Monday round-up: Richard Sherman puts the “fun” in fundraiser

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Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Monday, July 8, about your Seattle Seahawks:

A packed-house of about 7,000 fans came out yesterday to Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium for cornerback Richard Sherman’s inaugural celebrity softball game benefiting, “Blanket Coverage – The Richard Sherman Family Foundation“, and other local charities. Here at we covered the event extensively through our social media channels and will have photo gallery and video features up on the website later today. Stay tuned.Richard Sherman

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times has his recap of yesterday’s celebrity softball game.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details yesterday’s charity event put on by Sherman.

Fresh off of his honeymoon to Thailand, John Boyle of the Everett Herald has his take on Sherman’s inaugural event.

Danny O’Neil of dissects the Seahawks’ defensive line heading into training camp.

John Breech of ranks the NFC West as the best division in football.

Clark Judge of has his Seahawks tranining camp preview.

Wide receiver Golden Tate talks with SiriusXM Blitz in this short audio podcast below:

Mark Schlereth and Cris Carter of ESPN’s NFL Live discuss the club’s biggest weakness heading into 2013, pointing to a lack of a consistent pass rush.

The Seahawks’ current uniforms have made it to round two of Dave Dameshek’s bracket to determine the Greatest Uniform in NFL History, where they are matched up against the current unis of the New York Giants. The Seahawks hold a favorable advantage over the Giants right now, but voting runs through Tuesday, July 9 at 2 p.m. PT, so be sure to keep casting those votes.

In news around the League, six players have been declared eligible for the July 11 supplemental NFL draft.

And Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Austen Lane has taken over Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column for

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Tuesday round-up: Reviewing the read-option

Brock Huard and Danny O’Neil of 710 AM ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” discuss how much the Seahawks will use the read-option in 2013

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” for today, Tuesday, July 2, about your Seattle Seahawks:

Danny O’Neil of writes about the risk and reward associated with running a read-option offense.

It’s never too early to start thinking about fantasy football, and has their list of the Top 30 fantasy football players for 2013. Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin comes in at No. 17, while running back Marshawn Lynch appears at No. 3 behind Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (No. 2) and Houston Texans running back Arian Foster (No. 1).

Former NFL offensive lineman turned NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger says the NFC West is the best division in the NFC in this short video clip.

NFL Network’s Baldinger and former NFL center Shaun O’Hara have a look at the best available free agents remaining and offers some landing spots on which teams they might fit best with.

With football just 10 Sunday’s away, NFL Network’s NFL Total Access crew takes a stab at some Week 1 headlines around the League.

The NFL announced training camp report dates for all 32 clubs yesterday afternoon, and Seahawks rookies and veterans alike will report to Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Wednesday, July 24. The team’s first practice will be held Thursday, July 25 – you can register to attend that session and more by clicking here.

And here at, Clare Farnsworth continues his 2013 preview series with a look at the offensive line, including comments from assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tom Cable on the under-the-radar play the club has received from right tackle Breno Giacomini and guard Paul McQuistan.

Marshawn Lynch lands at No. 24 in NFL’s Top 100 of 2013

It’s No. 24 for No. 24.

That would be All-Pro/Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch, who landed at No. 24 on tonight’s unveiling of players ranked Nos. 30-21 on NFL Network’s Top 100 Players of 2013. Lynch joins cornerback Richard Sherman (No. 50), quarterback Russell Wilson (No. 51), free safety Earl Thomas (No. 66), wide receiver Percy Harvin (No. 90), and center Max Unger (No. 95) as the sixth Seahawk to appear on the player-driven countdown of the League’s Top 100 players.

Marshawn LynchThe Seahawks “Beast Mode” back had a career-year in 2012, earning his second-straight trip to the Pro Bowl while racking up 1,590 yards (a career-high, good for 3rd in NFL) and 11 touchdowns on the ground. That impressive total went along with 196 yards and a score on 23 catches out of the backfield. He set a career-high with 10 100-yard games and his 1,590 yards rushing were good for the third-best total in team history. Not one player has more rushing yards than Lynch since Week 9 of the 2011 season (2,531 yards in those games).

Lynch is the seventh player at his position to appear on the list, ranking ahead of San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (No. 32), Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (No. 45), Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (No. 57), Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson (No. 62), Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (No. 64), Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson (No. 71), and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (No. 98).

