Friday cyber surfing: Wilson earns praise of former NFL exec

Good morning, and happy Friday the 13th. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today.

Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson comes at us with another installment of “The Real Rob Report”, this time from the 2012 ESPY Awards. Robinson talks with various athletes and celebrities including Josh Cribbs, Vernon Davis and Terrell Suggs as they walk the red carpet. Suggs raved about playing in Seattle and the tremendous fan support the 12th Man exuberates on game days, “It’s really hard to play up there [in Seattle], but it’s fun. That’s what the game is all about – how electric the stadium is. I love going to play the Seahawks. I’m 0-2 up there, but I must say both of the games, they were very fun. And the city – I love the city. It’s a beautiful city. I’m gonna have to get me a ‘W’ up there, though. But the Seahawks – it’s a really good stadium, it’s a really good atmosphere. That’s what NFL football is about up there.”

The Tacoma News Tribune’s Eric Williams joined Pro Football Talk Live yesterday to talk about the Seahawks heading into 2012. Williams and PFT host Mike Florio touched on a variety of subjects, from the Seahawks young, ascending defense to Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks three-man quarterback competition, the wide receiver group, offensive and defensive lines, and how Seattle might challenge the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC West division title. You can watch and listen to the nearly 18-minute segment right here.

Brady Henderson at MyNorthwest.com recaps a Wednesday segment of “Bob and Groz” in which former NFL front-office executive Tony Softli joined the show. Henderson said Softli believes Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will eventually earn the position of Seahawks’ starting quarterback, but not necessarily by the end of training camp. Henderson writes, “Softli raved about Wilson’s athleticism and leadership. He said Wilson ‘throws a better ball’ than Drew Brees, the Saints’ record-setting quarterback, and that it’s only a matter of time before Wilson proves that he’s a better quarterback than [Matt] Flynn and [Tarvaris] Jackson. ‘I think he is the future, there’s no question,’ Softli said. ‘Flynn, Jackson, they better not open the door because this guy will slam it shut.’ “

Wide receiver Golden Tate joined Dave “Softy” Mahler of 950 KJR AM yesterday – you can listen to the audio by following the download links on their page . The two talked about the excitement building around the Seahawks upcoming training camp, what to expect from the team in 2012, and Tate gives his thoughts on the Seahawks quarterback competition.

Here at Seahawks.com Tony Ventrella and the Sea Gals give us a sneak-preview of 2012 Bing Training Camp, which opens for registration later this morning.


Tuesday cyber surfing: Positional breakdowns

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 10.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times takes a look at the Seahawks wide receiver position, and the competition that will come with it come training camp. O’Neil considers three wide receivers to be “locks” for the Seahawks 53-man roster – Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate. Beyond those three, it gets a little complicated according to O’Neil, “There are veterans Ben Obomanu, [Deon] Butler and [Mike] Williams. There are promising second-year players like Kris Durham — a fourth-round pick in 2011 — and Ricardo Lockette, who flashed his big-play potential at the end of the season. And don’t forget the crew of undrafted free agents and offseason additions: Lavasier Tuinei, Charly Martin, Jermaine Kearse, Cameron Kenney and Phil Bates. So how many can you expect Seattle to keep? Well, 5.4 says history, and before you start wondering how to get 40 percent of one wide receiver, that’s simply the average number of receivers the Seahawks have kept when they reduced the roster to 53 players from 2002 through last season.”

Like O’Neil, here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a positional analysis of his own, as he takes a look at the Seahawks secondary heading into 2012. Farnsworth points to more experience and better depth as reasons to see improvement in the Seahawks secondary in 2012, as the unit hopes to build off the success they enjoyed a season ago, “No other team in the league had three defensive backs play in the Pro Bowl last season [Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor & Brandon Browner]. No other team in the league had three defensive backs ranked among the Top 10 cornerbacks and safeties in the league by the Sporting News this offseason.”

