Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 1:
Mike Sando of ESPN.com was at practice Wednesday and offers some observations. Says Sando: “(Leon) Washington has embraced the way assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable instructs running backs to read their keys, which includes making cuts properly in relation to defenders’ alignment. It’s pretty clear Washington will command additional touches on offense this season. He’s healthier and more confident.”
Also from ESPN.com, John Clayton rates the quarterbacks in the league. He puts Tarvaris Jackson at No. 30, in the hit-or-miss category, offering: “Jackson was beaten out by Gus Frerotte and Brett Favre during his five seasons with the Vikings. Unless Dave Krieg comes out of retirement, he should beat out Charlie Whitehurst for the starting job.”
Chris Burke at SI.com previews the four teams in the NFC West. He predicts a 7-9 record and second-place finish behind the Rams for the Seahawks, offering: “This felt like a really solid offseason for the Seahawks. They added some terrific pieces, like (Zach) Miller and (Sidney) Rice, that should have pushed a defending division champ over the top. Instead, Seattle will enter the regular season praying its offensive line can hold it together and banking on its defense to improve despite not making any real upgrades. It feels like this team will be better in 2012 than it will in 2011.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times writes that the starters will play more than usual in Friday’s preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field. Offers O’Neil: “The Seahawks, however, aren’t just sweating the final pieces of their 53-man roster this week. The offensive line remains very much a work in progress to the point that Seattle will deviate from standard-operating procedure of resting veterans for the exhibition finale. Seattle’s starters will play on Friday night against Oakland at CenturyLink Field. Coach Pete Carroll wouldn’t say how much, but he implied the first unit is going to play. In fact, he was already fairly certain of that after Saturday’s loss in Denver when he watched starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson get sacked five times.”
Dave Boling of the News Tribune has the story on one of the more entertaining aspects of practice: The chirping that goes on between wide receiver Mike Williams and free safety Earl Thomas. Says Boling: “This time of the NFL exhibition season, a common question arises from fans: Where are the best battles on the practice field? For the Seahawks, the best competition has nothing to do with the depth chart. Hands-down, the fiercest battle is the nonstop verbal jousting between receiver Mike Williams and safety Earl Thomas during practices. To clarify, nobody in the franchise wields a sharper needle than linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr., whose comments between plays can buckle the knees of a strong man at 50 paces. Be they comical, constructive or critical, Norton is the all-time heavyweight champion of the spontaneous remark. But for intramural mockery, scorn and feigned contempt, Williams and Thomas may be the best tandem the Seahawks have had in a long time.”
Just in case you can’t get enough about Doug Baldwin, John Boyle of the Everett Herald has another story – and angle – on the rookie free agent wide receiver who has been the talk of the preseason. Says Boyle: “If not for a newspaper publisher in Pensacola, Fla., and a former head coach of the Buffalo Bills, there’s a good chance that Doug Baldwin wouldn’t be battling for a shot to make the Seahawks roster. And if that doesn’t make any sense, well just bear with us for a moment.”
At PI.com, Christian Caple has notes and news from another busy day for the Seahawks.
Here at Seahawks.com, we check in with Cable to see how he’s handling the growing pains of his offensive line. Of the No. 1 units, he says, “Probably playing that group more than you normally would. But we need to do it. And I think Saturday was a perfect example of how much they need to continue to play and continue to grow. We have to do it now. We’re all in it together. We know we’ll have some bumps in the road. But we what to minimize it. Saturday, we didn’t do a good job of it.”
There’s also the daily Hawkville report, which focuses on John Carlson and the decision to have season-ending surgery on his shoulder: “The decision was kind of made by my shoulder,” Carlson said. Talk about body language. But that was the case. Initially, Carlson was going to rehab the shoulder and try to play with it. “It kind of resolved itself by not coming along as far as we wanted it to,” he said. “That’s where my shoulder is. I need to get it fixed and start the rehab process.” We also have Tony Ventrella’s daily video recap, as well as written and video reports from the unveiling of a statue of Walter Jones at the new Seahawks 12 Club at Sea-Tac.