With Lynch as the sixth Seattle player to be named in the Top 100, the Seahawks trail only the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers as the team that is most-heavily-represented in the network’s countdown. The 49ers have seven players highlighted so far, including defensive end Justin smith (No. 29), the aforementioned Gore (No. 32), linebacker NaVorro Bowman (No. 37), tight end Vernon Davis (No. 38), tackle Joe Staley (No. 78), quarterback Colin Kaepernick (No. 81), and wide receiver Anquan Boldin (No. 93).

NFC West day three draft rewind: San Francisco 49ers

Marcus Lattimore

Former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore was the 49ers’ pick toward the end of round four

With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, concluding with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Niners started day three by making a splash on a pair of skill position players toward the end of round four when they picked up wide receiver Quinton Patton out of Louisiana Tech (No. 128 overall) and South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore (No. 131 overall).

Patton earned first-team All-WAC and second-team All-American honors in his final season at Louisiana Tech, when he racked up 104 catches for 1,392 yards and 13 scores. He went on to run a 4.54 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and will figure into a receiving corps that already features Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boildin, and last year’s first-round pick A.J. Jenkins.

B.J. Daniels

Former South Florida QB B.J. Daniels was the 49ers’ first of three selections in the seventh round

Lattimore found early success with the Gamecocks and was highly touted as one of the best running backs in the country, but his durability is a question. He suffered multiple season-ending knee injuries at South Carolina. However, the 49ers backfield is already loaded up with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James, which should allow Lattimore to continue his recovery process.

The Niners followed up by adding defensive lineman Quinton Dial late in the fifth round (No. 157 overall) and linebacker Nick Moody in the sixth round (No. 180 overall). Dial comes into the Bay Area at 6-foot-5, 318-pounds out of the University of Alabama to add depth along the D-line, while Moody measures 6-foot-1, 236-pounds out of Florida State, providing an athletic option at outside backer.

San Francisco closed out their draft with three selections in round seven – South Florida quarterback  B.J. Daniels (No. 227 overall), Iowa St. offensive lineman Carter Bykowski (No. 246 overall), and Rutgers cornerback Marcus Cooper (No. 252 overall).

Daniels, at 6-foot-1, 217-pounds, put up 59 touchdowns in four seasons as signal caller for the Bulls. He added 2,068 rushing yards and 25 scores on the ground in that same span. He joins a young mix of quarterbacks that includes entrenched starter Colin Kaepernick, recently acquired backup Colt McCoy, and former Wisconsin product Scott Tolzien.

San Francisco 49ers
A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Round Pick No. Player/School Position Height, Weight
1 18 Eric Reid/LSU S 6-1, 213
2 40 Tank Carradine/Florida St. DE 6-4, 273
2 55 Vance McDonald/Rice TE 6-4, 268
3 88 Corey Lemonier/Auburn DL 6-3, 255
4 128 Quinton Patton/LA Tech WR 6-0, 204
4 131 Marcus Lattimore/South Carolina RB 5-11, 221
5 157 Quinton Dial/Alabama DL 6-5, 318
6 180 Nick Moody/Florida St. LB 6-1, 236
7 227 B.J. Daniels/South Florida QB 5-11, 217
7 246 Carter Bykowski/Iowa St. T 6-6, 306
7 252 Marcus Cooper/Rutgers CB 6-2, 192

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NFC West day three draft rewind: Arizona Cardinals

Alex Okafor

Former Texas defensive end Alex Okafor was the Cardinals’ first selection on day three of the 2013 NFL Draft

With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, continuing with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals got things started for the West on day three when they used the No. 103 overall pick to select linebacker/defensive lineman Alex Okafor out of the University of Texas. Okafor marked the club’s third consecutive pick on the defensive side of the football after they took offensive guard Jonathan Cooper in round one.

Okafar, who measures 6-foot-4, 264 pounds, was one of the nation’s top pass rushers in 2012 with the Longhorns. He led the Big 12 conference with nearly a full sack per game (0.96), racking up 12.5 on the season to go along with four forced fumbles.

