Wednesday cyber surfing: Ben’s Fund, and the schedule, too

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, April 18:

The big – and long-awaited – news, of course, was the release of the Seahawks’ schedule on Tuesday. But Tony Ventrella at also sat down recently with GM John Schneider and his wife, Traci, to discuss Thursday night’s function to benefit Ben’s Fund – in honor of their autistic son.

Now, on to the coverage of the schedule …

Mike Sando at offers his analysis, including a favorable view of the team’s late bye week: “The Seahawks’ cross-country trip to Miami in Week 12 falls after a three-week stretch featuring two home games and a bye. That is a favorable arrangement for the Seahawks, who usually challenge for the most air miles from year to year. They should be rested, relatively speaking, heading into road games against the Dolphins and Bears in consecutive weeks.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times looks at the games that will be played on a national, and even international, stage: “The Seahawks will have a national television audience for their two prime-time games in 2012, including a home game against Green Bay on Monday night in Week 3. Seattle will have an international stage, however, for its December game against Buffalo, which will be played in Toronto.”

Eric Williams at the News Tribune focuses on the miles the Seahawks will fly to reach road games: “Seattle again will earn a lot of frequent flyer miles this season. The team will log more than 14,000 miles for road games.”

Also at the News Tribune, John McGrath wonders how the NFL can generate so much excitement with such a ho-hum announcement: “I can’t fathom the fervor over the announcement of a schedule we already realized would bring Dallas, Green Bay, New England and the New York Jets to Seattle, and take the Seahawks to Carolina, Detroit, Chicago and Buffalo (er, Toronto). I’ll give the NFL this much: It not only knows how to stay in the news, but it also knows how to stay in the front and center of the news, even when there’s little in the news the NFL is making.”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald starts at the beginning – with the opener at the same location where the Seahawks’ 2011 season ended: “The Seattle Seahawks will open their 2012 season where last season ended — in Arizona — and finish the year with back-to-back home games against NFC West opponents San Francisco and St. Louis. In between, Seattle will play in prime time twice, and also play its first regular-season game outside of the U.S.”

Here at, in addition to our coverage of the schedule being released, we also continue our draft series with a look at the receivers – and we focus on the evolving tight end position: “ ‘Tight ends can be a weapon,’ (Ozzie) Newsome, now the general manager of the Baltimore Ravens, said at the NFL Scouting Combine. ‘Tight end is a position now that people have to defend when they show up on Sundays. I get some thrills out if it. I just think that two years ago it was a great draft for tight ends and people took advantage of that.’ Now, tight ends are taking advantage of defenses on a weekly basis. Last season, 13 tight ends either led their team in receptions or finished second. Six of the Top 20 pass-catchers in the league, and 13 of the Top 50, were tight ends. Two of the Top 7 players in receiving yards were tight ends, and 14 of the Top 50. The Saints’ Jimmy Graham (99 for 1,310) and Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski (90 for 1,327) led the way, but the list of tough-to-cover tight ends also included the Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez, the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions for the position; Lions’ Brandon Pettigrew, Cowboys’ Jason Witten, Patriots’ hybrid Aaron Hernandez, Buccaneers’ Kellen Winslow II, 49ers’ Vernon Davis, Jets’ Dustin Keller, Chargers’ Antonio Gates, Eagles’ Brent Celek, Redskins’ Fred Davis and Bengals’ Jermaine Graham. Each had at least 56 receptions.”

There’s also a closer look at the receivers and a Q&A with Justin Blackmon.

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