Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Thomas all about business

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 29, 2011 at 7:59 am with 28 Comments »
December 29, 2011 7:59 am
Earl Thomas puts pressure on Baltimore’s Torrey Smith. Thomas was chosen to start in this year’s Pro Bowl, Seattle’s first player to start since 2008. (Dean J. Koepfeler/TNT)

Dave Boling of The News Tribune profiles Seahawks safety Earl Thomas after Tuesday’s announcement that he made the Pro Bowl as a starter at free safety.

Thomas said while the interceptions numbers aren’t as much as last year, more film study and a commitment to playing sound defense has led to less big plays given up by Seattle’s defense.

“We always know what we’re going to get out of Earl,” defensive end Red Bryant said. “He’s the hardest worker. He studies hard. He’s all about his teammates and he’s all about business.”

With Thomas making the team and cornerback Brandon Browner and Kam Chanceller selected as first alternates, the Seahawks have one of the best defensive backfields in the league. Defensive backs coach Kris Richard said he sensed something special with this group at the beginning of training camp: “I’m very humbled by the acknowledgement. And it’s a testament to the guys’ hard work and their dedication. And it’s been emphasized from Day 1. They set high standards for themselves, and have competed well to live up to or surpass those standards.”

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that the trio of defensive backs say they would not have been honored without the efforts of the entire defense.

ESPN’s Mike Sando provides some observations from the Seattle-San Francisco game, including the Seahawks botched call on third-and goal that forced them to settle for a field goal. Sando says the Seahawks should have played through Paul McQuistan’s slight twitch before the snap.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that cornerback Brandon Browner made it through a stressful situation during the lockout when money was tight to finally arrive in his first season in the NFL.

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman is No. 8 on Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. rookie watch list.

Doug Kretz of Scouts Inc. breaks down the Seattle-Arizona game. He’s likes the Cardinals 24-23.

Brian Burke writing for the New York Times Fifth Down Blog gives Seattle a 41 percent win chance at Arizona.

Jim Moore of ESPN 710 Seattle predicts the Seahawks will finish 8-8 next year.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that Kevin Kolb likely will miss his third straight game because of lingering concussion symptoms, which means the Seahawks will face backup John Skelton.

Check out Sport Illustrated’s best pictures of the year here, it’s worth a look.

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Morning links
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  1. Dukeshire says:

    To think that Seattle could very possibly have all 4 starters in their secondary on next years’ pro bowl team is incredible.

    Man, next year’s jersey selection will be a difficult one. So many players on this team to like.

  2. “the trio of defensive backs say they would not have been honored without the efforts of the entire defense”

    We all knew ET woud be good. But its been truly surprising how quickly Chancellor and Browner, and especially Sherman, came on in 2011. The biggest surprise of all is that they did it without a monster pass rush leading the way for the defense.

    Just wait until this defense adds another serious pass rusher.

  3. I’ve been thinking about how similar the Seahawks 2011 situation is to the 49ers in 2010…

    49ers 2010 ————–
    Strengths: Defense, RB, TE
    Weaknesses: Underperforming QB, young O Line, pass rush.
    2010 draft: OT, OG. LB
    2011 draft: Pass Rusher, QB

    Seahawks 2011 ———-
    Strengths: Defense, RB, TE
    Weaknesses: Underperforming QB, young O line, pass rush.
    2011 draft: OT, OG, LB

    And what will the Seahawks look to add in the 2012 draft? A QB and a pass rusher?

    Could these two teams be any closer to being on the same path?

  4. It’s been a long time since I said this about any Seahawks CB – but I never worry about Richard Sherman losing a game. That is an incredible statement to make about a Rookie 5th round draft pick.

  5. SeahawkFan12 says:

    I agree pabuwal (and that is an incredible statement for me to make about one of your posts, LOL…)

  6. chuck_easton says:

    Oh, and Pabuwal,

    While I know you are not a big fan of Brower’s style of play it does seem to be catching the eye of the rest of the league.

