Seahawks Insider

Hawks sign S Ellison

Post by Eric Williams on June 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm with 65 Comments »
June 29, 2010 3:36 pm
Seattle Seahawks safety Kevin Ellison, right, talks with teammate Josh Pinkard (AP/Ted S. Warren)

It appears safety Kevin Ellison passed a physical after all.

The Seattle Seahawks announced this afternoon that they have signed the USC product

The former San Diego Charger was claimed off waivers by Seattle a week ago and then waived two days later.

Once Ellison cleared waivers, the Seahawks signed him to adjust contractual issues, according to the team’s release.

“Coach Carroll and I are excited to add Kevin’s intensity to the competition at the safety position,” said General Manager John Schneider. “He has a feel for our system, and although he is a late addition, we believe he can step in and challenge for a roster spot.”

Ellison was a sixth-round selection for San Diego last season, starting nine games for the Chargers and finishing with 50 tackles and a sack as a rookie.

The Chargers released Ellison, who was arrested in May after being stopped for speeding when officers found 100 Vicodin pills. Ellison’s agent told the San Diego Union-Tribune he had so many because he wanted to have enough pain killers to last the season after a recent knee surgery.

Ellison will now compete for a roster spot in a position group that includes rookie draft picks Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, along with veterans Lawyer Milloy, Jordan Babineaux, Jamar Adams and rookie James Brindley.

Categories:
Player movement
Leave a comment Comments → 65
  1. seahawklovertoo says:

    First , they pick him up…. then they cut him ! Now, they pick him up again…..
    Has anyone drug tested our FO ? Sounds like really good weed. Pass it around PC.

  2. Why not? Now I imagine they get him for cheaper.

  3. chuck_easton says:

    Bingo Ocho.

    I may not understand what the heck is going on here, but I do understand contracts.

    By picking him up off of waivers they also have to claim his full contract. By releasing him and then re-signing him they can sign him for any amount they, and Ellison, choose.

    I bet once the numbers come out we’ll find he was signed for much less than what he would have made in San Diego and what Seattle would have had to pay him if they kept him off of waivers.

  4. Well of course it was about money. Pretty slick to float a failed physical for a few days to add to his other baggage so as to ensure nobody picks him up in the interim.

  5. ryanryan says:

    the problem is if mr. goodell decides there was some bs to our business practice. we had better be able to prove he failed, then passed the physical a few days later.

    unless, of course, you can just sign-waive-sign people and there technically isn’t verbiage against that in the rule book.

    anybody know the rules better than I? PROBABLY ;)

  6. chrisj122 says:

    100 vicodin to last the entire season, please thats barely enough to last 30 days.

  7. zombiehooliganfc says:

    30 days? A good weekend blows through 100 of them…ameyeright South Tacoma?

  8. chrisj122 says:

    I don’t know about 100 in a weekend but if you were to pop 8 a day, which is normal for pain management, for 13 days they would all be gone. Time to find another doctor.

  9. freedom_X says:

    I don’t think Seattle is shafting Ellison. If Ellison thought that Seattle was trying to screw him over, he wouldn’t sign a new contract with them. Seattle had no leverage over Ellison to make him sign. Ellison had to have wanted to sign with the Seahawks.

    Possibly, the old contract had bonuses or roster guarantees that Seattle didn’t feel confident about given what the physical showed. So maybe they re-did the contract so they can be protected financially if some of those physical issues crop up (or Ellison ends up in rehab.)

  10. Some of those incentives may have been worthless for several reasons for Ellison.

  11. Dukeshire says:

    8 is not normal for pain management. 8 is normal for recreation, but not for 13 days straight. That’s an addiction, or at the very least a pretty stout bender, for most people. However, 100 as a season long supply? That’s laughable.

    In any case, this is awfully strange. If he couldn’t pass his physical due to a concussion a week ago, how much better could it be by now? I have to believe Chuck is 100% right about the contract. Pretty savvy move, assuming the league doesn’t intervene.

  12. Released due to contractual issues?
    Last year his base salary was the league minimum $310,000. So if anything the Hawks must have increased his monies due to him starting 9 games.

