On this date: Zorn joins Ring of Honor

A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Aug. 3:

1991: Jim Zorn, the team’s original quarterback, becomes the second player inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.

2001: Trent Dilfer, who had led the Ravens to a Super Bowl victory in January, signs to a one-year contact to serve as the backup to QB Matt Hasselbeck.

2002: The team christens its new home field – then Seahawks Stadium – with an intra-squad scrimmage.


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On this date: Seahawks play first game

A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Aug. 1:

1976: The Seahawks play their first game, and lose to the 49ers 27-20 in the preseason opener as QB Jim Zorn is tackled at the 2-yard line as time expired.


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Friday cyber surfing: It’s all about the rookies

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 11:

The Seahawks’ rookies have reported and will practice today for the first of three times in their weekend minicamp. Eric Williams at the News Tribune takes a look at how coach Pete Carroll relishes this look at the rookies: “ ‘It’s going to be really cool to see these guys come together,’ Carroll said. ‘There are so many highlight players in this group of kids. We can’t wait to get them on the field with us.’ Most eyes will be on (Bruce) Irvin, a speed pass rusher, and quarterback (Russell) Wilson, two players who were considered surprise selections by national NFL observers – particularly where they were taken in the draft. For Irvin, the focus will be on how long it takes for him to develop into a consistent pass rusher and an every-down player in order to live up to his draft status. In Wilson’s case, his 5-foot-11 stature and ability to deliver accurate passes from inside the pocket will be a constant measuring stick of his success in the NFL.”

Chris Burke at SI.com takes a look at the undrafted free agents who could turn into finds for the teams that signed them, including the Seahawks: “Jermaine Kearse, WR, Washington. We’re kind of on a run of guys catching on with their local teams. Seattle fans ought to be well-aware of Kearse after a strong career at Washington. He has good size and will go over the middle — valuable traits for a team searching for WR help. Others to watch: Rishaw Johnson, G, California (Pa.); DeShawn Shead, DE, Portland State”

During a chat at ESPN.com, NFC West blogger Mike Sando fielded a question about the Seahawks’ creativity in player acquisition: “The 49ers converted Bruce Miller from college defensive end to fullback and got good play from him last season. Miller had not played offense since high school. (J.R.) Sweezy, like Miller, was a later-round pick. Teams have greater freedom to experiment with later-round choices. The key is to be creative without over-thinking things. More broadly, the concern in building around specialized or somewhat unique players – think Red Bryant for Seattle – is that specialized players can be tough to replace if injured. However, that is where staff flexibility can make up the difference. The Seahawks seem to have a good defensive staff and approach. Another potential concern relative to Sweezy is what the move represents: a clear push by an assistant coach to get a player he liked. Tom Cable also drove the selection of James Carpenter a year ago. Drafting players to fit the staff is important, but we should also watch to see if assistants have too much sway.”

Here at Seahawks.com, we take a look at the selection of linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round, which follows a productive trend for the team: “There’s not just a precedent, it’s a productive precedent. In 2005, Lofa Tatupu – who played for Carroll at USC – was the Seahawks’ second-round draft choice. He not only started as a rookie, he was the leading tackler on the franchise’s first Super Bowl team – the first of a club-record four consecutive seasons that the too-small, too-slow Tatupu would lead the Seahawks in tackles. In 1977, Terry Beeson was a second-round draft choice, and he also led the team in tackles as a rookie – the first of three consecutive seasons Beeson would do it, including a still-franchise record 153 tackles in 1978. In 1978, Keith Butler was selected in the second round of the draft, and he became the franchise’s all-time leading tackler by the time he left after the 1987 season (a total since surpassed by Eugene Robinson). In 1987, Dave Wyman was the team’s second-round draft choice, and he finished second on the team in tackles in 1988 and 1989. In 1990, Terry Wooden was selected in the second round, and he led the team in tackles in 1991 and 1995 and finished second in 1993 and 1994 – although it was as an outside ’backer. But you get the picture; second-round linebackers have been very, very good for the Seahawks.”

We’ve also got an item on how coach Pete Carroll surprised the veterans on Thursday, as well as birthday wishes for Jim Zorn that includes a must-see NFL Films video.

Remember free agency? It’s still going on, and Jason La Canfora at NFL.com has a look at the best remaining players, and where they might fit best.


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Zorn to Largent: One more time

NFL Films is celebrating Jim Zorn’s 59th birthday by re-running an interview it did with the Seahawks’ first quarterback and his favorite target: Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent.