Stepfan Taylor

Former Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor went to the Cardinals with the 140th overall pick

Arizona swung their second fourth-round pick (No. 110) to the New York Giants in exchange for their third and sixth rounders (No. 116 and No. 187). With No. 116 the Cardinals went back to the offensive line when they took the 6-foot-4, 301-pound guard Earl Watford out of James Madison University. He’ll help shore up an offensive line that allowed a League-high 58 sacks last season.

With their lone pick in round five, the Cardinals went with the 5-foot-9, 214-pound Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor. He brings some much needed durability to the Cardinals’ backfield, who has seen current running backs Ryan Williams and Rashard Mendenhall suffer serious injuries in recent years.

The Cardinals added the speedy wideout Ryan Swope (No. 174 overall) and explosive running back Andre Ellington (No. 187 overall) in the draft’s sixth round. Texas A&M’s Swope, who ran a 4.34 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine – the fastest at his position, figures to work as a slot receiver in head coach Bruce Arians’ offense. Clemson’s Ellington adds a runner to the Cardinals stable of backs that can provide a “home run” threat with every touch.

Arizona rounded out their draft with the selection of Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson with the No. 219 overall pick in the seventh round. The 6-foot-6, 262-pound Jefferson red-shirted at quarterback in 2008, but now represents a physical blocker and developing receiver whose size likely intrigued Arizona’s front office.

Arizona Cardinals
A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Round Pick No. Player/School Position Height, Weight
1 7 Jonathan Cooper/North Carolina G 6-2, 311
2 45 Kevin Minter/LSU LB 6-0, 246
3 69 Tyrann Mathieu/LSU CB 5-9, 186
4 103 Alex Okafor/Texas DE 6-4, 264
4 116 Earl Watford/James Madison G 6-3, 301
5 140 Stepfan Taylor/Stanford RB 5-9, 216
6 174 Ryan Swope/Texas A&M WR 6-0, 205
6 187 Andre Ellington/Clemson RB 5-9, 199
7 219 D.C. Jefferson/Rutgers TE 6-6, 262

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NFC West day three draft rewind: St. Louis Rams

Barrett Jones

Former Alabama center Barrett Jones, who holds a masters degree in accounting, was the Rams’ first selection on day three of the 2013 NFL Draft

With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, starting with the St. Louis Rams.

St. Louis started day three by grabbing Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones out of Alabama with their fourth-round pick (No. 113 overall).

Jones was considered one of the nation’s top centers in 2012 when he was named to All-American and All-SEC teams, and won Outland and Rimington Awards for best interior lineman and center. He spent the 2011 season at left tackle, moving to the position from right guard after then-Alabama left tackle James Carpenter departed the college ranks to your very own Seattle Seahawks.

Zac Stacy

Former Vanderbilt RB Zac Stacy went to the Rams with their final pick of the draft

St. Louis addressed a pair of needs in round five when they took cornerback Brandon McGee (No. 149), a 5-foot-11, 193-pound product out of the University of Miami, and running back Zac Stacy (No. 160), a 5-foot-8, 216-pound bruiser out of Vanderbilt.

McGee’s addition makes sense when you look at the Rams’ current roster, which lists the veteran Cortland Finnegan, and last year’s rookies Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson as the only players at the position for the club.

Stacy adds a physical dimension to the Rams’ run game to play alongside Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson. He finished his 2012 season at Vanderbilt with 1,141 yards and 10 touchdowns and went on to make an appearance in the East-West Shrine Game. He was the only Commodore player invited to the NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.55 40-yard dash and put up 27 reps on the bench press – good for the workout’s top performer at his position.

To take Stacy the Rams gave up their pair of sixth round picks (No. 184, No. 198), which made the fifth-rounder Stacy the club’s final selection of the 2013 draft.

St. Louis Rams
A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival St. Louis Rams in the 2013 NFL Draft.

Round Pick No. Player/School Position Height, Weight
1 8 Tavon Austin/West Virginia WR 5-8, 174
1 30 Alec Ogletree/Georgia LB 6-2, 244
3 71 T.J. McDonald/USC S 6-2, 219
3 92 Stedman Bailey/West Virginia WR 5-10, 193
4 113 Barrett Jones/Alabama C 6-4, 309
5 149 Brandon McGee/Miami CB 5-11, 193
5 160 Zac Stacy/Vanderbilt RB 5-8, 216

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NFC West Free-Agent Tracker

Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett

Defensive linemen Cliff Avril (left) and Michael Bennett (right), who combined for 18.5 sacks in 2012, will join the Seahawks’ pass rush in 2013

Three weeks since the start of the 2013 League year, we take an updated look at who has come and who has gone around the NFC West via trades and free agency.

