Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Feb. 3:
Mike Sando of ESPN.com caught up with Larry Fitzgerald at the Super Bowl and the Cardinals’ wide receiver had this to say about how the Seahawks have changed under coach Pete Carroll: “They are much more physical, much more physical. At the Pro Bowl last week, they had three guys from their secondary, Brandon Browner and Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. When you look at Chancellor, Chancellor is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds and a phenomenal athlete with good ball skills, good range. Earl Thomas is like a young Troy Polamalu, flying around and making plays. And Brandon Browner is the biggest cornerback I’ve ever seen in my life. He can play, too. He can cover. I really like the young rookie they have, (Richard) Sherman from Stanford. He is going to be a good player. Obviously, when they get Marcus Trufant back, that will only make them deeper. They challenge you at the point of attack. They want to pressure you and make things uncomfortable for you at the line of scrimmage, and their whole philosophy has changed. It’s fun to play against them.”
Fitzgerald also had this to say about the NFC West: “The division is getting better. Two years ago, people looked at the NFC West as the armpit of the league, so to speak. Now, teams are playing much better. The games are physical now. That is good because you want the competition; you want to have great division rivalries. That is a lot of fun, like the NFC East. I don’t care if Washington is playing at New York, you can get beat. We want to build it up that way, too.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the franchise tag as it applies to franchise backs, including Marshawn Lynch: “In the past five years, there have been a grand total of two running backs who received the franchise tag from their respective teams: Darren Sproles (San Diego, 2009) and Brandon Jacobs (New York Giants, 2009). That’s it. Teams can begin designating franchise players later this month, and there’s the distinct possibility that three running backs could receive the tag.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the process that produces the annual selections for the Pro Football Hall of Fame – which also includes Sando, because he’s the Seattle rep on the selection committee: “(Cortez) Kennedy, the eight-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle for the Seahawks, is a finalist for the fourth consecutive year. But for the first time, he faces a field of fellow finalists that does not include a “shoo-in” candidate as the 44-person selection committee huddles in Indianapolis on Saturday morning to choose the Class of 2012 – which will be announced at 2:30 p.m. PST during a one-hour special on the NFL Network.”
Todd McShay at ESPN.com has his second mock draft. There’s no link because it’s for insiders and requires registration and a fee, but here’s who he has the Seahawks selecting: Alabama RB Trent Richardson. “Richardson is a top-five talent but will likely slip a bit because of positional value considerations. Falling this far would be a surprise, but none of the teams in the top 10 have a pressing need at running back. If none of them ignore need to take the best player available, the Seahawks will feel like they’ve won the lottery. Both Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett are free agents, and Richardson would bring with him an elite combination of size, speed, power, quickness and vision.”
Also at ESPN.com, but also in an insider’s feature, Mel Kiper ranks Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman as the 10th best rookie in the NFL last season: “He didn’t start immediately, but he did get 10 total, and played at what I consider a Pro Bowl level for the second half of the season, helping to galvanize a suddenly very impressive Seattle secondary. He’s long at 6-foot-3, and can battle against big wideouts.”
As for that game this Sunday, checkout John Clayton’s “First and Goal” at ESPN; Clark Judge’s comparison of Tom Brady and Joe Montana, Brady’s boyhood idol, at CBSSports.com; and Richard Deitsch’s look at what most of us will be watching at SI.com.