Todd Wash and Gus Bradley go way back. Now, they’re back together.
Wash, the Seahawks’ defensive line coach the past two seasons, was hired today to fill the same position on Bradley’s staff in Jacksonville, the Jaguars announced. Bradley, the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator since 2009, was named the Jaguars’ head coach 12 days ago.
“I know where he’s coming from at all times, and he also knows I have his back,” Wash told Jaguars.com. “I think that’s very important. Coming here from Seattle, it wasn’t a situation where I had to come. I was asked to come. I owe to him any way I can possibly help him and help the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was just an easy decision for me.”
Wash and Bradley played together at North Dakota State and later coached there on the staff of Bob Babich, who has been hired by Bradley to be his defensive coordinator with the Jaguars.
A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 18:
2011: Tom Cable (assistant head coach/offensive line), Darrell Bevell (offensive coordinator) and Todd Wash (defensive line) are added to Pete Carroll’s staff, while Kris Richard (defensive backs) and Rocky Seto (assistant defensive backs) are promoted to new posts. Also, offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates is relieved of his duties after one season with the team.
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 29:
Bruce Irvin. The Seahawks’ first-round draft choice has yet to register a tackle, let alone a sack, in the team’s first three preseason games.
But Sports Illustrated’s Peter King sees big things for Irvin once the regular season starts: Defensive rookie of the year. In his Awards Predictions for the 2012 season, King writes, “Attention in Seattle is laser-focused on the first-round rookie, who’ll sneak through O-lines for 14 sacks.”
On the practice field, Irvin looks like a player with that kind of potential. In the games, however, he has yet to flash as brightly.
“Out here, he plays very carefree,” defensive line coach Todd Wash said after a practice this week. “He just plays. He gets into the game and he’s worrying about keeping contain and whatever else he might need to do.
“He knows how to play; we just need him to cut loose.”
Irvin’s role will change after Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field. During the preseason, he has played in the No. 1 nickel – opposite sack leader Chris Clemons – and also for Clemons on the No. 2 line. During the regular season, he primarily will be counted on to supple pressure off the edge in the nickel and also used to spell Clemons.
“Bruce is frustrated with how hard it is to get sacks,” coach Pete Carroll said after today’s walkthrough, which was held in the indoor practice facility. “But just these last two days, in particular, he’s just looked terrific in practice.”
Carroll said Irvin was close to getting four sacks against the Chiefs on Friday night, and that he graded out as the most active of the D-linemen during training camp.
“He’s playing exactly like we hoped,” Carroll said. “He’s just getting better weekly.”
Right guard. Rookie J.R. Sweezy will start against the Raiders for the third consecutive game, but incumbent starter John Moffitt will play for the first time since a surgical procedure to remove particles from his left elbow.
Carroll had said that Moffitt would remain the starter, but altered that assessment today.
“We’re just going one game at a time there, but J.R. has handled it very well,” Carroll said. “John is just getting back into it, so we need to see what John’s doing. So there’s a lot to be evaluated there. But we’re comfortable with the way Sweez is going right now. If that’s the way it is, then he would be starting. Maybe.”
Winston Guy. He was drafted in the sixth round with the idea of having him fill the third safety spot in the Bandit package that Lawyer Milloy played two years ago and Atari Bigby stepped into last season. So far, better than good.
“I really like this guy,” Carroll said of Guy. “He’s a very natural football player. In his days at Kentucky, they moved him around quite a bit and we were able to see him do things like what we do in this package.
“There are so many things that that guy has to deal with and he almost has to have a real natural sense, because you can’t coach everything because of all the floating and moving around that he’s asked to do. Well, Winston gets it. He just gets it. He’s a hitter. He plays the ball well. He’s really fast. He’s 216 pounds – big kid. And he’s got a real knack for rushing the passer. He looks like a pass-rusher when he’s coming.”
Carroll labeled the selection of Guy as a “fantastic draft pick,” and added that he could be on the field in Arizona for the first third-down situation against the Cardinals on Sept. 9.
“That’s an amazing accomplish for him,” Carroll said. “He’s got all the right stuff.”
IN ’N OUT
Tight end Cameron Morrah, defensive lineman Pep Levingston and linebacker Jameson Konz, who were waived/injured on Sunday, have been added to the team’s injured reserve list.
Several players will not play against the Raiders, including running back Marshawn Lynch (back), wide receiver Doug Baldwin (hamstring), guard James Carpenter (knee), defensive linemen Jason Jones (knee) and Greg Scruggs (hamstring), linebacker Matt McCoy (knee) and defensive backs Chris Maragos (shoulder) and Walter Thurmond (leg).
Carroll on Lynch: “He took a real good turn this week. The rehab he’s been doing really has been effective. So we think he’s going to be fine (for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener).
Carroll also said that Carpenter, last year’s first-round draft choice, will play at some point this season. His situation had been in question because of the severity of the knee injury he got last November.
