A review of the Seahawks’ 27-17 victory over the Titans in their preseason opener at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Russell Wilson. There has been a lot of hype attached to the rookie quarterback since the Seahawks selected him in the third round of April’s NFL Draft. Against the Titans, his performance lived up to it.
After taking over for Matt Flynn in the second half, Wilson threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards in the third quarter and ran 32 yards for another score late in the fourth quarter. He completed 12 of 16 passes for 124 yards and also led the team with 59 rushing yards.
“I am interested to see what he’s going to do next,” coach Pete Carroll said. “It was really fun watching him. He did some marvelous things.”
After flipping through a list of all the good things Wilson did in his NFL debut, Carroll added, “None of that surprised.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: As good as Wilson’s scoring run was, his TD pass to Edwards was when better. When Wilson saw the 6-foot-3 Edwards in man-to-man coverage, he lofted a pass near the goal line to give Edwards a chance to make a play. Edwards did just that, going up and over Titans cornerback Tommie Campbell to make the catch and then tumble into the end zone.
Defense: The most obvious – Brandon Browner’s interception and scoring return of 23 yards on the first play of the game. Pro Bowl free safety Earl Thomas also had a hand in the play – literally – as he tipped the pass after it had gone off receiver Nate Washington to prevent the ball from hitting the ground.
Special teams: Steven Hauschka’s 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter gave the Seahawks the lead for good, 20-17.
Tight end Zach Miller got a concussion, while linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and tight end Cooper Helfet (groin) also were injured.
“It wasn’t real severe,” Carroll said of Miller, who took a shot while catching a 14-yard pass from Flynn in the second quarter. “But it’s definitely concussed, so we have to go through the whole process to get (him) back.”
The Seahawks also played without 11 players who are recovering from injuries: cornerback Walter Thurmond; linebackers Allen Bradford, Jameson Konz, Matt McCoy and Barrett Ruud; offensive linemen John Moffitt and James Carpenter; wide receivers Sidney Rice, Ricardo Lockette and Doug Baldwin; and defensive tackle Alan Branch.
Running back Marshawn Lynch also did not play.
YOU DON’T SAY
“The fans are unbelievable, for a preseason game. How loud they were, how much energy there was in the atmosphere. It was unbelievable.” – Wilson, on playing his first game before the Seahawks’ 12th MAN crowd
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 8.
Yesterday Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll provided some clarity on the team’s quarterback competition, as he announced that quarterback Matt Flynn will take first-team reps for the rest of the week and start the team’s preseason opener this Saturday against the Tennessee Titans. Carroll also anticipates rookie Russell Wilson run with the second unit for the rest of the week and to play the majority of the second half vs. the Titans.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times is quick to point out that although Flynn has been named the starter for Saturday, Tarvaris Jackson is not out of the competition just yet, “[It] doesn’t mean Jackson is no longer a consideration to start, but it does indicate that the Seahawks entered the second phase of their training-camp quarterback competition. For the first nine days of training camp, Carroll rotated the No. 1 quarterback by the day. That will change beginning Wednesday. ‘I can make a little bit of a shift,’ Carroll said, ‘and cut down his (Jackson’s) reps so that we can get a really good look at Matt and at Russell.’ Jackson started 14 regular-season games for the team last year, and he has played for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in each of the previous six seasons going back to Minnesota. ‘We feel like we have a good understanding of what he can do and how he plays,’ Carroll said.”
O’Neil also offers thoughts from Carroll on the acquisition of wide receiver Terrell Owens, and notes that giving a new guy a chance is tactic Carroll has successfully utilized in the past, ” ‘Let’s see where he fits,’ Carroll said. ‘I like the look in his eye. He’s dead serious about proving himself and doing something. So, I’m just going to give him a chance to do it. We’re thrilled to get him out here and have him battle.’ It’s an approach Carroll has used before. He gave Williams an opportunity two years ago, and the result was a 65-catch season. Doug Baldwin got a chance last season and he became the first undrafted rookie to lead an NFL team in catches in more than 40 years.”
