Seahawks Insider

Who jumps better: LeBron or Hawk linebacker?

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on June 20, 2012 at 7:59 am with 22 Comments »
June 20, 2012 8:07 am


Maybe you do this too. When watching NBA games these days, I picture some of these guys on the football field. Kevin Durant, while a spectacular athlete, is designed solely for scoring points in basketball. But LeBron James, Russell Westbrook … or in the old days, Karl Malone? Oh, man. Westbrook, with amazing quicks and hops at 6-3, 190, could be a spectacular cornerback. But is LeBron a tight end or pass-rush end? Or, heck, maybe even a quarterback in the Cam Newton mold – except even more physically imposing.

The relevance of this preamble in a Seahawks blog? Well, the process might work in reverse — that some of these football guys have similar athleticism as the star hoopers, but the game doesn’t showcase it as easily. What triggered the thought was when the Game 4 telecast mentioned James’ 40-inch vertical leap. Pretty impressive, right? It means his feet are 40 inches off the floor when he jumps from a standing start.

Well, Seahawk rookie linebackers Korey Toomer of Idaho and Bobby Wagner of Utah State had verticals measured at 42 and 39 ½, respectively. And, remember, these guys are linebackers. And receiver Ricardo Lockette was one of the fastest track guys in the country while in college. Sidney Rice was the South Carolina prep basketball Player of the Year.

None of that means they could play in the NBA, or that James and Westbrook could necessarily have the wherewithal to play football. It just shows that some of the guys the Hawks are pulling in these days are certifiably elite athletes.


Brian Billick, on, addresses the Seahawks’ offense. He sees no real upgrade except at quarterback. He questions: If Flynn isn’t the clear starter, how much better can the offense be? The longer the issue remains unsolved the more problematic it will be, he said. One objection to the analysis: As a base line for discussion, they were going off the offense’s averages for the season rather than recognizing the production during the much-improved second half.

Pro Football Weekly is having discussions and holding a fan vote regarding various elements of the NFL. In this one, they pit the Houston Texans vs. the Seahawks in the bracket for the NFL’s best defense. Mostly what you see is an appreciation for the young Hawk defense, particularly the secondary. It’s absolutely fair they should be considered given they were No. 9 last season and return 10 starters.

Confession: I don’t participate in fantasy football leagues. I gave up on that sort of thing long ago when I got beaten to an embarrassing degree in the office NCAA Tournament basketball pool by a secretary who picked teams on the basis of their nicknames. Here’s a bit of local commentary, though, from Yahoo!Sports which lists five NFL quarterbacks most likely to have breakout fantasy seasons. One of their fantasy experts lists Jake Locker as No. 1 and Matt Flynn No. 4. Another has Locker and Flynn 1-2.

The Sporting News Bleacher report, lists seven encouraging things heading into the 2012 Seahawks season.  I’d go along with most of them, except I wouldn’t yet say they’d found their quarterback “solution.” That’s a little premature. And I would say that being “buzz worthy” will have much to do with the on-field product. Still, all fair discussion.

In his NFC West blog,’s Mike Sando recaps a list put together by Matt Williamson regarding the top 15 young offensive linemen. Although the Seahawks have used a number of high draft picks in recent seasons on the O-line, including first-rounders on Russell Okung and James Carpenter, no Seahawks are on the list. Injuries have certainly played a role in Okung’s career thus far, and Carpenter and John Moffitt dealt with injuries in their rookie season. Max Unger has not only missed a season with an injury, but also has changed positions from guard to center. Depending on the success of their rehabs, this season should be a fresh start for those young guys up front. Besides, the most important thing about an offensive line is how it performs as a unit.





Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. seahawk44 says:

    I always thought Shaquille O’Neal would make an unstoppable TE.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Great post, Dave. That’s fun to think about / discuss. And I do think that’s one of the most exciting things about what Carroll is doing here: talent. Talent wins on Sundays and this team is loaded with elite athletes, as you note.

  3. OCHawkFan says:

    Interesting..Harvin, Rice and Bevel reunion? Would be great to trade for this guy. Perhaps Golden Tate and a draft pick gets it done?

  4. Dave Boling says:

    Oh, Shaq … whew, what an image. I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember him, but we should note the passing of R.C. Owens. Talk about a guy who could leap. Of course, the description “alley-oop” was invented by his leaping for the passes that were lofted to a height only he could reach when he was a receiver for the 49ers. I was just a kid but I recall that some disputed he could leap that high without getting extra lift somehow, and they inspected his cleats for hidden springs.

    In an interview with Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor one time, they talked about going down to the local gym and playing basketball together in pick-up games. How about going down for a little hoops at noon and finding out you had to check Kam Chancellor?

  5. While I’m not an NBA fan at all, I do sometimes wonder how certain guys would translate in another sport. We had this athletic stud (basketball player) at college and he came into our batting cage one day while we were hitting and, man, did he look funny (i.e. unathletic). With a guy like LeBron though, I bet he could do something in the NFL. While most people don’t like him, he’s got unreal athletic ability. I bet he could be a Pro Bowler in the NFL at some position.

    Dave – What do you think about the Seahawks defense? I mean, they finished 9th in the NFL last season and it’s not their fault they got to play a bunch of back-up QBs (Hanie instead of Cutler, VY instead of Vick, a cripped Bradford; twice, etc.) but that had to obviously inflate some defensive stats to a degree, wouldn’t you think? Or was the bad offense, especially early, enough to neutralize the bad QB play they faced (since they didn’t get a lot of help from that very offense that many defenses have a right to expect)? Don’t get me wrong, I’m optimistic about them and love the DBs, the Irvin pick, etc. but my optimism is somewhat guarded. I think they could finish 10th in the NFL this season in defense (where they finished 9th last year) and still be better, if that makes any sense.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    I can just envision Kam setting a pick as Earl races around to the rack. Yikes.

    Nice mention of Owens, Dave. I was only familiar with him from my time living in the Bay Area. The 49ers have a surprising reverence to former players, prior to the Walsh / Montana era. And whenever the conversation turned to that, he was always mentioned with great respect. Of course being YA Tittle’s favorite target never hurts.

  7. That Yahoo fantasy piece asks the question: “Five quarterbacks that could be this year’s Ryan Fitzpatrick?”

    And two of the experts put “Ryan Fitzpatrick” in their Top Five. Nice.

    Also, according to one of them, Doug Baldwin could be this year’s Victor Cruz!

  8. psoundpowerhouse says:

    And with the uncertainty at the QB position, and a oft injured, “no-name” O-line…..
    I like our chances to win the NFC west.

  9. bbnate420 says:

    I know that FF is different but, Fitzpatrick actually had a worse QB rating than TJack last year.

  10. bbnate420 says:

    I’m most interested in seeing Lebron take the championship trophy and club Clay Bennett over his fat, ugly head with it. ;-)

  11. RDPoulsbo says:

    Huh? NBA banter? No thanks.

    Though I’ve heard enough about Breno to wonder if he could be a good enforcer in the NHL. He’s from Boston, so it’s not hard to think he’s been on some skates as a kid.

  12. I shook Shaq’s hand once in L.A. He’s like a person, only bigger. His fingers reached halfway up my forearm and I’m 6’2″ with “normal” proportions; I don’t have tiny t-rex arms or anything.

    lol @ Fitzpatrick being the “next Fitzpatrick”, it’s so TRUE!

  13. Dukeshire says:

    “He’s like a person”… lol, good to know.

  14. Dave Boling says:

    Breno grew up loving soccer … both parents are from Brazil. Although he was another one who was a talented basketball player as a prep in the Boston area, and he got recruited to Louisville as a tight end prospect based on his basketball skills.

  15. RDPoulsbo says:

    Can you imagine Breno diving half the game and constantly complaining to the refs? Neither can I. Besides, Marshawn calls him the big Russian. Sounds more like a hockey player to me.

  16. PixelDummy says:

    Well since this thread doesn’t have much life…I’ll take the liberty of going off topic to belly laugh at the niners:

  17. bbnate420 says:

    That was good for a laugh.

  18. Hammajamma says:

    AJ Jenkins was easily the worst receiver in Niner camp?

    Not that they need him, but you have to chuckle anyway.

  19. dwight howard could play red zone offense right now. 20 tds easy.

  20. Alphaman06 says:

    Great story Dave! I have followed most of the 2012 draftees of the Seahawks and I must say, the buzz on Korey Toomer is exciting. Pete Caroll and the GM, again went out and drafted a player that will have a immediate impact on the team and the league. Competition is what the coach has been preaching, and this draft class will definately stay true to the game.

  21. mojjonation says:

    Sure LeWhine could play TE in the NFL. He’d just spend more time trying to get holding calls flagged than actually playing.

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