Thursday cyber surfing: Moffitt moves back into starting role

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

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his report from Wednesday’s practice and coach Pete Carroll’s press conference, “Guard John Moffitt is expected to start at right guard Sunday against Dallas after he was inactive for last week’s game recovering from elbow surgery. Rookie J.R. Sweezy started Week 1 at that spot. ‘The fact that John has a chance to come back, he’s ready to play again,’  Carroll said. ‘John was starting before he got hurt, and so we’ll see how this goes, and we feel like we have two guys that can play. Sweezy has done a remarkable job to get this far.’ He has indeed, considering he’s not only in his first year, but is transitioning to offensive line after playing defensive tackle in college. In Sunday’s season opener, Sweezy found himself not so much overmatched physically, but a overwhelmed with the real-time decisions as Arizona sent more than four pass rushers on more than half of Seattle’s offensive plays.”

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times has a look at Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who the Seahawks will see this Sunday at CenturyLink Field, “…many Cowboys fans still tend to focus on the fourth-quarter gaffes and playoff disappointments that have occasionally marked Romo’s tenure in Dallas. So far, Romo has just one playoff win, and fully recognizes that — like LeBron James, to whom he is sometimes compared — until he leads the Cowboys to a title, the criticism won’t stop. And Romo says he embraces that point of view. ‘I don’t think I get an undue amount (of criticism),’ Romo said in a conference call Wednesday. ‘Every quarterback in the league is judged by winning and losing. That’s the way it should be. Our job is to help our football teams win, and eventually win a Super Bowl for the team we’re playing for. I think that’s warranted.’ “

With the news that John Moffitt is expected to start at right guard this Sunday against the Cowboys, Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details the Seahawks shuffling of their offensive line, “Moffitt, Seattle’s third-round selection last year, started nine games at right guard as a rookie but finished 2011 on the injured reserve with two ligament tears in his left knee. Moffitt was healthy in time for training camp but missed most of the exhibition season because of an elbow injury that required surgery. It forced offensive line coach Tom Cable to get Sweezy ready sooner than expected. Although Moffitt played in Seattle’s final exhibition game against Oakland, he was inactive for the season opener at Arizona. ‘We didn’t have any choice when you look at it,’ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said about Sweezy. ‘I thought he was just outstanding. He did everything beyond our expectations, and we just kept hoping that he would be able to be settled and comfortable in the first game. It wasn’t quite that, but it wasn’t because he wasn’t tough or physical or any of that. There was a lot happening, and he just needs more time.’ “

Williams and Rob Rang, senior draft analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, team up for their Seahawks Insider podcast for Week 2.

Williams also recaps a media session with Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who met with reporters after Wednesday’s practice, “I asked Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell how he felt rookie quarterback Russell Wilson handled Arizona’s intense pass rush on Sunday in his first NFL game. And as you would expect, Bevell said Wilson had an uneven performance. ‘I think he did a nice job at times,’ Bevell said. ‘And I there were a couple times we said that there are times you need to sit there – where he still had good protection and he maybe took off early. And of course, some of them were designed for him to get out as well. So there was probably a mix of all of that.” I then followed up with the question of did the Seahawks move Wilson outside the pocket enough, and received an interesting answer ‘We’re not saying he’s a running quarterback,’ Bevell said. ‘That’s really not what we’re trying to do. Obviously it’s a long season, and he’s going to take his hits and stuff. But we’re not really trying to design the thing for him to run. What’s probably been best about him is when he’s moved, he moved with merit. And then when he’s moved in the passing game, he’s moved to throw down the field and make explosive plays. That’s what we need to continue to do.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune rehashes Romo’s infamous fumble on a game-winning field goal attempt during a wild-card playoff game against the Seahawks in Seattle back in January of 2007, “The snap was fine, but Romo lost the handle, then scrambled to his left, where he was stopped short of the goal line by Jordan Babineaux, whose play helped earn him the nickname ‘Big-Play Babs.’ The Seahawks lost in overtime the next week at Chicago. [Dallas Cowboys coach Bill] Parcells retired from coaching, and Romo set about living down the mistake. ‘I take responsibility for messing up at the end there,’ he said after the game. ‘I cost the Dallas Cowboys a playoff win, and it’s going to sit with me a long time.’ So … did it? ‘I think any time you lose the last game of the season, it’s really hard in the National Football League,’ Romo said. “’Really, every team but one has a bad taste in the mouth, but that’s why you go back to work.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that this Seahawks team cannot sit on the Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, “Now, Carroll has to see how his young team recovers. There are plenty of things the Seahawks need to do to beat the Cowboys this week — contain an explosive Cowboys offense, improve their pass protection against another dangerous blitzing team, lower the number of penalties. Yet having a short memory could be the biggest key to avoiding an 0-2 start. ‘You can’t dwell on the past, you can’t dwell on the last play,’ linebacker Leroy Hill said. ‘I’ve figured that out. I’ve done that and come back and had a bad game myself. … You have to move forward. You can’t let a single game get you twice or three times.’ “

Former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman, contributing to mynorthwest.com, relates to Seattle rookies Russell Wilson and J.R. Sweezy, who made their first NFL starts a week ago in Arizona, “It’s tough enough making the adjustment from college to pro without the added complication that both Wilson and Sweezy faced in Arizona. Starting as a rookie in the first game of the season on the road at quarterback, the hardest position to master, is perhaps the most difficult challenge an NFL player can face. That is, unless you’re a rookie offensive guard who was playing defensive tackle last year at this time … in college. So welcome to the NFL, rooks. Just as [former NFL linebacker Keith Butler] Butts passed down his wisdom to me, I will pass it on to any rookie who will listen. Everybody gets their butt kicked. I remember a string of bad games during my first year that landed me on the bench in the middle of a game in Cleveland. I sat on the sidelines and thought, ‘What happened? I thought I was good. Do I suck?’ This is part of the physical, psychological and emotional assault an NFL season has on your psyche. Sweezy may be thinking these very things since coach Pete Carroll announced Wednesday that John Moffitt will replace him in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Cowboys. The key is to get back to work, learn from your mistakes and move on.”

