Seahawks Insider

Morning links: High hopes for Avril

Post by Eric Williams on July 10, 2013 at 7:19 am with 66 Comments »
July 10, 2013 7:21 am
Seattle Seahawks' Cliff Avril runs through a drill during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks’ Cliff Avril runs through a drill during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

My story today is the latest installment of our look at pressing issues the Seattle Seahawks must resolve once training camp begins in a few weeks.

Lack of a consistent pass rush was one of the few glaring weaknesses the Seahawks had toward the end of the season. But Seattle addressed the issue by signing pass rushers Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel in free agency, along with selecting defensive tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams in this year’s draft.

With those players joining an already-talented group that includes defensive ends Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin, along with defensive tackles Red Bryant, Brandon Mebane and Clinton McDonald, Seattle’s pass rush should be much improved in 2013.

However, with Seattle’s top two pass rushers either rehabbing from a serious injury (Clemons) or unavailable for the first four games because of a performance-enhancing drug suspension (Irvin), Avril will be counted on to carry the load as the team’s top pass rusher.

Avril’s posted 20.5 sacks over the past two seasons. And he gets after the football, with 16 career forced fumbles.

“He has a good scope of play,” coach Pete Carroll said after the acquisition of Avril. “He can do a ton of things, but what he really does is comes off that edge roaring after you.”

Mark Sessler of ranks Seattle’s backfield No. 2 in the league behind San Francisco.

Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle reviews the embarrassment of riches the Seahawks have at running back.

Clare Farnsworth of evaluates Seattle’s special teams personnel.

Check out Doug Baldwin’s latest Fresh Files in the video below.

Clark Judge of CBS Sports talks with a couple defensive coordinators around the league, who say they will be ready to stop the read option in this year.

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times talks with former Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren, who says Seattle is still a young team that has not arrived in this audio link.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 66
  1. Dukeshire says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing Avril play as well. Beyond his straight up production, he’s versatile, able to play either end position and Sam.

    This I know, by mid-season, provided there are no more injuries, both ends and Sam is going to be crowded. You want time? Absolutely going to have to earn it. IT’s going to be awesome to see it sort itself out.

  2. trout_hound says:

    It seems like all the Hawk news this time of year is just re-hashing the same old stories. I guess that’s better than what the Patriots are going through.

    At least the Fresh Files is fresh. Hope someone catches the Chocolate Sauce Bandit.

  3. yankinta says:

    I’ve been watching JAW’s QB Ranking on ESPN and based on what I’ve heard from him regarding RW last year, I am beginning to think that RW will be ranked in the TOP 10 and will be ranked higher than Luck, RGIII or CK.

    At least that the way they should be ranked since RW is much better than those 3 other young QB’s, imo. I think that JAW agrees with me….we’ll find out soon.

  4. trout_hound says:

    Oops, even that was a re-hash of Eric’s story.

  5. Duke, no doubt about it. And even in training camp, those battles at DE and Sam LB are going to be great to watch. Quinn, Jones, and Norton have a lot of talent to work with.

    Guys, got your VMAC reservations yet? They’re going fast.

  6. The articles on our RBs and backfield are pretty mind blowing. When Carroll and Schneider came to town, our backfield was Julius Jones, Edgerrin James (31), Justin Forsett, Owen Schmitt, Justin Griffith, and Louis Rankin.

    Compare that to Beast, Turbo, Michael, Robinson, and Ware. What a difference.

    The article comparing the Niners backfield to Seattle’s is though-provoking. Both are loaded with talent. Both have young guys ready to prove themselves. The Niners have a more mature offensive line, but I think the Seahawks O line will mature this year. Frank Gore is now 30 years old. So many great backs to run the ball on both teams.

  7. yankinta says:

    Mike Holmgren sounds bitter…. I guess I don’t blame him since his rebuilding of the Browns has been embarrassing.

  8. It’s unbelievable the amount of talent Carroll and Schneider have amassed in 3-plus seasons. We just have to hope the new guys, including Avril, Bennett and Harvin, don’t spoil the chemistry.

    The expectations are so high — I just hope they don’t fall flat like that “dream team” in Philly.

  9. Antideluvian says:

    Gotta remember, Holmgren has always been big on veterans and never gave rookies much responsibility. Pete Carroll is much more comfortable taking the field with really young players. If Holmgren had been coach last year, I doubt that RW sees the field.

  10. yankinta says:

    Antideluvian, if Holmgren was a coach, I seriously doubt he’d pick RW in the 3rd round. That’d mean, RW would be on Eagles’s team since they were planning to pick him in the third…..

    That’s why I love JS/PC leadership!!!

