Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 15:
Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett ranked 2-6 in the league last season in broken tackles per touch, according to the formula used by Football Outsiders and presented by ESPN.com blogger Mike Sando. Not all that surprising when you look at their rushing totals (a combined 1,096 yards) while running behind a line that used 10 different starting combinations in 2010. Says Sando: “The Seahawks’ run blocking wasn’t very good on the whole last season. The stats for Lynch and Forsett suffered as a result, but the numbers for broken tackles suggest both men maximized their opportunities. Lynch is a physical runner. He even took out the 49ers’Patrick Willis in one memorable encounter last season. Stats for broken tackles were for the regular season only. Lynch broke eight tackles during a single run against New Orleans in the playoffs. Forsett is shiftier and makes defenders miss.”
The best left tackle in the NFC West? For years, it was Walter Jones. No argument. Now, it’s his replacement: Russell Okung. Says who? Sando, for one. And the readers of his blog, who have Okung in the lead in the poll Sando is conducting. In balloting for the best left tackle in the league, Sando was the only one of the ESPN bloggers to cast a vote for Okung (at No. 10). Offered Sando: “I ranked Okung 10th as a projection for 2011 even though the St. Louis Rams’ Rodger Saffold was arguably the best left tackle in the NFC West last season. My thinking on Okung: There are not 10 complete, elite left tackles in the NFL. Okung belongs on a very short list of players with the talent and makeup to be elite at that position. He hasn’t played enough to this point, but I think he’ll join that group. Listing someone with less ability was the alternative.”
And still more from Sando, who provides comments from coach Pete Carroll on Golden Tate and Aaron Curry, and then offers his thoughts. Sando on Tate, a second-year wide receiver: “Young players such as Tate are going to get longer looks, most likely. Some of the older players will not be back.” Sando on Curry, a third-year linebacker: “Carroll inherited Curry. He did not draft Curry. But the coach would still like to have more than a traditional strong-side linebacker in return for the millions Curry is getting as the fourth player chosen in the 2009 draft.”
The Seahawks are scheduled to play the Giants at their year-old stadium this season, on Oct. 9. Sporting News Daily offers this offseason look at the Giants. The bottom-line assessment: “There are enough quality players for the Giants to contend for the playoffs. If they clean up the turnover sloppiness (a league-high 42 last season), the offense should have little problem moving up and down the field.” Of greater concern to the Seahawks is the fact that this is one of five games on their schedule with a 10 a.m. start – West Coast and body time.
Ed Viesturs is up to his motivational tricks again, only this time it’s for the Vancouver Canucks in their quest to win the Stanly Cup (Game 7 is tonight in Vancouver). The legendry mountain climber used the same carabineer tactics that are mentioned in this story from the Globe and News with the Seahawks during their run to the Super Bowl in 2005. The Seahawks players had the growing chain of connected carabineers hanging in their lockers. Said Canucks defenseman (or defenceman, if you’re reading this north of the border) Kevin Bieksa: “He spoke to us at the beginning of the season and spoke to us before the playoffs. So he’s been our guy.”
As for the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com quotes a source as saying the talks between the owners and players are “80-85 percent complete.” Adds Freeman: “They’ve made such fast progress, I’m told, it’s catching many of the principals by surprise. Some are now canceling vacations, believing an agreement will be reached within a matter of days.” We can only hope.
Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the players voted to the 35th Anniversary team with a look at Shaun Alexander, whose 2005 season not only was one for the ages but one readers also voted the best single-season performance in franchise history.