Thursday round-up: Unveiling Seahawks all-time underrated, overrated players

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Thursday, July 11, about your Seattle Seahawks:

NFL.com’s Zach Schwartz unveils his list of all-time underrated and overrated players in Seahawks franchise history. Former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, guard Steve Hutchinson, wide receiver Joey Galloway, kick returner Leon Washington and current strong safety Kam Chancellor make up his all-time underrated list.

We’re about two weeks away from the start of Seahawks training camp, and Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has started a 15 days, 15 questions feature – counting down one question each day until the start of camp. In his first entry, Condotta clarifies 2012 first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin’s reported position switch from defensive end to strongside linebacker with comments from head coach Pete Carroll.

In the podcast below, Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” chat with Seahawks 2013 second-round draft pick running back Christine Michael about his draft process and acclimation to life in the NFL:

Tom Pelissero of USA Today outlines the NFL’s new padding requirements, which mandates all players wear thigh and knee pads. Several wide receivers, cornerbacks and more have chosen not to wear these pads in the past, but choosing to do so this season will not only result in a fine for the player, but NFL referees could also pull that player from the game.

The Seahawks have advanced to Round 3 in NFL.com personality Dave Dameshek’s bracket to determine the greatest uniform in League history. You can cast your vote for the Seahawks’ current digs here, as they square off against the current unis of the New Orleans Saints. Voting for Round 3 ends on Sunday, July 14 at 3 p.m. PT.

ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando has his daily look around the NFC West and will hold a SportsNation chat at 10 a.m. PT.

Sando also notes that quarterback Russell Wilson landed at No. 12 (there’s that number again…) on ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski’s rankings of the League’s 32 signal callers.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth delves into the connection between new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and his hand-picked defensive line coach Travis Jones.

Running back Marshawn Lynch’s Bay Area charity weekend kicks off today.

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin joined KPUG AM 1170 to talk about the 12 Tour Belingham in the podcast below:

Andy Prest of Vancouver, B.C.’s North Shore News also talks with Baldwin, as he previews his 12 Tour visit with our neighbors to the north. Baldwin lands in B.C. with defensive end Red Bryant and cornerback Richard Sherman on Saturday, July 13 for a full weekend of Seahawks-themed activities.

And Australia’s Queensland Maroons rugby squad recently hosted Seahawks 2013 fifth-round draft pick defensive tackle Jesse Williams – an Australia native – at a team scrimmage.


Minicamp round-up: Day three

Minicamp

Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane (left), free safety Earl Thomas (middle) & cornerback Richard Sherman (right)

Good morning, and welcome to the final day of the Seahawks’ three-day minicamp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. Today’s workout is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. – two hours earlier than the sessions that were held on Tuesday and Wednesday. But before we get there, here’s a look at what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for June 13, 2013:

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune passes along his notes and observations from day two of camp, including comments from cornerback Richard Sherman on the close-knit chemistry of the team’s secondary. Williams also profiles the 6-foot-7, 305-pound defensive tackle Tony McDaniel, who has been working throughout the offseason in the spot vacated by defensive tackle Alan Branch, who signed with the Buffalo Bills in free agency.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has a few post-practice video interviews from yesterday with wide receiver Sidney Rice, linebacker Bobby Wagner and Sherman.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM also details the impressive play of the Seahawks secondary and has his notes from day two of camp.

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has a look at quarterback Russell Wilson’s rapid rate of improvement.

NFL.com’s Around the League writer Marc Sessler caught wind of Wilson’s unwillingness to acknowledge a “sophomore slump” when Wilson was asked about the term during his Tuesday press conference. Sessler puts Wilson ahead of Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden as the surest-bet quarterback who’s heading into their second season.

With 23 of the League’s 32 teams in minicamps this week, NFL.com’s Chris Wesserling has compiled a quick-hit-list of 15 things we learned from Day 2 of NFL minicamps.

Our Clare Farnsworth’s “Hawkville” blog focuses on Sherman and wide receiver Doug Baldwin – the pair of Stanford graduates who have stood out above the rest with their play this offseason. Farnsworth also has a feature on the versatility of the team’s defensive line, catching up with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, defensive line coach Travis Jones, defensive end Red Bryant and McDaniel on the line’s look.

Team photographer Rod Mar has the snaps from days one and two of camp here.