Over at NFL.com Gregg Rosenthal piggy-backs off of O’Neil’s wide receiver discussion and offers his own thoughts on Mike Williams, “Seattle Seahawks wideout Mike Williams could go from one of the best stories in the NFL to out of the league in the span of just two years. Somehow, that’s the most NFL story of all. Coach Pete Carroll resurrected his former USC star from the ashes in 2010. After being out of the NFL two years, Williams led the Seahawks with 65 catches and 751 yards. He was a legitimate Comeback Player of the Year candidate. He was the No. 1 receiver on a team that won a playoff game. But the NFL is an unforgiving place to work. Williams fell off the map during an injury-plagued 2011, putting up only 236 yards in 12 games. He’s coming off a broken leg and is no longer a lock to make the Seahawks’ roster.”

Also at NFL.com, Matt Smith gives us his fantasy dream team – the “perfect” draft – as he calls it, and lo and behold, there are a couple Seahawks mentions on his list. Smith hopes to pick up running back Marshawn Lynch in Round 3, offering this on Seattle’s bruising back, “I don’t buy last season being a fantasy miracle year for Lynch, Pete Carroll simply realized where his production was going to come from and kept it going, riding momentum of a great defense and running game to a solid close of the season. With the “dink and dunk” Matt Flynn, or the inconsistent Tavaris Jackson, or rookie Russell Wilson, the running game is going to have to be solid again for the Seahawks to succeed. And with their defense looking even better this season, they’re likely to lean on that run game even more.” Then, several rounds later, Smith has his eyes set on the Seahawks defense, “I love getting the defense right in Fantasy. It could be the difference between a win or a loss when you have one that’s dominant in point production. You need a defense that attacks, that goes after the quarterback and places a value on the ball above all else. The Bears have made a fantasy career of it, but these days they’re getting a little bit old to keep doing what they have been. Seattle closed strong, and all season long was solid. Seven weeks of double-digit production is just lunacy to leave on the board.”

Dan Arkush at ProFootballWeekly.com talked to a daily observer of Seahawks team activities, who told him Seahawks first round draft pick DE Bruce Irvin has impressed in the early-goings of Seahawks OTAs and minicamps, “One particularly striking example in a late-May OTA was the eye-popping countermove the sleek Irvin put on Breno Giacomini that literally floored the massive tackle. ‘It was really something to see; it made an instant impression,’ the observer said. But it was hardly enough to suddenly thrust Irvin into consideration for a starting role, with the game plan calling for him to hopefully wreak havoc along with [Chris] Clemons in specific nickel pass-rush situations the same way Aldon Smith did as a first-round rookie for the Niners last season. ‘Irvin has gotten all the starting reps up to now, but he has talked about how much he’d like to be learning from Clemons,’ the observer said.”


Friday cyber surfing: NFL’s Best Defense, quarterback conversations continue

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 6.

Remember that “NFL’s Best Defense” poll over at ProFootballWeekly.com? Well, by way of fan voting the championship results are in and the Seahawks have come out on top over the Pittsburgh Steelers, earning a whopping 76 percent of the overall vote. The guys at PFW give credit to the 12th Man for their tremendous fan support, but they still aren’t ready to call the Seahawks the “Best Defense” in the NFL, calling Seattle a young, ascending defense, but noting the defenses of teams like the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers might be a little farther ahead of the Seahawks right now.

Here at Seahawks.com we continue with our Rookie Spotlight segment, this time focusing on Seahawks 2012  fourth round draft picks RB Robert Turbin out of Utah State and DT Jaye Howard out of Florida. Seahawks General Manager John Schneider talks with Tony Ventrella about Turbin’s impressive combine interview and how their familiarity with Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn – the Seahawks 2010 defensive line coach – aided them in their selection of Howard.

Starting off the first-of-three quarterback-central articles this morning we have Brady Henderson of MyNorthwest.com, who recaps a segment from yesterday’s “Bob and Groz” show when four-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl MVP QB Kurt Warner joined the program. Naturally, Warner offered up his opinion on the Seahawks three-man quarterback competition, as Henderson writes, “Warner spoke from experience when he talked about the challenges of splitting reps between quarterbacks, which the Seahawks plan to do when they begin training camp later this month. In Flynn’s case, Warner thinks that will make it harder to master the offense, something Jackson shouldn’t have to worry about given all the time he’s spent in coordinator Darrell Bevell’s system. Warner said memorizing an offense isn’t the same as understanding it well enough to execute it efficiently. Warner: ‘It’s always one thing to study your playbook and draw plays on the board and be able to decipher stuff. It’s completely different when you have to actually call the play in a timely fashion, you have to get up there and be able to react and make it second nature to you. So you can get as many mental reps as you want; it’s never the same as a physical rep. The less of those you get, the less you’re going to be ready because that’s really where you learn and where you grow is under fire, whether it’s preseason games, whether it’s live scrimmages or just competitive situations in practice.'”

