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Morning links: Senior Bowl wrap-up

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 29, 2012 at 9:02 am with 25 Comments »
January 29, 2012 9:02 am
North Squad quarterback Russell Wilson (16) of Wisconsin, is sacked by South Squad linebacker Nigel Bradham (13) of Florida State, in the first half of the Senior Bowl NCAA college football game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Tony Pauline of Sports Illustrated offers his risers and fallers from Saturday’s Senior Bowl game. Pauline liked the performance of Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, whom the Seahawks talked to this week, while pointing out Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson struggled to make plays from inside the pocket.

I’ll talk with Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com and get his thoughts on the Senior Bowl later on today.

Pauline: Kirk Cousins/QB/Michigan State: Cousins completed 5 of 11 passes for 115 yards, yet the stats tell a fraction of the story. Cousins made all the NFL throws from the pocket, displaying great speed on the ball while also putting touch on passes when required. His timing and accuracy was right on the mark as Cousins always gave his targets a good opportunity to make the reception. When he did miss on throws more times than not it was due to receiver error. It was important for Cousins to have a good game, as scouts questioned his judgment under center. At the Senior Bowl, decision-making was right on the money.

Russ Lande of the Sporting News says North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples shined defensively.

Brady Henderson of ESPN 710 Seattle writes that Seattle’s Red Bryant wants to develop into more of a complete player.

Seahawks running back Michael Robinson talks about his exhausting week, flying from Hawaii to Penn State to say goodbye to his former college coach Joe Paterno, and then returning to Hawaii on Friday.

Dan Pompei of the National Football Post talks to new Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who says Sam Bradford was a major reason he took the job in St. Louis. Pompei also offers a nice run down of the top players at the Senior Bowl according to front office executives he talked to – Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden, Wilson and Coples appears on the list.

ESPN’s Mike Sando takes a closer look at how injuries affected teams in the NFC West, noting that San Francisco had just five players finished on the injured reserve list, while Seattle had 15.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has an interesting story on former Bears’ linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer, who’s in the middle of a fight with the NFL to receiver $900,000 due him according to the collective bargaining agreement after two doctors, one the independent neurological consultant for the Bears, recommended he no longer play football.

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Morning links
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  1. Soggybuc says:

    I wanted to watch the game yesterday but TNT had to go and run Friday night lights at the same time. damn you TNT
    Cousins is sounding more and more like a great pick up at 11.

  2. OK, as promised, here are my notes from the Senior Bowl. I typed them on my iPhone while sitting 20 feet from the North’s sideline at the 40 yard marker. (Cousins, Moore, and Chris Polk stood right in front of me when not in the game):

    Coples – seemed to be the biggest guy on the South D. Got dominated by O-Line early, then had a penalty for a late hit followed by a sack & another almost sack/hurry on Moore. Seemed to not play w/ much passion at first, then got on a roll.
    Ta’Amu – absolute beast, great penetration, consistently in the backfield & had surprising quickness for a guy his size! Also, looked like a leader on the North’s D.
    Wynn – in there w/ Ta’Amu on most plays, also playing w/ fire & deflected a pass.
    Wagner – (LB for Utah State) sack, INT & 7 tackles. Guy was all over the place.
    Wilson – Threw TD, but didn’t look very impressive otherwise.
    Cousins – had good accuracy until he threw a pick in the end zone, right to the defender. TD to Robinson!
    Lindley – great arm, quick releases, maybe not on same page w/ some receivers…great pass downfield to Fuller that was dropped. Made huge 1st down pass w/ minute left (on the run & under pressure) then threw an INT that sealed the game for the North.
    Weeden – threw INTs on first drive of the game, then on first pass in 4th qtr. Got pulled each time.
    Foles – looked great early on, huge guy & looks like an NFL QB. Started w/ plenty of completions, then incomplete on 3rd & long. Looked good again on next drive, then PBU on 4th & 4. Took sack (fm Curry, yikes) & fumbled, then came back w/ a couple of nice, big passes for 1st down. Seemed to have a presence & got rid of ball quickly. Great TD pass! Definitely out shined the other QBs and I would be very comfortable using our 2nd round pick on him!
    Moore – looked tiny, seemed to have poise & accuracy, WRs kept dropping great passes. Made sweet pass on the run w/ Coples in his face.
    Upshaw – huge sack that really got crowd going.
    Jenkins – small but made key open field tackles.
    Osemele – Right OT from Iowa State – Dominated Coples & Upshaw. Keep an eye on that dude, he could be a nice pickup for our O-line.
    D. Martin – looked pretty good, better than Polk–who started game.

