Running back Christine Michael, the Seahawks’ top draft choice last month, signed his rookie contract this morning.
The club also announced that tight end Darren Fells has been re-signed, while snapper Adam Steiner was released to clear a spot on the 90-man roster.
The 5-foot-10, 221-pound Michael was selected in the second round of the draft. His signing leaves two of the team’s 11 draft choices unsigned: cornerback Tharold Simon (fifth round) and tackle Michael Bowie (seventh round).
Fells, a basketball player in college and then professionally in Belgium, Finland and Argentia, had been released two weeks ago. But he was invited to the May 10-12 rookie minicamp on a tryout out basis. Steiner was claimed off waivers from the Raiders last week.
The team will hold the first of its 10 OTA sessions today.
The narrative being pushed by the media this past weekend, both local and national, is that the Seattle Seahawks have a serious and growing performance-enhancing drug (PED) problem. They site the 7 PED suspensions that have happened during Pete Carroll’s tenure.
Unfortunately, the real facts don’t back up this storyline. Four of the cited suspensions have nothing to do with any so-called PED problem the Seahawks might have:
- Offensive lineman Allen Barbre tested positive in 2011, the year before he joined the Seahawks. The Seahawks signed him before the suspension was announced. The team cut him rather than putting him on the roster.
- Fullback Via Taua tested positive just after being signed to the practice squad. He had been a free agent just trying to land with a team before that.
- Offensive lineman John Moffitt tested positive for a substance that is legal in the NFL if the player has a prescription. Moffitt has a prescription, and has had it for years. The only reason he was suspended was because he and the team doctor didn’t properly file all the necessary paperwork on time.
- Cornerback Richard Sherman appealed his suspension and won, something that is supposed to be virtually impossible given today’s tests and testing protocols. Sherman was able to prove that his test sample had been tampered with.
That leaves just 3 legitimate positive tests during Carroll’s tenture as head of coach of the Seahawks: safety Winston Guy, cornerback Brandon Browner, and the recent suspension of defensive end Bruce Irvin. Those 3 suspensions would put the Seahawks right in the middle of the pack with the rest of the NFL teams.
If the Seahawks do have a problem, it is not properly educating rookies on the NFL’s PED policies. 2 of the 3 legitimate suspension have come from rookies, as was John Moffitt’s paperwork problem. Even that fact goes against the accusations of a PED culture in Seattle, since once players are acclimated into the team they are unlikely to test positive.
But why let facts get in the way of good storyline.
The sixth installment of “Obscure Seahawks Bi-Weekly” looks at LEO prospect Benson Mayowa out of Idaho. Mayowa has only been a Seahawk since Monday but might just have a chance to stay awhile.
Height: 6’ 3”
Method of Acquisition: Signed as an undrafted free agent 5/13/13
Years Pro: R
40 yard dash time: 4.73 seconds
Vertical: 37 ½
NCAA career stats: 45 GP, 67 Tackles, 19 TFL, 11 Sacks, 11 FF, 7 PD
Fun Fact: Mayowa’s 20 yard shuffle time of 4.26 would have been tied for first at the Combine among defensive ends with Ziggy Ansah.
The term that keeps coming up in scouting reports of Mayowa is ‘short-area quickness’. Whenever I investigate these fringe roster players I look for the unique talent that made them appeal to the Seahawks and for Mayowa it has to be his quickness. As shown above he had an elite 20 yard shuffle time and the buzz from his tryout was that he was very quick off the ball. That first step is essential for pass rushers and it’s a good thing that Mayowa has it because there isn’t a ton else exciting about him. His NCAA career was fine, but far from distinguished, his long speed is pedestrian and he’s on the small side, even for a LEO. Mayowa may be a one-trick pony but LEO is a one-trick position and if he can use his quickness to be disruptive in the passing game then no one will complain.
