On Friday night the 2nd night of the NFL Draft some of the big name specialty players finally started coming off the board after a predominantly trench player 1st round. There was only 1 Quarterback taken in the 1st round and zero Running backs.
The Tennessee Titans made the first trade of the 2nd round by moving up into the San Francisco 49ers spot and Drafting the Physical Wide Receiver Justin Hunter from Tennessee. The Eagles then
Drafted Tight End Zach Ertz from Stanford who could really develop into a nightmare for defenses to cover in Chips Kelly’s up tempo high speed offense.
After day one there was not a single Running Back taken, although by the end of the 2nd round 5 Running Backs had come off the board. The first to be taken was Giovani Bernard from North Carolina selected by the Cincinnati Bengals followed by Le’veon Bell selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Then came the selection of the all-time NCAA Touchdown record holder Montee Ball selected by the Denver Broncos. It wasn’t until the 61st pick that the number 1 rated Running Back came off the board when Eddie Lacy was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. With the last pick in the 2nd round of the Draft the Seattle Seahawks made their first pick when they picked the highly talented Christine Michael out of Texas A&M.
Another player that slid out of the 1st round was Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te’o who was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the 38th pick in the Draft. The Chargers are hoping they selected the playmaker that they have been missing since Shawne Merriman left.
In the 2nd round the New York Jets finally selected what they hope will be their Quarterback of the future when they picked Geno Smith from West Virginia. Smith was predicted to be the first Quarterback selected but after EJ Manual was picked by the Buffalo Bills in the 1st round the slide continued until he was picked with the 39th pick in the Draft.
Also selected on day 2 was the Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu from LSU who was selected by the Arizona Cardinals. Mathieu was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2011 but after being in trouble with the law and team policies in the spring and summer of 2012 he didn’t even step foot on the football field in 2012.
Now that most of the big names are off of the table after an exciting 2nd and 3rd round of the NFL Draft it is time for teams to fill their rosters up and attempt to find the next Russell Wilson of the 2013 Draft. Matt Barkley is the one big name still on the board so we will have to wait until this afternoon to see who gets the once prized Quarterback from University of Southern California after his huge slide down the Draft boards.
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
With the 1st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft the Kansas City Chiefs Select Andrew Luck. Not exactly, this year’s NFL Draft doesn’t have the flash or the instant star player’s in it like the 2012 Draft. The 2013 NFL Draft was full of meat and potato players, 6 of the 1st 11 players Drafted in the 1st round were Offensive Lineman.
The Kansas City Chiefs used almost every second of their 10 minutes on the clock and after months of film study and listening to possible trades they selected Offensive Tackle Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan, Fisher is slated to protect Alex Smith’s blindside. The Jacksonville Jaguars knowing that is would get to take whichever Offensive Tackle the Chiefs didn’t take, took Offensive Tackle Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M. Joeckel was thought by many to be the 1st pick although in the last few weeks his hold on the top Draft pick slot weakened.
The Miami Dolphins continued their aggressive off-season by trading their 1st and one of their 2nd Round picks with the Raiders for the right to the 3rd pick of the Draft which they used to select Dion Jordan Outside Linebacker from Oregon. Another notable trade was made by the St. Louis Rams who jumped in front of the New York Jets to snag speedy Wide Receiver Tavon Austin from West Virginia. Buffalo Bills who moved back in the draft after completing the trade with the Rams and made the biggest surprise pick of the Draft by selecting EJ Manual Quarterback from Florida State. Manual who has the size and speed to be a starting Quarterback, although he was projected as a 2nd or even a 3rd round pick, thus leaving Geno Smith the Quarterback from West Virginia still on the board when all of the 1st round selections were completed.
The San Francisco 49ers moved up from the 31st pick to the 18th pick after swapping with the Dallas Cowboys and also throwing in an additional 3rd round pick. The 49ers looked to fill the void at Safety left by Dashon Goldson when he left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Free Agency. That void was filled by selecting hard hitting Eric Reid out of LSU.
The Minnesota Vikings were able to Draft three players between the 23rd and the 29th picks. The Vikings selected Shariff Floyd Defensive Tackle from Florida selected 23rd, Xavier Rhodes Cornerback from Florida State selected 25 (pick received in the Percy Harvin Trade with Seattle Seahawks), and with the 29th pick from the New England Patriots they selected Cordarrelle Patterson Wide Receiver from Tennessee.
The 1st Round of the 2013 NFL Draft didn’t have the high profile names or the marketability of recent Drafts but it did give teams plenty of opportunities to fill needs both on the Offensive and Defensive Lines. Many teams ditched the best player available motto and went after players of need. With plenty of specialty players available in the 2nd Round of the 2013 Draft there could be almost just as much excitement on day Two and there was in round One.
