In my story today, after stops in Washington, Oakland and Philadelphia, Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons finally has found a home in Seattle.
Clemons’ name doesn’t roll off your tongue when you think of the game’s best pass rushers.
But the numbers don’t lie. His 33.5 sacks since 2010 are tied for sixth best in the NFL. All the players ahead of him on the list have been to at least one Pro Bowl during that time.
Clemons has not, though he is a first alternate this season after finishing with a career-high 11.5 sacks, tied for fifth in the NFC.
“Recognition has never really been my thing,” he said. “As long as my teammates and the coaches in this organization know how I play and how I go out and prepare each and every week, that’s all that matters to me.
“Those are personal accolades. That’s for somebody who wants to stand out. And I have nothing against it. It would be a great honor to represent my team and my position group in the Pro Bowl. But playing alongside these guys, I feel like we’ve got a better shot at the Super Bowl than worrying about a Pro Bowl right now.”
NFL SACK LEADERS SINCE 2010
|*LB DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys||46.5|
|*DE Jared Allen, Vikings||45|
|DE Jason Babin, Eagles||37.5|
|*DE Cameron Wake, Dolphins||37.5|
|*LB Tamba Hali, Chiefs||35.5|
|DE Chris Clemons, Seahawks||35.5|
|*LB Aldon Smith, 49ers||33.5|
|DE Charles Johnson, Panthers||33|
|DE Chris Long, Rams||33|
|DE John Abraham, Falcons||32.5|
|*LB Clay Matthews, Packers||32.5|
* –2012 Pro Bowl selection
Here’s my story on Brandon Browner, who talked to reporters for the first time since returning to the team after serving his four-game suspension. Also, Russell Wilson was named NFC offensive rookie of the month for December. The University of Wisconsin product elped direct the Seahawks to a 5-0 record in the month, completed 65.5 percent of his passes (74 of 113) for 1,067 yards and nine touchdowns. Wilson also rushed for 262 yards and four scores. His 115.2 passer rating in December was the highest in the league..
John McGrath of The News Tribune writes that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll and Washington head coach Mike Shanahan are of like minds. McGrath: “The weaving career paths of these guys have been crisscrossing for decades, which is not to say they are clones. Carroll, a defensive mastermind, is ebullient and animated, with a tendency to talk in sentences that can last longer than a drum solo. Shanahan, whose specialty is offense, answers questions with all the interactive flair of a cop jotting down a ticket for an expired parking meter. And yet their professional lives – and to a certain extent, even their personal lives – mirror each other.”
Bucky Brooks of the NFL Network provides a tale of the tape between Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch and Washington’s Alfred Morris. He also notes that eight of the 12 teams in the postseason have 1,000-yard rushers, pointing to the importance of having an every-down running back to tote the rock. Brooks rightly gives the nod to Lynch. Interesting read.
ESPN’s Mike Sando provides a statistical breakdown of the two running backs.
Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that despite the emergence of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch remains the heartbeat of the Seahawks’ offense.
Larry Stone of The Seattle Times provides a run down from Russell Wilson’s press conference with the media on Thursday.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that cornerback Brandon Browner is excited for his first playoff game.
Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that the Seattle’s run defense needs to be more consistent when the Seahawks face the top rushing offense in the league in Washington.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland provides a great breakdown of the Hawks-Redskins matchup Here is his prediction: “It’s always tough to explain this, and I’m going to pick a side by the tiniest of margins, but I think this is one that’s too close to call. Seattle is the better team in a vacuum, but they’re not the same team away from home and Washington’s strengths can match up reasonably well with Seattle’s weaknesses. The Seahawks are the healthier team, though, and I have my doubts that the Redskins will be able to stop Seattle’s running game. I think it’ll be a run-heavy, low-scoring game, but one that Seattle manages to pull out in the end. Seattle 16, Washington 13.”
David Moore of USA Today profiles Russell Wilson.
Rick Maese of The Washington Post writes that Pete Carroll is rewriting his legacy in Seattle.
Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post reports that Washington’s secondary has been much better in the second half of the season.