    Roster Analysis
    Safeties
    Number kept last season: Four
    Currently on roster: Six
    Average number kept since 2002: Four
    Locks:Earl Thomas, Lawyer Milloy, Kam Chancellor
    In the hunt: Jordan Babineaux, Jamar Adams
    Longer odds: James Brindley
    Comment – The fact that Seattle was rumored to be interested in O.J. Atogwe and claimed and released Kevin Ellison lets you know they are not exactly satisfied with what they have here. Thomas is a great piece to build around, and Milloy will serve as a good mentor to show him how to play the game the right way at this level. But Babineaux and Adams will have to work to make the roster. Chancellor is a long-term project who has played better than expected. Brindley could be a practice squad guy.

    Jordan Babineaux will likely win the starting SS position of this group. FS Babs wasn’t effective in the pass D but tallied 105 tackles. Those numbers should translate well for the SS position. But the addition of Ellison does dampen my hypothesis. And I’ll be cheering for new addition Chancellor to overcome the odds. He does bring the “timber” on occasion.

    So if I’m right and Babs starts who is the odd man out considering we only keep on average 4 safeties?

  13. chuck_easton says:

    Excile. I like your thought process but I’m going to throw you a curve just to see how it can fit. The sure bet is Thomas. They signed Milloy to be the mentor. They just signed Ellison who is a second year player and who started 9 games last season. The team has high hopes for Chancellor but his draft position might indicate they may try to pass him onto the PS unless he comes out like gangbusters in camp. So I would think it’s Babs and Adams fighting for that 4th and final spot.

    If the team was really happy with Babs or Milloy as a starter why would they bring in Ellison?

  14. Dukeshire says:

    I don’t mean to always be a contrarian Excile, but I would much rather suffer with rookie Chancellor’s growing pains than another season of Babs’ terrible angles, missed one on one tackles and otherwise sub par play. Babineaux’s role in the secondary is back up to Thomas, not start opposite Thomas. If I were to put money on it, I would bet Milloy will be starting at SS when the season opens.

    Regardless if Babs starts or not, I believe Adams is the odd man out.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    About the only thing working in Babs’ favor is his ability to play FS. He and Thomas are pretty much it right now, there.

    Ellison may be facing a suspension from the league, which would buy them a game or two to see how Milloy plays in the regular season. If they really like what they see in Ellison during camp and pre-season, it’s possible they could cut Milloy and add Ellison when his suspension ends. (I don’t think this will happen, but it’s possible.)

    I think Kam is safe, unless he tanks miserably in camp. I don’t think he’d clear waivers and make the PS. He’s too talented an athlete to risk to that.

  16. Maybe Seattle will keep nine DBs this season. They are also crowded at CB. They keep Tru, Jennings and Wilson for sure. Roy Williams is a decent backup and is good on special teams. Do they try to slip Thurmond on the practice squad, IR him or keep him active?

    I read that Adams has been playing FS although he is built more like a SS. So Thomas and Adams at FS. Milloy, Babs and Chancellor at SS.

    Any chance they cut Milloy then sign him as a DB coach?

  17. chuck_easton says:

    Ellison may have played for the minimum last season but he might have also had some incentives regarding bonuses or automatic increases in salary that kicked in due to his starting 9 games last year.

    By tearing up the contract those incentives are gone.

    I still don’t get what’s in it for Ellison though? You would think that the team would likely have given him the ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’ that he would be re-signed once he cleared waivers. But why would he have done something like this? That is what I don’t get and why I’d love to have a look at both the old contract and the new one.

  18. freedom_X says:

    What’s in it for Ellison is, no one else is interested in him (or the new Seattle contract is better than anything else he’s got on the table.) Better to take Seattle’s offer than be unemployed, in other words.

    That’s where a good salesman can help – if Carroll (and/or Schneider) can do a good selling job on Ellison, he may feel he’s got a real opportunity there.

    Look at it this way – Seattle is in desperate need of a safety. What team offers a better chance at another starting job than Seattle?

  19. chuck_easton says:

    And there would be no reason at all to release him and then resign him if it indeed was just to give him more money. The team and the player can always rip up a contract and redo it to give more money.

    The only reason to have released him and then re-signed him was there was something in there about guarantees that the team could not get Ellison to agree to remove so they released him. When he wasn’t claimed by anyone else then the team could go back and offer what they wanted in the first place.

    But, Ellison is the one that had to agree to the new contract.

    That is where something gets a little ‘fishy’ and I’m not talking Pike Place Market Fishy.

