Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, May 2:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com has some additional thoughts on Bruce Irvin in the wake of the Seahawks selecting the pass rusher from West Virginia with the 15th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft: “The Seahawks envision Irvin as a situational pass-rusher for now and the eventual successor to Chris Clemons in the “Leo” role. Clemons was a 236-pound linebacker coming out of college. He had a 4.7-second time in the 40-yard dash, went undrafted as a junior and floundered in Philadelphia. The Seahawks acquired him with a specific role in mind. Clemons ranks eighth in the NFL with 22 sacks over the last two seasons, more than Julius Peppers, James Harrison, Clay Matthews, Dwight Freeney, Trent Cole, Jason Pierre-Paul and others. Clemons now weighs 255 pounds and has become much stronger against the run. Irvin is Clemons’ height (6-foot-3) and weighs 245 pounds, but he is much faster, having run the 40 in 4.4 seconds. The plan would be for Irvin to grow into a bigger role, not to remain a situational player forever.”
Art Thiel at sportspress northwest recalls the scene in the media draft room when Irvin was selected, and also offers: “What is amusing is that most of the post-draft media analysis downgraded the Seahawks draft because Irvin was taken so high relative to the conventional wisdom. Yet it’s not as if there was documentary evidence that proves Irvin was not worth the purported value assigned the 15th pick. … (coach Pete) Carroll, who knows more about Irvin’s past anyone speculating on the draft, is betting a considerable portion of the Seahawks house that he can design a defensive role that maximizes Irvin’s biggest asset, speed, and minimizes his biggest liability, size. As to whether Irvin’s off-field actions turn him into the next Koren Robinson/Jerramy Stevens or the next Cortez Kennedy/Dave Brown, your guess is as good as anyone’s. And no one’s.”
Nick Eaton at PI.com passes along GM John Schneider’s comments on the Irvin selection from an interview with Dave Mahler on KJR: “In the NFL Draft last week, the Seahawks were clearly in the hunt for a quick and explosive defender. Their top three choices, according to General Manager John Schneider, were linebacker Luke Kuechly, safety Mark Barron and pass-rusher Bruce Irvin. Keuchly and Barron were on many draft analysts’ lists as top defensive picks. Irvin? Not so much. ‘They were, a little bit, standalone guys — not by a huge margin, but the three of them basically were up there all by themselves,’ Schneider said. “Obviously we felt strongly about Barron, we felt strongly about Kuechly as well, but we really wanted to address our pass rush. And it just fell to a spot where we said, maybe if we could move back a little bit, we could still acquire (Irvin). The only problem is, he was so quiet — people weren’t talking about him. And quite honestly that made me uncomfortable.’ ”
Also at ESPN.com, Sando provides a nice rundown on the Seahawks’ wide receiver situation while responding to the question about signing a veteran wide-out in his mailbag: “I’d stick with the current group. Drafting a receiver would have made sense if that receiver were a special player. There was no sense in drafting another receiver indistinguishable from the group. There would likewise be no advantage to signing a veteran stopgap in free agency. We might revisit that stance if Sidney Rice doesn’t rebound from the two shoulder surgeries he underwent this offseason. But with Rice back and the team also expecting more in the receiving game from tight end Zach Miller, I’d be inclined to give the younger players a shot. Golden Tate finished strong last season. He had no dropped passes. He has a chance to take a big step forward now that he’s been in the offense for a year. Doug Baldwin is already a good slot receiver and top option on third down. Ricardo Lockette flashed ability late last season and has a chance to become a dynamic threat down the field (two catches for 105 yards in the final two games last season). Kris Durham is back from injury and projects as a potential replacement for Mike Williams. He’s a big receiver. Ben Obomanu is still an option. Deon Butler will get another chance. I’d rather give snaps to some of the younger prospects than lean on a stopgap veteran unnecessarily.”
Peter King at SI.com lists Russell Wilson at No. 6 on his list of rookie quarterbacks who could have an impact this season: “How about GM John Schneider telling me Wilson was one of the three best players he scouted in 2011? That, plus the fact that neither Matt Flynn nor Tarvaris Jackson have a stranglehold on the starting job, tells me Wilson will have a fair chance to win the job at some point this season.”
