“The best way to kick off my appearance for the season is without a shirt on. I’m in a little bit better shape, right?”
If you’re a fan of Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson’s “The Real Rob Report” then it should be a pretty easy guess as to who’s behind that lighthearted quote that helps kick off his newest episode.
If you’re not yet a fan of the show, it’s about time you get in on all of the behind-the-scenes Seahawks goodness.
Robinson’s latest chapter features a look in at Phase 2 of the Seahawks’ offseason program at Virginia Mason Athletic Center. The familiar faces of Russell Wilson, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Winston Guy, John Moffitt, Max Unger, Josh Portis, Jermaine Kearse, and Phil Bates are all included, as well as the first “Real Rob Report” introductions with newcomers Percy Harvin, Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett.
Remember, you can stay up to date on everything from the Real Mike Rob by following his show on Twitter and subscribing to his channel on YouTube. And be sure to check out Moffitt’s venture into the apparel business at moffittmerch.com, where like he said in the video above – he’s not “lining his pockets” with the proceeds – they help feed the homeless at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.
Good morning, Seahawks fans, and welcome to day three of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Yesterday, the Seahawks took Texas A&M running back Christine Michael with the 62nd overall pick in round two and added Penn State defensive lineman Jordan Hill with the 87th overall pick in round three.
Heading into today, the Seahawks hold 10 draft picks – No. 123 (4th round), No. 138 (5th round), No. 158 (5th round), No. 165 (5th round), No. 194 (6th round), No. 199 (6th round), No. 220 (7th round), No. 231 (7th round), No. 241 (7th round) and No. 242 (7th round).
We’ll get started with all of that beginning at 9 a.m. PT, but in the meantime here’s a look at what’s “out there” about the Seahawks after day one and two of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times has a look at the Seahawks’ unconventional approach to draft day.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune details the Seahawks’ selection of Michael in round two.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald recaps day two of the Seahawks’ draft.
Danny O’Neil of 710Sports.com rehashes the Seahawks’ selections of Michael and Hill in the draft’s second and third rounds.
ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando has his story on the Seahawks’ moves from day two of the draft at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has his list of the 10 best remaining players in the 2013 draft.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com’s Around the League has his take on winners and losers from day two of the draft.
NFL.com has an updated look at every pick made so far in the 2013 draft.
Once again, we’ll be streaming live coverage of rounds 4-7 with Seahawks Insider Tony Ventrella here at Seahawks.com, which is where you can also find Clare Farnsworth’s recap of what transpired on day two of the draft for Seattle.
You can stay connected and up to date with all of the Seahawks’ draft picks by tuning in to our Draft Central page.
And like yesterday’s cyber surfing post, we leave you with several reactions from Seahawks players and coaches as they watched the day’s picks pour in.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 26.
The NFL notes that 2013 Pro Bowl rosters will be announced today at 7 p.m. ET on a special edition of “NFL Total Access.”
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at the improvement of quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense, “Wilson’s yards per attempt — a metric that helps gauge how aggressively a team looks downfield — is up nearly 2 yards over the past three games, a significant bump. What has really exploded is Wilson’s rushing numbers, the game plan becoming focused upon accentuating Wilson’s talents. It’s not just running beyond the line of scrimmage, but moving in the pocket. He’s got license to scramble, evading defenders with maneuvers that are at times almost comical. Earlier in the season, Seattle was trying to grind out victories while grooming a rookie quarterback. Now, the Seahawks are trusting that same rookie to see how far he will take them. ‘We have a front-line, first-rate quarterback going out there in these games and you’re seeing it,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s balling. We trust him in his decision-making because he’s proven worthy of that.’ ”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune rehashes the race for offensive rookie of the year, making a case for Wilson, “Since Week 5, Wilson has thrown for 2,274 yards, completing 65 percent of his passes for 21 touchdowns and just six interceptions. During that same stretch Wilson has a 106.9 passer rating, the second best in the league over that span behind only Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (110.8). In the red zone, Wilson has completed 56 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.6 passer rating, which is fourth-best in the league.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes about how Carroll and the Seahawks are handling their recent success, “No longer are the Seahawks, the team playing in the NFL’s most remote outpost, the plucky little team that could. They’re quickly turning into bullies. Apparently, three wins by a combined margin of 150-30 tends to make people take notice. So is there any concern the Seahawks could lose their edge now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth and are being called the NFL’s hottest team? ‘Yeah, sure, there is always concern for that,’ Carroll said. ‘That’s what my job is, to not let that happen, so I better be concerned about that. I’m very confident about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it and the language that we use and the way we talk, the way they’re talking. I love to hear their comments at this point and how they’ve dealt with the last few weeks. They’re right on point.’ ”
