Game at a glance: Seahawks 16, Panthers 12

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A recap of the Seahawks’ 16-12 victory over the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday:

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

The Seahawks’ defense. From coordinator Gus Bradley’s game plan, to the way his defenders carried it out, this was just another exemplary performance by a unit that entered the game ranked No. 2 in the league in average points and yards allowed.

The Seahawks held the Panthers without a touchdown – running their streak to eight consecutive quarters – and to only 190 yards. They also limited them to two conversions in 11 third-down situations – or 18 percent, for a unit that had been allowing opponents to convert at a 43-percent rate in its first four games; and 75 percent on third-and-8 or longer.

“It was a great day for our defense,” end Chris Clemons said. “Everybody played exactly the way they were supposed to play today.”

Especially against the Panthers’ vaunted option-read plays that had allowed QB Cam Newton to produce so many big plays the past two seasons. But the Seahawks used cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman to take Newton’s pitch options, leaving the linemen and linebackers to clog Newton’s gap options.

Browner came up huge – even for a 6-foot-4 corner – with a strip and fumble recovery to set up the game’s only offensive touchdown and then combining with nickel back Marcus Trufant to make a stop just short of the end zone on a third-down play in the fourth-quarter goal-line stand.

Rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin had two sacks of Newton, while rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner had 1.5 among his six tackles and Clemons had the other half among his six tackles. Sherman had a team-high five solo tackles.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: The only offensive touchdown, which came on Russell Wilson’s 13-yard pass to Golden Tate in the third quarter – after Browner’s strip-and-recover play gave the Seahawks the ball at the Panthers’ 27. Tate lined up as the inside man in a three-receiver set to the right side that also included Braylon Edwards and Sidney Rice. At the snap, he ran up and then across the middle, taking Wilson’s pass and making sure he got into the end zone to give the Seahawks a 13-10 lead.

“Sid and Braylon did a good job of getting their guys out of there,” Tate said. “And my corner didn’t run with me. So Russ did a good job of finding me. After that, I just found a way to get into the end zone.”

Defense: The Panthers’ only touchdown, which came on a pick-six by Captain Munnerlyn. Wilson was going to tight end Anthony McCoy on the play, but threw the ball slightly behind him. That gave Munnerlyn his chance, and he returned the interception 33 yards for the score.

This Captain had been demoted after allowing more completions than any corner in the league last season. The Panthers drafted Josh Norman to take his spot on the right side. But when a shoulder injury prevented Chris Gamble from playing on Sunday, Munnerlyn was back in the starting lineup – on the left side.

Special teams: Jon Ryan waiting, and waiting, and waiting before stepping out of the end zone to take a safety with 59 seconds to play. It made the score 16-12, of course, but it also allowed Ryan to punt the ball to the Panthers on the ensuing free kick with some breathing room.

“Taking the safety was great,” Carroll said. “We’ve been working on all that stuff.”

Was the high snap from Clint Gresham that forced Ryan to “climb the ladder” to grab it part of the plan?

After the laughter subsided, Carroll offered, “That was just one drama of the day.”

INJURY REPORT

Defensive tackle Clinton McDonald pulled a groin, and Carroll had no report on how long he might be sidelined.

WORTH NOTING

With his six tackles, Wagner now has 21 in the past three games.

Clemons’ half sack gives him a team-high 5.5 for the season, and Irvin is second with 4.5.

Marshawn Lynch ran for 85 yards, giving him at least 85 in 13 of his past 14 games.

Wilson’s 221 passing were a season high – and therefore a career high. He also was 9 of 10 on third downs for 73 yards.

Tight end Zach Miller had the Seahawks two longest plays of the game – a 30-yard reception in the third quarter and a 23-yarder in the fourth quarter. After catching 25 passes all of last season, Miller now has 12 in five games this season.

Of the Panthers’ 190 total yards, 77 came on their drive to a field goal in second quarter and 79 on the drive that ended on downs at the Seahawks’ 1-yard line in the fourth quarter.

YOU DON’T SAY

“To me, it was all about the finish today. It’s what we haven’t had in the other couple (road) games.” – Carroll


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Offering up offensive solutions; Pass rush break down; Cowboys coming in

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 12.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his “Rookie Report” following the Week 1 loss at Arizona, “DE Bruce Irvin – First round, No. 15 overall: Played 35 of Seattle’s 64 defensive snaps. Also on field for 6 special-teams plays. Irvin was credited with no tackles, and he didn’t have a sack, though he did have one quarterback hit. ‘Bruce played solid,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘Didn’t get at the quarterback, but was around it. Played a lot of plays in this game and was a big part of the plan. We’ll see him continue to get better.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says that in addition to scouting the Dallas Cowboys this week, coach Pete Carroll and his staff will be scouting the work of the replacement referees, “The Seattle head coach said his coaching staff traditionally studies every officiating crew in the league to get a sense for how each group calls a game – whether a crew is more likely to call holding or pass interference or will let teams play more physically. The coaching staff then passes that information along to the players as part of the team’s preparation each week.”

Williams also has some quick notes on some practice squad moves from Tuesday.

Dave Grosby and Bob Stelton of “Bob and Groz” discuss the Seahawks pass-rush in this short video on mynorthwest.com.

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com brings us his first edition of “Chalk Talk,” as he rehashes the Seahawks final play from scrimmage in Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals.

Huard also offers up some potential solutions to aid the Seahawks offense in this short video.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com breaks down Week 1’s “pressure stats” – a look at how often teams brought five or more rushers in their home openers. The Seahawks ranked ninth across the NFL, while their Week 1 opponent – the Cardinals – ranked second. The Seahawks’ Week 2 foe – the Cowboys – came in at 21st in the League.

Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has a look at the Dallas Cowboys, the Seahawks’ Week 2 opponent, “Burning question: Are the Cowboys as good as they looked in their opener? They not only beat the defending Super Bowl Giants, they went to the Meadowlands to do it. The Cowboys rolled up 433 yards, and limited the Giants to 269. They sacked Eli Manning three times, two by DeMarcus Ware. DeMarco Murray picked up where he left off as a rookie by rushing for 131 yards. Kevin Ogletree exploded onto the scene with eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.”

Farnsworth also has a feature on defensive end Chris Clemons, who had a sack of Cardinals quarterback John Skelton in Week 1, “The relentless Clemons now has 23 sacks in 33 games since being acquired in a 2010 trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to fill the Leo end spot in coach Pete Carroll’s defense. He has produced a dozen while playing the Seahawks’ NFC West rivals – 6.5 against the St. Louis Rams, five against the Cardinals and half a sack against the San Francisco 49ers. ‘Clem really did a nice job, he was very effective,’ Carroll said on Monday, when he also lamented Clemons missing a second sack when he separated QB John Skelton from the ball but the play was ruled an incomplete pass.”

Finally, Farnsworth has his recap of “Tuesday in Hawkville“, with a focus on Seattle’s home-opener this Sunday, “Is there a better get-well venue in the NFL than CenturyLink Field? ‘Here we go with Dallas coming in, that’s going to be a major matchup,’ coach Pete Carroll said on Monday. ‘We’re happy that we’re coming home.’ The team’s success in home openers has been an indication of what they’ve been able to accomplish over the course of the season. The current 8-1 run started in 2003, when the Seahawks began a stretch where they advance to the playoffs five seasons in a row and won four NFC West titles.”

Coach Carroll is scheduled to address the media in his customary Wednesday press conference at noon. Be sure to tune in here for a live look.


