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.
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.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 8.
Yesterday Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll provided some clarity on the team’s quarterback competition, as he announced that quarterback Matt Flynn will take first-team reps for the rest of the week and start the team’s preseason opener this Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. Carroll also anticipates rookie Russell Wilson run with the second unit for the rest of the week and to play the majority of the second half vs. the Titans.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times is quick to point out that although Flynn has been named the starter for Saturday, Tarvaris Jackson is not out of the competition just yet, “[It] doesn’t mean Jackson is no longer a consideration to start, but it does indicate that the Seahawks entered the second phase of their training-camp quarterback competition. For the first nine days of training camp, Carroll rotated the No. 1 quarterback by the day. That will change beginning Wednesday. ‘I can make a little bit of a shift,’ Carroll said, ‘and cut down his (Jackson’s) reps so that we can get a really good look at Matt and at Russell.’ Jackson started 14 regular-season games for the team last year, and he has played for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in each of the previous six seasons going back to Minnesota. ‘We feel like we have a good understanding of what he can do and how he plays,’ Carroll said.”
O’Neil also offers thoughts from Carroll on the acquisition of wide receiver Terrell Owens, and notes that giving a new guy a chance is tactic Carroll has successfully utilized in the past, ” ‘Let’s see where he fits,’ Carroll said. ‘I like the look in his eye. He’s dead serious about proving himself and doing something. So, I’m just going to give him a chance to do it. We’re thrilled to get him out here and have him battle.’ It’s an approach Carroll has used before. He gave Williams an opportunity two years ago, and the result was a 65-catch season. Doug Baldwin got a chance last season and he became the first undrafted rookie to lead an NFL team in catches in more than 40 years.”
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times calls the signing of wide receiver Terrell Owens a risk worth taking, “He will be a distraction. Seahawks receivers got a taste of that Tuesday when they fielded dozens of questions about Owens and his personality. ‘He’s a future Hall of Famer and he’s done tremendous things in his career,’ Doug Baldwin said. ‘Just being able to hear his thoughts on different things and watch him practice, to be able to learn from him, will be crucial.’ The Seahawks’ need for a big-play, big-guy receiver who can strike fear in defensive backfields is obvious. If Owens still can play like T.O., defenses won’t be able to stuff eight men on the line of scrimmage. They won’t sneak a safety into the box. Owens could be the best thing that ever happened to Baldwin, tight end Kellen Winslow and running back Marshawn Lynch.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report on Flynn being named the stater vs. Tennessee, “Carroll emphasized that the quarterback rotation was just for this week, and that Jackson remains in the hunt for the regular season starting job. When asked if Jackson will work back into the rotation next week, Carroll said, ‘You’ll have to wait and see. We’ll take it one week at a time.’ ”
Williams also catches up with Seattle receivers Doug Baldwin, Sidney Rice, and Braylon Edwardson the addition of adding T.O., “Seattle receiver Sidney Rice said his fellow teammates don’t have any concerns that Owens will be a distraction in the locker room. ‘We are welcoming the guy here,’ Rice said. ‘We are not going to talk bad about him. We are going to try to keep him comfortable in the locker room and get him out here on the field as much as possible to make plays for us.’ ”
John McGrath, writing for The Olympian, says now that Flynn has been named the starter for this week, he must capitalize and prove he can run the show, “Flynn’s promotion to the first team isn’t permanent. Carroll stressed it’s only for one exhibition game – actually, for one half of one exhibition – and the three practices preceding it. Still, Flynn has earned the next-best thing to a starting job. A starting job to lose. If he manages to run a reasonably adept offense for the first 30 minutes Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans – if he keeps mistakes to a minimum and stays out of harm’s way – Flynn will retain the label of starting quarterback for at least another full week, no matter how dazzling rookie Russell Wilson looks in the second half.”
Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald catches up with Tommy Benizio, the team president of the IFL team that released Owens in May, ” ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he still has what it takes to make it at the NFL level,’ said Benizio, whose Allen (Texas) Wranglers of the IFL paid Owens a modest salary for five months before unceremoniously letting him go in late May. ‘I think he’s grown, and he’ll be a tremendous addition (for the Seattle Seahawks, who signed Owens this week). When someone thinks he’s truly hit rock bottom, and God blesses him with another chance, I think he’s going to embrace it with a greater level of enthusiasm. I think he’s going to perform at a high level.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald tells fans what to expect with the signing of T.O., “Everywhere Owens has gone, he has been the center of attention, whether it has been for his tremendous talent, his memorable touchdown celebrations or his clashes with quarterbacks. But by signing Owens, the Seahawks are taking a gamble that Owens, after a year away from the NFL, is ready to just be a part of the team, not the center of attention. ‘He is extremely hungry and he is humble, and he is determined to finish his career on a good note,’ Carroll said. ‘He wants to be part of a team and he wants to play football. … It was quite clear where he’s coming from and what he’d like to accomplish.’ ”
Boyle also has his story on Flynn being named the starter against Tennessee, “Now to be clear, Carroll did not declare Flynn the winner of Seattle’s much-debated three-man quarterback competition, but a week with the starting offense, and a chance to start the first preseason game certainly gives Seattle’s big offseason acquisition a good opportunity to take the reins in the battle.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his story on the addition of Owens, and Flynn stepping in.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com comments on the addition of Owens, “Owens is different from [Lendale] White, Mike Williams and some of the other attempted reclamation projects, however. Owens has always produced on the field. He’s always competed hard. He’s played through injuries. He’s also gotten into locker room fights. He has undermined quarterbacks, including Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. This time, Owens has to know he’s about out of second chances. He has to make this one work, or he’s likely done. Carroll was asked whether one player could wreck a locker room. ‘That’s not even a topic around here,’ Carroll said. ‘Our team is so strong and our guys are so together and our message and what we stand for and all of that. There’s no one guy that’s going to do that to this football team, not even close.’ ”
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his take on Flynn starting against the Titans on Saturday, says that wide receiver Braylon Edwards shined in Tuesday’s practice, and details Owens’ impact that was felt yesterday, even though T.O. hadn’t hit the field yet.
Max Unger joins our player blog, and provides a recap of his busy offseason, details camp life to this point, and looks ahead to the team’s preseason opener.
And finally, for a more visual look at the Seahawks’ busy Tuesday, Tony Ventrella has you covered in our Seahawks Daily.
The players are off today, Aug. 6, but there was enough from Sunday’s mock game to warrant an off-day look back:
The defense. The whoa-guys always are ahead of the go-guys when training camp starts. The gap is just a little wider at the Seahawks’ Bing camp because the defense is hitting its stride as the offense is trying to find its.
That was apparent – again – during the 80-play mock game on Sunday.
“I thought the highlight of the day was the defense in general,” coach Pete Carroll said after the two hour-plus session that was held in full pads on a 90 degree-plus afternoon.
There were, of course, statistics to support Carroll’s assessment of the obvious. Each of the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job got five possessions. Four were three-and-outs. Five others ended on downs (there was no punting). One ended on an interception.
And the defensive efforts that led to the offensive frustration proved to be a Sunday afternoon smorgasbord: Second-year linebacker Mike Morgan had the interception, on a Matt Flynn pass intended for rookie tight end Sean McGrath; second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith broke up a first-down pass on one of the three-and-outs; Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas blitzed and pressured Tarvaris Jackson into throwing an incomplete pass and second-year tackle Pep Levingston (inside) and rookie linebacker Kyle Knox (outside) combined for a “sack” on one of the possessions that ended on downs; second-year safety Jeron Johnson had a near interception and third-year cornerback Phillip Adams tipped a third-down pass incomplete on another series that ended on downs; and second-year cornerback Byron Maxwell tipped away Jackson’s deep throw to wide receiver Deon Butler on another possession that ended on downs.