Boyle also notes a roster move from Monday, December 24, as the club released wide receiver Deon Butler from the 53-man roster to make room for the addition of rookie strong safety Winston Guy, who had been serving a four game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Jim Litke of the Associated Press tries to make sense of the sound level exhibited by the 12th Man at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, “[Sunday Night Football producer Fred] Gaudelli and his crew hatched a plan to demonstrate that by having sideline reporter Michele Tafoya speak into a microphone as the sound reverberated, then take a step back and try again. When they ran through it before the game, he had a stadium staffer simulate the crowd noise over the PA system. At the point Tafoya’s words were drowned out the system was cranked to 50 percent of volume. ‘So I asked the guy, is it really going to be that loud? He looked at me,’ Gaudelli chuckled into the phone, ‘and said, ‘Double it.’ The guy was right. That much was apparent at the start of the broadcast, when Tafoya interviewed Carroll – remember, the game hadn’t even begun – and didn’t dare stand anywhere but uncomfortably close. Uncomfortable might be the right word to describe the 49ers as well, at least in the early going, when they had to burn timeouts as relatively inexperienced quarterback Colin Kaepernick was having trouble getting the play calls from his sideline. Right about then, he probably wished the 49ers had devoted more time to mastering their silent snap counts. ‘The crowd’s explosive, it really is,’ Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. ‘They love us so much, and it brings so much energy to our football team. They keep us in the game, obviously, and they keep us alert.’ ”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press has reaction from Carroll on the club’s hope to continue to play with an edge, “The blowout of the 49ers grabbed the kind of attention the Seahawks have wanted. ‘The chip on the shoulder? That’s not something we just manufactured for the sake of getting fired up. The guys in this room feel that. Almost every one of these guys has their reasons. I feel like that myself. We just kind of share in that chip and we don’t even have to pass it around,’ Carroll said. ‘We all have one. That’s just kind of how it’s been. Just look, we’re up here in the Northwest and they like talking about us after they talk about everybody else. And that’s OK. That’s just the way it is. It doesn’t amount to much but sometimes it does fuel you a little to keep you going. It works for us so we’ll stay with it.’ ”
Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com says last Sunday’s victory over the 49ers was “extra special” for wide receiver Doug Baldwin, “As if beating his college coach in lopsided fashion wasn’t sweet enough, Baldwin had his finest game of the season in the win. He had receiving touchdowns of 4 and 6 yards, making difficult catches on each. He made a bobbling catch on a 46-yard gain that set up the Seahawks’ second touchdown. Baldwin finished with four catches for 53 yards. It was the first multi-touchdown game of his career. Then again, big games against the 49ers are nothing new for Baldwin. Four of his seven career touchdowns have come against San Francisco.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has updates from Carroll’s Monday presser, “Carroll said they emerged from the game fairly healthy with only a few issues. He said LB Leroy Hill has a hamstring injury that needs to be looked at. He also said Hill’s backup, LB Malcolm Smith, might have a groin issue as well. It’s something they need to check out. If neither would be available to play, LB Mike Morgan would be the backup at the weakside linebacker spot. Carroll said WR Sidney Rice and DE Red Bryant came out of the game feeling better. Rice had been dealing with a foot bruise and a knee injury heading into last week’s game. Bryant has been dealing with a plantar fascia injury in his foot. CB Marcus Trufant is expected to return to practice on Wednesday from a hamstring strain that has kept him out the last four games. Carroll said they still weren’t sure if CB Walter Thurmond would be able to practice Wednesday. He has missed the last two games with a hamstring strain as well.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his latest “MVP Watch” where Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch show up on his list, “Wilson now ranks seventh in NFL passer rating (98.0) and eighth in Total QBR (70.0) for the season. He ranks third in both categories — 101.5 rating, 75.6 QBR — from Week 2 to present. Much gets made of Wilson’s success at home. He ranks among the NFL’s top five in road QBR after Week 1 (78.8). Only Ryan (85.4), Brady (81.5) and Manning (80.2) rank higher among quarterbacks with more than four road starts during that time. Ben Roethlisberger (72.8), Drew Brees (69.9), Rodgers (69.8) and Robert Griffin III (69.6) are next. Wilson needs one touchdown pass against St. Louis in Week 17 to tie Manning’s rookie record of 26, set in 1998. Manning also had 28 interceptions that season. Wilson has 10, including one on a dropped pass.”