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Monday cyber surfing: Making moves to 53; Practice squad forms

Good morning, and happy Labor Day. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks after a busy weekend of roster transactions. You can take a look at the Seahawks’ up-to-date roster here.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times speaks to the roster’s continuity this season from a year ago, “This season, the subtraction of tight end Kellen Winslow was the only real surprise as Evan Moore will be added to take his place. The fact that things are so much more settled this year speaks to the quality of the roster that coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider believe they’ve assembled over the past two and a half years. There’s not nearly as much turnover on this year’s team. Of the 53 players currently on Seattle’s roster, 15 were acquired over the offseason. Compare that to last season, when 24 of Seattle’s 53 players were in their first year with the team. The year before that, the number was 27, more than half the team.”

O’Neil has a look at the somewhat unexpected release of tight end Kellen Winslow, “The release of Winslow came after he declined to take a pay cut from the $3.3 million he was scheduled to earn. That salary may have been a point of discussion for months now. Seattle is expected to replace him with Evan Moore, a tight end who played the past three years in Cleveland. Moore is 6 feet 6 and caught 34 passes in 2011, scoring four touchdowns.”

Lastly from O’Neil, we have his look at Seattle’s cut to 53 players, which occurred Friday afternoon, “Just as significant as who is not on the 53-man roster, though, is one player who is: offensive lineman James Carpenter. He did not practice at all during training camp as he continued his recovery from a knee injury he suffered in practice last October. Carpenter was last year’s first-round pick, and he was on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list since training camp began. Had he been placed on that list to begin the season, he would not have counted against the 53-man roster limit, but also would have been ineligible to begin practicing with the team until after its sixth game.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the Seahawks’ 53-man roster, noting that Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s roster-churning days appear to have slowed down, “Currently, 37 of Seattle’s 53 players on the roster were with the team last season. Only six players on the roster remain from when Carroll took over the team after the 2009 season. And Seattle still has one of the youngest teams in the league, with only six players age 30 or older. Cornerback Marcus Trufant is the oldest at 31 – he turns 32 on Christmas Day. Linebacker Leroy Hill turns 30 on Sept. 14.”

Williams has a feature on rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who moved into the starting role this season with the departure of veteran David Hawthorne in free agency and has been making quick progress, “Bradley said he knew Wagner arrived when the headsets on the sidelines went down during the team’s first preseason game against Tennessee, the defensive coordinator had to signal in the calls. Wagner told Bradley he could read his lips from the sideline and get the calls that way. ‘I think for him the big thing is just getting used to using his hands,’ Bradley said. ‘He’s going to have linemen out on him, and he’s getting better at that, and attacking the line of scrimmage.’ ”

Williams also comments on the Seahawks’ highly-touted secondary, who has been given the nickname ‘The Legion of Boom‘, “Seattle boasts one of best young secondaries in the league, with safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, and cornerback Brandon Browner all making the trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl after the 2011 season. Seattle finished No. 9 in total defense last season, the first time since 1997 the Seahawks finished in the top 10. While Seattle’s defensive front seven anchors the unit with its stout play against the run, the Legion of Boom creates turnovers, and plays with a ferocity befitting the name. ‘We all got that boom,’ safety Kam Chancellor said. ‘Whether it’s getting interceptions, talking trash, being a ballhawk or just knocking somebody out – it’s everything.’ ”

Lastly from Williams, he details the release of Winslow and Seattle’s cut to 53.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune admires quarterback Russell Wilson’s attitude and drive to be “great”, but says that average will be just fine for Wilson in this offense, as he advises the rookie to not try to do too much, “Average will work on this offense. Good will be just fine. An average-to-good quarterback who avoids turnovers is a better fit for Pete Carroll’s system than a great quarterback prone to the occasional, inevitable mistake. Take last season’s road upset of the New York Giants. The Hawks beat the eventual Super Bowl champions because Charlie Whitehurst, relieving the injured Tarvaris Jackson in the third quarter, didn’t try to out-Eli Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Whitehurst completed only 11 passes in the second half, for 149 yards and a touchdown, but none of his 19 attempts ended up in the hands of the defense. Manning, meanwhile, finished the day with gaudy stats – 24-of-39 for 420 yards and three touchdowns – but undermined by three interceptions. On the best day of Whitehurst’s life – and helping the Seahawks to that 39-26 victory qualifies for the short list – he is not half the quarterback that Manning is. But again, sometimes less can be preferable to more.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald recaps the Seahawks’ roster reduction, and says wide receiver Braylon Edwards is out to prove critics wrong after a down season a year ago, “That guy you saw wearing Edwards’ jersey last year? That wasn’t him, he’ll tell you. But saying it is one thing, proving it while playing on your fourth team in the last five seasons? Well, let’s just say Edwards knows a strong training camp and a few nice catches in preseason games don’t mean he’s back to being the player who caught 53 passes for 904 yards as recently as two seasons ago. But just getting a chance to show what he can do is a pretty good start. ‘I feel great,’ Edwards said. ‘I feel like I’m full speed, I feel like I can jump however high I need to make plays and get around. I just feel like my athletic ability is there again. Last year I just wasn’t able really to jump, move, make certain cuts, so I’m a much different player this year than last year.’ ”

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network previews the Seahawks 2012 season, “Even before Wilson’s unexpected rise to the starting lineup and Carroll’s latest examples of unconventional wisdom, the Seahawks were being touted as a team potentially on the rise. Seattle went 5-3 over the second half of last year’s campaign, with the surge fueled by a string of productive games from running back Marshawn Lynch and a defense filled with relative unknowns gelling into one of the NFL’s better crews. And if preseason results can be used as an accurate measuring stick, the Seahawks may indeed be ready to take off in 2012. With Wilson leading the way, Seattle prevailed in all four of its warm-up contests and outscored the opposition by a convincing 122-44 margin.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report on the 53-man roster and release of Winslow.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his analysis of the Seahawks’ cut to 53 players, “Most significant move: The Seattle Seahawks emerged from last season with high hopes for Josh Portis as a developmental quarterback. The arrival of Matt Flynn in free agency and new starter Russell Wilson through the draft left Portis on the outside. The Seahawks released him, leaving Wilson and Flynn as the only quarterbacks on the initial 53-man roster. Some teams with rookie starters brace themselves for what they know will be a long season. The Seahawks think Wilson upgrades the position immediately. They appear unworried by rookie walls and all the other ominous metaphors that typically pop up with inexperienced players behind center. The team could always consider adding a third quarterback in the future, but the value wasn’t there given what Seattle thinks about its top two quarterbacks.”

Sando also has a breakdown of the Seahawks’ roster and practice available for download.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a position-by-position look at the newly-crafted 53-man roster.

Farnsworth also details what’s left at the tight end position after the release of Winslow, “Now what? The Seahawks still have Miller, and the coaches have been pleased with the more-consistent performance of third-year Anthony McCoy during training camp and the preseason. McCoy, a sixth-round draft choice in 2010, had six catches for a team-high 106 receiving yards during the just-concluded preseason. ‘Anthony has been a really good prospect,’ coach Pete Carroll said recently of the tight end he also coached at USC. ‘This was a great pick for us a couple years back. He’s really grown into a versatile tight end for us. He’s one of our best blockers. He’s not quite to Zach’s level, but he really does a great job on all the in-line blocking. He moves around well. He’s a great target to throw the ball to.’ ”

And finally, to round things out this morning, Farnsworth looks at the seven familiar faces that make up the Seahawks practice squad, “The release-and-return move with [quarterback Josh] Portis is shrewd. Waiving him opened a roster spot for an extra position player, but he’ll still be around to continue developing his raw, but obvious, skills by getting some reps quarterbacking the scout team that works against the Seahawks’ defense in practice. Last year, Portis made the 53-man roster as a rookie free agent, but was inactive for 15 games.”