Here at Seahawks.com, we check in with Brandon Browner, who is coming off a Pro Bowl season in his first NFL season: “A year ago, Brandon Browner’s NFL career included zero regular-season games played and two training-camp stints with the Denver Broncos. And that was in 2005 and 2006. After one season with the Seahawks, check this resume for the extra-large cornerback who had spent the previous four seasons with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL: Sixteen starts, with Browner and Marcus Trufant the only cornerbacks in the past five seasons to do that for the Seahawks; One Pro Bowl berth, making him the fourth corner in franchise history to play in the NFL all-star game – along with the late Dave Brown (1984), Shawn Springs (1998) and Trufant (2007); Five of his team-high six interceptions coming in the final six games, making him only the fifth player in franchise history to lead the team in his first season – along with Brown (1976), Autry Beamon (1977), Darryl Williams (1996) and Earl Thomas (2010); Two franchise records – one for the longest interception return, 94 yards for a touchdown that iced the Week 5 upset of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and broke a 33-year-old record; the other for most interception return yards in a season, 220 to break the record set by Brown in ‘84 (179); Two franchise records tied – one for returning two picks for scores, the other for intercepting a pass in four consecutive games. All this after signing a future contract last January and then winning the starting spot on the right side in training camp while Walter Thurmond was sidelined with a high ankle sprain. ‘It is absolutely remarkable what Brandon was able to accomplish last year,’ Kris Richard, a former cornerback for the Seahawks who now coaches the position, said while shaking his head. ‘From where he came, to where he was able to go in one season, it’s very good stuff.’ ”
Yesterday, it was the Top 30 players in NEXT year’s NFL Draft at NFL.com. Today, it’s a mock draft for 2013, complements of Andrew Perloff at SI.com. Here’s who he has the Seahawks selecting: “Matt Barkley, QB, USC. Barkley has been compared to Andrew Luck for staying at USC even though he could have been a high selection in 2012, but he may get picked apart in a way Luck did not. Some people wonder if Barkley is big enough, and how much his outstanding receivers and the system at USC help him look good. Trojans QBs have not done well in the NFL lately, but if anyone can overlook that it’s Pete Carroll.”
And just when you thought it was safe to resume surfing, there’s also a 2013 mock draft at FoxSports.com. But Peter Schrager has Barkley going No. 1 overall to the Raiders. So that leaves the Seahawks with … “Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas. Jackson’s father Jim Jeffcoat was a longtime NFL defensive lineman. Jackson hasn’t quite lived up to expectations yet, but should have a big season in 2012. Matt Flynn plays well in his first full year as a starter, but the Seahawks fall short of the playoffs.”
Day 3 of the NFL Draft will begin for the Seahawks with two picks in the fourth round, and it’s a round that has been good to GM John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll in their first two drafts together.
Last year, they got starting strongside linebacker K.J. Wright with the 99th pick overall and promising wide receiver Kris Durham with the 107th pick. In 2010, it was cornerback Walter Thurmond with the 111th pick.
This year, they have picks 106 and 114.
In the later rounds, it’s No. 154 in the fifth round, Nos. 172 and 181 in the sixth round and Nos. 225 and 232 in the seventh round. By trading down in the first and second rounds, the Seahawks picked four extra selections.
And as Schneider said last night, “We’re pleased to be able to do some of the things we’ve done so far, but we’re just kind of turning the corner. So we’re not done yet.”
While the Vikings have nine picks today, the Seahawks, Browns and Steelers each have seven.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawk for today, April 20:
GM John Schneider held a pre-draft Q&A session with reporters on Thursday, which led to the surf being “up” today.
Eric Williams at the News Tribune looks at the Seahawks’ interest in Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill, which likely will be just that – only interest, and from a afar: “ ‘He’s a really good player and he’s got a great upside,’ Schneider said about Tannehill. ‘We would definitely consider him (at No. 12). Just because we’ve done these things, the guys know – it’s no disrespect to Tarvaris, or Matt or Josh at all. The guys know at some point we wanted to get this thing rolling where we would be able to get a younger quarterback in, and kind of getting them going, whether it’s in the first round or second round or however it comes.’ But Schneider isn’t expecting Tannehill to last that long. ‘It’s fun to talk about, but I mean, he’s not going to be there,’ Schneider said. ‘You know, I think he’s going to get drafted pretty high.’ ”
Mike Mayock of the NFL Network did a conference call on Thursday, and the network’s draft analyst said Tannehill should not be selected in the Top 10 but likely will because of the premium on the position: “ ‘Based just on film of his 19 starts, Tannehill ‘shouldn’t be a top-10 pick. … But in today’s NFL, there’s a good chance he will be,’ Mayock said. Mayock mentioned that Tannehill’s film alone might not even be worth a top-15 or top-20 pick. He’s ‘at least a year away.’ Mayock doesn’t believe the Browns will go after Tannehill at No. 4, instead targeting Brandon Weeden later in the draft. But it would be very surprising if Tannehill slipped past the Dolphins at No. 8. Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said Thursday he won’t be ‘pressured’ to take Tannehill.”