But the main course was Bruce Irvin dishing up crow for all the experts who mocked the Seahawks selection of the rush-end in the first round of April’s draft.
“Bruce had a couple of really cool plays,” Carroll said.
On back-to-back snaps, Irvin displayed a boggling bust to pressure and “sack” Jackson and then tipped the third-down pass incomplete. But his even-better effort was chasing down Marshawn Lynch at the end of a 70-yard run.
“That’s not a surprise,” Carroll said. “He can fly.”
Golden Tate. The coaches are waiting for one of the wide receivers to step up as the replacement for recently released Mike Williams opposite Sidney Rice, and Tate is stating his case with his actions.
“The guy I’m really excited about is Golden,” Carroll said of the team’s second-round choice from last year’s draft. “Those of us that have watched him for three years, his quickness and his control in and out of his breaks is by far the best it has been.
“I don’t know what happened in the offseason, but he’s just lighter on his feet and quicker than he has been. We’re thrilled about how he’s coming along.”
The players return from their off day on Tuesday to begin preparing for Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.
The club also has moved into the game-preparation portion of camp, with the start of practice being switched from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The walkthroughs also have been switched to before practice.
State routes 520 and 167 will be closed this weekend, limiting fans’ options to reach CenturyLink Field for the 7 p.m. game against the Titans on Saturday. The club is urging those attending the game to plan accordingly.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Definitely, and I pretty much think he’ll tell you the same thing. He looks like he’s ready to go. He ran the ball well today. The line did an exceptional job blocking for him. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but as of right now he looks like he’s ready to go.” – Jackson, when asked if Lynch appeared to be in regular-season Beast Mode this early in camp
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 6.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps Sunday’s practice, which featured a mock game between the ‘Hawks offense and defense, “Tarvaris Jackson began Sunday’s scrimmage the same way he started training camp: Taking snaps with the first-unit offense. The scrimmage consisted of 80 plays, and while players were in pads and uniform pants, there was no tackling as plays stopped at first contact with the ball carrier.”
O’Neil also has a mention of wide receiver Terrell Owens making a visit to Seattle for a try-out today, a story which was first reported by Dave “Softy” Mahler of 950 KJR AM, and later confirmed by the team, “Owens did not play in the NFL last season as he recovered from a left knee injury that required surgery. He caught 72 passes for the Bengals in 2010. Cincinnati was his third team in three years. He played for the Cowboys in 2008 and Buffalo in 2009 before joining Cincinnati. Owens, 38, last topped 1,000 yards receiving in 2008.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes after Sunday’s mock game, and comments from head coach Pete Carroll on the quarterback competition, “Carroll said he’d like the starter for the team’s first preseason game in place by Wednesday, when the Seahawks begin preparation for the Titans. ‘I’m really anxious to see the film and see what it tells me,’ Carroll said. ‘The plan that we set in motion is right on course right now. It’s going just right. I would like to figure this out as soon as possible. I have thought that the whole time, but I felt like it was going to take awhile. And so we have a big day today and tomorrow evaluating it. And then we’ll come back on Tuesday and set it in motion. We start the game week on Wednesday. And we’ll let you know how that goes when we get there.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald gives his take on the Seahawks hosting T.O. for a tryout today, “Owens is the highest profile past-his-prime receiver to get a look from the Seahawks, but not the first. Prior to the start of training camp, the Seahawks worked out Antonio Bryant, who had been out of the NFL for two seasons, as well as Braylon Edwards, and eventually signed both. The Seahawks released Bryant Sunday, but the fact that they are kicking the tires, so to speak, on Owens means they still have questions at receiver. Seattle released Mike Williams, a starter for the past two seasons, prior to training camp, leaving the door open for someone like Golden Tate to earn the starting job opposite Sidney Rice. Tate has had a strong first week of training camp, but the Seahawks still appear to be interested in finding a veteran presence who can help the team.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has a very detailed look at Sunday’s mock game, including the game’s unofficial stats, “All three quarterbacks led scoring drives for the offense. Flynn connected with TE Cooper Helfet for a 17-yard touchdown. Jackson ran in for a score from five yards out and Wilson set up a field goal with just seconds remaining in the practice as Wiggs connected from 45 yards out. Flynn led another drive down to the 1-yard line before having a pass intended for TE Sean McGrath deflected by DE Cordarro Law into the hands of LB Mike Morgan for a touchback. It was the only turnover by the offense all day. Flynn finished the scrimmage 9-for-20 for 118 yards, a touchdown, an interception and was sacked twice. Wilson was efficient as well in his opportunities going 9-for-15 (with two spikes to stop the clock) for 116 yards.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his thoughts on T.O.’s tryout with the Seahawks, “The Seahawks don’t have the quarterbacks to handle a player with Owens’ reputation. For that reason, I’d be skeptical of any move to add Owens at this time. The three quarterbacks on the roster are having a tough enough time establishing themselves without adding a wild card such as Owens to the equation. Coach Pete Carroll’s handling of quarterbacks has already come under question.”
