Tuesday cyber surfing: Sweezy stands out; Flynn, Wilson make strides

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 14.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at 2012 seventh round draft pick J.R. Sweezy as he relates to Seattle’s recent success under general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll when it comes to late round draft picks, “There is more upside with a pick simply because there is greater room for improvement. It’s the same philosophy that led the Boston Red Sox to draft Shaq Thompson, the California safety now at Washington. Yes, everyone had a laugh about his uncomfortably brutal batting record in minor-league baseball last season. But the Red Sox knew that possibility when they picked him given his skill level. Their belief was that the upside of an athlete his caliber — if he developed in baseball — was worth the risk of a late-round pick and some money. Seattle has taken a similar approach with players who have made or will make a position switch. The possibility that guy might really take off in a new spot or make a breakthrough is worth the possibility that he won’t. Look at Sherman a year ago. Here’s a 6-foot-3 player who’s still learning cornerback, which makes it possible that he’ll experience a breakthrough or make a quantum leap. That’s unlikely to happen with someone who has spent eight years at a specific position. For better or worse, you know what you’re getting.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Sweezy, and catches up with Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable on the converted D-lineman’s transition to the offensive side of the football, ” ‘I’m shocked, really,’ Cable said about Sweezy’s quick development. ‘I think he’s doing a fine job in terms of his learning. Every day it’s new for him, in terms of whatever he’s experiencing he’s never experienced before. He’s not the typical defensive lineman who played offensive and defensive line in high school. He was a linebacker and fullback kid in high school. So he’s never been an offensive lineman and never put his hand on the ground that way. So this has been his first time, and his transition so far, I would say he’s ahead of schedule. Now let’s see how far we can take it.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the quality performances of quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson in Saturday night’s preseason opener, “That Carroll kept from painting rainbows all over the place Saturday night was a good approach. It was only the first exhibition game, and Wilson, specifically, was playing against backups. But this game created more interest and sense of upward trajectory relating to the quarterback position than the Seahawks have seen in years. If this 60 minutes of quarterbacking in August is not an aberration, then it appears that either Flynn or Wilson will be an upgrade over Jackson. And on a team with a defense and rushing attack already in place, that factor should mean divisional contention.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segment of “Brock and Salk” from Monday in which head coach Pete Carroll joined the show, “Pete Carroll thought Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson each had strong performances in Saturday’s preseason opener save some obvious mistakes, but the Seahawks’ coach didn’t see enough to make any decisions about the three-way quarterback competition – at least not yet. ‘Like I said right after the game, they did everything they could have done to help themselves,’ Carroll told “Brock and Salk” on Monday. ‘I think they both played really well. We’re not calling it right yet. We don’t have to.’ “

Also at mynorthwest.com, Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman give their impressions of what they saw from 2012 first round draft pick Bruce Irvin and 2012 second round draft pick Bobby Wagner in Saturday night’s preseason opener in this short video.

Kevin Dowd of the SeattlePI.com writes that after Saturday night’s preseason opener, Flynn and Wilson appear to be pulling ahead in the team’s three-man quarterback competition, “Quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson shined in their Seattle debuts Saturday night, combining to complete 23 of their 29 passes for 186 yards, with Wilson adding another 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Now, rather than not having one viable starting quarterback in their three-man race for the job, the Seahawks just might have two.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his update on the Seahawks quarterback battle, as he revisits his opinion on the race from back in July, “Flynn and Wilson are getting the meaningful reps as the team works to determine which one, if either, represents an upgrade over Jackson. Both players helped their cause with their performances against Tennessee in the exhibition opener Saturday night. Flynn was efficient working against the Titans’ starting defense. Wilson was dynamic working with — and against — backups. The Seahawks will presumably want to see Wilson work with the starters in a game situation before making their decision. I have a hard time envisioning Seattle going into a season with a rookie third-round choice behind center. But if any coach would embrace such an opportunity, the unconventional Pete Carroll might be the one to do it — especially since Wilson demonstrates more poise than many veterans. If the competition remains close, going with Flynn as the starter heading into the season would be the easiest move.”

Jim Trotter of SI.com has his Seahawks-related “Postcard from camp“, including an observation about the Seahawks defense, “The defense is going to be fun to watch. It’s not only big and strong, but fast and athletic. The unit was working on its blitz drill the day I was there, and more times than not the period resembled a jail break. Defenders consistently came free in the offensive backfield, forcing quarterbacks to look for safety valves instead of a receiver. Ideally, Seattle wants to generate pressure with its front four, and the addition of first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin should help it do that. He’s long and incredibly quick, which will be even more noticeable at home, where the crowd noise will give him an advantage over offensive tackles at the snap of the ball. Irvin still needs to develop a second rush move to maximize his potential, but that will come in time. For now his quickness and length, combined with the Seahawks’ other talent up front, will give offensive lines headaches.”

Writing for the Marin Independent Journal, I caught up with Cooper Helfet, the Seahawks rookie tight end out of Duke University and Redwood High School who got his first taste of NFL action Saturday night.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps Saturday’s preseason opener and calls quarterback Russell Wilson starting against the Denver Broncos this Saturday night as the next logical step for the rookie out of Wisconsin, “While he did complete 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards, including a 39-yard TD pass to Braylon Edwards; and run for another 59 yards, with 32 coming on his scoring play; it was against the Titans’ second- and third-defensive units. So why not see how the rookie from Wisconsin fares against the Denver defense that features the pass-rush tandem of Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil and a secondary that features 11-time Pro Bowl selection Champ Bailey? The pressure of the start? That will be totally internal, because of the Mile High-presence of Manning, who signed with the Broncos in March after being released by the Indianapolis Colts and wooed by other teams, including the Seahawks. So the visiting Seahawks and whoever starts at QB will be an all-but-undetectable blip in this situation.”

