Cyber surfing: Thursday

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on September 29, 2011 – 8:42 am

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 29:

The list of candidates for this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced Wednesday and Elliott Harrison of NFL.com lists his Top 10. Checking in at No. 5 is Cortez Kennedy. Says Harrison: “If there is one guy on this list of 10 certain Hall of Famers who just flat out kicked ass, it’s Cortez Kennedy. You could make the argument that the best player in pro football in 1992 played defensive tackle on a 2-14 team. While the Seahawks were awful, their third-year defensive tackle out of the University of Miami was unblockable. He had 14 sacks and four forced fumbles from the interior line. How about being named Defensive Player of the Year on a two-win team that featured Dan McGwire and Stan Gelbaugh at quarterback? Oh, and by the way, Kennedy went to eight Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade Team.” All we can say to that is, COULD NOT AGREE MORE.

Duff McKagan – yes, that Duff McKagan – offers his thoughts on a double-victory weekend in Seattle for ESPN.com. Says McKagan: “What do we take away from Sunday’s 13-10 victory over our NFC West rivals, the Arizona Cardinals? It was great to see maligned quarterback Tarvaris Jackson finally sync up with wide receiver Sidney Rice and to see our defense stop a team when it counted. It was nice to finally get a win this season after opening on the road with two losses, and I shall not give up hope of a “rebuilding-esque” .500 season. With our schedule though, the Seahawks will have to overachieve their demonstrated talent level to get there.”

 

Also at ESPN.com, Mike Sando – yes, that Mike Sando – has injury situations that matter for the NFC West. Sando on the Seahawks: “The Seahawks’ latest injury-related change to the offensive line will not affect the game-day rotation. Assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable underwent back surgery that will keep him from coaching for the short term. On the field, Seattle appears likely to start the same five linemen in the same spots in back-to-back weeks, something the team has not done this season. The line made strides overall against Arizona, but Paul McQuistan struggled through a tough matchup against Calais Campbell in his first game as Robert Gallery’s injury replacement at left guard. Fullback Michael Robinson’s absence since Week 1 has hurt the special-teams coverage units. He’s back this week. Strong safety Kam Chancellor is expected to start despite resting a thigh injury Wednesday. Receiver Sidney Rice made it through his Seattle debut without aggravating his shoulder injury. His availability is big for the passing game.”

At the News Tribune, Dave Boling and Eric Williams double-team the hot topic of the day – Aaron Curry. Says Boling: “Aaron Curry came up with a nice interception and some good plays in the Seattle Seahawks’ practice Wednesday afternoon. For the scout team. The scout team, which runs the coming foes’ plays to prepare the Seahawks’ starters, is generally manned by young players and backups. Not guys like Curry, the fourth player taken in the 2009 draft. So it’s an ignominious position for Curry, who was demoted from his starting outside linebacker spot last week.”

Says Williams: “Curry was candid in answering questions from reporters about his situation before practice Wednesday. He indicated that rumors about him potentially being traded are just that, and he remains committed to earning back his starting job. ‘I’m at peace,’ he said. ‘I have a complete peace of mind right now. I’m feeling blessed. I’m taking this trial that I have and just capitalizing on it.’ ”

John Boyle at the Everett Herald checks in with Mike Williams, last year’s leading receiver who did not have a reception in Sunday’s game. Says Williams: “When you win a game, that’s all that’s important. It’s selfish to be talking about your own thing when you got your first win as a team and first step in the right direction. All I can do is control what I can control, and that’s get back out here and get to work.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at the other side of the Curry situation – the play of rookie K.J. Wright, which also prompted the coaches to make the switch. Says coach Pete Carroll: “K.J. has done very well. He’s been a guy that has just blown us away with how fast he could learn.”

We’ve also got the other events of the day covered in words and video, including a visit from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and how Cable was able to be at practice without really being there: “The club Skyped the 105-minute, full-pads session so Cable could watch it.”


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Cyber surfing: Friday

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on September 23, 2011 – 8:43 am

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Sept. 23:

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the reasoning behind the move from defensive coordinator Gus Bradley about starting K.J. Wright. Says Bradley: “We wanted to have more competition at that spot. We’ll evaluate him the whole week. As you know, the motto here is competition.”