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times calls the signing of wide receiver Terrell Owens a risk worth taking, “He will be a distraction. Seahawks receivers got a taste of that Tuesday when they fielded dozens of questions about Owens and his personality. ‘He’s a future Hall of Famer and he’s done tremendous things in his career,’ Doug Baldwin said. ‘Just being able to hear his thoughts on different things and watch him practice, to be able to learn from him, will be crucial.’ The Seahawks’ need for a big-play, big-guy receiver who can strike fear in defensive backfields is obvious. If Owens still can play like T.O., defenses won’t be able to stuff eight men on the line of scrimmage. They won’t sneak a safety into the box. Owens could be the best thing that ever happened to Baldwin, tight end Kellen Winslow and running back Marshawn Lynch.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his report on Flynn being named the stater vs. Tennessee, “Carroll emphasized that the quarterback rotation was just for this week, and that Jackson remains in the hunt for the regular season starting job. When asked if Jackson will work back into the rotation next week, Carroll said, ‘You’ll have to wait and see. We’ll take it one week at a time.’ ”
Williams also catches up with Seattle receivers Doug Baldwin, Sidney Rice, and Braylon Edwardson the addition of adding T.O., “Seattle receiver Sidney Rice said his fellow teammates don’t have any concerns that Owens will be a distraction in the locker room. ‘We are welcoming the guy here,’ Rice said. ‘We are not going to talk bad about him. We are going to try to keep him comfortable in the locker room and get him out here on the field as much as possible to make plays for us.’ ”
John McGrath, writing for The Olympian, says now that Flynn has been named the starter for this week, he must capitalize and prove he can run the show, “Flynn’s promotion to the first team isn’t permanent. Carroll stressed it’s only for one exhibition game – actually, for one half of one exhibition – and the three practices preceding it. Still, Flynn has earned the next-best thing to a starting job. A starting job to lose. If he manages to run a reasonably adept offense for the first 30 minutes Saturday night against the Tennessee Titans – if he keeps mistakes to a minimum and stays out of harm’s way – Flynn will retain the label of starting quarterback for at least another full week, no matter how dazzling rookie Russell Wilson looks in the second half.”
Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald catches up with Tommy Benizio, the team president of the IFL team that released Owens in May, ” ‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he still has what it takes to make it at the NFL level,’ said Benizio, whose Allen (Texas) Wranglers of the IFL paid Owens a modest salary for five months before unceremoniously letting him go in late May. ‘I think he’s grown, and he’ll be a tremendous addition (for the Seattle Seahawks, who signed Owens this week). When someone thinks he’s truly hit rock bottom, and God blesses him with another chance, I think he’s going to embrace it with a greater level of enthusiasm. I think he’s going to perform at a high level.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald tells fans what to expect with the signing of T.O., “Everywhere Owens has gone, he has been the center of attention, whether it has been for his tremendous talent, his memorable touchdown celebrations or his clashes with quarterbacks. But by signing Owens, the Seahawks are taking a gamble that Owens, after a year away from the NFL, is ready to just be a part of the team, not the center of attention. ‘He is extremely hungry and he is humble, and he is determined to finish his career on a good note,’ Carroll said. ‘He wants to be part of a team and he wants to play football. … It was quite clear where he’s coming from and what he’d like to accomplish.’ ”
Boyle also has his story on Flynn being named the starter against Tennessee, “Now to be clear, Carroll did not declare Flynn the winner of Seattle’s much-debated three-man quarterback competition, but a week with the starting offense, and a chance to start the first preseason game certainly gives Seattle’s big offseason acquisition a good opportunity to take the reins in the battle.”
Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com has his story on the addition of Owens, and Flynn stepping in.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com comments on the addition of Owens, “Owens is different from [Lendale] White, Mike Williams and some of the other attempted reclamation projects, however. Owens has always produced on the field. He’s always competed hard. He’s played through injuries. He’s also gotten into locker room fights. He has undermined quarterbacks, including Donovan McNabb in Philadelphia. This time, Owens has to know he’s about out of second chances. He has to make this one work, or he’s likely done. Carroll was asked whether one player could wreck a locker room. ‘That’s not even a topic around here,’ Carroll said. ‘Our team is so strong and our guys are so together and our message and what we stand for and all of that. There’s no one guy that’s going to do that to this football team, not even close.’ ”
Here at Seahawks.com, Clare Farnsworth has his take on Flynn starting against the Titans on Saturday, says that wide receiver Braylon Edwards shined in Tuesday’s practice, and details Owens’ impact that was felt yesterday, even though T.O. hadn’t hit the field yet.
Max Unger joins our player blog, and provides a recap of his busy offseason, details camp life to this point, and looks ahead to the team’s preseason opener.
And finally, for a more visual look at the Seahawks’ busy Tuesday, Tony Ventrella has you covered in our Seahawks Daily.
A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for Aug. 7:
Braylon Edwards. Just-signed Terrell Owens wasn’t on the practice field. The recently signed Edwards was, and the veteran wide receiver put on a show during the 2½-hour practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.
“Braylon has done very well,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s learning very fast. He’s had a chance to compete right from the beginning. He’s made some big grabs already. He did it again today.
“So he’s factoring in and making a bid for playing time.”
Edwards’ beginning to this camp came a little later than most of the other players, as he was signed a week ago. But the former first-round draft choice of the Browns (2005) who also has played for the Jets (2009-10) and 49ers (2011) is making up for his delayed start.
Today, Edwards stayed with a play where the ball went off the hands of Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner and was able to catch the carom.
“It’s definitely staying with the play,” Edwards said. “Getting open, holding the line and keeping the DB behind you.”
That, however, was just a warm-up as the 6-foot-3 Edwards then pulled down a Tarvaris Jackson pass despite tight cover from 6-3 cornerback Richard Sherman.