Chances of Making the Team
Not bad, at least for now. With Bruce Irvin’s suspension and the injury to Chris Clemons, Clint Avril is the last pure LEO left on the roster. Michael Bennett can play the role but he is more of a hybrid player. On 3rd downs Bennett will probably see time at DT so the Seahawks will need someone to rush across from Avril. Even if they have Bennett line up on the other end there will need to be at least one LEO backup. Although someone else could be brought in, the only three real candidates for the role are Mayowa, fellow undrafted free agent Kenneth Boatright and 2013 draft pick Ty Powell. Boatright is the least athletic of the trio and looks unlikely to figure in Seattle’s plans. Powell has better long speed and a little more size than Mayowa but as a 7th round pick it’s not as if he will be guaranteed a spot on the roster. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Seahawks bring in John Abraham to help them get through this pass rushing crisis, but he may not be inclined to sign what would amount to a 4 game contract. The door seems to be wide open for Mayowa while Irvin is out but I think there will probably be another move because I doubt a serious contender like the Seahawks would leave such an important role to such unproven players. Arbitrary Estimates: 25% chance of making the team, 35% of making the practice squad.
Yesterday I took at look at the number of drives that each team’s defense was on the field for. Those results were interesting, but they didn’t tell us much about what those drives resulted in. We were able to infer some of that based on the total points given up by those teams, but honestly, I want something more concrete than that.
I decided to take a look at how each of those drives ended. It doesn’t matter if a defense isn’t on the field much compared to other teams, if that defense still gives up a lot of touchdowns. (I’m looking at you Cowboys.) Ultimately, I believe the true measure of the quality of a defense is somewhere to be found in this particular data set.
Unless I’ve made a horrible mistake here, drives can only end in 7 different ways: a touchdown, a field goal attempt, a punt, a turnover, a failed 4th down attempt, a safety, and at the end of a half. That’s a fairly limited number of possible outcomes, meaning I should be able to eventually tease out some very meaningful evaluation tools from this. We’ll see, there’s still a long way to go.
I was hoping to have some meaningful result to tell you about, but that’s going to have to wait until tomorrow. Compiling all this data took more time than I originally had available. Just getting this compiled and posted was all I could handle. I left off the safeties, since there’s only a couple total from the entire season and I’m already pushing the limits on the width of this table.
I did manage to give you the percentage for each outcome, though I’m not sure while that seems like a big deal in my head.
|4||New York Giants||170||35||20.59%||30||17.65%||54||31.76%||35||20.59%||11||6.47%||5|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs||173||40||23.12%||38||21.97%||73||42.20%||13||7.51%||1||0.58%||8|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||173||26||15.03%||27||15.61%||78||45.09%||25||14.45%||11||6.36%||6|
|11||San Diego Chargers||176||38||21.59%||21||11.93%||79||44.89%||28||15.91%||6||3.41%||4|
|12||St. Louis Rams||176||34||19.32%||37||21.02%||72||40.91%||21||11.93%||10||5.68%||2|
|19||Green Bay Packers||184||36||19.57%||30||16.30%||74||40.22%||23||12.50%||14||7.61%||7|
|24||New Orleans Saints||187||49||26.20%||33||17.65%||62||33.16%||26||13.90%||9||4.81%||8|
|25||New York Jets||187||37||19.79%||31||16.58%||89||47.59%||23||12.30%||3||1.60%||4|
|26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||187||43||22.99%||28||14.97%||76||40.64%||26||13.90%||8||4.28%||6|
|28||New England Patriots||191||37||19.37%||25||13.09%||67||35.08%||41||21.47%||14||7.33%||7|
The NFL announced today that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin has ben suspended for the first 4 games of the 2013 season for violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. It is unknown what substance he tested positive for at this time. Irvin has announced that he will not appeal the suspension.
This statement from Irvin was released though the team:
“I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake when I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption. I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return.”
The suspension to start the season will hurt Seattle more than if it had come later in the year. Fellow DE Chris Clemons is likely to begin the year on the Physically Unable To Perform list as he works back from a torn ACL injury. That means that the Seahawks will begin the season without their top 2 sack leaders from last season.
The Seahawks signed both Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett this past offseason to help with the pass rush, but they now appear to need additional help for the first 4 games. I wonder if John Abraham’s price has come down enough that John Schneider will consider adding him.
It’s yet another recognition for the hard-to-believe-he-is-already-in-his-fourth-year pro. Thomas, who turned just 24-years-old earlier this month, has garnered Pro Bowl honors (2011, 2012) and first-team AP All-Pro (2012) selections since coming into the League out of the University of Texas with the 14th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. He has led a Seahawks defense that has jumped from ranking 27th in the NFL in 2010 to ninth in 2011 to fourth last season.
Despite a stellar 2012 where he racked up 66 tackles, nine passes defensed, forced and recovered a fumble, and picked off three passes – one of which he returned 57 yards for a touchdown, Thomas’ ranking at No. 66 is the exact same spot where he showed up last year on this same list.
That’s why it’s not too surprising that the hyper-competitive Thomas isn’t all that satisfied with his rank, saying he’ll use it as “fuel to the fire.”
Will Lewis, who worked in the Seahawks’ scouting department and front office for 13 years, has been hired as director of pro scouting by the Chiefs.
The move was announced on the team’s website. Marvin Allen was added as director of college scouting on the staff of first-year general manager John Dorsey, who also worked for the Seahawks in 1999.
“Will and Marvin are tremendous at what they do,” Dorsey said. “I had the privilege of getting to know Will while working with him in both Seattle and Green Bay, and he has a lot of experience that will benefit us.”
After playing for the Seahawks in 1980-81, Lewis returned in 1999 as the team’s director of pro personnel and was vice president of football operations from 2010-12.
The fifth installment of ‘Obscure Seahawks Weekly” looks at athletic fullback/special teams ace Derrick Coleman. Coleman is an interesting guy (http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/columns/ncf/story/_/id/7273486/derrick-coleman-ucla-bruins-story-worth-hearing) who might just have the versatility and athleticism to stick around.
Height: 5′ 11″
Method of Acquisition: Signed to futures contract 01/16/13
Years Pro: 2
40 yard dash time: 4.50
Vertical: 36 1/2
NCAA career stats: 49 GP, 341 carries, 1780 yards, 5.2 YPC, 19 TD
Fun Fact: Derrick Coleman is hard of hearing and reads lips in order to get audibles from his quarterback.
Coleman has great speed for his size and has shown the ability to carry the ball effectively. He has the potential to be an excellent short-yardage back, not that Seattle has a particular need in that area. He has been an excellent special teams player at the college level and has the experience and physical ability to excel in a similar role in the NFL. Coleman wasn’t asked to catch many balls at UCLA so there is some uncertainty regarding that aspect of his game. Has to improve his blocking to be a successful fullback but has youth and physical tools on his side. Could find a niche as a Leonard Weaver-esque hybrid FB/RB.
Chances of Making the Team
Not impossible. Coleman’s chances are very dependent on how many fullbacks the Seahawks want to keep. If Seattle only keeps one fullback then Coleman has no opportunity to make this squad unless Michael Robinson becomes a salary cap casualty. If Pete Carroll feels like he can afford to keep two fullbacks Coleman will be in a duel with Spencer Ware for the backup fullback job. Although Ware was drafted by this regime, Coleman is a more accomplished special teamer and is significantly faster at the same size. Seattle hasn’t committed very much to Ware considering he was a sixth round pick, so Ware and Coleman would be in for a really interesting roster battle if the Seahawks are willing to carry two fullbacks on the roster. Coleman could also make this team if Carroll figured he was indispensable as a pure special teams player like Alex Bannister was a while back. However, that’s a fairly unlikely scenario. Coleman has quite a bit to offer but he needs a few things to break his way to make the 2013 Seahawks. Arbitrary Estimates: 16% chance of making the team, 34% chance of making the practice squad.
Running back Spencer Ware, the Seahawks’ sixth-round pick in last month’s NFL Draft, signed his rookie contract today.
Ware is being used at fullback and tailback by the Seahawks, and his wares have been on display at last weekend’s rookie minicamp as well as the team’s offseason-program workouts this week.
“I want him to learn how to play fullback for us and compete at that spot,” coach Pete Carroll after watching Ware over the weekend. “We’ve seen him run the ball a lot and we know he can. He’s a really aggressive, tough runner and we love that about him. So we’re trying to transfer that nature to the fullback spot.”
In three seasons at LSU, the 5-foot-10, 229-pound Ware rushed for 1,249 yards, including 707 in 2011; and caught 39 passes, with 18 of his receptions coming last season.
The club signed seven of its 11 draft choices last week: defensive tackles Jordan Hill (third round) and Jesse Williams (fifth); wide receiver Chris Harper (fourth); tight end Luke Willson (fifth); defensive end Ty Powell (seventh); and offensive linemen Ryan Seymour and Jared Smith (seventh).
Still unsigned are running back Christine Michael, who was drafted in the second round; cornerback Tharold Simon (fifth) and tackle Michael Bowie, the last of the team’s four selections in the seventh round.