Given the Seahawks lofty status of playoff team and being ranked as the 2013 preseason NFL’s best team, it’s easy to forget where this team stood last year at this time, a week before the draft. Here we are in mid April again, wondering who the Seahawks may draft starting with the second round after having traded their first round pick to Minnesota for Percy Harvin. The Seahawks are widely said to have “won” free agency after having gone blow for blow with the San Francisco 49ers in signing big name players. And the likely answer to the question; “who will the team pick in the second round”?, is a resounding – “Who cares? Let’s PLAY”!
The team has already improved itself so much that any player they pick up in the draft will be the sprinkles on the frosting of the cake. In one year the team has gone from just recently having achieved the “respectable” moniker, to “Super Bowl favorite”, and that’s BEFORE the 2013 draft even takes place! There is really some question as to whether any draft picks will even make the team. While the draft may seem a bit anti-climactic after the free agency blitz the team just put on, just remember it was exactly a year ago we were almost positive Matt Flynn would be the Hawk’s starting quarterback in 2012. In other words, with John Schneider and Pete Carroll calling the shots, expect the unexpected. Expect a player or three who can not only make this team, but who can make this team better.
Just for fun, let’s review a few stories Seahawks fans were reading and hearing about their team exactly one year ago.
- Fans of the Seahawks were being told by football writers that;
- We should take heart in the fact that although the Seahawks started 2011 with a 2-6 record, they finished well with a 5-3 record and matched their 2010 mark of 7-9.
- The Seahawks of 2011 were competitive in all but one of their losses.
- The Seahawks had released their big 2011 free agency catch Robert Gallery.
- Excitement for the “two tight end set” grew with the signing of tight end Kellen Winslow from Tampa Bay.
- The team had released and re-signed Marcus Trufant.
- The team was happy to have locked up Marshawn Lynch for the next 4 years and Red Bryant for 5 years.
- Breno Giacomini had done such a good job filling in at right tackle for the injured first rounder James Carpenter, he was re-signed and talk began of moving Carpenter to the guard position.
- The names Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, and Earl Thomas were not yet “household names”, much less the “best secondary in football”.
- Matt Flynn was the “crown jewel” of the Seahawks free agent class. His position with the team would require him to beat out Tavaris Jackson and whatever rookie quarterback the team may pick up in the 2012 draft. Consensus was the QB job was Flynn’s to lose. Nobody, except for a few die hard college football junkies or Wisconsin fans had ever heard of Russell Wilson…
Seahawks fans should understand it’s OK be excited about the 2013 draft, even without a first round pick. Last year the team picked up a franchise quarterback, a starting linebacker, an excellent backup running back, and a future starting offensive lineman converted from defense…all AFTER the first round.
Seattle made another roster move Thursday night signing former quarterback Josh Portis. Seattle signed Portis to be the 3rd string Quarterback in 2011 backup Tavaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst. Portis then served on the practice squad last season before being let go later in the season. With the trade of Matt Flynn Seattle needed another quarterback who knew the system and decided to go with Portis.
Is Portis the quarterback Seattle feels can be the primary backup to Russell Wilson? I believe the answer is no. Portis shares many of the same skills that Wilson does, he is mobile, he can throw the ball down field and he can avoid pressure. Portis was a highly recruited Quarterback coming out of High School he attended Florida for a year before transferring to Maryland due to a lack of playing time. He was later suspended for the 2007 season due to cheating on an exam. Portis later transferred to California (PA). The fact that he was not able to find stability with a coaching staff his entire college career is concerning to me.
The problem I have with Josh Portis is he is not a great thrower in 2011 he played in three preseason games and failed to complete 50 percent of his passes coming out at an pedestrian 41.7 percent. The guy is simply not a great passer at this point and with Seattle aiming for a super bowl this year they need a backup quarterback who can move the offense. I believe if Portis gets thrown into a game that matters he will falter.
I really do like Portis as quarterback to develop for another year and see if he progresses, but the fact that Seattle was not willing to carry him on the practice squad for the entire year and another team did not take a chance on him is telling. I fully expect Seattle to sign another veteran quarterback such as Thigpen or Leinart and maybe draft a young quarterback too. Seattle needs a veteran quarterback with experience during Matt Hasselbeck’s tenure in Seattle his backups included Trent Dilfer, Brock Huard, Seneca Wallace, and Charlie Fry all Quarterbacks who had experience under their belt.
The Seattle Seahawks have stolen the stage during the off season after signing; Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, and trading for wide receiver Percy Harvin. Seattle added these three players to an all ready lethal squad that includes Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Zach Miller, and of course Russell Wilson. Seattle finished the 2012-2013 season in a gut wrenching loss to the Atlanta Falcons, losing a slim lead in the last 30-seconds to a Matt Bryant field goal. A lot of hype is headed Seattle’s way after adding the trio, and some are calling them the team to beat for the 2013-2014 NFL Season.
The addition of Percy Harvin has made Seattle even better on offense. Harvin will give Seattle a much needed deep threat at the wide receiver position that they lacked during Pete Carroll’s three first years in Seattle. Harvin also gives Seattle another element to us for the zone-read option. Harvin often lined up as Running back during his time at Florida with Tim Tebow, Minnesota also used Harvin at Running back on third down situations. The addition of Harvin also takes pressure off of Sidney Rice, and Golden Tate and will give Russell Wilson another weapon who will haul in a lot of receptions, and be able to gain yards after the catch, much like Golden Tate was able to last year.
On the defensive side of the ball Seattle has added defensive end Cliff Avril, and Michael Bennett who can play tackle and defensive end much like Jason Jones was able to do last year for Seattle. These two combined for 18.5 sacks last year, add that to Seattle’s total of 36 last year that is a total of 54.5 sacks. I find it hard to believe Seattle will be able to rack up that many total sacks, especially with Chris Clemons who led the Seahawks in sacks last year with 11.5 is recovering from an ACL injury he suffered in the playoffs, and may not be ready for the 2013 NFL season. However it is not hard to believe with the growth of rookie Defensive End’s Bruce Irvin, and Greg Scruggs that those two can’t add to their total sack total. Irvin led all rookies with eight-sacks, and fellow rookie defensive end Greg Scruggs totaled just two-sacks in a very limited role, I expect both players to up their sack totals next year. I see no reason Seattle can’t get at least 42 –sacks which would put them in the top half of the league.
The latter part of the 2012-2013 NFL season Seattle arguably played better than any other team in the league, they dominated on offense, and defense and showed little weakness, a slow start in the playoff game to the Falcons led to the ending of the season for Seattle, despite outscoring the Falcons 28 to 10 in the second half.ed to be one of the most complete teams in the NFL, with two deep threats at wide receiver, one of the best running backs in the league and the team is young, they bring back every starter on offense, and nine of eleven starters on defense. It is logical to think this team is only going to be better, some fans are calling this team the “Dream Team”. Is it true? Is this team the best team in the league, and the team everybody in the league does not want to play? Is this team the most talented team in the entire league? My quick answer to all three of these questions would be simply, yes. I am however scared of a team that originally dubbed themselves the “Dream Team” (something no Seattle player has done, which I am very thankful for.)
The team I am speaking of is the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles like the Seahawks brought in big named players to a team that went 10-6 the year before, and had one of the most lethal Quarterbacks in the NFL in Michael Vick. They seem a seasoned coach in Andy Reid.
The eagles decided to add to an all ready potent roster, and brought in All-Pro corner back Nnamdi Asomogha, former pro bowler defensive end Jason Babin and seasoned veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins. These three starters along with former first round picks Ronnie Brown, and Vince young mixed with an all ready talented roster formed what was supposed to be the “Dream Team” as Vince Young famously called them during the 2011 off season. So with all these added additions what happened? A 11-5 NFL football team, ended up going 8-8. Poor coaching and management of the team is the simple answer, if you want a specific name it is on Andy Reid, he made the mistake of hiring Juan Castillo who coached the Offensive Line to become his Defensive Coordinator. I failed to see the logic in this, at the time and still do.
Reid also tried to buy himself a championship team, something in football you can’t do. He added a lot of high priced guys who did not fit with his or his staffs coaching. Injuries to Michael Vick also led to the demise of the Eagle’s football season but that should also be blamed on Reid for failing to give his franchise Quarterback Michael Vick a stable offensive line to protect him. I highly doubt this fate will be Seattle’s. They return the entire coaching staff besides defensive coordinator Gus Bradley who went on to become the Head Coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seattle replaced him with former Florida Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn who also worked under Gus Bradley through 2009-2010 in Seattle as the Defensive Line Coach. As long as Seattle stays with the current defensive system they have ran under Carroll I see no reason why the defense should suffer with the arrivals of Avril, and Bennett, and Dan Quinn.
The 2007 New England Patriots also took the route of free agency to improve an all ready talented team who went 12-4 the year before. The result turned into a 16-0 regular season finish, and a loss in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.
The Patriots first move of the 2007 off season was trading for Miami Dolphins wide receiver Wes Welker giving up a 2nd and 7th round draft pick, to acquire the veteran pass catcher. The Patriots then looked to further boost a wide receiving group that lacked explosiveness and signed free agent wide receiver Donte Stallworth. New England then went a step further to acquire one more wide receiver to help out Tom Brady and traded for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss. The end result was a 16-0 season and both Brady and Moss shattered the touchdown record for their respected positions on the football field. Moss was the biggest risk as many felt he played lazy and uninspired football during his stint with Oakland. Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick was able to keep the talented wide receiver happy. All three wide receivers contributed greatly to the season. Moss finished the season with 98 receptions, 1493 yards, and 23 touchdowns. Welker had 112 receptions, 1175 yards, and 8 touchdowns, and Donte Stallworth finished his season with 46 receptions, 697 yards, and three touchdowns. The result of spending in free agency can work if you have a good coach, stability at the quarterback position and the franchise. Patriots clearly had that, Eagles well they are still looking.
So will the Seahawk’s season end in dismay like the Eagle’s, or will it end in record breaking success like the patriots. I feel somewhere in between, I do not believe Russell Wilson will throw for 50 touchdowns, and that Harvin will haul in 21 touchdown receptions, or haul in 112 receptions the team is too balanced for that to happen, nor do I believe they will go 16-0 at the moment. I do believe however they can achieve something the 2007 New England Patriots were not able to achieve and that is a Super Bowl. I do believe this Seattle team is the Dream Team and team to beat for the 2013 NFL season.
Tags: Advanced Analysis, Andy Reid, Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, Dream Team, featured, football, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett, Michael Vick, News, nfl, Percy Harvin, Philadelphia Eagles, Popular, Previews, Randy Moss, Russell Wilson, Seahawks, Seattle, Seattle Seahawks, Tom Brady
With free agency winding down, especially for the Seahawks I would imagine, it seems about time to take stock of where Seattle sits heading into the draft. It’s no secret the Seahawks are a good team, no amount of east-coast bias could blind the football world to that fact. The Seahawks may well be a great team, in fact I have them in the top five as we stand at this moment. As a result, this article is going to be much shorter than it might have been in previous years. Today what I’m going to examine is remaining areas of concern for the 2013 Seahawks. We are a couple of draft picks and perhaps a few bargain bin free agents from a final roster at the moment and with any luck these shockingly few holes will be filled come the regular season. The following is an account of what’s missing/a shopping list for this front office:
#1: A starting quality DT to pair with Brandon Mebane
This need might be satisfied in a fairly anti-climactic manner with the return of Alan Branch but that is no guarantee. Branch is only 28, he’s available, and he’s probably relatively cheap. None of that is anything to sneeze at. Additionally he has started 31 of 32 games for the Seahawks and provided four sacks and solid run stuffing during that time. This is also noteworthy. Contrarily Branch only had one sack and one tackle for loss last season compared to three and five in 2011. Branch is a known quantity but he’s far from exciting and most definitely upgrade-able I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle brought back Branch but I also think there’s a good chance they draft a DT with one of their first two picks in the draft. These scenarios are far from mutually exclusive as you can never have too many quality defensive linemen. It’s important not to forget about Jaye Howard who failed to make an impact last year but was a fairly well regarded prospect coming into the draft and could always surprise.
#2: A starting quality OLB to go with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright
This is the second biggest hole I see on the Seahawks right now and I’m not entirely sure there isn’t a viable candidate on the roster at this moment. That says a great deal about this team. Malcom Smith appears to have some talent and impressed me in his brief 3 game stint as a starter last year. Am I comfortable going in to the season with him as the starter though? Not without a serious back up plan. If the Seahawks insist on being boring I’m sure they could bring back Leroy Hill although he is far from the explosive talent he once was. My best guess is Seattle drafts an OLB in either the 2nd or 3rd round has him battle Smith for the job, with Smith likely returning to his role as a backup.
#3: A slot cornerback
Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner’s success as a corner tandem is well documented but in the today’s pass happy NFL you need three quality corners on defense. Trufant was fairly underwhelming last year and seems unlikely to be brought back in 2013. Walter Thurmond III is probably capable of playing this role but he simply cannot be counted on to stay healthy. Jeremy Lane is also a player who conceivably could be the guy for this spot but I see him as more of a backup on the outside with his size and lack of elite quickness. There are question marks surrounding both internal options and a couple interesting guys floating around in free agency (ie. Charles Woodson, Adam Jones, Tracy Porter) but they are probably cost prohibitive for a team that has been spending a surprising amount of money lately. The most likely scenario is Seattle tries to see if one of their two guys can stick as the third corner and takes a chance on someone later in the draft as well, as they are wont to do.
#4: A starting right tackle
This is where the shopping list enters pipe dream territory. Breno Giacomini is almost certainly the starting RT for the Seahawks in 2013. The problem is he’s not very good. He’s probably not the worst starting RT in the league but his inconsistency and stupid penalties are cringe inducing at times. There are some quality OT’s available in free agency at the moment who would represent a significant upgrade (Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith jump to mind) but they remain firmly outside Seattle’s price range barring any major cap casualties. Quality offensive tackles don’t last long in the draft so I doubt an immediate starter can be found late in the second round, but you never know. Unfortunately I think Giacomini is the Seahawks’ only realistic option at the moment.
Lists of five are much more aesthetically pleasing than lists of four but I really can’t think of anything else the Seahawks truly need. Quarterback? Check. Runningback? Check. Wide Receiver? Pretty impressive with the addition of Harvin. Tight End? Fine presuming Miller is sticking around, which he seems to be. Even the offensive line is has two Pro Bowlers and quite a few options at guard with upside. The Seahawks have also loaded up on pass rushers and they already had a stacked secondary so I really don’t know what else they would desperately desire. Quality depth is a must and that’s largely what this draft class is expected to provide, but by and large the Seahawks are set. Being a Seattle Seahawks fan at the moment feels like being a spoiled child who can’t even think of what he wants for Christmas because he has everything. Everything can always go wrong at the drop of a hat (and in my experience as a sports fan it does 85-90% of the time) but we are looking at a pretty strong squad heading into the 2013 draft. It’s a good thing I wrote this article now because knowing how well this front office drafts there might be nothing to say on this topic come April 28th.
Seattle Seahawks General Manger John Schneider went on the John Clayton Show, which airs on 710 ESPN Seattle every Saturday morning, and talked about the role Cliff Avril would play for Seattle. A link can be found at the bottom of the article to the interview.
Schneider mentioned in the interview that Seattle plans to have Avril play the LEO position that Clemons played before his injury and WILL Linebacker that K.J. Wright currently fills.
The comment about Avril playing the WILL Linebacker position got me to thinking; How a 6’4, 260 pound defensive end play linebacker in a 4-3 defensive system? The answer and player that comes in mind is former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Julian Peterson.
Julian Peterson came to Seattle after the 2005 season after spending six years with the San Francisco 49ers. After signing a seven-year deal worth 54 Million. Peterson was not your typical 4-3 linebacker. His job was to get in the backfield and sack the opposing quarterback as many times as possible. Peterson filled this role nicely with Seattle in three-years he managed to collect 24.5 sacks. Keep in mind that Peterson was not put in a position of defensive end; he played strictly the SAM/OLB position. While Avril would be coming from the opposite side that Peterson filled and taking over for K.J. Wright it could allow Wright to slide over to the other side of the field.
Seattle I believe will put Avril in this role in specific passing downs. I do not believe he will be a three down linebacker as Peterson was. He struggled against the run in Detroit. Avril stands at 6’3, 260 pounds and ran a 4.59 so the explosiveness to come off the edge exists. Avril playing OLB also gives other pass rushers such as Bennett, Clemons, and Irvin the opportunity to all play at the same time.
If you put the numbers in perspective Avril has been a far more productive player than Peterson was, however keep in mind that Avril has had a great supporting cast around while playing with Detroit. Avril has played a total of 73 games during a five-year career while collecting 39.5 sacks (.54 sacks per game). Peterson during an 11 year career played 158 games and collected 51.5 sacks. (.32 sacks per game). Peterson’s play did take a deep decline after leaving Seattle via trade to Detroit, which affected his sack numbers deeply. However if you put the Sack numbers for Clemons and average it out per year that is at least eight-sacks per year and I believe playing for one of the league’s best defenses he can increase those numbers in Seattle.
No one can guess how Avril will truly be used and if the WILL linebacker position will work out but I’m certain Carroll will find a spot for him to cause pure mayhem on opposing Quarterbacks.
After dominating the latter part of the 2012 NFL season, and going 11-5 it was fair to expect the Seattle Seahawks to stay mostly still during the 2013 free agency period and let the market sort out before signing any free agents outside of their own.
Many expected them to sign a pass rusher after only recording two sacks in two playoff games. Starting DE/OLB Chris Clemons tore his ACL during a playoff game against the Washington Redskins leaving rookie Bruce Irvin as the only pass rushing defensive lineman on the roster. This change resulted in no pressure against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Their season ended at the Georgia Dome after the Falcons marched downfield with less than a minute left to kick a game winning field goal.
Seattle has answered the pass rushing problem very aggressively in free agency by signing former Detroit defensive end Cliff Avril and Tampa Bay DE/DT Michael Bennett. Together they combined for 18.5 sacks. Both Free agents expected to get big deals in the market but a tight salary cap for NFL has led to a slower market. Avril signed a two year deal worth
15 million. Bennett took a one year deal worth just five million.
Seattle now has a full arsenal of defensive linemen who can rush the passer. The only question is where can they all play? Many have looked at the New York Giants NASCAR package which uses four defensive ends on the line of scrimmage. I believe Pete Carroll and the staff will take this approach with the Seahawks’ defense on passing downs. The NASCAR package requires two who are fast and strong enough to play inside and create pressure up the middle, while the smaller defensive ends create a rush from the outside.
Seattle has the player personnel to do so. The player personnel for Seattle during the NASCAR package would be (Left to Right); Irvin, Clemons, Bennett and Avril. When this group of four potential threats is on the field together, their height and weight average out at 6’4” 259 pounds. The Giants NASCAR package which included; Jason Pierre-Paule, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Mathias Kiwanuka average out to 6’5” 267 pounds. While there may be a size difference in the Giants NASCAR package, the Seahawks have the advantage of youth and speed on their team.
It will be difficult to know for sure the package Seattle will send out on passing situations when the season starts, but it is intriguing to think about.
Tags: Advanced Analysis, Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons, Cliff Avril, featured, football, Jason Pierre-Paule, Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, Michael Bennett, New York Giants, News, nfl, Osi Umenyiora, Popular, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks just became the latest team to nab an ex-basketball player to play Tight End in the NFL. Darren Fells signed a 3 year contract Tuesday with the Seattle Seahawks. Fells is 27 years old and has been playing basketball internationally. The Hawks are looking to find another gem off of the basketball courts after seeing the success of past basketball players like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham.
Fells was planning to hold a Pro day but after visiting the Seahawks his Pro Day was not needed. The Seahawks were impressed enough to sign him before he left Seahawks Headquarters. Fells was a High School All-State Tight End in California but chose basketball over football in College and hasn’t played since. He has played basketball all over the world but never has been able to make it into the NBA and so he chose to go pro in a completely different sport.
Fells being 6’7 and 280 pounds could be a huge target in the redzone paired with either Zach Miller or Anthony McCoy. The question has to arise as to whether or not the Seahawks could be planning on using Fells in place of Miller who has an 11 million dollar cap hit in 2013. The Hawks don’t want to lose Miller but if he isn’t willing to restructure his contract they may have no choice but to cut him to save money and use it elsewhere.
As the 2012 season progressed it was obvious that Russell Wilson grew more and more comfortable using his Tight Ends over the middle. In 2013 Wilson will likely use his Tight Ends even more and the Seahawks will look to use Double Tight End sets even more. Darren Fells could be used in jump ball isolation plays using his size and vertical abilities.
Again Pete Carroll and John Schneider have shown that they are willing to look everywhere and anywhere to find whatever pieces they need to make the Seahawks a Super Bowl contender. Even though Fells has not played since High School the Seahawks front office has earned the right to sign whoever they think will fit their system.
Rumor has it that Cullen Jenkins will be visiting the Seahawks on Monday. Jenkins met with the Giants last week to possibly fill their need for a Defensive Tackle after cutting Chris Canty recently. Jenkins Signed with the “Dream Team” Eagles after the Lockout two years ago. He became a Cap Casualty when the Eagles decided to go in a younger direction.
This could be a solid replacement for the unrestricted free agent Alan Branch. Jenkins is a good run stuffing Defensive Tackle who had 4 sacks last year. Jenkins was known to be a strong leader in the locker room which any team would desire. Rumor has it that his contract requirements will not be nearly as high as they were two years ago.
Seattle needing a big body run stuffing tackle to create some push on 1st and 2nd downs. Jenkins would be a great addition to an already strong defense. Seattle showed at the combine last week that they will definitely be looking at the defensive line this offseason and Jenkins could be a good fit, if they can sign him at the right price. Seattle has to be planning for long term with all of their contracts these days because they will have to shell out a lot of money in the next few years, due to their draft success the last few years. So depending on the Jenkins financial requirements the Hawks could look to get a cheaper version of Jenkins in the draft.
Jenkins will meet with the Seahawks on Monday and then meet with the 49ers later in the week. There is also talk that he could return to the Packer which he won the Super Bowl with in 2011.
In what seems to be a yearly tradition, Seattle Seahawks LB LeRoy Hill has been arrested, this time for domestic violence.
According to Tim Booth (via twitter) A press release from the Issaquah PD says Leroy Hill will be booked into King Cty Jail for unlawful imprisonment and 3rd degree assault. No other details are known at this time.
Hill is 31 years old, and this is the 4th time he’s been arrested since joining the Seahawks. It is time for the Seahawks to move on. It’s not like Hills on-field performance has been great either. He’s been demoted out of the nickel defense already, and was splitting time With Malcolm Smith.
Hill is a free agent, and it is now unlikely that the Seahawks look to re-sign him.
A year ago, and back in 2009, Hill was arrested for Marijuana possession. The 2012 chargers were eventually dropped. In 2010, just days after reaching a plea deal for his 2009 arrest, Hill was arrested on domestic violence charges. He was able to avoid legal trouble in 2010 by entering an anti-violence program.
In light of recent event, this picture seems appropriate:
Well Seahawks fans, I don’t know how this could have turned out worse for us. It’s bad enough that the 49ers and their king sized jerk of a coach got to the Superbowl when the Seahawks are a better team, but now we have another Harbaugh in it…Brother John. The only good thing about this is by all accounts John is not quite the turd in the punch bowl his brother is.
It’s too bad the NFL won’t have the Superbowl on the east coast and make the 49ers play at the equivalent west coast time of 7:00 AM after getting up at 4:00 AM like they did to the Seahawks in Atlanta. Yes, I’m still bellyaching about that even though it goes against the Pete Carroll philosophy. I think it borders on unethical of the NFL to give the first seed team both home field advantage and a time zone advantage and then force the west coast visitors to play the early game on top of that!
I heard Carroll on the last Seahawks Saturday talk about “if we had just gotten ONE of those 4 road losses other than the 49ers loss”. Yes, it sucks. My column on “4 plays that could have made the Seahawks the #1 seed” comes back to haunt us again. Just ONE play of ONE of those games would have given them the NFC West title and at least one home game. What difference would it have made not to have to fly to the east coast TWICE in 8 days? How much more would the Hawks have had in the tank in the 4th quarter against Atlanta? We’ll never know. I just know it sucks. Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now…
Well, so as not to be a Negative Nellie for this entire column and acting on instructions from our fearless leader Keith, I’m supposed to do some kind of look back on the year. I thought I would take a look back at what some pretty widely read sports personalities and writers had to say about Russell Wilson at the beginning of the year.
Wes Bunting – formerly of the National Football Post: Wilson is a plus athlete who can spin the football and gives you a nice run/pass threat. However he’s undersized, is going to struggle to consistently make plays from the pocket and is still learning how to work his way through defenses. He is worth a pick late, but I don’t see the guy as a potential starter in the NFL. Reserve only.
Well, he was a little right and a lot wrong. Yes he wasn’t a great pocket passer, but everything else Wilson nailed down by mid-season.
Tony Softli – former personnel evaluator for the Panthers and Rams said; Wilson is an “immediate threat” to Flynn, and called Wilson “future star”. ”Flynn will have his hands full in a training camp competition against this star in the making”.
That’s more like it! He saw in Wilson what I saw. A guy who will simply overcome his height disadvantage and win on brains and preparation.
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post - I’m curious about this one. Flynn was just handed some new money to come over to Seattle as a free agent and Jackson has plenty of starting experience in this offensive system. Maybe the rookie eventually can jump Jackson on the depth chart, but to beat out Flynn? That’s tough.
Well, you can’t blame Matt. There was the assumption Flynn would be “the guy” and all that money is hard to watch sitting on the bench.
Tom Fortenbaugh of National Football Post - Time to put my money where my mouth is. I’ve got nothing against Russell Wilson as a person. He’s dedicated, hard-working and intelligent. But I believe he’s a vastly overrated quarterback and I think the twitter universe is putting way too much emphasis on what he’s done in meaningless preseason games. Wilson isn’t a fourth quarter closer (Oregon & Ohio State games in 2011, Virginia Tech game in 2010) and is going to struggle once the games start counting. I’m going to sit tight for a few days to see if the hype forces oddsmakers to adjust north before I lock this one in, but rest assured, I’m making this play.
Tom actually KNEW about Wilson and still got this wrong! To Fortenbaughs’ credit, he fessed up to this forecast of Wilson’s career in a recent column, admitting his article was a “Swing and a Miss”. Funny stuff!
John Clayton of ESPN – “I see Matt Flynn as the starter. They brought him in at $6 1/2 million dollars a year , he’s a quick decision maker, he can make all the throws, and he seems to be very accurate. He just hasn’t wowed anyone yet…, but I expect that to happen.”
Clayton is pretty consistent in giving the conservative or “conventional wisdom” aspect of any story. With Pete Carroll one thing you can never do is assume “conventional wisdom”.
Don Banks of SI.com nailed it with this prediction - ”With Russell-mania raging out of control early on in the season, the Seahawks will feed off the energy and veteran-like execution of their rookie quarterback (Russell Wilson) and emerge as one of the surprise teams of the year in the NFL. Seattle will compete with San Francisco for supremacy in the NFC West all season, before settling for a wild-card slot. While Wilson will be a huge part of the story, the Seahawks’ stout young defense will come to the fore down the stretch.”
I was hoping to find more totally off the mark predictions on Wilson, but they have mysteriously disappeared from the web…. Oh well… If anyone can remember the big shot former NFL General Manager who smugly forecast Wilson as a “career backup” at best, feel free to name names, I know I heard that in the pre-season. It’s not enough to say that the Seahawks were THE surprise team this season. They started in the power rankings at around 19th, and ended it in the top 6. Had the Seahawks been anywhere near their week 9 form earlier in the season this season would have been ridiculous. Which brings me to looking forward to next year.
The 49ers are the 7th oldest team in the league. OK, I guess they’re still pretty good this year, and adding Kaepernick made them better, but how long will Gore and Justin Smith be around? One-two more years? The Seahawks are one of the youngest teams in the league and will get younger, and better, next year with Hill and Trufaunt most likely gone. This is a team growing up together, getting good together, and realizing they can be something special together. With the addition of a true #1 receiver and some youth in the defensive backfield the Seahawks are a legitimate rival to the 49ers starting immediately. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Seahawks the preseason favorite to win the NFC West even if the 49ers win the Superbowl. Most people know next September the Seahawks will be far ahead of where they started last September. That’s got to be worth at least 2-3 more wins on the road. I also expect another 8 win home schedule too.
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
Zach Miller had what was probably his most important game as a Seahawk Sunday. After a withering offensive display by RGIII and his offense resulted in two touchdown drives, Seattle’s defense looked like it was running at half-speed and the offense looked like they had left their Mojo of the last five games on the tarmac in Seattle. There was absolutely no sign of the high octane offense we had seen in recent weeks, and the vaunted Seattle defense was putting up little resistance to the Washington running attack.
Down 14 – 0 midway through the first quarter Seattle needed to get something going ASAP or risk having the game get out of control by the end of the first quarter. Enter Tight End Zach Miller who gave the Seahawks just what the doctor ordered to get them out of their funk late in the first quarter. On a third and long from his own 18 Russell Wilson hit Miller short of the marker, but Miller twisted and fought his way to a critical first down, Seattle’s first of the game. That was the first sign of life from the Seahawks offense. That drive ended in a field goal but put Seattle on the scoreboard and broke the Redskins momentum.
The next drive had some excitement from a Wilson to Lynch fumbled handoff which Lynch miraculously scooped up and carried to another key first down. That drive resulted in a Michael Robinson TD reception, and the Hawks had 10 on the board. After an Earl Thomas interception of a floated RG III pass the Seahawks added 3 more before the half. Hawks fans breathed a sigh of relief with the team being just one point down at the half.
The second half started with a lot of Beast mode and Wilson runs — getting the team down to the one yard line before Lynch fumbled the ball away. The Hawks held the Skins to a 3 and out and got the ball back with good field position, but had to punt the ball away after a near miss to Baldwin in the end zone. Even though the Hawks were moving the ball they were not able to add any points in the third quarter, reminiscent of some of the Hawks early season games. Still it didn’t seem like the Seahawks were in too much trouble, but they needed a play to break the near deadlock. Now in the 4th quarter the Hawks were on their own 46 at 3rd and long when Wilson again hit Zach Miller sneaking out of protection for a huge gain down to the Skins 32. Three plays later Lynch took the ball into the end zone from the 27 yard line with an assist block from Wilson at the goal line. And on the 2 point conversion Wilson again hit Zach Miller as he crossed the goal line on a quick slant. Miller would lead all receivers with 4 catches for the game.
With a touchdown lead the Hawks were ahead but not out of the woods yet. They needed a game sealing score with time running down. When the Redskins and RG III got the ball back Bruce Irvin nailed RG III for a sack. On the next play the right knee of RG III grotesquely gave way as he chased a bad snap and the Hawks recovered on the 5 yard line. After three unsuccessful shots to the end zone, a Hauschka field goal made it a 2 score game and pretty much put the game out of reach for the Redskins.
There were a lot of great plays made by a lot of Seahawks in this game. Rice and Tate made some incredible sideline hugging receptions of pinpoint Russell Wilson throws. Marshawn Lynch made some huge runs and had that crazy scoop of the fumbled hand off. But the key plays that got the Seahawks out of the doldrums and on their way to this win came from Mr. Zach Miller. So here’s a big “Well Done!” for Zach Miller, Seattle’s unsung hero and the spark that got the Seahawk machine going. Go Hawks!