Mike Sando at ESPN.com also offers his thoughts on the Curry/Wright situation. Says Sando: “The Seahawks’ previous leadership drafted Curry when the former Wake Forest linebacker was considered the safest player available in his draft class. Curry had all the measurable traits teams seek in linebackers. He was, by all accounts, a hard worker who wanted to be great. But the Seahawks never seemed satisfied with Curry projecting only as a strongside linebacker. They figured a player drafted so early should add pass-rush value and contribute in other ways. Curry has yet to develop in those areas. Wright, meanwhile, remains full of promise.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald looks at tight end Zach Miller, and how he has been used more as a blocker than a receiver in the first two games. Says Boyle: “Through little fault of his own, Miller, who caught 60 or more passes in each of the past two seasons, has just three catches for 32 yards this season. With a young line that has struggled mightily to protect quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, Miller has spent less time than either he or the Seahawks would like running routes, and more time acting as extra protection against opposing pass rushers.”

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic has the word on the hamstring injury that forced Cardinals running back Beanie Wells to miss part of practice on Thursday. Says Somers: “If Wells can’t play, it would be a serious blow to the Cardinals, who play their first NFC West game in Seattle on Sunday. A starter, Wells is eighth in the NFL in rushing with 183 yards in two games.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we look at how the signing of 6-foot-4 cornerback Brandon Browner was intended for weeks like this, when the Seahawks host the Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald in their home opener. Says veteran corner Marcus Trufant: “That’s just a perfect matchup for Brandon. He’s a big guy, he’s strong and he can run. It’s a perfect fit.”

We’ve also got Thursday’s practice covered in words, pictures and video, including more from Bradley and what he likes about Wright: “K.J. is very instinctive. He plays very smart situational football. He’s just such a quick study. He picked up on this stuff that we taught him playing Sam linebacker.” The 6-foot-4, 246-pound Wright also has the needed physical traits. “He’s got great length,” Bradley said. “If you’re going to play on the edge against the tight end, you need length and you need size. And he’s got both.” Also, rookie right guard John Moffitt joins Tony Ventrella on this week’s Seahawks Insider segment.


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Thursday in Hawkville

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on September 22, 2011 – 4:36 pm

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

K.J. Wright. One good start earns the opportunity for another. That’s the case for the rookie linebacker from Mississippi State, who is working at the strong-side spot with the No. 1 defense in practice and could start in Sunday’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.

“K.J. Wright has played very well for us, especially in that first game,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said after today’s 110-minute practice. “We just felt like we wanted to have more competition at that spot, so we’re giving K.J. a chance there.”

Wright is replacing Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft who has been a starter since his rookie season. But Bradley stressed that there remains competition at the position.

“We’ll evaluate it the whole week,” he said. “As you know, the motto here is competition. We just felt like we needed to stress that position even more. We’re getting a good look at K.J. this week.”

Wright, a fourth-round draft choice, was the team’s leading tackler during the preseason and then started the regular-season opener at middle linebacker because David Hawthorne was out with a sore knee. Wright had five tackles in the opening-day loss to the 49ers in San Francisco.

“K.J. is very instinctive. He plays very smart situational football,” Bradley said. “He’s just such a quick study. He picked up on this stuff that we taught him playing Sam linebacker.”

The 6-foot-4, 246-pound Wright also has the needed physical traits.

“He’s got great length,” Bradley said. “If you’re going to play on the edge against the tight end, you need length and you need size. And he’s got both.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Beanie Wells. In the Cardinals’ first two games, the third-year running back has had the best back-to-back games of his short NFL career with 183 yards on 32 carries.

But then he’s no stranger to the Seahawks or Hawthorne, who entered the league the year before Wells.

“He’s definitely evolved,” Hawthorne said. “I’ve played him the past two years, and seen him on film this year, and every year he seems to get better.”

This season, Wells is averaging 5.7 yards per carry – compared to 4.5 as a rookie and 3.4 last season.

“He’s a downhill, physical running back that can make all the cuts and all the reads,” said Hawthorne, the Seahawks’ leading tackler the past two seasons. “He likes to impose his will on people, especially when he gets into the secondary. You see him getting stronger as he gets through the line.

