Friday cyber surfing: Seahawks playing to their strengths

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 28.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times comments on the Seahawks’ passing game, “Of the five rookie quarterbacks starting in the league, Wilson is the only one whose team has a winning record. His team, however, ranks last in the league in passing yardage. So what are we to make of that, coach Pete Carroll? …Of course, there is another quarterback on the roster. A guy named Matt Flynn, who’s making a healthy paycheck and put up gaudy numbers in his only two career starts in his four years in Green Bay before signing in Seattle. Would he be someone who would allow the Seahawks to take the lid off the offense? ‘It wouldn’t be any different if Matt was playing,’ Carroll said. ‘It would feel the same way. I don’t know what would happen — production-wise — we’re just trying to grow around the style of the football team that gives us a chance to be really physical and really tough and don’t give up anything.’ That’s the primary concern for Carroll: preventing turnovers. Seattle hasn’t given the ball away the past two games, winning both games and improving to 2-1 with a formula that isn’t fancy so much as effective.”

O’Neil also has his report from Thursday’s practice session, noting that offensive linemen John Moffitt and Breno Giacomini have been sidelined through the week of practice, but a familiar face is back in the fold, “The biggest player on the line is about to return, though, as James Carpenter — last year’s first-round pick — could be ready to play this week after recovering from a serious knee injury suffered last year. … Carpenter was drafted as a tackle, but is moving to guard, which Seattle expects will be a permanent spot for him. He is practicing at left guard, where Seattle hopes to pair him alongside Russell Okung.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune takes a look at the St. Louis Rams’ improved secondary, which now includes the likes of veteran Cortland Finnegan and rookie Janoris Jenkins, “The cornerback tandem has helped St. Louis limit opponents to a total of two passing touchdowns, tied for first in the league. St. Louis faces a Seattle offense that is last in the league in passing at just 127.7 yards per game. The Seahawks have had only six completions of 20 yards or more, second-worst in the league. Seattle has thrown the ball an average of 25 times per contest, last in the NFL.”

Williams also has his Thursday practice notes, “Frank Omiyale would be the likely replacement for Giacomini at right tackle, while Paul McQuistan or J.R. Sweezy could slide in at right guard. Second-year pro James Carpenter is slated to see his first play time this season at left guard if he makes it through this week’s practice okay. Linebacker Leroy Hill (calf) and defensive tackle Jason Jones (knee) also did not practice today. Rookie defensive tackle Greg Scruggs was a limited participant in practice after sitting out of Wednesday’s practice with a wrist injury. And fellow rookie defensive lineman Jaye Howard also was a limited participant with a foot injury. Receiver Doug Baldwin (shoulder) and cornerback Byron Maxwell were full participants for a second straight day.”

Lyle Fitzsimmons of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s Seahawks-Rams matchup, “Quarterback Sam Bradford was dumped six times in a 17-point loss at Chicago last week when the Rams had a season-low 160 yards. ‘We’re going to have another week to work together and we’ll continue to do the same things that we’ve been doing with these guys,’ coach Jeff Fisher said. ‘You coach them up. You put them in position where you think they can be successful and then you’ve got to adjust.’ Eighty-seven of a harried Bradford’s 95 passing attempts have been shorter than 20 yards. Wide receiver Danny Amendola could test the Seattle secondary after a quick start that’s placed him second in the league with 25 receptions and tied for third with 296 yards, but the Rams could have limited options with running back Steven Jackson (groin). He missed three quarters against the Redskins in Week 2, then had 29 yards on 11 carries last week.”

