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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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Wednesday cyber surfing: Fourth of July edition

Good morning, and happy Fourth of July. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on this holiday.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com explores how travel disparity may affect NFL teams. He specifically references the Seahawks and the NFC West division, noting that their distance traveled each season outpaces the rest, “The Steelers played 15 of their 16 games in the Eastern time zone, with a lone trip to the Central time zone waiting for them against the Titans in Week 16. Part of that is a lucky out-of-division schedule, but the Steelers also benefit by playing in a division with three opponents who each reside within 260 miles or so of Pittsburgh. Seattle, meanwhile, plays in a ‘West’ division that places its teams in three different time zones. Pittsburgh accrues about 1,122 miles in traveling to and from its divisional rivals, while Seattle’s round-trips to their NFC West brethren clock in at a whopping 7,024 miles.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes a look at some recent stadium rule changes that should ensure home teams enjoy a more formidable advantage. The Wall Street Journal reported, “Stadiums will now be free to rile up crowds with video displays, and public-address announcers will no longer be restrained from inciting racket when the opposing offense faces a crucial third down.” Sando points out how these changes might benefit Seattle’s already boisterous 12th Man crowd, “It’s unclear how much louder CenturyLink Field can become, but a few well-timed highlights featuring knockout hits from Pro Bowl safety Kam Chancellor should help us find out. Likewise, shots of Tony Romo’s infamous botched hold against Seattle in the playoffs years ago should come in handy when Romo is breaking the huddle at CenturyLink for the Seahawks’ home opener this year.”

Sando also continues with his pre-camp analysis – this time with the Seahawks defense and special teams – breaking down who he feels are the safest bets, leading contenders and those who face longer odds to earn roster spots come the end of training camp. On the Seahawks secondary, Sando had this to say, “Three of the four starters went to the Pro Bowl last season; [Richard] Sherman arguably should have gone. [Marcus] Trufant’s conversion to a nickel role has the potential to upgrade Seattle’s coverage. Injuries sidelined Trufant and [Walter] Thurmond last season. Both can contribute at a reasonably high level if healthy. It’s tough to bank on either one, however. Don’t forget about [Byron] Maxwell. He impressed in camp as a rookie, only to fade from the picture after suffering an ankle injury. Seattle likes its depth at corner. [Jeron] Johnson should be ready to take a step forward at safety. The Seahawks like what they’ve seen from [Winston] Guy as well.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue with our Rookie Spotlight segment as Seahawks General Manager John Schneider takes a couple of minutes to talk with Tony Ventrella about Seahawks second round draft pick LB Bobby Wagner out of Utah State.

Finally, in the spirit of the holiday, NFL.com asked their staff the question, ‘Which 2012 NFL game should become a national holiday?’ The question sparked some interesting responses, but the unanimous choice was the New England Patriots October 7 game with the Denver Broncos, or as many will see it – Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. “This is an easy one,” said NFL Network’s Ian Rapport. “On Oct. 7, the New England Patriots play the Denver Broncos in a game the entire country should be forced to sit down and watch. The NFL was robbed last year of the its 13th meeting of Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, but not this year. Sure, sure, Manning is playing for Denver now, but the key elements of the NFL’s best quarterback rivalry are still there. Brady and Manning will still be matching right arms in a battle to reach 40 points, with this contest taking place at Gillette Stadium. If history is any indicator, it’ll go down to the wire.”