First a story from Seahawks.com’s Clare Farnsworth about an interesting Seahawk experiment, the conversion of draft pick J.R. Sweezy from defensive lineman to guard. The Hawks took Sweezy in the seventh round with the full intention of making him a guard although he never played the position. At 6-5 298, Sweezy will probably work to get some more meat on him. In some of the early workouts we were allowed to see, you could tell he was still figuring out the rudiments — like the snap count. But as OTAs wore on, he developed a nice head-up, butt-down set-up which creates good balance and a powerful stance. More importantly, he has a defender’s mentality, which tends to make O-linemen more aggressive with their blocks. Sweezy has an interesting back-story, too, that we’ll examine in a feature later; he was more than a bit of a rascal for a while, but he claimed it got him turned around and focused.
FoxSports has an interview with linebacker Lofa Tatupu at an Atlanta Falcons minicamp. Seahawks fans would certainly wish him well as he tries to extend his career. Lofa will turn 30 during the season and has been out of the game for a year after being cut by the Hawks. In 2010, he was held out of practice much of the season to protect his ailing knees. David Hawthorne took his place in the middle and left for the Saints via free agency this spring. He, too, had taken a lot of physical punishment. It was hard to watch at times, both these guys being a bit undersized in the middle, playing with unrelenting warrior mentalities, and paying a real toll for it. Lofa looked done at 28. Hawthorne was just 26 last fall when he was limping around. Good luck to both.
A post in Mike Sando’s ESPN.com NFC West blog has a fantasy football angle, but we’ll go with it anyway because it makes some interesting points about Marshawn Lynch. His string of late-season 100-yard rushing games was particularly impressive given the injuries across the offensive line that caused manpower shuffling. But it’s also fair to ask how Lynch will respond after having landed a long-term contract. Some backs don’t run with the same desire after the big payday … as we’ve seen in Seattle before. Lynch doesn’t seem the type to ease back because, well, it just wouldn’t be beastly.
NFL.com advances a story from Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean about Matt Hasselbeck’s response to being linked as a target for the Saints’ bounty program. Hasselbeck said he hasn’t paid much attention to it. The game in question was the brilliant Seahawks win over the Saints in the 2010 playoffs, in which Hasselbeck threw for four touchdowns. If they had a bounty on him, nobody collected.
In the Sporting News, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt challenges some of the bounty evidence brought forth by the NFL. Vitt told the commissioner he was willing to take a lie-detector test to prove his point.
As you might recall, Vitt was a long-time Seahawks assistant and considered a pretty tough character. The story goes that one time he got sideways with iconic safety Kenny Easley, and it spilled out into the parking lot at the team headquarters. Supposedly, Easley dropped him with one punch. The next day, players took spray paint and fashioned an outline of Vitt’s body on pavement like one of those crime scenes.