  11. Interesting that the Running Backs article listed Derrick Coleman, but not Mike Rob or Spencer Ware.

  12. Dukeshire says:

    yankinta – To play devil’s advocate, Holmggren did take Seneca Wallace in the 4th, so it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility. (Although I’m skeptical he would as well with Flynn having just signed.)

  13. yankinta says:

    Dukeshire, good point but the point that I was trying to make is that Holmgren was always one step slower that other good GMs. i.e, Richard Seymour, Dwight Freeney…,

    I think JS/PC were on a much higher level, when it came to talent evaluation, which is why we are talking about dynasty instead of trying to make it to the playoff…..

  14. yankinta says:

    Hmmm.. So Far, I’m right. It was just released 7 minutes ago that RGII is 13th in Jaws’ QB countdown….

  15. montanamike2 says:

    I agree that Holmie sounds bitter. I think we have the edge over SF in talent evaluation and it will be what separates us in the long run. RW wasn’t even an afterthought to the NFL until he made them notice.

  16. Dukeshire says:

    Yank – I don’t disagree.

    BTW, all this dynasty talk needs to chill. Let’s get *one* Lombardi trophy to Seattle, first. Then (as amazing as this may sound) a second, before we talk dynasty.

  17. montanamike2 says:

    Yep gotta get that first.

  18. yankinta says:

    Dukeshire, I agree, but talking about building a dynasty is not the same as talking about dynasty, imo.

    I’ve been saying since we picked up RW last year that we’re building a dynasty, in other words, we’re building to be good/contender for the next several years.

  19. chuck_easton says:

    As much as I hate to give any credit to SF fans, they are correct when they say Seattle fans talk a great game but the team has achieved nothing.

    I kills me to say it, but until that 1st Lombardi trophy is on display at VMAC SF fans have the moral high ground. Doesn’t matter that their five trophies were won when the players on this current team were in pre-school. The fact is they can point to those trophies. Seattle fans can’t yet.

    I do think the current talent on the Seahawks can achieve a trophy (and maybe one or several more), but until we actually see Mr. Allen holding that expensive piece of Tiffany Artwork we really are not in any position to be boasting to other fans.

    I’ve waited 37 years. I thought 2005 was the year. But we all know how that ended.

    As of 2013 Seattle is still one of 14 Franchises that have never won a Superbowl (Atlanta, Arizona, Buffalo, Carolina, Cincy, Cleveland, Detroit Lions, Houston, Jax, Minnesota, Philly, San Diego, Seattle, Tennessee).

    There are still two franchises (Jax and Houston) who have never played in a Superbowl. That gives the fans of 18 other teams bragging rights over us. That really gets under my skin.

  20. HeinieHunter says:

    Regarding JS & PC and the talent they have accumulated so quickly, I remember Chuck Knox was asked why he was so successful as a football coach and he answered “Because I know who can play and who can’t “. The current Hawk regime seems to be able to do the same.

  21. dirtbiker_joey says:

    I don’t think SF fans have “the moral high ground.” Morals have nothing to do with it. your point is well taken that they have history on their side in a big way, but there is no moral superiority.

    On another note, I think a lot of Seahawk fans underestimate Keapernick. I know most of us love RW, especially because of his work ethic. But just because our guy works so hard doesn’t mean their guy does not work equally hard. John Clayton speaks very highly of Keap’s work ethic and practice habits – yeah, I know, some of you put little stock in what Clayton says, but he’s certainly better connected than I am, so I tend to listen to him.

  22. Jamie Dukes on NFL AM just said “I know there’s a drug problem out there in Seattle..People keep testing positive.. I would like to get Golden Tate tested because if he thinks he had 3 fingers on the ball and it’s a TD.. Then you gotta be on something”… After playing a video clip from Sherm’s softball game where Tate says he talked to Lance Easley & They both still think it was a TD.

  23. I just got the inside story on why Colin Kaepernick was wearing that Miami Dolphins hat…

    He needed something to match his outfit. He was wearing his orange and aqua panties at the time.

  24. doubledink says:

    Boy shorts or a thong?
    OK, I just threw up in my mouth.

  25. CDHawkFan says:

    Joey, if I was a 49er fan, I wouldn’t talk too much smack about Kaepernick because he locks on to this target and unless he changes this, he won’t be in the same category of RW for long. To me its not about work ethic, hard work, or even intelligence. Kaepernick has a strong arm and can run, but in the few games I saw him play he seems to lock on to one guy and if its not there he often runs, he just doesn’t come across as cool under pressure. Maybe his physical talents will allow him some success without ‘it’, but RW seems to have ‘it’. I think we will know a lot after the first 6 or so weeks this year, he won’t have Crabtree and D’s are going to make him/the 9ers throw the ball.

  26. yankinta says:

    CDHawkFan, completely agree with you. This is what I’ve been saying for a while too. That CK doesn’t anticipate with his throws. He will lock onto one and he will use his great arm strength to get the ball in the tight window. Team will adjust to this if he doesn’t learn to anticipate his targets getting open.

    RW is on a much higher level, when it comes to anticipating his targets. That’s why 49er Fans will go away/quiet soon.

  27. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I say it’s the better beer that gives the Seahawks fans something even more to cheer about and contributes to a better home field advantage for the Seahawks.

  28. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Good article on Doug Baldwin, my second favorite Seahawk.

  29. That was a pretty good Fresh Files. I liked his little brothers camera work, dude’s funny. 1-800-Catch-a-Fool was funny as hell!

    GeorgiaHawk–Nice link on the Baldwin story. I would really like to meet Baldwin. How much you wanna bet he leaves just as soon as his contract is up and ends up playing closer to his family? Much as I hate to say it, he’d fit well in WAS.

  30. Where are you guys finding the Holmgren stuff?!

    The Walruss did a lot better job bringing talent to the Browns than people give him credit for, but his choice of coaching staff was lousy. That and his failure to find a qb doomed him.

    He can console himself with all that money he took from them.

  31. Ya got that right, Georgia! The true home field advantage!

  32. Where are you guys getting the Holmgren stuff from?

  33. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Stevos, thanks for the link.

    If you ever come down here to see the Seahawks play Atlanta you will find several beers to choose from.
    Like- Bud, Bud Lite, Bud platinum, Bud Lite Lime, Bubba Bud Lite, Paula Dean high gravity Bud, ect…

  34. doubledink says:

    I wonder if Holmgren’s move on Jim Brown is what really hurt him. Not that I disagreed with it. A million dollar counselor seemed more like a shakedown than a service. But I would agree that head coach and QB are the most acute reasons.

  35. STTBM, the Holmgren audio link is the last link at the top of the this page.

  36. doubledink–Brown is a total jerk, and adds nothing to the browns organization. Booting him and his stupid salary was one of the best things Holmgren did, but it surely didnt make Holmy popular.

    Thanks, Galena, I never listen to audio links but maybe I will check this one out.

  37. doubledink says:

    When you consider the time and effort of the assistant coaching staff and what they are paid vs. the value they bring, most definitely. When I read about Brown’s complaint and feeling dissed and I saw what they had been paying him I thought he should rather laugh it off that he got away with it for so long. He must either have someone fooled again, because he’s back, or he really brings something tangible that is way beyond me. I just can’t imagine what that is.

  38. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I did listen to the Holmgren audio link and I didn’t pick up any bitterness from Holmgren. Maybe some disappointment from being let go as GM, but I thought overall this was worth listening to.

  39. Ok, I listened to the Holmgren audio, and here’s my two cents;

    I dont think he sounded bitter at all. Rather, he seemed the same measured, thoughtful guy his press conferences showed in his second half of his Hawks tenure, after the first 3-4 years of struggle.

    He does, however, obviously still disagree with his GM title being taken away from him. But he doesnt sound bitter about it, he just feels it was the wrong decision. At the time, I felt he earned it, but he does have a point that the team was at that point going, the were jelling, and they had turned the corner, so it makes sense that the worst was over and he was doing a much better job at being GM and was improving.

    That said, he seems to forget that he was fired as GM not just for his performance, but for his tendency to micromanage everything and not delegate enough.

    Ruskell was, is, and always will be an egomaniac asshat control freak as well, but he started out well, and his personnel decisions helped make the 2005 SB team happen. His first year he was brilliant. After that, his head swelled and he began to sandbag Holmy and try to run him, his staff, and his favorite players out..and the rest is history.

    I thought it very interesting that he worries about fan and FO expectations for Wilson. He’s got good points, but there’s never been anyone like Russel Wilson. Personally, I think Holmgren doesnt buy into Wilson’s lack of height and scrambling/throwing on the run. If anyone can avoid the sophomore slump, its Wilson.

    And by the final 4 games of the regular season (and the 2 playoff games), most teams were trying to scheme for Wilson; check out the Rams, whose defensive line scheme entailed keeping him in the pocket, then collapsing it, and it worked awesome–in fact, no other team gave him such fits. So I think Wilson has already shown what he can do vs teams that are gunning for him; he ate their lunch, leaving no crumbs…

    Anyway, Im no longer a Holmgren fan and Im glad we have a different regime. But Im not about to label him bitter when there’s none of that in either his words or tone of voice.