Sando has his most recent “Stock Watch” item as well, and the Seahawks’ coach and GM – Carroll and John Schneider – along with the Seahawks’ receiver and strong safety Kam Chancellor represent three of his four units that are on the rise, “Seahawks’ receivers. Dropped passes doomed Seattle’s offense during a 13-6 defeat at San Francisco in Week 7. Outstanding catches played an important role in Seattle sprinting to a big lead against the 49ers in the rematch Sunday night. Baldwin’s juggling catch in the rain for a 43-yard gain was the longest play for either team. Baldwin added two scoring receptions. Rice made a leaping grab along the sideline. Seattle converted 11 of 12 times on third down while Wilson was in the game.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth catches up with wide receiver Doug Baldwin, cornerback Richard Sherman, and special teams co-captain Heath Farwell on some of their favorite Christmas memories growing up.
We also have coach Carroll’s full video press conference from Monday available here.
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 24:
Christmas Eve Eve. For Pete Carroll, Sunday night began with him holding his grandson, Dillon, on the sideline before the Seahawks’ game against the 49ers. It ended with the team’s third-year coach embracing a playoff berth after a beyond-convincing 42-13 victory.
But Carroll is not satisfied. Far from it.
“My goal has never been the playoffs,” he said today during his weekly day-after Q&A session with reporters. “It’s try to win the division, because that puts you in the playoffs at home. And that’s what you want. The second season starts, but you want to position yourself in the best spot that you can get it.
“So we never say around here, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get to the playoffs.’ I never thought that. That isn’t good enough.”
That’s still out there for the Seahawks, if they beat the Rams at CenturyLink Field this Sunday while the Cardinals are beating the 49ers in San Francisco. But regardless of where the Seahawks finish, they’ve made it apparent that they can make some noise in the postseason.
To say they’re are on a roll does not do justice to just what the Seahawks have done during their four-game winning streak. Starting with the fourth quarter of their overtime win against the Bears in Chicago in Week 13, the Seahawks have scored on 24 of their 32 full possessions – not counting when the clock expired at the end of the first half or they kneeled to run out the clock at the end of the second half. And that doesn’t include the four touchdowns scored by the defense and special teams.
“We have to take care of our business first,” Carroll said. “What’s most important right now is we maintain consistency, and we maintain the level of play, and the focus to the details, and the discipline it takes to practice each day with intent, and do things right. And put together another good week so we can play well again.
“We’ve been playing well for quite a while. I can feel it in the room and the guys understand it. But that doesn’t mean anything unless we go do it again.”
GUY BACK, BUTLER GONE
The Seahawks have activated rookie safety Winston Guy, who returned last week with a roster exemption after serving a four-game suspension.
Guy, a sixth-round draft choice, was inactive for eight of the first 10 games before his suspension.
To clear a roster spot, wide receiver Deon Butler was released. Butler was re-signed Dec. 15.
Leroy Hill (hamstring) and Malcolm Smith (groin) came out of Sunday night’s game with injuries, and the next-man-up at weakside linebacker is Mike Morgan, who started one game and played most of the second on the strongside for K.J. Wright earlier this season.
Carroll expects Marcus Trufant to practice on Wednesday after missing the past four games with a hamstring injury. But he is not sure if Walter Thurmond will be able to return by then. Thurmond has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury.
Jermaine Kearse. Signed as a free agent in April after the NFL Draft, the rookie free agent from the University of Washington was released Aug. 31 on the roster cut to 53 players. He was then signed to the practice squad (Sept. 3), released from the practice squad (Sept. 8), re-signed to the practice squad (Sept. 11) and then signed to the 53-man roster (Oct. 30).
Sunday night, Kearse caught a 17-yard pass from Russell Wilson on a third-and-8 play to sustain a 15-play, 68-yard drive that ended with Wilson’s first TD pass to Doug Baldwin and also had two coverage tackles on special teams.
“Oh man, this is a lot of fun,” Kearse, who also went to Lakes High School, said in the locker room after the game. “Especially being in this environment, my rookie year, being with this team, in my hometown; it’s a ton of fun. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Especially because he’s playing for a coach who rewards those players who work hard. Kearse is just one example of a rookie – and a practice-squad rookie, at that – who has reaped the Carroll-bestowed chances.
“Coach has given be a great opportunity to be part of this team,” he said. “Whether it’s special teams or offense, whatever opportunity I get I’m going to run with it. I felt good about today. It was a great team win and I’m happy to be part of this organization.”