Farnsworth also has a look at the (limited) activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center yesterday in his ‘Monday in Hawkville’, “Teaching points. The players had meetings and a short walkthrough today, with the focal point of each being the things they did well – and not as well – in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field. But the most important aspect of the preseason is correcting mistakes and learning from them, as the Seahawks start preparing for Saturday night’s game against the Broncos in Denver. ‘I thought the tackling was terrible,’ coach Pete Carroll said after the game. ‘We didn’t tackle anybody. Particularly in the second half, we were just falling off the guys and that’s a first-game situation. We just have to get a lot better. That was really the area that jumped out at me. We could have had a ton of plays in the backfield for losses that we didn’t make. We just have to improve a lot there.’ “

Lastly, second-year linebacker K.J. Wright shows us what it’s like to run out of the tunnel at CenturyLink Field on game day in this short video.


Monday cyber surfing: ‘Hawks top Titans in preseason opener;

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 13.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says both quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson looked strong in the team’s preseason opener Saturday night vs. Tennessee Titans, and that their performances opened up the QB debate, “Flynn completed 11 of his 13 passes and guided Seattle on its most impressive drive of the game. The drive not only consumed nine minutes of the first quarter, but also came against the Titans’ starters. But Flynn netted only 71 yards passing, and he also was picked off. Wilson’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards was Seattle’s longest play of the game, and he was Seattle’s leading rusher with 59 yards. But Wilson also was playing against the lesser tiers of the Titans’ defense, and he was intercepted in the end zone by Titans linebacker Zac Diles. This game was like catnip for the quarterback debate.”

O’Neil also has his ‘Three things we learned’ and ‘Three things we’re still trying to figure out’ after Saturday’s preseason opener.

Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times breaks down Flynn and Wilson’s performacnes from Saturday, and states that the Seahawks need to give Flynn as many reps as possible, “He [Flynn] doesn’t have the blazing fastball that Brett Favre had. Flynn’s game is cat and mouse, the quarterback against the cornerback. He is a thinking man’s quarterback. Favre was a knockout punch. Flynn is more counterpuncher. It’s an important distinction, because to be the kind of quarterback the Seahawks need him to be, Flynn needs more work with the regulars than the team has been willing to give him. He needs more time, a lot more time, to learn the quirks and quicks of his receivers. Flynn has to excel at the more refined parts of his craft. He has to know his receivers, as well as he knows his family members. He has to understand their routes and the way they run their routes as well as they do.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with left tackle Russell Okung, who started Saturday night’s preseason game against the Titans and seems to be recovered from last year’s pectoral injury that sidelined last season after making 12 starts, ” ‘I’ve really rebounded from the injury last year, and I’m really glad to be back out there,’ Okung said about his play against Tennessee. ‘But as an offensive line we just had one thing in mind, and that was to come out here and start the season off right. … We went out there, we wanted to run the ball and we did a fair job. But we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.’ “

Williams also recaps Saturday night’s contest.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the effectiveness of the ‘Hawks defense and run game, and says that quarterbacks Flynn and Wilson gave head coach Pete Carroll a lot of information to study after Saturday’s game, “Flynn finished the first half having completed 11 of 13 for 71 yards. And one of his incompletions was a drop by tight end Anthony McCoy. The most important number, though, was the 10-0 score the Seahawks had on the board when Flynn was still operating with the first team. While the competition at quarterback will continue, the efforts of the first-unit defense and running game make the outcome less worrisome.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald provides some light-hearted over-analysis after the Seahawks preseason victory Saturday night.

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com comments on the strong start Saturday night for the Seahawks’ much-hyped starting secondary, “It was a good start for a secondary that has received plenty of attention following a season of breakout performances. [Earl] Thomas was a Pro Bowl starter, while [Brandon] Browner and strong safety Kam Chancellor made the NFC squad as injury replacements. [Richard] Sherman had a strong rookie season that included four interceptions in 10 starts. ‘There has been a lot of talk about how good we are, and how we might be overconfident,’ Thomas said. ‘We did great tonight, and I am very proud about the work we have been putting in.’ “

Henderson also gives his take on the play of wide receiver Braylon Edwards, noting that his performance Saturday night likely helped his case toward earning his place among the crowded Seahawks receiving corps, “Based on last season, you might have forgotten that Braylon Edwards was once a No. 3 overall pick, a bona fide No. 1 receiver and a Pro Bowl selection. One play he made in the Seahawks’ preseason opener against Tennessee served as a reminder. In the third quarter, Russell Wilson lobbed up a deep pass down the left sideline for Edwards, who was running stride-for-stride with the defensive back. The 6-foot-3 receiver timed his jump perfectly, wrestled the ball away as he was falling to the ground and secured it while rolling over in the end zone. ‘That’s just what Braylon’s been doing in practice,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘and so that was cool that he carried that over.’  Said Edwards: ‘I knew it was going to come to me. It was just a matter of me working my technique.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Saturday’s preseason opener.

