Tuesday cyber surfing: Optimism abound for Seahawks

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, January 15.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks have a lot to look forward to with Russell Wilson at quarterback, “From now until he decides he’s done, Wilson is here to captivate, inspire and — most important — lead. Despite the difficulty of the NFL, despite the understanding there are few assurances in this sport, despite the Seahawks’ limited history of sustained excellence, Wilson provides extreme confidence that it’s safe for this franchise to dream the biggest dreams. He’s that special, and he’s a star that illuminates all the other special things the Seahawks are doing to become a championship-caliber team. The Seahawks have so much going for them, from general manager John Schneider’s deft talent-evaluation to a young core of stars to a coach who complements and directs them perfectly. You keep looking for the trap door, for the way the Seahawks will end up as heartbroken as they were in their last-minute, season-ending loss to Atlanta on Sunday. But the more you look for fatal flaws, the more you come back to Wilson and the level of trust he demands. ‘He’s a baller,’ Carroll said. ‘A real football player.’ ”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a look at three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out after the Seahawks’ season-ending loss at Atlanta, “Zach Miller is one tough hombre. The guy tore his plantar fascia on Seattle’s third play of the game. He went to the locker room, took a pain-killing shot on the bottom of his foot and returned to have the most prolific receiving day in not only his two-year tenure with the Seahawks, but his six-year NFL career. We’ve made a big deal out of how seldom he has been targeted in the passing game since coming to Seattle. He caught 50 or more passes in three successive seasons with the Raiders only to come to the Seahawks and catch a career-low 25 passes in 2011. He had 38 receptions in 2012, but had not had more than 59 yards receiving in any game for the Seahawks. Until Sunday. He showed exactly what he can do if the opponent neglects to account for him. Miller caught eight passes for 142 yards, most of any player in a game that also featured Atlanta’s Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez.”

Joshua Mayers of the Seattle Times writes that while the Seahawks may have been hurting after Sunday’s loss, plenty are looking forward to what’s in store for the team next season, “Wilson, who wore a sweatshirt Monday that read ‘No Time 2 Sleep,’ was living out that message already. The morning after the season ended, he was reviewing game tape. ‘There are so many areas where I could get better, and that’s the thing that I’ll have to do this offseason is continue to watch the film, continue to look at all the cut-ups of this past season and what I’ve done well and what I could have done better. The goal for me is … ‘How can I get 10 times better?’ ‘ A shared motivation, it seems, for a team that has the look of a perennial contender. ‘If you didn’t know who the Seahawks were before the season, I’ll guarantee you know who they are now,’ said defensive end Bruce Irvin. ‘There are a lot of positive things coming for the organization, and I can’t wait to get it started again in a couple months.’ ”

Mayers also passes along comments from several players on their thanks for the support of the 12th Man, ” ‘It’s amazing to have the fan base that we have. They make the game fun. They make it easier to play your heart out and leave it all on the field, because you know you’re playing for such fantastic fans, and they deserve it.’ — Richard Sherman, cornerback”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about their future, “At this point, nothing Wilson does, whether it’s leading a fourth-quarter comeback or working non-stop off the field, will really surprise anyone in Seattle’s locker room. And that’s one of the biggest reasons why the Seahawks are so excited about their future even as they struggle to accept that their season just ended. ‘After the Chicago game, you had a team full of believers that he could do anything,’ said cornerback Richard Sherman, speaking about the touchdown drives Wilson led in the fourth quarter and overtime as Seattle defeated the Bears on Dec. 2. ‘We’d be surprised if he walked on water and fell in. He’s a great quarterback, he’s a great person, and he deserves the success he has. He works hard for it, he does everything you could ask of a quarterback and more.’ And to be fair, the Seahawks have plenty of reasons for optimism beyond the play of their young quarterback. The Seahawks are young, which means a lot of these players have room to grow. And only two starters — linebacker Leroy Hill and defensive tackle Alan Branch — are free agents. Also, the good health that helped Seattle finish the season so strong will also lead to a more productive offseason.”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press comments on the play of Wilson and what it means for the Seahawks going forward, “While some franchises continue to search for a solid foundation at quarterback, the Seahawks go into next season knowing that the position is all but locked up for the foreseeable future. That’s why Wilson spent some of Monday morning watching film rather than packing up his locker. ‘Obviously, there are very high expectations for our football team now, and that’s great to have,’ Wilson said. ‘That means that we’ve got to work that much harder in practice, we’ve got to work that much harder in the offseason, and we’ve got to play that much better come game time. I look forward to those challenges and that’s what I wait for.’ ”

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com revisits what went wrong for the Seahawks in the last 25 seconds of Sunday’s game, “The Seahawks had been bringing extra pressure all game, a necessity given the lack of pass rush they were getting from their defensive line. That pressure was a factor on Ryan’s first-quarter interception, when he threw an errant pass to Wagner as Trufant was bearing down on him. Trufant and Guy both had blitzed from the left side on that play. It was those two coming off the left side again on second down of the final drive. This time, though, the Falcons picked it up. Ryan hit Gonzalez at Seattle’s 36, and Gonzalez shed linebacker Bobby Wagner’s tackle before picking up an extra five yards. ‘They made two great plays and that’s all it took,’ Carroll said.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Monday’s end-of-season media availability, “DT Alan Branch will be an unrestricted free agent after spending his last two seasons in Seattle. Branch expressed a sincere desire to be back with the Seahawks next season. ‘I love the team here. I would love to be back here. I have developed great friendships with the guys, especially in the D-line room, but throughout the team. I didn’t really have as many friends as I do on this team on any team I had in Arizona. I think it’s a special group,’ Branch said. ‘Hopefully they want me here and the whole money situation gets settled. But if not there won’t be a better group of guys than this, I’m sure.’ “

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