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Wednesday’s practice, “A couple surprises on the official practice report: receiver Sidney Rice did not participate due to a sore knee. Coach Pete Carroll did not mention Rice during his Monday or Wednesday press conferences. Carroll told us earlier in the week that running back Marshawn Lynch came out of the Arizona game fairly healthy. Lynch was limited in the Wednesday session due to his persistent back issues.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday’s practice, including a video interview with right guard John Moffitt, “The line struggled to deal with the exotic blitz schemes of Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Ray Horton and struggled with communication issues. Rookie G J.R. Sweezy notably stuggled as well. Offensive line coach Tom Cable said it wasn’t a matter of the game being too physical for him, but rather struggling to make the correct decisions in the heat of the moment. ‘You’ve got to get him better prepared. That’s on me,’ Cable said. ‘He’ll grow so much from this one the next time out.’ Cable praised the way Sweezy played in handling DT Darnell Dockett in one-on-one situations, but said the pressures Arizona brought caused problems. With the struggles from Sweezy, head coach Pete Carroll said G John Moffitt is expected to return to the starting lineup at right guard this week.”

Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com says that the Seahawks have no need to panic after their Week 1 loss to the Cardinals, “Player on the spot: Seahawks rookie quarterback Russell Wilson earned a first-team spot in the preseason, but he didn’t generate much downfield against Arizona. Wilson also was sacked three times, although that number would be higher if not for his mobility. With highly-paid backup Matt Flynn waiting in the wings, Wilson isn’t guaranteed a starting spot if the Seahawks don’t start winning some early-season games. Something to feel good about: Running back Leon Washington provided a major special-teams lift with kickoff and punt returns of 83 and 52 yards respectively. The defense also held Arizona to only 253 total yards. What’s next: Dallas at Seattle (4:05 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX). The Cowboys have four extra days to prepare for this scrum, but the Seahawks will enjoy the benefit of a raucous home crowd. Wilson could be in for a long day if left tackle Russell Okung (bruised knee) isn’t back to try and nullify Cowboys pass-rushing stud DeMarcus Ware.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at injury situations in the NFC West.

Yahoo Sports goes “Outside the Game” with a look at Michael Robinson’s “The Real Rob Report” in this short video.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth checks in with wide receiver Doug Baldwin, and has a look at Moffitt’s move back into the starting lineup. Tony Ventrella has his Seahawks Daily, as he looks ahead to Sunday’s matchup with the Cowboys, and team photographer Rod Mar has a look at Wednesday’s practice in photos.


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Tuesday cyber surfing: Okung OK; Martin out; O-line seeks improvement

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 11.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was under constant pressure from Arizona’s defense last Sunday, “Wilson was sacked three times in the game, but that doesn’t give an indication as to how much pressure he faced nor how often he was hit. ‘He wasn’t as sharp,’ Carroll said of Wilson. ‘But it was because I really feel like he had so much pressure that he was dealing with. So he’ll do better. There’s things that he can do better. We need to help him more by playing cleaner up front.’ “

O’Neil also has his recap of Pete Carroll’s Monday press conference, including notes on injured left tackle Russell Okung and wide receiver Charly Martin, “A bruised knee isn’t a positive diagnosis. It’s just that it’s much less severe than the alternatives, which is why the Seahawks breathed a collective sigh of relief after tests confirmed that Russell Okung suffered a bruise in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, not ligament damage. ‘He’s cleared,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We’ll see how he comes back Wednesday and Thursday, but we expect him to make it through the week and play.’ The injury to receiver Charly Martin was a little more severe as the receiver suffered a bruised lung after he fell hard trying to catch a ball in the end zone on Seattle’s second-to-last play of the game. Martin remained in Arizona after the game as he didn’t return with the team.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details the good news surrounding Okung’s injury, and says that wide receiver Golden Tate, who sat out in Arizona with a sprained knee, could return this week and be ready to go against the Dallas Cowboys, “Carroll also expects to get receiver Golden Tate back this week. The Notre Dame product sat out against Arizona with a sprained knee. ‘He ran real well today,’ Carroll said about Tate. ‘We think he’s got a chance. I’m not sure if Wednesday will be a full day for him. It depends on how he handles all the change of direction stuff (Monday and today). But he feels like he’s going to go.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that the Seahawks offensive line must do a better job of protecting Wilson, “Four of the five linemen up front are veterans, joined by rookie right guard J.R. Sweezy. They should be better. It is not surprising that the Cardinals’ talented defensive front beat them on occasion – physically – but they shouldn’t have fooled them as frequently as they did. Left tackle Russell Okung had three false starts to add to the problem. The young line went through growing pains last season, but Carroll thought that was in the past.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald also comments on the need for offensive line improvement heading into Week 2 against the Cowboys, “The good news for Seattle is that they won’t face Dockett, one of the game’s best interior linemen, again until December. The bad news, however, is that the Cowboys present another dangerous, though different, challenge. The Cowboys finished with 42 sacks last season, tied for seventh most in the league. Dallas features one of the game’s best pass rushers in DeMarcus Ware, who had 19.5 sacks last season, and has had 11 or more in every season of his career since registering eight as a rookie in 2005. ‘We just have to get better and smarter and cleaner with our stuff,’ Carroll said. ‘There really wasn’t anything that we weren’t able to handle, we just didn’t handle it as well as we should have, and will. We’ll get better that’s just part of playing together. The things that we saw in preseason we were able to handle. This one just got a little bit more aggressive and we weren’t as effective as we needed to be.’ “