If the season ended today, which of course it doesn’t, the Seahawks would play the Redskins in Washington in the first round. That, of course, could change because the only playoff spots not settled involve the NFC West, NFC East and NFC North.
The Seahawks and 49ers are both in, with the 49ers winning the division if they beat the Cardinals on Sunday; or the Seahawks winning it if the 49ers lose and they beat the Rams. One wins the division, while the other gets the No. 5 seed.
In the East, the Cowboys play at the Redskins on Sunday with the winner taking the division and No. 4 seed. With a loss, the Redskins are the No. 6 seed, if the Vikings and Bears also lose. If the Cowboys lose to the Redskins, they’re out. Then it’s the Vikings for the No. 6 seed, if they beat the Packers; or the Bears, if they beat the Lions and the Vikings lose; or the Giants, if they beat the Eagles and Cowboys, Vikings and Bears all lose.
The Seahawks have made a pre-Christmas move in two of the power rankings that have surfaced early in this Christmas week. Here’s a look at where they rank, and what they’re saying:
No. 3 in Peter King’s “Fine Fifteen” at SI.com: “A tour de force victory Sunday night over the big, bad wolf of the NFC West that stamped the Seahawks as a real Super Bowl contender. No team has a bigger home-field advantage than the Seahawks (7-0 at CenturyLink this year). Too bad the ‘Hawks will likely have to win three straight on the road to get to the Super Bowl.”
No. 6 in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings: “The Seahawks are on a 100-13 scoring run at home and have put up 150 over the past three weeks.”
STATS ’N STUFF
After rushing for 176 yards against a 49ers defense that was allowing an average of 91.1, the Seahawks rank No. 2 in the league in rushing offense. They have spiked their per-game average (161.7) by averaging 226.5 in their four-game winning streak.
The Seahawks also are plus-12 in turnover differential, which ties for sixth in the league.
Marshawn Lynch remains second in the league in rushing (1,490) and is tied for fourth among non-kickers with 72 points. He’s also fifth in total yards (1,672) and first downs (75).
Richard Sherman is tied for second in the league with a career-high seven interceptions, one behind league-leader Tim Jennings of the Bears; while Chris Clemons is tied for seventh in sacks (11.5).
Wilson’s passer rating of 98.0 is seventh in the league, and second among rookie QBs behind the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III. Wilson’s 101.5 passer rating in the fourth quarter is seventh in the league and his 92.4 rating on third downs in eighth. With 25 TD passes, he is ninth in the league, tops among rookie QBs and one shy of Peyton Manning’s league record for a rookie QB.
Leon Washington remains second in the league in kickoff return average (30.1), while Jon Ryan is sixth in the league in net punting average (41.6) and tied for 10th in punts inside the 20 (28).
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner leads the team with 130 tackles, which is six shy of the single-season club record for a rookie set by Terry Beeson on 1977. Special teams co-captains Heath Farwell (15) and Michael Robinson (10) lead the team in coverage tackles.
STAT DU JOUR
Calvin Johnson surpassed Jerry Rice’s single-season NFL record for receiving yards on Saturday night, which only makes the job the Seahawks did against the Lions’ Megatron wide-out in Week 8 that much more impressive. Here’s a look that game, and what Johnson has done since then:
Opponent Rec. Yards
Seahawks 3 46
Jaguars 7 129
Vikings 12 207
Packers 5 143
Texans 8 140
Colts 13 171
Packers 10 118
Cardinals 10 121
Falcons 11 225
Christmas Day, of course. And this year it just happens to fall on the players’ usually day off. They will return on Wednesday to begin practicing for this week’s game against the Rams at CenturyLink Field.
YOU DON’T SAY
“The amazing thing Sunday night was, that was no Jacksonville or Kansas City they beat up 42-13. That was the San Francisco 49ers, who’d entered the game first in the NFL in scoring defense. Russell Wilson had the first four-touchdown-pass day of his exploding career, Marshawn Lynch rushed for 111 yards, and the Seahawks, with a crowd so loud that NBC sideline reporter Michele Tafoya had to scream into Pete Carroll’s ear to be heard before the game, continued on the NFL’s best three-game offensive run since 1950.” – King in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com
A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 19:
Being prepared for everything the 49ers’ offense can throw, and run, at a defense. Even coach Pete Carroll admitted, “Really, that’s kind of the topic of the day,” as the Seahawks began practicing for Sunday night’s nationally televised game against the NFC West-leading 49ers at CenturyLink Field.