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times provides an injury update from Schneider’s session: “Seahawks GM John Schneider doesn’t expect James Carpenter to be ready to begin practicing when training camp opens, but he said receiver Sidney Rice will be the healthiest he’s ever been since entering the NFL. Those were the two most pertinent notes in the litany of health updates Schneider provided.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at the prospect of the teams in the NFC West trading down in the first round of the draft next Thursday, including the Seahawks: “In every case, making an effort to trade down requires a team to trust its ability to find quality players later in a draft – often in the middle rounds. This is the range where the Seahawks’ Pete Carroll and John Schneider have fared well since taking over the team before the 2010 draft. The team has used seven fourth- and fifth-round choices during that time, most in the division. Those picks have produced a Pro Bowl safety (Kam Chancellor), a very good starting cornerback (Richard Sherman), a starting linebacker (K.J. Wright) and two players coming off injuries (Kris Durham, Walter Thurmond).”
Here at Seahawks.com, we have Schneider’s thoughts on trading down from the 12th spot: “ ‘Now we’re in a position – especially at 12 – I look at 12 like at 11, 12, 13 there’s a little bit of a ledge there – there’s a little bit of different players,” Schneider said. “So if we want to stay and pick, I think it’s a really cool place to pick. If somebody does something that’s really attractive, then we feel comfortable with the way we’ve prepared that we can go back, too. We feel like we’ve covered some things so we can go ahead and just take the good players that come to us.” Who that player at 12 might be is the million-dollar question, and won’t be determined until those teams sitting at 4-11 make their selections. Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are all but locks to go 1-2 to the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins. But at No. 3, the Minnesota Vikings are reportedly deciding between tackle Matt Kalil, wide receiver Justin Blackmon and cornerback Morris Claiborne. So things already are in a wait-and-see mode for the Cleveland Browns at No. 4.”
We also continue our draft series with a look at the offensive lineman, specifically USC tackle Matt Kalil: “Saying that Matt Kalil was born to play in the NFL might be a stretch, but not by much. His brother, Ryan, is a three-time Pro Bowl center for the Carolina Panthers and was a member of the 2003 and 2004 national championship teams at the University of Southern California. His father, Frank, also played center and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1982 before playing for the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers and Houston Gamblers. Now comes Matt, a 6-foot-6, 306-pound chip off the same block who also played at USC and is the top-rated linemen in this year’s draft class – and is even being called the most-gifted lineman produced by the Trojans since Tony Boselli. ‘He’s everything that he’s billed to be,’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, which is saying a lot. ‘He’s big-time. He’s physically equipped. He’s got a toughness about him, which he had as a freshman in high school.’ Carroll would know, because he recruited Kalil to USC and then coached him there before joining the Seahawks in 2010.”
Mike Silver at YahooSports.com has his ultimate mock draft, where teams select players in the league rather than players coming into the league. And with the 12th pick in the first round, the Seattle Seahawks select …: “Patrick Willis. The Seahawks, who once had a menacing force in the middle in Lofa Tatupu, pilfer the league’s best middle linebacker from an NFC West rival. Scot McCloughan, the Seattle front-office executive who drafted Willis as the 49ers’ general manager, proclaims his team will “beat the hell out of” San Francisco for the foreseeable future.”
Jay Glazer, a reporter for Fox Sports, was on 710 ESPN and discussed the working relationship between Schneider and Carroll: “ ‘It’s so often where people, on the surface, in this league look like they’re playing nice and working together and they’re just not,’ Glazer said. ‘When you talk to these guys ‘off the record’ and you’re around it, you really get a sense (that) these guys (coaches and general managers) are just waiting for the other one to slip up or this one’s just constantly talking to the owner, just getting prepared for the other one to slip up. That’s certainly not the case with these two guys.’ Glazer said that accord is evident in the way Carroll and Schneider agree on personnel decisions. ‘They work phenomenal together,’ he said.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Feb. 8:
Mike Sando at ESPN.com takes a look at the Seahawks who are scheduled to become free agents: “The Seahawks’ top priorities in free agency appear clear, at least when it comes to their own players. Re-sign running back Marshawn Lynch and defensive end Red Bryant.”