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Thursday cyber surfing: Preseason wraps up tonight

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 30.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times points to the fact the rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin has yet to register a sack, or a tackle, so far this preseason, and that he is a key players to watch Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders. Coach Pete Carroll maintains the notion that he will see a breakthrough soon, “Irvin is coming around to listen to Carroll. He had his best practice of the month Tuesday and was almost as impressive Monday. ‘Bruce was the most productive guy in practice throughout the camp,’ Carroll said. ‘We keep score of that stuff, and he was the highest-ranked guy in terms of productivity. That’s in sacks and tackles for losses and knocking balls loose and all that stuff.’ Now, it’s just a matter of when he’ll hurry up and show that during the games.”

O’Neil also has an update on 2011 first-round draft pick James Carpenter, who has been sidelined from a knee injury he suffered after playing in nine games his rookie year, “He will be back on the field at some point this year, which constitutes progress in his recovery from the season-ending knee injury he suffered after nine games last season. ‘He has busted his tail to get back,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘and we’re really, really excited. He’s definitely going to play this year. He’s definitely going to play. We didn’t know that as he went into even July. We weren’t sure. But we know that now he’s going to play once he’s going to get back in and gets his weeks in.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that several players see tonight’s preseason finale as one last chance to prove to the coaching staff that they are 53-man roster-worthy, including wide receiver Charly Martin, “Martin, 28, is in his third NFL season, having spent the past two years with the Carolina Panthers. At West Texas A&M University, Martin finished with school records in receptions (244), receiving yards (4,108) and touchdowns (44), so he understands how to produce under pressure. With receivers Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards seeming to be locks to make the Seahawks’ roster, Martin likely is in a battle with veterans Ben Obomanu and Deon Butler and youngsters Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham for two roster spots. ‘I control what I can control,’ Martin said about Friday’s looming cuts. ‘There’s only so much I can do, and I make sure I’m mentally and physically ready to go every day. And aside from that, my hands are off of it. I come out, take advantage of the opportunities, work as hard as I can and have fun.’ ”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald also notes the urgency of tonight’s exhibition as the final chance for several young players to impress, “Whether it’s receivers like Deon Butler, Charly Martin, and Ricardo Lockette, or defensive lineman Cordarro Law or cornerback Jeremy Lane or linebacker Korey Toomer, numerous players on Seattle’s roster feel like they’re good enough to help this team in the regular season, but not all can be on the roster by Friday afternoon. ‘This is big for our young guys,”‘Carroll said. ‘This is their biggest opportunity because they’ll get their most playing time in this game and it’s kind of a final test of camp and the offseason. I’m hoping, for their own good, that they really come through and put themselves in the best positions to make the club. It’s a highly competitive roster right now and everybody is battling.’ ”

Boyle writes that while rookie Winston Guy once looked to be one of the many players on the roster bubble after tonight’s matchup with the Raiders, recent comments from coach Carroll make you feel more confident that the safety out of Kentucky will make the 53-man roster, ” ‘I’ve really liked this guy,’ Carroll said. ‘He’s a very natural football player. In his days at Kentucky, they moved him around quite a bit, and we were able to see him do things like what we do in this package. It was the Lawyer Milloy spot, a guy we used because of years of savvy and understanding. There are so many things that a guy has to deal with that he almost has to have a real natural sense, because you can’t coach everything because of all the floating and moving around that he’s asked to do. Well Winston gets it; he just gets it. He’s a hitter, he plays the ball well, he’s really fast, he’s 216 pounds, big kid. He’s got a real knack for rushing the passer, he looks like a pass rusher when he’s coming. So he’s really been a pleasant surprise. We had hoped that he would be able to do these things, and he’s on that package.’ Carroll went on to say that Guy will see a lot of playing time Thursday night, as will many of the young players, then added that Guy will likely have a prominent role in the defense on passing downs.”

Boyle also has an injury update after Wednesday’s walk-through practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network previews tonight’s preseason matchup with the Oakland Raiders, with a couple of notes on the team’s quarterback situations, “Carroll said that [Russell] Wilson will start Thursday’s contest, though it’s likely he’ll play only sparingly before giving way to [Matt] Flynn and project Josh Portis…[Carson] Palmer is expected to receive only scant playing time in a reunion meeting with Carroll, the former college coach for both he and backup Matt Leinart at the University of Southern California.”

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com gives us three things he wants to see from tonight’s game in this short video, listing production from defensive end Bruce Irvin, consistent playmaking from wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and Matt Flynn’s command of the offense and rapport with the receivers as things to watch for.

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Carroll’s press conference following Wednesday’s walk-through, “Carroll said special teams play will decide several close battles among receivers, linebackers and defensive backs. Defensive linemen Jason Jones and Greg Scruggs will not play Thursday but Carroll expects both to be ready for Arizona. Carroll’s final message to young players in a stressful situation: play loose and don’t overtry.”

Swartz also writes about the great expectations that face third-year receiver Golden Tate in 2012, “When [Terrell] Owens was released last Sunday, I asked Tate whether that was a vote of confidence in him. ‘I can’t control who they bring in here to compete,’ he said. ‘I can only control what I do out here every day. I need to make the plays I’m supposed to make, and make some people probably don’t think I can make. I see myself as a playmaker.’ When we used to ask quarterback Matt Hasselbeck about Tate, he would speak highly of his ability to attack the football. Hasselbeck also talked about Tate’s raw, un-precise route-running. That weakness continues to occasionally surface in his third year in the NFL. Purely judging his numbers, you could make the case Tate has been consistent. He’s averaged more than 10 yards per catch and led the team last year by catching 62 percent of the passes thrown his way. Coming into the final preseason game Thursday night against the visiting Raiders, Tate needs to show he’s one of the best five or six receivers on the squad. With the Seahawks’ ability to find creative ways to use unique talent, Tate could be an interesting offensive weapon in 2012.”

Liz Matthews of mynorthwest.com writes that wide receiver Sidney Rice should be ready to go for the regular season opener, “This offseason, Rice underwent surgeries on both shoulders and was limited throughout training camp. To bolster the roster, the Seahawks added three veteran wide receivers to the mix — Antonio Bryant, Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens. Bryant and Owens have now been released, while Edwards remains on the 75-man roster. ‘We talked all in the offseason on how we were going to do it and he is ahead of schedule,’ Carroll said of Rice last week. ‘He’s applied himself so well and has done a great job in the weight room. He’s never been pumped like this before. He’s feeling really confident out there and we are all looking forward to it.’ Now back at full practice, Rice made his preseason debut against Kansas City last week, finishing the game with one reception for eight yards. ‘He was fast and confident,’ Carroll said. ‘He wanted to play more. He didn’t want to come off of the field, which was great. He needed to get out on the field and you can see it in warmups that he was fired up.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com writes that the Seahawks enter the 2012 season with the second-youngest starters in the NFL, “Seattle enters the regular season with the second-youngest projected starters in the NFL. Some of the team’s younger building blocks — James Carpenter, John Moffitt and Matt Flynn come to mind — have or could lose their starting jobs to players even younger than them.  ‘We want the roster so competitive that really good draft picks are fighting for play time and that means that the guys ahead of him are better,’ Carroll said before the draft.”

Sando has a look at the Seahawks wide receiver situation heading into tonight’s matchup with the Raiders, and offers a projection as to six WRs the ‘Hawks will hold on to after Thursday night, “Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate, Braylon Edwards, Ben Obomanu, Charly Martin. The Seahawks’ receiver situation is cloudier than the others in the division. Martin seems to have stepped up. He had a touchdown catch against Kansas City last week. Deon Butler would be another obvious consideration. Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham showed promise in the past, but neither seems to have done enough this summer. Jermaine Kearse and Lavasier Tuinei would be released under this scenario. Seattle has some unclear choices. The team could be in the market for a veteran slot receiver as well, depending on Baldwin’s health. This situation is fluid.”