The staff at SportsPressNW.com offers a look back at some highlights from the Seahawks 27-17 victory over the Titans.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a detailed look at Seahawks training camp in his ‘Camp Confidential‘. Sando looks at three hot issues surrounding ‘Hawks camp, discusses reasons for optimism and pessimism heading into 2012, and offers several observations from camp and the Seahawks preseason opener vs. Tennessee.

Sando also revisits his ‘Three things‘ after the Seahawks preseason opener, including a look at the quarterbacks – Flynn and Wilson, three rookie draft choices – Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, and Robert Turbin, and a look at the Seahawks mix at wide receiver.

Tim Booth of the Associated Press recaps Saturday’s preseason opener, including a look at the play of Titans QBs former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and former University of Washington standout Jake Locker.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps Saturday’s preseason opener, “The primary focus leading up to the game was the quarterbacks, and they did not disappoint. Matt Flynn, who was signed in free agency, got the start and completed 11 of 13 passes for 71 yards in the first half. Wilson took over in the second half, completing 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards. Each also threw an interception. ‘I thought that the quarterbacks did a really nice job; nothing but good stuff came out of this game for them,’ Carroll said. ‘They were poised. They handled the offense well. They did the things like we had seen in practice.’ “

Farnsworth also highlights the play of rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs during Saturday’s game against the Titans, “On the first snap of the final quarter, with the Titans facing a second-and-10 from their own 13-yard line, Scruggs and defensive end Pierre Allen got to QB Rusty Smith for a 5-yard sack. On a third-and-19 play, which followed a false start by Titans tackle Byron Stingily, Scruggs and rookie tackle Jaye Howard dropped running back Jamie Harper for a 3-yard loss. With the Titans pinned at their own 1, Will Batson had to punt with his heels just inside the back edge of the end zone and got off a 29-yarder that wobbled out of bounds at the 30. It set up a 40-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that put the Seahawks back on top – for good – with 11 minutes remaining. ‘I was just trying to go out there and do what I was supposed to do – trying to make plays, make my family proud, make my teammates proud, make my coaches proud,’ Scruggs said.”

Tony Ventrella recaps the Seahawks 27-17 victory over the Titans in this video.


QB competition: Day Seven

The three-man quarterback competition continued today – albeit, in a new direction– between incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn, and rookie Russell Wilson. Today’s practice session began the third cycle of the three-man rotation, with Jackson taking the majority of reps with the No. 1 offense.

The team focused on several game-type situations throughout today’s practice, with each quarterback taking reps in red zone situations from the 20-, 12-, and 5-yard lines, as well as reps where the offense was backed up into their own end zone.

“It’s definitely a new stage that we’re moving into,” said Flynn after today’s practice. “After today we’re past the install stage. We have our whole offense in, so now we start getting to where we get to go back over things. We get to move the field, kind of mock-game situations, and then we’re going to get into our game plan.”

Jackson’s play of the day came in an 11-on-11 red zone session where he was able to scramble away from pressure toward the left sideline before flipping a left-handed toss to wide receiver Golden Tate in the end zone.

Flynn seemed to develop a connection with tight end Zach Miller throughout the day, finding him in the back of the end zone in the team’s red zone drill that started from the 20-yard line. Flynn also delivered a pretty jump ball pass to Tate, who won his battle and came down with the catch for a score.

“The more we’ve been together and the more that we work together I think I’m just developing a lot better familiarity of what they’re doing on their routes,” Flynn said of his touchdown pass to Miller. “I’m seeing how they’re coming out, reading them better. I think each day gets better.”

And it’s clear that Wilson isn’t scared to throw down field, as he followed up his 50-yard bomb down the left sideline to Tate in yesterday’s practice with another deep ball to Tate today, this time down the right sideline and into the end zone for a score against double coverage from safety Jeron Johnson and cornerback Byron Maxwell.

Tomorrow’s practice is scheduled to feature a “mock game” amongst the squad, and Flynn sees it as an opportunity for the quarterbacks to show their game-readiness to the coaching staff.

“It will definitely show your command of the offense, your command of what’s going on, getting people in the right spot, getting people in and out of the huddle and moving the ball,” said Flynn. “To me, in practice, I like it more when it’s the offense and defense out there – game situation. It gets you in a little bit more of a rhythm and you get to work all your situations.”

The question of who will receive number one reps in tomorrow’s “mock game” remains to be seen, but after Jackson took first reps today Flynn is scheduled to receive the majority of first-team reps if the same quarterback rotation the coaches have used since spring practices continues.

We’ll just have to wait and see.


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Saturday cyber surfing: ‘Tez’s big day

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 4.

Former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy will be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this afternoon, and we start we a slew of coverage on ‘Tez’s big day.

Here at Seahawks.com, ‘Tez has taken over our homepage. Clare Farnsworth, who is in Canton, Ohio for tonight’s induction ceremony, starts by detailing Cortez’s Hall of Fame press conference, ”I’m so proud, not only for the Seahawks organization but the Seahawks fans,’ Kennedy said. ‘This honor they deserve just as much as I do because we’ve been through so much in Seattle. So to see me getting into the Hall of Fame with (Steve) Largent, it’s speechless. It’s great for the city of Seattle. Plus the Seahawks fans and the 12th Man.’ “

Farnsworth brings us his notes from Kennedy’s gold jacket ceremony, which occurred Friday night, “The golden moment came when Kennedy was presented with his gold Hall of Fame jacket by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, with an assist from Dixie Fraley Keller, the widow of Kennedy’s longtime friend and agent who was killed in a plane crash. Fraley Keller will introduce Kennedy during the induction ceremony on Saturday night.”