Sando also has a NFC West “Draft Primer,” and has this to say about the Seahawks: “Finding a long-term quarterback remains the top priority for the Seahawks, but once again the planets appear reluctant to align for them. Parting with Matt Hasselbeck and passing over Andy Dalton have left Seattle with Tarvaris Jackson and developmental quarterback Josh Portis. Chasing after Peyton Manning could make sense for the Seahawks. They have good young players. Adding a front-line quarterback could put them over the top in the division. Linebacker has replaced the offensive line as a primary need for the Seahawks. That should not be the case, in theory, because the team had so much invested in a couple of relatively young linebackers. Aaron Curry and Lofa Tatupu are gone, however, and David Hawthorne is a free agent. The team could move K.J. Wright into the middle.”
Former NFL executive Jeff Diamond at SI.com takes a look at both in this offseason assessment of the Seahawks: “Team Needs: QB, T, DE. The Seahawks want to find a potential elite QB to replace Tarvaris Jackson, but they’re in a tough spot. Picking at 11 or 12 in the first round, it’s too far to trade up for one of the top two. Perhaps they can get a shot at Ryan Tannehill, the third-ranked QB. In free agency, they would have interest in Matt Flynn, but Miami (with Joe Philbin) has a leg up unless the Dolphins can sign Peyton. The Seahawks also must improve their pass protection after giving up 50 sacks, so they will draft offensive linemen in the early rounds. A better possibility in the first round is a pass-rushing DE to play opposite Chris Clemons (such as Melvin Ingram of South Carolina or perhaps a trade up for Quinton Coples). The Seahawks also should seek a vet WR from the strong free agent class. And they may have to franchise Marshawn Lynch after his strong season (1,204 rushing yards, 12 TDs).”
Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com has a new mock draft at CBSSports.com, but a familiar pick for the Seahawks: “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.”
Whatever happened to Randall Morris? We catch up with the former running back here at Seahawks.com: “Morris, 49, owns Final Clean, a company that prepares just-constructed buildings so the tenants can move in. ‘I never left the Seattle area,’ he said. ‘I’m from Long Beach, Calif., and I didn’t want to raise my family down there. This is a much nicer place.’ ”
We also have a look in photos of the Top 10 moments from the 2011 season, as well as a video report of Walter Thurmond, Kris Durham, John Moffitt, Matt McCoy, Jameson Konz and Brandon Mebane delivering “baskets of hope” at Children’s Hospital.
Hal Lamb guided Calhoun High School to the Georgia Class AA state title in 2011, after the Yellow Jackets had captured their 11th consecutive regional championship.
But it takes more than on-field success to become a finalist for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year award. And Lamb is a winner in that regard, as well. Just ask Kris Durham, the Seahawks’ second-year wide receiver who nominated his former coach for the honor.
“Coach Lamb is just a great man,” Durham said today, during a break in his rehab process from the shoulder surgery that ended his rookie season. “He’s always had the best interest of all of his athletes as a priority and made sure if we ever needed anything he was always there supporting us – whether it was basketball, track, baseball, it didn’t matter. He was at every sporting event.
“If you ever needed someone to talk or anything was going on with your life, he was your counselor. He’s just a great man all around.”
On the field, Lamb is Calhoun’s all-time winningest coach (143-28) and has led the Yellow Jackets to five state title games. And once you’ve played for him, Lamb never forgets.
“He still calls and keeps up with me to this day,” said Durham, who played at Georgia after leaving Calhoun and was a fourth-round draft choice by the Seahawks last year. “I go back in town and he makes sure he talks to me. He still calls all of his athletes that went on to college and keeps up with them – makes sure everyone is doing what he’s supposed to do.
“He’s definitely a father figure for a lot of the guys, and he’s someone I respect and hold highly in my life. I thought he was well-deserving of the honor and fortunately the committee was able to see that, too.”
The other finalists are John McKissick of Summerville (S.C.) High School, who has compiled 594 victories, won 10 state championships and was nominated by the Carolina Panthers; and John Herrington of Farmington Hills (Mich.) High School, who has won 13 state titles and was nominated by the Detroit Lions.
The winner will be announced Saturday.
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 8:
A running contradiction. How can a defense that is allowing the second-lowest per-carry average in the NFL be ranked only 13th in rushing defense?
That’s the situation the Seahawks find themselves in heading into Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens at CenturyLink Field. They are allowing 3.4 yards per carry, which ties them with the Ravens – .1 yard behind the Cincinnati Bengals.
But they’re also allowing 110.4 rushing yards per game, which ranks behind the 49ers (70.8), Bengals (84.5), Ravens (86.8), Texans (91.4), Vikings (94.4), Steelers (95.6), Falcons (96.5), Packers (100.0), Patriots (102.3), Cowboys (102.4) and Jaguars and Bears (both 110.0).