We’ll be back with more following today’s practice and media availabilities, as we wrap-up this final day of the Seahawks’ official Offseason Program. In the meantime, we leave you with four Seahawks-themed podcasts from yesterday via 710Sports.com:

Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable on “Brock and Danny”

Center Max Unger on “Bob and Groz”

Fullback Michael Robinson on “Bob and Groz”

Left tackle Russell Okung on “Wyman, Mike and Moore”


Tuesday in Hawkville: Michael Brooks showing he’s a fast learner

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 11, as the Seahawks kicked off a mandatory three-day minicamp that will conclude their offseason program:

FOCUS ON: MICHAEL BROOKS

After the rookie defensive tackle was claimed off waivers on May 29 and practiced with the Seahawks for the first time a few days later, Brooks admitted, “I’m just trying to learn my way around right now and get with this new system.”

The 6-foot-3, 299-pound Brooks apparently is a fast learner. In today’s practice, he tipped a pass incomplete and then penetrated to get a “sack” – on back-to-back plays. It was that talent and versatility that first attracted the Seahawks, who tried to sign Brooks after the NFL Draft in April. He opted for the Lions, but the Seahawks got another chance to acquire Brooks after he was waived.

“We saw some things we liked about him on tape and Michael certainly has come in here and tried to learn the system quickly,” first-year defensive line coach Travis Jones said after practice – which was held under sunny skies but also in a brisk breeze along the shores of Lake Washington.

And, like most of the linemen, Brooks is learning more than one position. He’s playing the three-technique tackle spot as well as the five-technique end position.

“Everybody’s got different positions to learn,” Jones said. “You’ve got to try to find a way to get on this team, and the best way to do that is to learn a couple of different positions.”

And it doesn’t hurt when you’re making multiple plays from those multiple positions.

PLAYER WATCH: CHRIS CLEMONS

Bruce Irvin, Chris ClemonsThe team’s sack leader the past three seasons was on hand for the start of the mandatory minicamp, but Clemons is continuing his rehab from surgery after tearing a ligament and meniscus in his left knee during the wild-card playoff victory over the Redskins in January.

“It’s good to get Clem back in, even though he can’t work,” Carroll said.

Clemons, who was acquired in a 2010 trade with the Eagles, has posted 11, 11 and 11.5 sacks in his first three seasons with the Seahawks.

“The doctors say he’s in great shape,” Carroll said. “He’s ahead (of schedule). He’s worked diligently to get there. Is he going to make it back by the first game? I don’t know. He has a chance. And if it can happen, he’ll make it happen.

“But like I said the whole time, we will not rush that. We’re going to take our time on that and make sure he’s right. The doctors are greatly confident. He is also.”

Even if he’s not practicing, Clemons provides a plus.

“Clem, he’s a great leader on this team. He’s tough as nails and really stands for something in this locker room,” Carroll said. “So to have him around is important.”

POSITION WATCH: TIGHT END

With starter Zach Miller sitting out to rest a sore left foot, it allowed second-year tight end Sean McGrath and rookie Luke Willson to work with the No. 1 offense – snaps that will prove invaluable as they continue to develop in the offense.

“It does give the other guys a chance to step up and get some good focus work,” Carroll said. “It’s really good for Luke and Sean McGrath is getting extra turns. So it’s a good deal.”

While Willson was selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft, McGrath spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad after being signed as a rookie free agent last year.

“Sean is stronger. He’s quicker,” said Carroll, pointing out that McGrath has added almost 10 pounds. “He just looks great. He always could catch the football really well. Now he knows what he’s doing and he’s become just a regular part of it. He’s in the rotation right now.”

ANOTHER TOP 100 PLAYER

A sixth Seahawk will be included among the players ranked 21-30 in the NFL Network’s continuing countdown of the Top 100 Players for 2013. The latest group will be unveiled starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

As usual, we can’t tell you who it is. But All-Pro center Max Unger (No. 95), receiver/returner/running Percy Harvin (No. 90), All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas (No. 66), Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson (No. 51) and All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman (No. 50) are the Seahawks previously included. That leaves a very-prominent name still out there – All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch.

A WISH COME TRUE, AND THEN SOME

Kevin LeeThe club hosted Make-A-Wish recipient Kevin Lee today. Needless to say, it was an over-the-top experience for the 12-year old from Farmington Hills, Mich., who has had four open-heart surgeries.

We can’t share more details at this time because the event was videotaped by a crew from ESPN and will be included in the network’s Eighth Annual My Wish series that is scheduled to air the week of Aug. 18.

UP NEXT

The players will practice again on Wednesday afternoon and then wrap up the three-day minicamp with a morning practice on Thursday.

