Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 24:
It’s one of those theme days, after the announcement that Sidney Rice would make his regular-season debut for the Seahawks in Sunday’s home opener.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times looks at the expectations that arrived along with the former Pro Bowl wide receiver when the team signed him in free agency. Offers O’Neil: “The Seahawks signed receiver Sidney Rice for his hands, but there’s at least a little pressure on his shoulders in Seattle’s home opener against Arizona on Sunday. That’s not a comment on the injury that kept him out of the first two regular-season games this year, but the reality that Seattle’s offense very much needs the kind of spark Rice was signed to provide.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune writes that the Seahawks’ offense can use any spark Rice can provide. Says Williams: “The Seahawks hope the addition of Rice will add some explosiveness to the team’s punchless offense. The Seahawks have one passing play of 25 or more yards this year (tied for worst in the league) and two rushing plays of 10 or more yards (tied for second-worst). And Seattle is second-to-last in scoring at 8.5 points per game.”
John Boyle at the Everett Herald has – you guessed it – more on Rice. Says coach Pete Carroll: “He’s a big factor. This was a big move that we made to go get Sidney and we’ve had in mind that he’d be a huge factor for us and help other guys get open and help the running game and all of that because you’ve got to pay attention to him. He’s that good of a player. So as we work him back in, we’ll see the impact as we build with it, but it’s great to have him back.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has five observations about the Seahawks and the Cardinals entering Sunday’s game. Observation No. 1 on the Seahawks: “The goal-line defense remains strong. Seattle ranks fifth in touchdown percentage allowed when opponents have goal-to-go situations. Safety Earl Thomas stood out more than once when the Seahawks turned over the ball on downs after Pittsburgh had first-and-goal from the 1. He’s just so fast and explosive. Not many players Thomas’ size could have brought down Rashard Mendenhall so decisively at the goal line on that fourth-down play.”
He’s also got his “Final word” on the division entering Week 3. No. 1 involves the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald: “The Arizona Cardinals’ Pro Bowl receiver caught a combined 23 passes for 251 yards in road games against Seattle over the 2008 and 2009 seasons. His production at the former Qwest Field dropped to three catches and 30 yards without a viable quarterback last season, but Kevin Kolb’s addition puts Fitzgerald in position to pick up where he left off two years ago. The key variable this time is whether the Seahawks’ improved size in the secondary can help them better combat Fitzgerald. Cornerback Brandon Browner, all 6-foot-4 of him, needs to fare better against Fitzgerald than he did against Pittsburgh’s speedier Mike Wallace.”