The Seahawks have finally made their first pick in the 2013 draft. It just took until the final pick of the second round to get here. With that pick, Seattle took Christine (pronounced Chris-TIN) Michael, a running back from Texas A&M. Chances are you’re wondering who the hell that is. Allow me to enlighten you.
According to NFL.com, Michael’s strengths include a “low center of gravity” but with a “thickness throughout his frame to take and give out punishment.” He has more speed than one would think when he is able to break open as well. Overall, Michael is a bruiser that will be a nice compliment to Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. Both Lynch and Turbin are hard to bring down, and Lynch will occasionally level a tackler, but Michael has the ability to straight damage some defenders. Michael is also a good blocker that is able to lead the ball into the second level.
According to CBS Sports, Michael started 2012 rated by some as the “top senior running back in the country.” Attitude issues, however, took him out of the starting role, and the spotlight, which is probably a big reason he was relatively unknown and is yet another “what the what” pick by Pete Carroll and John Schneider.
Michael has had injury issues and missed the ends of both his sophomore and junior year. He broke his right leg in 2010 and the following season he tore his ACL. However, in 13 games he ran for 1,530 yards and 12 touchdowns. If he can check his attitude issues at the door and stay healthy, Michael should have an opportunity to contribute greatly in Seattle.
If Seattle starts utilizing a running back by committee approach it could be a very different dynamic on offense and make them harder to prepare for and defend. Diversity is a killer.
Another thing that I just thought of is whether or not Seattle might consider lining up Michael at full back and getting all three backs (Lynch, Turbin, and Michael) on the field at the same time. This could also give Seattle more flexibility when it comes to dealing with Michael Robinson’s contract.
This pick could also have fantasy implications as it might limit carries by Lynch.
No matter what, I think we should all get #inpcjswetrust trending because I expect a lot more unexpected picks out of Seattle for the rest of the draft.
Tags: Advanced Analysis, Christine Michael, featured, football, Individual Prospects, John Schneider, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Robinson, News, nfl, NFL Draft, Pete Carroll, Popular, Robert Turbin, Roster Moves, Seahawks
That was an excellent win. I can’t lie and said I felt good about it the whole time, though. During the first quarter, make that first three quarters, my tension levels were through the roof. Seattle goes down 14-0. Then blows some red zone opportunities and goes into half-time 14-13. Yes, they caught up. But place kicker Steven Hauschka was hurt and Seattle seemed inconsistent on offense. For some reason the zone-read was used intermittently for whatever reason and Russell Wilson missed a few wide open receivers downfield. Fortunately, Seattle’s defense must have smelled some coffee and decided to wake up and Washington wasn’t able to score for the rest of the game.
Michael Robinson and Zach Miller decided to have amazing games and show why they are both integral parts of the Seahawks team. In my opinion the game ball would have to go to one of those two guys. Russell Wilson did well but there were a few plays where he held onto the ball to long and scrambled for a sack instead of just throwing the ball away. I had to force images of Tarvaris Jackson out my head in those instances.
Marshawn Lynch also had a good game rushing for over 100 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, he also fumbled to ball on the one yard line but at least partially made up for it with his one-handed fumble recovery and 18 yard rush after Wilson lost the ball. He must have just seen a giant Skittle bouncing around and wasn’t going to let it get away. It was so smooth it was kind of ridiculous to watch. Lynch didn’t even break stride.
I also loved watching Big Red Bryant chase after Robert Griffin. Griffin managed to scramble for a gain of a yard, but the effort put out by a man the size of Bryant to chase after Griffin was impressive. Not a fair fight but you have to love the determination.