Matt Williamson of breaks down the Seahawks-Rams matchup. The piece requries an ESPN Insider subscription to access, but here is a little snippet from Williamson, “Key positional battle — Bradford vs. Seahawks’ safeties: The Seahawks have one of the best secondaries in the NFL. While their cornerbacks are very good, tall and physical, the safeties, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, are exceptional. But accounting for both safeties is not an easy chore for opposing quarterbacks. Thomas is much more of the deep patroller of the two, and Seattle will show a lot of single high looks. Thomas is also violent in run support and can even come down to the line of scrimmage and cover a slot receiver. Chancellor has rare size for the position and is an enforcer who thrives near the line of scrimmage. But Chancellor can also blitz well or eliminate a tight end or running back as a coverage player. Bradford needs to be very aware of both Seattle safeties.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes about the Seahawks’ and Rams’ offenses, pointing out that the two are some of the least explosive in the League thus far, but noting that the Seahawks haven’t had to be, “Yet despite [Russell Wilson] having just 434 passing yards, the fewest of any quarterback who has started three games this season, Wilson has a passer rating of 86.2 that is actually pretty respectable. Granted it’s a small sample size, and yes, that passer rating would be lower if not for that debatable touchdown call Monday, but still, that number ranks 18th in the league, ahead of names like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Michael Vick, and also ahead of fellow rookies Andrew Luck, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden. So no, the Seahawks offense might not be explosive, but for the most part hasn’t had to be. That day will inevitably come. For now, though, if the Seahawks are winning, the Seahawks are fine keeping the lid on the offense.”

Dave Wyman of details the play of the Seahawks’ defense in Monday night’s win over the Packers, “Pass-rush technique.Defensive line coach Todd Wash works on those little details every day – getting off the ball, anticipating the snap count, jab steps and hand fighting. Two little details helped both Bruce Irvin and Chris Clemons get to Aaron Rodgers. Irvin’s first sack came on a speed rush up field and a quick counter back to the inside on offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga. But how in the world did the 250-pound Irvin push the 325-pound Bulaga down with just one hand? Bulaga had to quickly elevate from his crouched position so he could match the speed of Irvin’s charge. His rapid retreat backwards and high body position made Bulaga about 200 pounds lighter. All that was left to do was give Bulaga a quick shove, using his own weight against him, and Irvin was on his way to his first full NFL sack. For Clemons, it was all about tight angles. Whether he rushes inside or outside, he is always stingy with space, meaning he leans and pushes and scraps for every last inch of space so that he can take a straight line to the quarterback. This is especially necessary on outside rushes where you often see offensive tackles push the rusher up field. Clemons doesn’t allow that to happen.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM says the Seahawks will need more from their passing game, “The current formula is working, for now. But will it be able to continue with Lynch commanding such a workload? Will be able to stay healthy and productive? Ultimately, the Seahawks will need to get more from their passing offense in order to challenge to be among the league’s best. Head coach Pete Carroll said that he’s been careful in how much to put on Wilson’s plate and they’ve been very conservative in the passing game. ‘I really think that this is me holding the lid on it right now,’ Carroll said. ‘I’m overseeing all of that. What’s most important to me is that we take care of the football. What we’re concerned about is that we have to convert on third down. We did a poor job on third down’ ”

Mike Sando of shows where the NFC West offenses and defenses rank thru Week 3.

Our friends at NFL Films bring us a preview of the Seahawks-Rams Week 4 matchup in this short video.

Here at, Clare Farnsworth tells us wide receiver Golden Tate is moving forward from the controversy that has surrounded his game-winning touchdown catch against the Packers on Monday Night Football, and brings us a look at “Thursday in Hawkville“, with a focus on the Seahawks’ aforementioned 32nd-ranked passing offense, “The Seahawks don’t just rank last in passing offense, they are the only team in the league that is averaging more yards rushing (141.3) than passing (127.7). ‘What’s more important to us is that we take care of the football,’ Carroll said. ‘More than anything. I don’t care about the yards.’ In that phase, the Seahawks have turned the ball over only twice – on an interception by rookie QB Russell Wilson on the final play of the first half and his lost fumble on the first series of the second half, both in the season-opening loss to the Cardinals in Arizona. Only the unbeaten Falcons and Patriots have fewer turnovers that the Seahawks.”

From the video side, Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, noting the success of the Seahawks’ team defense.

Lastly, we have Russell Wilson’s and Gus Bradley’s full press conferences from Thursday.

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