  20. Duke-with Adams out that still leaves 5. Or have you also placed Chancellor on the PS?

    Last year the choice was another year of Brian Russell or Babs. I hadn’t been happy with the performance of Deon Grant and now I was looking at the tandem of Babs and Grant. Needless to say the team ended 27th against the pass. But if the DC Bradley thought that highly of Babs that he started him at FS after a stint in 06 starting SS, well if anything Babs is more suited to play SS. Milloy age 37 did not start last season. I’ll have to go with Ellison.

    chuck_e-Ellison must first win the starting position. If he was “all that” the Chargers would not have released him for something so petty. Eatin’ a stolen maple doughnut was a much worse crime.

    And Ellison wouldn’t be willing to ride the ‘merry-go-round’ if there hadn’t been some incentive. I would guess he has been penciled in as the starter and is to be paid as such.

  21. Dukeshire says:

    excile – No, Chancellor stays on roster. Would probably come down to Milloy or Ellison but saying Adams is the odd man out was easy. lol.

  22. chuck_easton says:

    excile,

    I’m with you on something had to be promised to Ellison. Where I’m seeing the hole in the story is if it really was just a means of giving him more money the team and Ellison could have agreed to redo his contract last week and not risked making him available to the waiver wire.

    That is where something is up. Without having the opportunity to see the wording of both contracts I would have to say that the more likely scenario to have this happen is such:

    1) Chargers release him
    2) Seahawks claim him since they are 6th in line.
    3) After claiming him the team finds something in the contract (i.e. some guarantee, some performance bonus that he’s already reached, etc) that the team doesn’t like.
    4) The wording of the contract doesn’t allow for Ellison to agree to removing it because he’s technically already earned whatever it is.
    5) The team realizes they either have to pay up or they can release him again.
    6) The new contract has wording that may allow Ellison to get that money back based on performance but the team doesn’t have to pay him for what he’d already earned from San Diego.

    Again, this is all reading between the lines and adding 2 and 2 and getting 12, but it’s the only reason I could see that the team did this.

    If it really was just to give him more money then the team could easily have done that without the release and the risk of some other team claiming him.

  23. chuck_easton says:

    Not that I’m complaining. It’s about time Seattle learned to use loopholes to THEIR advantage instead of always seeming to be the victims of the system (cough, poisonpill, cough, hutch)…

    If Ellison does turn out to be the starting SS this season and the team has benefitted by getting out of whatever was in the San Diego contract, more power to them!!!!

  24. Duke – yeah.. that should have read – who are the odd men out. My bad!

    Chuck_e – keep waiting for Mr. Academic to chime in with .. “Elementary my dear Watsup” lol

  25. Dukeshire says:

    May be looking for something that’s not there. He’s a 6th round pick that just got busted for possession of a controlled substance and was likely to lose his job in San Diego prior to that arrest. I can’t imagine teams are beating down his door. Seattle has now put themselves in a position to tear up his previous contract and sign him to a better deal for them, with very little risk of losing him to another team. Another young body to compete and push others. What’s in it for him is a job. As I said, how many teams were really beating a path to his door?

  26. Eric, could you be more specific on what did happen here?

  27. getALife996 says:

    Sorry guys . Off topic. But I gotta try, the dates coming up and I need to get some registrations! I got a donation today from the Seahawks, autographed hat by Josh Wilson #26. It will be auctioned off at my Aug. 20 shotgun golf tournament and silent auction at North Shore Golf Course in Tacoma in honor of a friend killed in Afghanistan. All proceeds go to the Seattle Fire Department, so if you or anyone you know can play in it, register at http://rememberingmichaelwashington.com/tournament.php. Sorry again, not trying to spam, but I gotta get word out wherever I can. The date is coming quick! You can also come out for the silent auction if you don’t want to golf. Thanks!!!

  28. snydro22 says:

    Wow, I’m surprised this Kevin Ellison situation is creating so much confusion. It’s pretty simple.

    1. We claimed him.

    2. He failed his physical (bad knees).

    3. We released him.

    4. He cleared waivers.

    5. We signed him to a new contract that offers us some protection against his health issues. At this point, we are no longer responsible for his rookie deal with three years remaining on bad knees.