Boyle has a few more updates from Monday, “Doug Baldwin should also be OK, though he’ll need some dental work first. ‘He officially got his teeth knocked it,’ Carroll said. ‘It was a mess. He’s getting that work done tomorrow. I’m sure he wishes he could get it done today, because he’s kind of got the clean slate right now. It doesn’t look too good. But he’ll be OK I think for this week.’ Asked if the team might need to add a receiver because of the loss of Martin, Carroll said, ‘That’s a possibility. Yeah, we’re looking into all of that.’ Asked specifically if bringing TE Kellen Winslow back after cutting him prior to the season opener, Carroll said, ‘Everybody’s a possibility at this point.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes that Carroll was left disappointed at several missed opportunities last Sunday in Arizona, “Of the 70 offensive plays the Seahawks ran on Sunday, 39 – including three successful field goals and one blocked kick – were run in Arizona’s half of the field. Four times, Seattle started drives on Arizona’s side, either the result of forced turnovers or stellar special teams play from returner Leon Washington. And yet all Seattle could do with that field position advantage was get three successful kicks from Steven Hauschka, one touchdown toss by Wilson and plenty of grumbling about the missed opportunities.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com has a look at the high number of penalties the Seahawks committed in last Sunday’s loss in Arizona, “The Seahawks were penalized 13 times for 90 yards in their loss to Arizona. There was variety to go along with volume: two for pass interference, three for holding, two for delay of game, three for false start and one apiece for offsides, intentional grounding and facemask. Two personal foul penalties called on Seattle weren’t assessed. ‘When you have 13 there’s enough of everything,’ Carroll said. ‘We didn’t get it done. But it’s an emphasis that will continue to be at the heart of what we’re doing because we just made it harder on ourselves and you don’t need to do that.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his notes from coach Carroll’s Monday press conference, and details what led to Okung’s bruised knee, “Carroll said that Okung was hit or kicked on his knee while trying to avoid a diving C Max Unger on a play during the team’s final possession of the game. He said that tests came back okay and that they expect him to make it through the week and be able to play Sunday.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com takes a look at the rough go several Seahawks had on the injury front in Week 1, and has a comment from Carroll on the play of Wilson, “Carroll felt Wilson did all right in his first game, given the conditions. ‘There’s things that he could’ve done cleaner at times,’ he said. ‘He missed on some throws that, an inch here or there, might’ve been a more catchable ball for a guy. Guys had to make great plays on a couple of balls. So he wasn’t as sharp, but it was because he had so much pressure that he was dealing with. He’ll do better.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com brings us his “Silver linings” from the Seahawks 20-16 defeat at Arizona, “Seattle’s defensive front, led by Brandon Mebane, held Cardinals running backs Ryan Williams, Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling to 27 yards rushing combined and a long run covering nine yards. The Seahawks limited record-setting return specialist Patrick Peterson to a 9.3-yard average on four punt returns, with a long return covering 17 yards.”

Sando also has a breaks down whose stock is rising and falling in the NFC West,  and after Sunday at Arizona, Leon Washington finds himself on the list of those whose stock is on the up-and-up, “Leon Washington, Seahawks returner. Seattle might have scored only six points instead of 16 if Washington hadn’t done such a good job in the return game. His 83-yard kickoff return and 52-yard punt return set up the Seahawks for 10 points. Blocking helps, of course, but it takes a special returner to find and exploit openings in a coverage team. Washington hadn’t fared as well in the return game recently. This performance was encouraging for the Seahawks.”

Here at Seahawks.com we bring you coach Carroll’s Monday press conference in full, Ton Ventrella recaps “Tell the Truth Monday” in his Seahawks Daily, Clare Farnsworth recaps the activities surrounding Monday in Hawkville – with a focus on the injured Martin, and finally, Farnsworth digests the problem the Cardinals’ pass rush posed for the Seahawks last Sunday, “How does Carroll plan to address those [pass rush] issues moving forward, starting with Sunday’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field? ‘Fortunately, not everybody has (Dockett) on their team,’ he said with a smile. We’ll get better. That’s just part of playing together. The things that we saw in preseason, we were able to handle. This one just got a little more aggressive. It started early and we weren’t as effective as we need to be.’ “


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Tuesday in Hawkville: Eying the opener

Head Coach Pete Carroll holds a record of 1-1 in season openers in two years at the helm with the Seahawks.

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 4:

FOCUS ON

Season openers. The Seahawks are 13-23 in their previous season openers, for a winning percentage of .361 that ranks ahead of only the Saints (16-29, .356) and Panthers (6-11, .353). But since 2003, the Seahawks are 6-3 in their openers – including 1-1 under coach Pete Carroll.

During the month of September, the Seahawks are 20-12 the past 10 seasons, for a .625 winning percentage that ties for fifth-best in the league. During that span, only the Colts (24-8), Patriots (22-9), Broncos (23-11) and Cowboys (21-11) have had better Septembers to remember than the Seahawks – who play the Cowboys next week in their home opener.

And the Seahawks have won eight of their past nine home openers, including three in a row. The eight victories have been by a combined score of 195-60 and include two shutouts – 28-0 over the Rams in 2009 and 34-0 over the 49ers in 2004. The lone loss during this run came in 2008 to the 49ers, 33-30 in overtime.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

The Seahawks reduced their roster to 53 players on Friday, but where are the 17 players who were waived?

Seven were signed to the practice squad: linebackers Allen Bradford and Korey Toomer, guard Rishaw Johnson, wide receivers Jermaine Kearse and Ricardo Lockette, quarterback Josh Portis and safety DeShawn Shead. Lineman Edawn Coughman, the eighth member, had been released on the roster cut to 75 players.

Cornerback Phillip Adams was claimed off waivers by the Raiders, while wide receiver Kris Durham was signed to the Lions’ practice squad. Cornerback Ron Parker, who was waived on the cut to 75, has been signed to the Panthers’ practice squad; while guard Deuce Lutui (Titans), also among the cuts to 75, and tight end Kellen Winslow (Patriots), who was waived Saturday, have drawn interest from other teams.

