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Seahawks Blog

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



April 15, 2014 at 8:38 PM

Indiana's Latimer confirms visit, presents intruiging WR prospect

It's dangerous to make too much of news that a player made a visit to a specific time in the runup to the NFL Draft.

Players make visits to numerous teams, and teams can host up to 30 players for visits (the rules regarding visits are detailed well here). So the simple math means that any player who makes a visit to a specific team still has a small chance of landing with that particular team.

As the linked piece notes, these visits are often reserved for players that teams did not meet with at things such as the Senior Bowl or the NFL Combine. So that's why you see reports of visits from players who may seem a little under-the-radar.

With all that said, I'll pass along this Tweet from Indiana WR Cody Latimer, commenting on his visit to the Seahawks' facility today.

https://twitter.com/CodyLatimer3/status/456180455281528832

His visit is worth nothing because it presents yet more evidence that Seattle may be interested in bolstering its receiving corps going forward, and especially with a bigger receiver --- Latimer is listed at 6-3, 215.

Latimer, who declared early for the NFL Draft, was recovering from foot surgery at the NFL Combine in late February, one reason teams are bringing him in for visits.

He opened eyes with his performance at IU's Pro Day and while generally projected to go in the fifth round or lower, but could sneak in to higher rounds. Here's the NFL.com analysis of Latimer, which not only notes his size and strength but also his basketball skills --- the Seahawks have often favored receivers who have had a basketball background.

It will be no surprise if Seattle re-signs Sidney Rice, which means the Seahawks would likely return every receiver from a year ago except for the departed Golden Tate --- and that assumes a full year of health from Percy Harvin.

Still, the one thing Seattle seems to lack on paper is larger receivers, one reason they have been thought open from the start to bringing Rice back.

Latimer would fit that bill, as would as Mike Evans of Texas A&M, Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State and Brandon Coleman of Rutgers, each listed at 6-5 or taller. Evans is unlikely to still be there at 32, but Benjamin could be and Coleman is regarded as more of a mid-round type.

Seattle has also been reported to get visits, or have scheduled visits, from Oregon State's Brandin Cooks and Kevin Cummings as well as Kevin Smith of Washington.

But again, the list of players who have visited hardly marks the extent of players in which Seattle may be interested.

Here are a few players who have been reported to have visit, or to have scheduled visits, with the Seahawks:

--- RB Terrance West, Towson State: West is one of the more intriguing players in the draft, who left Towson early and did attend the Combine, where he was a popular topic for his interesting storyline of having no real offers out of high school. CBSSports.com rates him as a possible 3-4th-rounder, a fairly consensus opinion. West is actually writing a pre-draft diary for the Baltimore Sun, so if he does make his reported visit to the Seahawks, maybe he'll write about it. He is expected to visit Seattle this week.

--- OL Ulrick John, Georgia State: John is a bit of a sleeper, an honorable mention All-Sun Belt pick as a senior in 2013. Also has been invited to a Super Regional.

--- OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff, McGill University: Duvernay-Tardiff, regarded as one of the top Canadian collegian players, is becoming one of the more intriguing players in the draft, posting some solid numbers at his recent Pro Day. As the linked story states: "Duvernay-Tardif ran anywhere from 4.93 to 4.98 in the 40, the numbers unofficial since they weren’t electronically timed. Nonetheless, of the 50 offensive linemen at last month’s NFL combine, only three who weighed at least 320 pounds ran the 40 in under 5.2. Duvernay-Tardif did 34 reps at 225 pounds; had a vertical jump of 31.5 inches and a broad jump of 9.6 feet.''

---FB Nikita Whitlock, Wake Forest: Updating from the first version of this to add Whitlock, who we have referenced on the blog before. Whitlock was a nose tackle at Wake who is being looked at by NFL teams as a fullback (feature story here with details). Whitlock is generally regarded as a late-round pick at best, more likely a free agent.

--- LB Jordan Tripp, Montana: Tripp projects as a late-rounder who could help immediately on special teams.

--- LB Brock Coyle, Montana: Coyle is regarded as one of the fastest risers in the draft, morphing from a player who would certainly have to wait to sign as a free agent to a possible late-round pick.

April 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Wilson gives peek into Seahawks' workout

The Seahawks begin their official off-season conditioning program next week at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.

This week, many of the offensive players (particularly, quarterbacks, running backs and receivers) are in Hermosa Beach, Calif., working out voluntarily, sessions led by quarterback Russell Wilson.

Wilson provided a peek into those sessions via his Instagram account, including this short video of a "TD pass" to Jermaine Kearse, following a play-action fake to, apparently, Christine Michael.

Seahawks.com identified the following players as participating: Tarvaris Jackson, B.J. Daniels, Zach Miller, Luke Willson, Anthony McCoy, Travis Beckum, Cooper Helfet, Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Bryan Walters, Ricardo Lockette, Phil Bates, Taylor Price, Arceto Clark, Chris Matthews, Robert Turbin and Spencer Ware.