“Sherm expected me to go back inside,” Edwards said. “I didn’t. I kept it outside. It was a good throw and we made a play.”
Then there was the TD catch that wasn’t. Or was it? Edwards made a great effort to haul in a pass from rookie QB Russell Wilson on the other side of the end zone, but the official ruled he came down out of bounds. Edwards couldn’t wait for the instant replay.
“We’re going to go look at that film,” he said, smiling. “I think they both were good.”
Carroll said Owens is scheduled to practice for the first time Wednesday morning and will be wearing No. 10.
Defensive tackles. After giving up too much ground in Sunday’s mock game, line coach Todd Wash challenged his unit – especially the tackles. They not only answered that challenge today, they did it emphatically.
“I don’t know if we had our best day up front in the mock game, so we challenged ourselves in the meeting room that we’ve got to do a better job of reestablishing the line of scrimmage and being active,” Wash said. “We were getting chewed up a little bit on some play-action stuff on Sunday.
“They took it to heart and came out today and played with really good effort.”
The best thing about the bounce-back performance? It wasn’t just a player or two; it was seemingly everyone in the full-team period that ended practice.
Nose tackle Brandon Mebane and end Red Bryant sandwiched Marshawn Lynch for no gain. Rookie tackle Jaye Howard got to Lynch 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage. The versatile Jason Jones got to Matt Flynn for a “sack.” Second-year tackle Pep Levingston stopped Tyrell Sutton for no gain. Howard got the penetration on a play where Sutton had to squirm and wiggle to gain 3 yards.
“They take a lot of pride in what they do,” Wash said. “And they know that the way they got it done on Sunday was not to the level of our expectations. So they came out, challenged themselves and had a good day.”
PLAYS DU JOUR
Offense: Let’s go with the best of Edwards’ efforts, the TD pass he caught against the long-armed Sherman at the right edge of the end zone.
Defense: Leo end Chris Clemons had a tempo-setter early in practice when he popped wide receiver Deon Butler to the turf after a short reception. The effort set off a celebration among the other defensive players.
IN ’N OUT
Cornerback Donny Lisowski, a rookie free agent from Montana and Seattle’s O’Dea High School, was released to clear a spot on the 90-man roster for Owens.
Bryant and Jones and rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner returned to practice. Still sitting out: wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ricardo Lockette; tight end Anthony McCoy; linebackers Matt McCoy, Jameson Konz and Allen Bradford; defensive end Dexter Davis; and the two players on the physically unable to perform list – offensive lineman James Carpenter and cornerback Walter Thurmond.
Flynn will run the No. 1 offense the rest of week, starting with Wednesday’s practice, as Carroll said the free-agent acquisition will start at quarterback in Saturday night’s preseason opener against the Titans at CenturyLink Field.
JOIN THE CROWD
Today’s cloud-covered practice attracted 1,264 fans. Only four more practices are open to the public – Wednesday and Thursday this week and Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Each sessions starts at 10 a.m. and you can register here to attend.
With state routes 520 and 167 closed this weekend, fans attending Saturday night’s game are advised to plan accordingly. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
YOU DON’T SAY
“You know what happened? They gave us a day off. They gave John (Schneider, the GM) and I a day off and look what happened. That’s kind of what it was. We looked at each other, ‘Hey, let’s get something cooking.’ Bam, we did.” – Carroll, when asked why the team decided to sign Owens now
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 7.
Late Monday night the team announced they had agreed to terms on a contract with wide receiver Terrell Owens, the prolific wideout who ranks second in NFL history in receiving yardage (15,934) and receiving touchdowns (153), and who last played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times offers his thoughts on the ‘Hawks agreeing to terms with Owens, “The Seahawks have been looking at veteran wide receivers for more than a month, signing first Antonio Bryant — who was released Sunday — then Braylon Edwards, who was added Tuesday, and now the Seahawks are looking at Owens. Edwards and Owens ranked second and third, respectively, in the league in touchdown passes, but that was five years ago. At the very least, those are two physical receivers who will be able to test the Seahawks physical cornerbacks in practice. In a best-case scenario, Edwards and/or Owens would use this chance with Seattle to springboard back to the top of an NFL depth chart.
O’Neil also has his notes on the Seahawks 2012 draft class thus far into camp, including a thought on sixth round draft pick defensive back Winston Guy, “He played four different positions in college, and it looks like he’ll have a role right away in Seattle’s defense in the Seahawks’ Bandit package, which puts six defensive backs on the field at the same time.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune looks at what Owens can bring to Seattle, “Owens has experience working in the West Coast offense from his time in San Francisco and Philadelphia, so he should pick up Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s version of the offense quickly. Owens provides experience and depth for a team lacking both at receiver.”
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune offers an in-depth look at the Seahawks competition for a starting quarterback, including a look at the strengths and weaknesses associated with each.
