Tuesday round-up: Who is Seattle’s best player?

Free safety Earl Thomas stops by the set of NFL Network to discuss how he and the club are gearing up for 2013

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Tuesday, June 18, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Danny O’Neil of 710 Sports.com called free safety Earl Thomas Seattle’s best player in his most recent column, which sparked a spirited roundtable-discussion between O’Neil, Brock Huard and ESPN’s John Clayton and Mike Sando on “Brock and Danny” – the audio of which can be found below:

Sando has a look around the rest of the NFC West.

ESPN.com’s Jeffri Chadiha says quarterback Russell Wilson faces new pressure in his second season, as he comes to find out what life is like as a “burgeoning superstar.”

Our Clare Farnsworth breaks down ProFootballTalk.com’s exercise in selecting the four heads to represent the club on a Seahawks-themed Mt. Rushmore. Wide receiver Steve Largent, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, left tackle Walter Jones, and running back Shaun Alexander are highlighted on their list.

Wide receiver Charly Martin is full-go at the NFL Broadcasting Boot Camp at NFL Films headquarters in Mt. Laurel, N.J.

And fourth-year Sea Gal Laura, a fellow graduate of Washington State University (Go Cougs), takes some time to introduce us to the 2013 Sea Gals squad.


Monday round-up: Profiling John Nordstrom; Richard Sherman audio; Seahawks Mt. Rushmore

Seahawks insider Tony Ventrella talks with two of the newest members of the Seahawks, Luke Willson from Canada and Jesse Williams from Australia.

Good morning, and I hope everyone had a good Father’s Day weekend. Here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, June 17, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has a position-by-position breakdown of where the Seahawks stand heading into training camp, offering his own comfort level (on a scale of one to 10) on how comfortable fans should feel with each group.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune profiles former Seahawks owner John Nordstrom, which provides some very interesting background on the start of the franchise.

Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com has a look at three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out now that the Seahawks have wrapped up Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp workouts. O’Neil also says free safety Earl Thomas might be “the best player” on the team.

Brent Stecker of 710Sports.com recaps cornerback Richard Sherman’s weekend appearance on The John Clayton Show. You can listen to the podcast of Sherman with Clayton here:

Curtis Crabtree, writing for the Associated Press, details how third-round draft pick Jordan Hill and fifth-round draft pick Jesse Williams are fitting in along Seattle’s defensive line.

NFC West blogger Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a closer look at what might happen if the Seahawks need to make a switch to their backup quarterback – Tarvaris Jackson or Brady Quinn. Sando also has his NFC West-chat transcript from Friday here.

You, the readers of Seahawks.com, voted former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck as the fourth head on a Seahawks-themed Mount Rushmore, as he joined consensus mountain-locks Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones. It was an exercise precluding one over at ProFootballTalk.com, where former running back Shaun Alexander recently beat out Hasselbeck, Mike Holmgren and the 12th Man as the mountain’s fourth face in their “Faces of the Franchise” feature.


Taking the fourth: It’s Matt Hasselbeck

Matt Hasselbeck

Remember when we asked for your input on who should join Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Walter Jones on a Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore? Yeah, we’d almost forgotten, too.

But the readers of Seahawks.com have spoken – or voted – and the winner is …

Matt Hasselbeck. The only quarterback to lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl, as well as the franchise’s career leader in completions and passing yards, garnered 28.6 percent of the votes. Hasselbeck also won 69 games, one less than Dave Krieg.

Also getting more than 20 percent of the votes were strong safety Kenny Easley (20.9), the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1984; and running back Shaun Alexander (20.5), the franchise’s all-time leader rusher and the only Seahawk to be voted league MVP (in 2005).

Rounding out the votes were coaches Mike Holmgren (15 percent) and Chuck Knox (6.4) and all-time sack leader Jacob Green (8.5).


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

Chris Harper

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

FOCUS ON

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

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

Harper felt he played even better in the second practice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TRYING TO CATCH ON

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

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

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

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

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

CALLING PETER NGUYEN

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

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

THE SKINNY ON SCRUGGS

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

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

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

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

GIANTS ADD SOME CURRY TO THE MIX

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

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

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

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

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

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

MT. RUSHMORE UPDATE

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

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

It’s not too late to cast your vote.

UP NEXT

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

YOU DON’T SAY

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


Who should be the fourth head on Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore?

Cortez Kennedy, Steve Largent

The folks at Pro Football Talk will launch a 32-part series next month that features a Mt. Rushmore for each of the NFL teams, and they’ll eventually be asking for reader input on the Seahawks.

Why wait for them to get around to the Seahawks?

The first three faces for the Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore are slam-dunk selections. As with most things Seahawks, the best place to start is with Steve Largent. He was not only the first career-long member of the team to be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (in 1995), but when Largent retired after the 1989 season he held the NFL career records for receptions (819), receiving yards (13,089) and touchdown catches (100).

No other player in franchise history can come close to making such a claim. Then there is this trifecta of facts: He was the first player to have his uniform number (80) retired; the first inductee into the team’s Ring of Honor (1989); and each season since 1989 the Steve Largent Award has been presented to the person “who best exemplifies the spirit, dedication and integrity of the Seahawks.”

Walter JonesThe other obvious Rushmore-worthy players are defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who joined Largent in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and is the most-decorated defensive player in franchise history; and left tackle Walter Jones, who was voted to a franchise-record nine Pro Bowls, selected the best player in the NFL in 2006 by The Sporting News and should be a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 2015.

But who should join this impressive trio as the fourth cornerstone in franchise history – and fourth face on the Seahawks’ Mt. Rushmore? You make the call (from this list that was compiled with a little help from a friend):


May the 4th be with you… always.