    It wasn’t sneaky. No foul-play, no loopholes.This is basically just a logical move. We obviously like him for what he is – an in the box safety – but didn’t want him without protective clauses in his contract once we learned his knees may not be all the way healthy. On the old contract, if he came in for a camp and got hurt, we were on the hook for the year.

    And remember, he cleared waivers. This wasn’t a fool-proof master plan like some are making it out to be. 31 other teams could have claimed him but they didn’t. He has a definite connection with Carroll, as a former USC captain and all Pac-10 player, and obviously wants to play here. I’m stoked on it.

  29. subtlesquire says:

    MJD at Shutdown Corner is reporting that Seattle, as well as several other teams, have been talking to San Diego about Vincent Jackson. San Diego seems willing to part with him.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Chargers-are-willing-to-trade-Vincent-Jackson-f?urn=nfl,252417

  30. Obviously, Ellison is not likely “the answer” as our new starting SS, but I am hopeful he sticks and contributes to our weak/young safety corps.

    Clearly, if 32 teams let him clear waivers he is not considered “starter material”.

    But consider this, with OLB Leroy Hill falling asleep behind the wheel with pot in his lap, and Ellison carrying 100 vicodins, the Seattle Seahawks may have the Sleeper Defense of 2010! :-)

  31. bird_spit says:

    All of this thread about a guy that likely won’t make the cut to 53. I think we need some news about an impact player. Or better, lets change the calendar to the start of camp.

    I for one see a big hole in the plan at DE, and back-up OG.

    Frankly we are discussing a competition guy, who might push Babs. I’m all for that after watching Babs all of these years. But being realistic, we have negative equity in on our Defensive line. I hope the focus is there in what little time is left in the off-season.

  32. Kevin Ellison was playing with the first team defense in San Diego prior to his release. If he can start for the Chargers don’t we think he can help us?

    The profile of the strong safety is different in this defense. The role of the strong safety will be to play closer to the line of scrimmage and be physical. Ellison is a much better scheme fit than Babs. Ellison is 225 lbs and a physical player. Babs is 205 lbs and more of a general purpose safety. If his knees are healthy Ellison will take Babs roster spot.

  33. Dukeshire says:

    Even before the arrest, the Chargers weren’t sold on Ellison. They drafted Darrell Stuckey in the 4th this year and expected Steve Gregory to challenge for that spot. As Ellison himself stated regarding his release, “The writing was on the wall.”

    I don’t see any way Babs plays SS with the collection they currently have, let alone start there.

  34. chuck_easton says:

    Of course there is all ‘this talk’ about a player that may or may not make the 53 man roster.

    What else do we have to talk about on June 30? I mean you can’t actually expect me to have a conversation with my spouse now can you? ( ‘What’s that honey? Oh, no I’m not talkin football on-line again…really! Yes dear, I’ll go mow the lawn now…’.)

    Please, can August 1 just get here NOW?

  35. footballscaa says:

    Yet another former USC player…….. Didn’t Spurrier do the same thing when he was in Washington? I don’t remember that experiment working so well. Perhaps the Seahawks are working on a new defensive scheme, the 11 man secondary.

  36. variable575 says:

    Here’s Sando’s take on Hass,

    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/19458/big-question-what-does-hasselbeck-have-left

    I don’t disagree with him but it’s not as clear cut as Sando thinks. For instance, thinking Whitehurst is the clear successor still, and by week 5 much less.

  37. snydro22 says:

    Variable – That was courtesy of Matt Williamson. Sando is vacationing somewhere where the sun won’t melt his pasty white skin. I’m guessing Norway.

    Here is some clarification on the Ellison deal, although it’s still speculation:

    http://www.macsfootballblog.com/2010/06/kevin-ellisons-likely-contractual.html

  38. variable575 says:

    Thanks for the clarification, snydro. It didn’t read like a typical sando post. I should ask Jimmy Fallon to write one of his “thank you” letters to my best friend, sleep deprivation.

  39. Haa… What’s with the hating on Sando?

  40. Dukeshire says:

    His vacation has tripped up a couple people, here. This much I know; Matt Williamson is not a Seahawk fan. He’s written two rather negative articles. One in which he was ill informed, and the latter had a personal slant (“I don’t trust Hasselbeck.”) that devalues any measure of objective sports journalism. Criticism is fine. But when it comes across as unprofessional as his has been I’m left unimpressed. (For what that’s worth.)