John Boyle at the Everett Herald comments on the Owens addition, and digs up some comments from coach Pete Carroll on T.O., “Two years ago, when the Seahawks were in the early stages of a rebuilding process, Carroll took a pass on Owens, who was available before signing with the Bengals. Asked on an interview on 710 ESPN Seattle if Seattle was interested in Owens, Carroll dismissed the idea. ‘I really like Terrell, but we won’t be able to do that this time around,’ Carroll said. ‘I think at our time of our program development — I like him and all of that — but we’re going to continue to work with the guys that we’ve got and go in a different direction than that. … That’s not the right guy for us at this time.’ Yet two years later, the Seahawks believe Owens is, or at least has a chance to be, the right guy at this time. And if Owens is still physically able to play, and if he can avoid being a distraction, he does possess an on-field resume that is hard to ignore. A six-time Pro Bowler, Owens has nine seasons with 1,000 or more receiving yards, and ranks second all time to Jerry Rice in career receiving yards.”
Brock Huard of mynorthwest.com says there is plenty to like about the ‘Hawks addition of Owens, “Owens is one big dude. A wideout with a huge catching radius like Owens is quarterback’s best friend. Unlike Antonio Bryant, Mike Williams, Plaxico Burress, and even Braylon Edwards, Owens has also been incredibly productive when given the opportunity in his most recent years. A torn ACL sidelined him in 2011, but with three different teams from 2008-2010 he averaged 65 receptions and over 950 yards. Remember that Doug Baldwin led this team with 51 catches and 788 yards last season.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has an interesting look at the 2010 Terrell Owens vs. Seahawks’ current roster, noting that in ’10 Owens’ 72 catches for 983 yards and nine scores outproduced any current Seattle wide receiver’s numbers from 2010 and 2011 combined.
At NFL.com, Dan Hanzus has his report on T.O., and takes a look at what the addition of Owens and Braylon Edwards could mean for the rest of the Seahawks receiving corps.
Also at NFL.com, Gregg Rosenthal likes the Seattle Seahawks as his choice to make the playoffs out of teams with quarterback battles, “The Miami Dolphins are the only team I would count out of this discussion. The Tennessee Titans have enough offensive talent and play in a weak division. The Arizona Cardinals have an improved, younger defense. The Seattle Seahawks are my choice, though, because they have a more improved, more talented young defense. Pete Carroll’s team, like division foe San Francisco, was greater than the sum of its parts by the end of last year. With a little help from Matt Flynn, the Seahawks can win the NFC West.”
Rosenthal also calls Carroll “The Right Boss”to handle the addition of a guy like T.O., “Pete Carroll hasn’t won in the regular season, much less ‘forever’ during his two seasons with the Seahawks. But Carroll is one of the few coaches in the NFL with the juice to pull off a move like this. Carroll doesn’t answer to general manager John Schneider. Ownership certainly isn’t going to get in the way. Carroll is the new Big Show in town. It’s a joy to have Carroll back in the NFL because he does things differently. He thinks differently. He talks differently. He drafts and signs differently. You might not agree with a lot of what Carroll does, but at least he’s not following someone else’s script. Part of that script includes reclaiming value in surprising places. Mike Williams was salvaged off the scrap heap, albeit briefly. Starting cornerback Brandon Browner is a 6-foot-3 former CFL star. The Seahawks kick the tires on a guy like Antonio Bryant, sign him, and then toss him aside a week later with nothing lost but a little time. Most coaches pay lip service to competition, but Carroll truly seems to play the guys who perform best in practice. That helps Owens.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his take on Owens, “Part of the Seahawks’ interest in Owens is the fact that they’re still looking for a bigger receiver to replace split end Mike Williams, the team’s leading receiver in 2010 who was released last month. Part of the intrigue is Owens’ past production, which includes 12 seasons with at least 60 receptions, nine seasons with at 1,000 receiving yards and eight seasons with double-digit touchdown catches.”
Farnsworth also looks back on Sunday’s team scrimmage in his latest edition of ‘Hawkville’, including a look at rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin, “On back-to-back snaps, Irvin displayed a boggling bust to pressure and ‘sack’ [Tarvaris] Jackson and then tipped the third-down pass incomplete. But his even-better effort was chasing down Marshawn Lynch at the end of a 70-yard run. ‘That’s not a surprise,’ Carroll said. ‘He can fly.’ ”
And with Cortez Kennedy finally entrenched in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Farnsworth tries to answers one last question: What took so long? Farnsworth caught up with Tez’s former teammate, Eugene Robinson, who offered, ” ‘If Tez had played in New York or Dallas, oh my goodness,’ said Robinson, Kennedy’s teammate from 1990-95 and also on the Seahawks’ 35th Anniversary team. ‘They would have changed the rules. Tez would have been in the Hall before his career was over. He was that good. He was that dominating.’ ”
Running back and return specialist Leon Washington comes at us with our second installment of ‘Camp Dayz’ – a behind the scenes video feature of Bing Training Camp.