“It’s a very challenging team,” Carroll said today. “And it’s the running elements, but then they’ve got (leading receiver Michael) Crabtree and there’s (tight end) Vernon Davis and there’s the big fella Randy (Moss) out there running.
“This is a very talented football team and all of those guys present problems in concert. So it’s a real challenge.”
A challenge made even more challenging with Colin Kaepernick taking over at quarterback for Alex Smith. The second-year QB runs faster and has a stronger arm than Smith, and has displayed both traits during his five-game stint as the starter.
As for those running elements, there’s Frank Gore, who is having another 1,000-yard rushing season – his sixth in the past seven seasons – and ran for 131 yards in the 49ers’ victory over the Seahawks in Week 7. There’s also LaMichael James, who has taken over for the injured Kendall Hunter. Now there’s Kaepernick, who is averaging 7.2 yards per carry and has a 50-yarder among his five touchdown runs.
The offensive line. Make that the finally-gaining-some-notoriety-offensive line, as the unit was selected for the “Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award” this week by Hall of Fame coach John Madden.
“Seattle has done a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage on a consistent basis,” Madden, who coached the Raiders before becoming an iconic broadcast analyst for NFL games, said in the release announcing the selection.
Left tackle Russell Okung, left guard John Moffitt, center Max Unger, right guard Paul McQuistan and right tackle Breno Giacomini paved the way for the Seahawks to score on their first five possessions – including three rushing touchdowns by quarterback Russell Wilson – in the 50-17 rout of the Bills at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. Marshawn Lynch added a fourth rushing touchdown in the third quarter as the Seahawks ran for 270 yards – including 55 in the fourth quarter, when backup linemen Frank Omiyale, J.R. Sweezy and Lemuel Jeanpierre were on the field.
“It’s cool, but I don’t know what that means,” Unger said of the honor. “I thought we played well. We gave up a sack that first play, then we kind of kept Russell (Wilson) pretty clean after that. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement. But it’s pretty cool that Mr. Madden thinks that we played a good game.”
The official report, as released by team:
Did not participate
DT Alan Branch (ankle)
DT Jason Jones (knee)
WR Sidney Rice (foot)
CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring)
CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)
RB/KR Leon Washington (illness)
Limited in practice
RB Marshawn Lynch (back)
Carroll said that Branch likely will sit out practice on Thursday as well to rest the ankle he sprained against the Bills, adding that he is hoping the team’s three-technique tackle will be able to practice on Friday. Clinton McDonald filled in for Branch today.
As for Trufant and Thurmond, Carroll said he’ll find out about their possible status as the week progresses. Trufant has missed the past three games and Thurmond did not play against the Bills. In their absence, rookie Jeremy Lane continued to work at right cornerback.
For the 49ers:
Did not participate
LB Clark Haggans (shoulder)
DT Justin Smith (elbow)
Limited in practice
LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder)
CB Tarell Brown (shoulder)
LB Tavares Gooden (ribs)
WR Mario Manningham (shoulder)
RB Bruce Miller (shoulder)
LB Aldon Smith (shoulder)
DT Will Tukuafu (concussion)
K David Akers (pelvis)
OG Alex Boone (knee)
LB NaVorro Bowman (shoulder)
RB Frank Gore (wrist)
OG Mike Iupati (shoulder)
CB Carlos Rogers (knee)
LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)
GUY, KNOX RETURN
Rookie safety Winston Guy practiced with the team for the first time since serving a four-game suspension. The Seahawks have a roster exemption for Guy. Also, linebacker Kyle Knox was signed to the practice squad. He was with the team in training camp until being released on roster cut to 53 players.
STAT DU JOUR
When Wilson threw his 21st touchdown pass of the season against the Bills last week, he moved into a tie with Cam Newton for third place on the all-time list for rookie quarterbacks in the NFL. Here’s a look at who Wilson is chasing with two games to play:
Player, team (year) No.
Peyton Manning, Colts (1998) 26
Charlie Conerly, Giants (1948) 22
Russell Wilson, Seahawks (2012) 21
Cam Newton, Panthers (2011) 21
Andrew Luck, Colts (2012) 20
Andy Dalton, Bengals (2011) 20
Dan Marino, Dolphins (1983) 20
“Competition Wednesday” gives way to “Turnover Thursday” as the players continue to practice for Sunday night’s game.