Sando also revisits the 2011 NFL draft and provides an update on Seahawks draft choices that suffered injury set backs in their first season – James Carpenter, John Moffitt, and Kris Durham.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth highlights the Tom Cable effect, provides an interesting nugget from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King on rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin in his Wednesday edition of ‘Hawkville’, and details how wide receiver Charly Martin will approach tongiht’s game with the Raiders.

Lastly, Tony Ventrella brings you a look at the team’s final preparations for their fourth preseason game, and previews tonight’s matchup with the Raiders in this short video.


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Tuesday cyber surfing: Wilson ready to roll as starter

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

Newly-named starting quarterback Russell Wilson addressed the media following Monday’s practice session. He was preceded by head coach Pete Carroll.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says that Wilson is a prime example of an NFL-ready rookie quarterback, “That he earned that spot is about more than just Wilson’s ambition. It reflects a change in the league as a whole as NFL teams are increasingly willing to start rookies from Day 1. That was the case last year with Cam Newton in Carolina and Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, who became the sixth and seventh rookie quarterbacks to start Week 1 in the previous four seasons. That matched the total number from the 10 years combined (see chart). This year, Wilson is one of five rookies expected to start at quarterback in the season opener, the most of any NFL season. Whether it’s Andrew Luck in Indianapolis or Robert Griffin III in Washington, Ryan Tannehill in Miami or Brandon Weeden in Cleveland, rookie quarterbacks are standing front and (under) center sooner than ever before.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with Wilson’s roommate, Robert Turbin, who was not surprised at the news that Wilson had earning the starting QB job, “Turbin, the running back, was not surprised when his roommate, the quarterback, was announced as the winner of Seattle’s highly contested quarterback competition on Sunday. Turbin said he texted Wilson congratulations when he heard the news on TV. ‘He puts in a lot of hard work, man,’ Turbin said. ‘And he deserved to be the starter. He earned it. And I told him that I got his back for a whole career.’ Turbin said that he and Wilson have similar viewpoints, and both practice visualizing their goals in order to achieve them. We definitely talk,’ Turbin said. ‘We talk about a lot of our goals that we have, not only for ourselves, but as a quarterback-running back tandem, and also as a team. In order to do great things you’ve got to dream those things. You’ve got to make those things a goal. You can never have a goal too big – something that’s impossible. He and I believe there’s always a possibility. Somehow, some way you can get it done.’ ”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune calls Carroll’s decision of Wilson as the starting quarterback ‘the right choice’, “Wilson gave Carroll absolutely no choice in the matter. He latched onto this job and made it his own. This competition was a high-profile test case of the Pete Carroll Meritocracy. Its motto: The Best Player Plays. And that’s regardless of draft status, contract situation or political expediency. That’s not insignificant. For a coach who goes into his third season without a winning record, there are risks in starting a rookie at quarterback rather than a veteran. But the risk in not going with Wilson was greater — because it would reveal his fundamental philosophy as a sham. That’s how convincingly Russell Wilson earned this job. And everybody on the staff, and surely most of the players on the field, know it.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald tells us Wilson wants to make the most of this opportunity, “A day after being named the starter, Wilson used the word great quite a bit when talking about his expectations for himself and the team. Wilson may be a rookie, and a third-round pick at that, but it is clear he doesn’t plan on using his inexperience as an excuse. ‘Even though I’m a rookie, I believe I can help this team win and do great things,” Wilson said. “… My goal every time I step out on the football field is to be great. I’m never afraid to excel, that’s the way I’ll always be every opportunity I get.’ ”

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his report from Monday’s practice session, noting that Flynn was able to throw the football after sitting out the team’s third preseason at Kansas City, “Matt Flynn did some light throwing at the beginning of practice, then watched the second half with ice on his right elbow. Carroll expects Flynn to do more passing Tuesday and Wednesday with a goal of playing some Thursday night against Oakland.”

Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com tells us how Matt Flynn can respond to losing the quarterback competition in this short video.

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com points to the play Braylon Edwards as one of the reasons the team let go of veteran Terrell Owens, and that the decision had nothing to do with Owens’ presumed attitude problems, “Both players showed some potential, but Edwards made his case more forcefully from the start. Arriving in Seattle in the very early morning of July 31 with a one-year deal in hand, Edwards hot the practice field the same say, wrestled with Seattle’s hyper-aggressive cornerbacks, and developed a chemistry with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. Owens came in a week later, looked to be in monster shape, and impressed in early practices. But while Edwards was catching bombs from Wilson in preseason games, Owens struggled with the timing and parlance of an offense he should have known in his sleep. He missed out on five targeted passes from quarterback Matt Flynn in his Week 2 debut against the Denver Broncos, and whiffed on two more balls from Wilson in a rout of the Kansas City Chiefs last Friday.”

Dan Wetzel of YahooSports.com reflects on the competition that Carroll preached while at USC, and looks how it has effectively translated to the NFL with the decision to start Wilson at quarterback, “Wilson, out of Wisconsin, has been terrific. He’s completed 35 of 52 passes (67.3 percent) for 464 yards, five TDs and one interception in three preseason games. He’s also run for 150 yards on 10 scrambles. Not bad for a guy who just over a year ago was a failing minor league baseball prospect in search of a second chance at football. He found it in Madison, Wis., where he excelled in leading the Badgers back to the Rose Bowl. Perhaps more telling, however, was his presence in the locker room. The North Carolina State transfer was named a captain within weeks of arriving on campus. Wilson’s complete package began winning over Carroll and Schneider before the draft. They took Wilson 75th overall, even though he measured just 5-foot-10 and didn’t posses all sorts of the prototypical features of a NFL QB. They then grew even more impressed in minicamps and over the summer. If Carroll, now 60, vowed to duplicate what he did right at USC in his return trip to the NFL, then there was no way he could sit Wilson in the opener against Arizona. ‘This is an extraordinary kid,’ Carroll said. ‘He just kept knocking us out with what he brought.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com takes a look at the age ranks around the NFL, noting that with the losses of veterans like linebacker Barrett Ruud, offensive tackle Alex Barron, offensive guard Deuce Lutui, and wide receiver Terrell Owens, the Seahawks have gotten younger across the board.

Sando also breaks down where the Seahawks roster stands after their cut to 75 players.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has a look the impressive play of Seattle’s special teams unit last Friday night at Kansas City, recaps the activities surrounding Monday in Hawkville – including a note on the ever-active safety Earl Thomas, and comments on the extraordinary work ethic of Seattle’s newest starting quarterback, Russell Wilson.

Finally, Tony Ventrella of Seahawks.com has his report on Monday’s happenings in our Seahawks Daily.


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Friday cyber surfing: Camp is wrapped; on to Denver

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 17.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times calls Russell Okung one of the most important players to the Seahawks season, and also one that has gone largely unmentioned through training camp, “Left tackle Russell Okung is fine with that. After the way his past two seasons started, he would actually prefer it. He was injured during Seattle’s first exhibition game each of his first two seasons, so when he made it through the opener Saturday unscathed, it seemed like a good time to ask the big man how he was feeling. He wasn’t interested in answering that question. At least not on the record. It’s a pinch of the old-school approach Okung has taken, choosing to be seen as opposed to heard when it comes to the media. But take it from someone who knows, Okung is a reason to smile so far this year. ‘He has done a fine job,’ offensive line coach Tom Cable said. ‘I’m looking for him to just keep building on it now that he’s kind of accepted the responsibility of playing left tackle and what comes with it.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune relays information from head coach Pete Carroll that wide receiver Terrell Owens will play this weekend at Denver, “Carroll chose to keep Owens out of last week’s exhibition opener against Tennessee because he felt the veteran receiver was not in game condition after only a few practices. However, Owens is in much better shape this week, putting together several highlight plays over the past two days and showing his trademark running ability after the catch. Owens will play on an NFL field for the first time since the 2010 season, and little more than a year after having ACL knee surgery.”