How does that happen? Opponents have run the ball against the Seahawks 257 times. Only the Colts (318) and Browns (261) have faced more running plays. The 49ers, by comparison, have faced 163 runs.
When you fall behind, which the Seahawks have in the first halves seven times in eight games, opponents tend to run more against you – even when they getting fewer yards per carry.
Wide receiver Deon Butler was activated off the physically unable to perform list today, and defensive tackle Pep Levingston was signed off the practice squad.
To clear spots on the 53-man roster, rookie wide receiver Kris Durham was placed on injured reserve and defensive tackle Al Woods was released. The team also signed wide receiver Patrick Williams to its practice squad, and released guard Paul Fanaika.
For those scoring at home, that’s 209 transactions since Jan. 17. For more on today’s moves, click here.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks play their ninth game of the season on Sunday, and Game No. 9 has been good to them in the past – especially when playing at home. The Seahawks are 21-14 overall in ninth games, 13-6 in Seattle. Here’s a look at their past Game No. 9 performances:
2010 W, at Arizona 36-18
2009 L, at Arizona 31-20
2008 L, at Miami 21-19
2007 W, 49ers 24-0
2006 W, Rams 24-22
2005 W, Rams 31-16
2004 L, at St. Louis 23-12
2003 L, at Washington 27-20
2002 W, at Arizona 27-6
2001 W, at Buffalo 23-20
2000 L, Chiefs 24-19
1999 W, Broncos 20-17
1998 W, Chiefs 24-12
1997 L, at Denver 30-27
1996 W, Oilers 23-16
1995 W, Giants 30-28
1994 L, Bengals 20-17 OT
1993 L, at Houston 24-14
1992 L, Redskins 16-3
1991 W, Chargers 20-9
1990 W, at Kansas City 17-16
1989 L, at Kansas City 20-10
1988 W, Chargers 17-14
1987 W, Packers 24-13
1986 L, Jets 38-7
1985 W, Raiders 33-3
1984 W, at San Diego 24-0
1983 W, at Raiders 34-21
1982 W, Broncos 13-11
1981 L, at Green Bay 34-24
1980 L, Eagles 27-20
1979 W, at Atlanta 31-28
1978 L, Broncos 20-17 OT
1977 W, at NY Jets 17-0
1976 W, Falcons 31-13
The players return from their off day Wednesday to begin preparing for Sunday’s game against the Ravens.
Tickets for the game against the Ravens are available and can be purchased here.
YOU DON’T SAY
“That’s all we’ve ever talked about. We talk about one day at a time and how we really try to hit it home with one practice at a time and all that. So we try to maximize the opportunity of that day.” – coach Pete Carroll on his approach with a team that has so many young players
PITTSBURGH – A recap of the Seahawks’ 24-0 loss to the Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ben Roethlisberger. Unlike his performance in the Steelers’ victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, Roethlisberger was the biggest reason his team won. Again.
The player who goes by “Big Ben” came up big, time and again, while completing 22 of 30 passes for 298 yards. He threw for one TD – a 2-yarder to Mike Wallace – and did not throw an interception. That was good for a passer rating of 115.7.
He was especially efficient – and effective – on third downs, hitting 9 of 13 for 171 yards.
“The quarterback was tremendous making his plays,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He was able to make the plays throughout when they needed them.”
Honorable mention to Wallace, who caught eight passes for 126 yards; and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who was credited with a eight tackles but seemed to have twice that many.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Roethlisberger and Wallace hooked up on a 53-yard completion on a third-and-9 play, but let’s go with the TD pass – as Wallace made a nice grab of a nice throw in the end zone against Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner.
Defense: James Harrison’s sack of Tarvaris Jackson in the fourth quarter. It was one of the Steelers’ five sacks, but this one came on a fourth-and-eight play after the Seahawks had reached their deepest penetration of the game – the Steelers’ 26-yard. There was a chance to perhaps kick a field goal and avoid the shutout, but Harrison prevented it.
Special teams: Another Sunday, another big return allowed by the Seahawks’ special teams. This time, it was a 41-yard punt return by the Steelers’ Antonio Brown. He didn’t score, as the 49ers’ Ted Ginn Jr. did in the opener. But Brown’s return set up the Steelers’ second touchdown.
Carroll said there were no serious injuries from the game, but the Seahawks played without wide receiver Sidney Rice (shoulder), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle), fullback Michael Robinson (ankle) and linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring).
