Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 20:
The Seahawks play their preseason home opener at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Field, and the opponent just happens to be the Minnesota Vikings – the team QB Tarvaris Jackson and wide receiver Sidney Rice played for the past five and four seasons, respectively. Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times explores the chemistry the pitcher and catcher bring to the Seahawks’ new-look offense. Offers O’Neil: “Tarvaris Jackson’s first pass as a Seahawk didn’t involve a football. Jackson tossed a suggestion Pete Carroll’s way back on July 26 when free agency began: Give Sidney Rice a call right now. No sooner had Jackson agreed to become a Seahawk than he joined their pursuit of Rice, his teammate the past four seasons in Minnesota. ‘It helped us with Sidney, obviously, in terms of recruiting,’ general manager John Schneider said.”
O’Neil also has a “Take 2” feature where he looks at look-alikes for current and former Seahawks players.
Eric Williams of the News Tribune looks at the third member of the former Vikings club: Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who also was in Minnesota the past five years. Says Williams: “In some ways, Pete Carroll’s hiring of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell represents a shift back to a scheme the Seattle Seahawks had so much success with during the Mike Holmgren era. With a twist. Bevell, 41, is a West Coast offense believer who cut his teeth in the NFL in Green Bay under Mike Sherman – one of the many Holmgren disciples who went on to become a head coach. The same terminology and verbiage that Holmgren used in his precise, rhythm passing attack is what Bevell uses. But what makes Bevell’s offense different is his belief in a run-first approach driven by the zone blocking scheme preferred by new offensive line coach Tom Cable and Carroll.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald also takes a closer look at what will be Jackson’s first home start. Says Boyle: “While nothing definitive will come out of tonight’s game — remember, it’s a preseason game — it will give a lot more clues into what Jackson and this offense will be capable of compared to last week’s game in San Diego. Against the Chargers, Jackson and most of the offensive starters played just the first two series, and several of his top targets didn’t play at all. In addition to missing starting receivers Mike Williams and Sidney Rice, Jackson also didn’t have starting tight end Zach Miller, receiver Ben Obomanu and running back Justin Forsett at his disposal.”
At PI.com, Christian Caple offers five things to watch in tonight’s game. No. 1 is getting a look at Jackson: “Not impressed with Tarvaris Jackson’s 3-for-5, 13-yard showing in the Seahawks’ preseason opener at San Diego? You’ll get a longer look at the Seahawks’ starter Saturday. Coach Pete Carroll said Jackson will play the entire first half against the Vikings, meaning we might actually see a large enough sample size to properly analyze Jackson’s game.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we take a longer look at Rice – literally: “In the Minnesota Vikings’ locker room, they referred to Sidney Rice as “Long Man.” And it hasn’t taken the ridiculously talented wide receiver long to show why during his first training camp with the Seahawks. Hardly a practice has gone by without the long-limbed Rice extending or contorting his 6-foot-4 frame to snag a pass that seemed uncatchable. ‘He’s just loaded with those kinds of plays,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘He’s really, really talented. He loves to compete in practice. It just fits so beautifully with the way we approach it. He’s embracing this opportunity to show who he is and how he fits in and how we can count on him.’ ”
Jim Trotter of SI.com has this postcard from camp after spending the past two days in Seattle. Says Trotter: “As with any Pete Carroll team, there was great enthusiasm and tempo during the practice. The only thing louder than the thud of bodies and pads crashing together was linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. barking at the offense. The man’s voice was as loud as the seaplane that lifted off beautiful Lake Washington, which borders the western edge of the Seahawks’ training complex. This is Carroll’s second training camp and the team he oversees now looks virtually nothing like the one he inherited. In what might be the most remarkable stat of the preseason, the Seahawks have just 17 players who were on the roster when Carroll arrived last year. Seventeen. Remarkable.”