NFL.com’s Around the League discusses T.O.’s tryout in Seattle in this short video.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth is back from covering Cortez Kennedy’s enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and gives us a look at Sunday in Hawkville, with a focus on recently re-signed kicker Carson Wiggs, “The strong-legged Wiggs kicked field goals of 45, 37 and 19 yards and added a pair of PATs during the mock-game portion of today’s two-hour, 15-minute practice. Not bad for a guy who had not kicked since being released last week to clear a roster spot for tight end Cooper Helfet. ‘Good day today,’ a smiling Wiggs said. ‘I didn’t kick while I was gone. It was kind of a vacation, maybe a blessing from the sky. So I came back with a fresh leg.’ ”
Farnsworth also calls attention to the actions of Richard Sherman during Sunday’s mock game, “Sunday, the second-year cornerback who became a sudden and successful starter last season also displayed maturity and leadership beyond his years during a mock game that highlighted the team’s sun-drenched training camp practice. When Jeremy Lane put too much extra in the extracurricular activity after a play and was banished from the practice field by coach Pete Carroll, it was Sherman who put his arm around the rookie cornerback on the sideline to explain why Lane’s actions were a lane violation. Later, after tight end Kellen Winslow caught a sideline pass and tossed the ball at the defender, it again was Sherman who was the voice of reason for his more-experienced teammate.”
Lastly from Farnsworth we have a look at day eight of the quarterback competition, “To this point in camp, the QBs had rotated running the No. 1 offense on a daily basis – first incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, then free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn and finally rookie Russell Wilson. But today, it was Jackson for the second consecutive day as the team held a mock game. ‘It was important for him to have this first day,’ Carroll said. ‘That was the plan, and we planned it exactly right today.’ ”
For video highlights, player interviews, and commentary on yesterday’s mock game, Tony Ventrella has you covered in our Seahawks Daily.
And on the eighth day, it was coach Pete Carroll who threw a curveball into the three-armed competition for the Seahawks’ starting quarterback job.
To this point in camp, the QBs had rotated running the No. 1 offense on a daily basis – first incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, then free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn and finally rookie Russell Wilson. But today, it was Jackson for the second consecutive day as the team held a mock game.
“It was important for him to have this first day,” Carroll said. “That was the plan, and we planned it exactly right today.”
One thing didn’t change: Each QB got five possessions in the mock game.
Jackson scrambled for a touchdown, got a 70-yard run from Marshawn Lynch in a field-goal drive and three series ended on downs. Flynn threw a TD pass to Braylon Edwards, had one series end on downs, two three-and-outs and another ended on an interception by linebacker Mike Morgan. Wilson led two field-goal drives, had two three-and-outs and another series that ended on downs.
As has been the case throughout this competition, each QB had his good moments and his not-so-good.