Scott Garbarini of The Sports Network has a preseason preview of Saturday night’s matchup with the Denver Broncos.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald catches up with defensive back Roy Lewis, who he says wants to take on a bigger role with the defense, “In preparation for the 2012 season, however, Lewis has been a regular on defense as the team’s No. 1 nickel back, and is playing ahead of veteran Marcus Trufant, who was released in the offseason then re-signed specifically to play nickel. ‘Roy has been playing that position for some time,’ Carroll said. ‘He is ahead of everybody else in the learning and the understanding. If you notice, Roy won’t play very much this week in preparation. We know what he can do and we want to see what other guys can do. … That was a one of the major focuses (this week) — to give guys a chance in the competition to show what they can do.’ ”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press has his story on Terrell Owens’ debut in Denver, “Owens arrived in camp in excellent shape and has looked impressive at times during practice. But if he’s to make the Seahawks’ final roster, Owens will need to show in a game that he’s fully recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of the NFL for the entire 2011 season. Saturday against the Broncos will be his first NFL game action since Week 15 of the 2010 season with Cincinnati. Owens went without a catch in that final game against Cleveland. ‘He’s ready to go,’ Carroll said. ‘He had two good weeks of work, and he came in in great shape so he’s ready to go.’ ”

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from the final day of Bing Training Camp yesterday, “Matt Flynn took snaps with the number one offense as he prepares to start the first half at Denver in Saturday night’s second pre-season game. Flynn and that unit had one tough series during 11 on 11 drills. Matt’s first pass intended for Kellen Winslow was swatted away by Richard Sherman. Marshawn Lynch was stuffed on a running play by Leroy Hill. Flynn was sacked on the third down pass play. And Steven Haushka missed a 40 yard field goal try.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his practice notes from yesterday’s camp finale, including a thought on the receiving corps, “Owens, WR Braylon Edwards, WR Ricardo Lockette and WR Deon Butler appear to be in the thick of competition for the remaining spots with WR Kris Durham, WR Charly Martin, WR Phil Bates, WR Lavasier Tuniei  and WR Jermaine Kearse appearing to be longer shots at this point. If the team elects to keep both Edwards and Owens, they could short themselves on special teams as neither will likely play on that unit. It creates an interesting situation from a roster perspective. The remaining three preseason games should help make the position somewhat clearer.”

The staff at SportsPressNW.com has their report from the final day of camp and says the Seahawks have a lot of questions to answer at the wide receiver position, “The Seahawks have considerable sorting to do at the receiving spots, with only Doug Baldwin, last year’s catch leader with 51, a healthy starter available so far for the season opener. Naturally, Carroll saw the glass half full. ‘We’re still in the midst of this thing,’ he said. ‘I like our group a lot. We’ve become even more competitive and more experienced with the guys that have come in. We don’t have to do anything right now, just keep giving these guys opportunities in practice and games and add it all up at the end. It’s a really good position group for us right now. To have a guy like Doug Baldwin is just a blessing.’ ”

Doug Farrar of YahooSports.com details young quarterbacks who are starting to emerge in QB battles around the League, including Russell Wilson, “Wilson’s improvement has been graphic through minicamps and into training camp, but as Seahawks quarterbacks coach Carl Smith recently told Shutdown Corner, it wasn’t always so. ‘Really, he’s working through a lot of things,’ Smith said. ‘Rookie minicamp, he threw eight picks, okay? But he’s whittling away at a huge mountain of little things, and he’s doing it at a terrific pace. Working in the classroom, working on the field, and he keeps chopping [the problems] off. I’m really happy with his work ethic.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com says there is much at stake for wide receiver Terrell Owens in his Seahawks debut at Denver, “Forget about 10 receptions for 220 yards. We should instead watch to see how aggressively Owens plays, whether he’s a willing blocker, whether he catches the ball well, and how much he plays. Owens has always been a competitor. He has responded well in practice after watching Braylon Edwards, his primary competition for a roster spot, score a touchdown and generally play well against Tennessee last week. Owens was not active for that game, but he knows the stakes. He was fortunate to get an opportunity from Seattle, and must capitalize on the chance.”

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his Camp Carroll wrap-up, ” ‘The camp work that we set out to do, the things that we hoped to accomplish, I think we’ve really knocked it all in,’ Carroll said. ‘We’ve seen a bunch of guys; we’ve gotten a lot of information on our young guys. These next few weeks of games will be very important. But as far as the camp process – understanding how these guys learn, do they fit, kind of starting the process of developing roles for them because you know what they can do – all of that is moving.’ ”

Farnsworth also passes out his camp honors, naming the best rookie of Bing Training Camp as Robert Turbin, “First-round draft choice Bruce Irvin, second-rounder Bobby Wagner and Wilson got – and deserve – mention. But Turbin, the fourth-round pick out of Utah State, was drafted to fill the need for a physical back to spell Lynch. Turbin looks, and runs, the part.”

Lastly from Farnsworth, he has his final ‘Hawkville‘ post of training camp.

Greg Scruggs sits down with Seahawks.com and recaps his camp experience, life in Seattle, and passion for playing the drums, “I didn’t want anything to do with football [in high school]. Drumming was my thing. I had been doing it since I was 10 years old, and I was good at it. I was more popular than the football players because of my drumming.”

Finally, Tony Ventrella wraps up camp in his Seahawks Daily as he catches up with safety Earl Thomas, wide receiver Golden Tate, and cornerback Richard Sherman.


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Thursday cyber surfing: Veteran receivers impress in final camp open to public

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 16.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times takes a look at the importance of the tall, rangy, physical cornerback in head coach Pete Carroll’s defense, and specifically looks at Richard Sherman, who Carroll tried to recruit out of high school to play corner, ” ‘He [Carroll] said I was the perfect size for a lockdown corner,’ Sherman said. So naturally, Sherman went to Stanford to catch passes instead of defend them, but six years and one position switch later, Carroll’s first impression is looking more like a prophecy. Standing 6 feet 3, Sherman is one half of a cornerback tandem that is notable for both its length and its strength. And if you’re looking for the key to what is considered one of the NFL’s rising young defenses, best start on the outside with Brandon Browner and Sherman. ‘This system is always really corner-oriented,’ Carroll said. ‘In college, I always wanted to be ‘Corner U’ because when you can have the ability to do the things we do with those corners, it allows us to do a lot of other things defensively.’ ”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his story on Braylon Edwards, who has made an early impact in practice and in the preseason as a threat at wide receiver, “With 13 receivers on the roster, Seattle receivers coach Kippy Brown is in charge of getting each a fair look; rotating receivers through a scripted session for each practice, with specific plays in mind for each player. ‘Like any good player, he just has to get comfortable with the offense,’ Brown said of Edwards. ‘But that will come with time. And he’s already shown good playmaking ability, and we’re pleased with that.’ One player with whom Edwards has developed a nice rapport is starting quarterback Matt Flynn. The duo connected on several deep plays and red-zone touchdowns during training camp, and Edwards appears to be a target whom Flynn seeks out under duress. ‘He’s a big receiver, good hands, good route-runner – so there’s not much to not like there,’ Flynn said. ‘He’s done a very nice job. He’s making a lot of plays for us, and especially down the field. He’s a big threat because he’s a big, athletic kind of guy. And he has great concentration.’ ”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes from Wednesday’s practice, “Asked to pick a story of the day, I’d say that Terrell Owens looked as if he’s getting his legs under him and feeling more comfortable. He pulled in a nice completion against Richard Sherman on a little in-and-out route during one-on-one drills, and later grabbed two touchdown passes in team (2s v. 2s) from Russell Wilson. The first score reflected well on both of them; the play appeared on the verge of breaking down, but Wilson stepped up and Owens found a spot open near the back of the end zone. He also caught a long touchdown from Wilson. On the same Veteran Receiver front, Braylon Edwards had an eye-catching one-handed grab of a poorly thrown pass during skeleton drills.