“Definitely, you want to get to him early and often.”

IN AND OUT

Defensive end Raheem Brock returned to practice after being excused on Wednesday.

Four players remained sidelined: left guard Robert Gallery, who already has been ruled out for at least a month because he needs surgery to repair a groin injury; fullback Michael Robinson (ankle), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) and tackle Jarriel King (ankle).

For the Cardinals, tight end Jim Dray (pectoral) and wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (hamstring) did not practice and five players were limited: linebackers Daryl Washington (calf) and Joey Porter (knee), wide receiver DeMarco Sampson (hamstring), running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hand) and Wells (hamstring).

PRACTICE SQUAD ROULETTE

Safety Chris Maragos has been signed to the practice squad. Cornerback Ron Parker was released to clear a spot.

Maragos (5-10, 200) signed with the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie free agent last year and began the season on their practice squad. He was signed to the active roster twice. But the 49ers released him on the final roster cut this summer. He began his college career at Western Michigan before transferring to Wisconsin.

STAT DU JOUR

Cue up “We Are the Champions” by Queen, because the road to the NFC West title the past seven seasons has been a two-way street – with either the Seahawks (five times) or Cardinals (twice) winning it all:

Season  Division champion (record)

2010      Seahawks (7-9)

2009      Cardinals (10-6)

2008      Cardinals (9-7)

2007      Seahawks (10-6)

2006      Seahawks (9-7)

2005      Seahawks (13-3)

2004      Seahawks (9-7)

UP NEXT

The players will have their final full practice before Sunday’s home opener at 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

Tickets for Sunday’s game and can be purchased here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“It’s going to be an advantage for us. First time really playing in front of the home crowd in a regular-season game, so we want to go out and have a good showing. We’ve started off 0-2, so we want to make sure we get off on the right track at home.” – quarterback Tarvaris Jackson


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Photoblog: Unhappy Returns by the Bay

Posted by Rod Mar on September 13, 2011 – 10:00 am

For the second year in a row, the Seahawks opened the regular season against division-rival San Francisco 49ers. While the 2010 opener was at home, this year’s contest was played on the road at Candlestick Park.

The team departed on Saturday afternoon after their usual walk-thru. Russell Okung, resplendent in his brown three-piece suit chatted with General Manager John Schneider before boarding the bus for the airport.

Hours before kickoff, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley reviewed his game plan in a far corner of the locker room.

The game was played on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and part of the way the NFL commemorated the day was with ribbons worn by sideline personnel.

This loyal fan punctuated his Seahawks colors with an American flag.

In the locker room, communications manager Rich Gonzales outlined the pregame schedule for the players.

Head coach Pete Carroll made sure he didn't leave the locker room without running back Marshawn Lynch.

Seahawks rookie receiver Doug Baldwin, who played his college ball not far from Candlestick Park at Stanford University, leaves the locker room tunnel for the bright glare of the playing field.

First-round draft choice James Carpenter warms up on the 9/11 logo painted on the field to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Head coach Pete Carroll, his coaches and players joined with members of the armed forces to hold the American flag during the National Anthem.

The Seahawks defense was aggressive early, including this tackle for loss by linebacker Aaron Curry.

Curry celebrates along with safety Earl Thomas after a first-quarter stop.

Seattle defense continued to swarm to the ball as Brandon Browner was joined by teammates Aaron Curry and Earl Thomas on this tackle.

Defensive line coach Todd Wash talks to his players on the sidelines in-between series.

As would be expected in a game between division rivals, there was plenty of hard hitting including Justin Forsett being upended.

San Francisco receiver Joshua Morgan rose in-between Seahawks defensive backs Kam Chancellor and Marcus Trufant to keep a drive alive in the second half.

Doug Baldwin heads towards the end zone with a 55-yard touchdown reception from Tarvaris Jackson to pull the Seahawks to within two points at 19-17 in the fourth quarter.

However, then San Francisco return specialist Ted Ginn, Jr. took over, returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.

Less than a minute later, Ginn followed his kick-return for touchdown with this punt return for another touchdown.

The 49ers faithful celebrate with Ginn and the San Francisco lead was 33-17.

Seahawks running back Justin Forsett sits on the sidelines with teammate Marshawn Lynch as time runs out in the fourth quarter.