Jackson ran for a score and got the long run from Lynch. Flynn completed third-down passes to Charly Martin and Leon Washington, but the drive ended with the interception. On another, he scrambled for a first down and passed to rookie tight end Sean McGrath for another on third down before throwing the TD pass. Wilson hit a 44-yard pass to rookie Lavasier Tuinei to set up one field and a 24-yarder to rookie Phil Bates to set up the other.
“All three quarterbacks had their shots. They all had scoring drives,” Carroll said. “They did some really good things.”
Stay tuned, because this thing is far from being settled.
A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 5:
Carson Wiggs. The rookie kicker was gone last Tuesday, but back today. And just in time.
The strong-legged Wiggs kicked field goals of 45, 37 and 19 yards and added a pair of PATs during the mock-game portion of today’s two-hour, 15-minute practice. Not bad for a guy who had not kicked since being released last week to clear a roster spot for tight end Cooper Helfet.
“Good day today,” a smiling Wiggs said. “I didn’t kick while I was gone. It was kind of a vacation, maybe a blessing from the sky. So I came back with a fresh leg.”
Rather than kick, Wiggs returned to Purdue, where he needs to finish two classes to complete his degree.
“So I was making sure I’m all set up for that,” he said. “I was hoping to get a call, but I would never have thought it would be right back here in about three days.”
The Seahawks called Wiggs at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and asked if he could catch a 7 o’clock flight back to Seattle.
“I was rushing, but I made the flight, got here and had a great day today,” he said. “I was hitting them really well today.”
Coach Pete Carroll said the club was planning to bring Wiggs back, and the decision was hastened because incumbent kicker Steve Hauschka is being rested.
“I thought that was by far the decision of the day,” Carroll cracked. “John (Schneider, the GM) had this middle-of-the-night (thought), ‘If we can get Carson he might hit the game-winner.’ ”
A more serious Carroll then added, “We’re still resting Steven, so it worked out just right. Carson had a fantastic day for us and hit a big game-winner, and hit it well. So that’s cool.”
He’ll get no argument from Wiggs, whose 45-yarder came on the final play of practice.
“I love it here,” Wiggs said. “I can’t ask for a better place. The people are great, the staff is great, the players are very welcoming – even to the rookies. I couldn’t ask for a better place.”
And the coaches couldn’t have asked for a better just-got-here performance.
The entire draft class. Top to bottom – from first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin to seventh-rounder J.R. Sweezy.
“This draft class has answered the call as far as fitting into the spots we hoped they would fit into,” Carroll said. “We’re really up on those guys right now and positive about where they fit in. Now they have to show it in the games when they’ll be competing for real.”
Let’s start at the bottom, because Sweezy worked at right guard with No. 1 line – again – and the defensive tackle from North Carolina State continues to be impressive.
“He’s been doing some really exciting stuff,” Carroll said. “This is a remarkable accomplishment to get to this point. We’re all kind of blown away that he’s handling it as well as he is.”
What does Carroll like? Sweezy’s toughness. Sweezy’s quickness. Sweezy’s speed. Sweezy’s strength.
“He’s by far the quickest lineman we have,” Carroll said. “And he ran 4.8 (seconds for 40 yards) coming out, and it shows up. Now it’s just a matter of how far he can go with it and how much we can count on him.”
Carroll also warns not to read too much into the situation. Sweezy worked at right guard because incumbent starter John Moffitt was working at center with the No. 2 line.
As for Irvin, he’s doing exactly what the coaches expected when they selected him with the 15th overall pick. On back-to-back plays today, Irvin used a nice burst to pressure and then “sack” Tarvaris Jackson and followed that by tipping a third-down pass incomplete.
But Carroll liked the play where Irvin ran down Marshawn Lynch after a 70-yard run.
“That’s not a surprise. He can fly,” Carroll said.
IN ’N OUT
Defensive linemen Red Bryant and Jason Jones sat out the mock game to rest sore knees. Carroll said each player is fine and the move was both precautionary and aimed at giving them two consecutive days off. Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner did not practice for the second day because of a thigh bruise. Barrett Ruud replaced Wagner and rookie Greg Scruggs worked for Bryant at end in the No. 1 defense.