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Wednesday as the ‘Hawks wrapped up the portion of their training camp that was open to the public, “As we were told by Carroll on Tuesday, Matt Flynn took most of the snaps with the first-unit offense. He missed a couple throws in the first 11-on-11 series, but wound up connecting on a crossing route to Ricardo Lockette and Ben Obomanu. Later in practice, Flynn play-faked to a running back, bought time and completed a 60-yard strike to Obomanu just over the reach of cornerback Jeremy Lane. Russell Wilson also found Terrell Owens on a 52-yard bomb during his 11-on-11 drills. Two defensive backs appeared ready to make a play on the ball, but backed off near the goal line. Wilson also hit T.O. in the back of the end zone for another score against the second-unit defense. Kellen Winslow had a fine day receiving, as did fellow tight end Cooper Helfet, a rookie from Duke University. Three other tight ends were not in pads due to injuries: Zach Miller has a mild concussion, Anthony McCoy and Cameron Morrah leg problems.”

Liz Matthews of mynorthwest.com answers the question of whether or not Tarvaris Jackson is still in the competition at quarterback, “Seahawks incumbent starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson continues to take reps with the first-team offense, but has yet to make an appearance in a preseason game. Carroll announced Tuesday that Matt Flynn will get the start Saturday in Denver, with rookie Russell Wilson to follow in the second half. Carroll did say, however, that Jackson remains firmly in the competition. ‘Yes, absolutely he is,’ Carroll said. ‘Really this is just the way I’ve chosen to do it, I’m banking on the 18 games we’ve seen him. He knows the offense; he knows what is going on. And I watched him play last year practicing one day a week for five weeks and he can function. So I’m using all of that information to allow us the opportunity to see all of the other guys.’ ”

At ESPN.com Damien Woody and Jerry Rice offer their opinion on how things might shake out in the Seahawks quarterback competition in this short video.

John Breech of CBSSports.com takes a stab at projecting the Seahawks’ final 53-man roster.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth catches up with 2012 second-round draft pick Bobby Wagner, who impressed in his first NFL action last Saturday against the Titans, “The more the coaches have seen of Wagner, the better they’ve like him. And the more Wagner sees, the better he’ll be able to play the pivotal position in the base defense – where he makes the calls in the huddle before the play, makes adjustments based on what he sees prior to the snap and then tries to take away the middle after the snap. ‘The game was a little faster than I expected,’ Wagner said. ‘But after the first couple snaps, I kind of calmed myself down and everything was moving normal speed. So I just had to pick up what the offense was trying to do.’ ”

Farnsworth also has his fan-focused Hawkville, after 20,841 12th Man faithful came out to enjoy the 13 open practices at Bing Training Camp, “…the players appreciated you being here. It’s one thing to run out of the tunnel at CenturyLink Field to the roar of 66,000-plus on game day. But to get a rousing reception from a thousand or more die-hards on a Wednesday morning, that’s special, too. ‘The fans help,’ right tackle Breno Giacomini said. ‘If you don’t get excited for that, then something’s wrong with you. You should probably be playing golf somewhere. I like having the fans at practice. It’s a good environment, a game-like environment for practice.’ After practice, Giacomini was one of the players who “worked the fence” – signing autographs, chatting with fans, posing for picture. ‘It’s good, man. The 12th Man is really good, and we use it to our advantage. So whenever we can give back, we do,’ he said. ‘These kids love it, just as much as I did when I was growing up.’ ”

In his Seahawks Daily, Tony Ventrella has a look at quarterback Matt Flynn, who is set to start Saturday’s preseason game at the Denver Broncos, and catches up with veteran linebacker Leroy Hill and offensive tackle Russell Okung.

Seahawks long snapper Clint Gresham takes a few moments to share his camp experience with Seahawks.com.

Our fantasy writer Scott Engel of rotoexperts.com has a look at Seahawks tight ends as they relate to fantasy football in 2012.


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Flynn back in as starter at Denver

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

The big news coming out of camp yesterday was that Seahawks free agent acquisition Matt Flynn will be given the start at quarterback in Saturday’s second preseason game against the Denver Broncos. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson will see playing time as well, as coach Pete Carroll announced a quarterback plan similar to the team’s preseason opener against Tennessee. Incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson may not play this weekend, but still remains in the quarterback competition according to Carroll.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his story on the quarterback situation, including comments from Carroll on the differences between Flynn and Wilson, “Carroll said he considered starting Wilson at Denver to give the rookie the same kind of opportunity Flynn got a week ago against Tennessee. Flynn getting another start shows how the coaches have evaluated the pair so far. ‘Matt has done a really good job of commanding all of this stuff,’ Carroll said. ‘He understands the game in great depth, he gives us a veteran presence, even though he hasn’t had a lot of starting time. He recognizes the defense … It’s still a challenge for Russell to catch up with that stuff. He’s battling to get that done, and there’s a difference right now.’ ”

O’Neil also has a look at wide receiver Sidney Rice, who was no longer wearing a red practice jersey Tuesday, but instead a white one – a sign that he is ready for some contact, “The green grass stain on the front of his uniform was an even more obvious sign he’s ready for some contact. ‘I had to try to simulate some gamelike situations,’ Rice said. Rice won’t play in Saturday’s exhibition game at Denver, but his practice regimen is a sign of progress and that he may be ready when the regular season begins. ‘This is his first week back getting banged around, so we’ll give him some time,’ coach Pete Carroll said.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, who asks if Seattle’s latest QB-plan means Tarvaris Jackson is on his way out of Seattle, “In what some people might consider a cruel twist, Jackson worked with the starters Tuesday, just as he did the previous Tuesday. Carroll said his team will not begin game preparation for the Broncos until today’s practice. So is Jackson’s time in Seattle coming to a close? Carroll says no – for now. ‘He’s still in the competition,’ Carroll said. ‘He absolutely is. This is the way I’ve just chosen to do it, that I’m banking on the 18 games I’ve seen him. He knows the offense. He knows what’s going on. And I watched him play last year, practicing one day a week for five weeks, and he could function. So I’m using all that information to allow us the opportunity to see these other guys.’ ”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald discusses where Tarvaris Jackson fits in the Seahawks’ latest plans at quarterback.

Tim Booth of the Associated Press has his story on the ‘Hawks quarterback situation, “Apparently left out of the rotation is incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, who took all the reps with the No. 1 offense as Seattle (No. 22 in the AP Pro32) returned to practice on Tuesday, but will be shuffled to the end of the line and may see extremely limited action, if any, against the Broncos. Carroll again repeated that the Seahawks need to learn more about Flynn and Wilson, having seen Jackson for all of last season. But when asked why not start the rookie third-round pick out of Wisconsin against the Broncos, Carroll made clear that Flynn has the lead. “I think this is the right way to do it. I think this is where they sit right now,” Carroll said.”