May the 4th be with you

It is May 4th and as appropriate on this day, dare we say … May the 4th be with you! To spell it out for the percentage of us born after the rest of us discovered (for the second time) that Anakin Skywalker was, in fact (SPOILER ALERT), Darth Vader, this phrase is a play on words to the Jedi credo (not to be confused with Greedo – RIP): “May the force be with you” as made popular by the Star Wars films.

That all being said, Happy Star Wars Day, 12s!

Don’t believe that this is a galaxy-wide holiday for most of us (except  for maybe the Empire as evidenced in this attack ad)? Find out more information at the official website of Star Wars Day: http://maythe4th.starwars.com

If it isn’t already obvious, we here at Seahawks.com are Red Bryant-sized fans of all five episodes (we’re still trying to erase the memory of that Binks character from Episode I). And we’re not alone in our nerdom…

And then there’s this photo essay from NFL.com likening NFL players to Star Wars characters …

NFL.com

Richard Sherman as Boba Fett: First things first … Boba Fett didn’t die in the mouth of the Sarlacc. Tortured? Yes. But he does escape. (And this better be addressed in Episode VII, so help me.) But when I think of Fett as an NFL player, I can’t help but think of Richard Sherman. Both are trash talkers and always seem to get their man. Fett was an unexpected hero of the Star Wars universe (which George Lucas realized and is why Jango Fett and his son have such a huge storyline in “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones”). And likewise, Sherman is becoming one of the most famous (infamous?) players in the NFL.

So, in the spirit of this galactic holiday, we created the graphic at the top of this page to help 12s celebrate with us on Instagram. But like the elder Skywalker, (and apparently the NFL) once we started down this dark path we simply couldn’t help ourselves …

How many of these 12 references can you guess? Perfect 12 equals Jedi Master:

May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you
May the 4th be with you

To end as all episodes end…


On this date: Seahawks draft first-round talent in second round

Brian Blades

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on April 24:

1988: The Seahawks don’t have a first-round draft choice, but get a first-round talent when they select Brian Blades in the second round. Blades would finish his career ranked second to Steve Largent on the Seahawks’ all-time list in receptions (581) and receiving yards (7,620). He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1989 and also to the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.

1994: Sam Adams is selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. He would start 66 games in his six seasons with the Seahawks.


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Today is the anniversary of NFL’s switch to 16-game schedule

The 16-game regular season in the NFL has been the norm so long that it’s hard to remember when teams played fewer games.

But there was that time, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame shows in this chart to commemorate today’s 36th anniversary of the owners voting to expand the regular season.

The Seahawks played two seasons under the 14-game schedule that was used from 1961-1977. They went 2-12 in their inaugural season in 1976 and 5-9 in 1977.

The Nordstrom family was the majority owner of the team, which played its home game in the Kingdome. Jack Patera was the coach. Jim Zorn was the quarterback. Steve Largent was the leading receiver. Sherman Smith was the leading rusher. Dave Brown (’76) and Terry Beeson (’77) were the leading tacklers.

That ’76 season was short on victories, but long on long-anticipated excitement.

“We only won two games that first year,” recalls Zorn, who is now a member of the team’s Ring of Honor along with Largent and Brown. “But you would have thought we almost went to the playoffs. That’s how enthusiastic not only we were, but the fans were. Everybody was excited.”

And what a difference that one season made to the expansion Seahawks. As Smith puts it, “As a team, we definitely felt more like a team in ’77. There was just more familiarity, with what the coaches wanted from us and with what the guy next to you would do on any given play. That first year, it was just getting ready to go and coming to training camp with more than 100 guys. So in ’77, it was a totally different feeling.”


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On this date: Seahawks help AFC win trio of Pro Bowls

Kenny Easley, Pro Bowl 1988

Kenny Easley records an interception in a 15-6 victory for the AFC squad in the 1988 Pro Bowl.

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 7:

1988: Kenny Easley and Fredd Young provide half the AFC’s four interceptions, as well as eight and seven tackles, in a 15-6 victory in the Pro Bowl. Steve Largent (one reception) and Jacob Green (two tackles) also were on the AFC squad.

1993: Cortez Kennedy and Eugene Robinson combine for nine tackles to help the AFC win the Pro Bowl 23-20 in overtime.

1999: Cortez Kennedy and the “strong side, left side” trio of Michael Sinclair, Chad Brown and Shawn Springs combine for five tackles and three passes defensed to help the AFC claim a 23-10 Pro Bowl victory in what is John Elway’s final game.

2003: Teryl Austin is named defensive backs coach on Mike Holmgren’s staff.


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On this date: Ken Behring announces plan to relocate franchise

Ken Behring

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 2:

1986: Steve Largent catches a game-high eight passes for 82 yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 28-24. Kenny Easley (two tackles) and Fredd Young (one tackle) also are on the AFC squad.

1992: John L. Williams (four carries for 8 yards, one reception) and Cortez Kennedy represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl, but the NFC wins 21-15.

1996: Owner Ken Behring announces he is relocating the franchise to Southern California, a move that is later blocked by the NFL.

1997: Cortez Kennedy has six tackles to help the AFC take a 26-23 overtime victory in the Pro Bowl. Michael Sinclair (one tackle) also is on the AFC squad.

1998: Jim Zorn, the club’s original quarterback who had been an offensive assistant on Dennis Erickson’s staff, leaves to become the QB coach with the Lions. Zorn would return to be the Seahawks’ QB coach from 2001-07.


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