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Monday in Hawkville

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on September 5, 2011 – 5:08 pm

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:

FOCUS ON

Captains. The players voted on the captains for the season today, and coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have agreed more with the selections of cornerback Marcus Trufant (defense), quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (offense) and kick returner Leon Washington and fullback Michael Robinson (special teams).

“I’m real proud of those guys for taking a leadership position for us,” Carroll said after the team’s bonus Labor Day practice to start preparing for Sunday’s regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.

“Those are great guys to put out front. It’s been obvious to why these guys would choose those guys.”

Trufant, Washington and Robinson were with the team last season, but Jackson was signed in free agency and didn’t even start practicing with team until Aug. 4. So his selection was especially pleasing to Carroll.

“It’s obvious that that’s who they wanted to be their leader,” Carroll said. “I’m pleased with all the choices, of course.”

UNIT WATCH

The survivors. What else would you call the remaining 10 players from the roster that Carroll inherited 19 months ago? And when you look at just who they are, it’s understandable why they’re still around.

Trufant – The longest tenured Seahawk was a first-round draft choice in 2003 and has started 119 games the past eight seasons. He started all 16 games last season for the fifth time in his career and finished fourth on the team with 80 tackles.

Middle linebacker David Hawthorne – He made the team as a rookie free agent in 2008 and has led the team in tackles the past two seasons, last year while playing on the weak side and in 2009 while playing in the middle. This season, he’s back in the middle – replacing Lofa Tatupu, who was released in late July.

Punter Jon Ryan – Signed as a free agent one game into the 2008 season, Ryan already has set the franchise single-season record for average (46.2 yards in 2009) and tied the mark for net average (38.7 in ’09).

Nose tackle Brandon Mebane – A third-round draft in 2007, Mebane has started since his rookie season – registering career highs in tackles (49) in 2009 and sacks (5½) in 2008. But this year he moves to nose tackle.

Linebacker Aaron Curry – The fourth pick overall in 2009 draft, Curry has found his niche on the strong side after the previous coaching staff tried him as a pass-rusher. He had career highs in tackles (70) and sacks (3½) last season.

Linebacker Leroy Hill – A third-round pick in 2005, Hill returns after missing just about all of last season and nine games in 2008 and 2009. He is starting on the weak side, and looking like the player who collected 7½ sacks as a rookie and a career-high 92 tackles in 2006.

Defensive end Red Bryant – A fourth-round pick in 2008, the little-used D-tackle was moved to the five-technique end spot in Carroll’s defense last season. Bryant was a force against the run before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the Week 8 loss to the Raiders.

Center Max Unger – A second-round draft choice in 2009, Unger missed almost all of last season with a toe injury that required surgery and he started 13 games at right guard as a rookie. But he’s back at center, the position he played at Oregon, on the Seahawks’ new-look line.

Running back Justin Forsett – A seventh-round draft choice in 2008, Forsett went to the Colts briefly as a rookie when the Seahawks released him with the plan to sign him to the practice squad. But the jack-of-all-skills back is back and figures prominently in the back-by-committee approach to the running game. He averaged 4.4 yards on 118 carries last season.

Wide receiver Ben Obomanu – A seventh-round draft choice in 2006, Obomanu has developed from perennial bubble player to one of glue performers on offense as well as special teams. He started six games last season and had a career-high 30 receptions for a 16.5-yard average and four touchdowns. He also had a dozen special teams tackles in 2009.

IN AND OUT

Four starters did not practice – running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), left guard Robert Gallery (knee) and Hawthorne (knee). Carroll said Lynch and Hawthorne will practice on Wednesday, but he labeled Gallery day-to-day because of the knee he sprained in Friday’s game against the Raiders and said the decision on whether Rice plays on Sunday will be made later in the week.

Rookie James Carpenter got some work at left guard for Gallery, with Breno Giacomini working at right tackle with the No. 1 line. Carroll said the move of Carpenter to guard was “developing all the flexibility you can.”

Forsett got the first-team reps for Lynch; Obomanu worked in Rice’s spot; and rookie K.J. Wright continued to sub for Hawthorne. Wright was the team’s leading tackler in the preseason with 16.