YOU DON’T SAY
“No, you don’t bring up the playoffs until the playoffs get here. You’re still in the regular season, so that’s what we’re playing. We’re playing trying to win the rest of these ball games and see where the chips fall.” – cornerback Richard Sherman, when asked if the players were mentioning the P-word this week knowing that a win over the 49ers will clinch a spot in the postseason
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 21.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times details wide receiver Golden Tate’s emergence in his third year as a pro, “Tate has become the kind of explosive player that Seattle envisioned when it drafted him. He was the 60th choice overall, but the Seahawks thought so much of Tate that they had a first-round grade on him. In his third year, he’s starting to show why. ‘We want to get the ball in his hands as much as possible because he does things with it and he’s exciting,’ Carroll said. ‘It took longer than we hoped, but the fact that he’s going now and he’s a big part of it so we want to keep him involved.’ After two years of wondering when he would find success, Tate has a new challenge: sustaining it. ‘I’m still going to continue to work,’ Tate said. ‘I’m very happy with the patience this organization has had with me in sticking with me and finally it’s coming together, and I feel like I’m becoming an effective player for this team.’ ”
O’Neil also held a ‘Hawk Talk chat with Seahawks fans yesterday afternoon which is available for review here.
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with Seahawks defensive tackle Jason Jones, who hopes to finish the season strong after being brought to Seattle as a free-agent on a one-year deal over this last off-season, “Jones has not produced eye-popping numbers, but Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has been pleased with the rangy defensive lineman’s ability to create consistent pressure from the interior of the line when he’s been in the game. ‘He has this way about him to get into cracks and stuff that helps everybody rush better,’ Carroll said. ‘Our pass rush is at our best when he’s out there, so hopefully we can get him going and allow him to be a factor.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald highlights the ability of Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond to keep a positive attitude over the years as he has dealt with injuries, and hints that he see action this Sunday in Miami, “How Thurmond will be used this weekend and for the rest of the season remains to be seen. Trufant has been playing in the nickel spot this season, a change for the veteran, and while he has handled the move well, the Seahawks view Thurmond as the long-term answer at the position. Thurmond also gives the Seahawks a very capable backup should starting cornerbacks Brandon Browner or Sherman suffer an injury. ‘We’ll see,’ Carroll said when asked how Thurmond will be used. ‘He’s been battling Tru at the nickel spot, but he’s been battling to play outside so we’ll see. He’s a special football player so we’d like to get him involved some. It might be in some dime situations as well, so we’re looking for a spot for him.’ Whatever his role, Thurmond can’t wait to see game action for the first time in 13 months. ‘I’m ready to get back out there,’ he said. ‘It’s been over a year now, so I’m trying to get back out there and actually get into some live action. I’m patiently waiting, and I have my pager waiting for the call.’ ”
Brock Huard of 710Sports.com and 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” says Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh have a very similar approaching to coaching, despite their very different outward appearances. You can listen to Huard explain why in this short video.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at the recent production of NFC West QBs.
The Seahawks come in at No. 10 on the AP Pro32’s latest rankings, and you can view several of their comments here.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has his latest NFL Power Rankings and the Seahawks move up two spots to No. 9 on his list, “They come off their bye with a real chance to be a playoff team. Now they have to prove they can play on the road.”
Don Banks of SI.com points to the Seahawks’ Week 13 matchup in Chicago and Week 16 matchup at home against San Francisco as key games to watch for playoff bubble teams down the stretch. On the Niners game, Banks writes, “With a 5-0 record at home, and three of their last four games to be played at CenturyLink Field this season, the Seahawks are in position for a December to remember. The division rival Cardinals, 49ers and Rams will all visit Seattle in the season’s final four weeks, with only a trip to Buffalo in Week 15 breaking up that run. So even if Pete Carroll’s guys should falter in their next two games at Miami and at Chicago, dropping to 6-6, Seahawks fans should keep hope alive. A 10-win season and a playoff berth will remain within reach.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his first look at the Miami Dolphins, brings a recap of “Tuesday in Hawkville“, and reviews the Seahawks’ ability to effectively utilize the zone-read option offense with quarterback Russell Wilson.
Rookie safety Winston Guy has been suspended for four games by the league, it was announced today.
The suspension was for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league said in the release announcing the penalty. Guy will be eligible to rejoin the team on Dec. 17.