Also of note: The Seahawks practice times for the remainder of Bing Training Camp have been moved back to the 10:00 a.m.-hour time slot, including the five sessions that are open to fans. You can view the updated schedule and register for a session here.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, August 6.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps Sunday’s practice, which featured a mock game between the ‘Hawks offense and defense, “Tarvaris Jackson began Sunday’s scrimmage the same way he started training camp: Taking snaps with the first-unit offense. The scrimmage consisted of 80 plays, and while players were in pads and uniform pants, there was no tackling as plays stopped at first contact with the ball carrier.”
O’Neil also has a mention of wide receiver Terrell Owens making a visit to Seattle for a try-out today, a story which was first reported by Dave “Softy” Mahler of 950 KJR AM, and later confirmed by the team, “Owens did not play in the NFL last season as he recovered from a left knee injury that required surgery. He caught 72 passes for the Bengals in 2010. Cincinnati was his third team in three years. He played for the Cowboys in 2008 and Buffalo in 2009 before joining Cincinnati. Owens, 38, last topped 1,000 yards receiving in 2008.”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune has his notes after Sunday’s mock game, and comments from head coach Pete Carroll on the quarterback competition, “Carroll said he’d like the starter for the team’s first preseason game in place by Wednesday, when the Seahawks begin preparation for the Titans. ‘I’m really anxious to see the film and see what it tells me,’ Carroll said. ‘The plan that we set in motion is right on course right now. It’s going just right. I would like to figure this out as soon as possible. I have thought that the whole time, but I felt like it was going to take awhile. And so we have a big day today and tomorrow evaluating it. And then we’ll come back on Tuesday and set it in motion. We start the game week on Wednesday. And we’ll let you know how that goes when we get there.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald gives his take on the Seahawks hosting T.O. for a tryout today, “Owens is the highest profile past-his-prime receiver to get a look from the Seahawks, but not the first. Prior to the start of training camp, the Seahawks worked out Antonio Bryant, who had been out of the NFL for two seasons, as well as Braylon Edwards, and eventually signed both. The Seahawks released Bryant Sunday, but the fact that they are kicking the tires, so to speak, on Owens means they still have questions at receiver. Seattle released Mike Williams, a starter for the past two seasons, prior to training camp, leaving the door open for someone like Golden Tate to earn the starting job opposite Sidney Rice. Tate has had a strong first week of training camp, but the Seahawks still appear to be interested in finding a veteran presence who can help the team.”
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has a very detailed look at Sunday’s mock game, including the game’s unofficial stats, “All three quarterbacks led scoring drives for the offense. Flynn connected with TE Cooper Helfet for a 17-yard touchdown. Jackson ran in for a score from five yards out and Wilson set up a field goal with just seconds remaining in the practice as Wiggs connected from 45 yards out. Flynn led another drive down to the 1-yard line before having a pass intended for TE Sean McGrath deflected by DE Cordarro Law into the hands of LB Mike Morgan for a touchback. It was the only turnover by the offense all day. Flynn finished the scrimmage 9-for-20 for 118 yards, a touchdown, an interception and was sacked twice. Wilson was efficient as well in his opportunities going 9-for-15 (with two spikes to stop the clock) for 116 yards.”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his thoughts on T.O.’s tryout with the Seahawks, “The Seahawks don’t have the quarterbacks to handle a player with Owens’ reputation. For that reason, I’d be skeptical of any move to add Owens at this time. The three quarterbacks on the roster are having a tough enough time establishing themselves without adding a wild card such as Owens to the equation. Coach Pete Carroll’s handling of quarterbacks has already come under question.”
NFL.com’s Around the League discusses T.O.’s tryout in Seattle in this short video.
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth is back from covering Cortez Kennedy’s enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and gives us a look at Sunday in Hawkville, with a focus on recently re-signed kicker Carson Wiggs, “The strong-legged Wiggs kicked field goals of 45, 37 and 19 yards and added a pair of PATs during the mock-game portion of today’s two-hour, 15-minute practice. Not bad for a guy who had not kicked since being released last week to clear a roster spot for tight end Cooper Helfet. ‘Good day today,’ a smiling Wiggs said. ‘I didn’t kick while I was gone. It was kind of a vacation, maybe a blessing from the sky. So I came back with a fresh leg.’ ”
Farnsworth also calls attention to the actions of Richard Sherman during Sunday’s mock game, “Sunday, the second-year cornerback who became a sudden and successful starter last season also displayed maturity and leadership beyond his years during a mock game that highlighted the team’s sun-drenched training camp practice. When Jeremy Lane put too much extra in the extracurricular activity after a play and was banished from the practice field by coach Pete Carroll, it was Sherman who put his arm around the rookie cornerback on the sideline to explain why Lane’s actions were a lane violation. Later, after tight end Kellen Winslow caught a sideline pass and tossed the ball at the defender, it again was Sherman who was the voice of reason for his more-experienced teammate.”