    - Note 1: I was really looking forward to watching Devon Still as one of the top DL prospects, but he did not participate due to turf toe.
    - Note 2: I double checked the stats for the game, however there isn’t a very robust list of stats out there, particularly for the defensive side of the ball. There were huge plays that didn’t show up in those limited stats…

  3. “Duke and Stevos, Did you guys watch the same game? Coples was a beast… I am more concerned with why he shows up in some games and not in others.”

    @Hawkfan777, Yes that’s what I meant. He had a good Senior Bowl, but much of the time he looks like he’s playing at half-speed. I don’t see the relentless effort I like to see in a D lineman. Maybe he will rise to the level of his competition and go full throttle in the NFL; maybe he’s just that much better than his competition at this point. I’m that he’ll be “off the charts” in his tests at the combine, but I hope the Seahawks don’t get caught up in that stuff. I like to see relentless effort from a D lineman and just haven’t been as impressed with Coples as some seem to be.

  4. chuck_easton says:

    One play in particular by Coples turned me off of him. QB went down and gave himself up for the sack. Instead of touching the QB (which would have still given Coples credit for the sack) Coples dove into the defenseless QB shoulder first which drew a roughing the QB penalty and an automatic 1st down.

    A stupid play like that in a college bowl game tells me the guy can’t control himself and will do stupid things at the next level.

  5. If anybody wants to watch a scared little girl who could curl up in the fetal position like Shaun Alexander (figure of speech, this guy actually didn’t fall straight to the ground before he was touched) used to do then find a way to watch Kirk Cousins play Nebraska this past season. They pressured him early and often and then when he did have time to throw he missed wide open guys that he should have had for big gains but he was already shellshocked so the rest of the game was pretty worthless for him when a good QB would have held his ground and came back swinging when the opportunities were presented (and there were those opportunities for big plays against them in the second half). He displayed absolutely no toughness, physical or mental, leadership what-so-ever. It was like he had given up and was just going through the motions and wanted the game over as quickly as possible. I saw absolutely nothing about him what-so-ever that suggested a “winner.” Granted, this is one game and he could turn out fine but based on this one game, he was worthless.

  6. Before that Michigan State-Nebraska game, I was really excited about watching Cousins (even though I was hoping he’d lose) because I had heard all these good things about him and knew we needed a QB and he might be an option at some point relatively early in the draft. I never expected what I saw.

  7. yakimahawk says:

    After watching the game (and re-watching) there is NO-WAY I would draft Cousins in the fisrt maybe even second round, especially if the smallish K.Moore would have had the best stats if the receivers could catch..very accurate, but weak arm..Moore is the best pick in the 6th round and we get Flynn or Manning in Free agency. If our FO chooses any of those QB’s yesterday before 2nd-3rd round i am going to barf! I thought Coples (when he wanted to) was un-blockable, he was in on or near almost every play. Pead would be a welcome addition..The Utah state LB was a freak and thought Doug Martin showed well..

  8. Free agency begins when? just want to know when we can start talking to guys!

    can we talk to our own guys now? for some reason I thought there was some rule that you couldn’t during playoffs but I could be wrong.

  9. Anyone else watching this “game”? Am I just remembering nostalgically, or did they use to play a little harder in the pro bowl back in the day?

    They should just make it a flag football game . . .

  10. brandon weeden, round 2

  11. HawkyHann says:

    Brandon Weeden’s cousin is Chris Weinke.

  12. Brandon Weeden is a couple of years older than Matt Flynn, about a year younger than Lofa Tatupu, and about the same age as Tarvaris Jackson. As bad as I think Tarvaris is, I’d take an 8th year Tarvaris Jackson over a 2nd year Brandon Weeden any day of the week and 16 times on Sunday. How sad is that?

  13. Dukeshire says:

    I wrote that about Coples at half, and he did very little a the time.

    rgbuckl – Thanks for the notes. Great stuff!

  14. Dukeshire says:

    60 Minutes just aired a terrific piece on Roger Goodell. If anyone missed it, it ought to be available on their web site. Absolutely worth a viewing.

  15. raymaines says:

    PDWAY: Honest to God? Could any defensive right tackle put less effort against an offensive Left Tackle that what we’ve seen thus far?

    I would love to go to Hawaii and see this game in person some year, but it would be an autograph type of experience rather than any sort of actual NFL vacation.

  16. Duke thanks for the 60 minutes heads up. I never watch TV (except football) and I’m definitely going to watch that.

  17. Duke, it was my pleasure!

    Coples is a beast, but he look like these jokers in the Pro Bowl at the beginning, more or less just standing around. Sad thing too, he’ll probably be gone before we pick anyway. Any prediction who we’ll take in the first? There should be some decent DLs & LBs available.

    I actually had a ticket for the 2008 Pro Bowl, coincidentally Hass’ last one as well as Lynch, & caught the flu the night before–burning up w/ fever. I had to give ticket to someone else. :-(

  18. Bobby, I hear who you wouldnt bring in at QB and I know you desperately dont want TJack to be leading this team next year….

    Given that Indy look like moving on from Manning and are nailed on to draft Luck and given there will be tough competition for Flynn with his old OC now at Miami probably having a step (add to the fact he has only 2 pro starts) for his services, who do you want and more importantly who do you realistically think will be starting behind Centre come August.

    Personally id see what it would take to get RG III but again I think given the needs of teams ahead of us that wont happen either and we will be stuck with TJack and a middle round project

    Just curious how you realistically see it playing out

  19. RDPoulsbo says:

    Basing an entire judgment on a player based on a single game isn’t exactly the best way to evaluate. Cousins had a bad game against Nebraska, then again, you could say Flynn is already an elite NFL QB based on what he did in the Lions game. The answer about both obviously doesn’t come from selectively sampling the extremes. Cousins is no way a 1st round QB, but more likely somewhere in the 2-4 range and that’s probably where the Hawks would be drafting a QB. Foles and Lindley might be good options in that range as well.

    Realistically, it would take trading the entire draft to get to the #2 spot to get RG3 and I don’t see that as a good option. Flynn might be gettable, but the contract he’s going to sign is likely to be over $11 mil/year. Do they have to give up signing guys like Lynch or Bryant to get him?

  20. I like the team ethic PC has built, it seems a happy locker room and the guys on the team genuinely get on. I think thats rare in the NFL and is a plus as they play for each other and not themselves going forward.
    Whilst I hope we can package something together for RG III, I dont want us to break the bank for Flynn and lose Red or Lynch to balance the till and lose that closeness and have the 1 player over paid for his experience to date.

    Weve already paid a lot for Rice and look how thats turned out so far and with 2 shoulder surgeries this off season I doubt we get our moneys worth next season either

    Foles in the 4th would be a good compromise if RG III is out of reach

  21. SandpointHawk says:

    Pro Bowl stats…. as if anybody cares…

    Marshawn Lynch ended up being the leading rusher for the NFC team, finishing with 43 yards on eight carries, with a long of 15 yards. Fullback Michael Robinson did not get any carries.
    On defense, Brandon Browner made three solo tackles and a quarterback pressure, while Kam Chancellor had a solo tackle. Starting safety Earl Thomas had a fumble recovery for the NFC.

    The above was cut and pasted from the Field Gulls….

    My take: The O and D lines looked like they were having a very rousing pillow fight…

  22. chuck_easton says:

    And by pillow fight you did mean ‘air pillows’ right? Last time my son and I had an actual pillow fight it did involve making contact with the other participant.

  23. Yeah, the O and D lines seemed to be taking it the easiest. As the game went on there started to be some decent contact made by some of the LBs and DBs, seems like a few of the guys only know one way to play. Still pretty cool to see Kam and Earl out there together at times.

  24. Of course you don’t judge someone based on one game. I’m just stating what I saw in that one game and wasn’t, obviously, impressed.

  25. In the Pro Bowl, a guy Browner tackled caughed up the ball too, but sounds like they didn’t give him credit. That also saved a TD.

    I know, the whole thing was a joke, but the last time there were that many Seahawk helmets floating around that game, we had gone to the Super Bowl…so that was still cool to see, especially with both guys in the backfield & 3/4 of the secondary!

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