Farnsworth will live blog tonight’s induction ceremony, and you can follow along here.

From Canton we also have this photo gallery chronicling Cortez.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com is also in Canton for Kennedy’s Hall of Fame induction, and starts by bringing you the events from his first 30 hours in Ohio, including a run in with the man of the hour – or weekend – right off the bat, “Cortez Kennedy was the person I hoped to see first Thursday night after unloading bags for check-in at the McKinley Grand Hotel,” Sando writes. “He was the 2012 enshrinee I’d covered years ago and gotten to know while presenting his case to the other Hall selectors. Having the retired Seattle Seahawks great step from the hotel’s entrance before I could get my bags to the curb foreshadowed good fortune.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com, writing for the Tacoma News Tribune, pays tribute to Kennedy’s big day, ” ‘I never did want to go anywhere,’ [Kennedy] said in a recent telephone interview with reporters. ‘I was in Seattle, and I couldn’t go anywhere and I didn’t want to go anywhere. I loved playing with my coaches and teammates. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but I just wanted to be in Seattle.’ Some things cannot be explained. Seahawks fans don’t care. They just know that one of their greats will be hailed with the NFL’s best in Canton, Ohio, when he joins fellow inductees Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Curtis Martin, and Willie Roaf in receiving pro football’s most cherished honor.”

Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald gives his take on Kennedy, “This afternoon, Kennedy will become the first known professional athlete to be enshrined in a major Hall of Fame with full Seattle ties. That is, he was drafted by a Seattle team and spent his entire career in the same city. Edgar Martinez and Walter Jones may one day share that distinction, but for now it’s Kennedy who will serve as Seattle’s lone wire-to-wire representative.”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times talks about the continuity that is seen this year through the roster and coaching staff along the offensive line, and catches up with center Max Unger, who recently signed a contract extension that secured his place on the squad for the foreseeable future, “…in Unger’s first three years in Seattle, the Seahawks had four different offensive-line coaches and started more than 20 players along the line. Now, Tom Cable returns as the line coach and the release of guard Robert Gallery is the only significant offseason subtraction, which means that Unger is learning what a difference continuity makes up front. ‘It’s night and day,’ Unger said. ‘Being able to go from one season to the next one, and have 100 percent carry-over is very cool.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with running back Leon Washington, “Asked by a fan at training camp Friday how many times he’ll get into the end zone in 2012, Washington raised four fingers, meaning he’s looking to create more explosive plays this season. ‘One thing we looked at when it came to the return part of the game, especially when it came to kick returns, is [with the NFL moving kickoffs forward] we  only had about five less returns than the previous year,” said Washington, who turns 30 years old this month. ‘So the opportunities are still there for us to go out there and make plays.’ “

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps of a segment of “Bob and Groz” in which safety Kam Chancellor joined the show. Henderson says Chancellor is lighter than he was last year, but that’s not going to stop the big hits from coming, ” ‘I’m trying to stay light to where I can run fast but also still have a little weight to keep that boom,’ said Chancellor. ‘That boom’ refers to Chancellor’s penchant for big hits. He had a few of them in 2011, his first season as a starter. The notoriety that resulted helped Chancellor make the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement, earn a reputation as one of the league’s most imposing safeties and put second thoughts into opposing receivers.”

Also at mynorthwest.com Bill Swartz has highlights from Day Six of camp, “Quarterback Matt Flynn looked solid during his reps, connecting on several passes with tight end Sean McGrath. He’s an undrafted rookie free agent out of Division II Henderson State in Arkansas. McGrath is getting more looks because Anthony McCoy is still out with a hamstring injury.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Friday’s practice, “Wilson had an up and down practice, but definitely had the highlight of the day from the [QB] position. Wilson found WR Golden Tate streaking up the left sideline and dropped a pass in his hands over the outstretched reach of CB Brandon Browner for a big gain.”

Mike Silver of YahooSports.com gives his take on the Seahawks quarterback competition.

Here at Seahawks.com we also bring you our ‘Hawkville’ blog, which includes a look at the events surrounding yesterday’s practice session with a focus on the recently-converted rookie offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy, who has shown improvement in camp, ” ‘It was rough in OTAs to start,’ Sweezy said. ‘I was completely confused. At first I was too aggressive. On defense my whole life I’ve been taught to play at a 45-degree angle and now I have to sit back and wait and not lunge at people. When you lunge as an offensive lineman you get beat every time, so it’s a matter of me staying back on my heels. But now I’m starting to get it. It’s starting to make sense and I’m having fun.’ “

And we take a look at the three-man quarterback competition from Day Six, which featured rookie Russell Wilson under center for the majority of first-team reps.

Tony Ventrella also brings you our Seahawks Daily with a look at the tight end group.

Lastly, we have Part II of our non-football related quarterback competition between Russell Wilson, Matt Flynn, and Tarvaris Jackson, with the three QBs competing in a golf chipping competition.


QB competition: Day Six

The efforts of the three arms vying for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job was better today than it was yesterday – a day when the defense clearly was calling all the shots. It was rookie quarterback Russell Wilson’s turn to take the majority of the snaps with the No. 1 unit, and the Wisconsin product took advantage of it on several throws.