Left tackle Russell Okung participated in every phase of practice and will play against the 49ers for the first time since spraining an ankle in the preseason opener.

Three of newest Seahawks also practiced – kicker Steven Hauschka and defensive tackles Al Woods and Landon Cohen. Offensive tackle Jarriel King (ankle) sat out. All four were claimed off waivers on Sunday.

Defensive tackle Jimmy Wilkerson, who was placed on injured reserve on the cut to 53, will have surgery to repair the knee he damaged against the Raiders, Carroll said. Also, wide receiver Isaiah Stanback, who also was placed on IR, no longer is with the team.

The final two spots on the eight-man practice squad were filled by running back Vai Taua and cornerback Ron Parker. Both players had been with the team in camp.

UP NEXT

The players are off Tuesday and then return Wednesday for the start of the first week of the regular season in preparation for Sunday’s opener. The Seahawks opened their 2010 season at home with a 31-6 victory over the 49ers.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I don’t feel like we’re selling anymore. I feel like we’re in agreement and we’re putting it to the test. The conversation today talking about the upcoming season with the players, it’s a familiar conversation for these guys now. They know kind of what I’m going to say and where I’m coming from. I just solidify and reinforce the message. They come out and work really hard every time we go, and that’s the testament to whether they’re in or not.” – Carroll, who spent much of his first season as coach “selling” his philosophy


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Cyber surfing: Sunday

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on August 28, 2011 – 12:16 pm

Good day. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 28:

The Seahawks lost to the Broncos 23-20 in Denver on Saturday night – on a last-second, 51-yard field goal. So that is the topic of today’s offerings.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says of the nail-biter finish did not – could not – overshadow the handwringing over the No. 1 offense’s inability to protect QB Tarvaris Jackson. Offers O’Neil: “It’s only August? No. It’s already Aug. 28, and Seattle is running out of time to find any semblance of rhythm before it begins playing for real in San Francisco on Sept. 11. Seattle gave up three sacks in the first half, gained only two first downs in the first two quarters and never got inside the Denver 30 until the end of the third quarter after Denver had removed its starting defense.”

Also at the Times, Jerry Brewer examines the changed man that is Aaron Curry. Say Brewer: “You’d expect Curry to be on edge as he approaches a make-or-break year with the Seahawks. But he’s not. For a player who often wears his emotions on his shoulder pads, Curry is practically serene right now. It’s the religion. It would be irresponsible to write about Curry and ignore it, even if the topic might be polarizing. He was baptized in March, after attending a pro athletes’ Christian retreat with his wife, Jamila. His Twitter feed is a constant stream of Bible scripture and praise. He is like a 6-foot-2, 255-pound evangelist, talking with the passion of a man who has discovered a universal elixir.”

Eric Williams at the New Tribune points out that while the No. 1 offense finally scored, it’s those protection issues – and inability to run the ball – that cloud the closeness of the outcome. Says Williams: “Seattle’s young offensive line failed to contain the speed and athleticism of a Denver defensive front led by Pro Bowl player Elvis Dumervil and this year’s No 2 overall draft pick, linebacker Von Miller. Both players repeatedly crashed the edges and beat Seattle’s green offensive tackles, Tyler Polumbus and James Carpenter, to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, as Denver (2-1) finished with five sacks against Seattle’s starters. Equally frustrating for the Seahawks (1-2) was their inability to run the ball.”

Also from Williams, a notebook from the game that leads with Sidney Rice’s limited impact on the offense to this point. Said Rice: “I’m just continuing doing what I do. I’m not saying so much that I’m doing things right, but there’s still a lot of things that I can work on myself, and as receivers to get better as a team. But there’s also stuff as an offense that we need to get done.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we make it a chorus of three on the concerns about those protection problems. No, make that at least four, because those were the first words out of coach Pete Carroll’s mouth after the game: “We saw some stuff in this game that was real obvious. Our inability to protect the quarterback was so clear in the first half that it disrupted everything. We have a real clear area we have to work hard at. They ran right through us.”

We’ve also got a game-at-a-glance review, and Tony Ventrella’s video recap.