Arizona Cardinals

Out: S Kerry Rhodes (released); S Adrian Wilson (released, signed by New England Patriots); RB Beanie Wells (released); WR Early Doucet (released); CB William Gay (released, signed by Pittsburgh Steelers); QB Kevin Kolb (released, signed by Buffalo Bills); QB John Skelton (released); CB Greg Toler (free agent, signed by Indianapolis Colts); LB Quentin Groves (free agent, signed by Cleveland Browns); LB Stewart Bradley (released, signed by Denver Broncos); G Rich Ohrnberger (free agent, signed by San Diego Chargers)

In: CB Antoine Cason (free agent, signed from San Diego Chargers); DE Matt Shaughnessy (free agent, signed from Oakland Raiders); RB Rashard Mendenhall (free agent, signed from Pittsburgh Steelers); LB Jasper Brinkley (free agent, signed from Minnesota Vikings); S Yeremiah Bell (free agent, signed from New York Jets); CB Jerraud Powers (free agent, signed from Indianapolis Colts); LB Lorenzo Alexander (free agent, signed from Washington Redskins); QB Drew Stanton (free agent, signed from Indianapolis Colts); DE Frostee Rucker (released from Cleveland Browns); S Jonathan Amaya (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); QB Carson Palmer (trade with Oakland Raiders)

For a full Cardinals free-agent tracker click here.

San Francisco 49ers

Out: S Dashon Goldson (free agent, signed by Tampa Bay Buccaneers); DT Isaac Sopoaga (free agent, signed by Philadelphia Eagles); TE Delanie Walker (free agent, signed by Tennessee Titans); DT Ricky Jean Francois (free agent, signed by Indianapolis Colts); K David Akers (released); WR Tedd Ginn (free agent, signed by Carolina Panthers); QB Alex Smith (trade with Kansas City Chiefs)

In: DL Glenn Dorsey (free agent, signed from Kansas City Chiefs); S Craig Dahl (free agent, signed from St. Louis Rams); LB Dan Skuta (free agent, signed from Cincinnati Bengals); WR Anquan Boldin (trade with Baltimore Ravens); K Phil Dawson (free agent, signed from Cleveland Browns); WR Marlon Moore (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); QB Colt McCoy (trade with Cleveland Browns); CB Nnamdi Asomugha (free agent, signed from Philadelphia Eagles)

For a full 49ers free-agent tracker click here.

Seattle Seahawks

Out: RB/KR Leon Washington (released, signed by New England Patriots); DE Jason Jones (free agent, signed by Detroit Lions); WR Ben Obomanu (released); QB Matt Flynn (trade with Oakland Raiders); DT Alan Branch (free agent, signed by Buffalo Bills)

In: DE Cliff Avril (free agent, signed from Detroit Lions); DE Michael Bennett (free agent, signed from Tampa Bay Buccaneers); WR Percy Harvin (trade with Minnesota Vikings); DT Tony McDaniel (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins)

For a full Seahawks free-agent tracker click here.

St. Louis Rams

Out: RB Steven Jackson (free agent, signed by Atlanta Falcons); WR Danny Amendola (free agent, signed by New England Patriots); S Craig Dahl (free agent, signed by San Francisco 49ers); CB Bradley Fletcher (free agent, signed by Philadelphia Eagles); WR Brandon Gibson (free agent, signed by Miami Dolphins); C Robert Turner (free agent, signed by Tennessee Titans); S Quintin Mikell (released); OT Wayne Hunter (released); TE Matthew Mulligan (released)

In: OT Jake Long (free agent, signed from Miami Dolphins); TE Jared Cook (free agent, signed from Tennessee Titans)

For a full Rams free-agent tracker click here.

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Seahawks ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s 2013 NFL Power Rankings

Expectations will be high for the Seahawks in 2013. If that much wasn’t already clear from the way the Seahawks players and coaches have handled themselves since the loss to the Atlanta Falcons in last year’s divisional playoff round, it will be now, after the staff at has compiled their first NFL Power Rankings of the 2013 season.