  40. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Brown was run out of town when the Sheriff came around, now he’s back to help keep the Browns looking like clowns.

  41. I keep trying to give Doug’s “Fresh Files” a shot, but for some reason they just aren’t very interesting or informative, I guess the Real Rob Report has spoiled me and messed with my expectations about what such team media ventures should be like.

  42. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Agree, Robinson has a gift with his reports, Baldwin not so much. However he is still my second favorite player. I would rather listen to “Fresh Files” than “Hard knocks” though.

  43. I think the one thing I noticed about Kapernick last year is that he is easily rattled. the crowd noise at C-Link had him shaking his head is disbelief on more than one occasion. I would expect him to get better this year and deal with it better, but if he doesn’t, it’s the kind of thing that could become a mental block for him and cost him over his career. He wasn’t the cool, calm leader I would expect out of a top 5 QB. And personally I think his head is not in the right spot this offseason. He’s had way too much fun outside of football. It takes me back to what makes RW different. You have to have a championship off season if you want to have a championship season.

  44. edstang45 says:

    Let me straighten everyone out and let you all know how it is…ready???
    SF and all their fans SUCK!!!!! Seahawks and all us fans are perfect in everyway!!!!! other than this nothing else matters….

  45. bbnate420 says:

    STTBM, I agree that paying Brown 1 mil a year to be a counselor is overpaying, but I suggest you research his life a little before you say he’s a TOTAL jerk. There’s certainly bad to go with the good. I’m not disputing that.

    Georgia, why would you need any other beer but a Bud? ;-)

    Chuck, I agree that the Whiners have the superior history, but I disagree that it gives the team or fans any current bragging rights. When your last SB was 19 seasons ago, it really doesn’t play into the current conversation of who’s better. Nobody that had anything to do with that 1994 SF team is going to contribute anything in 2013. And I was a fan of SF as well back in the early to mid 90’s. I watched that 1994 team closely. I stopped following them after Young and Rice left and then the Hawks moved to their division.

    The Hawks backfield is clearly superior to me. I’d definitely take Mike Rob over the Whiners FB Miller. Lynch over Gore. Gore is good, but he’s not nearly as good as The Beast IMO. And he’s 30 now. Turb had better running and receiving combined numbers than Kendall Hunter and is younger. It’s pure speculation right now, but I’d definitely take Michael over James. James doesn’t have the talent that Michael has. James wouldn’t hold up carrying the rock IMO. Add to all of this that the Whiners have the superior O-line right now.

  46. bbnate420 says:

    Regarding Jamie Dukes, I don’t know why anyone would even give a second thought to the verbal diarrhea that spews from his pie hole. He isn’t even any good at analyzing actual football play, much less anything else.
    I’ve surprised every time I see him on the NFL Network that they don’t have a PA holding a drool cup under his mouth.

  47. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Yes the Packers, Stealers, 49ers, Cowboys, Patriots, Giants, Redskins amongst others has bragging rights over us, however I believe that is about to change.

    Remember Chuck, we have Russell Wilson. Don’t sell him short.

  48. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BTW- How many years did it take before the Stealers won their first Super Bowl?

  49. raymaines says:

    Historical achievements really do mean something and If I ever meet Jerry Rice or Terry Bradshaw at a party I’ll be properly respectful, but seriously now…

    The ‘Hawks are going to do some serious butt kicking this season and my whole sports life is happening in the next seven months. That would be the “NEXT” seven months, as opposed to the last forty years. Go ‘Hawks!

  50. Jamie Dukes should not be on any kind of media, let alone TV, period.
    He is a world class blowhard idiot. Typical former player that doesn’t do his research or go through due diligence before screaming out his biased opinion over everyone else. I’ve never heard one thing come out of his mouth that resembled any form of intelligence.

  51. montanamike2 says:

    raymaines that’s how i feel.

  52. raymaines says:

    To answer your question about the Steelers:

    Super Bowl IX
    Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6
    Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana
    January 12, 1975; Attendance: 80,997

    Without doing too much research, I think the franchise that was founded in July of 1933 enjoyed their first championship that ninth Superbowl year so the answer to your question could either be nine years or 42 years.

    The Seahawks joined the NFL in 1976 and are now in their 37th year of existence and haven’t done squat for about 30 of those years.