“Carp is doing marvelously,” Carroll said. “We were kind of concerned about him not making early progress in the recovery program. But he just kind of jumped about six weeks ago. … He’s not far away from looking like he could practice and play for us. But still it’s a crucial time for us and we have to make a big decision here on how we do this.”
The decision is whether to leave Carpenter on the physically-unable-to-perform list, meaning he would have to sit out at least the first six games; or carry him on the 53-man roster until he is ready to play.
Baldwin, Jones and Scruggs, along with Lynch, are expected to be ready for the opener against the Cardinals, Carroll said.
The players will have position meetings on Thursday before leaving for CenturyLink Field and the finale against the Raiders. The Seahawks are 3-0, and the only other time they went undefeated during the preseason was in 2009.
The 75-man roster must be trimmed to 53 players on Friday.
The players will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, then practice on Monday before getting their normal in-season day off on Tuesday.
“It’s a really good weekend for the guys to get a rest,” Carroll said. “We’ll rest the heck out of them … really in an effort to get their legs back and make them strong for the weekend.”
YOU DON’T SAY
“This is big for our young guys. This is their biggest opportunity because they’ll get their most playing time in this game and it’s kind of a final test of camp and the offseason. I’m hoping, for their own good, that they really come through and put themselves in the best positions to make the club.” – Carroll, looking to Thursday night’s game with an eye on Friday’s roster cuts
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 29.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at veteran wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who finds himself in a familiar position as the team nears it’s 53-man roster cut Friday, “Obomanu used to be one of those young guys taking aim at a veteran’s gig as he came to a team with established receivers like Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram. ‘First couple of years, that was the obstacle,’ Obomanu said. ‘Trying to compete as a low pick against guys that had big contracts that were new to the team. I had a lot of big guys in front of me the first couple of years.’ He outlasted big-ticket additions like Nate Burleson and Deion Branch. He made the team in 2010, a year the Seahawks paid T.J. Houshmandzadeh more than $6 million to go away. But this week he is once again one of the guys who’s playing for a job, not taking anything for granted while doing everything he can so he can buy his folks plane tickets for the first home game. Of course, that won’t happen until after Friday.”
O’Neil also catches up with wide receiver Deon Butler, who he thinks many have overlooked in the wide receiver competition for a roster spot, “Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin are locks to make this team. Braylon Edwards is almost certainly going to get an opportunity as he’s built for the jump-ball sideline routes that have been a stale of the exhibition gameplans. But when the Seahawks roster is finalized this week, Butler and Obomanu are very strong candidates to round out the receivers. But nothing is given so is Butler feeling comfortable? ‘I’ve been comfortable for a long time,’ Butler said. ‘I’ve been just confident in my abilities and myself. I just feel like there’s a place for me in this league. Hopefully it’s here.’ “
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune speaks to the learning curve and adversity that rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin is facing this preseason, “Two rookie pass rushers drafted after Irvin, the Jets’ Quinton Coples (three sacks) and the Chargers’ Melvin Ingram (two sacks) have been more productive statistically. Todd Wash, Seahawks defensive line coach, is not worried over Irvin’s progress at this point. ‘We’ve seen so much development,’ Wash said. ‘The first couple (games) we were seeing some apprehension with his get-off, (being) unsure of things; I think there was a lot of thinking going on.’ Wash said that in the third exhibition game, against Kansas City, Irvin had several quarterback pressures and near sacks. ‘We saw him starting to threaten guys on the edge, and he’s using his hands better every day,’ he said. ‘(At practice) today he had three of the best rushes he’s had so far.’ “
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that rookie offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy – who played defensive line in college - is exceeding expectations thus far, “When offensive line coach Tom Cable went to work Sweezy out before the draft, he asked a defensive player, one who had not played offensive line since he was eight years old, how he felt about changing positions. Cable liked what he saw of Sweezy in that workout, and just importantly, what he heard, and that was enough for the Seahawks to take a flier in the seventh round on a defensive lineman who they thought might just be able to make a successful transition to the other side of the ball. ‘He answered the question right,’ Cable said. ‘When I asked, ‘I’m here to work you as an offensive lineman, not a defensive lineman, are you all right with that?’ His answer was, ‘Yeah, I’ll do whatever it takes.’ That’s the right answer. It’s not, ‘Well, does this mean I don’t get to play D-line?’ You don’t want to hear that crap. You just want to know, ‘Hey, do you want to go for this or not?’ And right from the beginning, he did, and that made it easy.’ “
Tim Booth of the Associated Press also comments on Sweezy’s contributions, “Clearly, the Seahawks underestimated just how fast Sweezy could make the change. He’s already started a pair of preseason games – two weeks ago in Denver and last week at Kansas City. Sweezy could get a third start on Thursday night when the Seahawks close out the preseason hosting Oakland. Sweezy has taken advantage of starting right guard John Moffitt missing time during training camp after requiring elbow surgery. Moffitt returned to practice this week and may play against the Raiders, but it’s Sweezy who has continued to get work with the No. 1 offense. Seattle (No. 22 in the APPro32) was so impressed with Sweezy’s improvement the team felt comfortable releasing experienced veteran guard Deuce Lutui during the first round of cuts last weekend. ‘We thought maybe he’ll make the practice squad and develop later on in the season,’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ‘Well, that development came within the first four to five days of camp.’ “
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a segment of “Brock and Salk” in which quarterback Russell Wilson joined the program, “Russell Wilson’s mobility helped him lead Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl during his final collegiate season, it added to his appeal when the Seahawks took him in the third round of April’s NFL draft, and it’s been evident in three preseason game in which Wilson has been good enough to win a job as a starter. But never has his mobility been the main reason for Wilson’s success. While it’s part of his game, it doesn’t define him as a quarterback. Wilson often finds ways to subtly mention that when the topic comes up, as if to dispel any notion that he’s a run-first quarterback. The latest reminder – as if we needed one – came Tuesday when Wilson joined ‘Brock and Salk’ and was asked about what goes through his head when he decides to tuck the ball and run. ‘I never, ever think about running the football. I’m always wanting to throw the ball and if something closes, if I go through my progression and it closes, it’s like, ‘Bam.’ It happens so fast and you’re out. You’re just trying to get something positive,’ he said.”
Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his report from Tuesday’s practice session, including a note on running back Marshawn Lynch, “Running back Marshawn Lynch watched practice wearing sweats. He has been receiving treatment for a sore, tight back. According to coach Pete Carroll, Lynch will not play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against Oakland.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his notes from Tuesday’s practice, and catches up with rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “Wagner has taken over as the starting middle linebacker replacing LB David Hawthorne. Head coach Pete Carroll said at the end of last season they would be looking to get faster on defense. Linebacker appared to be the primary focus of where the team was looking to add that speed. Wagner fills that role. He’s a rangy, albeit somewhat small at just 6-feet tall but has come along way in taking over the defensive calls and making sure the defensive line is aligned properly. ‘I took a lot of pride in that because a lot of middle linebackers do that,’ Wagner said. ‘…I was going to mess up, but make sure I got it right the next time.’ “
Mike Sando of ESPN.com takes a look at eight ‘elite’ 2011 NFC West draft choices who enter their second year having secured starting positions. For Seattle, that includes linebacker K.J. Wright and cornerback Richard Sherman, “Linebacker K.J. Wright and cornerback Richard Sherman became starters as rookies. Both appear to be ascending rapidly. Wright impressed during camp with physical play. He stays on the field in nickel situations. Sherman was arguably the Seahawks’ best corner by season’s end, no small feat. Wright is 6-foot-4. Sherman is 6-3. These are rangy defenders with bright futures. Seattle would ideally have four projected starters from this class, but it’s looking like offensive linemen James Carpenter (first) and John Moffitt (third) will enter the season as backups. Rookie seventh-rounder J.R. Sweezy has played very well since replacing an injured Moffitt. Breno Giacomini won the job at right tackle after Carpenter suffered a season-ending knee injury last year. Carpenter could start at some point this season, probably at left guard. Moffitt could back up the three inside spots if Sweezy sticks in the lineup.”
Sando also has his updated outlook for Seahawks 2011 first-round draft pick James Carpenter, “There were even rumblings Carpenter, a first-round draft choice in 2011, would miss the season entirely after suffering a severe knee injury during a November practice. The outlook has changed. While teams around the league have begun placing players on their physically unable to perform lists, Carpenter stayed on the roster at the reduction to 75 players. If he remains active at the reduction to 53 on Friday, which now seems likely, Carpenter could factor into Seattle’s plans much earlier than once anticipated. Players on the PUP list must miss the first six weeks.”
Michael Lombardi of NFL.com has his list of “blue chip” and “red chip” players on offense and defense. Marshawn Lynch, Max Unger, and Red Bryant make his list as “blue chip” players, while Earl Thomas makes the list as a “red chip” player.
Don Banks of SI.com labels the Seahawks quarterback depth as one of the League’s “winners” of Week 3 of the preseason, “We just found out Pete Carroll will ride the hot hand of rookie Russell Wilson, rather than go with the slightly more experienced free-agent signee Matt Flynn, but that’s the two best choices the Seahawks have had at quarterback in quite some time. No offense to Charlie Whitehurst, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Hasselbeck and Seneca Wallace, but no offense pretty much summed up the state of things in Seattle before this preseason. Wilson, the “short” quarterback who some said wouldn’t even get drafted, is the clear-cut story of the 2012 preseason. Score yet another one for the science that is NFL draft scouting.”
Starting quarterback Russell Wilson appeared on NFL Total Access yesterday. You can watch the video here.
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his notes from Tuesday in ‘Hawkville‘, and says that backup quarterback Matt Flynn was a full participant in practice, “The backup quarterback was able to throw more in today’s practice than he has since an inflamed muscle in the right elbow started acting up last week. Flynn took part in all phases of practice, a good sign that he’ll be able to play in Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field. It also was Flynn’s longest on-field stint since coach Pete Carroll announced on Sunday that rookie Russell Wilson had won the starting job. So Flynn needs to begin taking advantage of whatever opportunities come his way.”
A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 8:
Duh. Terrell Owens. The future Hall of Fame receiver practiced with the Seahawks for the first time and it seemed like the whole world was watching his every move.
Cameras crowed around the exit to the practice fields at Virginia Mason Athletic Center to capture his emergence from the locker room, wearing a No. 10 blue jersey and a where-do-I-go expression. Those same cameras – including those from ESPN and the NFL Network – were in the media crowd that gathered after practice to capture his every utterance.
It was in between those flirtations with the media mob that Terrell showed glimpses of why the Seahawks signed the 16-year veteran on Monday, as he took more snaps and did more with them than you would expect for a player who last played in the NFL during the 2010 season because he had major knee surgery.
Owens, who checked in 1,078 receptions, 15,934 receiving yards and 153 touchdowns on his resume, got a dozen snaps, caught a couple of passes and was even jammed to the turf by Brandon Browner, the 6-foot-4, 221-pound Pro Bowl cornerback.
His best effort came when Owens got behind the rookie tandem of cornerback Jeremy Lane and safety Winston Guy to make a falling grab along the sideline of a 35-yard pass from Matt Flynn.
Flashing that trademark smile during his post-practice Q&A session, Owens admitted to having some rust in his ample game and assured everyone that they ain’t seen nothing yet.
“Today didn’t go as particularly well as I would like, but it definitely was a step in the right direction,” he said.
“I’ve been rehabbing and working out for the past year since the injury. That’s all I’ve really wanted since I started my trek on this rehab and my journey to get back on the football field, is just an opportunity. That was provided by the Seattle Seahawks and, again, I’m very grateful for that.”
Flynn was among those who came away impressed by his newest teammate.
“Everyone on the team has watched him. Obviously, everyone knows his talent level and what he’s done,” said the QB who will start in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field. “He’s here to make the team better and we’re excited.”
The nickel defensive line. Improving the pass rush was a priority for coach Pete Carroll this offseason after the Seahawks registered 33 sacks last season. So rush-tackle Jason Jones was signed in free agency and rush-end Bruce Irvin was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft to join – and help – Chris Clemons, who had 11 of those sacks.
But who fills the fourth spot? Brandon Mebane, the nose tackle in the base defense? Red Bryant, the tackle-sized end who plays opposite Clemons in the base defense? Alan Branch, the three-technique tackle in the base defense? Clinton McDonald, who works in the tackle rotation in the base defense?
“Right now, we’re running Mac in there,” line coach Todd Wash said of McDonald, who was acquired last August in a trade with the Bengals. “He’s really doing what we’re asking him to do and at the same time we’ve also got Brandon, Red and Branch.
“We’re looking for someone to help push that pocket.”
When push comes to shove, the 6-foot-2, 297-pound McDonald knows how to throw his weight around.
“He’s just so strong,” Wash said. “He’s got a little bit more center of gravity; he’s a little bit closer to the ground. He does a good job of getting under (blockers’) pads and getting push in the pocket. He does a tremendous job with that.”
PLAYS DU JOUR
Defense: It had to be Browner’s welcome-to-camp jam that sent Owens to the turf.
“He tried to shock release me. He tried to run through me,” Browner said of his run-in with the 6-3, 224-pound Owens in the one-on-one drill. “I’m a big guy. That’s something that will work on somebody a little smaller.”
So Browner treated Owens as just another receiver? “Not just another receiver, that’s T.O.” Browner said. “You know what I mean? He’s one of the legends.”
Offense: Flynn and third-year receiver Golden Tate hooked up on a couple of impressive plays. On the first, Tate went up along the sideline between the Pro Bowl duo of free safety Earl Thomas and Browner, took a shot and still held on to the ball as he was falling out of bounds. On the second, Flynn was flushed from the pocket, rolled to his left and let go with a not-quite-textbook pass that Tate was able to catch behind cornerback Coy Francies and DeShawn Shead.
In between plays: Rushing into the lineup, Irvin was about to collide with running back Tyrell Sutton. Irvin, this year’s first-round draft choice, avoided the collision as he parking-metered the 5-8 Sutton. Parking metered? You remember, hopping over parking meters in a single bound.
IN ’N OUT
Defensive end Dexter Davis returned to practice after missing time with a sore hip and tight end Anthony McCoy also was back. But defensive tackle Alan Branch and tight end Kellen Winslow sat out to rest their knees.
Also sidelined: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; linebackers Matt McCoy, Allen Bradford and Jameson Knoz; and offensive linemen James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond, who remain on the physically unable to perform list.
Another morning practice on Thursday, as the players continue to prepare for Saturday night’s preseason opener.
JOIN THE CROWD
A boisterous crowd of 1,480 fans watched practice. While many chanted, “T.O. T.O,” two came with large T’s and O’s made out of cardboard that they lifted to match the chants.
Only three more practices are open to the public – Thursday, as well as next Tuesday and Wednesday. You can register here to attend.