Lastly from Farnsworth we have a look at day eight of the quarterback competition, “To this point in camp, the QBs had rotated running the No. 1 offense on a daily basis – first incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, then free-agent acquisition Matt Flynn and finally rookie Russell Wilson. But today, it was Jackson for the second consecutive day as the team held a mock game. ‘It was important for him to have this first day,’ Carroll said. ‘That was the plan, and we planned it exactly right today.’ ”
For video highlights, player interviews, and commentary on yesterday’s mock game, Tony Ventrella has you covered in our Seahawks Daily.
Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks on the first player’s day off of Bing Training Camp, August 1.
The story of the day yesterday was the Seahawks signing of wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times gives his take on the ‘Hawks signing and Seattle’s wide receiver position, “The competition at wide receiver is going to be among the stiffest on the roster, and not just because the starting job is open at split end. Golden Tate appears poised for a breakthrough, Ricardo Lockette has been singularly impressive through the first four days of training camp, and veterans Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu shouldn’t be overlooked. Throw in [Antonio] Bryant, last year’s fourth-round pick Kris Durham and undrafted rookies like Phil Bates, and a roster spot is hardly a given. ‘Right now I’m just competing to be on the team,’ Edwards said. ‘That’s all I really care about. I’m going to go out there every day and let my play speak for itself.’ ”
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune caught up with ‘Hawks running back Kregg Lumpkin, who signed with the team in the offseason. “What gives Lumpkin an added benefit is that he can play both running back and fullback,” writes Williams. “Also, Lumpkin was a core special teams player in Tampa Bay last season. He finished with 31 carries for 105 yards with the Buccaneers in 2011, and he showed soft hands while making a career-high 41 catches for 291 yards. ‘If you can do more than one position, you have a better chance of making the team, so I’m trying to do as much as I can,’ Lumpkin said. ‘I’ve been raised to compete all my life. So I’m just out here trying to have fun and to continue to learn as well.’ ”
Tim Booth of the Associated Press brings us a piece on second-year cornerback Richard Sherman’s growth he has shown from the start of his rookie season, “Sherman played in all 16 games in his rookie season and started 10, taking over after Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond III went down with injuries. While it was a concern at first to throw such an inexperienced player out there, Sherman finished the year with 46 tackles, four interceptions and a forced fumble. According to STATS LLC, which tracks the number of times defenders are burned by receivers, Sherman was beaten 37 times in 88 targets last season for a rate of 42 percent. By comparison, Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was targeted 89 times and burned 36, a rate of 40.4 percent. Of cornerbacks with 80 or more targets against in 2011, Sherman’s rate was fifth-lowest in the NFL, according to STATS.”
Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com has his take on the Seahawks’ signing of Edwards, and provides some comments from ‘Hawks general manager John Schneider, who joined the “Bob and Groz” show yesterday, ” ‘With the release of Mike Williams – who’s a bigger, stronger receiver – we felt like there might be a little bit of a gap there, and [we were thinking], ‘Let’s give this guy a shot and bring him in,’ ‘ Schneider said. ‘This isn’t like a reclamation center or anything, but these are guys that are talented players that we’ll take a look at. During training camp you have an opportunity to have kind of extended tryouts, and these guys both deserve it and the club deserves it.’ ”
Henderson also summarizes a segment from the “Bob and Groz” show yesterday in which Seahawks tight end Kellen Winslow joined the show. Included in the link is a short video with Bob and Groz’s impressions and expectations for Winslow this season.
Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM brings us his report from Tuesday’s practice, including a look at the newly signed Edwards and a focus on rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “Second round pick LB Bobby Wagner flashed repeatedly during Tuesday’s practice. Wagner intercepted a pass from QB Russell Wilson by undercutting a short route from TE Zach Miller. Wagner almost picked up another interception stepping in front of a pass from QB Tarvaris Jackson to WR Ben Obomanu but it deflected off three defenders before hitting the turf. Carroll spoke highly of the last two practices by Wagner, ‘He’s really good first impression yesterday and had a really good day today, so we’re off to a great start,’ Carroll said. ‘If Bobby can be that guy at our starting mike-linebacker, we are just adding one new guy to our starting defense and he’s really fast and can play, it can really be a big boost to us.’ ”
Mike Sando of ESPN.com gives us his take on the Seahawks’ signing of wide receiver Braylon Edwards, “I do not think Edwards, 29, suddenly forgot how to play football last season,” said Sando on Edwards’ play with the San Francisco 49ers a year ago. “A few factors could help explain his statistical decline from 2010 to 2011. Edwards was playing for a new team in a new offense with very little prep time (the 49ers signed him last Aug. 4). Injuries clearly slowed Edwards during his time with the 49ers. He underwent knee surgery and also had a bad shoulder. Edwards didn’t fit with the 49ers, for whatever reason. Now we’ll find out whether Edwards can bounce back in Seattle.”