Also sidelined: wide receivers Doug Baldwin, tight end Anthony McCoy, linebackers Allen Bradford and Matt McCoy, defensive end Jameson Konz and the two players who remain on the physically unable to perform list – offensive lineman James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond.
The players will get their second off day of camp Monday, before returning on Tuesday to begin preparing for Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.
JOIN THE CROWD
Today’s sun-drenched practice attracted a crowd of 2,385 fans, and another 250 VIP and ADA fans also were on hand. Only five more practices are open to the public, including Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week as well as Aug. 14 and 15. You can register here to attend.
State routes 520 and 167 will be closed this weekend, limiting fans’ options to reach CenturyLink Field for the 7 p.m. game against the Titans on Saturday. The club is urging those attending the game to plan accordingly.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’s a game situation. Everything is pretty much scripted during practice, everything is already planned out. But during a game it’s totally different. We just went over today random situations and tried to see how we handle it.” – Jackson, on the mock-game aspect of practice
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times goes inside the mind of Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and his unorthodox approach to the competition for the team’s quarterback position, “Yes, Carroll is being different. I’d call him weird, but let’s be honest: When he has gone outside the box with the Seahawks, the coach has been successful more times than not. The Great Roster Shuffle days before the first game of his first season, the major post-lockout changes, the surprise selections during the NFL draft and on and on — Carroll and sidekick John Schneider haven’t been perfect, but mostly, they have been right. And the Seahawks transformed into young and talented at an impressive pace because of it. For Carroll, different is often innovative.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times also comments on Carroll’s handling of the team’s competition at quarterback, “…while most coaches would attempt to turn down the temperature on the quarterback competition, to dilute the suspense and the scrutiny, Carroll is trying to make Seattle’s pocket boil. Pressure can bust pipes, but it can also produce diamonds, and by staging a three-man, musical-chairs competition at quarterback, Carroll is getting a chance to see which player can make the most of his limited reps against a defense that ranked among the league’s top 10 last year. ‘We are not going to cater at all and make it easy for quarterbacks,’ Carroll said this week. ‘We are going to stress them as much as possible.’ That is one way to pick a quarterback. More specifically, it’s Carroll’s way.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, writing for The Olympian, takes a look at tight end Zach Miller’s progression in his second season in Seattle, “Part of the reason for Miller’s drop in production was that Seattle relied on him to stay in and block more because of injuries and inexperience along the offensive line. Add to that the steep learning curve of picking up a new passing offense in a lockout-shortened offseason, and it’s understandable why Miller got off to a slow start with the Seahawks. But now that he has had a full season and this offseason in Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s version of the West Coast offense, Miller expects progress. ‘It’s night-and-day difference,’ Miller said. ‘A year ago, I was trying to learn a whole new passing system as quick as I could. And so just having the knowledge and working with Bevell for the whole year, and having an offseason with it has helped so much. It’s hard to put into words.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald comments on the improvement along the Seahawks offensive line, “What was most impressive about Seattle’s improved line play last season, and what should be most encouraging heading into this year, is that the line was able to continue its growth even as injuries took their toll. When John Moffitt and James Carpenter both went down with season-ending knee injuries, Paul McQuistan and Breno Giacomini stepped in and the line didn’t miss a beat. When Russell Okung went on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle, McQuistan moved to left tackle, one of football’s most demanding positions, and held his own. McQuistan and Giacomini were both rewarded with contract extensions, and will open the season as starters, Giacomini at right tackle and McQuistan at left guard.”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press offers a look from offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on the ‘Hawks three-way quarterback competition, ” ‘I think we’re kind of breaking new ground. It’s something I’ve never done before. For however many years I’ve been in the league it’s something I haven’t done before. We’re just trying to do the best we can divvying it up,” Bevell said. “We have a plan every day coming out here of exactly how we want it to go. Where it can change a little bit is during some of these, ‘move-the-ball’ periods. If you move your offense, if you go a 10-play drive you get 10 plays, if you go three-and-out you got three plays and we change groups. They can get off there a little bit. For the most part we have a plan when we come out here.’ ”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com details Cortez Kennedy’s Hall of Fame induction speech.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth gives his take on Cortez Kennedy’s Hall of Fame induction speech, Tony Ventrella catches up with Seahawks fans and coaches at yesterday’s practice who offer their praise for Tez in this short video, Tez gives an interview after delivering his Hall of Fame speech, and former Seahawks Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent gives his take on Tez’s honor.