His most notable effort came on a deep ball for a streaking Golden Tate down the left sideline. Wilson dropped the ball in over the top of cornerback Brandon Browner and into Tate’s hands for what looked to be a 55-yard gain in the team’s 11-on-11 session. In the same drill, Wilson also showed good pace on a ball for a leaping Ben Obomanu over the middle of the field.

Wilson, who spoke with the media following Friday’s session, tells us how he is able to manage the reps he receives within the three-man quarterback competition, as well as how he looks at the reps he doesn’t receive.

“It’s not hard for me to stay focused at all,” Wilson said. “I’ve always been the same way in terms of mentally focusing when I’m not in, or when I am in. If I’m getting the reps then I’m obviously focused in, and then if I’m not getting the reps I’m still playing the game in my mind – reading the coverages, reading the defense, what they’re trying to do, and going through the progressions.”

Also in Friday’s practice the three quarterbacks participated in the two-minute drill. Wilson was up first from the team’s own 35-yard line, and after tucking and running on first down he found a diving Kellen Winslow on the left sideline to set up third and short. Wilson checked down to running back Leon Washington to get the first down and then killed the clock by spiking the football. Wilson showed nice awareness as he moved up in the pocket to avoid the rush on the next play to find Washington on the sideline, who scampered out of bounds. On third down Wilson targeted Ricardo Lockette deep over the middle, but the play was broken up by safety Kam Chancellor. Wilson took a sack at midfield on fourth down that killed the drive.

Jackson found wide receiver Charly Martin and tight end Cameron Morrah on a rope in traffic to start his two-minute drill and quickly moved to the opposing 25-yard line, but could not go any further, after a dropped pass from Lockette on second down, a throw away to avoid a sack on third-down, and a ball that went through the hands of Martin on fourth, resulted in a turnover on downs.

Flynn was the only quarterback to convert in the two-minute drill today, as he ran with the third unit. On his first play from scrimmage he lured the ‘D’ offside and threw a strike 20 yards down field to tight end Sean McGrath. After taking a sack at the opposing 45-yard line, Flynn completed an 8-yard out to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse before finding McGrath over the middle to the opponents 25-yard line. Then, after throwing three straight incompletions, Flynn found Kearse at the first-down marker and quickly spiked the football at the 10-yard line with two seconds remaining in the drill. On the session’s final play, Flynn found McGrath over the middle for a score.

Tomorrow, the quarterback competition will likely begin its third cycle through, with incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson scheduled to garner most of the first-team reps.


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QB competition: Day Five

The three-arm rotation in the competition for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job continued today, as free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn again took the No. 1 reps. Flynn last took reps with the ones during Sunday’s practice, July 29.

And not much has changed.

“We’re still on it,” Carroll said of the quarterback competition. “This is the fifth day of practice. There’s not much to alter anything we’re doing right now. We’ll just keep getting reps, keep going, and gathering information.”

That sounds pretty familiar. Carroll has insisted throughout the offseason and into training camp that in order to make a decision as it relates to this quarterback competition he and his coaching staff will need to see how the three quarterbacks perform during preseason competition.

But the three quarterbacks each had their moments today in what was a mostly defense-dominated practice session, which seems to be the norm of late.

Flynn connected with tight end Zach Miller in the corner of the end zone on a play where Miller got behind a pair of defensive backs, and hit Lavasier Tuinei on a route over the middle during the team’s red zone passing drill.

Wilson, who is scheduled to receive the majority of the No. 1 reps during tomorrows practice, threw a pretty ball to a leaping Ricardo Lockette in the corner end zone, who hovered over safety Chris Maragos and cornerback Phillip Adams to make the grab. Wilson also showed good pace on a ball over the middle end zone that hit tight end Sean McGrath square in the hands for a score, and found tight end Kellen Winslow on his outside shoulder a few plays later for a touchdown.

Jackson, who received third-reps today after getting the majority of first-team reps yesterday, made a nice back shoulder throw to rookie wide receiver Phillip Bates, who made the grab and fell into the end zone.

The play of the defense is making it difficult for a quarterback to emerge, but coach Carroll likes it that way.

“I think our offense going against our defense is a challenge,” Carroll said. “We’re experienced, we’re versatile, we can do a lot of things. [Defensive coordinator] Gus [Bradley] dials it up pretty good in practice. It’s not easy for them at all. We’re not making it easy on the quarterbacks. We’re making it as hard as we can for them.

“I think if they can move the ball on us and make plays on us, then that’s a good sign. I talked to the defense today and told them to dial it up and make it hard as we can make it on these guys for getting comparisons and good information. So we’re going to continue to do that and continue to make it hard. We’re not going to cater at all and make it easy for the quarterbacks.”


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Monday cyber surfing: Wide receiver talk accentuates Day Two

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this third day of training camp, July 30.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times revisits the story of Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, and takes a look at how the Seattle secondary has come to be one of the team’s primary strengths after years of unreliability and uncertainty at the position, “This is the same secondary that had been a perennial problem in Seattle. The Seahawks allowed the most passing yards in the league in 2008, the third-most in 2009 and the sixth-most in 2010. That’s three consecutive years on skid row for NFL secondaries, which made last year’s breakthrough all the more unexpected, especially since Seattle began the season with Marcus Trufant as its only starter with more than two years of NFL experience. So just how did Seattle’s secondary make that kind of breakthrough? ‘They made some plays, and they built off that confidence,’ said defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. ‘More than anything, they had a clear understanding of what we were asking. It clicked for some of them.’