The Seahawks rank atop the list, one slot above the division rival San Francisco 49ers, who fell in last year’s Super Bowl to the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens rank No. 8 on the ESPN staffers’ list. NFC West blogger Mike Sando (who cast a No. 1 vote for the Seahawks) offered some analysis of the group’s rankings:

“The Seahawks have been gaining on the 49ers for the past couple years. The 49ers were already an elite team. Seattle had more room for improvement. I felt as though the Seahawks caught the 49ers late last season. Seattle did benefit from a run of late-season home games against division opponents.

“Percy Harvin, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril have the potential to become high-impact additions. There was risk in making the Harvin move. Will he run his course in Seattle, same as he did in Minnesota? It’s a fair question, but I think the results will be positive in the beginning, at least.

“The NFC West remained the highest-ranked division with a 12.3 average ranking for its teams. That was up slightly from a 12.8 average at regular season’s end.”

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Seahawks earn “A” in USA Today’s first offseason report card

We’re just over one week into free agency and Nate Davis of USA Today has handed out his first offseason report cards, and Seattle should feel good about the mark they’ve earned. Davis tabbed the Seahawks with an “A” grade after acquiring the likes of wide receiver Percy Harvin and defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. The Seahawks were one of just two teams (the Minnesota Vikings being the other) to earn the high mark.

Here’s a look at what Davis had to say about the moves general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have made to this point:

Seattle Seahawks (A): The offense (Harvin) and defense (DEs Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett) have been supercharged, and the pay scale really didn’t suffer much even if GM John Schneider had to part with a few picks, including this year’s first rounder, for Harvin. The Niners should be worried.

Yesterday, we tracked the free-agent acquisitions around the rest of the NFC West, and took a look at why the West will be “a bear of a division in 2013.” Davis’ grades and comments on those clubs are below:

Arizona Cardinals (C): At the outset of free agency, they only had about $3 million available. But new GM Steve Keim has made quite a few moves to churn his roster: he signed QB Drew Stanton and parted with Kevin Kolb, picked up RB Rashard Mendenhall after punting Beanie Wells and completely remade the secondary. But should Keim have devoted his newfound money to a worrisome O-line in order to give Stanton (or whomever) a chance? Maybe next month.

St. Louis Rams (B+): If free agency is any indication, St. Louis is very confident its youngsters are ready to supplant Amendola, Gibson and Jackson. New LT Jake Long and TE Jared Cook should make QB Sam Bradford a very happy man. Armed with two first-round picks, the Rams’ drastic improvement over the past year should continue at draft time.

San Francisco 49ers (B): They chose to move on from all-pro FS Dashon Goldson and a few others. But given this team’s return to NFL royalty under GM Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh, who’s going to argue? WR Anquan Boldin and DE Glenn Dorsey look like cost-effective additions, but is Craig Dahl really the man to fill Goldson’s cleats?

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Tuesday cyber surfing: Defense, Irvin finding success; Penalties remain an issue; Week 6 battle of the bests

Good morning, and here’s what’s ‘out there” about the Seahawks for today, October 9.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times wonders if the Seahawks are asking too much of their defense, “Seattle’s offense has given up more touchdowns than its defense the past two games, but can the Seahawks really keep this up when it comes to keeping opposing offenses grounded? ‘I don’t have any idea,’ Carroll said. ‘I’ve been around defenses that have done it from wire to wire. There’ll be a time where some guys are going to have to jump in and help, but right now, with really great fortune, we’ve been healthy and guys are able to do their stuff.’ Seattle is starting a rookie at middle linebacker in Bobby Wagner. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are both in their second NFL seasons, as is linebacker K.J. Wright. Throw in the fact that rookie Bruce Irvin is second on the team in sacks, and it’s reasonable to assume that the trajectory for this team points up. ‘I think we should improve,’ Carroll said. ‘I think we should count on our guys to continue to get better.’ ”

O’Neil tells us three things we learned and three things we’re still trying to figure out after Sunday’s 16-12 win over Carolina, “Does it matter when opponents stack up to stop Marshawn Lynch? The Panthers loaded up against the run. Lynch carried seven times in the first half, and five of those carries gained 3 yards or fewer. Carolina certainly gave every indication it was not going to let Lynch win this game yet when Seattle had the ball deep in its own territory, facing thid-and-7 from its own 4 with 2:58 remaining, Lynch was able to run for 11 yards and gain a first down that was essential in bleeding the clock. For all Carolina’s attention, Lynch rushed 21 times for 85 yards in spite of having a 20-yard gain negated by a questionable holding penalty against Russell Okung.”