  41. What about the Vincent Jackson idea?

    He’s obviously a productive player with great size. For some reason he doesn’t get me excited like Brandon Marshall did – he seems more like a huge target (w/good hands) and a great QB, than a playmaker like Marshall. What do others think of this possibility?

  42. Vincent Jackson would be a perfect fit for the Seahawks. Problem is, the price would be high and the Seahawks don’t want to mortgage a bunch of draft choices. They want to build through the draft for a few years.

    Jackson would be the clear #1 split end on this team. His competition would be Mike Williams, who still hasn’t done anything in the NFL, and Deion Branch, whom I will be shocked if he makes it to September to start at split end.

    The only WR position that is locked up on our team is slot, where TJ rules. No one knows whether Butler or Tate or Obomanu may start at Flanker.

    Jackson
    Housh
    Williams
    Tate
    Butler
    Obomanu
    I could live with that.

    Housh
    Williams
    Tate
    Butler
    Obomanu
    Branch
    … not so sure…

    but I don’t think they’ll give up the draft choices it would take to get him.

  43. bird_spit says:

    I don’t trust our QBs to stay healthy behind last years OL either. I say we bring Seneca back from Cleveland so he can run out of bounds for us.

    Jesus..you have to put your trust into one of these guys. Why not Hass, ex-grade A gunslinger/superbowl vet/pro-bowler. Count me as one of the guys who found the swagger of the young Hass, “we want the ball, and we are going to score”, as the formula of success. We need swagger back there. Charlie has yet to earn that respect. Hass’ has it. Until Hass goes down, please no JC-superstar.

  44. Two years ago at this time, John Clayton called Matt an elite QB, and he was right.

    In ’06 Hawks struggled to get the run-game back, ’07 Holmgren said to forget about the run game and the Hawks offense was one dimensional. Still, in ’07 Hasselbeck made it work. You can’t go far in the postseason without a run game, so that was that.

    ’08 came, again without a run game (except for short yardage), but this time the WRs were also out injured. You can’t do anything in regular season when all you have to throw to is a rookie TE and an old WR (Engram). Extra stress on the OL trying to hold off defenders until Matt’s receivers could get open, which they occasionally did. So the OL also broke down at the end of ’08 and Matt got hammered.

    Then ’09, and the OL went down right off the bat. Wahle retired in preseason, Walt never saw the field, a continuous rotation at all of the OL positions (except RT), while trying to learn a new blocking system, and Matt got hammered right from the start of the season. Bobby was gone, Branch and TJ were hurt, and Carlson had to stay in and block. Deon Butler didn’t do as well as hoped. Pass game lacked synch. At the end of the season the makeshift OL got some blocking done on some inside zone runs vs teams with poor run defenses, so the run game saw the first spark of life since ’05, although losing Duckett ended any short yardage run success.

    Matt has had a good offseason. Even though this is an even year, I’m cautiously anticipating a break in that odd/even year pattern and Matt has a good one this time. Kinda like Palmer had last season. TJ and Branch go into TC healthy, Tate is like a vacuum for any football that gets to his part of the field and Butler learns to get some separation. Then Mike Williams becomes the receiving threat with YAC he was always supposed to be. Of the remaining WRs on the current roster, any one of them could have a career year.

    The run game is the 1st thing that’s supposed to improve with the ZBing scheme. A talented rookie LT bracketed by cagey vets Chris Baker and Ben Hamilton bolsters the left side of the OL. Runs to the left end will no longer be ranked last in the NFL. With Lock back at RT (and healthy), the run blocking should improve over Willis, though pass-pro at RT may decline some. Unger has to learn how to run-block better at RG. His pass-pro was very good last season, but his run blocking wasn’t. Carlson had problems blocking, but if the OL ZBs to the left (both for the run and passing) Lock can stop back end persuit while Carlson chips, and leaks out into his route. On the run, JJ & JF can get it done inside while LW can get to the edge. Why isn’t Schmitt used in short yardage?

  45. VinJac wouldn’t be worth the high price and PC isn’t dumb enough make the trade. TO still possible.

    If it came down to Marshon Lynch or VinJac, I wonder which would help the Hawks the most.

  46. I agree that Williamson’s coverage of the NFCW has been subpar, to put it mildly. But a man’s got the right to take a vacation, haha.