Also at the Seattle Times, wide receiver Golden Tate gives us his take on his own NFL development to this point in this short video.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Tate, who flashed some big-play potential in Sunday’s practice, but also displayed some maturity and discipline that had been absent in years past, “Tate, who received the Biletnikoff Award as the best collegiate receiver in the country his final season at Notre Dame, was a consensus All-American first-team selection. But when Tate arrived in Seattle in 2010 as the team’s second-round draft choice, he struggled to consistently get on the field because his route running was raw. And Tate admitted to having an attitude problem once he was informed he would not be a mainstay of Seattle’s offense. ‘I never had to work for my position; it was always given to me,’ Tate said. ‘I was always more athletic, so for the first time ever I felt like I had to work. It wasn’t given to me. And then when I didn’t respond the correct way my rookie year, I was like, ‘If I’m not starting, whatever.’ But once I learned to prepare like I’m the starter, regardless if I’m third-string or sixth-string, I think it started to come.’ ”

Also at the Tacoma News Tribune, Dave Boling talks with wide receiver Sidney Rice, who is looking to bounce back from shoulder injuries this season and become a leader among the ‘Hawks wide receiver corps, “Being on the field, he said, is crucial as he feels the need to be more of a veteran presence in the young Seahawks receiving corps. ‘I’m being more vocal this year,’ Rice said. ‘In previous years I led by example, just doing what I’m supposed to do. But I’m taking it on myself now to tell these guys what we have to do to get this team better. … These guys know how to play football, we just have to bring the right attitude every day, and finish off everything.’ “

John Boyle at the Everett Herald speaks with defensive tackle Jason Jones on the improvement that is expected this season with the team’s ability to rush the passer, “With the addition of [Bruce] Irvin, a lighting-quick end, and Jones, a versatile interior pass rusher, the Seahawks plan on turning their pass rush from a question mark to a team strength. ‘That could be deadly right there,’ Jones said of Seattle’s pass-rushing options. ‘… If all the attention is on Clem [Chris Clemons], because he got 11 sacks last year, that will open things up for Bruce and me. … There are endless possibilities, that’s why I’m so excited.’ “

Liz Matthews of 710 ESPN Seattle has head coach Pete Carroll’s comments on the reasoning behind the team’s contract extension for 2010-11 sack leader Chris Clemons, and offers up some practice notes from Sunday.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice report from day two of camp, with his focus on the Seahawks wide receiver group which has made many impressive plays over the first two days.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his Hawkville report from Sunday, with his focus on Seahawks fourth-round draft pick RB Robert Turbin, “Turbin broke two longs in one portion of today’s two-hour practice, and each was followed by a long run from Cable to stress the style issue and then give some style points. ‘One step and go. One step and go. And trust your gut,’ Cable said after practice when asked about the exchanges that followed the long runs by Turbin that prompted Cable’s long runs.”

Farnsworth’s feature story from Sunday fittingly center’s on center Max Unger, the Seahawks 2009 second-round draft choice who signed a contract extension with the team last week, “The Seahawks have been all about identifying players with unique skills since coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider took over in January 2010, and the next step is then securing those players for future years. Unger could be the poster player for this process. One of the first things Tom Cable did last year after Carroll hired the former head coach of the Oakland Raiders to be the assistant head coach/offensive line coach on his staff was move Unger to center. Fulltime, and from Day One. ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt, that’s what the situation with Max is all about,’ Cable said. ‘When you start to build a team like they did two years ago, they made the decision to kind of retool the whole thing. So you’re putting pieces together until you get it right.’ “

Farnsworth also has a look at Day Two of the quarterback competition, which had Matt Flynn taking first-team reps.

And lastly here at Seahawks.com we have our offensively-focused Seahawks Daily with Tony Ventrella recapping the day’s events.

Peter King of SI.com brings us his Monday Morning Quarterback. King attended Seahawks practice yesterday and had praise for Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson, “I spent 20 minutes with [Wilson] Sunday, and I was ready to run extra routes for him after listening to him. ‘I refuse to be average,’ Wilson said on the field after practice. ‘I refuse to be good. All I want to do is work to excel every day.’ It’s very difficult to make any judgments on a player, or a team, watching a pad-less practice, with players in helmets and shorts. But Wilson’s arm looked every bit as strong, and maybe slightly stronger, than Flynn’s in this practice. On one snap, Wilson was flushed from the pocket, scrambled right (‘He scrambles to throw; he doesn’t scramble to run,” Carroll said) and launched a slightly wavering 32-yard strike down the right side to a covered Ben Obomanu, who came down with the ball. Good play, the kind of play he’s going to have to make in the NFL when the pocket breaks down.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com sifts through the recent contract extensions for several Seahawks players, “Deals for Red Bryant, Marshawn Lynch, Max Unger and Chris Clemons brought clarity to the roster for this season and beyond. Coach Pete Carroll highlighted those deals as evidence the team would take care of productive players. Carroll and general manager John Schneider inherited Bryant and Unger from the previous regime. Neither was an established player, but both have grown into important roles. Re-signing those players in particular showed Carroll and Schneider kept an open mind while turning over the roster during their first season-plus on the job. They weren’t set on rewarding only their own guys, in other words.”