Sando also brings us an interesting piece on the average age of starters on both sides of the football throughout the NFL. While rosters and starters have not been named, Sando’s age-chart reflects players who he believes are likely to earn the starting job in Week 1. On the Seahawks, Sando writes, “While Seattle ranks 20th-oldest in overall roster age after adding veterans such as Deuce Lutui, Barrett Ruud, Antonio Bryant and the re-signed Marcus Trufant, the Seahawks have the second-youngest starters in the league. That includes the fourth-youngest defensive starters and eighth-youngest offensive starters (with Matt Flynn penciled in at quarterback and Doug Baldwin at receiver).”
On ESPN’s “NFL Live “Tim Hasselbeck and Cris Carter discussed some of the more intriguing quarterback battles around the League, and the Seahawks battle between incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson, free agent acquisition Matt Flynn and 2012 third-round draft choice Russell Wilson makes their conversation.
Suzy Kolber and Chris Mortensen discuss the ‘Hawks signing of Braylon Edwards on “NFL 32.”
Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth brings you his notes from Day Four of camp in his latest edition of ‘Hawkville’. Farnsworth focuses on kicker Steven Hauschka, who with the release of rookie kicker Carson Wiggs yesterday to make room for veteran wide receiver Braylon Edwards remains the only kicker on the Seahawks roster. “Hauschka has a beyond-smooth, oh-so-fluid motion that doesn’t seem like it could generate enough power to get the ball that far, but he hit from 58 yards during the special teams portion of practice and then converted from 57 yards when a drive stalled during a full-team drill,” said Farnsworth. ” ‘I’ve found for me, swinging hard doesn’t necessarily make the ball go farther,’ Hauschka said. ‘So I just try to hit the ball on the bone and it takes off for me.’ He also kicked field goals of 39 and 19 yards during a two-minute drill and made three other kicks during the special teams period.”
Farnsworth also details the Seahawks QB competition, which came full-circle on Day Four with Tarvaris Jackson taking the majority of first-team reps once again. “In a two-minute drill, Jackson sustained his drive with a third-down pass to tight end Zach Miller, setting up a field goal by Steven Hauschka,” offers Farnsworth. “Flynn then completed three of five passes, including a 37-yarder to just-signed wide receiver Antonio Bryant and a 17-yarder to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, setting up another field goal by Hauschka. Wilson then displayed nice touch on a 30-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Phil Bates, laying the ball over rookie cornerback Donny Lisowski. But his possession ended when Lisowski intercepted a third-down pass in the end zone. In the final full-team segment, Jackson and wide receiver Doug Baldwin hooked up for an 18-yard gain on a third-and-9 play. The No. 1 unit again settled for a field goal, but it was the only score produced during the defense-dictated drill.”
Lastly from Farnsworth is his piece on the news of the day – Edwards. “Where does Edwards fit?” asks Farnsworth. “That remains to be seen. He joins a group of receivers popping with potential, but also one that comes up short in experience and proven production. There’s Doug Baldwin, who led the team in receiving last season as a rookie free agent. There’s on-the-mend Sidney Rice, another former Pro Bowler who was signed in free agency last summer but then ended the season on injured reserve because of concussions and injuries to both shoulders that required offseason surgery. There’s Golden Tate, a second-round draft choice in 2010 who continues to refine his ample skills. There’s Ben Obomanu, the longest-tenured of the Seahawks wide-outs who caught a career-high 37 passes last season. There’s Ricardo Lockette, who is extremely fast but also extremely raw. There’s Bryant, who like Edwards is hoping Seattle can be his new NFL home.”
In our Seahawks Daily Tony Ventrella provides a run down of Tuesday’s practice, inlcuding a look at newly-signed receiver Braylon Edwards and comments from Head Coach Pete Carroll heading into the team’s day off. Ventrella also talks with defensive lineman Alan Branch on what to expect from the defensive line this year, and speaks with Red Bryant on life as new father.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com discusses the positive talk surrounding wide receiver Golden Tate and connects it to the recent signing of wide receiver Edwards, “Tate was widely viewed as the favorite for the gig [at starting wide receiver]. One report suggested that Tate was ‘toying’ with cornerbacks. He professed a change in attitude. ‘I never had to work for my position; it was always given to me,’ Tate said via The News Tribune. ‘I was always more athletic, so for the first time ever I felt like I had to work. It wasn’t given to me.’ It’s not going to be given to him this year, either. All the positive talk is about Tate, but Seattle’s signing [of Edwards] says more than all the puff pieces combined.”
A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ Bing training camp for July 31:
Steven Hauschka. On the day when he became the only kicker in camp, Hauschka showed why.
He was kicking solo because rookie Carson Wiggs had been released earlier in the day to clear a roster spot for the signing of veteran receiver Braylon Edwards. Once on the field, Hauschka was kicking long because, well, that’s what he does – despite how it might look.
Hauschka has a beyond-smooth, oh-so-fluid motion that doesn’t seem like it could generate enough power to get the ball that far, but he hit from 58 yards during the special teams portion of practice and then converted from 57 yards when a drive stalled during a full-team drill.