O’Neil also passes along an interesting piece from Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe, who has a look at the Patriots’ accelerated no-huddle offense, which will visit CenturyLink Field this weekend, “The NFL never has seen anything like it, and it may never be the same. How did the Patriots run the offense that fast? What was the key? One word. Not one word to describe it. The Patriots operate their no-huddle attack most often using one word as the play call. More accurately, they use six one-word play calls a game. That word tells all 11 players on offense everything they need to know. Formation. Blocking scheme. Direction on run plays. Routes for receiver on passing plays. Shifts in formations. Snap count. Possible alerts and play alterations. One word. ‘I think the point of it is to try to get everyone going fast,’ quarterback Tom Brady said recently. ‘So as fast as you can get the communication to your teammates, everyone can be on the line of scrimmage, then the better it is.’ ”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune comments on the Seahawks’ No. 1-ranked defense, and offers some comments from Carroll on the achievement through Week 5, “The Seahawks are ranked No. 1 in the league in total defense, No. 2 in total points allowed and No. 3 in rushing defense. Fresh off a 16-12 win over Carolina that took the Hawks to 3-2, coach Pete Carroll on Monday talked to the press about the performance. He did not wave an oversized No. 1 finger to liven up his statements. ‘It doesn’t mean much right now … it’d be really nice to be No. 1 at the end,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s a good statement at the beginning of the season that our guys have gotten off to a great start. … It’s fun for those guys to know – it’s a very prideful group – but does it mean anything? Not really. What we’re going to do this week is what counts.’ ”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald details Carroll’s frustration with the team’s first-half play in their Week 5 win, “Well for the most part, Carroll was frustrated by the mistakes that kept his team from winning more comfortably. First-half penalties slowed the offense — most notably the holding call on tackle Breno Giacomini that negated a 56-yard Russell Wilson pass to Golden Tate — helping limit the Seahawks to a pair of field goals despite a statistically impressive half. A rather silly penalty on defensive end Chris Clemons also kept the Panthers on the field on their only scoring drive of the half. And in the second half, Carroll was frustrated by the three turnovers that if not for another very impressive outing by Seattle’s defense, would have cost the Seahawks the game. ‘It was a very frustrating game for the most part, because we could not get on top of it. We were playing well and doing some really good things,’ Carroll said. ‘You could feel us executing in different areas that spelled that we could be ahead and taking command of the football game, but we weren’t able to because we got in our own way.’ ”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press recaps the impressive performance by cornerback Brandon Browner and the Seahawks defense and their ability to overcome mistakes in the win over Carolina, “There were plenty of moments when the Seahawks defense shined on Sunday and cornerback Brandon Browner was often in the middle. It was Browner’s strip of DeAngelo Williams and subsequent fumble recovery in the third quarter that changed the momentum after Seattle had gifted the Panthers three turnovers, including Captain Munnerlyn’s 33-yard interception return for a touchdown to give Carolina a 10-6 lead. Browner’s forced fumble led to Wilson’s touchdown pass to Golden Tate that gave the Seahawks the lead late in the third quarter. But the burly cornerback wasn’t done. He and Marcus Trufant combined to tackle Carolina’s Louis Murphy at the 1-yard line on third-and-goal with less than 4 minutes remaining when it appeared he would score easily and potentially give Carolina the lead. On fourth-and-goal, Newton rolled out of the pocket, but threw a pass intended for Ben Hartsock into the turf. ‘The four plays down there were really extraordinary,’ Carroll said of the goal-line stand. ‘That’s a fun situation to be in. As a defense that is as intense as it gets and as exciting as it gets to play ball, so much at stake and the game on the line and all that and to come through is really huge.’ ”

Brady Henderson of shares some thoughts on the play of rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin, “Irvin, the 15th overall pick, has 4.5 sacks after picking up two in Seattle’s 16-12 win over Carolina on Sunday. That has him on pace for more than 14, which would equal the stellar season turned in by Aldon Smith in 2011 when the 49ers’ top pick was nearly the league’s defensive rookie of the year. Coach Pete Carroll estimated that Irvin played less than 25 of 52 plays against Carolina. That didn’t stop him from getting to Cam Newton twice. His second sack came on Carolina’s final possession, when Irvin forced a fumble that teammate Alan Branch recovered to seal the win for Seattle. He dropped Newton for a 13-yard loss on third down earlier in the game. It was his second two-sack game in three weeks. Irvin isn’t an every-down player. Neither was Smith a year ago, though, so matching his 14-sack season seems like a realistic possibility.”