That leaves eight players from those waived on the cut to 53 who remain free agents: defensive ends Pierre Allen and Cordarro Law, wide receivers Deon Butler and Lavasier Tuinei, guard Paul Fanaika, linebacker Kyle Knox, tight end Sean McGrath and center Kris O’Dowd.

TURN UP THE HEAT

The Seahawks will practice this week in seasonably warm temperatures, but nothing like what awaits them in Arizona. The forecast for Sunday’s game is 102 degrees, with a low of 85.

Thankfully, the Cardinals now play their home games in a dome – University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale – rather than at Sun Devil Stadium on the Arizona State campus in Tempe.

FLAG DAY

Shaun Alexander, the Seahawks’ all-time leading rusher, will unveil the team’s 2012 season flag as part of the NFL Kickoff Show at Rockefeller Center in New York City on Wednesday.

The event starts at 4:30 p.m. PDT leads into the season opener between the Giants and Cowboys, which will be televised on NBC.

Joining Alexander will be a fan who submitted a design for the Seahawks’ flag that includes elements representing Seattle. One fan and alumni will unveil the flag for each of the 32 teams.

UP NEXT

The players return from their “off” day to continue preparing for Sunday’s opener against the Cardinals. The players and coaches also move into their regular-season schedule, with practices on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s a matter of getting him back in the playbook and back into drills. And getting his confidence to where we know he’s ready to play football again. That’s really what the plan is right now.” – offensive line coach Tom Cable on James Carpenter, last year’s first-round draft choice who practiced Monday for the first time since sustaining a season-ending knee injury last November


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Thursday cyber surfing: Preseason wraps up tonight

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 30.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times points to the fact the rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin has yet to register a sack, or a tackle, so far this preseason, and that he is a key players to watch Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders. Coach Pete Carroll maintains the notion that he will see a breakthrough soon, “Irvin is coming around to listen to Carroll. He had his best practice of the month Tuesday and was almost as impressive Monday. ‘Bruce was the most productive guy in practice throughout the camp,’ Carroll said. ‘We keep score of that stuff, and he was the highest-ranked guy in terms of productivity. That’s in sacks and tackles for losses and knocking balls loose and all that stuff.’ Now, it’s just a matter of when he’ll hurry up and show that during the games.”

O’Neil also has an update on 2011 first-round draft pick James Carpenter, who has been sidelined from a knee injury he suffered after playing in nine games his rookie year, “He will be back on the field at some point this year, which constitutes progress in his recovery from the season-ending knee injury he suffered after nine games last season. ‘He has busted his tail to get back,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘and we’re really, really excited. He’s definitely going to play this year. He’s definitely going to play. We didn’t know that as he went into even July. We weren’t sure. But we know that now he’s going to play once he’s going to get back in and gets his weeks in.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that several players see tonight’s preseason finale as one last chance to prove to the coaching staff that they are 53-man roster-worthy, including wide receiver Charly Martin, “Martin, 28, is in his third NFL season, having spent the past two years with the Carolina Panthers. At West Texas A&M University, Martin finished with school records in receptions (244), receiving yards (4,108) and touchdowns (44), so he understands how to produce under pressure. With receivers Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards seeming to be locks to make the Seahawks’ roster, Martin likely is in a battle with veterans Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler and youngsters Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham for two roster spots. ‘I control what I can control,’ Martin said about Friday’s looming cuts. ‘There’s only so much I can do, and I make sure I’m mentally and physically ready to go every day. And aside from that, my hands are off of it. I come out, take advantage of the opportunities, work as hard as I can and have fun.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald also notes the urgency of tonight’s exhibition as the final chance for several young players to impress, “Whether it’s receivers like Deon Butler, Charly Martin, and Ricardo Lockette, or defensive lineman Cordarro Law or cornerback Jeremy Lane or linebacker Korey Toomer, numerous players on Seattle’s roster feel like they’re good enough to help this team in the regular season, but not all can be on the roster by Friday afternoon. ‘This is big for our young guys,”‘Carroll said. ‘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. It’s a highly competitive roster right now and everybody is battling.’ “

Boyle writes that while rookie Winston Guy once looked to be one of the many players on the roster bubble after tonight’s matchup with the Raiders, recent comments from coach Carroll make you feel more confident that the safety out of Kentucky will make the 53-man roster, ” ‘I’ve really liked this guy,’ Carroll said. ‘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. It was the Lawyer Milloy spot, a guy we used because of years of savvy and understanding. There are so many things that a guy has to deal with that 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. He’s got a real knack for rushing the passer, he looks like a pass rusher when he’s coming. So he’s really been a pleasant surprise. We had hoped that he would be able to do these things, and he’s on that package.’ Carroll went on to say that Guy will see a lot of playing time Thursday night, as will many of the young players, then added that Guy will likely have a prominent role in the defense on passing downs.”

Boyle also has an injury update after Wednesday’s walk-through practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network previews tonight’s preseason matchup with the Oakland Raiders, with a couple of notes on the team’s quarterback situations, “Carroll said that [Russell] Wilson will start Thursday’s contest, though it’s likely he’ll play only sparingly before giving way to [Matt] Flynn and project Josh Portis…[Carson] Palmer is expected to receive only scant playing time in a reunion meeting with Carroll, the former college coach for both he and backup Matt Leinart at the University of Southern California.”

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com gives us three things he wants to see from tonight’s game in this short video, listing production from defensive end Bruce Irvin, consistent playmaking from wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and Matt Flynn’s command of the offense and rapport with the receivers as things to watch for.

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Carroll’s press conference following Wednesday’s walk-through, “Carroll said special teams play will decide several close battles among receivers, linebackers and defensive backs. Defensive linemen Jason Jones and Greg Scruggs will not play Thursday but Carroll expects both to be ready for Arizona. Carroll’s final message to young players in a stressful situation: play loose and don’t overtry.”