This was Seattle’s first playoff game on the road since before I was born. That is very surprising at first because I am starting to think of myself as old and second because I am used to Seattle teams that are always at least somewhat dangerous. Then I remember that there was a long stretch in there (1988-1999) where Seattle didn’t make the playoffs at all and being a Seahawks fan was more depressing than mania inducing. That weakness on the road appears to be a thing of the past now, though.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t spend some time pissing on the legacy of one, Daniel Snyder. (Don’t worry Dan, it’s just rain.) Dan Snyder provided the worst possible playing surface he could and when Robert Griffin decided to audition for a stunt-double role in “Thiesmann: A Football Life”, it didn’t turn out so well. Griffin ended the game throwing for just 99 yards and should have been taken out at half-time. At least Griffin can look forward to a bright future of selling yet another wiener-pill.
Chris Clemons tore his ACL. Kory Lichtensteiger re-aggravated his ankle sprain. Steven Hauschka sprained his calf. Saying that the field was anything less than complete crap would be an overstatement. I guess Snyder likes his field to match his personality. The NFL and Roger Goodell have once again demonstrated that “player safety” is on par with the NCAA’s “student athlete.” (Seriously, who doesn’t laugh during March Madness when the announcers forcibly use “student athlete” to the point that it’s insulting to your own intelligence?)
Apparently “player safety” is a way for owners and the “shield” (another garbage term turned into NFL propaganda) to regulate player-on-player infractions. Owners like Daniel Snyder, on the other hand, can’t be forced to stop counting their billions and provide the same kind of surface – FieldTurf – that is now common at many high schools. Forcing owners to provide ideal conditions for their athletes isn’t worth regulating aggressively, apparently. Sure there are “rules” but they are token at best. And after players get hurt what difference does it make? I’d love to see a report showing how many injuries occur at each field.
Soldier Field in Chicago is also a terrible field but in a different way. It’s soft, lumpy, and a borderline mud pit. FedEx field is crap-grass growing out of hard dirt with some extra dirt thrown on top for aesthetics. A cleat planted in soft lumpy dirt will give a little when the player’s foot and leg twist. A cleat planted in hard-packed dirt won’t give at all. That’s how we get to see disgusting things like knees bending 90 degrees the wrong way. The warning sign should be that players have to wear ridiculously long cleats to play on a certain field. Give me a freaking break. Hopefully Dan Snyder is taking a long walk off of a short pier right now and the waters below are filled with sharks that have laser beams attached to their heads and the Sharks are all pissed off Cowboy’s fans. I almost forgot to mention that Snyder pumps artificial noise into his stadium.
I really hope Chris Clemons’ injury is better than they are currently thinking. I feel bad that a guy who has busted his ass all year gets done in by the greed and negligence of another team’s owner in the first game of the playoffs. Never mind the fact that it hurts Seattle’s defensive line. He needs to get better because Seattle is lucky enough to play in Snyder’s joke of a stadium again next season!
I like our odds against Atlanta. Currently the Falcons are favored by about 2.5 points, but that might close to 1.5. Atlanta has yet to win a playoff game under Matt Ryan and Seattle has one under their belt already with Wilson. Hopefully Browner is better than he was yesterday because we’ll need him and Sherman to shut down Roddy White and Julio Jones. Anyway, those are topics for an article later this week.
Tags: Chris Clemons, dan snyder, featured, football, gut reaction, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Robinson, News, nfl, Popular, Recaps, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, Zach Miller
Coming off a soul crushing loss and very disappointing news regarding our corner tandem it seems that Seahawks nation is licking its wounds this week. This may be true but all it takes is one win to reignite the excitement in Seattle about a pretty exciting squad. Unfortunately, getting that win is easier said than done as the Hawks take on a quality Bears team on the road, trying to improve their road record from an ugly 1-5 to a very poor 2-5. Let’s take a look at some of the big matchups in this one.
Matchup #1: Richard Sherman vs. Brandon Marshall
I sort of planned on avoiding discussion Sherman in this post, because enough has been said on the topic here and elsewhere, but while Sherman is still with us it was impossible for me to ignore this compelling matchup. Sherman draws a virtually impossible matchup on Sunday against the highly productive Marshall. Marshall stands at 6-4 229 lbs and is one of the few receivers with a real size advantage on Sherman. His reunion with Jay Cutler has been highly beneficial as he is gaining 92.5 yards per game on 7.4 receptions per contest. These numbers are career highs and Marshall has been hard to stop this year providing Chicago with the receiving threat they have lacked during Jay Cutler’s tenure. Sherman will have to be physical with Marshall while being cognizant that he will not be able to simply bully him. I don’t know who comes up on top but this is a fascinating strength on strength matchup.