The staff at SportsPressNW.com have their report from Tuesday’s practice.

Bill Swartz of mynorthwest.com has his notes from Tuesday’s practice, including a thought on the wide receiver corps, “Carroll was pleased to see a full receiving core on the field today. Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette were both in contact drills after missing Saturday night’s game. Sidney Rice was not wearing the red jersey, which means he is cleared for full practice. Rice will not play in this weekend’s Denver game. The coach says there’s a chance Terrell Owens will play against the Broncos. T.O. displayed his work ethic today when he ran pass routes on the sideline even when he wasn’t supposed to be on the field.”

Michael Simeona of mynorthwest.com recaps a segment of “Bob and Groz” in which quarterback Matt Flynn joined the show and found out he had just been named the starting quarterback Saturday against Denver, ” ‘I think all three of us are doing a very good job of not letting [the competition] effect the way we play on the field and the way we prepare,’ Flynn said Tuesday. ‘It’s been a good competition so far and I think all three of us are getting a lot out of it.’ ”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com says it’s still Matt Flynn’s job to lose at quarterback, “The early signs on Flynn and Wilson have been encouraging. Flynn was generally efficient working with the first-team offense against the Titans. He got rid of the ball quickly most of the time and appeared comfortable. Wilson played with greater flair, dazzling with a 32-yard touchdown run. He moved with purpose, threw with velocity and also appeared comfortable.”

NFL.com released an updated power rankings Tuesday afternoon, and the Seahawks have climbed two spots to No. 17 on the list, “The secondary looked good against Tennessee in Week 1 of the preseason. Former Titan Jason Jones helps shape a solid front four for Seattle. Ah, but the linebackers are the question mark, especially in a division with the run-focused 49ers and Rams. Second-round pick Bobby Wagner could start alongside Leroy Hill and K.J. Wright. Those guys are going to have to play ball for the Seahawks to have any hope in the NFC West.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth details Matt Flynn earning the starting role for the second straight week, and offers his thoughts on Tarvaris Jackson, “Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and quarterbacks coach Carl Smith already have a read on Jackson. He started 14 games last season, after being signed in free agency, and played much of the season with a damaged pectoral in his throwing shoulder. Flynn and Russell joined the team in March and April, respectively. ‘Tarvaris has played a lot of football for us,’ Carroll said. ‘We have to give somewhere here, so we’re giving that. We understand what kind of player Tarvaris is. He’s in great shape. He’s studied hard. He’s ready to go. We’re just banking that he’ll be able to hold on to his level of play without two weeks of playing time and playing in the game. The emphasis right now is to get Matt and Russell their playtime again so we can really get another big body of knowledge and information from them.’ ”

The focus of Tuesday’s ‘Hawkville’ is cornerback Phillip Adams, the third-year cornerback from South Carolina State, “Hard work pays off…All he did in today’s two-hour, 15-minute practice was intercept not just one but two passes. On the first, rookie linebacker Korey Toomer tipped a Russell Wilson pass near the goal line and Adams controlled the carom as he was falling to the turf. On the second, Adams locked in on a pass shortly after it left Matt Flynn’s hand and was able to get to the ball before wide receiver Kris Durham. ‘We go out here and we practice hard every day,’ Adams said. ‘We just continue to work at it every day. You have to be confident as a player, and this whole defense is confident.’ ”

Rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner tells us all about his first NFL game day experience.

Lastly, Tony Ventrella has a recap of Tuesday’s Bing Training Camp activities in his Seahawks Daily video feature.


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Tuesday in Hawkville: Adams’ plays prove contagious

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 14:

FOCUS ON

Phillip Adams. Hard work pays off. Just look at Adams, the third-year cornerback from South Carolina State.

All he did in today’s two-hour, 15-minute practice was intercept not just one but two passes. On the first, rookie linebacker Korey Toomer tipped a Russell Wilson pass near the goal line and Adams controlled the carom as he was falling to the turf. On the second, Adams locked in on a pass shortly after it left Matt Flynn’s hand and was able to get to the ball before wide receiver Kris Durham.

“We go out here and we practice hard every day,” Adams said. “We just continue to work at it every day.”

Last week, Adams got a chance to work with in the starting secondary, as Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner was given a day off. Did that help Adam’s confidence?

“You have to be confident as a player, and this whole defense is confident,” Adams said.

Now that is an understatement. Practice can take on a feeding-frenzy feel as one defender tries to outdo the play that was just made by another defender. Today, that included a long-armed reach by cornerback Richard Sherman to swat away a deep pass by Flynn that was intended for Sidney Rice. And a near interception of a screen pass by defensive tackle Jason Jones. And another near interception by Sherman. And an end-zone interception by Pro Bowl strong safety Kam Chancellor. And rookie safety DeShawn Shead shielding Terrell Owens from an underthrown pass in the end zone.

“It’s like a domino effect,” Adams said. “We feed off each other. One person makes a play; it makes the other person want to make a play. So it becomes a feeding frenzy after awhile.”

ROOKIE WATCH

Bobby Wagner. After progressing even faster than the coaches had expected during the spring OTA practices and the first two weeks of training camp, the next question regarding the second-round draft from Utah State was: How would Wagner handle the duties that go with playing middle linebacker in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans?

The simple answer: Better than expected. Again.

“He was very comfortable in the game; was easy to talk to during the game. He wasn’t overhyped or anything,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He handled it very well. Did a great job at the line of scrimmage making his calls and will continue to grow as he just recognizes his plays more quickly.

“He’s on track, and we all feel he has a chance to be the starter. We went in with that hope. Now we see that it’s possible and we clearly are supporting the fact that that might happen.”

POSITION WATCH

Center. John Moffitt, the right guard who has been getting work as the backup center, is out because of a sore left elbow. Lemuel Jeanpierre, the incumbent back to starter Max Unger, strained a groin during practice.

So how did the coaches handle the snapping chores? Unger got some double duty, while left guard Paul McQuistan and rookie guard Rishaw Johnson also filled the center spot – without snapping the ball. When either McQuistan or Johnson was at center, he would turn and hand the ball to the quarterback before the snap would have been made.

PLAYS OF THE DAY

Offense: Braylon Edwards making a falling grab of a Flynn pass in the back corner of the end zone behind Browner.

Defense: Despite all the above mentioned plays by the defense, the one that really stood out was 330-pound end Red Bryant breaking free on a pass play. But rather than rush the QB, Bryant mirrored Tarvaris Jackson’s movement and then went up to deflect the pass. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley saluted the effort by yelling, “Hey Red, helluva play.”

IN ’N OUT

Today’s practice was typical for the first one after a preseason game, as some players who sat out against the Titans returned and other were sidelined with injuries they got in the game.

“We had a number of guys come back,” Carroll said. “It felt good to have those guys back out and kind of give us a boost in the numbers and all.”

Back were wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette, defensive lineman Alan Branch and linebackers Barrett Ruud and Allen Bradford. Also, wide receiver Sidney Rice practiced without a red no-contact jersey for the first time.

Sitting out were Pro Bowl fullback Michael Robinson, defensive backs Jeron Johnson and Ron Parker, defensive linemen Pierre Allen and Cordarro Law, linebacker Malcolm Smith and tight end Zach Miller. Carroll said that Robinson and Johnson should return by the end of the week, but that Law has a high ankle sprain and will be sidelined longer.

Miller got a concussion against the Titans.

“(Miller) responded immediately the next day, and the day after he looked clear,” Carroll said. “But it’s the process we have to go through, and we’re going to take great care in doing that properly.”

Still sidelined: Moffitt and James Carpenter, linebacker Matt McCoy and cornerback Walter Thurmond.