Mike Sando at ESPN.com has three things revisited from the game. No. 1 on his list? That elusive first touchdown for the No. 1 offense. Says Sando: “The Seahawks left most of their starting offense in the game until quarterback Tarvaris Jackson connected with backup tight end Dominique Byrd for the No. 1 unit’s first touchdown of the preseason. There was 14:16 left in the fourth quarter at that point, later in the game than a starting offense would generally play even in a third preseason game. Jackson frequently faced pressure, a common theme for him to this point. He was effective on a couple bootleg throws, but he took five sacks and averaged only 4.2 yards per attempt. Offensive rhythm remained elusive. The Seahawks emptied their backfield on a couple third-down plays. They could not beat the pressure with quick completions in those situations. The team will need better pass protection to develop timing.”

At PI.com, Christian Caple has his post-game thoughts from the couch. Offers Caple: “Imagine a time and place, if possible, where Tarvaris Jackson leads a Seahawks offense with some rhythm to it. Where instead of collapsing pockets and large defenders planting him into the turf, there is instead time for Jackson to throw, and open receivers to throw to. Where James Carpenter blocks Von Miller. Well, you had to wait until late in the third quarter/early in the fourth for such a sequence on Saturday, but after getting beat up all game (again), Jackson did manage to lead a drive that ended in the first touchdown of the preseason for the Seahawks’ first-team offense.”


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Camp Carroll: Day 3 (p.m. edition)

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on July 30, 2011 – 7:36 pm

A recap of the afternoon walk-thru at Seahawks’ training camp:

FOCUS ON

Sidney Rice. The team’s new big-play – and big – wide receiver admits he didn’t know a lot about the Seahawks when he signed with them in free agency this week.

But the former Pro Bowl wide-out for the Minnesota Vikings did know two very important individuals who played into his decision: offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who were with the Vikings the past five seasons.

“It’s great, it’s always good to be around familiar people – people you know well,” the 6-foot-4 Rice said after the 85-minute walk-thru that was held in the indoor practice facility at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

“Tarvaris is one of my closest friends ever since I came into the league. I used to hang out at his place all the time; vice versa he’d come over to my place. I feel comfortable being around him. Also Bevell. Know the offense and didn’t have to learn anything knew.”

Now Rice and Jackson, as well as Bevell, are in the same place again – in large part because the Seahawks knew a lot more about Rice than he did about them.

“I think Sidney is an incredible player,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We looked at everything that he’s done; every catch that he’s made since he’s been in the league to evaluate him.

“He has an extraordinary sense for finding the football with people all over him. He’s tough. He’s physical. He’s creative and he’s got the special confidence that great catchers have.”

Where does that come from? “Just working,” Rice said. “Probably God-given ability, but you’ve also got to work at those things – the extra work after practice, staying out there doing the drills and things like that.”

Rice can’t start practicing until Aug. 4, but when he does he’ll be working opposite Mike Williams, the 6-5 split end who led the team in receptions last season.

“I know he’s got a great knack for the ball, coming down with it,” Rice said. “I’m looking forward to lining up on the opposite side of him. It’s going to be fun.”

POSITION WATCH

Quarterback. Carroll’s announcement after the morning practice that Jackson would be the starter caught reporters by surprise, and left incumbent backup Charlie Whitehurst disappointed but determined.

“It’s not necessarily what I wanted to hear, but it’s something I’ve got to live with and go from here and just keep competing every day,” Whitehurst said. “I didn’t know what to expect coming into camp with the quarterback situation. I just wanted a chance, and I’m here. I’ve got a chance.

“Like I said, it’s not necessarily how I wanted it to start out, but I respect the fact that (Carroll) was direct with me and told me. I’m just going to try and make the decision tougher. Tarvaris is a heckuva football player and we’re just going to compete every day.”

Jackson won’t enter the on-field competition, however, until he is allowed to start practicing on Aug 4. So Whitehurst will continue to run the No. 1 offense.

“That will be good for me, to see how fast I can get this playbook learned and try to compete against him as hard as I can,” Whitehurst said.

JUST FOR KICKS

The search for a veteran kicker to compete with rookie free agent Wes Byrum has led the team to a former seventh-round draft choice: Brandon Coutu.

Coutu, who was with the team in 2008, was re-signed today. He never kicked in a regular-season game during his first stint with the club because then-coach Mike Holmgren went with the experience and stronger leg of Olindo Mare. But Mare signed this week with the Carolina Panthers.