There was a report on Sunday that Rice has a labrum injury similar to the one that put tight end John Carlson on injured reserve for the season. But Carroll said that is not the case and he still is hoping that Rice will be able to make his Seahawks debut in Sunday’s home opener against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.
THIS ’N THAT
Strong safety Kam Chancellor had a game-high nine tackles to lead the Seahawks for the second consecutive game.
Linebacker Matt McCoy had seven tackles on defense and two more on special teams.
Rookie wide receiver Kris Durham caught three passes for 30 yards in his NFL debut.
The Seahawks’ longest play was turned in by fullback Eddie Williams, who was just signed on Tuesday. He caught a 17-yard pass.
Neither team turned the ball over, despite entering the game ranked 31st (Seahawks at minus-3) and 32nd (Steelers at minus-7) in the league in turnover ratio.
The last time the Seahawks were shutout was in 2007, in a Week 5 game against the Steelers in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have won nine home openers in a row.
The Seahawks are 0-2 for the first time since 2008 and the second time since 2002.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It had nothing to do with the quarterback spot. I don’t feel like that at all. … It does not feel like it’s a one-guy situation.” – Carroll when asked if he was contemplating a switch at quarterback.
John Carlson. Tuesday, it was announced that the team’s incumbent starter at tight end would need season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum. Today, Carlson talked about the injury and the decision to have surgery.
“The decision was kind of made by my shoulder,” Carlson said.
Talk about body language. But that was the case. Initially, Carlson was going to rehab the shoulder and try to play with it.
“It kind of resolved itself by not coming along as far as we wanted it to,” he said. “That’s where my shoulder is. I need to get it fixed and start the rehab process.”
Carlson injured the shoulder diving for a pass in practice on Aug. 13. He then aggravated it later in practice while blocking.
“I’m disappointed, obviously,” Carlson said. “I felt like I had a great offseason of training. Our offseasons are normally devoted to OTAs and minicamps, and those things are great for developing offenses. But the individual training sometimes is lacking and I felt like I had a great offseason in that respect.
“So it’s really disappointing to have to miss this year.”
Kris Durham. The wide receiver, and fourth-round draft choice, has had back-to-back impressive practices. And right on cue, with the preseason finale on Friday night and the roster cut to 53 players on Saturday.
Tuesday, the 6-foot-6 Durham went up and over cornerback Kennard Cox along the sideline to catch a pass from Tarvaris Jackson; made a nice catch of a pass from Charlie Whitehurst despite being held by the defensive back; and adjusted his route on a roll out by Whitehurst to get open, and get a hand slap from coach Pete Carroll for the effort.
Today, Durham caught a half dozen balls, including one where he went over Cox to grab a TD pass from Whitehurst on the final play of the two-hour practice.
“I’m working back into it,” said Durham, who missed the preseason opener because of a sore hamstring but has six receptions in the past two games. “It’s a grind. Some of the guys got banged up, unfortunately, so we were a little shorthanded. But a lot of guys came in and stepped up – (Ricardo) Lockette, Doug (Baldwin), Golden (Tate).
“Everybody was just out there making plays.”
Including the one he didn’t mention: Durham.
“I’m just trying to compete and get better,” he said.
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Both involved Lockette, the ridiculously fast rookie free agent. On the first – the offensive play of the day – Lockette somehow made a reaching, one-handed grab of a pass from rookie QB Josh Portis in the end zone despite free safety Earl Thomas being all over him.
“Actually, I didn’t even see him coming,” Thomas said. “I’m looking at the ball and all of sudden he was just there. Boom. It was a great catch.”
When Portis went to Lockette again a few plays later, it produced the defensive play of the day as rookie cornerback Richard Sherman matched the speedy receiver step for step as he locked in on the ball. Sherman then went up in front of Lockette to intercept the pass.
IN AND OUT
Wide receivers Patrick Williams and Chris Carter, who were released Monday, were re-signed today. The club needed their hands because Sidney Rice (shoulder), Ben Obomanu (head) and Isaiah Stanback (hamstring) did not practice, Mike Williams (foot) was limited to individual drills and Deon Butler (leg) remains on the physically unable to perform list.
Each receiver celebrated his return with a nice catch. Williams turned and jumped in one smooth motion to catch a Portis pass along the sideline against cornerback Brandon Browner. Carter ran a nice route and made an even better catch of a pass from Jackson while running toward the opposite sideline, an effort that earned a hand slap from Carroll as Carter returned to the huddle.