Saturday cyber surfing: Camp begins

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 28.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune writes about the heightened expectations the Seahawks face as they head into year three under Carroll, “Carroll enters Year 3 of an effort to ultimately build the Seahawks into a regular playoff contender. Seahawks owner Paul Allen did not hire Carroll away from national college power USC three years ago – after giving hometown product Jim Mora only one year to turn things around – just to hover around the .500 mark. Carroll and general manager John Schneider remade Seattle’s roster into one of the youngest teams in the league, cycling through over 500 roster moves since January 2010 on their way to back-to-back 7-9 campaigns. Now, the 60-year-old coach known for his enthusiastic approach is expected to lead this team to the playoffs.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald gives us seven questions the Seahawks face as they open 2012 training camp. The obvious question heading into camp revolves around the Seahawks quarterback competition, which Boyle is quick to list. But one of the more interesting questions Boyle poses centers around the ‘Hawks running game, which was a strong point during the second half of last season and in order for this team to be successful in 2012 is expected to pick up where they left off, “Marshawn Lynch and the offensive line improved dramatically in the second half of the season, which coincided with more wins. Now can they keep it up? One encouraging sign last season was that the line was able to continue its improvement even as starters James Carpenter and John Moffitt went down with injuries. This year’s line, on paper anyway, looks like it could be the best and deepest Seattle has had in years, but half a season of success hardly makes it a proven unit.”

Brock Huard and Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com suggest a few players to watch during Seahawks training camp in this video. Huard details his excitement for newly acquired tight end Kellen Winslow, who he believes has a chance to “shatter” the single-season record for receptions by a Seahawks tight-end.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth caught up with Seahawks Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson and defensive end Red Bryant as they entered the VMAC yesterday, discussing the team’s high expectations as they enter the third season with coach Carroll at the helm. Robinson put the team’s mentality best when he told Farnsworth, “It’s time now, this is the moment everybody has been waiting for. It’s time to put on the pads. It’s time to get serious. It’s time to block everything else out and develop that championship mindset.”

Farnsworth also touched based with newly-signed veteran wide receiver Antonio Bryant, who signed with the Seahawks on Thursday. Bryant told Farnsworth he is looking to make the most of the opportunity heading into camp, “I’ve been in this position before,” Bryant said. “Right now, I’m considered trash. But hey, that’s cool. I’ve been in this position before. But one thing people have to remember, they better go back and watch their film. Just know this: I’m something they’re going to have to compete against.”

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post lists Seahawks first-round draft pick defensive end Bruce Irvin as one of his 10 rookies to watch during training camp. Bowen offers his thoughts on the speed-rushing end out of West Virginia, “Irvin was labeled as a ‘situational’ rusher after the draft and I understand that. Think defensive sub packages (nickel, dime) and the ability to turn the corner vs. OTs. However, no different than talking about [Shea] McLellin above, Irvin isn’t going to beat every tackle this season with the speed rush. This is a rookie I want to watch in live game action this August.”

Finally, if it wasn’t already obvious enough, the first of 13 Seahawks training camp practices is open to the public today at 10:30 a.m. You can register for future sessions here. See you at camp.


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Thursday cyber surfing: Reaction to Unger’s extension

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 26.

Yesterday the Seahawks announced a contract extension for 2009 second-round draft pick and starting center Max Unger. Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com has the story on Unger, who expressed his excitement to Farnsworth in regards to his new deal, “I am very happy about this new deal,” Unger said. “We have a developing young line that had some success last year that we can build upon this season. It’s a good deal for both of us and I couldn’t be happier to be in Seattle.”

As the NFL’s Hall of Fame class of 2012 prepares for their enshrinement into the NFL Hall of Fame on August 4 in Canton, Ohio, Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com begins a “Countdown to Canton” series for Seahawks inductee Cortez Kennedy. In his first installment, Farnsworth catches up with former Seahawks safety, special teams standout and coach Paul Moyer, who offered his first impression of ‘Tez, “It wasn’t until we got him in camp, where he was going against other people with the same athletic ability or likeness, that you went, ‘Wow. OK, he’s not the same athletic ability. He’s stronger. He’s faster. He’s a better player.’ ”

One day after his contract extension was made official by the team, Farnsworth takes a look inside defensive end Chris Clemons’ 22.0 sacks in his two seasons with the Seahawks. Farnsworth notes that Clemons has made a habit of sacking St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (6.5 sacks in four games), and that Clemons has had more success in the sack department on the road (15.5 sacks) than at CenturyLink Field.

Also here at Seahawks.com we talk with defensive back and former University of Washington standout Roy Lewis in our Seahawks Insider with Tony Ventrella. Lewis talks about his high hopes for the team in 2012 season, how he has found success at the NFL level, and offers some thoughts on the Huskies 2012 football season.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times gives us his take on Unger’s extension, “The timing [of the extension] is important to note, too, coming before Unger starts the final year of a four-year contract he signed after being drafted out of Oregon in 2009. He is the only Seahawks offensive lineman to arrive before Pete Carroll became coach in 2010.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald gives his two cents on the Unger extension, as he writes how the move solidifies the Seahawks projected offensive line for the foreseeable future, “With Unger getting a new contract, every offensive lineman projected to open the season as a starter — Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Unger, John Moffitt and Breno Giacomini — plus tackle James Carpenter, who is likely to open the year on the physically unable to perform list, are under contract through at least the 2013 season.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune asks five questions in advance of the Seahawks 2012 season, including the question of who will replace David Hawthorne – who departed to the New Orleans Saints in free agency – at Seattle’s middle linebacker position. Williams points to second-round draft choice Bobby Wagner as the obvious choice, but also mentions other candidates should Wagner struggle, “They could move second-year pro K.J. Wright to middle linebacker. Wright started the 2011 regular-season opener against San Francisco in the middle when Hawthorne was hobbled with a knee injury, and trained there most of last season’s training camp. Barrett Ruud and Matt McCoy are also veteran options to man the middle.”

