Until we get some exposure to the Seahawks on Tuesday, Walter Thurmond’s reported suspension remains the topic of the day. John McGrath, in the TNT, columnized on the issue.
The situation reminds McGrath of the issues that secondary depth caused in the Super Bowl XL appearance. Ken Hamlin was gone because of an off-field incident, and Marquand Manuel played well in his absence, but when Manuel got hurt? Maxwell and Lane should be fine as fill-ins for now, but what happens if one of them goes down? Etric Pruitt?
–The last couple weeks of the Seahawks’ regular schedule are looking a bit more challenging. Arizona (at Clink 12-22) stretched its win streak to four with a 40-11 pasting of Indianapolis, while St. Louis (at Clink 12-29) thumped Chicago 42-21. Both those teams have defenses that traditionally cause the Seahawks troubles. Note: The NFC West is now the only division in the NFL in which all four teams have outscored their opponents through Week 12.
– I sat down with ESPN’s Professor, John Clayton, an old colleague, for the story of how he grew out of newspapers and became a media rock star.
There were some great quotes from sources about Clayton, particularly from Bill Polian, who said that talking with Clayton is like talking to another NFL GM.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com was the beat guy at the PI in Clayton’s days at the Trib, and had the unenviable task of competing against Clayton for stories. Farnsworth said that nobody deserves their position more than Clayton because he saw on a daily basis how hard he worked for it. His story about Clayton chasing Mike McCormack’s car out of the parking lot is priceless.
I agree with the assessment of his work ethic. I’ve covered some Olympic gold medalists and Hall of Fame athletes who can’t match the dedication that Clayton has for his job.
–Fans of Seahawks nostalgia likely enjoy Farnsworth’s “Catching Up With …” series. This one with linebacker Sam Merriman had some interesting background on the injury that ended his career “… basically, the bottom half of my leg was just being held on by the skin. Everything had been mangled. They were talking about, ‘Oh, you have x-number of hours before we have to amputate.”
–Pro Football Talk has an interesting opinion piece on dubious NFL rules. I think they missed one, though. I’ve always thought the most punitive rule in football is the touchback after an offensive player fumbles out of the end zone. You might be on the 1 going in for a TD, but if you fumble and it goes out of the end zone, it’s the other team’s ball at the 20. Had you fumbled out of bounds even an inch before the end zone, it would still be your ball. That rule should be changed … take it back to the PAT line, something. While researching a writing project on a game in the 1920s, I came across a weird rule they used to have: If you threw an incomplete pass in the end zone, it was as touchback. Absurd. They changed that, of course, and I think they should do the same with the fumble out of the end zone.