April 15, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Pro Football Talk report: NFL schedule to be released next Tuesday

Pro Football Talk is reporting this afternoon that the NFL schedule will be released next Tuesday, or that if it is pushed back it will come next Wednesday or Thursday. The plan again, the story reports, is for the schedule to be unveiled live on NFL Network and ESPN.

Every team is obviously eagerly awaiting the release of the schedule, but as the defending Super Bowl champs the Seahawks should be in the spotlight more than ever in 2014, so it will be particularly interesting to see what kind of slate Seattle is dealt.

The Seahawks ended up with four prime time games in 2013, including three on either Monday or Thursday nights.

No team had more than five prime time games last year, but one would figure the Seahawks would likely get as many games in those time slots as any other team in 2014.

Of particular interest will be seeing who Seattle hosts for the Thursday night kickoff game on Sept. 4 --- the Super Bowl champs are traditionally a host of one of the games.

Here again are the teams Seattle will host in 2014: 49ers, Rams, Cardinals, Dallas, New York Giants, Denver, Oakland, Green Bay. And here are the teams Seattle will play on the road in 2014: 49ers, Rams, Cardinals, Philadelphia, Washington, Kansas City, San Diego, Carolina.

April 15, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Counting down the Top 25 Seahawks draft picks of all time: No 23 --- RB David Sims

We'll continue our countdown of the Top 25 Seahawks draft picks of all time with a look at a player who had a chance to go down as one of the team's picks of any kind, but instead turned into one of Seattle's most unfortunate "what might have beens?''

RUNNING BACK DAVID SIMS

WHEN DRAFTED: 1977, 7th round, 169 overall

COLLEGE: Georgia Tech

SEAHAWKS CAREER: 1977-79

WHY HE'S ON THE LIST: The 1977 Draft ranks as one of the most interesting and productive in Seahawks history. Thanks to the trade to Dallas of the pick that became Tony Dorsett, Seattle had four of the first 51 picks. as the top six players taken all became regulars, with five becoming regular starters, all helping key the 1978-79 teams that surprised the NFL with back-to-back 9-7 seasons. That includes nabbing three offensive line starters in tackle Steve August, guard Tom Lynch and center John Yarno. Doubtful Seattle has ever gotten such a good offensive  line haul out of one draft (general manager John Thompson was named the NFL's Executive of the Year by The Sporting News in 1978, in large part due to the 1977 draft haul).

For a brief period, though, Sims looked like maybe the best pick of the bunch.

Taken in the seventh round --- a round after Seattle took another running back, Tony Benjamin from Duke --- Sims became an immediate contributor, scoring eight touchdowns as a rookie in 1977.

He then led the NFL with 15 touchdowns --- 14 on the ground --- in 1978 when Seattle emerged as one of the surprise teams in the league. He scored three rushing touchdowns, including the game-winner, as Seattle beat the Jets at Shea Stadium 24-17 early in the season.

Sims, though, was injured early in the 1979 season, with further tests revealing a congenital neck condition that caused him to end his career having just turned 24 years old. Clare Farnsworth wrote this retrospective on Sims' career in 2011 nicely detailing the injury and what-might-have-been.

Still, Sims left behind a legacy as one of Seattle's better draft steals. He scored TDs in eight straight games in 1978, a streak that ranks third in Seattle history behind only the 11 of Marshawn Lynch in 2011 and the nine of Shaun Alexander in 2005 and his five rushing TDs as a rookie in 1977 remains second behind the 13 of Curt Warner in 1983. And his 19 overall rushing TDs remains tied for seventh in Seattle history.

 

April 15, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Tuesday links: ESPN survey says Seahawks were big spenders in 2013

Interesting stuff here from an ESPN survey showing that the Seahawks spent more per player than 31 of the 32 teams in the NFL last season --- $2.303 million --- behind only the Minnesota Vikings.

The NFL salary cap obviously limits what teams can  spend, while also compelling them to spend a certain amount, and the full list of what every pro franchise spends shows NFL teams largely bunched  in a group from 115 to 187. As the story attached to the list states, the list makes clear how the salary cap limits NFL salaries and holds player salaries down to a level that probably surprises many who just look at the league's popularity and assume players must be as highly paid as any sport.

IN OTHER NEWS. ... 

--- Defensive lineman Greg Scruggs was a guest on CBS 1090 The Fan yesterday and said he expects to be versatile this season and play all over the line.

--- An ESPN columnist says the 49ers should learn from the Seahawks in overcoming off-field trouble.

--- The Miami Dolphins may also be interested in Jermichael Finley once he gets healthy.

--- Running back Terrance West of Towson scheduled to work out for the Seahawks Wednesday.

--- 49ers LB Patrick Willis with some thoughts on the rivalry with the Seahawks.

--- BusinessToday.com reports Pete Carroll is a big fan of the book The Inner Game of Tennis.

April 14, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Counting down the Top 25 Seahawks draft picks of all time: No. 24 --- DT Brandon Mebane

We'll continue our countdown of the top 25 draft picks in Seahawks history with a player of more recent vintage --- current defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (pictured above in a Dean Rutz photo).