  53. raymaines says:

    I know ya’ll get it but my above post was for GeorgiaHawk posting at 6:59

  54. I am worried about our LB core –

    Wagner – great
    KJ – switching positions, which I think will be a good move for him/ team

    Smith – injuries
    Toomer – all the physical tools – does he have the smarts to run all the schemes? (Knock at Idaho)

    Avril – is he better on the line?
    Irvin – VERY raw – and a new position

    It has POTENTIAL but could go down quickly in injury or slow learning curves situations

  55. Dukeshire says:

    The Billichick A Football Life is reairing on NFL Network. Its so good. I bave so much respect for him and his football acumen. Straight up, one of the great coaches this game has ever known. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor…

  56. Dukeshire says:

    Belichick… god damn phone

  57. bbnate–Thats just it. Brown was accused of rape, and many at the time believed he got away with it due to his fame. Since then, he’s been a jerk in pretty much every public instance Ive heard of him. He trashed the Browns current RB out of jealousy and called him ordinary–I watched the guy in college, he aint ordinary! His bitterness and sense of entitlement really piss me off. Im sure he’s been active in charity etc, but so has Raplisberger and Ray Lewis, and Im not buying it in their cases either. While no one is completely terrible, Brown is, IMO, a jerk.

    As for the Niners fans and thier SB’s, loving your team has nothing to do with winning. In fact, its pathetic that so many fans seem to gain self confidence from their teams winning. As if they had much to do with the winning. Its more impressive to be a Browns or Cincy fan, IMO, than to be a Shitzburg or Niners fan, as those franchises make it damned hard to stay a fan. Your team winning doesnt give you the right to brag about anything, and past SB’s dont mean diddly.

    Also, since the Salary Cap came into play, and stopped the Niners from simply buying Titles with Jed York’s laundered Mob Money, they havent won squat. So whats to brag about? At least the Stealers in Shitzburg won theirs without simply buying them outright.

    xcman-Malcolm Smith is good enough to start. Irvin has already proven he can be a difference maker on passing downs at DE. Mike Morgan can play when healthy too. While its no sure bet that things will turn out okay, I think Seattle is set regardless of injury at DE and LB this year, since they signed so many guys and drafted the two DT beasts.

    It stinks that Clemons got hurt, and that Irvin got his dumb ass suspended, but we will roll with Avril and Bennet, along with McDaniels, Hill, and Williams at DT, for the first four games. After that, Irvin can split time between LB and DE, and at some point we will have Clemons back (I hope). Then we will really be rolling! The good thing is, Seattle can work out the kinks and should have everyone rolling and hopefully healthy by the end of the season, and Clemons and Irvin should be fresh for the playoffs. Thats when you want your team to peak!

    Plus, having all the bodies at DT/DE/LB means we can rotate guys to keep them healthy and fresh, which is a big deal.

    Im expecting big things.

  58. CDHawkFan says:

    One way to look at it, if the front office felt LB was a major issue, they wouldn’t have picked a 2 or 3 string RB, a rotational DT, or #5 WR with their first 3 picks, they must feel they have the equivalent of these (2nd, 3rd, or 4th round LB talent) or better already on the roster.

    The Hawks could’ve gone crazy and picked up a LB in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th and everyone would claim we would be stacked at LB. Still could have picked up Willams/DT in the 5th and with the McDaniels and Bennett pick up, no one would have complained much about the D-line. Harvin and another year for Kerse would not have made Harper needed on paper. Turbin a solid back-up along with Ware/another late pick that will sit on the bench much of the year makes the Michael pick unnessasary for a SB run on paper. Not many complaints could have been made if the first 3 were LB, but they didn’t address the draft that way, (not picking a LB until the 6th) and they are letting Leroy walk, so I assume they like what they have.

  59. montanamike2 says:

    CDHawkFan that’s the conclusion i came to after the draft and FA period.
    We might still pick up a released player as insurance but that’s a big maybe.

  60. One way to look at it, if the front office felt LB was a major issue, they wouldn’t have picked a 2 or 3 string. .

    Totally disagree- I believe these guys almost exclusively take the best available athlete. If hey thought they had a guy rated highly they would take him regardless of position

  61. bbnate420 says:

    Never count out Hill. His death has been prematurely reported a couple of times.

  62. bbnate420 says:

    STTBM, Brown has done a lot of work mentoring young, at-risk men and working to reduce gang violence. I’m not going to argue with you about him, but I would suggest you research him instead of forming an opinion on a few stories you’ve heard. And I said he is far from being an angel. But he does have some very good traits to go along with the bad.

    I think you underestimate his value to the Browns too. I don’t know that it’s worth a million dollar a year, but I do believe it is valuable. He has a lot to teach young players. And if you’re saying he trashed RB Trent Richardson, I don’t really believe you. I saw him on the NFL Network and he was talking glowingly about Richardson.

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