Defensive ends Chris Clemons and Dexter Davis and Leroy Hill returned after sitting out Tuesday, while strong safety Kam Chancellor was limited.
But eight others sat out, including running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle) and middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee). Leon Washington got the first reps with the No. 1 offense for Lynch, while rookie K.J. Wright continued to fill in for Hawthorne. Atari Bigby worked for Chancellor with the No. 1 defense.
Also out: safety Josh Pinkard (knee), defensive end Pierre Allen (hamstring) and Carlson, in addition to the other three players who are PUP – tight end Cameron Morrah (foot), defensive tackle Colin Cole (ankle) and cornerback Roy Lewis (knee).
Just how good was Baldwin’s 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in Saturday night’s game against the Broncos in Denver? We decided to ask Washington, who had scoring returns of 101, 99 and 92 last year in his first season with the Seahawks.
“Doug does a good job of practicing it, he hits it hard in practice,” Washington said. “So I wasn’t surprised in the game for him to finish the way he did. That was impressive.”
Washington saw the same thing that Baldwin mentioned after the game: Great blocking that allowed Baldwin to run untouched until he eluded one would-be tackle at the 20-yard line.
“We had a bounce set up, where he’s going to sell it to the middle of the field and then bounce it to the left,” Washington said. “The wedge did a good job, and Doug did a good job of selling it. Once he broke it to the left, there was nobody over there. So he did a good job.”
The players have a morning practice on Thursday, their final full session before Friday night’s preseason finale against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field. They will then have Saturday and Sunday off.
The 80-man roster must be trimmed to 53 players on Saturday.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It’ll be fun to see those guys, I know them so well. So it will definitely be fun to go out there and play against my old team.” – tight end Zach Miller, who played the last four seasons for the Raiders
A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center:
Charlie Whitehurst. The team’s backup quarterback is on a roll, but coach Pete Carroll remains committed to Tarvaris Jackson as the starter as the Seahawks prepare for Saturday night’s third preseason game against the Broncos in Denver as well as the Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
“I’m really pleased with his progress. Charlie has taken advantage of everything we’ve done out here,” Carroll said following this afternoon’s two-hour practice in full pads.
Whitehurst also has taken advantage of what the opposing defenses have given him in the first two preseason games. He was 14 of 20 for 115 yards in the opener against the Chargers in San Diego and 14 of 19 for 97 yards in Saturday night’s home opener against the Minnesota Vikings – although Carroll said it could have been a 17-of-19 outing if his receivers had not dropped some passes.
“You can see it, Charlie is functioning beautifully,” Carroll said. “You can’t ask him to do a whole lot more than that. I’m really, really fired up that he’s playing at the level he is right now.”
Even with that said, Carroll explained that it does not change his mind about Jackson continuing to be the starter – in part because the offensive line has not provided him with adequate protection.
“Tarvaris can function out there. He made good decisions. He moved well,” Carroll said. “The rush was much closer to him. He had guys around him. We weren’t as stout with the pass-pro as we would like.
“But he was very comfortable in the game (and had) a really good mentality to work with during the game – a very clear thinker, good communicator and all of that.”
And, Carroll added, it goes beyond statistics.
“We’re looking very subjectively at this,” he said. “You don’t just look at the numbers. You’ve got to look at what’s happening up front, and how the protection is holding up, and did we run the right route.”
Linebacker. The defense practiced without its starters, as Aaron Curry, David Hawthorne and Leroy Hill sat out because of sore knees they got against the Vikings.
Carroll said he expects Curry and Hill to be ready for Saturday night’s game against the Broncos.
But this afternoon, the “starting” unit included rookie K.J. Wright in the middle for Hawthorne, rookie Malcolm Smith on the weakside for Hill and rookie Mike Morgan and just-signed David Vobora splitting time on the strongside for Curry.
“David is a savvy football player, a really good special teams guy, with flexibility and experience,” Carroll said of Vobora. “I think it’s a real nice add to us right now. He had a very good first day. I was anxious to see how he looked with our guys and he fit in very well.”
K.J. Wright. With Hawthorne not expected to play against the Broncos, the fourth-round draft choice is being prepped to start.
“That’s what we’d do right now. We’d go head and go with K.J.,” Carroll said. “Which would be awesome. It would be great to see him in there playing with those guys (the starters). It will be a great experience for him and we’ll learn a lot about him.”
So far, the coaches have liked just about everything they’ve seen from the 6-foot-4 Wright, who was moved to middle linebacker after the release of incumbent starter Lofa Tatupu on July 31. Wright had a team-high eight tackles in the preseason opener against the Chargers and added two tackles plus a quarterback hit against the Vikings.
