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Seahawks Blog

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



October 24, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Bob Condotta's NFL picks

Here are my picks for this week's games (the TV times and stations are local to Seattle).

Sunday’s TV games

Detroit vs. Atlanta at London, 6:30 a.m., Ch. 13

The pick: Lions, 27-21

Seattle at Carolina, 10 a.m., Ch. 7

The pick: Seahawks, 27-14

Philadelphia at Arizona, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 13

The pick: Cardinals, 24-21

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 7

The pick: Colts, 27-17

Green Bay at New Orleans, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 5

The pick: Packers, 31-27

Sunday’s other games

St. Louis at Kansas City, 10 a.m.

The pick: Chiefs, 20-16

Houston at Tennessee, 10 a.m.

The pick: Texans, 17-13

Minnesota at Tampa Bay, 10 a.m.

The pick: Bucs, 20-10

Baltimore at Cincinnati, 10 a.m.

The pick: Bengals, 24-16

Miami at Jacksonville, 10 a.m.

The pick: Jaguars, 23-19

Chicago at New England, 10 a.m.

The pick: Patriots, 16-13

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets, 10 a.m.

The pick: Bills, 21-13

Oakland at Cleveland, 1:25 p.m.

The pick: Browns, 30-16

Monday’s TV game

Washington at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

The pick: Cowboys, 35-21

October 24, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Friday quotes from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll

Here is all that Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had to say to the media today, including his opening statement where he sent along condolences to everyone impacted by the tragedy at Marysville-Pilchuck today:

(Opening statement): Before we get started we would like to say something about what’s going on up in Marysville at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Everybody’s concerned and everybody here is sending our good hopes and messages for the families and the people who have been affected by the extraordinary thing that’s occurred here. Whatever we can do to help we will and our hearts go out to everybody involved first.

(On the team’s preparation this week for their second week on the road) Yeah, this has been a strong week. Our focus and our attention has been there. Our guys want this thing to turn right and we want the results we need to move forward. We practiced really well. Guys were in it, studying, studying extra, working together. All of the things that we need to see happen to position us to play at our best. We need to play a little bit better in every way and every phase were trying to get better. The guys did everything we could have asked of them this week so it’s been a very strong week for us.

(On what happened to Bryan Walters) He fell running a route and got a little whiplash on the turf, hit his head. He got a concussion. Unfortunately he didn’t clear right away so we have to take care of him.

(On if Bryan Walters is out for the game Sunday) He’s out.

(On if Doug Baldwin becomes your returner then) Doug’s involved with the returns. Paul Richardson will be involved with returns. All of the guys that are in the backup positions are ready to go.

(On if that’s both punt and kickoff return for Doug Baldwin) He just wants to do both. He’s going to do one of them.

(On if Paul Richardson will do both punt and kickoff return) No.

(On Michael Bennett’s toe injury) No, we took care of him. He’s fine. He practiced today. He practiced for a while today.

(On Byron Maxwell’s injury) He’s not quite making it but he’s getting closer. He’s doing a lot of activity stuff. I would think next week he has a chance to compete to come back.

 (On if Tharold Simon is good to play) He played all week long. He’s fine.

(On if Tharold Simon will start at corner) Yes.

(On if Max Unger is still a no go) Yeah, Max is running and getting closer but he’s not safe enough yet to come back but next week again, by Wednesday, he should have a great chance of getting back out.

(On if he has a clearer timeline for Derrick Coleman and what his situation is) Well he got operated on so that’s a six week recovery. K.J. [Wright] made it back in five so it’s a long haul.

(On if he is looking to get Derrick Coleman back out there or put him on IR) We haven’t made that decision yet.

(On bringing in L.J. Fort as a fullback practice squad guy and what have you seen from him) We really liked him as an athlete. He played on both sides of the ball on practice squad and is willing and doing a nice job. We just have a couple days with him, we don’t know much about it yet. But he worked hard for us and did a good job.