Coutu converted each of his seven field-goal attempts during his rookie preseason, but was inactive for all 16 regular-season games. He returned in 2009, but was waived before the regular-season opener.

PLAYS OF THE DAY

Offense: Veteran guard Robert Gallery, who just signed with the team Friday and isn’t eligible to begin practicing until Aug. 4, coaching up rookie right tackle James Carpenter after a play.

Defense: Linebacker Aaron Curry flashing into the backfield to arrive at Ben Obomanu before he ever got going on an end-around.

UP NEXT

The team will practice once Sunday, starting at 1:30 p.m. The session is open to the public and you can register to attend here.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I felt like in Minnesota he was never let loose, never allowed to play comfortably like I know he can play. I feel like he’ll get that opportunity out here to prove all those guys who think he’s not an NFL quarterback wrong.” – Rice on Jackson


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Cyber surfing: Monday

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on June 27, 2011 – 9:06 am

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

Adam Rank at NFL.com ranks his Top 6 quarterbacks who deserve to win a Super Bowl, and guess who checks in at No. 4? That’s right, Matt Hasselbeck. Says Rank: “Mentioning Hasselbeck on a list like this cannot be done without pointing out that some people feel the Seahawks were robbed in Super Bowl XL. Wherever you fall on that subject … we can agree that Hasselbeck has been one of the best quarterbacks to not get that elusive ring.”

Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. takes a look at Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry, who was the fourth pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. Says Williamson: “If a team uses such a high draft pick on a linebacker, the return has to be much greater than what Curry has provided thus far. Seattle needs Curry to be great. Curry is immensely talented. He has the size, strength, speed and explosiveness to excel at any linebacker position in any scheme. But he is a strong-side linebacker in Seattle’s system – not a featured role.”

For the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, Mike Freeman at CBSSports.com offers four scenarios of the situation following last week’s talk and entering this week’s talks. After hearing the latest from NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith, one player said: “It sounds like this damn thing could be close to being over.” Counters Freeman: “Whether the damn lockout is really almost damn well over, no damn body knows for sure.”

Here at Seahawks.com we conclude our Rookie Spotlight video series with GM John Schneider taking a look at first-round draft choice James Carpenter, Schneider calls the selection “a very important pick for us.” We also have a look – in words – at Peter McLoughlin’s first nine months on the job as team president.


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Cyber surfing: Wednesday

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on June 15, 2011 – 9:05 am

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, June 15:

Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett ranked 2-6 in the league last season in broken tackles per touch, according to the formula used by Football Outsiders and presented by ESPN.com blogger Mike Sando. Not all that surprising when you look at their rushing totals (a combined 1,096 yards) while running behind a line that used 10 different starting combinations in 2010. Says Sando: “The Seahawks’ run blocking wasn’t very good on the whole last season. The stats for Lynch and Forsett suffered as a result, but the numbers for broken tackles suggest both men maximized their opportunities. Lynch is a physical runner. He even took out the 49ers’Patrick Willis in one memorable encounter last season. Stats for broken tackles were for the regular season only. Lynch broke eight tackles during a single run against New Orleans in the playoffs. Forsett is shiftier and makes defenders miss.”

The best left tackle in the NFC West? For years, it was Walter Jones. No argument. Now, it’s his replacement: Russell Okung. Says who? Sando, for one. And the readers of his blog, who have Okung in the lead in the poll Sando is conducting. In balloting for the best left tackle in the league, Sando was the only one of the ESPN bloggers to cast a vote for Okung (at No. 10). Offered Sando: “I ranked Okung 10th as a projection for 2011 even though the St. Louis Rams’ Rodger Saffold was arguably the best left tackle in the NFC West last season. My thinking on Okung: There are not 10 complete, elite left tackles in the NFL. Okung belongs on a very short list of players with the talent and makeup to be elite at that position. He hasn’t played enough to this point, but I think he’ll join that group. Listing someone with less ability was the alternative.”