Next, over at NFL.com Gregg Rosenthal believes Matt Flynn has what it takes to be the Seahawks starting quarterback. On Flynn, Rosenthal offers, “In one of the final days of my former professional life, I watched every Matt Flynn snap possible. I won’t repeat myself here, but Flynn was accurate, composed and threw the ball well under pressure. That pocket presence gives him an edge over guys like [Kevin] Kolb, Matt Cassel and [Tarvaris] Jackson. In many ways, Flynn didn’t look like a young quarterback. He was very good before the snap. He moved safeties with his eyes. He responded to his bad plays. Flynn doesn’t have to carry the Seahawks. They have a solid running game and a stronger defense. He has a chance to be an average starter sooner than later. That’s a big upgrade for the Seahawks and that may be all they need to make the playoffs in 2012.”

Lastly, and again over at NFL.com, Ian Rapport catches up with former NFL QB Doug Flutie, who at 5-foot-10 bucked the NFL stereotype that quarterbacks must be tall to be successful. The conversation is relevant because Seahawks 2012 third round draft pick QB Russell Wilson stands just 5-foot-11, but finds himself right in the mix of the Seahawks quarterback competition. Rapport comments on Flutie’s relationship with Wilson, “Flutie is a college football analyst now, and he thoroughly studies the game that made him famous. He grew close with Wilson when the athletic passer was leaving North Carolina State and trying to decide between transferring to Auburn or Wisconsin for his senior season. He chose the Badgers and led them to a Big Ten title. ‘I was advising him,’ Flutie said. ‘Go somewhere where, No. 1, you know you’re going to play. No. 2, that you’re the guy they want. Coming up to the draft, he had some questions. He’s a great kid and I just wish him well.'”


Thursday cyber surfing: Most improved defense in 2012? Seahawks get a mention

Good morning. I hope everybody had a safe and fun Fourth of July. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 5.

Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. sees the Seahawks as being one of the four most improved defenses of the 2012 season, along with the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. An ESPN Insider subscription is required, but Horton offers this on the Seahawks, “This defense plays with a swagger, and is the most physical group that I have seen on film. They have great variety in their skill sets, which allows the coaches to create exotic schemes. Above all, though, they are a young defense that will be good for a long time.”

At CBSsports.com, Jason La Canfora asks us to stop the speculation and controversy when it comes to teams’ quarterback situations – Seattle included – and to let the battles and competitions play out for themselves come training camp, “Give it a little time to breathe,” said La Canfora. “The coaching staffs will be accumulating as much information as possible before making their determinations. No decision maker is going to get too high or too low about a few weeks of spring ball. Some veterans might shine more than the novices, sure, but in these rare situations where there truly is uncertainty about who is going to be under center, the pecking order will change, and in many cases change significantly.”

Here at seahawks.com, we continue with our Rookie Spotlight segment, as Seahawks General Manager John Schneider talks with Tony Ventrella about Seahawks 2012 third-round draft pick QB Russell Wilson out of Wisconsin. “I’m not sure how good a baseball player he was,” said Schneider. “But I know he likes football, so we’re really happy about that.”

Finally, over at NFL.com Marc Sessler pays tribute to Al Davis, who would have celebrated his 83rd birthday yesterday on our nation’s 236th birthday. “Davis, in many way, reflects some of the qualities of our nation’s Founding Fathers,” said Sessler. He was a visionary and more than willing to ruffle feathers to bring his ideas to life. Davis was never boring. Sometimes outrageous. Flawed but unforgettable. Davis had enemies and loyal friends, but those close to him recognized his legacy to be a lasting one. He was an original. Our best wishes to the Davis family.”