    The problem with Williamson is that while he may be right or wrong, he’s obviously uninformed about the minutia of the division and is therefore not really qualified to write anything meaningful about it. That is to say, because his reasoning is based on misinformation or lack of information, his views, while potentially true, are reached from the wrong reasons. That’s what I don’t like.

    At the same time, it is a blog after all, so maybe personal slants (uninformed or otherwise) are somewhat more tolerated.

    But I can’t agree enough that his coverage has been pretty terrible.

  47. vichawkfan says:

    would a 6th round pick contract be all that big anyways?

  48. The rumors are really heating up on Vincent Jackson and Seahawks as a possible landing place. According to NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, the Seahawks are “best positioned” to execute a trade for Vincent Jackson if he’s shipped out of San Diego.

    Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders rank him at the top of the WR group, 1st /2nd respectively. I had no idea he was rated so highly. Talk about flying under the radar. I’ve read the Chargers will be looking for 1st round compensation the same required of the Bronco for Brandon Marshall. Hawk FO passed trading the 6th overall. Vincent Jackson is also looking for a Brandon Marshall contract.

    Hawks were hosed trading a first round for WR Branch. The worst part of that whole ordeal was not having the pick for medicinal purposes. How boring was it discussing DB Money up until the last part of April. Finally the draft arrived and we didn’t choose until late second round. Ruskell likely would have overlooked G Ben Grubbs in the first anyhow, but still. . ..
    Hmmn! looking back on these past couple years that would be magnificent…
    ______
    Kelly Ellison, 4.75 40 played only 415 snaps SS Steve Gregory 4.55 played 292 snaps and projects as the starter.. Chargers drafted SS Darrell Stuckey 4.46 40 in the fourth round because Ellison lacked speed. Chancellor 4.62 will win out in the future Seahawk training camp battle.
    Thomas
    Milloy
    Babineaux – Big Play Babs triggered a contract clause starting at FS escalating his 2010 salary from 1.45M to 2.45M. Steep price for a backup safety.

  49. chuck_easton says:

    excile,

    While I really think that Chancellor has an excellent chance of being the starter at SS in the future I hedge my bets on the idea of Seattle starting two rookies at the safety position.

    Thomas is a given to start at FS. That is why everyone who is a supposed ‘expert’ (which certainly isn’t me, I’m just a dude who lives and breaths Seahawks football), is saying the starting SS will be Milloy, Babs or Ellison.

    I’m with you in that I’m personally pulling for Kam to be there, though.

  50. I agree that the starting SS will be Milloy or Babs. Ellison is far to slow for the NFL. I’ll be surprised should he make the roster. What happened to playing fast? Safeties normlly run better than a 4.6 40. DE’s are more fleet of foot in today’s game.

    Bab’s has played at all the DB positions so they may consider him to valuable to release. Milloy is 37 but played well late last season. Tough call on him or one of the younger guy’s.

  51. NFLDraftScouts gave K.Ellison’s (6-1/227) position 1 as OLB, position 2 as SS. His 40 time was 4.80 at the combine, 4.75 at SC’s proday, 32 reps (record ’00-’09 for SS), 33.5 vert, 9’4″ long. Ranked 13th of 190 OLBs, 147th of 2492 total.

    ’08 Ellison was well thought of before his last year in college was derailed by an injury. He still was all-Pac-10.

    ’07 was a good year at SC: Started all 13 games, 57 tkls, including 8 TFL of 27 yds (w/2 sacks for -15 yds), plus 2 ints that he returned 9 yds (4.5 avg.), 6 deflections and 2 ffs. He made the ’07 All-Pac-10 1st team, ESPN.com All-Pac-10 1st team and Phil Steele’s All-Pac-10 2nd team. He won USC’s Bob Chandler Award and Co-Lifter of the Year Award…had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee just prior to ’07 spring practice…

    ’06 was as good at SC: Started all 13 games, 36 Sol-64 TT, 6 TFL, 1.5 SK, 1 INT, 5 PBU, 1 FF; Ellison started all of his ’06 sophomore season at SS and did a sound job.

    ’05 was off to a good start at SC, 4 games played, then tore ligaments and got a fracture in his left knee while making a critical interception late in the AZ St game and had surgery, sidelining him the rest of the season.