In addition to the interview that was done when Zorn was a coach with the Redskins, the feature also has some vintage Zorn-to-Largent footage, complete with the radio calls by the late Pete Gross.

What else do these three have in common? Each is a member of the team’s 10-man Ring of Honor. Largent was the first inductee (in 1989), Zorn was the second (in 1991) and Gross the fourth (in 1992).


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Happy birthday to …

If you don’t want to feel old, do not continue reading this.

Because today is Jim Zorn’s birthday, and the Seahawks’ original quarterback is 59. Really. James Arthur Zorn was born on May 10, 1953.

Zorn passed and bootlegged his way into franchise history as the left-handed QB for the expansion Seahawks in 1976, and remained the starter until midway through the 1983 season when then-coach Chuck Knox made the switch to Dave Krieg.

After stints with the Packers (1985) and Buccaneers (1987), as well as one in the CFL (1986 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers), Zorn went into coaching. He returned to the Seahawks as an offensive assistant (1997) and later (2001-07) as the QB coach. He’s now in his second year as QB coach with the Chiefs.

Zorn was inducted into the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor in 1991.


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And the best fifth-round pick is …

The fifth round of the NFL Draft has been special for the Seahawks.

Special in that they have used those picks to select a couple of Pro Bowl special teams players – return man Bobby Joe Edmonds, who was drafted in 1986 and voted to the AFC all-star team as a rookie; and coverage man Alex Bannister, who was drafted in 2001 and voted to the NFC all-star team in 2003. The fifth round also delivered kick returner Charlie Rogers in 1999.

There also have been a couple of standout defensive players who came to the Seahawks in the fifth round – tackle Rocky Bernard, who was selected 2002 and started 55 games in seven seasons; and strong safety Kam Chancellor, who was selected in 2010 and went to the Pro Bowl last season.

But the best of the fifth-round bunch played on offense – left guard Edwin Bailey, who was drafted in 1981, stepped into the lineup as a rookie and started 120 games through the 1991 season.

Bailey’s run with the team began under coach Jack Patera and spanned the tenure of coach Chuck Knox (1983-91). He opened holes for Sherman Smith, Curt Warner, John L. Williams and Derrick Fenner, and provided pass protection for Jim Zorn, Dave Krieg, Kelly Stouffer and Jeff Kemp. Bailey was a key component in the Seahawks’ advancing to the AFC title game in 1983, posting a 12-win season in 1984 and winning their first division title in 1988.

Until Steve Hutchinson was selected in the first round of the 2001 draft, Bailey was the best left guard in franchise history – as evidenced by his selection to the Seahawks’ 25th Anniversary team.

We caught up with Bailey recently, and you can find out what the player his teammates called “Pearl” has been up to here.


Wednesday cyber surfing: Staff additions

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

Remember Marquand Manuel? One of the unexpected stars of the Seahawks’ Super Bowl run in 2005 is back as the new assistant special teams coach on Pete Carroll’s staff and we’ve got the story at Seahawks.com: “In 2005, Marquand Manuel stepped in and helped the Seahawks reach the Super Bowl. Now, the former free safety is stepping in as the assistant special teams coach on Pete Carroll’s staff. Manuel replaces Jeff Ulbrich, who left to become the special teams/linebackers coach at UCLA. The club also announced four other moves Tuesday: Keith Carter has been added as an offensive quality control coach; Rocky Seto’s title has been changed to defensive passing game coordinator; John Glenn has been hired as a coaching assistant/special teams; and Kenechi Udeze will be a coaching intern/defensive line.”

Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times and Eric Williams at the News Tribune also have the word on the additions to Carroll’s staff.

The Associated Press has the word on Jim Zorn remaining with the Chiefs as their quarterbacks coach, despite the Seahawks’ original QB being passed over for the offensive coordinator position in KC: “Brian Daboll was hired recently to run the offense, which led many to question whether Zorn would be back. He was retained along with assistant head coach Maurice Carthon, tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee, strength coach Mike Clark, wide receivers coach Nick Sirianni and virtually the entire defensive staff.”

Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com has updated his mock draft at CBSSports.com, but has the Seahawks making a familiar selection: “Devon Still, DT, Penn State: Many expect the Seahawks to consider a quarterback to compete with incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson with this selection but in beating the New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens last year, and matching up well with division champion San Francisco, the club may not be willing to reach to fill a perceived need. Don’t be surprised if Seattle instead turns its attention to a bounty of talented defensive linemen likely to be selected in the top 15. Still, a 6-4, 310-pound defensive tackle, showed his talent and despite all of the distractions in Happy Valley last year, was the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year. Still could help inside at defensive tackle as well as provide the Seahawks with some flexibility at the five technique defensive end position should incumbent starter Red Bryant be heavily pursued in free agency.”

Dane Brugler of NFLDraftScout.com also has a mock draft at CBSSports.com and sticks with a defensive lineman for the Seahawks. But not the same one as Rang: “Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: The Seahawks will be looking for a pass-rushing defensive end this offseason and Coples falling would be the ideal scenario for Seattle. Coples has the ability to be as good as he wants, but questions about his passion and work ethic have raised flags, especially after a subpar senior season in Chapel Hill. Coples’ natural skills set and pro upside will force NFL teams to do their due diligence and homework before they invest a top-12 pick in him.”

As for the give-us-this-day-our-daily-Peyton-Manning item, Jim Corbett at USA Today looks at a half-dozen landing spots for the Colts’ iconic QB, including the Seahawks: “The situation: Inconsistent Tarvaris Jackson is the incumbent, with Charlie Whitehurst the backup. Why it would work: Manning could consider the NFC West the path of least resistance to the Super Bowl by comparison to the NFC East and AFC East. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell worked with Favre with Green Bay and the Minnesota Vikings and would tailor the offense to Manning. Why it wouldn’t work: Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have gone young, so much so that Manning might feel more like he’s reliving his past with the University of Tennessee than his NFL prime with the Super Bowl-winning 2006 Colts.”

Speaking of Manning, as well as Randy Moss, John McGrath at the News Tribune says the Seahawks need to just say no to aging stars: “Whatever the score, wherever they stood in the standings, the Hawks almost always exerted a 60-minute effort. Moss still is blessed with transcendent ability – even (Cris) Carter acknowledges as much – but the last thing the 2012 Seahawks need is key a player with a “quit mechanism” that’s huge. Furthermore, (Pete) Carroll and general manager John Schneider have displayed a vision in their retooling of a roster that’s been turned over from established veterans to younger guys with hungry hearts. It’s a vision that precludes the presence of Moss and another veteran guaranteed enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, Peyton Manning.”

Speaking of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Peter King at SI.com wades into the growing conversation about the selection committee that gathers annually on the Saturday before the Super Bowl to determine that year’s class for the Hall. King has been on the committee for 20 years, I was on it for only two – but can relate to his concerns. In the Tuesday edition of his “Monday Morning Quarterback,” King addresses one emailer who pooh-poohs the selection this year of former Seahawks defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy: “Does it matter to you that (Chris) Doleman has 39 more sacks/forced fumbles/recovered fumbles in his career than Michael Strahan, and had a 15-sack season at age 37? Or that Kennedy was the Defensive Player of the Year on a 2-14 team, and two noted coaches have told me he is the toughest linemen their interior line had to block, ever?”  Atta boy, Peter. As Tom Petty would put it, “Well I won’t back down; no I won’t back down.”


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On this date: Behring’s relocation plan

A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 2:

1986: Steve Largent catches a game-high eight passes for 82 yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 28-24. Kenny Easley (two tackles) and Fredd Young (one tackle) also are on the AFC squad.

1992: John L. Williams (four carries for 8 yards, one reception) and Cortez Kennedy represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl, but the NFC wins 21-15.

1996: Owner Ken Behring announces he is relocating the franchise to Southern California, a move that is later blocked by the NFL.

1997: Cortez Kennedy has six tackles to help the AFC take a 26-23 overtime victory in the Pro Bowl. Michael Sinclair (one tackle) also is on the AFC squad.

1998: Jim Zorn, the club’s original quarterback who had been an offensive assistant on Dennis Erickson’s staff, leaves to become the QB coach with the Lions. Zorn would return to be the Seahawks QB coach.


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Wednesday cyber surfing: Largent’s lack of a Super Bowl

Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Feb. 1:

NFL.com has compiled its list of the best players who never appeared in a Super Bowl, and you-know-who is on it: “(Steve) Largent helped turn the expansion Seahawks into a contender in a short period of time, but the Hall of Fame receiver only got as far in the playoffs as the 1983 AFC Championship Game.”

As a companion piece, NFL Films also has a list of the Top 10 players who never appeared in a Super Bowl and Largent checks in at No. 3. You can check out the video here.

