ESPN’s Mike Sando offers this breakdown of the Seattle Seahawks in his Camp Confidential published this morning.
Sando says key issues for Seattle are can they stay healthy, how much does defensive end Patrick Kerney have left in the tank and how badly will the team miss departed head coach Mike Holmgren.
Here’s an excerpt.
The Holmgren school emphasized mastering the offensive system, with less regard for what the opponent might do. Holmgren figured the opposing defense would come up with some surprises from time to time, but practice reps were too scarce to dwell on them in training camp.
“Let’s make them perfect, let’s be fast, let’s get off the field,” Hasselbeck said in summarizing the old way.
Mora and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp would rather see the offense face those problems in camp, allowing the staff to fix them before the regular season. They won’t script defensive looks to facilitate offensive execution until closer to the season.
Camp Mora also places far more emphasis on game situations, even obscure ones. The team recently practiced third-and-10 running plays against a nickel defense.
“We practiced fourth-and-20 the other day,” Hasselbeck said. “Fourth-and-20? What do we got for fourth-and-20? The funny thing is, I think we converted it.”
Wide receiver Deion Branch says he’s not worried about statistics.
A closer look at how the zone blocking scheme is progressing for Seattle from the Associated Press.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald profiles defensive end Brandon Mebane, who talks about how one-on-one tutoring sessions with a writing professor at Cal made him a better student of the game. Interesting read.
Aaron Fentress of The Oregonian goes into the lab to create a perfect receiver by combining the skill sets of Jordan Kent and Mike Hass.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says its rare to get second chances, but that’s the opportunity the Seahawks secondary is receiving by remaining mostly intact after a disappointing 2008 season.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com profiles Seattle linebacker David Hawthorne.
Brock Huard offers his thoughts on what makes a good linebacker.
Gwen Knapp, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the way for the 49ers to put pressure on Michael Crabtree is for the team’s young receivers to play well in the San Francisco’s first preseason game.
Yahoo Sports Jason Cole outlines the risk for Michael Crabtree if he chooses to go through his threat of sitting out an entire season.
John Crumpacker of the Chronicle offers this timeline of a typical Mike Singletary practice.
On quarterback Nate Davis:
“Most of his work has taken place behind the scenes. He throws one-one-one patterns, but his work with the whole offense has taken a backseat to the competition for the starting job. In 14 practices in which team work has taken place, Davis has attempted 13 passes. While it’s understandable that he s nowhere near ready to run the offense effectively, his raw passing skills look as good as advertised.”
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee also provides an overview of training camp with the first week in the books.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic writes about the Cardinals committee of five tight ends.
Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson still wants a Super Bowl ring, and put his NFC title ring away in a safe. Arizona signed Wilson to a five-year, $39 million deal, with $18.5 million guaranteed during the offseason.
With two interceptions and 1 ½ sack, Wilson will join a rare group with 20 interceptions and 20 sacks that includes Rodney Harrison and Ray Lewis.
St. Louis Cardinals
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams could be without the services of receiver Donnie Avery for four to six weeks after he suffered a foot injury during a scrimmage.
More Thomas: He details the growing list of injuries for the Rams, and also notes the team is taking a look at defensive lineman Shaun Smith.
Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell profiles rookie linebacker James Laurinaitis.