Swartz also writes about the great expectations that face third-year receiver Golden Tate in 2012, “When [Terrell] Owens was released last Sunday, I asked Tate whether that was a vote of confidence in him. ‘I can’t control who they bring in here to compete,’ he said. ‘I can only control what I do out here every day. I need to make the plays I’m supposed to make, and make some people probably don’t think I can make. I see myself as a playmaker.’ When we used to ask quarterback Matt Hasselbeck about Tate, he would speak highly of his ability to attack the football. Hasselbeck also talked about Tate’s raw, un-precise route-running. That weakness continues to occasionally surface in his third year in the NFL. Purely judging his numbers, you could make the case Tate has been consistent. He’s averaged more than 10 yards per catch and led the team last year by catching 62 percent of the passes thrown his way. Coming into the final preseason game Thursday night against the visiting Raiders, Tate needs to show he’s one of the best five or six receivers on the squad. With the Seahawks’ ability to find creative ways to use unique talent, Tate could be an interesting offensive weapon in 2012.”

Liz Matthews of mynorthwest.com writes that wide receiver Sidney Rice should be ready to go for the regular season opener, “This offseason, Rice underwent surgeries on both shoulders and was limited throughout training camp. To bolster the roster, the Seahawks added three veteran wide receivers to the mix — Antonio Bryant, Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens. Bryant and Owens have now been released, while Edwards remains on the 75-man roster. ‘We talked all in the offseason on how we were going to do it and he is ahead of schedule,’ Carroll said of Rice last week. ‘He’s applied himself so well and has done a great job in the weight room. He’s never been pumped like this before. He’s feeling really confident out there and we are all looking forward to it.’ Now back at full practice, Rice made his preseason debut against Kansas City last week, finishing the game with one reception for eight yards. ‘He was fast and confident,’ Carroll said. ‘He wanted to play more. He didn’t want to come off of the field, which was great. He needed to get out on the field and you can see it in warmups that he was fired up.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com writes that the Seahawks enter the 2012 season with the second-youngest starters in the NFL, “Seattle enters the regular season with the second-youngest projected starters in the NFL. Some of the team’s younger building blocks — James Carpenter, John Moffitt and Matt Flynn come to mind — have or could lose their starting jobs to players even younger than them.  ‘We want the roster so competitive that really good draft picks are fighting for play time and that means that the guys ahead of him are better,’ Carroll said before the draft.”

Sando has a look at the Seahawks wide receiver situation heading into tonight’s matchup with the Raiders, and offers a projection as to six WRs the ‘Hawks will hold on to after Thursday night, “Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Braylon Edwards, Ben Obomanu, Charly Martin. The Seahawks’ receiver situation is cloudier than the others in the division. Martin seems to have stepped up. He had a touchdown catch against Kansas City last week. Deon Butler would be another obvious consideration. Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham showed promise in the past, but neither seems to have done enough this summer. Jermaine Kearse and Lavasier Tuinei would be released under this scenario. Seattle has some unclear choices. The team could be in the market for a veteran slot receiver as well, depending on Baldwin’s health. This situation is fluid.”

Sando also revisits the 2011 NFL draft and provides an update on Seahawks draft choices that suffered injury set backs in their first season – James Carpenter, John Moffitt, and Kris Durham.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth highlights the Tom Cable effect, provides an interesting nugget from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King on rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin in his Wednesday edition of ‘Hawkville’, and details how wide receiver Charly Martin will approach tongiht’s game with the Raiders.

Lastly, Tony Ventrella brings you a look at the team’s final preparations for their fourth preseason game, and previews tonight’s matchup with the Raiders in this short video.


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Thursday cyber surfing: Welcome back to the NFL, Terrell

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 9.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says Terrell Owens’ first practice in a Seahawks uniform yesterday looked like a strong first step back into the NFL, “Owens is a veteran being given a chance that isn’t unlike Franco Harris got in Seattle. The former Steelers running back was a pretty big deal when he showed up in 1984, signed after Curt Warner suffered a season-ending knee injury. ‘We were desperate,’ said John Nordstrom, the Seahawks’ former owner. ‘It wasn’t clear whether Franco could still play.’ And how long did it take to see that Harris no longer had it? ‘About 20 minutes,’ Nordstrom said. After 20 minutes of watching Owens on Wednesday, it looked like a player just getting started, not someone winding down.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has comments from wide receivers coach Kippy Brown on Owens’ first practice, “Owens lined up at flanker with the second unit – shadowing Sidney Rice – and not at split end, where Golden Tate, Braylon Edwards, Kris Durham and others are competing for the starting spot opposite Rice. ‘He’s a playmaker, and that’s what he’s here for,’ Seattle receivers coach Kippy Brown said about Owens. ‘And he got the opportunity and made a couple plays. That was positive. He’s still learning. He’s been here a couple days, and he’s got a lot to learn about our offense. But for the first day, he came out and was able to play pretty well.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press has a look at Owens’ first day back in the NFL, with comments from quarterback Matt Flynn, “Owens did have a few highlights during his first day. He beat rookie Jeremy Lane down the sideline and caught a perfect toss from Matt Flynn for a 35-yard reception, juggling the ball briefly before pulling it in to his stomach as he fell to the ground. He followed that with a quick slant across the middle on another strike from Flynn. ‘Once you get out there and you snap the ball and you’re going against the defense, you just see a helmet running out there,’ Flynn said. ‘You’re not thinking this is T.O. or whatever, you get out there and see a receiver and getting open.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald offers his take on Owens’ first practice session, “Owens got his welcome-back moment early courtesy of cornerback Brandon Browner, who rode Owens into the ground after the receiver tried to beat press coverage by going through Browner. ‘He tried to run through me, and I’m a big guy,’ Browner explained. ‘That’s something that’ll work on somebody that’s smaller.’ But Owens, who worked mostly at flanker with the second-team offense, also had a few highlight moments. A juggling catch on a deep pass down the sideline drew big cheers from the crowd, which not surprisingly was one of this training camp’s largest. And while Owens was the center of attention for fans and media on Wednesday, he insists he is only interested in being a team player this time around. ‘I’m here to compete for a job just like the rest of the guys,’ he said. ‘I have to earn my spot on this team like everyone else. I understand that.’ “