    I’m going to go out on a very sturdy limb here and say he doesn’t get nearly as many holding calls next season because the officials will know that is his style of play and it got him to the pro-bowl in his first season.

  7. I’m not a fan of boom and bust CBs. The coaches need to spend the offseason with him and practice deep ball skills. With his length, I don’t understand why its such a problem.

    Players can grow over the offseason and with proper coaching. Marshawn Lynch is the best example. He used to love to just run into his blocking and piles without regard to where the hole was. One of the articles a few weeks ago seemed to indicate Cable got through to him and he now runs with more patience and better vision. Hopefully, it’s not just a contract year things.

  8. Yes, players can grow in the offseason. And that’s one of the big stories of this team. Our young players, including Browner, accomplished so much without benefit of an offseason program and OTAs. Browner and Sherman and Thurmond should all grow their skills this offseason.

    Even moreso, I’m looking forward to seeing how much TJack and his receivers can improve from this year to next, given a full offseason program and workouts regularly together. I think TJack had good chemistry with Rice and Baldwin this year, but not with the other receivers. Work together through the offseason can change that. In an interview yesterday, Lockette mentioned that he and the other receivers plan to travel to wherever TJack is to work out with him in the offseason.

    If Tate, BMW, and Durham can come into next season on the same page with TJack, maybe he will stop standing around in the pocket for so long waiting for someone to get open.

    This past year, we saw TJack improve his reads of defenses and his avoidance of INTs. And this was after no offseason program, new young WRs, and while playing injured. If he can next improve his footwork, quickness and awareness in the pocket, and get on the same page with more of his WRs, he will improve more going into next season. I’m not saying TJack will ever be a super bowl caliber QB, but a lot of things point to he and this offense being much better in 2012.

  9. Love all the positive comments. There is so much to be positive about with this team. It says a ton about Carroll/Schneider that they could have done so much with their picks on defense. You feel (I feel) that whoever they add to the defense is just going to make it better. Can they do the same, with Cable and Bevell’s help, on the offense? I wouldn’t bet against it. You gotta love the depth in the offensive line, and it’s only going to get better. Go Hawks!!

  10. Dukeshire says:

    Browner’s “deep ball skills” aren’t near the problem some here are making it out. Not by miles.

  11. Everyone seems to forget that Sherman gave up 2 deep balls in the 1st but the SF receivers flat out dropped the ball. How different would the game had been if they had actually made a catch. How how different would the complaining be?

  12. On the OL does anyone think that Breno has secured himself a spot on that line? He has played pretty darn well.

  13. Giving up the deep game winning play against such prolific combinations as Grossman-Armstrong and Smith-Crabtree is just as big of a problem as Jackson’s inability to lead a successful 2 minute drive.

  14. Our DB’s will look even better when we can actually get a decent pass rush!!!!

    We have been saying all year that Browner wasn’t getting the same treatment as guys like Revis. I am not saying I think he is an ELITE CB but he is very good and hopefully he will start to get calls like the other top notch guys

  15. To get this decent pass rush, do the Seahawks need to send Red Bryant to the bench?

  16. Palerydr says:

    Pabuwal loves Jackson and hates Browner. Go figure one is mediocre on his best day the other was voted first alternate to the pro bowl by his peers, coaches, and fans.

    I do agree with his last post about Big Red however as he provides very little in generating a pass rush. For that reason I would not put him in the pro bowl. Yes he does stuff the run and block kicks but he has to get better at rushing the QB. I would send Red to the Bench on obvious passing downs.

  17. Red Bryant is already on the bench on obvious passing downs. He’s a 2-down player, and a great one.

    The weakness in the pass rush is due to Brock getting old and slow and young OLBs like Dexter Davis and Malcom Smith failing to step up. Those are the guys who need to be upgraded.

  18. Dymndheartkilla says:

    It’d be just like what they do now with Raheem Brock and Big Red. Only instead of Brock you’d bring in some guy with (hopefully) some more athleticism and room to improve.

    I doubt they’ll end up drafting someone who will come in and play every down, so ther will still be plenty of use for Red.