“He looks solid and he’s tackling well and he’s learning,” Carroll said. “But there are a million things for this Mike linebacker to learn. There’s so much going on, with all the responsibilities at that position. But he’s handling it admirably and this will be a great test.”
PLAYS OF THE DAY
Offense: Rookie wide receiver Kris Durham jostling with and then getting behind cornerback Kelly Jennings to catch a touchdown pass from Jackson in a 7-on-7 drill.
Defense: Let’s go with two, because they were similar and equally effective. On the first, linebacker Jameson Konz played off a lead block by fullback Michael Robinson to stop a running play before it could get started. On the second, cornerback Marcus Trufant turned fullback Dorson Boyce around with a solid jam to blow up the attempted block as well as the play.
Special teams: Pick one of the five field goals Jeff Reed hit during the special teams portion of practice, and make it the 38-yarder.
IN AND OUT
In addition to the starting linebackers, seven other players also sat out practice: tight end John Carlson (shoulder), left tackle Russell Okung (ankle), strong safety Kam Chancellor (foot), backup center Mike Gibson (undisclosed) and defensive linemen Dexter Davis, Pierre Allen and A.J. Schable (also undisclosed).
With Chancellor out, Josh Pinkard worked at strong safety with the No. 1 defense.
Cornerback Walter Thurmond practiced for the first time since early in training camp, and for the first time in full pads this summer. Carroll said he’s hopeful that Thurmond can play this week. Also back after sitting out the game against the Vikings were defensive end Chris Clemons and wide receiver Ben Obomanu.
Carroll said Carlson is “improving” after injuring his labrum while diving for a pass in practice last weekend. Carlson is aiming to play in the Sept. 2 preseason finale against the Raiders at CenturyLink Field. Okung also could play against the Raiders, Carroll said, although his targeted return is the opener against the 49ers.
The players will practice Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning before flying to Denver on Friday for Saturday night’s game.
Carroll said the starters are expected to play into the third quarter against the Broncos, in what will be their longest stint of the preseason.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I hit it 2½ feet (from the pin), but I think his shot was better.” – Jay Don Blake, a member of the Senior PGA tour, on Whitehurst hitting the flag with his second shot in the now-annual close-to-the-pin competition after practice but still finishing second to Blake
A recap of the activities at Seahawks training camp on Wednesday:
The opener. The players had a short walk-thru this morning in the indoor practice facility at Virginia Mason Athletic Center before the team flew to San Diego for its nationally televised preseason opener against the Chargers.
This kickoff weekend will be a ready-or-not adventure for all NFL teams after the 136-day lockout, but the clock is running even faster for the Seahawks because they play on Thursday night.
“The first thing we’re looking for is seeing us play hard,” coach Pete Carroll said. “I want to see the guys run around and hit and get back to football with as many guys as we’re going to play. We’re going to try and play everybody that travels with us.
“The hope here is that we see a team that’s ready to play football and go out and run around the field and make this first step.”
Ready, but prepared? Or at least prepared well enough after the lockout cancelled the spring minicamps and OTA sessions.
“We have no idea what’s going to happen,” Carroll said. “Fortunately, it’s preseason. So we have a chance to figure it out. That’s most important right now.”
Quarterback. Just-signed Tarvaris Jackson will start against the Chargers, Carroll said. Backup Charlie Whitehurst also will play against his former team. But rookie free agent Josh Portis should see extensive playing time.
“He’s going to start in this game and play a little bit and get going, just so we can start the process,” Carroll said of Jackson, who practiced with the Seahawks for the first time last Thursday. “I don’t want to wait a whole other cycle to get the process started. He’ll get out there for just a handful of plays.”
Kris Durham. The coaches had big plans in the opener for the big receiver from Georgia. But the 6-foot-6 Durham, a fourth-round draft choice, won’t play because of what Carroll called a strain of his hamstring.
“That’s really disappointing because Kris would have played 50 plays in this game,” Carroll said. “He’s had a great start to camp and we’re just going to have to wait on him.”
The players will be off Friday before returning to practice on Saturday. The 1:30 session is open to the public, as are the practices on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. You can register here to attend.
YOU DON’T SAY
“If you ask him, he wants to do everything. But it’s not his decision. We’re cheerleading for him to get out there every chance he gets, and he loves it. So he’ll be part of the punt return team and the kickoff return team, for sure.” – Carroll, when asked if Leon Washington will continue to return punts as well as kickoffs after showing he’s ready to take on a larger role as a running back