Guy, a sixth-round draft choice, was inactive for eight of the Seahawks’ 10 games. The team has four other safeties and 10 defensive backs total on the active roster.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 5.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks need to get last year’s leading receiver Doug Baldwin more involved this week at Carolina, “Some of the trouble for Baldwin has been adjusting to a new quarterback in Wilson after building a rapport with Tarvaris Jackson a year ago. ‘I haven’t had much time with Russell, particularly on third downs,’ Baldwin said. ‘I kind of grew with Tarvaris last year. He always knew where I was going to be and when I was going to be there last year. I had that chemistry with T-Jack. It’s just a growing process with Russell.’ And there have been growing pains, to be sure. But before anyone goes and decides Seattle doesn’t have the weapons it needs in the passing game, it needs to use the components that it has on hand. ‘We had gone into this season thinking that Doug would be a focal point,’ [Head Coach Pete] Carroll said, ‘and we have not been able to get that done yet.’ ”
O’Neil also has Friday’s injury report, noting that defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was a new addition with what is listed as a calf injury, which O’Neil says is something worth monitoring as Mebane was forced to miss four games in 2010 with an injury to his calf.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has a look at Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who offers some advice to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on leading a team as a rookie, “Despite their differing circumstances, the 6-5 Newton and the 5-11 Russell Wilson are members of an exclusive fraternity of NFL quarterbacks who have been asked to lead their teams as rookies. And since the experience is fresh in the mind of the second-year Newton, he was asked this week for advice he might pass along to the rookie Wilson, who will take snaps for the Seahawks on Sunday when they visit Newton’s Carolina Panthers. ‘This is a long season,’ Newton said. ‘No matter how the season is going, you have to play 16 games, win or lose. You have to have a strong foundation of mental capacity, and not let your values alter by no means. If you believe in something – no matter how the season is going – you just have to be strong as a person. In this league you’re going to have success, you’re going to have downfalls, but on those downfalls, you have to treat it like a speed bump and not a roadblock.'”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details how the Seahawks defense plans to stop the attack of Newton and the Panthers, “Containing the explosive, playmaking ability of the Newton-led Carolina offense will be the top priority for Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley on Sunday. Bradley said the Panthers have 43 explosive plays in four games – runs of at least 12 yards or passes of at least 16 yards – so he wants to make sure that his players are sure tacklers and keep Carolina’s yards after the catch to a minimum. So, how do you tackle Newton? ‘You just have to have pursuit, and we’ve got to keep him contained, just like everybody else,” Bradley said. “(Aaron) Rodgers was the same way, the way he could get out of the pocket and extend the plays to throw it – but this guy can throw it or run it. So we’ve got to make sure that when he does get outside the pocket, we’ve got some guys that can really track him and try to lead him to the sideline, and use the sideline to help them, and just use our tackling fundamentals.’ ”
John McMullen of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s matchup between the Seahawks and Panthers, “While Wilson learns on the job Lynch leads the NFL in rushing with 423 yards and has had at least 85 yards rushing in 12 of his past 13 games. Stopping him is paramount to any Carolina success but that’s easier said than done. The Panthers had a franchise-record seven sacks last Sunday thanks in large part to Charles Johnson but their secondary has struggled badly and coach Ron Rivera is thinking about benching free safety Haruki Nakamura. Either way, it’s unlikely Wilson can take advantage. On the other side Carolina would also like to establish the run in order to slow an impressive Seahawks pass rush, which has 10 sacks over the last two games, and set up play action where Newton will look to veteran wide receiver Steve Smith outside and Olsen down the seam.”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald comments on Wilson’s ability to ignore the criticisms that have come after last week’s loss to the St. Louis Rams, “He is exactly the same answering questions a few days after a tough loss as he was after winning two straight. His aphorisms and cliches haven’t changed, nor has his demeanor. And much more importantly than how he handles himself in front of the media, Wilson also has impressed his teammates with his ability to avoid the emotional ups and downs that could come with being a rookie quarterback. ‘He’s handling it pretty good,’ receiver Ben Obomanu said. ‘You never see him down on himself or stressed about anything. He’s always trying to get better, so even when he has some good days, he’s still asking questions to find out what he can do better. He just has a good mindset knowing that the reality is that, as the quarterback, he’s going to get scrutinized. He understands that’s the way football works being a quarterback.’ ”
Boyle also recaps a media session with Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, “For the defense, the issue was getting off the field on third and long. Bradley said his team should stop teams 85 or 90 percent of the time in third-and-10 or longer situations, but the Rams were five of eight in those situations Sunday. ‘I think teams are 9 for 21 against us in third-and-10 plus, and we should be lower,’ Bradley said. ‘We had a bust on one of the coverages, and we had a three-man rush in one situation, the quarterback held the ball, and we really cued into (Rams receiver Danny) Amendola, and he was running around free and we got nervous and jumped him short, and they threw it in behind us, so some things like that with extended plays. That’s unacceptable. We can’t continue to operate like that, so we’ve got to address it. I don’t know if we have to change things, we just have to be more disciplined. And maybe it could have been on me, just get more of a four-man rush in that situation.’ ”
Dave Wyman, contributing to mynorthwest.com, says the Seahawks have 11 reasons to not fear the Panthers’ Newton, referring to each player on the Seahawks defense, “Across the board, this defense matches up well against quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers. Newton possesses not just the ability to run the ball, but the ability to run the ball with power. At 6-feet-5 and 245 pounds he’s a load, but to a man, there’s not one Seahawks defender that will lose that battle. I’m sure he loves to find a little cornerback to run over but I’ll bet he’s figured out by now, don’t try to run over Seattle’s cornerbacks. A guy like Brandon Browner will tune you up.”