You can read Tez’s speech in it’s entirety here.
We also have a photo gallery from Tez’s big day in Canton.
Our Saturday in Hawkville piece features commentary from quarterbacks coach Carl Smith on the Seahawks’ three-man QB competition, ” ‘To have the three of them [Jackson, Flynn, and Wilson] involved in this competition just heightens their neurons every day,’ said Smith. ‘There’s a lot of electricity in the room and in meetings, on the field, and it’s just a little more than usual. They’re like that all the time, but it just adds something when you think you’re going to be the guy, or have a chance to be the guy.’ ”
We also have a look at day seven of the quarterback competition – a day that saw Tarvaris Jackson earn most of the first-team reps, and featured several game-like situation drills. Quarterback Matt Flynn spoke with the media after practice, ” ‘It’s definitely a new stage that we’re moving into,’ said Flynn. ‘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.’ ” The next of those ‘mock-game’ situations that Flynn refers to is scheduled to take place today, in an intra-squad scrimmage.
Lastly, we have Part III of our non-football related quarterback competition series, with Jackson, Flynn, and Wilson competing in Gatorade pong.
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.
A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing Training Camp for Saturday, August 4.
The quarterbacks. That would be incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn, and 2012 third-round draft pick Russell Wilson.
But first, we take a look at a different ‘quarterback competition’ that took place between the coaching staff before the start of today’s practice. Quarterbacks coach Carl Smith, running backs coach Sherman Smith, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, tight end coach Pat McPherson, and offensive line coach Tom Cable each took an attempt throwing a football into a trash can stationed 30 yards away. The victor? Not who you might think, as coach Cable’s first toss was right on the money, nestling nicely into the trash bags plastic lining.
Now, back to the actual quarterbacks – Jackson, Flynn, Wilson, and quarterbacks coach Smith, who has perhaps been the closest one to this three-man competition through the team’s first seven days of camp.
“To have the three of them involved in this competition just heightens their neurons every day,” said Smith. “There’s a lot of electricity in the room and in meetings, on the field, and it’s just a little more than usual. They’re like that all the time, but it just adds something when you think you’re going to be the guy, or have a chance to be the guy.”
Jackson wants to be the guy. Flynn wants to be the guy. Wilson wants to be the guy. But the three quarterbacks are not letting the competition for the starting job affect the way they work with each other, and the way they work at making this team better.
“They’re teammates – they’re helping each other,” said Smith. “They’re never going to play against each other. They’re all there to help the Seahawks win. T-Jack has been great with Matt and Russ, telling them the stuff he already knows about the system. Matt has been generous with his knowledge of what he came with from Green Bay, so it’s great for all of us.”
Smith has never been part of a competition like this before, but there is one thing he’s certain of, and that’s that the team will go with the man that gives them the best chance to win.
“Every year, whether it’s stated or not, the best guy winds up playing,” Smith said. “If somebody’s doing better he moves up. They could move from three to two, or from two to one. If you’re doing poorly at one, you move to two. It’s inherent to the game. You’ve got to hold your position once you have it.”
Today we catch up with rookie defensive tackle Jaye Howard out of Florida, who was the second of the ‘Hawks two fourth-round draft choices in April.
