quarterback’s plate, something that Carroll alluded to Monday. ‘He’s going to continue to improve to the point where we are really expecting to have a great second half of the season,’ Carroll said. ‘We’re looking forward to it.’ ”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune outlines coach Pete Carroll’s thoughts on the progress of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, “The Seahawks have been in all seven games, and Wilson had led the Seahawks to a pair of fourth-quarter comeback wins. But Carroll pointed out that Wilson has played poorly on the road, where he has thrown two touchdown passes and seven interceptions and has a 55.7 passer rating. Wilson has thrown six touchdown passes and no interceptions and has a 116.9 passer rating at home. So it’s no surprise Seattle is 3-0 at home and 1-3 on the road. After travelling to Detroit on Sunday, the Seahawks play five of their final eight games at CenturyLink Field, including contests against all three NFC West Division opponents. ‘He’s done some pretty extraordinary things,’ Carroll said. ‘I think he’s played within the format that we have setup for him well. He’s played particularly well at home, not as well on the road, and we noticed that the numbers are quite a bit different there. He’s grown, he’s corrected things, and he’s totally in control poise-wise in the games and in the situation. … I think he can do special things. There are just not very many kids that are as well prepared to take on the workload and the stress of it and the pressure and all of that, as he is. I think he’s done OK.’ ”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has knee-jerk reactions following Week 7’s NFC West games, and had this to say about the Seahawks, “Knee-jerk reaction: The Seahawks cannot possibly win anything of consequence without greater production from their quarterback. Russell Wilson went 9-for-23 against the 49ers the other night. Enough already! Reality or not?: Seattle plays five of its final eight at home, where Wilson has six TDs, no INTs and a 65.8 Total QBR. There’s a good chance the Seahawks will contend for at least a wild-card berth while their rookie QB gets needed experience.”
Sando also points out several silver linings from the Seahawks’ loss to the Niners, “The Seahawks allowed one touchdown in four red zone possessions, picking off 49ers quarterback Alex Smith on one of those possessions. Jason Jones and Greg Scruggs recorded sacks. Seattle allowed zero receptions to 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who had caught at least one pass in 58 consecutive games.”
Here at Seahawks.com, Pro Bowl voting is officially underway and you can vote for your Seahawks here. And in case you’re not sure who is worthy of your Pro Bowl vote, our Insider Clare Farnsworth has a look at some notable Seahawks contributions through the first seven weeks in his “Tuesday in Hawkville.”
Farnsworth also has a look at the team’s red zone production, “Forget the light at the end of the tunnel. Is there a light out there that can lead the offense into the end zone more often? ‘You’ve got to be optimistic about it,’ Robinson said. ‘I think we’re going to start to get in the zone more just as (Wilson) starts to see the field more. But again, it’s just frustrating not getting in the zone. The whole point is to put the ball across the goal line, and we haven’t done that enough.’ With one more completion here, or one more broken tackle there, the Seahawks would be finding the end zone more from the red zone. And they could have picked up another win or two by doing it. ‘All three of our losses, it left a sour taste in our mouths where we felt like we should have won the game had a couple of different plays went our way,” Robinson said. “I do definitely feel like we could have won every game, so we have a lot of room for improvement and we have to make those improvements. We have to start finishing games off.’ “