Friday cyber surfing: Checking in from the Pro Bowl

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Jan. 27:

Here at Seahawks.com, we check in with Earl Thomas, the Seahawks’ second-year free safety who’s in Honolulu for his first Pro Bowl: “Once the Pro Bowl begins on Sunday, it will be just another football game. Right? The tone of Earl Thomas’ voice says otherwise. ‘This is something special to me,’ Thomas said Thursday during a telephone interview from Honolulu, where the Seahawks’ second-year free safety is preparing to play in his first Pro Bowl. ‘I don’t know how the other guys are taking it, but I’m going to give it my best when I get out there. Because I know once I start playing, it’s going to be like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. So I’m just really looking forward to it.”

We also have an item on Marshawn Lynch, who’s also part of the Seahawks’ five-man Pro Bowl contingent, being ranked as the 40th best player in the league by Pro Football Weekly: “Here’s what they had to say about Lynch: ‘Rushing for more than 100 yards in six of Seattle’s last nine games, Lynch finished with a career-high 1,204 yards and 12 rushing TDs (13 total). A bruising, between-the-tackles, downhill runner with make-you-miss ability, Lynch, who is a free agent, runs a lot bigger than his 5-foot-11, 215-pound size – with a ‘Beast Mode’ attitude that has endeared him to the Seahawks’ fan base. Having become the team’s offensive centerpiece and most popular player, Lynch’s re-signing is Pete Carroll’s No. 1 priority.’ ”

Pete Prisco at CBSSports.com checks in with Deon Grant, the former Seahawks strong safety who is now playing an important and versatile role for the Super Bowl-bound Giants: “Over the course of the game (in Week 9 game against the Patriots), Grant lined up 30 times as a linebacker, 26 times as a safety and 13 times on the line of scrimmage. He was locked in man coverage with Rob Gronkowski, New England’s all-world tight end, 15 times, getting an interception of (Tom) Brady when matched in man coverage with Gronkowski. He also blitzed nine times from various spots along the line. ‘It’s a special defense,’ Grant said. ‘Sometimes I am a linebacker. Sometimes I am safety. Sometimes I am a nickel back. It worked that day.’ ”

Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com, via CBSSports.com, focuses his Senior Bowl coverage on North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins: “He has put to rest any debate as to who is the most talented senior cornerback in this year’s group with his performance in practice this week. He is a fluid athlete with very light feet and swivel hips to turn and run downfield, but also shows the closing burst and physical nature to attack what’s in front of him. At practice on Wednesday, Jenkins showed impeccable timing and explosion to plant, drive and blow up the play, knocking the ball and North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones to the ground in one of the drills.”

This one has nothing to do with the Seahawks, and little to do with football. But Ian O’Connor’s story on John Mara and his daughter, Rooney, at ESPN.com is a must-read: “Chris Mara, football scout, was on the edge of his seat and staring down the TV as if he were watching the NFL draft. This was Tuesday morning, and the longtime talent evaluator for the New York Giants was waiting to see if a certain prospect was picked in a first round loaded with high-profile stars. Meryl Streep. Glenn Close. Viola Davis. Michelle Williams. Mara didn’t know if his own million-dollar baby would make that kind of Academy Award cut, and he didn’t want to get his heart broken. Again. Yeah, he knew the feeling. Mara badly wanted to be the general manager of the Giants five years ago, only to be told by his brother John that the Oscar would be going to Jerry Reese. So Chris delayed his commute to work to watch the nominations. He figured it was better to be disappointed in his home, alone, than to endure another round of you’ll-get-’em-next-times at the office. And when Rooney Mara’s name was indeed called in the best actress category, her father did what any father of a 26-year-old hopeful would do when nominated for an Oscar. ‘I let out a pretty big scream,’ he said. ‘And then I cried.’ ”


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