The QB who threw a lot of passes to Largent – Jim Zorn – won’t be interviewing for a job with the Bears. Sean Jensen of the Sun Times says the Chiefs denied the Bears permission to talk to Zorn: “Zorn joined the Chiefs last offseason. Although head coach Todd Haley was fired, the Chiefs apparently like Zorn enough that they don’t want him to leave.”

Alex Marvez at FoxSports.com has the word on Greg Knapp, the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator in 2009, taking the same position with the Raiders: “Knapp spent last season as Houston’s quarterbacks coach. He previously served as Oakland’s offensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008 and held the same position with San Francisco (2001 to 2003), Atlanta (2004 to 2006) and Seattle.”

Former Seahawks linebacker Keith Butler has opted not to interview with the Colts to become their defensive coordinator and remain with the Steelers. Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette has the details: “Butler was scheduled to interview with new Colts Coach Chuck Pagano on Tuesday in Indianapolis, but he changed his mind after meeting today with team president Art Rooney II and Coach Mike Tomlin. Butler was told after the 2009 season he will be the team’s defensive coordinator when Dick LeBeau retires – a handshake agreement that was made when he turned down the Miami Dolphins offer to become their defensive coordinator.”

 
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2012 will be selected Saturday and SI.com’s Jim Trotter, a member of the selection committee, looks at former 49ers owner and finalist Eddie DeBartolo: “What could make Saturday’s session more interesting than previous years is that for the first time in at least two decades there are no shoo-in, first-year candidates. That means deserving finalists previously caught in a numbers logjam will have a better shot at breaking through. And yet the thing that could really make this year noteworthy is the candidacy of former San Francisco 49ers patriarch Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who is seeking to be the first modern-era owner inducted at Canton. The 12 owners currently in the Hall of Fame purchased their teams before the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, and their candidacies revolved around their contributions to the health and growth of the league in its formative years. DeBartolo oversaw one of sport’s great dynasties as owner of the 49ers from 1977 to 2000. His nomination is important because it could provide insight as to how modern owners will be judged in the future.”

Tuesday was Media Day in Indianapolis, the event during the Super Bowl week where anything can – and usually does – happen. Don Banks at SI.com has the details: “At least five times I must have chosen the same player podium to be at – unfortunately – as that Nickelodeon guy who always shows up on Super Bowl media day and calls himself “Pick Boy.” He’s dressed in a knockoff version of the “Robin” cape, mask and tights of “Batman and Robin” fame, and let’s just say hilarity doesn’t often ensue following his zany questions put to players.”


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On this date

A look at the memorable – and not-so-memorable – moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 8:

1984: The Seahawks take the field at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for the AFC Championship Game against the Raiders to the Pointer Sisters singing the national anthem and a crowd of 88,734 shaking silver-and-black Mylar pom-poms. But this one is over before it’s over, as Dave Krieg (three) and Jim Zorn (two) combine to throw five interceptions and Marcus Allen carries 25 times for 154 yards and also catches seven passes for 62 yards in the Raiders’ 30-14 victory.

1992: Larry Kennan is named offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach on the staff of Tom Flores, who replaces Chuck Knox as head coach. Kennan had been selected coach of the year in the World League of American Football after guiding the London Monarchs to the league title and an 11-1 record.

1999: Mike Holmgren is named executive vice president of football operations/general manager and head coach. Holmgren, who had guided the Packers to two Super Bowls, replaces Dennis Erickson. The Seahawks give up a second-round draft choice to the Packers as compensation for signing Holmgren.

2005: Matt Hasselbeck’s pass on fourth-and-four from the 5-yard line with 27 seconds to play goes off the hands of Bobby Engram in the end zone and the Rams escape with a 27-20 victory in a wild-card playoff game in Seattle. Hasselbeck passes for 341 yards, joining Dan Fouts and the Rams’ Marc Bulger as the only quarterbacks to pass for 300-plus yards in his first two playoff games. Darrell Jackson catches 12 passes for 128 yards and a TD as the Seahawks roll up 413 yards.

2010: Jim Mora is relieved of his duties as head coach after just one season, and a 5-11 record.

2011: The Seahawks stun the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints 41-36 in a very-wild wild-card playoff game in Seattle, as Matt Hasselbeck passes for four touchdowns and Marshawn Lynch ices the victory with an electrifying 67-yard touchdown with 3½ remaining where he breaks eight tackles and the celebration of his effort triggers seismic activity near the stadium.


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