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com recaps a Wednesday segment of “Bob and Groz” in which Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable joined the show, “For me, it’s been night and day,’ Cable said of this summer compared to last. ‘You think about trying to plug two rookies in last year was one set of problems, but then putting in a whole new system. It was similar to what Alex Gibbs had done when he came, but he and I don’t have the same terminology and he and I don’t coach the same way. So … everybody kind of had to start over. And so without having OTAs and the offseason it was really kind of a tough period. But it is what it is. We got through it and finally got off our tails and got to blocking somebody, but it took too long. This year we’ve gotten ahead of it a little bit because of the offseason.’ “

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Wednesday’s practice, “Owens surprised many by how lean and tall he is. He ran another crisp crossing route, and also battled Richard Sherman to grab a timing pattern on the sideline. Flynn looked sharp in his role as quarterback of the No. 1 offense. He scrambled away from pressure and found Golden Tate on a deep sideline pattern. Russell Wilson faced lots of pressure from the No. 1 defense as he led the second-team offense in 11-on-11 drills. Wilson did have a nice improvised shuffle pass to Cameron Morrah.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Wednesday’s practice, including a look at quarterback Matt Flynn, “As for Flynn, he had a very strong showing during practice Wednesday. Flynn will get the first-team reps in practice for the remainder of the week and start against the Tennessee Titans in the preseason opener on Saturday. Flynn took advantage of the extra workload and put together perhaps the strongest showing from a quarterback during the first two weeks of training camp. Flynn was precise and decisive in making throws all over the field. He connected with WR Golden Tate up the left sideline, fitting a ball into a window between Browner and S Earl Thomas. He found Tate again for a touchdown over Browner during a two-minute drill toward the end of practice as well as hitting TE Zach Miller on a crossing route and TE Cameron Morrahup the seam with nice throws as well. The throw to Miller was across his body as he was rolling to his left.”

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com digests Owens’ first practice with the ‘Hawks, “Owens looked very much like a guy trying to come back from knee surgery, but there was enough to make people understand that there’s still something left in the tank. Wearing number No. 10 ‘because it was available’ instead of his usual 81, Owens took another valuable step back to the NFL. ‘It was good, just a little bit rusty but glad to be out here,’ Owens said after practice. ‘I’m grateful for the opportunities the Seahawks have given me and I’m thankful for God for giving me this opportunity. Today didn’t go as I would have liked, but it’s leading into the right direction.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com depicts Owens’ first day at camp, “So much has changed in the decade since Owens, then playing for division-rival San Francisco, celebrated a touchdown in the Seahawks’ house by removing a Sharpie from his sock, signing the football and handing it to an associate seated in a suite owned by Shawn Springs, then a cornerback with Seattle. The celebration seems quaint a decade later, particularly in relation to the hard miles Owens has accumulated in the interim. He’s bounced from the 49ers to the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and even to the Allen Wranglers of the Indoor Football League. He’s gone broke and even allowed that he contemplated suicide during his darkest moments. ‘The last two years have been life-changing for me,’ Owens said. ‘I don’t want to sit up here and try to emphasize how much I’ve changed. I think you’ll kind of see that as these days go along.’ It felt like a fresh start Wednesday. Owens sounded humble. He spoke quietly without sounding down or overly reflective. At times, it was hard to hear him. ‘A lot of people probably don’t expect me to use that word humble,’ he said, ‘but again, there’s been a lot of moments within the last two years that have had me to face and say that word.’ “

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth says Terrell Owens is off to a positive start in Seattle, saying and doing all the right things yesterday, ” ‘It’s all about, for me now, being part of something, rather than being the center of something,’ Owens said while facing cameras and reporters during a post-practice Q&A session. ‘I understand obviously a lot of the media is here because of me and, again, I’ve changed in a lot of ways. A lot of things have occurred that have occurred in the last two years. I’ve had a lot of time to think about things, put a lot of things in perspective, and I just want to move forward and leave all the things that happened five to 10 years ago behind me.’ “

Farnsworth also has a look at Wednesday’s practice session, including a note on Seattle’s 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.’ “

Quarterback Matt Flynn expressed excitement over taking first-team reps the rest of the week and starting the team’s preseason opener Saturday vs. Tennessee, and Farnsworth has the story, ” ‘It’s going to be good to be able to get these reps the next couple days in practice, get in a rhythm,’ said Flynn, speaking to the media for the first time since coach Pete Carroll announced on Tuesday that he would start the preseason opener. ‘Even today, after the offense got going, we played well. We got in a rhythm. We were in synch with each other. Hopefully that continues.’ In rhythm. In synch. In command. Flynn was all of that during the two-hour practice that was held in full pads.”

Max Unger continues his contribution to Seahawks.com, rehashing ‘Competition Wednesday’ and exhibiting his affection toward the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

Lastly, in our Seahawks Daily we have a look at Owens’ first day at practice and catch up with wide receiver Golden Tate, safety Earl Thomas, and quarterback Matt Flynn who comment on the addition of Owens.


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Saturday in Hawkville: Quarterbacks coach Smith sheds light on QB competition

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing Training Camp for Saturday, August 4.

FOCUS ON

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.”

ROOKIE WATCH

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.

UP NEXT

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.


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Sunday in Hawkville: Turbin gets great Cable reception

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for July 29:

FOCUS ON

Robert Turbin. The Seahawks have big plans for the rookie running back from Utah State, but first the team’s fourth-round draft choice has to show is that he can consistently run the way needed to excel in this offense.

That is, take one step and go. It took leading rusher Marshawn Lynch a while to adapt to the no-hesitation style that assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable demands. Now, it’s Lynch’s understudy that must learn the all-important adjustment.