YOU DON’T SAY

“You saw him. He was killing it today in practice. He’s just a very, very talented football player – very fast; very, very quick. He’s a very smart football player. He has the mind of quarterback. He thinks all the time. He’s thinking about what’s going on. What the coverage looks like and how he’s matched up with certain guys. So that helps.” – quarterback Russell Wilson on third-year slot receiver Doug Baldwin, who was played through injuries most of last season after leading the team in receptions as a rookie free agent in 2011


Monday in Hawkville: Zach Miller’s one-handed catches really aren’t as easy as he makes them look

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 3, as the Seahawks kicked off the final week of their OTA sessions:

FOCUS ON: ZACH MILLER

Zach MillerThe Seahawks’ veteran tight end does so many things well that focusing on just one could be difficult. Except that when it comes to making one-handed catches, Miller is exceptional.

He had another during today’s OTA session, as well as a finger-tip grab of a pass after he got behind Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor. Miller also had a one-hander in the end zone last Wednesday that earned five-highs from several players – defensive, as well as offensive – and coach Pete Carroll. All three passes were thrown by quarterback Russell Wilson.

“I’ve always had a knack for just being able to get the big paw on it,” Miller said through a smile after the team’s sun-drenched session along the shores of Lake Washington. “It helps that I’ve got pretty big hands.”

But making the one-handers is mental as well as physical.

“You’ve got to understand what kind of passes you can catch like that,” Miller said. “If the ball is coming to you fast, you have no chance. So you’ve kind of got to pick your times to do that.”

While those catches can be uplifting for Miller, the QB who throws the pass and the other offensive players, they can have the reverse effect on the players who are covering Miller.

“If you make a one-hander, the defenders don’t like that,” he said. “They think they’ve got you. Then you stick a big paw out and you bring it in, they’re like, ‘Really, you caught that?’ ”

With Miller, the answer is a resounding “yes,” and comes with the tagline “again.”

PLAYER WATCH: MICHAEL BROOKS

The rookie defensive tackle has now practiced with the team twice since being claimed off waivers last week. But Brooks admits to feeling like the new kid who has entered a new school at midterm.

“I’m just trying to learn my way around right now and get with this new system,” said Brooks, who was signed by the Lions after April’s NFL Draft.

Brooks did things one way at East Carolina and was learning to do them another with the Lions. Now comes the way defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and line coach Travis Fisher teach their techniques.

“I was just getting used to the way they do things in Detroit, then I get here and I’ve got to switch it all over,” he said.

In his first two practices – Friday and today – Brooks has participated in the individual drills and then been tutored while on the sideline during the team portions.

“It’s been a pretty good transition. Everybody is helping out,” he said. “I’m just watching and trying to learn from the older guys. They’ve been in the system for a while and I’m just kind of feeling my way through.”

POSITION WATCH: RIGHT TACKLEBowie

With incumbent starter Breno Giacomini missing today’s session, rookie tackle Michael Bowie worked on the right side of the offensive line with the No. 1 unit that also included Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung, veteran left guard Paul McQuistan, All-Pro center Max Unger and second-year right guard J.R. Sweezy.

Bowie also continued to work with the No. 3 line, along with left tackle Mike Person, rookie left guard Alvin Bailey and fellow seventh-round draft choices Jared Smith at center and Ryan Seymour at right guard.

The extra reps will only help Bowie as he works to earn one of the backup spots on the 53-man roster.

JOSH PORTIS CFL BOUND

Josh Portis, the quarterback released last month by the Seahawks, has signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, the team has announced.

Portis was the Seahawks’ No. 3 quarterback on 2011, when he was active for one game. He was released last August on the roster cut to 53 players, signed to the practice squad and then released in November. Portis was re-signed in April.

UP NEXT

The players will be back on the field Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as they complete the 10 OTA sessions allowed by the CBA that ended the 136-day lockout in 2011.

The Pro Shop at CenturyLink Field will kick off its grand re-opening weekend on Friday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. The ceremonial ribbon cutting will take place at 5:30, with Wilson and team president Peter McLoughlin doing the honors.

YOU DON’T SAY

“He’s ready to learn. He’s listening to everything. He’s asking questions. Which is exactly how you want your rookie to be. He’s making plays out. He’s having some good days. It’s what he’s got to do to be our second tight end. … And he has that speed that he can separate from guys pretty easily. He’s going to be a weapon for us on offense.” – Miller on Luke Willson, the tight end the Seahawks selected in the fifth round of April’s NFL Draft