Most of the fans came to today’s practice on the shores of Lake Washington sporting their Seahawks best, including jerseys of players past and present – Matt Hasselbeck (8), Lofa Tatupu (51), Shaun Alexander (37), Julian Peterson (98), Steve Largent (80), Mack Strong (38), Curt Warner (28) and Warren Moon (1); Earl Thomas (29), Marcus Trufant (23), Marshawn Lynch (24), Brandon Mebane (92), Sidney Rice (18), Kam Chancellor (31), Tarvaris Jackson (7), Richard Sherman (25) and Flynn (15) and Tate (81).
But only one was wearing a Chad Brown No. 94 jersey. Brown was a Pro Bowl linebacker from 1997-2004 and also was voted the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team.
“I’m just an all-time Seahawk fan,” said Cheyenne Smith, who’s 27 and lives in Darrington. “I like Chad Brown and the way he played. I really do.”
THE ROAD TO …
The club is advising fans attending Saturday night’s game to plan accordingly because state routes 520 (the Evergreen Point floating bridge) and 167 (the Valley Freeway) will be closed.
YOU DON’T SAY
“(Number) 81 wasn’t available. There were a couple of options, so I took 10. I look good in 10. So that’s going to be my number.” Owens, who wore No. 81 throughout his career, on switching to No. 10, which was worn most memorably for the Seahawks by former QB Jim Zorn
A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 7:
Braylon Edwards. Just-signed Terrell Owens wasn’t on the practice field. The recently signed Edwards was, and the veteran wide receiver put on a show during the 2½-hour practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
“Braylon has done very well,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s learning very fast. He’s had a chance to compete right from the beginning. He’s made some big grabs already. He did it again today.
“So he’s factoring in and making a bid for playing time.”
Edwards’ beginning to this camp came a little later than most of the other players, as he was signed a week ago. But the former first-round draft choice of the Browns (2005) who also has played for the Jets (2009-10) and 49ers (2011) is making up for his delayed start.
Today, Edwards stayed with a play where the ball went off the hands of Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner and was able to catch the carom.
“It’s definitely staying with the play,” Edwards said. “Getting open, holding the line and keeping the DB behind you.”
That, however, was just a warm-up as the 6-foot-3 Edwards then pulled down a Tarvaris Jackson pass despite tight cover from 6-3 cornerback Richard Sherman.
“Sherm expected me to go back inside,” Edwards said. “I didn’t. I kept it outside. It was a good throw and we made a play.”
Then there was the TD catch that wasn’t. Or was it? Edwards made a great effort to haul in a pass from rookie QB Russell Wilson on the other side of the end zone, but the official ruled he came down out of bounds. Edwards couldn’t wait for the instant replay.
“We’re going to go look at that film,” he said, smiling. “I think they both were good.”
Carroll said Owens is scheduled to practice for the first time Wednesday morning and will be wearing No. 10.
Defensive tackles. After giving up too much ground in Sunday’s mock game, line coach Todd Wash challenged his unit – especially the tackles. They not only answered that challenge today, they did it emphatically.
“I don’t know if we had our best day up front in the mock game, so we challenged ourselves in the meeting room that we’ve got to do a better job of reestablishing the line of scrimmage and being active,” Wash said. “We were getting chewed up a little bit on some play-action stuff on Sunday.
“They took it to heart and came out today and played with really good effort.”
The best thing about the bounce-back performance? It wasn’t just a player or two; it was seemingly everyone in the full-team period that ended practice.
Nose tackle Brandon Mebane and end Red Bryant sandwiched Marshawn Lynch for no gain. Rookie tackle Jaye Howard got to Lynch 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The versatile Jason Jones got to Matt Flynn for a “sack.” Second-year tackle Pep Levingston stopped Tyrell Sutton for no gain. Howard got the penetration on a play where Sutton had to squirm and wiggle to gain 3 yards.
“They take a lot of pride in what they do,” Wash said. “And they know that the way they got it done on Sunday was not to the level of our expectations. So they came out, challenged themselves and had a good day.”
PLAYS DU JOUR
Offense: Let’s go with the best of Edwards’ efforts, the TD pass he caught against the long-armed Sherman at the right edge of the end zone.
Defense: Leo end Chris Clemons had a tempo-setter early in practice when he popped wide receiver Deon Butler to the turf after a short reception. The effort set off a celebration among the other defensive players.
IN ’N OUT
Cornerback Donny Lisowski, a rookie free agent from Montana and Seattle’s O’Dea High School, was released to clear a spot on the 90-man roster for Owens.
Bryant and Jones and rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returned to practice. Still sitting out: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; tight end Anthony McCoy; linebackers Matt McCoy, Jameson Konz and Allen Bradford; defensive end Dexter Davis; and the two players on the physically unable to perform list – offensive lineman James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond.
Flynn will run the No. 1 offense the rest of week, starting with Wednesday’s practice, as Carroll said the free-agent acquisition will start at quarterback in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.
JOIN THE CROWD
Today’s cloud-covered practice attracted 1,264 fans. Only four more practices are open to the public – Wednesday and Thursday this week and Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Each sessions starts at 10 a.m. and you can register here to attend.
With state routes 520 and 167 closed this weekend, fans attending Saturday night’s game are advised to plan accordingly. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You know what happened? They gave us a day off. They gave John (Schneider, the GM) and I a day off and look what happened. That’s kind of what it was. We looked at each other, ‘Hey, let’s get something cooking.’ Bam, we did.” – Carroll, when asked why the team decided to sign Owens now
A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for July 30:
Brandon Mebane. The pads came on for the first time in camp, and the team’s nose tackle came out smokin’.
The 311-pound Mebane was dominating in the 9-on-7 run drill, starting with the first play when he put some extra “ex” in explosive by blowing through a gap between the center and guard to get to the running back well behind the line. Mebane then provided replays of his disruptive quickness on back-to-back plays and also recovered a muffed exchange between the center and quarterback.
In another drill, when rookie quarterback Russell Wilson dropped an unexpected shotgun snap – after a defensive player had jumped offside – Mebane was there again to fall on the loose ball.
Despite his obvious physical prowess in the first padded practice, Mebane said the impressive performance was more about the improved mental aspects of his ample game.
“The older I get the more knowledge I gain,” he said. “It’s about experience, playing with the guys and learning other things from (defensive line coach Todd) Wash. I learned things from pretty much all my position coaches I’ve had in the past.”
It’s strange to hear the 27-year-old Mebane talk about his age and experience, but on this defense only linebacker Leroy Hill has played more games for the Seahawks among the current starters. Since being a third-round pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Mebane has played for three head coaches and three position coaches – Mike Holmgren and Dwaine Board (2007-08), Jim Mora and Dan Quinn (2009) and now Pete Carroll and Wash.
“I’ve taken something from each of them,” Mebane said of his position coaches. “Knowledge is power and just picking up little things from each of them has helped me. I’m trying to just keep going to the next step, next step.”
Mebane definitely stepped up last season, when he was moved to the nose fulltime, by posting a career-high 56 tackles to lead all interior linemen in the NFC.
If today’s performance was any indication, Mebane is ready to pick up not only where he left off but take his game that is as much as about disruptive quickness as it is power to an even higher level.
The defense. Mebane’s early efforts proved to be the metronome for two hours of big plays – and even bigger pops.
Second-year linebacker K.J. Wright dropped rookie running back Robert Turbin with a solid shot. Rookie safety Winston Guy put a lick on Turbin after he caught a pass that forced a fumble. Wright put veteran wide receiver Antonio Bryant on his derriere with another shot on one of the last plays of practice.
“It was good,” rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said when asked about putting on the pads for the first time. “Now we get to hit, and I enjoy it.”
The session even included a matchup that Wagner used to get asked about when he and Turbin were at Utah State.
“It’s funny, because I never really got a chance to hit Turbin – ever,” Wagner said with a smile. “It was kind of funny when I tackled him to see who it was.
“At school, everybody always used to ask what would happen. I guess they’re finding out now.”
PLAYS DU JOUR
Offense: Ricardo Lockette had one catch that produced the wow-factor, as he tipped a pass from Matt Flynn and then controlled the carom as he was falling into the end zone. But the better effort for a second-year receiver who is working on honing his route-running and pass-catching skills came when Lockette made a fingertip grab – in stride and between cornerback Phillip Adams and safety DeShawn Shead – of another Flynn pass for another touchdown.
Defense: Safety Jeron Johnson’s interception of a Josh Portis pass that was tipped first by safety Chris Maragos and Adams.
Special teams: Steven Hauschka using that smooth stroke of his to convert a 55-yard field goal. He also hit a 53-yarder.
IN ‘N OUT
Ten players did not practice, as tight end Anthony McCoy, defensive linemen Jason Jones, defensive backs Ron Parker and Donny Lisowski and linebacker Matt McCoy joined the five players who also sat out Sunday – defensive tackle Alan Branch and defensive end Jameson Konz; and offensive lineman James Carpenter, cornerback Walter Thurmond and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, who are on the physically unable to perform list.
Offensive lineman Allen Barbre returned after missing the first two days of camp because of a family situation.
The players have a walkthrough this afternoon and will practice at 10:15 a.m. tomorrow. They will have their first off day on Wednesday.
JOIN THE CROWD
It’s tempting to say that “only” 915 fans attended practice, until you consider that it was a cloudy and unseasonably cool Monday morning following a weekend when more than 4,400 packed the berm adjacent to the fields for two practices. Ten more practices are open to the public and you can register here to attend – including the final weekend practices of camp this Saturday and Sunday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Nobody knows who I am. No coaches. No fans. They draft guys, so they have an idea who you are and they have an idea of what you can become. With Marshawn, his whole thing is, ‘Man, you’ve got to show people who you are.’ And that’s kind of how he plays. He doesn’t like to talk, and I don’t really like to talk much, either. But he’s a guy that just likes to show who he is by how he plays. That’s what he tells me.” – Turbin, when asked what advice he has gotten from leading rusher Marshawn Lynch
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 18.