John Clayton of ESPN.com comes at us with 10 hot training camp storylines, and it’s no surprise that the Seahawks three-man quarterback competition gets a mention, “Pete Carroll has only 20 practices to resolve a three-way quarterback battle among Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson. Delaying a decision in this competition could prevent the winner from getting enough time to get his offense ready for the early part of the season.”

Also at ESPN.com, Mike Sando reflects upon the Unger extension, “While the Seahawks have been known for making wholesale personnel changes under coach Pete Carroll, this deal affirms their willingness to build around select players inherited from the team’s previous leadership. A long-term deal for defensive end Red Bryant provides another example. The Seahawks probably wouldn’t sign an offensive lineman to a meaningful extension without strong support from assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable. Unger obviously fits the Cable mold.”

Pete Prisco of CBSsports.com gives us his preseason power rankings, and the Seahawks find themselves at No. 20 on his list, noting that Seahawks quarterbacks Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson just don’t get him very excited about the quarterback position. Sitting atop Prisco’s list – like many other lists of this nature – are the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers, and the New England Patriots.

Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com picks the Seattle Seahawks to win the NFC West in 2012, citing strong defensive play and improvement at the quarterback position as reasons to like the Seahawks over the 49ers in the division, “The Seattle Seahawks will win the NFC West. Their defense can be just as dangerous as the San Francisco 49ers’ vaunted unit. The quarterback play can be better with Matt Flynn. San Francisco, meanwhile, must deal with a much tougher schedule and heightened expectations. Pete Carroll’s boys might not “Win Forever,” but winning nine to 10 games is a doable goal. That should be enough to take the division.”

Seahawks 2012 seventh-round draft pick defensive end Greg Scruggs out of Louisville participated in a Pro Football Camp for youth in Colorado Springs and shared this interview after the camp’s completion. Scruggs discusses the importance of how a man in his position can have a positive impact on area youth.


Tuesday cyber surfing: Training camp previews

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 24.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com reports defensive end Chris Clemons reached agreement Monday on a multi-year contract extension with the Seahawks. Clemons, 31, has led the Seahawks in sacks with 11 in each of the past two seasons – a total that is good for eighth in the NFL since 2010. An official announcement from the team is expected later today.

Sando also brings us his thoughts as Seahawks training camp approaches, including his take on Seahawks new DT Jason Jones, “Free-agent addition Jason Jones will fit much better at defensive tackle in Seattle than he did as a defensive end with Tennessee last season. The pass rush should improve as a result. Jones’ addition on a one-year contract holds promise because the Seahawks seem excited about him. The team’s leadership has been right on just about every defensive player Seattle has targeted by trade (Chris Clemons), the draft (see the secondary in particular), unrestricted free agency (Alan Branch), street free agency (Brandon Browner) and position changes (Red Bryant).”

Khaled Elsayed of ProFootballFocus.com gives us his take on NFC West training camp battles to watch, and it’s no surprise that the Seahawks camp is highlighted by the three-man quarterback competition between Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson. But Elsayed also offers some interesting thoughts on the division as a whole, “Before 2011 this was viewed as the weakest division in the NFL, but after the San Francisco 49ers compiled the second best record in the NFC and came agonizingly close to the Super Bowl, people have had to reconsider that opinion. Especially when you consider the development of the Seattle Seahawks and the aggressive moves the St Louis Rams have made this offseason. Heck, you even have to imagine the Arizona Cardinals quarterback situation will have improved, so it’s looking like a division on the up.”

Hub Arkush and Dan Arkush of ProFootballWeekly.com continue their training camp opening report video series by taking a look at the Seattle Seahawks. The two discuss the free agent and rookie additions that head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have put together this offseason, add their thoughts on the Seahawks three-man quarterback competition and wide receiver corps, and give their take on how the team’s strength – the defense – can improve in 2012.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth is back with his “Monday metatarsal musings,” as he re-hashes the Seahawks news from his time away on vacation, including remembering Grant Feasel, the former Seahawks center who passed away at age 52 on July 15, “He [Feasel] played on the franchise’s first division championship team in 1988, but also during that forgettable run from 1989-93 when the best the Seahawks could do was one winning record (9-7 in ’90),” writes Farnsworth. “But Feasel was a winner, on and off the field. A 16-game starter at center in 1989 and 1990, and 15-game starter in ’91, Feasel led with his chin and therefore lead by example. It was Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times, as I recall, who hung the moniker ‘Fightin’ Feasel’ on him, because whenever a tussle broke out during training camp Feasel almost always was involved.”

Farnsworth also wraps up his Seahawks 2012 positional preview with a look at the running backs. Farnsworth offers this outlook as the position group heads into 2012, “Despite all the handwringing over which of the three QBs will start this season, it’s [Marshawn] Lynch’s legs that will carry the Seahawks where they want to go – starting with posting the team’s first winning record since 2007, but not stopping until this team returns to the playoffs. It’s the running game that sets up the play-action passing game in coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense. The Pro Bowl duo of Lynch and lead-blocking [Michael] Robinson will make sure this offense remains headed in that direction – the right direction. The addition of [Robert] Turbin is a plus, as is the versatility of [Leon] Washington.”