Howard has seen snaps along the defensive line between the second and third units thus far in camp and his relationship with Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who coached the Seahawks defensive line in 2010, has helped with his transition to the NFL, and more specifically, his transition to Seattle’s defensive system.
“The speed of the game has changed a lot,” Howard said. “But I was able to go out with coach D-Q before I came back to training camp and work with him on my pass rush and my run stuffing. It’s definitely an advantage coming from a guy in college that had been in this system before.”
During individual defensive line drills today Howard’s speed was evident. He has quick feet and moves well for someone who is 6-3 and carries 301 pounds.
“I feel like I’m a great penetrator,” Howard said. “I can get up and get to the quarterback. I’m quicker than most of the guards that I face, so I just try to use that speed to my advantage.”
Howard tallied 11.0 sacks in college through 45 games and now it’s about upping his game to get to the quarterback at the NFL level, an area that defensive line coach Todd Wash and defensive line coaching intern Kenechi Udeze could be seen emphasizing in practice today with Howard.
“They brought me in to get to the quarterback and they’re going to keep working me in until I get there,” said Howard. “It’s just baby steps – they were teaching me how to open my hips better, the small fundamental things that I didn’t have in college they’re trying to tweak now.”
PLAYS DU JOUR
Offense: Wide receivers Golden Tate and Kris Durham stood out with a few nice grabs, but Tate’s catch up the right sideline on a deep ball from Wilson takes the cake as our play of the day. Tate elevated over safety Jeron Johnson and cornerback Byron Maxwell to make the grab in the end zone for the score. Jackson made a nice left-handed (he’s right-handed) flip toss to Tate in the end zone while scrambling away from pressure. Tate shined again on a jump ball from Flynn in the team’s red zone drill from five yards out, hauling it in and drawing a defensive pass interference flag from the referee. Running back Marshawn Lynch made a nice grab at the beginning of practice when the team focused on coming out of their own goal line. Lynch hauled in an off-target ball from Jackson in the flat, getting one hand on the football and twisting his body toward the sideline to secure it with both hands before falling to the ground and lunging forward to pick up the first down.
Defense: Safety Chris Maragos came untouched off the right side of the line for a sack of quarterback Matt Flynn in the end zone that resulted in a safety during one of the team’s goal line drills at the start of practice. Flynn had very little time to react on the play before he was met by the speedy Maragos. During the team’s red zone offense drill, cornerback Richard Sherman tipped a ball from Tarvaris Jackson that fell into the hands of Kam Chancellor for an interception in the end zone. Safety Earl Thomas picked off a Jackson pass on a deep ball over the middle end zone intended for wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei. Linebacker Heath Farwell intercepted a ball from Flynn over the middle of the field toward the end of practice.
IN ‘N OUT
Eleven players did not practice today, as wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, linebacker Allen Bradford, and tight end Kellen Winslow joined the eight players who did not practice yesterday – wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Antonio Bryant, tight end Anthony McCoy, linebackers Bobby Wagner, Matt McCoy, and Jameson Konz, offensive lineman James Carpenter, and cornerback Walter Thurmond. Carpenter and Thurmond remain on the physically unable to perform list.
The players have a walkthrough and meetings this afternoon and will practice tomorrow at 1:15 p.m. – a session that is slated to feature a “mock game” between the squads. Tomorrow’s practice is the last weekend practice scheduled for the entire camp.
After Sunday’s “mock game” the players will have a day off on Monday before beginning game-week preparations on Tuesday for their first preseason matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, August 11.
JOIN THE CROWD
Today’s practice attracted more than 2,500 fans – the most to date this camp. Head Coach Pete Carroll gestured up at the 2,500 faithful that blanketed the berm at VMAC to make some noise before the team’s agility bag drills at the start of practice, and the 12th Man responded with an overwhelming applause.
Six practices remain open to the public. You can register to attend a practice session here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Hard to block. That’s all I’ve got.” – Quarterbacks coach Carl Smith on playing against former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame today in Canton, Ohio.