And still more from Sando, who provides comments from coach Pete Carroll on Golden Tate and Aaron Curry, and then offers his thoughts. Sando on Tate, a second-year wide receiver: “Young players such as Tate are going to get longer looks, most likely. Some of the older players will not be back.” Sando on Curry, a third-year linebacker: “Carroll inherited Curry. He did not draft Curry. But the coach would still like to have more than a traditional strong-side linebacker in return for the millions Curry is getting as the fourth player chosen in the 2009 draft.”

 The Seahawks are scheduled to play the Giants at their year-old stadium this season, on Oct. 9. Sporting News Daily offers this offseason look at the Giants. The bottom-line assessment: “There are enough quality players for the Giants to contend for the playoffs. If they clean up the turnover sloppiness (a league-high 42 last season), the offense should have little problem moving up and down the field.” Of greater concern to the Seahawks is the fact that this is one of five games on their schedule with a 10 a.m. start – West Coast and body time.

Ed Viesturs is up to his motivational tricks again, only this time it’s for the Vancouver Canucks in their quest to win the Stanly Cup (Game 7 is tonight in Vancouver). The legendry mountain climber used the same carabineer tactics that are mentioned in this story from the Globe and News with the Seahawks during their run to the Super Bowl in 2005.  The Seahawks players had the growing chain of connected carabineers hanging in their lockers. Said Canucks defenseman (or defenceman, if you’re reading this north of the border) Kevin Bieksa: “He spoke to us at the beginning of the season and spoke to us before the playoffs. So he’s been our guy.”

As for the give-us-this-day-our-daily-labor-update item, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com quotes a source as saying the talks between the owners and players are “80-85 percent complete.” Adds Freeman: “They’ve made such fast progress, I’m told, it’s catching many of the principals by surprise. Some are now canceling vacations, believing an agreement will be reached within a matter of days.” We can only hope.

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles on the players voted to the 35th Anniversary team with a look at Shaun Alexander, whose 2005 season not only was one for the ages but one readers also voted the best single-season performance in franchise history.


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Cyber surfing: Wednesday

Posted by Clare Farnsworth on May 25, 2011 – 8:48 am

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 25:

In 2008, John Carlson became the first rookie to lead the Seahawks in receptions since Steve Largent in 1976. But the chart that accompanies this item on tight ends by ESPN.com’s Mike Sando also shows that Carlson’s first season was significant on a league-wide basis, as well.  Since 2000, only Jeremy Shockey caught more passes (74) for more yards (894) among rookie tight ends that Carlson (55 for 627). Shockey was a rookie for the New York Giants in 2002, and those numbers remain his career-best totals. He played the past three seasons for the New Orleans Saints and is now with the Carolina Panthers.

Sando also provides analysis of the league’s latest rule changes regarding player safety. Teams can now be fined for repeated flagrant hits. The change was passed Tuesday by league owners at their annual spring meeting in Indianapolis. You can read the details in this report from the Associated Press.

Matt Hasselbeck gets some pre-free agency love from Russ Lande, a former NFL scout who now writes for Sporting News Today. Lande rates the Seahawks’ incumbent starter as the best available QB, giving him a grade of 8.0 on a scale of 1-9. Says Lande: “Hasselbeck is a high-end QB who has received much national recognition due to playing in Seattle. When I evaluated him on film, it was clear he is better than many other well-known quarterbacks.” Hmmmm. But then, we already knew that.

But Eric Williams of the News Tribune makes a case for starting Charlie Whitehurst this season, or at least offers his thoughts on why coach Pete Carroll might be leaning toward the incumbent backup – complete with video links to some of Whitehurst’s better passes in his first season with the Seahawks.

The population of Seahawks Nation increased by one yesterday, when Jamila Curry, wife of linebacker Aaron Curry, gave birth to their second son – Matthew. The proud pops announced the birth on twitter, and also included a picture.

Football Outsiders ranks the 10 most disappointing trades of the past 25 years in this list on ESPN.com. They Seahawks are included twice. At No. 10 is their 2006 deal with the New England Patriots to acquire wide receiver Deion Branch, who was traded back to the Patriots last season. At No. 6 is the 1988 trade with the Cardinals for quarterback Kelly Stouffer.

Here at Seahawks.com, we continue our series of articles examining the team’s first 35 seasons. Now up is 1985, when the Seahawks were the trendy preseason pick to win the AFC, but ended up winning only eight games.


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