(On if Robert Turbin is still the option at fullback for this week) Turbin is our fullback, yeah.

(On playing a Carolina defense that’s given up a lot of points but only a season ago they we were of the better defenses) Yeah, we see them that way. The scheme is the same, they look the same. They play real hard. It hasn’t quite gone right in terms of the numbers but we respect them highly. They’re in first place and playing for it and they’re going to go real hard and give us a great shot. We will find out if we’re able to move the football and what the situation is but going in we think they’re a terrific team and a group that we’re really concerned about.

(On if he’s noticed anything different about the team or the players this week given the stuff swirling about the team after the Percy Harvin trade) I noticed that they’re very, very together and very connected on everything that we’re doing. That was an impact that we took last week. I think the guys have come back very determined to show that they’re ready to move ahead and make this a very successful season. Their energy, their attention to detail, the way they’re hanging out and getting along looks great. It looks just like it should.

(On if Cam Newton is the most complete he has been in his career as a quarterback) Yeah, I think, like any of the younger guys growing up, that they continue to get better. There is just so much to learn and so much to command. It’s a five, six, seven year deal. He’s done so much so early. He’s a remarkable talent. He continues to get better. He’s physically fit now. He was hurt a little bit earlier in the season, he’s ready to go. He can run it, he can do all of the stuff that a quarterback could ever do. He poses a tremendous issue for us.

(On if anybody is going to be traded tomorrow) No, we’re in good shape but we will let you know.

(On Luke Willson this week) He had a great week. He worked really well. We were happy to see what he did so he made a real quick return.

(On what he has seen from Brett Brackett) He looked good. He’s a real smart player. He fit in right away. A lot of stuff made sense to him. The style of the route running and the concepts and things fit. Obviously he’s very bright because he picked it all up. He catches the ball really well and did a good job for his first couple of days.

(On how when teams win they’re under a lot more scrutiny and under the gun a lot more and if that is something that you guys address at all from an outside perspective) Nope, without a question we have. We’ve talked about that for a long time and really we’re not surprised by whatever the perspective is that comes our way. People are trying to figure stuff out in all ways whether we’re winning every game or not that just comes along with it. We have hopefully embraced that in a sense and we’re not surprised by it. It’s not as comfortable sometimes when the topics come up. The media can come up with whatever they want to in terms of asking questions and challenging and they’re going to scrutinize us highly. We expect that.

On Jeremy Lane and Eric Pinkins both making it back to practice the last couple of week) They both were full speed this week. Jeremy has another week in detention. He’ll come out to us raring to go another week from now. Pinkins looks good. He’s practicing full speed. We actually have a chance to get stronger here in the next couple of weeks. We’ll get some guys coming back and if we’re fortunate enough to get through this game healthy then we will be better in the upcoming weeks as we turn the corner at the half way point so it’s a good thing.

(On if there is any clear timeline on Bobby Wagner) No, he’s going to see the doctor this weekend. We will know a lot more. We don’t know much about what it is right now. But it’s going to be a while though. He’s in a cast still so we will know more after the weekend.

(On if Bobby Wagner would have been a short term IR candidate if that option was available) That option is not available right?

October 24, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Seahawks Friday injury news: Bryan Walters out against Carolina, six more also declared out

The Seahawks have declared seven players as out for Sunday's game at Carolina, including punt and kickoff returner Bryan Walters, who suffered a concussion.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson will handle the returns in Walters' absence, Baldwin likely doing kickoffs and Richardson punts, though Carroll  left that a little vague.

Also out for the game are TE Zach Miller, C Max Unger, MLB Bobby Wagner, CB Byron Maxwell, fullback Derrick Coleman and DT Jordan Hill.

Everyone else is good to go, including DL Michael Bennett who missed practice on Thursday with a toe injury.

Carroll said Unger and Maxwell could be back next week, indicating that each has a chance to return to practice by Wednesday.