WHEN DRAFTED: 2007, 3rd round, No. 85 overall

COLLEGE: Cal

SEAHAWKS CAREER: 2007-present

WHY HE'S ON THE LIST: The Seahawks salvaged a 2007 draft that otherwise ranks as among the worst in recent memory --- Seattle didn't have a first round pick thanks to the ill-fated Deion Branch trade, and  other than Mebane, everybody else on the list was gone by 2011.

Mebane, though, has turned into one of the team's most dependable defensive players since arriving, starting 101 games overall and playing in 107 of a possible 112, capping it off with a stellar 2013 season in which he played at a Pro Bowl-level in helping lead a Seahawks defense that powered the team to its first Super Bowl win.

Sure, it's not a huge shock that a third-round pick would go on to be a productive player. But Mebane has turned into one of the gems of that draft, not just for the Seahawks but for any team ---  one recent review of the 2007 draft posited that if the draft were held now, Mebane could have gone as high as 13th.

Mebane was regarded as one of the top players in the Pac-10 his senior season at Cal, and regarded as a player who could go as high as the second round.

However, what was regarded as a subpar Senior Bowl raised some questions and dropped his stock some. Seattle, just a year removed from its first Super Bowl appearance, wasn't dissuaded.

In fact, as explained by then-General Manager Tim Ruskell, Mebane is a classic case of the payoff of simply trying  to take the best player available.

Here's what Ruskell said on the weekend Mebane was drafted.

"This was a Best Player thing.  We would have gone in any direction.  There was nothing that we were limited to do because we are not talking about a guy coming in and having to start right away.  He’s a guy that was kind of on the cusp of the grade level that we took him at, and a grade level higher.  We kept going back and forth in talking about it.  We felt fortunate to get him there."

Ruskell also proved pretty prescient in describing what the team thought it was getting in Mebane:

"He was consistently a good player for Cal.  He is more of a run stopper.  His best trait is his ability to hold the point and be stout at the point of contact. He is also a very quick first step guy.  We thought he was a disruptive run player, not as much of a pass rusher.  His pass rush comes in the form of pushing the pocket and making the quarterback either bring the ball down or flush the pocket.  He is a very hard working guy, loves the game.  Just another piece of the puzzle for inside.  Initially we will rotate in there.  Everybody knows our situation there with some injuries and guys coming back from injury, so it’s kind of a little smoky as to how that’s going to turn out this year when we go to camp.  So, we felt like another piece of the puzzle inside in terms of rotation of defensive linemen would be a good thing to get.''

Mebane projects to again be a foundation piece of Seattle's defensive line in 2014, which will be his eighth season with the team. And with Red Bryant having been released, Mebane is now the only player drafted when Mike Holmgren was coach who remains with the Seahawks.

 

 

 

 

April 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM

NFL not yet ready to announce 2014 schedule, but when season begins, Seahawks will have a big streak on the line

NFL fans with good memories may recall that it was during this week last year that the league announced its 2013 schedule. That may have been what led to some rumors that the NFL was due to release its 2014 schedule this week. One difference, though, is that last year, the NFL Draft was a few weeks earlier. Now, the Draft is not until May 8-10, so if the league wants to release the schedule prior to the draft, it has a little more time to wait.

And the NFL made it clear today in a Tweet from one of its public relations officials that the schedule will not come this week:

https://twitter.com/NFLprguy/status/455806256629174272

So yeah, expect the schedule in a week or two, but not this week.

When the schedule does come, we'll know against whom the Seahawks will open on Sept. 4, when they are expected to play the traditional role of the defending Super Bowl champion by hosting a game on the opening Thursday night kickoff to the season. The 49ers are maybe the most logical opponent, but Seattle also hosts Denver and Green Bay this year, and either of those could fit, as well.

When Seattle does open the season, it will put on the line an impressive --- if somewhat obscure --- statistic revealed today by Scott Kacsmar of FootballOutsiders.com:

https://twitter.com/FO_ScottKacsmar/status/455823747887689728

Seattle's streak dates to a 23-13 loss at Dallas on Nov. 6, 2011.

The following week, the Seahawks beat Baltimore 22-17, which began a streak of five wins in six games, a stretch that has often been cited as a turning point for the team as a secondary that featured what were then three first-year starters in Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner began to come together.

As Kacsmar further noted today, when the Packers' streak ended, it ended with a thud:

https://twitter.com/FO_ScottKacsmar/status/455823747887689728

For now, we'll have to wait another week or two to find out the team Seattle will put that streak on the line against to open the 2014 season.

April 14, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Report: Ricardo Lockette made call in "suspicious incident''

A Miami radio host, Andy Slater, reported today that Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette made the 911 call that ended up in a woman being transported to a hospital and resulted in a police report of a "suspicious incident'' that also involved 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and receiver Quinton Patton.

Slater Tweeted the Incident Report that included the note of the call from Lockette, who is reported as the owner of the apartment where the incident occurred:

https://twitter.com/AndySlater/status/455772812846710784/photo/1

The Miami Police Department's report of the incident said only that the investigation into the incident continues and did not make any specific charges or allegations against any of the three players named.

As the report shown indicates, Lockette made the call at 12:03 a.m. and did so after the female, whose name has been redacted from the reports and has not been identified, refused to leave the suite.

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