Thursday cyber surfing: Lynch upstaged

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Jan. 26:

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times checks in from the red carpet at last night’s Sports Star of the Year banquet: “The incredible still occurs, and some of it happened last year. Marshawn Lynch’s 67-yard touchdown run in the Seahawks’ playoff victory over the Saints was one such moment. So was Sounders FC winning a third consecutive U.S. Open Cup. Yet both of those moments were topped by Eastern Washington winning a national football title as the sports story of the year.”

Bob Condotta at the Times has the list of winners.

Here at Seahawks.com, via SoundersFC.com, we take a look at Gary Wright, who was named Executive of the Year at the event: “Gary Wright’s office at Virginia Mason Athletic Center could be mistaken for a combined Sounders FC/Seahawks mini museum. It is filled with mementos from the 32 seasons he spent with the NFL team, features memorabilia from his three years as senior vice president of business operations for the MLS club and includes souvenirs from his love affair with the game they call soccer in the United States. But two items among the photos, jerseys, plaques and other tributes – aside from the pictures of his five grandchildren in their kit – mean the most to Wright: The Sounders FC Brand Wheel, which is framed and on the wall behind his desk; and a “full” team photo of the club, which includes all the employees as well as the players, that dominates another wall. These two objects also explain how Wright is approaching being named Executive of the Year at 77th annual Sports Star of the Year banquet on Wednesday night at Benaroya Hall.”

Dave Boling at the News Tribune weighs in on the Seahawks having five participants in Sunday’s Pro Bowl – Earl Thomas, Michael Robinson, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner and Marshawn Lynch: “They’re all young (average age 25), they were all acquired during the two-year reign of Pete Carroll/John Schneider, and all but one has represented a bit of a reach in some respects. What it says, then, is that these managers are willing to take a few chances, and they seem effective at targeting talent when they do.”

The Seahawks’ contingent has left Mobile, but preparations continue for Saturday’s Senior Bowl. Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com, via CBSSports.com, says Boise State pass-rusher Shea McClellin is using the week to emerge from the shadows of more heralded teammates: “ ‘Don’t write too much about the guy,’ one high-ranking scout said following practice Wednesday.‘We’ve been on him all year long and don’t want others jumping on him now.’ Sorry, but it is unfathomable that McClellin’s play this week was unnoticed by the rest of the league. Listed by the Broncos at 6-3, 255 pounds, McClellin was moved around a great deal but saw the majority of his snaps at defensive end, where he’s currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a fourth-round value. McClellin accepted the invitation to the Senior Bowl, anticipating he would remain at the position but perhaps see some time at linebacker. Instead, he has worked almost exclusively at linebacker, taking virtually every snap Wednesday on the weak side and proving his versatility and draft grade are perhaps significantly underrated.”

Rang also looks at a trio of players who have forced him to reevaluate his assessments, including Boise State’s George Iloka: “At nearly 6-4 and 222 pounds, Iloka looks more like a potential linebacker than a free safety, but his athleticism and instincts have been on display all week long. He intercepted a pass during Tuesday’s practice, making an impressive diving pick-off of Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins in front of Massachusetts’ H-back Emil Igwenagu. Iloka is not surprisingly a bit high in his back pedal but he showed surprising agility and burst when asked to drop down and cover receivers when the offense switched to a three receiver set. In a relatively weak year for safeties (outside of Alabama’s Mark Barron), Iloka’s size, athleticism and experience (40 consecutive starts) stand out.”

Simon Samano at NFL.com takes a look at Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson, who might be short in stature but is long on intangibles: “In 2011, his only season with the Badgers after transferring from North Carolina State, Wilson led Wisconsin to an 11-3 record, including a heartbreaking defeat to Oregon in the Rose Bowl. Wilson finished with a career-high 33 touchdown passes to just four interceptions and dramatically improved his accuracy with a 72.8 completion percentage. Those numbers speak volumes, but what makes Wilson “intriguing,” as NFL network draft guru Mike Mayock says, are his intangibles. Mayock has even gone so far as to compare Wilson to Doug Flutie.”


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