Carroll said Coleman had surgery on Wednesday and is out likely six weeks. But he said the team has not decided whether to make a roster move with Coleman. Robert Turbin will  handle fullback duties in Carolina as he did last week when Coleman suffered a broken bone in his foot prior to the St. Louis game.

Also back this week are Tharold Simon and Luke Willson. Each will start, Simon at cornerback in place of Maxwell and Willson at tight end in place of Miller.

Carroll also said middle linebacker Bobby Wagner will see a foot specialist this weekend --- he has been out since the Dallas game with a toe injury and is in a cast.

"He will see a doctor this weekend and we'll know a lot more,'' Carroll said. "We don't know much about what it is right now. But it's going to be a while. He's in a cast so we'll know more after this weekend.''

Carroll also said DBs Jeremy Lane and Eric Pinkins practiced full-go this week. Lane can come back for the Nov. 9 Giants game while the team will have to decide after next week whether to place him on the active roster or revert to IR

Here is an update on Carolina's injuries from ESPN.

October 24, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Pro Football Focus previews Seattle-Carolina game

Here are some links and stats from Pro Football Focus ahead of Sunday's Seattle-Carolina game:

Articles:

Carolina at Green Bay Week 7 ReFocused

PFF Team of the Week for Week 7 with Richard Sherman getting honorable mention at corner

32 Observations focusing on running backs for each team

First-Rounders Review focusing on each team's 2014 first round draft pick

Signature Stats:

Panthers tight end Greg Olsen has the most targets for tight ends and also the highest receiving grade for his position this year at +7.4. His 2.09 Yards per Pass Route Run ranks sixth for TEs (min. 25% snaps played). Not only a threat downfield, he also has a perfect Pass Block Efficiency rating when asked to protect Cam.

Panthers 4-3 defensive end Charles Johnson is top-10 in run snaps played, yet has the fifth-worst Run Stop Rate at 2.5% (min. 25% snaps played).

Panthers inside linebacker Luke Kuechly ranks sixth in Run Stop Rate at 13.1%.

Seahawks corner Richard Sherman ranks third in Coverage Snaps per Reception at 18.3.

Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor has the seventh-best Run Stop Rate for safeties at 12.5%.

October 24, 2014 at 10:07 AM

Seahawks Stats Geek: Russell Wilson on the run

October 24, 2014 at 9:21 AM

Friday morning links and notes: Why hasn't the pass rush been as good this season?

The above question is one that Jayson  Jenks attempted to answer in his story for the Friday paper.

As Jenks notes, one possible reason for the struggles is that Seattle is having to rely too much on just a few players to get the job done up front.

What was one of Seattle's greatest attributes a year ago was a deep and versatile defensive line that allowed the Seahawks to keep their players well-rested while also mixing and matching personnel to best fit the opponent and situation. But the losses of the likes of Red Bryant, Chris Clemons and Clint McDonald changed the dynamic, and Seattle hasn't gotten all of the production it thought it might out of some of the younger players on the roster this season.

That deep line meant that last year, Seattle had seven players up front who pretty evenly shared the snaps, from 46.1 to 57.5 percent. Here was the 2013 breakdown up front:

Michael Bennett, 600, 57.5

Chris Clemons, 570, 54.7

Cliff Avril, 551, 52.8

Brandon Mebane, 531, 50.9

Clint McDonald, 530, 50.8

Tony McDaniel, 528, 50.6

Red Bryant, 481, 46.1

Here are what the snap counts look like this season for the line, based on a total of 395 snaps for the defense in seven games:

Bennett, 322, 81.5 percent

Avril, 252, 66.1 percent

Mebane, 195, 49.4 percent

Kevin Williams, 174, 44.1 percent

McDaniel, 155, 39.2 percent

O'Brien Schofield, 150, 38 percent

Jordan Hill, 141, 35.7 percent

Cassius Marsh, 72, 18.2 percent'

Bruce Irvin has also played some snaps in a rush end role, and that could expand now that Marsh is out and Hill  is again sidelined  with a sprained ankle for a second straight game.

