I wrote about Cliff Avril for today’s paper. He’s been adjusting to Seattle’s ongoing experiment with defensive line rotations. The thing for Avril is, though his percentage of time on the field is down, his totals are nearing previous work.
Since joining the Seahawks, Avril has had two outlier games. He played 73 percent of the snaps in Week 3 and 45 percent in Week 9, according to the NFL. Otherwise, Avril has played 49 percent to 59 percent of the snaps.
Last year with Detroit, Avril played up to 81 percent of the snaps, reaching the 70 percent mark seven times during the season.
Despite the downturn in usage, there has been an uptick in production from Avril.
He leads the Seahawks with 7.5 sacks, two off his total from a full season last year and in 286 fewer snaps. Avril also has four forced fumbles, two short of his career high from 2011.
Though Avril is being rotated more often, this is arguably his best season because his efficiency has escalated. He’s 3.5 sacks away from a career high with four games to go.
Also in there is some more information on Brandon Browner’s situation. Early afternoon yesterday, I was able to confirm that Browner has indeed turned down a proposed deal from the league to shorten his suspension from a year. That was first reported by ESPN’s John Clayton earlier in the week. Browner thinks he shouldn’t be suspended at all because he feels he was erroneously moved to Stage 3 of the penalties within the substance-abuse program.
Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo has some good additional information on Browner’s situation. He says the deal offered would have allowed Browner to return in October (if he was suspended, it would have been for one calendar year). Garafolo has some other good information in his story — including an accusation that the tester mishandled his sample — so go check it out.
Because of his off-field situation and groin problem, I’d still be surprised to see Browner return this season. In addition, getting a little lost in all of this is Browner committed another violation of the substance-abuse policy to spur this most recent issue, whether he should have been in Stage 3 or not. That means he’s violated the substance-abuse program in 2005-06 (that’s what started this most recent process), then the PED policy late last season, then the substance-abuse policy again this season. Yet, the Seahawks, who have had multiple violators of both policies over the past two years, are leaving a roster spot open for him.
Pete Carroll says he’s a big believer in second chances. The Seahawks gave Browner a second chance when they brought him back into the league. Then a third chance when they brought him back after the PED suspension. Now, a fourth chance.
> 710 ESPN writes that a Seahawks win Sunday would mean a changing of the guard in the NFC West.
> USA Today writes that the “49ers have hatred in their hearts” for the Seahawks.
> MMQB writes about the “brains behind the Seattle defense,” which would be DC Dan Quinn.
> Some “experts” tell USA Today the key to stopping Colin Kaepernick.
> Here’s the video “playbook” from Seahawks.com.
> 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is preparing to play Sunday.
> Michael Crabtree thinks the Seahawks will have a tougher time defending the pass in the rematch. A main reason why would be his return.
> Seahawks.com writes that Robert Turbin is making the most of his backup situation.
> I had missed this prior, but here is Richard Sherman on Sound FX from the Minnesota game. He has an interesting conversation with Marshawn Lynch.
> USA Today also has an interesting story on rethinking overtime strategy.
> It just about takes cats and dogs living together, but there is a scenario where the Jacksonville Jaguars could make the playoffs.
> The next installment in MMQB’s behind-the-scenes look at referees.