Turbin broke two longs in one portion of today’s two-hour practice, and each was followed by a long run from Cable to stress the style issue and then give some style points.

“One step and go. One step and go. And trust your gut,” Cable said after practice when asked about the exchanges that followed the long runs by Turbin that prompted Cable’s long runs.

On the first run, Turbin, well, let Cable explain. “He kind of went in there and pity-pattered. Kind of stomping snakes, you know,” Cable said. “You can’t do that in this system – and in this league – because you’re going to get hit about 18 times.”

The next time Turbin got the ball, he made the one cut, ripped cleanly through the line and accelerated into the secondary.

If the teaching aspect was worth one long run by Cable, the reward aspect promoted a repeat run.

“You’ve got to tell them right then, ‘That’s it,’ ” Cable said. “When they get it, they’ve got to capture it.”

Now that the Seahawks have captured Turbin, it’s imperative that he “get it,” so he can spell Lynch to keep the Beast Mode-running back fresher longer.

“I don’t have any doubt,” Cable said when asked if Turbin can fill the role that was missing from the running game last season. “It’s a matter of him, like the other young guys, learning how to be a pro and then in this system gaining his confidence.

“He’s on track to do to that.”

PLAYER WATCH

Sidney Rice. The acrobatic wide receiver was more, but also less, visible today. Rice took the field without the red no-contact jersey he was wearing Saturday, and then took part in a lot more snaps.

“I snuck it on,” said the blue-jerseyed Rice. “They got on me when I came out here. Sam (Ramsden, director of player health and performance) came over to me and he was like, ‘Oh, so you’re just a diva. You’re going to switch on me now every day.’ ”

What’s the deal? “I wanted to be in blue with the rest of the (offensive) team,” Rice said with a smile. “I’m not a quarterback. So I don’t want to wear a red jersey.”

The real switch was in how much work Rice got. After taking part in seven percent of the snaps Saturday, he was up to 25-30 percent (his estimations) today. That included participating in the 9-on-7 run drills and other team drills.

“It was great for my conditioning,” he said. “I was complaining a little in the 9-on-7, because I had to run downfield, block and then run right back to the huddle. But it’s no problem. It’s getting in the best shape I can be in.”

PLAYS OF THE DAY

Offense: Third-year wide receiver Golden Tate put together an impressive dossier of athletic catches. But none was better than one where Tate made a falling grab of a deep pass from Matt Flynn.

Defense: Cornerback Coye Francies disappeared into a sea of raised arms in the end zone on a Hail Mary heave from Tarvaris Jackson in a two-minute drill, but came down with the ball for the interception.

IN ‘N OUT

Defensive tackle Alan Branch and defensive end Jameson Konz did not practice. Also sitting out were the other three players who are the PUP list: wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, cornerback Walter Thurmond and offensive lineman James Carpenter.

JERSEY SHORES

The fans didn’t just flock to practice on the shores of Lake Washington today; they came decked out in the Seahawk Sunday best – including jerseys new, old and in between. There were some retro jerseys for Cortez Kennedy (96), Steve Largent (80) and John Randle (93). There were the newer jerseys for Earl Thomas (29), Kam Chancellor (31), Lynch (24) and even recently acquired QB Matt Flynn (15). There were the in-between jerseys – Matt Hasselbeck (8), Lofa Tatupu (51), Mack Strong (38) and Nate Burleson (81).

But the most-popular number, by far, was Thomas’ 29. James Beauchamp was wearing his, and exampled the process that goes into selecting a favorite-player jersey for your favorite team.

“For me, he plays the same position I played,” said Beauchamp, who was a free safety at Mount Tahoma High School. “He’s also an exciting player.”

Then there’s the Pete Carroll factor. Say what?

“With Pete Carroll,” Beauchamp said of the team’s third-year coach, “you never know who’s coming and who’s going. So you know with Earl, he’s staying for a long time. So that’s part of it – knowing that he’s a fixture here.”

UP NEXT

The players will have a walkthrough this afternoon, and tomorrow’s practice starts at 10:15 a.m.

JOIN THE CROWD

A crowd of 2,258 fans attended today’s practice. You can register here to attend one of the 11 remaining practices that are scheduled to be open during camp.

YOU DON’T SAY

“They’re both explosive players, they make big plays. Golden made a couple of huge plays out there today. It’s nice to see him do that – get up, jog back to the huddle and get ready to go out there and do it again.” – Rice, when asked to compare Tate, his current teammate; and Percy Harvin, his former teammate with the Vikings


Friday cyber surfing: Talking with ‘Tez

Good morning, here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this first official day of 2012 training camp, July 27.

Steve Kelly at the Seattle Times writes an open letter to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, pleading him for a winning season and stating the effect it would have on the city of Seattle that has ached through mediocrity in the city’s sports scene, “So it’s on you, Coach, as well as your assistants and your players, to get this city out of its malaise. More than ever, Seattle needs the Seahawks. And that means it needs something more than 7-and-9 mediocrity. As it should be, the heat is on you. You’ve got to settle on a quarterback quickly. Matt Flynn? Russell Wilson? I don’t care. But one of them has to be the answer sooner rather than later. You have to keep Sidney Rice healthy and make sure Kellen Winslow gets open. You have to make sure the young offensive line continues its improvement. You have to make first-round pick Bruce Irvin into a legitimate pass-rushing threat. Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin have to become the buzz of the league. Training camp is beginning, and the eyes, ears and good wishes are focused on your headquarters at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.”

The Seahawks announced that wide receiver Antonio Bryant was signed to the team’s 90-man roster yesterday, and Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times has the story, “Seattle signed Antonio Bryant, who had 1,248 yards receiving with Tampa Bay in 2008 but hasn’t played the past two years. Bryant, 31, tried out for the Seahawks during the three-day minicamp in June and was admittedly playing himself back into football shape.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune gives his analysis on the signing of Bryant, “If healthy, Bryant (6-1, 211 pounds) could provide a big, physical body on the perimeter for the Seahawks, competing with Ben Obomanu, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette for reps at split end.”