    Ellison in the VMAC may help ensure that drug use is kept legitimate, since he’ll be constantly tested and observed by the league. At least SD’s team doctor faces a complaint by the CA state medical board, and warrents were served on CA doctors and pharmacies linked to pro sports as part of a current DEA probe after Ellison’s arrest. Ellison’s arrest reportedly had nothing to do with the probe. Interesting coincidence(?)

  52. Does anybody remember that Lofa was also too slow (4.85-40) to play LB?

  53. snydro22 says:

    They told me I was too slow to graduate high school, and look at me now!

  54. Dukeshire says:

    No. I do not remember reading or hearing that Lofa was too slow to play LB. His 40 times were on the slower side (although he ran a 4.73 at USC’s pro day) especially when taken taken on the whole with outside linebackers. (Demarcus Ware ran a 4.56 at the combine in ’05) But for an interior LB, his speed was not a liability. Slow and “too slow” are not the same thing.

  55. ruminator1 says:

    snydro–yes look at you now. living proof ….

  56. ruminator1 says:

    the South Florida Sun Sentinel is reporting that the Miami Dolphins, the St. Louis Rams, Kansas City Chiefs, and Pittsburgh Steelers also have interest in Unga.

  57. Duke –
    Lofa was one of TR’s picks that garnered immediate major sports media ridicule, but he got that one right. All I was implying is that even a SS doesn’t have to have blazing speed to tackle a fast runner, if he takes good angles, is a sure tackler, and doesn’t let the runner get behind him. If PC’s defense is still the T2, then maybe Lofa shades the strong side of the deep middle.

  58. Dukeshire says:

    I don’t know about deep (that depends on down and distance etc… but he’ll drop into coverage his fair share), but no question he’ll be shaded to the strong side, above the guard perhaps even as far as the B gap in their base 4-3 package.

    But in any case, you’re right; the SS doesn’t have to be a burner nor is that required in many schemes (the “under” being one) so we’re in agreement there.

  59. Duke-
    That’s an interesting point. I can’t put my finger on it, but I just read not too long ago that the Hawks secondary was “still” playing the Tampa 2. I remember thinking Mora’s ’4-3 Over’ could be compatible with the T2, but now that you mention it, with that gaping B gap in PC’s ’4-3 Under’, it wouldn’t take much of a run fake to keep Lofa up in the box. Hole in the deep middle?

  60. Dukeshire says:

    I think some of the connections between Carroll’s under and the Tampa 2 stem from the Monte Kiffin connection. I think the connections between the two are similar in corner scheme, mostly. The corners jam at the line (ideally forcing an inside release) but then drop into a zone (typically). So there may not be significant changes there. But the safety play is far more active (especially SS) in run support in the under.

    And the front 4 alignment is thoroughly different along with the emphasis on pressuring the QB, which will have far more blitzing in the under than a traditional T2 ever would.

    Any holes deep in the middle should be covered by the FS, especially with one as fast as Thomas. But Lofa should be smart enough to realize that if the TE releases free he is responsible to react to that. I would like to think that he’s far enough along to recognize that. (This is one of his greatest strengths, IMO.) And of course there will be some blitzes that will have both safeties dropping deep to prevent such a hole in coverage.

  61. Do you recall many times Hawks corners jambed receivers? They were sposed to be playing the T2, but seemed like they played off the LOS alot?

  62. Dukeshire says:

    I know. I bitched about it all season. Mora ran a “hybrid” T2 or a so called “west coast defense”. To be completely honest, even after watching 16 games, I have no idea what it was they were trying to establish on D. Which, in retrospect, it appears neither did many of the players. And I have to blame Mora for that. Bradley came from a Tampa 2 / Kiffin background, I don’t believe for one second he was okay with giving receivers a free release. Mora, the former secondary coach simply had to direct this scheme. (Of course, only those in the meeting room know for certain, but nothing else makes sense to me.)

    This will be a far more aggressive defense than what we saw last season. Gone is the game plan where we watched the corners drop 8 -12 yards off the receiver only to watch QBs shred the underneath zone, 15 yards at a clip. Of that I’m certain.

  63. Yup, like how PC talks about not concentrating so much on just stopping the opponent’s offense, or keeping them from scoring, but on taking the ball away from them. Totally different mindset from Mora.

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