SURGERY FOR MOFFITT

As expected, Moffitt had surgery today to remove particles from his left elbow that were causing him pain. He is expected to miss two to three weeks, so veteran Deuce Lutui and rookie J.R. Sweezy will continue to work at Moffitt’s spot with the No. 1 line.

“This should be a real positive thing for John,” Carroll said. “It was something that needed to be done, so we did it as fast as possible.”

UP NEXT

The last practice of camp open to the public takes place Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. You can register here to attend. A crowd of 1,421 fans attended today’s practice.

Camp breaks after a morning practice on Thursday, and the team will fly to Denver on Friday for Saturday night’s preseason game against the Broncos.

YOU DON’T SAY

“I’m always impressed when I see a rookie have poise and look like he’s in control. It’s almost like he’s back in college. I don’t know what’s going through his mind, so maybe there were some things out there that kind of threw him off, but it certainly didn’t look like it. Bobby Wagner looked like he fit right in with that defense. Really fast, he had a really nice tackle, took on some blocks really well, made some little mistakes that you see rookies do, but other than that, I thought he showed really well.” – Dave Wyman, former Seahawks linebacker and now an analyst for 710 ESPN, on the team’s rookie middle linebacker


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Monday cyber surfing: ‘Hawks top Titans in preseason opener;

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 13.

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times says both quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson looked strong in the team’s preseason opener Saturday night vs. Tennessee Titans, and that their performances opened up the QB debate, “Flynn completed 11 of his 13 passes and guided Seattle on its most impressive drive of the game. The drive not only consumed nine minutes of the first quarter, but also came against the Titans’ starters. But Flynn netted only 71 yards passing, and he also was picked off. Wilson’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards was Seattle’s longest play of the game, and he was Seattle’s leading rusher with 59 yards. But Wilson also was playing against the lesser tiers of the Titans’ defense, and he was intercepted in the end zone by Titans linebacker Zac Diles. This game was like catnip for the quarterback debate.”

O’Neil also has his ‘Three things we learned’ and ‘Three things we’re still trying to figure out’ after Saturday’s preseason opener.

Steve Kelley at the Seattle Times breaks down Flynn and Wilson’s performacnes from Saturday, and states that the Seahawks need to give Flynn as many reps as possible, “He [Flynn] doesn’t have the blazing fastball that Brett Favre had. Flynn’s game is cat and mouse, the quarterback against the cornerback. He is a thinking man’s quarterback. Favre was a knockout punch. Flynn is more counterpuncher. It’s an important distinction, because to be the kind of quarterback the Seahawks need him to be, Flynn needs more work with the regulars than the team has been willing to give him. He needs more time, a lot more time, to learn the quirks and quicks of his receivers. Flynn has to excel at the more refined parts of his craft. He has to know his receivers, as well as he knows his family members. He has to understand their routes and the way they run their routes as well as they do.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune catches up with left tackle Russell Okung, who started Saturday night’s preseason game against the Titans and seems to be recovered from last year’s pectoral injury that sidelined last season after making 12 starts, ” ‘I’ve really rebounded from the injury last year, and I’m really glad to be back out there,’ Okung said about his play against Tennessee. ‘But as an offensive line we just had one thing in mind, and that was to come out here and start the season off right. … We went out there, we wanted to run the ball and we did a fair job. But we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.’ ”

Williams also recaps Saturday night’s contest.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the effectiveness of the ‘Hawks defense and run game, and says that quarterbacks Flynn and Wilson gave head coach Pete Carroll a lot of information to study after Saturday’s game, “Flynn finished the first half having completed 11 of 13 for 71 yards. And one of his incompletions was a drop by tight end Anthony McCoy. The most important number, though, was the 10-0 score the Seahawks had on the board when Flynn was still operating with the first team. While the competition at quarterback will continue, the efforts of the first-unit defense and running game make the outcome less worrisome.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald provides some light-hearted over-analysis after the Seahawks preseason victory Saturday night.

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com comments on the strong start Saturday night for the Seahawks’ much-hyped starting secondary, “It was a good start for a secondary that has received plenty of attention following a season of breakout performances. [Earl] Thomas was a Pro Bowl starter, while [Brandon] Browner and strong safety Kam Chancellor made the NFC squad as injury replacements. [Richard] Sherman had a strong rookie season that included four interceptions in 10 starts. ‘There has been a lot of talk about how good we are, and how we might be overconfident,’ Thomas said. ‘We did great tonight, and I am very proud about the work we have been putting in.’ ”

Henderson also gives his take on the play of wide receiver Braylon Edwards, noting that his performance Saturday night likely helped his case toward earning his place among the crowded Seahawks receiving corps, “Based on last season, you might have forgotten that Braylon Edwards was once a No. 3 overall pick, a bona fide No. 1 receiver and a Pro Bowl selection. One play he made in the Seahawks’ preseason opener against Tennessee served as a reminder. In the third quarter, Russell Wilson lobbed up a deep pass down the left sideline for Edwards, who was running stride-for-stride with the defensive back. The 6-foot-3 receiver timed his jump perfectly, wrestled the ball away as he was falling to the ground and secured it while rolling over in the end zone. ‘That’s just what Braylon’s been doing in practice,’ coach Pete Carroll said, ‘and so that was cool that he carried that over.’  Said Edwards: ‘I knew it was going to come to me. It was just a matter of me working my technique.’ ”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Saturday’s preseason opener.

The staff at SportsPressNW.com offers a look back at some highlights from the Seahawks 27-17 victory over the Titans.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a detailed look at Seahawks training camp in his ‘Camp Confidential‘. Sando looks at three hot issues surrounding ‘Hawks camp, discusses reasons for optimism and pessimism heading into 2012, and offers several observations from camp and the Seahawks preseason opener vs. Tennessee.

Sando also revisits his ‘Three things‘ after the Seahawks preseason opener, including a look at the quarterbacks – Flynn and Wilson, three rookie draft choices – Bruce Irvin, Bobby Wagner, and Robert Turbin, and a look at the Seahawks mix at wide receiver.

Tim Booth of the Associated Press recaps Saturday’s preseason opener, including a look at the play of Titans QBs former Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, and former University of Washington standout Jake Locker.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth recaps Saturday’s preseason opener, “The primary focus leading up to the game was the quarterbacks, and they did not disappoint. Matt Flynn, who was signed in free agency, got the start and completed 11 of 13 passes for 71 yards in the first half. Wilson took over in the second half, completing 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards. Each also threw an interception. ‘I thought that the quarterbacks did a really nice job; nothing but good stuff came out of this game for them,’ Carroll said. ‘They were poised. They handled the offense well. They did the things like we had seen in practice.’ ”

Farnsworth also highlights the play of rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs during Saturday’s game against the Titans, “On the first snap of the final quarter, with the Titans facing a second-and-10 from their own 13-yard line, Scruggs and defensive end Pierre Allen got to QB Rusty Smith for a 5-yard sack. On a third-and-19 play, which followed a false start by Titans tackle Byron Stingily, Scruggs and rookie tackle Jaye Howard dropped running back Jamie Harper for a 3-yard loss. With the Titans pinned at their own 1, Will Batson had to punt with his heels just inside the back edge of the end zone and got off a 29-yarder that wobbled out of bounds at the 30. It set up a 40-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka that put the Seahawks back on top – for good – with 11 minutes remaining. ‘I was just trying to go out there and do what I was supposed to do – trying to make plays, make my family proud, make my teammates proud, make my coaches proud,’ Scruggs said.”

Tony Ventrella recaps the Seahawks 27-17 victory over the Titans in this video.


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