Matchup #2: Paul McQuistan vs. Henry Melton
Due to Russell Wilson’s shorter stature keeping throwing lanes open and preventing pressure up the middle is essential to the Seahawks’ offensive success. Today Seattle faces one of the best 4-3 DT pass rushing threats in the league. The unheralded Melton had 7 sacks last year and already has 6 this year to go along with 2 forced fumbles. McQuistan has been competent this year but he will be sorely tested by Melton’s explosiveness. Melton is small for his position at 6-3 280 lbs so he does not figure to push the much larger McQuistan around, but his quickness giving him the potential to be very disruptive. I’d like to see McQuistan have the kind of game that he’s often had this season, one where I don’t hear his name called very often.
Matchup #3: Michael Robinson vs. Brian Urlacher
Seattle needs to get the running game going again if they hope to pull the upset on the road this week. Although Urlacher isn’t the intimidating force he once was if you want to run on the Bears he is the man you are going to have to deal with. I’d like to see the Seahawks take it to Urlacher with the help of their Pro Bowl fullback. Look for a couple of big collisions in the hole between these two. Due to the fact my formative years as a Seahawks fan were during the Mack Strong era I’ve always had a soft spot for the blocking fullback and Seattle has a quality one in Robinson. With any luck he gets an opportunity to make a couple of big blocks on old man Urlacher.
Last week was an opportunity that Seattle squandered but this week is a chance for redemption. This week there has been a lot of negativity regarding what to expect for the remainder of 2012 but a win here would help stem the tide of pessimism. The Seahawks have yet to get a big road win this year. There’s no time like the present.
One of my biggest pet peeves in life, and there are many, is sports clichés. Most of them tend to be based on fragments of facts that may or may not be true and they are repeated over and over to the point that they merely fill space as opposed to offering any kind of insight. I am not making this point because I am on the verge of a ranting article about some of the things that sports commentator say that drive me crazy. Someday I may write that article. In fact, someday I probably will. What compels me to write this piece today is the fact I have actually found a cliché worth contemplating and investigating. You often hear about strength up the middle in every sport from football to hockey to baseball. I think the importance of strength up the middle or building from the inside out varies from sport to sport, but the more I thought about it the more I think it applies to the Seahawks this year. “Up the Middle” positions on defense, DT, MLB and S, factor on every play either by attacking the pocket or by ranging sideline to sideline and without them a defense can be worn down by bruising inside runs as well as TE seam routes. On Offense these up the middle men are the center, the quarterback, and the backfield. The 2012 Seahawks blueprint calls a power running game, efficient passing and stuffing the run on defense to make offenses one-dimensional. As such I thought I’d evaluate the Seahawks up the middle talent to see if they have the personnel for this strategy, starting with the offense.
Center- Max Unger
When Unger started all 16 games as a rookie in 2009 at right guard, reviews were mixed. It is always impressive to see a rookie come in and establish himself as a starter immediately but Unger seemed to lack strength and looked over matched in many games. Unger missed all of 2010 save one game but came back strong last year. Returned to his natural center position Unger looked beyond competent and seemed to be a totally new player. This off season the Seahawks rewarded him with a multi-year extension and clearly see him as a core player. So do I. If the Seahawks are going to roll with an undersized quarterback they will need an interior line that can keep passing lanes open. Unger can do that and is someone who the fans should be comfortable with at center for years to come.
Quarterback- Russell Wilson
Most things I’ve said about Wilson in the past have raised the ire of people around here so I’ll keep it short. Wilson is talented and athletic and seems to have rare poise for a rookie QB. He may be the “quarterback of the future” this franchise so desperately needs. He may not be. It’s too early to make a definitive judgment either way. Of all the players I will discuss in this article Wilson is the biggest question mark, through no fault of his own. Time will tell.
In today’s passing heavy NFL the lead-blocking fullback is something of a dinosaur. However, like many Seahawks fans that enjoyed Mack Strong for so many years, I continue to live in the past. I love the old-school I-Formation power runs and Robinson is one of the best at leading the way. Robinson was a Pro Bowler last year and appears to be a leader on this team despite the fact he only ran for 7 yards last year. He’s one of those players whose value is pretty difficult to quantify but I’m pretty sure Marshawn Lynch would tell you that this guy is plenty valuable. That’s not even mentioning special teams contributions. My one complaint about Robinson’s game is that the Seahawks don’t use enough trick plays involving his passing ability. Hard to blame Robinson for that though.
Running Back- Marshawn Lynch
What is there to say that hasn’t been said? Lynch is everything you want in a power back and more. When running backs are said to “punish” defenses it is always a hyperbole unless it is being said about Lynch. There is no need to gush further except to say that Lynch fits this team perfectly and there is nothing to worry about at the RB position.
The offense is pretty set up the middle, but what about the defensive unit that has been so stellar so far?
Defensive Tackle- Brandon Mebane
Mebane is the sort of player you plug in your lineup and forget about. After a sophomore season that saw him rack up 5.5 sacks it looked like Mebane was on the way up as a pass rushing tackle but that never really ended up being his niche. Instead Mebane has settled in as an all-around DT who is more of a pocket collapser than a pass rusher per se. Mebane is unlikely to put up big numbers individually but he can help other defensive lineman by wreaking havoc on the other side of the line of scrimmage both in run support and in terms of pushing the pocket. At 27, the recently re-signed Mebane has a lot to offer the Seahawks over the next few years.
Defensive Tackle- Alan Branch
Impending free agent Alan Branch is possibly the most underrated player on the Seahawks defense. Branch is a dominant run-stuffer and if the Seahawks fail to resign him this off season they may see their success against the run suffer into the future. Branch registered 3 sacks last year but that’s not his job. The 6-6 324 pound defensive tackle is built to stop the run and there are very few people who can do it as well as him. At 27 he has good years ahead if the Seahawks should choose to resign him.
Middle Linebacker- Bobby Wagner
The 2012 second round pick out of Utah State has looked the part of a starting MLB in the NFL so far. He isn’t huge but he is fast and hasn’t made many rookie mistakes just yet. Much like Russell Wilson he has not played enough for us to have a complete read on him but I’m inclined to believe the kid can play until proven otherwise. The last time the Seahawks drafted a 2nd round MLB who started right away that seemed to go alright….Linebacker is a position where rookies tend to be able to contribute and we are seeing that from Wagner so far.
Strong Safety- Kam Chancellor
Full disclosure: Kam Chancellor is my favourie Seahawk. The way he brutalized the Cowboys receiving core last week was a sight to behold. Chancellor combines vicious, violent and borderline illegal hits with responsible coverage that sees him get burned deep far less than one would think for a player his size whose straight line speed doesn’t compete with top receivers in this league. Chancellor went to the Pro Bowl last year and could end up becoming a perennial Pro Bowler if he keeps up his play. Even if he doesn’t he will be a rock solid contributor who is an essential partner in possibly the best safety tandem in the NFL.
Free Safety- Earl Thomas
Not only is Thomas a Pro Bowler but he might well be the best player on the Seahawks. Thomas’s expansive range covers for the mistakes of an aggressive secondary and prevents opposing offenses from beating the Seahawks deep. Thomas is also a strong tackler who throws the occasional highlight reel hit in for variety. I would be surprised to see him reach the Pro Bowl any less than five times in his career. At 23 he is already a franchise cornerstone, one of very few safeties who can say that. There is no player on this list I am more confident in my praise of than Mr. Thomas. He has started 34 games in a row and Seahawks fans should hope that he can draw that streak out to Cal Ripken-esque proportions.
Overall it appears that if strength up the middle is important to success in the NFL then the Seahawks are in good shape, not only now but into the future. The oldest player on this list is Michael Robinson at 29 and Alan Branch is the only one with a contract expiring soon. As such, it appears that the literal core of the Seahawks is both stable and promising. Unfortunately there are premium positions that are ignored by this analysis: OT, DE, CB (to be fair there are very few complaints here) and WR, but for a physical run-first team it is encouraging to know that these Seahawks can enforce its will between the hash marks.
It’s not quite official yet, but Michael Robinson announced via his twitter account this afternoon that he will be re-signing with the Seahawks. This is very welcome news, and Robinson has slowly developed into one of the top FB in the NFL over … [visit site to read more]
I thought it would be fun this offseason to keep an up to date depth chart of players who are currently under contract. Since the draft is still 2 month away, and the Seahawks have yet to re-sign most of their own free agents, the depth chart is … [visit site to read more]
Predictions are always fun. Especially when well known bloggers make them and they end up being wrong. That’s always fun, because then everyone gets to throw them back into my face later. Ahhh… good times…
1) At least one of the … [visit site to read more]
Tags: alan branch, brandon browner, David Hawthorne, featured, football, John Carlson, Marcus Trufant, Mario Williams, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Robinson, nfl, Red Bryant, robert gallery, Roster Moves, Seahawks, Sydney Rice, Wish List, Zach Miller
I’ve been putting this off for a few days, waiting for the final rosters to be set. The Seahawks had so many alternates that a few of them were going to be added at some point. On NFC team will be safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, cornerback … [visit site to read more]
A few days ago I started a poll that would allow us to determine the priority of all the needs for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason. We’ve only had about 200 votes so far, but the results seem pretty clear and they don’t look like they’re going to change. I have to say, I think I agree with almost all of the results.
Obviously, this team desperately needs to find its next franchise QB; it’s next Jim Zorn, or Dave Krieg, or Matt Hasselbeck. There is a lot of pressure on the front office to find that player, and ultimately most fans will determine the success of this offseason solely on their ability to fill this one need. I actually think people are focussing on this one position too strongly, but that’s a topic for another blog post.
DE is next on the list, and I mostly agree. Seattle’s defense has had one major weakness this season, and that has been the pass rush. There just hasn’t been anyone who’s been able to pressure the QB besides Chris Clemons. The problem with putting DE this high is that both starting DE are already in place. Anyone picked in the draft or signed as a FA will be a part time player. Still, the need is great, though the answer may lie in the next position on the list. … [visit site to read more]
News came in yesterday that the Seahawks claimed Allen Bradford off of waivers from Tampa Bay. When I heard, my initial thought was that he was simply going to take roster spot previously held by Jameson Konz, who was a special teams only player who … [visit site to read more]
Everyone looked great on Lynch’s 3rd touchdown of the game . Especially Chris Spencer and Michael Robinson.
Spencer has seemed to teeter between being a great center and giving it a try on another team. He’s a first round guy who never turned the corner like you wanted him to. On this play, however, he looks like a legit Center destroying his man and clearing the way for a determined Lynch.
Michael Robinson clears out the right side by getting leveled, however, a block’s a block, and without it, Lynch gets a significant carry but not for a touchdown.
Once Lynch is free of the line of scrimmage, he starts to drift right, shifts left, and then delivers the hard move back to the right scooping up his defender’s pride and continuing on for the touchdown.
This play was very reminiscent of Shaun Alexander except that it was actually outside the 20 yard line and was not a primetime game. (rim shot)
The blocking up front and Lynch’s move were a tremor in the Seattle running game. A rumble in an otherwise sleeping ground attack which has had trouble mustering anything past the line of scrimmage. I’d call it a 2.1 on the Richter scale.
My hope is that it’s a sign of things to come. The slow awakening of the Beast rather than a burp and a roll over then back to sleep.
So far Pete Carroll has seemed to keep his head above the water in the shallow pools of the NFC West. He has accumulated the building blocks of Russell Okung and Marshawn Lynch to help create a running game that has been non existent for 3 seasons.
It’s a tough task, but the Seahawks are headed in the right direction. Be hopeful for the healthy return of Max Unger and a 1st or 2nd round draft pick being used on the O-Line next season.
Until then keep your fingers crossed as the Hawks gear up for Division rivals, San Francisco. It sure would be nice to crush any hope the 49ers had of post season play and gain the momentum needed heading into the season finale against the Rams.
Prediction: 49ers 17 Hawks 23
On Saturday, the Seahawks trimmed their roster down to 53 players. As it turns out, the initial cuts were only the beginning for John Schneider and the Seattle Seahawks.
On Sunday, the Seahawks continued to churn and trim their roster, cutting several veterans and signing players released by other teams around the league.
Here is a quick list of who the Seahawks released yesterday:
Jordan Babineaux had been with the Seahawks since 2004 after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent. For most of his career, Babineaux excelled as the third cornerback in nickel packages; his ability to make timely plays earned him the nickname Big Play Babs. Last season, Babineaux started all 16 games for the Seahawks as a safety. He will be remembered most for the game-saving tackle made on Tony Romo following a fumbled snap in the 2007 NFL Playoffs.
Kevin Ellison, who played for Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California, was acquired by the Seahawks after being released by the San Diego Chargers following an off-field indiscretion. As a rookie in 2009, Ellison started 9 games at safety for the Chargers. Ellison is a former sixth-round pick who most expected to be cut the day before.
Julius Jones is definitely not a fan favorite, but he has lasted several years in Seattle despite regime turnover and fan criticism. Jones started 24 games for the Seahawks in two seasons after leaving Dallas as a free agent in 2007. In Seattle, Jones rushed for 1,361 yards and averaged just over 4.0 yards per carry. Nothing is confirmed yet, but several reports say Jones will be released. If he is on the roster after Monday, his base salary of $2.45 million in 2010 becomes guaranteed.
Owen Schmitt, the Runaway Beer Truck, was selected in the fifth round of the 2008 draft by Seattle. Known to prefer a smash-mouth brand of football, Schmitt will probably be remembered most for striking his own head with a helmet prior to a game last season. Schmitt has only started twice in two seasons and never lived up to his potential as a fullback in the NFL.
Steve Vallos was selected in the seventh round of the 2007 draft by Seattle. In two seasons with the team, Vallos has started 8 games and proved his value with impressive versatility on the offensive line. He looked capable while starting in place of injured Chris Spencer and also played elsewhere along the interior offensive line.
Kevin Vickerson was acquired as part of the deal that also sent LenDale White to Seattle last April. Vickerson looked decent as a nose tackle during the preseason, capable of backing up starter Colin Cole. The Seahawks obviously considered Vickerson expendable and will look to add depth elsewhere.
Mansfield Wrotto spent most of the exhibition season starting at left tackle in place of injured Russell Okung and keeping Matt Hasselbeck upright. As a reward, the Seahawks sent Wrotto packing as more questions continue to develop regarding the offensive line. Wrotto was originally a fourth-round selection in 2007 – Seattle used the pick acquired from the Darrell Jackson trade to draft him – and has started 5 games in three seasons. Prior to playing tackle in several exhibition games, Wrotto spent most of his time as an offensive guard.
In addition to a number of cuts, the Seahawks also added a handful of players. More additions are expected as the Seahawks continue to change the 53-man roster less than a week before the season opener.
Tags: 53-man roster, Big Play Babs, cut, Darrell Jackson, Evan Dietrich-Smith, football, John Schneider, Jordan Babineaux, Julius Jones, Junior Siavii, Kevin Ellison, Kevin Vickerson, LenDale White, Mansfield Wrotto, Michael Robinson, Nate Ness, National Football League, News, nfl, NFL Draft, Owen Schmitt, Pete Carroll, Runaway Beer Truck, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, Steve Vallos, trade