At ESPN.com, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders gives us his list of the 25 top prospects in the NFL – noting that to be included the player must fit the following criteria:
• Drafted in the third round or later, or signed as an undrafted free agent
• Entered the NFL between 2009 and 2011
• Fewer than five career games started
• Still on their initial contract
• Age 26 or younger in 2012
And who do you think sits atop Schatz’s list? Well, that’s none other than Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin. Also on Schatz’s list are fellow Seahawks receivers Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham. You can read what Schatz had to say about Baldwin right here, but the full piece requires an ESPN Insider subscription.
Pete Prisco, Pat Kirwan and Rob Rang of CBSsports.com provide a three-part Seahawks piece, as they make predictions for the team in 2012, break down the team’s X’s and O’s and recap Seattle’s 2012 NFL Draft. In his prediction for the Seahawks in 2012, Prisco calls wide receiver Sidney Rice the team’s ‘X-Factor’, “The Seahawks signed him last year to a big contract with the idea he would become their go-to guy in the passing game. He played in only nine games last season and caught just 32 passes because of shoulder issues. He had screws inserted into both shoulders during the offseason and said the doctors told him it was like having two new shoulders. We’ll see. Rice has to become more of a threat in the passing game and if he stays on the field, I think he can.”
Also at CBSsports.com Prisco gives us a list of his Top-100 NFL players, and the lone Seahawk to make his list is safety Earl Thomas, who checks in at No. 97. On Thomas, Prisco provides, “This rangy player has all the tools to be a dominant safety in a passing league. His cover skills are impressive.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth continues with his 2012 Seahawks positional outlook, this time turning his attention toward the defensive line. For all of the success the Seahawks enjoyed at the position last season – a position that was a big part of the Seahawks turning in the ninth-ranked defense in the league – Farnsworth notes that one area that could use a boost is the line’s ability to get to the quarterback, “The Seahawks generated just 33 sacks in 2011, their second-lowest total in the past nine seasons. A closer look, however, really shows just what was missing. While Leo end Chris Clemons led the team with 11 sacks – for the second time in his two seasons with the Seahawks – the rest of the linemen combined for 10. What’s a coach to do? Sign pass-rushing tackle Jason Jones in free agency and then select pass-rushing end Bruce Irvin in the first round of the NFL Draft. ‘We just see the increase in athletic ability upfront with the addition of those two,’ said Todd Wash, who is in his second season as coach of the D-line. ‘So you add them to what Clem already brings and we’re going to be not only big but also fast, to hopefully increase our ability to get to the quarterback.’ “
Also here at Seahawks.com former Seahawks quarterback Jeff Kemp provides this heartfelt piece honoring his center in Seattle, Grant Feasel, who passed away over the weekend. Kemp remembers, “Grant was the quintessential sacrificial warrior. He wrapped himself up in the duty to clear the way for and protect his teammates. He took his job so seriously. Our families grew up together and Grant deeply loved his family. He had a great sense of humor but never during the heat of battle.”
Brock Huard of MyNorthwest.com breaks down the strengths, weaknesses and expectations for the Seahawks wide receiver group heading into 2012, and also provides a thought on each Seahawks wideout and how they can improve going forward. On Golden Tate, Huard offers, “It’s a make-or-break season for the former second rounder. The light bulb appeared to go on at the end of last season, and Tate must avoid the injury and inconsistency in route-running that has slowed his development. He should be able to play all three wideout spots in spurts, and he has the breakaway speed to be a difference maker.”
Finally, sticking with the wide-receiver theme, Ian Furness and Hugh Millen at 950 KJR AM analyze the Seahawks wideout group in this nearly 18-minute audio link. Furness and Millen explain the differences between the ‘X’, ‘Z’ and ‘slot’ receivers and they discuss how the Seahawks current wide receiver personnel fits into each of those designations.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 21:
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times checks in with Jon Kitna, the former Seahawks quarterback who has retired from the NFL after 16 seasons and is coaching and teaching at his alma mater, Lincoln High School in Tacoma: “You might have heard Kitna retired. Well, that’s not true. He’s just not playing football anymore. The NFL career he never expected is over, and he’s now in his first year teaching math and coaching football, which is exactly what he hoped to do when he left college in 1996. ‘The NFL wasn’t supposed to happen,’ says Kitna, 39. Quarterbacks from Central Washington University don’t usually move on to the NFL. Not even the really good ones, and as great as Kitna was, he graduated with a degree in math education and had every expectation his next gig would be in a classroom and not under center. He applied for his first teaching job before he signed with an NFL team. How did a man who played 16 years of professional football and made millions of dollars wind up – voluntarily – in a classroom at the most impoverished high school in Pierce County? It’s a tough question. One that Kitna himself can’t really answer, not even with one of those equations he throws at his students.”