Henderson also has a closer look at the Seahawks’ decision to take a safety at the end of the game against Carolina, “The Seahawks picked up one first down but still faced a fourth-and-7 from their own 18 before calling a timeout. Carroll, while considering the risk of the Panthers blocking the punt, figured Ryan would be standing at the 7- or 8-yard line, too close to the end zone for comfort. A blocked punt, if recovered by Carolina, could be easily returned for a game-winning touchdown. Even if Seattle were to recover it, Carolina would take over just yards from the end zone. Another factor: the Seahawks, not knowing whether Carolina would come after Ryan, would need to hold their blocks to prevent pressure, potentially giving the Panthers more time to set up their return. The alternative, an intentional safety and a free kick, was more appealing. ‘I thought, ‘Well, shoot – we can stand at the 20 with our guys going full go, full speed chasing the football and we might put the ball back at the other 25 or something.’ It wasn’t even a difficult decision at all,’ Carroll said.”

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM says addressing the team’s penalty situation still remains a focus for Carroll, “The Seahawks fought back and were able to win against the Panthers, but coach Pete Carroll knows they have areas they still need to clean up. T Breno Giacomini was benched in the first half after picking up a holding penalty that negated a 56 yard pass from QB Russell Wilson to WR Golden Tate and another personal foul on a late hit on the sideline. He was replaced by T Frank Omiyale for a series in the second quarter. ‘I better start reinforcing a lot better than I’m doing. I’m not doing a very good job here,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s not because it’s not emphasized, the message just isn’t hitting home yet.’ Seattle has 44 penalties – the most of any team in the NFL through five weeks – for 363 yards, which is tied for third most in the league. They have two games already with 10-plus penalties this season. While the amount has been cut back the last two weeks, the penalties they have incurred have been more costly. ‘We’ve got very aggressive guys and we’ve sought them out and now we’re dealing with it,’ Carroll said.”

The staff at has their updated NFL Power Rankings and the Seahawks come in at No. 16 on their list, ranking as high as No. 11 (Mike Sando, John Clayton) and as low as No. 19 (Dan Graziano).

Mike Sando of notes that the NFC West is statistically the division that opposing quarterbacks should fear most, “This is the first in a series of posts Tuesday illustrating just how dominant NFC West defenses have been despite facing Aaron Rodgers (twice), Matthew Stafford (twice), Tom Brady, Michael Vick, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton through Week 5.”

Sando also notes that NFC West teams lead the League in shutting down running backs.

Lastly from Sando, he has a look at the success the NFC West’s young pass rushers have enjoyed through Week 5, “Four young NFC West outside pass-rushers have combined for 18 sacks through five games. Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks (4.5): Irvin collected two sacks while playing 20 snaps against Carolina. His second sack forced a turnover, allowing the Seahawks to run out the clock on their 16-12 victory. Irvin appears increasingly comfortable as he gains experience. He is the only non-starter of the four listed here. Smith was also a situational player as a rookie. He collected 14 sacks in 2011. Irvin is now on pace for that many.”

Here at Clare Farnsworth has his first look at the Seahawks’ Week 6 matchup with the Patriots – a battle of the No. 1-ranked defense and No. 1-ranked offense in the NFL.

Tony Ventrella and Farnsworth review the Seahawks’ 16-12 victory over the Panthers in this short video, and Ventrella details the Seahawks’ ability to overcome mistakes en route to victory in his Seahawks Daily from Monday.

Finally, we have the full video of Carroll’s Monday press conference available here.

Comments Off on Tuesday cyber surfing: Defense, Irvin finding success; Penalties remain an issue; Week 6 battle of the bests

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