Yesterday, former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy spoke with reporters on a conference call. Kennedy is set to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 4 in Canton, Ohio. Williams has a run-down of the conference call, noting that Kennedy expects a crowd of more than 350 supporters to be on hand during his acceptance speech, including one special guest, “Presenting Kennedy will be Dixie Fraley Keller, the widow of [Kennedy's] former agent Robert Fraley, who was killed in a plane crash in 1999 along with professional golfer Payne Stewart. ‘That’s how much Robert meant to me,’ Kennedy said. ‘And I’ll be talking about Robert too – the type of guy he was, and how he helped me off of the football field. He just taught me about life. He taught me how to be a pro off of the football field, and to make sure I treat people the way I want to be treated.’ “

Also at the Tacoma News Tribune, Dave Boling speaks to Kennedy’s gratitude for everyone who surrounded him along his journey through the League and helped him to get where he will be next week – the Hall of Fame, “From his first day in the NFL, Kennedy has called himself blessed and was always quick to show appreciation for those who helped him on his way. He was a humble superstar who truly understood the importance of his family, his teammates and his friends. He will spend a lot of time on that big stage in Canton offering thanks to those people. It will be genuine. From the heart.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth continues his “Cortez: Countdown to Canton” series with Tommy Brasher, who was hired as Seattle’s defensive line coach in 1992 – Kennedy’s best season in his 11-year Hall of Fame career. Farnsworth recounts a time when Kennedy was coming out of the University of Miami and Brasher was scouting Kennedy as a coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, ” ‘They sent me down to Miami to scout Cortez,’ said Brasher, who coached with the Seahawks through the 1998 season and then returned to the Philadelphia Eagles until he retired after the 2005 season. ‘I go down there and I start watching this guy (on tape). I went, ‘Damn, I need this guy.’ ‘ ”

Farnsworth also touches on the special relationship that developed between coach Brasher and Kennedy.

Also here at Seahawks.com we visit with Seahawks assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable, who sits down with Tony Ventrella in our latest ‘Seahawks Insider’. Coach Cable – a graduate of Snohomish High School – talks about his early coaching influences, teaching philosophies, the personalities of his young offensive lineman, and his passion for fishing.

Revisiting a topic from yesterday, Brock Huard and Mike Salk of mynorthwest.com share their thoughts on Seahawks center Max Unger’s contract extension in their Thursday Wrap Up video. Huard believes the extension entrenches Unger as the leader along the team’s offensive line.  Unger – a guest on the Brock and Salk show yesterday – says his new deal means stability for him at the position and within the Seahawks organization. You can listen to the 710ESPN audio here.

Also at mynorthwest.com, Brady Henderson details a visit with ESPN’s John Clayton, who doubts that Seahawks offensive lineman James Carpenter will play in the 2012 season, ” ‘That knee was bad,’ Clayton said. ‘It hasn’t really had a full time to heal. I think he’s slow in healing. If they get four games out of him they’re lucky. I don’t think they’re going to get any games out of him.’ Henderson then comments, “Losing a starting tackle would be a bigger blow to a team with less depth at that position. The Seahawks re-signed Breno Giacomini — who played well enough after replacing Carpenter to earn a new contract — and the versatile Paul McQuistan earlier this offseason. They’ve also signed tackles Frank Omiyale and Alex Barron.”


Thursday cyber surfing: Reaction to Unger’s extension

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday cyber surfing: Beat writers unite

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, July 19.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times, writing for Sporting News, provides this Seahawks training camp outlook, as he gives us a taste of what’s new on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, settles on what he believes are three camp goals for the Seahawks in 2012, and gives us his prediction for a breakout player – naming Seahawks 2012 first round draft pick DE Bruce Irvin out of West Virginia, “Irvin was the first defensive end selected in the draft. Seattle’s priority on defense was to add speed and improve the pass rush. At 248 pounds, Irvin is lighter than your prototypical NFL end, but he is custom-made to play the rush end in Seattle’s defense, which is referred to as the ‘Leo.’ His only two responsibilities from that position are to rush the passer or chase after the ball on running plays, and with Irvin’s speed and explosiveness, he shouldn’t struggle in either regard. Irvin has already predicted he will have a double-digit sack total as a rookie, which is ambitious but not out of the reach of possibility.”

O’Neil also joined fellow Seahawks beat writers Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune and John Boyle of the Everett Herald for a Seahawks-themed roundtable discussion on the Ian Furness show on 950 KJR AM. Furness, O’Neil, Williams and Boyle covered a wide range of topics in their two-hour Hawk-talk as the team prepares to enter training camp at the end of the month. You can listen to hour one of their conversation right here and catch hour two right here.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth follows up his Wednesday piece on the Seahawks 2012 defensive line by taking a look at the other side of the line of scrimmage – the offensive line. Farnsworth speaks with Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable, who believes his unit is much improved heading into training camp and looking to make a big jump forward – particularly in pass protection – if everyone can stay healthy. Farnsworth spoke with Cable: “ ‘The progress we’ve made this spring has been tremendous,’ Cable said before heading out for the coaches’ extended break prior to the start of training camp in late July. ‘I think we’ve brought ourselves up to a level that we never reached during last season.’ The reasons for Cable’s optimism are obvious. For starters, he and his linemen had an offseason – after the 136-day lockout last year erased the spring minicamps and OTA practices. Then there are the starters, as seven linemen on the current 90-man roster started at least five games last season.”

Finally, the Sea Gals recently overhauled their look on game days and with that came an update to their website, which launched recently at www.SeaGals.com. You can learn about this year’s squad, view photos, videos and news, preview the Sea Gals calender and learn more about the Sea Gals new look, appearances in the community, and show group.


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