    I actually think they could spend a pick on a 3 tech with some skills as a rusher. Mebane and Red regularly require two blockers, I feel like a good 3 tech would take more advantage of that than Branch has

  19. Dymndheartkilla says:

    And as far as our secondary goes, chancellor could get better at staying in position on deep routes. Browner doesn’t always turn around on long throws, which is hard to watch knowing he’s got arms that are like 5′ long and he’d swat/pick half of them if he did.

    The strides those guys have made already make me feel like we’ll see them get even better next year. And I can’t even believe how good Sherman has been. His arms are stilts, he’s fluid, aware, and he plays with some anger. I LOVE a good defensive backfield and am very excited for this teams future

  20. Dukeshire says:

    The Smith to Crabtree had absolutely nothing to do with “ball skills”. That was a great pass and throw. But if you must criticize, please be accurate and comment on the coverage and how he didn’t stay in phase with the receiver.

  21. A great throw from a QB/WR combination which is average at best. Funny how that happens on CBs (like Kelly Jennings) who can’t play the ball properly. The term “ball skills” also includes “staying in phase” with the WR to make a play on the ball. How else can a CB make a play on the ball? Browner certainly wasn’t beaten on that pattern. He just didn’t finish. He’s been in good enough position to make a play on the deep balls he’s been beaten on this year, he just can’t finish. For the lack of a better phrase, that falls under “ball skills”

  22. Some interesting notes from Greg Cosell’s study of Week 16 coaching tape: the Seahawks offense vs. the 49ers defense:

    –Along with Adrian Peterson, Lynch is the most relentless runner in the NFL, He has outstanding core strength and leg drive.

    –A. Smith 4th quarter sack was on Jackson, Ball should have been out before Smith got there but Jackson not an anticipation thrower.

    –Overall, Seahawks need help at WR; though Baldwin a very good slot and movement receiver, Tate very choppy at the top of his routes with just average change of direction.

    http://nflfilms.nfl.com/2011/12/29/cosells-watching-beast-mode-runs-like-adrian-peterson/

  23. So is RG3 gonna hold up to the NFL size wise – Smaller. (height) but good size (girth)

    Listed as 6-2 it will be interesting to see what he actually is

  24. So right now I would love to see, RG3, Chris Polk, and/or Keith price in Seahawk uniforms.

  25. For half of the season I harped on the Seahawks for their failure to use the I-Formation. We continually ran out of a single set back or motioned for the TE to lead block. I unfairly blamed Robinsons inability to lead block. I justifiably cursed Pete for lack of an identity on offense… Which at that point it was apparent that our identity was “No Huddle” offense. My dispair of our identity made me want to punch myself in the testicles…shortly there after Pete re committed himself to the run game.. Figured our identity and literally RAN with it and look where we are. Both Marshawn AND Robinson considered for a probowl… A career year for beast mode… A face and identity to not only put on our offense but entire team as a whole…thank you, thank you , thank you Bevell for researching what the I-formation can do for you…

    At least 1/3 of our rush yards against the best rush defense in the NFL..

    Greg Cosell – Lynch 2 long 1st half runs – 18 + 15 yds – came on zone runs to the right out of 2 back personnel v. 49ers base 3-4

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Whether Smith / Crabtree are an average of hall of fame combination has nothing to do with that play. And no, Browner was not in a position to make a play on the ball (I don’t think anyone could have been). When a CB is in position to make a play on a ball to the reciever he’s covering and fails to do so, that’s “ball skills”. When he’s out of position and has no opportunity to make that play, that is not. They are not the same thing.

  27. Our starting defensive line is fine. However, we need a couple of more starters. Ideally, you’d like to have six starters (even though only four technically can start) so it’s not an either/or with Big Red. We need to keep him AND add an outside (and inside) pass rushing presence.

  28. Richard Sherman would have been a steal with the 5th overall pick in the draft last year, let alone a freagin’ (new word) 5th round pick. The only guys I can think of off the top of my head that maybe I’d rather have from that draft is Miller or Smith.

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