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby of “Bob and Groz” discuss the elevated role the Seahawks linebackers must play Sunday in Carolina in containing Newton in this short video.
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM brings us some Seahawks offensive third-down statistics – an area that needs to improve on Sunday, “The Seattle Seahawks continued struggles on third down have become a major focus for the team this week as they prepare to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon. The problems have been even more of a focus after the struggles increased the last two weeks. Seattle has converted just 14 of 50 third downs offensively this season – a mere 28-percent. The last two weeks against Green Bay and St. Louis, they converted just 4 of 20 third down opportunities. ‘That’s out biggest issue right now. It’s our main focus,’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. ‘We kind of like what we’re doing on first and second down. I think 309 of our yards have come on first and second down and I think we’ve netted like minus-14 (yards) on third down. We’ve got to do better there.’ ”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a “must-listen” for Seahawks and Rams fans, as former NFL assistant coach Rick Venturi has analysis of the teams’ Week 4 game, “Seattle played far too much zone coverage. Venturi: “(Pete Carroll) ought to press every single down man to man. If he were standing here, I would say it to him. Every time he plays zone defense, he gives you a chance to throw the ball.”
Our friends at NFL Films preview Sunday’s matchup with Carolina in this short video.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his “Thursday in Hawkville” item with a focus on Wilson’s ability to play through the criticism, “This week, Wilson’s focus is on improving the passing game, in general, and the Seahawks’ performances on third down and in the red zone, specifically. The passing game ranks last in the NFL, averaging 130.8 yards per game. The Seahawks also are converting 28 percent on third downs (14 of 50) and have scored three touchdowns in 11 trips into the red zone. Wilson’s background as a baseball player has helped him in being able to ignore the noise during the early struggles for the offense. ‘In baseball, when you go 3 for 10 and you’re a Hall of Famer,’ he said. ‘In football, that’s no good. So I think the main thing is just having amnesia, like I always say. Just remain humble during the good times and remain humble during the bad times, and just keep fighting and keep working to be great. Don’t ever let that change. And that’s one thing I’ll never do. I’ll never let my desire to be great ever waver.’ ”
Farnsworth also catches up with linebacker K.J. Wright and safety Winston Guy, who have experience playing against the Panthers’ Newton in college, “The second-year strongside linebacker played against Newton two years ago, when Wright was at Mississippi State and Newton was quarterbacking Auburn to a national championship. ‘He’s a real physical guy with a lot of speed,’ Wright said. ‘You don’t see guys like him too much in the NFL, so we know we’ve got our hands full. But we’ll do a good job.’ Winston Guy, a rookie safety from Kentucky, also played against Newton in college. ‘He’s a very good player and he’s very versatile,’ Guy said. ‘And his size don’t lie. He’s all of that 6-5 and almost 250. But Gus (Bradley, defensive coordinator) has a great game plan for him. So if we do what we have to do, I feel like we can get a win this week.’ ”
Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, as the Seahawks look to learn from the mistakes they made in Week 4 against the Rams and capitalize on correcting them Sunday against the Panthers.
Fullback Michael Robinson brings us another episode of “The Real Rob Report”, this time catching up with longtime Seahawks equipment manager Erik Kennedy, who details his equipment team’s seven-day-a-week responsibility.
Mike Rob also talks with kicker Steven Hauschka, stands by as cornerback Brandon Browner and safety Jeron Johnson debate the greatest rapper of all-time, showcases guard John Moffitt’s new mustache, and catches a discussion between cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Winston Guy on the qualities of good hair vs. bad hair.
Stay tuned to Seahawks.com for more updates from “The Real Rob Report” and be sure to subscribe to Robinson’s YouTube channel for his latest video features.
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.