“I’ve found for me, swinging hard doesn’t necessarily make the ball go farther,” Hauschka said. “So I just try to hit the ball on the bone and it takes off for me.”
He also kicked field goals of 39 and 19 yards during a two-minute drill and made three other kicks during the special teams period. Hauschka scored some style points, as well, by sharing his success with snapper Clint Gresham and holder Jon Ryan.
“My goal is to just get in a rhythm with Jon and Clint,” Hauschka said.
That rhythm was rockin’ during today’s two hour-plus practice.
“It was good that they stretched me out there and we got to build some confidence and get ready for the season,” Hauschka said.
And he is coming off a rock-solid season, his first with the Seahawks, as Hauschka converted 25 of 30 field goal attempts in 2011. Two of his misses came from 61 and 51 yards, while two others were blocked.
Offensive line, and guard J.R. Sweezy. This is a tandem category because Sweezy was working at right guard with the No. 1 line today. Deuce Lutui worked there as well this week, as starter John Moffitt is getting some work at center with the No. 2 unit.
“He’s been very tough. He’s really a physical kid,” coach Pete Carroll said of Sweezy, who played defensive tackle in college but was drafted in the seventh round with the plan of converting him to offensive guard. “We like what we’re seeing, and Tom (Cable, the line coach) just wanted to give him a shot and see what he looks like. Sometimes guys need to get around the starters to show where they fit.
“Just in general, we really like what he brings.”
Just don’t read more into Sweezy and Lutui working with the starters than is there.
“John’s doing fine at guard and he’s the starting right guard,” Carroll said.
Here’s a look at who comprised the three lines in practice: No. 1, left tackle Russell Okung, left guard Paul McQuistan, center Max Unger, Sweezy and right tackle Breno Giacomini; No. 2, Frank Omiyale, Allen Barbre, Moffitt, Lutui and Alex Barron; No. 3, Edawn Coughman, Barbre, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Rishaw Johnson and Paul Fanaika.
PLAYS DU JOUR
Offense: There were a number of nice throws and catches today, but let’s go back to before that started. In the 9-on-7 drill, Marshawn Lynch changed directions twice in two consecutive steps – a move that had defenders grasping at air and the offensive coaches and players with their arms in the air.
Defense: Again, there were a number of worthy efforts in the defense-dictated practice – including interceptions by veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant, rookie cornerback Donny Lisowski (in the end zone), rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and rookie safety Winston Guy. But again, Pro Bowl cornerback Brandon Browner had a tempo-setting effort on one of the first plays when he put a capital “P” in press coverage by jamming wide receiver Golden Tate to the turf.
Special teams: Hauschka’s long kicks were impressive. But while waiting his turn during the special teams segment prior to the official start of practice, rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane popped a back flip – while wearing his helmet and shoulder pads.
Non-play: This play was nullified because of a penalty, but when Wagner tips a pass that 311-pound nose tackle Brandon Mebane intercepts with a lunging effort it deserves some recognition.
IN ‘N OUT
Two players were signed today – Edwards and rookie tight end Cooper Helfet. To clear spots on the 90-man roster, wide receiver Cameron Kenney and Wiggs were released. Edwards was a first-round draft choice by the Browns in 2005 and also played for the Jets (2009-10) and 49ers (2011). Helfet was with the Seahawks this spring.
Tight end Kellen Winslow and middle linebacker Barrett Ruud did not practice. Winslow was held out because of a knee situation, while Ruud was resting a sore knee, Carroll said.
Defensive tackle Alan Branch and Lisowski returned to practice, but still sidelined were defensive lineman Jason Jones, linebacker Matt McCoy, tight end Anthony McCoy, cornerback Ron Parker, linebacker Jameson Konz and the three players who are on the physically unable to perform list – offensive lineman James Carpenter, cornerback Walter Thurmond and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse.
The players will have their first day off of camp Wednesday, and then return for a 10:15 a.m. practice Thursday.
“We don’t to wear them down at any one point. We don’t want to get them to the point where they get vulnerable,” Carroll said when asked about the early off day. “We have worked these guys as hard as we can work them in the time that we’ve had and will continue to do that.
“I want them to be able to practice at a really high level every single time we’re on the field. Whatever it takes to get that done is important to me, and rest is part of that to maintain the level of intensity that we think is best to teach and learn from.”
JOIN THE CROWD
Today’s practice attracted 953 fans. Nine more practices are open to the public, including Thursday’s session as well as the final weekend practices of camp on Saturday and Sunday. You can register here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I think it’s fantastic. Obviously it’s the greatest recognition a football player can get. He is obviously deserving because he was one of the all-time all-timers. He was a monster of a football player and a monster of a spirit, too, as I understand. This should make everybody here proud because he’s one of our guys. We’re thrilled for him.” – Carroll on eight-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday