In my story today, J.R. Sweezy’s first career start in the season opener at Arizona was a blur. He struggled in pass protection to keep up with Arizona’s Darnell Dockett, which is understandable for a player who 12 months ago was more focused on sacking the quarterback than protecting him.
But after returning to the bench after his first game, Sweezy had a chance to sit back and watch, and the time on the sidelines appeared to bay dividends, as the rookie offensive lineman out of North Carolina State looked solid in his second career start against San Francisco last week.
“It wasn’t so much the physical part of it,” Sweezy said. “I could handle that. But when people started moving in stuff, I didn’t really understand which one to work to and stuff. And now I do. So it makes a lot more sense now.”
Here’s my story on Richard Sherman receiving a reversal in appeal. Former NFL executive Bob Wallace presided over the hearing, and determined that the chain of custody in the testing process was broken when a second cup was used to collect Sherman’s sample after the first cup sprung a leak. Sherman was tested on Sept. 17, and notified that he tested positive on Nov. 12. The tester failed to mention the fact Sherman’s cup had a leak in his initial report, and did not notify his supervisor until asked again in October.
John McGrath of The News Tribune writes that the football Gods are smiling down on Sherman and the Seahawks. McGrath: “The Colts might boast all the Luck, but the Seahawks are riding a force more powerful than that. They’re riding something else, something goofy, something arbitrary, something that can only be explained by a bouncing ball that ends up in the hands of Richard Sherman.”
Steve Kelley of The Seattle Times writes that Sherman’s month-long deal will serve as more motivation. Kelley: “Sherman motivates himself by reminding himself of the snubs, both real and alleged, that he has suffered. This victory in his appeal process adds more fuel on his already raging fire.”
Albert Breer of the NFL Network looks at the success of Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s rebuilding effort in Seattle.
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group writes that San Francisco defensive tackle Justin Smith has a partially torn triceps and a bone spur floating in his elbow, which puts his availability for the postseason into question.