Dan Pompei of the National Football Post looks at how the 2012 NFL Draft would have been altered if Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore were taller in this piece at YahooSports.com: “They deal with their height deficiencies in different ways. Wilson relies more on his athleticism; Moore relies more on his mind. ‘He is the closest player I’ve done to Drew Brees and Jeff Garcia in terms of sliding, finding lanes and creating for himself,’ Seattle general manager John Schneider said of Wilson. ‘He can slide and he has quick eyes. From an accuracy, anticipation standpoint, he is the closest to Drew Brees.’ ”
Brady Henderson at mynorthwest.com passes along highlights from Doug Baldwin’s interview on the Kevin Calabro show at 710 ESPN, including one game that still sticks out in Baldwin’s rookie season: “ ‘One of the games that really stood out to me which we actually lost – and I actually played pretty decently assignment-wise but there was just something about the defense and the player that I was going against and I just didn’t have a good game statistically – it was against the Cleveland Browns and Dimitri Patterson. I’ll never forget it because I didn’t have a catch that game, and I’ll remember Dimitri Patterson for the rest of my life because of the fact that he held me to zero catches.’ “
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of profiles on the draft choices with a look at Greg Scruggs, the defensive end from Louisville who was the last of the team’s 10 selections: “The Seahawks thought enough of Greg Scruggs’ length and versatility that they dispatched defensive line coach Todd Wash to check out the Louisville lineman. It was on the Tuesday of draft week. ‘I worked him out at his high school (St. Xavier in Cincinnati), and he had a real good workout,’ Wash said Friday, as the players and coaches concluded Phase 2 of the offseason program. The trip proved to be well worth it, as the Seahawks made the 6-foot-3, 284-pound Scruggs the last of their 10 draft choices. In fact, shortly after the conclusion of the three-day NFL Draft, general manager John Schneider was asked whether any of the team’s picks seemed like a bargain at a certain spot. ‘Quite honestly, I would have to say Scruggs,’ he said. ‘When we were taking (safety Winston) Guy, Scruggs was one of our considerations.’ And Guy was selected in the sixth round – 51 picks before the Seahawks eventually drafted Scruggs with the 232nd pick overall.”
We’ve also got a look at how coach Pete Carroll concluded the final practice in Phase 2 of the offseason program: “Near the end of (the) 45-minute, on-field session, rather than going with special teams drills, the Seahawks’ third-year coach had the offensive and defensive linemen square off in a pass-catching competition. It was similar to the drill that is used for receivers at the NFL Scouting Combine, as each player ran the width of the field while trying to catch seven passes. The first lineman up was John Moffitt. And the second-year guard not only caught each of his passes, he one-handed the final throw – as his fellow offensive players partied like it was 1999, all over again. ‘You like that one-hander?’ Moffitt said after him impressive run – and catch. ‘(The passers) were kind of faking us a little, so I had to pedal back a little and go a little extra. But this was fun. This was a good one to end this part of the offseason program with.’ ”
For a look around the rest of the league – and the world, in this installment – there’s Peter King’s “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com: “Love the British papers. Saturday’s edition of The Times featured a long dispatch from Australia focusing on the Southern hairy-nosed wombat being endangered because of the potato weed, a noxious plant that damages the wombats’ livers. Not many other papers covering the decline of the Southern hairy-nosed wombat.”
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, March 2:
What’s up with the Seahawks? General manager John Schneider did a 30-minute Q&A with 710 ESPN on Thursday and you can listen in here.
Here at Seahawks.com, we check-in with director of college scouting Scott Fitterer and defensive line coach Todd Wash after their return from the weeklong NFL Scouting Combine: “The Seahawks’ coaches and scouts aren’t just back from the NFL Scouting Combine, they’re back in the meetings that will help determine which player will be selected with the 12th pick in April’s NFL Draft. But the coaches now are better equipped to hold up their end of the conversation while offering input on which players are best suited to the way the Seahawks want to play – not just with that first-round pick, but those who will follow during the later rounds; and even the post-draft free agency period that last year delivered Doug Baldwin, Josh Portis, Jeron Johnson and Ricardo Lockette. ‘A lot of going to the Combine is, we get to put a name to a face,’ defensive line coach Todd Wash said during a break in the latest round of pre-draft meetings at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. ‘We’ve seen the guy on tape, but we get to meet him in-person and see what kind of character he has. We’ve gotten a lot of information from the scouts, but we get to start to formulate our own opinion on the guys. So it’s just an introduction to each player at the Combine.’ ”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at on-the-mend players in the NFC West, including Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice: “Rice has undergone surgery on each shoulder. One surgery repaired damage suffered during training camp. The other repaired damage incurred during college. The hope is healthier shoulders will allow Rice to improve strength throughout his upper body.”
It’s been awhile since we’ve included an item on the possible landing spots for Peyton Manning, if/when the Colts release their iconic QB. But Elliott Harrison at NFL.com has one. Yes, it includes the Seahawks, but he also included this telling comment from Schneider: “The Seahawks aren’t into band-aids at this point. ‘I just know if you panic at the position, it can set the organization back. So we’re not going to do that,’ GM John Schneider said last week. There you go.”
Also at NFL.com, the NFL Playbook Staff suggests that the Seahawks should build around incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson.