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Seahawks Blog

Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



July 24, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Thursday links: Camp now just a day away --- And does Seattle have enough good young playerse?

Okay, it's almost here. Roughly 24 hours from now the Seahawks will take the field for the first time this season in quest of a repeat Super Bowl title.

We'll be there, and we surely won't be alone as the Seahawks will likely draw as much media attention as any team in the NFL this preseason.

A reminder that we'll have a live chat today at 1:30 p.m. to preview the beginning of camp.

For now, a few links. ...

--- The most interesting today may be this from FootballOutsiders via ESPN, rating the teams with the most talent under age 25. Seattle, somewhat surprisingly, comes in last, with this explanation:

"Attention, Seattle fans. Your team just won the Super Bowl. You're favored to repeat this year because your core players are in that 25-26 age range and hitting their primes. That includes Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Russell Okung, Bruce Irvin, Percy Harvin and Doug Baldwin.

So don't complain about ranking last here when your roster is filled with so much talent. The best of the youth is 24-year-old linebacker Bobby Wagner. Michael Bowie has the right tackle job for now, but second-round rookie Justin Britt will challenge him. Otherwise, the Seahawks are rolling with slightly older guys in their prime or veteran players.

Jermaine Kearse made some big plays last season, and he'll be joined in this underrated receiving corps by rookie Paul Richardson. Marshawn Lynch is still running strong, but Robert Turbin and Christine Michael are waiting for their opportunity. Jeremy Lane will step up as the third cornerback, if only to stop Sherman from complaining about the Seahawks ranking 32nd here.''

--- MLB Bobby Wagner, however, came in ranked No. 20 on another ESPN list of the top 25 players under age 25, with this explanation:

"Alec Ogletree was another young NFC West linebacker under consideration here. He's probably more dynamic than Wagner, but Wagner has been an important player on a Super Bowl-winning team with a great defense. He has done it more consistently to this point.''

--- Nice story from the team's official site on original Seahawk owner John Nordstrom finally getting a ring.

--- ESPN previews Seattle's linebackers and defensive backs.

--- More on BuildingtheTip.

--- Former Seahawk Golden Tate starting the season in Detroit on the PUP list.

--- Seahawks sports bar opening in Ephrata.

July 24, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Seahawks training camp preview chat at 1:30 p.m. Thursday

Get ready for Seahawks training camp as Bob Condotta hosts a live chat at 1:30 p.m. Thursday to kick off the 2014 season.

July 23, 2014 at 7:15 PM

A bit more on Sidney Rice retiring

Want to pass along our updated story on the news today of the retirement of receiver Sidney Rice.

That creates an opening on the team's 90-man roster (he was officially placed on the reserve/retired list today).

That spot remains open, though one name that could fill it is receiver Morrell Presley, who took part in a tryout basis in the team's rookie mini-camp in May.

Presley finished his college career at the University of California of Pennsylvania, an NCAA Division II school, after beginning his career at UCLA, where he played in 2009-10.

Presley, from Carson, Calif., was a big-time recruit but some off-field issues helped lead to his departure from UCLA.

As for Rice, teammates old and current paid him some social media tribute today:

https://twitter.com/RSherman_25/status/492052956267552768

https://twitter.com/ShowtimeTate/status/492073086028906496

https://twitter.com/sidneyrice/status/492093097376239616

And Rice, meanwhile, said he plans to become the newest member of the 12s:

https://twitter.com/sidneyrice/status/492093097376239616

July 23, 2014 at 5:43 PM

More on what a hot item Seahawks tickets are right now

I wrote a few days ago about some of the numbers indicating what a hot item Seahawks tickets are right now.

Here is some more detail on that from Connor Gregoire, a communications analyst for SeatGeek.com.

---  Seahawks tickets for the 2014 regular season are currently the most expensive in the NFL at an average price of $329 each on the secondary market. At this time last year, Seahawks tickets were selling at an average of $214, only the 10th-highest price for any NFL team. This 53% increase is the largest year-over-year bump we've seen from a Super Bowl-winning team since SeatGeek began recording data; the Giants' 27% increase in secondary market prices from 2011 to 2012 comes in second.

  • Season ticket holders and those fans fortunate enough to grab the few face-value tickets that were available on Monday are saving big in comparison to what the rest of the fan base will be paying on the secondary market. At an average price of $111 per ticket, buying season tickets at face value represents a savings of 66% versus buying individual tickets to each Seahawks home game on the secondary market. The defending Super Bowl champions posted a franchise-record 99% renewal rate on season tickets for the 2014 season, even after announcing a 12% increase in the average season ticket price.

  • The most expensive game on Seattle's schedule is the home opener against Green Bay on Sept. 4, and it's also the most in-demand game in the NFL, with tickets going for an average of $460 apiece on the secondary market. That matchup against the Packers, the Super Bowl rematch against the Broncos in Week 3 (average ticket price of $389) and the rivalry game against the 49ers in Week 15 ($360) are on pace to be the three most expensive Seahawks regular season home games ever.

  • Spurred by last year’s dramatic NFC Championship Game, secondary market prices for the two Seahawks-49ers games this year are much higher than they were at this point in 2013. Tickets for Seattle’s game at San Francisco’s new Levi’s Stadium are currently averaging $401 on the secondary market, a 150% increase from last year’s average price of $160. Prices for the 49ers’ visit to CenturyLink Field, on the other hand, have risen 10% from $328 to $360.

  • Based on the volume of tickets available on the secondary market, a surprisingly large number of Seahawks fans are holding onto their tickets to use for themselves despite their resale value. Prices are at an all-time high, but the secondary market for Seahawks tickets is only the 7th-most active in the NFL, with about 14,000 tickets changing hands so far. (Cowboys tickets have been by far the most-traded around the league; over 40,000 tickets have already been exchanged on the secondary market.)

  • Looking at how secondary market prices trended for Seahawks home games last season, we recommend that fans looking to get the best possible deal wait until the week of the game -- but not until gameday -- to buy. As you can see in the attached chart, prices tended to peak last season about 2 weeks to 10 days prior to kickoff, then declined somewhat steadily until the day of the game. The supply of tickets available on the resale market tends to really tighten on gameday to only a few hundred tickets, which causes that late spike in prices. Elsewhere across the league, that last-minute pinch doesn't necessarily happen (as shown by the red league average line), but it's the norm in the most popular teams' markets.

July 23, 2014 at 1:28 PM

What Sidney Rice's retirement means for the Seahawks

Sidney Rice, at one time in his career, was a No. 1 receiver. That was the case in 2009, when he had more than 1,000 receiving yards catching passes for Brett Favre and the Vikings, and it was the case in 2012, when he led the Seahawks in both catches and receiving yards.

But that was not the case in 2013, when Rice never looked right before missing the second half of the season with an ACL injury. And it was not going to be the case this season, either.

Rice’s announcement on Wednesday that he is retiring from the NFL at age 27 certainly came as a surprise on an otherwise quiet offseason day. He dealt with injuries throughout this career, and he cited concussions as the reason for leaving the game at an age when he should be entering his prime.

But it is not a blow to the Seahawks’ receiving corps, at least not on a big scale. The reality is that Rice was going to have a hard time making the roster this season anyway. The Seahawks cut him earlier this offseason to avoid paying him a hefty salary, then re-signed him to a much friendlier deal that was set to pay him $1 million in base salary this season.

Rice was going to have to earn a spot on the roster in what might be the most crowded position group on Seattle’s roster. Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin, Jermaine Kearse and 2014 second-round pick Paul Richardson are locks. After that, there’s a bundle of receivers competing for what will likely be two spots: Riccardo Lockette, 2014 fourth-round pick Kevin Norwood, Phil Bates, Bryan Walters, former Canadian League player Chris Matthews. Rice didn’t play special teams, which is a knock against a guy battling for a final roster spot, and the Seahawks have other, younger options to turn to.

Rice signed with the Seahawks in 2011 on a five-year, $41 million deal. He played in only nine games in his first season in Seattle, then bounced back to catch 50 passes for 748 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012, his best year with the Seahawks.

But he looked like a shell of himself in the eight games he played last season. He flew to Switzerland last offseason for a non-surgical knee procedure in an attempt to feel better. But it looked like a career filled with various ailments and injuries finally caught up with him.

It’s always unfortunate when a player is forced to retire early, and Rice’s case is no different. But it shouldn’t carry huge ramifications for the Seahawks moving forward.

July 23, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice is retiring

Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice is retiring, the Seahawks confirmed. A ProFootballTalk.com report cited concussions as the reason for Rice's retirement at age 27.

In a statement, Rice said, “After careful consideration and seven wonderful years playing in the National Football League, including the last three for the Seattle Seahawks, I have decided to retire from playing in the National Football League. I have enjoyed my experiences with all of my coaches, teammates and passionate Seahawks fans. I take great pride in knowing I was one of the players signed to help build the foundation of the team that ultimately won the Super Bowl. I'll be joining the 12s in support of the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the challenge to repeat. I appreciate all of the wonderful opportunities and look forward to establishing myself as a businessman. I will always be a Seahawk!”

Rice missed the second half of last season with after having surgery for an ACL tear, and he was going to have a hard time making the Seahawks roster this season among a crowded receiving group.

Executive Vice President/General Manager John Schneider said in the statement: “The entire organization would like to thank Sidney for his leadership over the past three seasons. His time as a Seahawks player displayed the core values that Pete and I aimed to bring to the program, and Sidney is a true champion. We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.”

RELATED:

July 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Seahawks Countdown to Camp: 12 Questions for 12 Days --- Reviewing final roster numbers from last season

We'll continue the Countdown with a little discussion of the potential makeup of the final 53-man roster. Not that the any roster is ever really final, of course. Teams set a roster before the first week of the season and then basically just start anew the process of tweaking it.

Here, for instance, is what was the first official 53-man roster for the Seahawks last season after the final pre-season cutdown from 75.

Four players were gone from the team by the team the first month ended --- Mike Person, Stephen Williams, Allen Bradford and John Lotulelei.

And in a move that's easy to forget now that they made, the team kept D'Anthony Smith and cut Clinton McDonald, which was in part a salary-related move. McDonald, though, was quickly brought back (though only after getting a tryout with the Patriots, who opted not to sign him) and became a key part of the defensive line rotation, while Smith was released after week three and then signed back to the practice squad, where he remained the rest of the season.

Basically, it's all a reminder that while there will be lots of discussion everywhere about who makes the final roster and who doesn't, the final 53 is never really 53.

In fact, I thought it might be interesting to look at how Seattle's roster numbers played out last season, both for the first roster (linked above) and then for the Super Bowl (here).

I'll list the position, and then the number of players on the initial 53 and the Super Bowl 53, with a quick comment:

QUARTERBACK: 2, 2. Comment: Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson were on the roster at the start and finish. B.J. Daniels was briefly on the 53 but spent most of his time on the practice squad. Seattle, though, figures to either have to commit to a third QB all season this year or else cut one of Jackson or Terrelle Pryor.

RUNNING BACK: 5, 5. The only change during the season was Spencer Ware going on IR and the team re-signing Michael Robinson. The opening day five last year of Marshawn Lynch, Robert Turbin, Christine Michael, Derrick Coleman and Ware could be the same this season., with the biggest question likely being if seventh-round pick Kiero Small can make a real run at a spot.

WIDE RECEIVER: 5, 6. Three remained the same all season --- Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse. But there was some shuffling with the rest, with opening roster members Sidney Rice (above in a Bettina Hansen photo) getting hurt and going on IR and Williams getting cut after week four. For the Super Bowl, the team also had Percy Harvin, Bryan Walters and Ricardo Lockette on the 53. Whether the team keeps five or six figures to be one of the key questions of this season. Baldwin, Kearse, Harvin and Paul Richardson seem like  locks (and maybe Kevin Norwood as well). If Rice is healthy, there could be a real logjam, especially if Lockette or Walters or someone else (Chris Matthews) also impresses.

TIGHT END: 2, 3. Zach Miller and Luke Willson were on the roster all season, and Davis was added early to pump the number up to three. Expect three again this season with more apparent depth in the ranks.

OFFENSIVE LINE: 10, 10. Seattle had nine or 10 OLs throughout last season, with some juggling early when they cut Person, who initially was sort of a third tight end, and basically replacing him with Kellen Davis, and then having to make some moves when injuries hit Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini (anyone remember the two games Jason Spitz was on the active roster as a backup center?) To keep nine or 10 will again be the question this season.

DEFENSIVE LINE: 10, 10. So here's where definitions always get a little tricky --- is O'Brien Schofield an end or a linebacker? The roster breakdown linked above included Schofield and Mike Morgan as DLs, so that gave Seattle 11 DLs on its initial 53 (for what it's worth, Morgan ended up playing almost solely LB and Schofield is now being considered a DL). Take those two out, and Seattle had nine pure DLs on its roster to start the year and nine for the Super Bowl (basically, McDonald replacing Smith). There were a couple minor moves along the way --- Michael Brooks called up for the Atlanta game, for instance, when Red Bryant was out, etc. That Seattle had such a stable corps of DLs last year, though, was a real key to things. Figure nine or 10 DLs again this year and  hoping for the same kind of stability.

LINEBACKERS: 7, 6. If you include Morgan here, then Seattle had seven LBs to start the season, in part because it wanted to initially keep both Bradford and Lotulelei.  It ended with six after the team released each of those two early, but then brought back Bruce Irvin from suspension after the fourth week. From there, the number remained constant at six through the Super Bowl. How many to keep this year could again be a dilemma depending on how some of the young players progress. But if Irvin isn't healthy early, that could help resolve the logjam in the short term.

SAFETY: 4, 3. Essentially, the only change Seattle made at safety during the season came when Jeron Johnson was placed on IR and replaced by DeShawn Shead, though Shead was officially listed as a corner. Seattle will again almost certainly keep at least four safeties, but also could keep a player who can play both safety and CB if needed.

CORNERBACK: 5, 5. Seattle had five CBs on the roster all year, with the one significant change being the loss of Brandon Browner, replaced by Shead.

SPECIALISTS: 3, 3. The kicking trio of Steven Hauschka, Jon Ryan and snapper Clint Gresham never changed last season and is unlikely to change this season.

 

 

July 23, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Wednesday links: Assessing the schedule. ESPN to spotlight the Seahawks, and more

Now just two days to training camp as we to some morning links. ...

--- As part of our series of stories advancing the beginning of training camp, here's my look at the Seahawks' schedule.

--- If you missed it last night, ESPN has announced that it has been granted special access to cover Seattle's practice of next Tuesday. Good way for those who couldn't get one of the 2,800 spots for a training camp practice to see what they look like.

--- Seahawks.com with a behind-the-scenes look at Marshawn Lynch's football camp for kids in Oakland.

--- ESPN with a camp preview of the Seahawks' defensive line.

--- ProFootballTalk rates the Seahawks No. 1 in the NFL in its initial power rankings.

--- The Seahawks are also at the top of the Associated Press' pre-season rankings.

--- Russell Wilson with an eye-catchingly high Madden rating.

--- This story made the rounds yesterday about Lynch's Lamborghini.

--- Doug Baldwin among those whose catch radius is broken down here.

--- The 49ers opened camp today and did so getting the news that tight end Vernon Davis has ended his holdout.

--- Guard Alex Boone, though, still holding out:

https://twitter.com/RapSheet/status/491981484362702848

--- The Washington Post with what is needed to know about the NFC West.

--- Good stuff here on what a running back's Yards Per Carry average really means.

 

--- Overthecap,.com with some good analysis of yesterday's roster moves.

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