The numbers spell out how much more the team is relying on Avril and Bennett. That's something the team had said might have to happen this year after the off-season losses, and it hardly explains everything. But it does say something.

Pete Carroll said the snaps could be adjusted beginning with Sunday's game at Carolina. So we'll see what that means.

In other news. ...

--- Here was our notebook for the Friday paper.

--- Here's a roundup of all the national picks on the game, with everyone still mostly picking Seattle.

--- Seahawks.com with some thoughts from Kam Chancellor.

--- The Panthers say they are looking forward to the challenge of facing Richard Sherman.

--- The Charlotte Observer with a feature on Russell Wilson.

--- The latest on Charlotte's injuries.

--- FieldGulls also examines Seattle's lack of sacks.

Listen to the podcast of Carroll's Friday morning show here:

https://twitter.com/BradyHenderson/status/525680962567274496

October 23, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Talking defense with Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn

There's been a lot of focus lately on the Seattle defense, so I thought I would pass along the transcript of what Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn had to say today:

(On when Head Coach Pete Carroll talked about doing some different things with the pass rush and how important it is to figure something out there) Well I think on most good third-downs there’s a mixture between the four man rush and the pressures and that’s really when we’re at our best. For us, it’s about improving. Really that’s at the core of our football. How much better can you get? Not just as our scheme, that’s my job to help with that, and then as a rusher, for those four guys working together and then the last part, just knowing that when we get the good four man rushes, make sure our coverage is tight and vice versus, make sure there’s some terrific coverage where our rush wasn’t connected like we like. I think it will be a mixture of ways that we could affect the QB moving forward. I think it will really come down to, at the end, how much better can we get? I think with the philosophy of our program, when we’re out there on competition Wednesday and we’re out there today, how much better, between me going against you and pushing as hard as we can, that’s really where it’s at.

(On how much rotations can help there and how Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett have had to play more snaps and how much that is affecting the rush) I don’t know if it’s necessary affecting it but I think we have to be smart about it because we know there’s a long season ahead still. So we know we’re at our best when we can rotate more guys so we have to conscious of that.

(On third-downs what the distance is that he would ideally like the other team to be in to give the rush a good chance) Really it’s like anything over six. A lot of times teams will break down. Short yardage is usually third-down and one and then we even track third and two sometimes separately and then three to six is generally the quick intermediate stuff and then once you start getting past seven, eight, nine, tens, that’s really when you’re at your best. So for us, the problem that we’ve had the most part in was that lower area between the two and the six so one that we’ve addressed and tried to get it as tight as we can.

(On how Carolina uses their tight ends) One of the things with Greg Olsen, he’s a really good tight end and not just in the passing game—although he’s their leading catcher; him and thirteen [Kelvin Benjamin], but a lot of respect on our end for him just on his whole game and what he does in the run game and what he does in the pass game. For us, he’s somebody that we hold in high regard.

(On how much of a change is it not having Bobby Wagner) Fortunately for us, with Malcolm Smith and K.J. Wright moving over, we have two guys that we completely trust in our system and they’re going to play well like we expect them too. Although we’re missing Bobby, for us to have K.J. and Malcolm—how fortunate are we to have players of that caliber who can play and take over. Especially K.J—where he can play multiple spots too.

(On how he feels about the interior pass rush) Overall when you talk about pass rush, it’s everybody; inside, outside, as blitzers. So I kind of generally think of that in pass rush, ‘How can we affect the QB?’ It may be a tackle, it may be an end, and it may be a rusher outside so we think of everybody. Let’s not put it all on one spot—when you talk about rushers and affecting the QB, it may be the attitude and the way that we blitz or the style of an inside or outside guy.

October 23, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Tonight's poll: Who will leads the Seahawks in rushing and receiving Sunday?

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