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Morning Links: Focusing on Willson, not Wilson for a day

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on Dec. 20, 2013 at 1:27 am with 35 Comments »
December 20, 2013 1:27 am
Luke Willson celebrates after his first NFL touchdown. / AP photo
Luke Willson celebrates after his first NFL touchdown. / AP photo

Good morning.

Seahawks tight end Luke Willson has gone from nine catches his senior season at Rice to being a factor for the Seahawks while they compile the NFL’s best record.

Following Anthony McCoy’s summertime Achilles injury, Willson ended up with a chance to play as a rookie fifth-rounder. He also ended up with a chance to look at Zach Miller and realize that’s what a professional looks like.

“From Day One, he’s a sharp kid, so he kind of said, ‘Hey, Zach knows what he’s doing and is a really tough dude,’ ” Seattle tight ends coach Pat McPherson said.

McPherson noted some things for Willson to work on: pad level when blocking, getting off of press coverage, short-area quickness, and really having a plan at the line of scrimmage.

Based on Willson’s start — he has 18 catches in 25 targets (72 percent, which is second on the team among non-running backs to Doug Baldwin’s 74 percent in 41 more targets) for 265 yards — he’s on his way to being another late-round steal for the Seahawks.

“I mean he’s been a fantastic draft pick for us, an incredible draft pick for us,” Pete Carroll said. “I mean he could play so early and contribute in such a variety of ways, and he’s really just getting started. He’s a tremendous prospect for us for the years to come.”

Here’s my story from today’s paper on Willson and Miller.

Links:

> 710 ESPN writes about Richard Sherman touting Earl Thomas as the defensive player of the year.

> Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll sat down with ESPN’s John Clayton:

> The Everett Herald says the Seahawks plug-in cornerbacks and don’t miss a beat.

> Seahawks.com focuses on Clinton McDonald.

> NFL films previews this Sunday’s game.

> Larry Fitzgerald is just waiting on a doctor’s OK and says he will play if he gets it.

> ESPN’s Countdown Daily crew makes their picks for the game.

> Earl Thomas launched his website last night. It received so many visits after he and Sherman tweeted the link, it crashed.

> Baltimore’s Ray Rice has been dealing with a hip injury (flexor strain) and says it’s not “something that you just bounce back from and say, ‘Oh you know I had a hip.’ It is definitely very hard to play through week in and week out.” Rice is averaging a career-low 3.1 yards per carry.

Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I think it is a toss up between Thomas and Sherman for D-MVP.

    Sherman has four picks and two fumble recoveries over his last four games versus Arizona. Welcome to the Clink Palmer. Lol.

  2. Thomas will win the Defensive Player of the Year award.

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Sherman’s better at life than I am.

  4. montanamike2 says:

    Either one could win it and deserves to, man we’re a stacked team. We’ll dominate the pro bowl this year. I hope we shred Arizona on Sunday.

  5. montanamike2 says:

    The ‘Cards are banged up in a few key spots, i hope we attack those spots.

  6. montanamike2 says:

    If we keep drafting like this we could go on a decade of dominance. Willson should develop into a special player, he’s already showing flashes of the future. I love how we draft for the future.

  7. GeorgiaHawk says:

    So much for Rang’s analysis of Willson early in the season.
    This is why smart teams like the Seahawks don’t put too much stock in what so-called draft geeks like Rang and others say.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    They don’t put any stock into what guys like Rang and Kiper et al, have to say. They have their own scouting department they rely on.

  9. raymaines says:

    So, how’s Vance McDonald doing in SF? Is he contributing very much?

  10. RDPoulsbo says:

    It’s possible Sherman and Thomas could split the vote and let someone like Mathis out Kuechly win it. The next 2 opponents have offenses Seattle should dominate, so it’s also possible they end up 1 and 2.

  11. yankinta says:

    Good Article about HFA,, comparing Seahawks HFA to others…. somewhat surprising… :)

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/10170641/bill-barnwell-best-home-field-advantages

  12. yankinta says:

    raymaines,, Vance is considered a bust right now at SF. He has 8 total catches and ZERO TD’s…. :)

    That’s why I’ve been saying 49ers FO is Wayy Overrated, in fact they don’t know much about player evaluation nor they have eyes for Talent….. Remember how much credit they got for trading up one spot before our 2nd pick to draft Vance?? The idiots draft experts around the nation were saying Wow, 49ers GM is really good, they knew we were gonna draft Vance,, lol I was like Heck No!!…

  13. chuck_easton says:

    A happy morning to all! I’m particularly in good spirits. Took today off to add an additional day to my Christmas week.

    Canada does Christmas similar to the U.S. Thanksgiving. It is more than just December 25th. We have the 24th-26th off every year (Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day).

    Most companies just shut down for the entire week as it would seem silly to go into work on the 23rd, have three days off, and go back for Friday the 27th.

    SO, I’m off until Monday the 30th.

    Today will be spent getting ready for tomorrow’s flight to Seattle. It looks like wet weather for Sunday’s game? We don’t do rain jackets here, more winter (snow) clothes. Do those silly looking ‘official Seahawk rain ponchos’ (or as we call them when we see them on TV the lime green trash bags) actually work to keep you somewhat dry?

    Can’t wait! Sunday is almost here. A father/son bonding weekend complete with the chance to watch Seattle go for the Division/1st round bye/HFA.

    Look forward to chatting about our trip on Monday.

    Happy Holidays to my internet 12thman family.

    Tyler and I are in Section 325 Row DD Seats 5,6. Closer to the 12th man flag endzone so the TD’s that I know will be scored down at the Hawksnest endzone will just have to be viewed on the big screen.

  14. mquinn73 says:

    “He also ended up with a chance to look at Zach Miller and realize that’s what a professional looks like.”

    Perfect, Todd. Just perfect…

  15. Dukeshire says:

    They do, Chuck. I’m excited for you and your son. Have a great trip!

  16. yankinta says:

    Bad News for Manning MVP chances….

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/10170718/wes-welker-denver-broncos-likely-playoffs

    He’s struggled again and again in 3rd downs,, without welker in the lineup…. If that continues the next 2 weeks ,, RW can win it…. :)

  17. Chuck – you have a surprisingly good view from up there – I have been in 326 I 8 since the stadium has opened.

    Hope you have a great time!!!

    Look down to 326 when you hear the “shave that back” chant starting after the 3rd quarter. pretty entertaining and a little disturbing too.

  18. rramstad says:

    Mid 40s and raining is likely Sunday. You absolutely have to stay dry in those conditions to be comfortable. Section 325 is almost certainly exposed — the lower part is for sure, not sure about row DD, which is going to be near the supports that hold up the roof.

    The temporary ponchos absolutely do work, but you’ll want to layer a bit, and if you can, wear waterproof shoes or boots.

    Biggest recommendation with a child would be to enter on the southwest corner, and visit Touchdown City, which has some interactive stuff for the young ones (and beer for the adults). At 30 or so minutes to kickoff, head to the gates, it’s a bit of a walk up to the 300 level. If it is raining hard you may want to skip player intros and so on by waiting in the concourse below. Concourse is also a good idea at half time if you are getting wet or uncomfortable. Macaroni and cheese or tomato soup at half time is a good way to roll… also there’s clam chowder, hot chocolate… they’ve got some good stuff for a cold day actually. Each part of the stadium has slightly different food options so if you see something you might want later, make a note of the section number you are near.

    The game should be pretty intense and a lot of fun. Wet weather stimulates the 12th Man… not unusual to see our opponent slink out for halftime with body language suggesting that they just want to get on the bus and go home…

  19. 325 is totally in the elements!! and you will have a little wind from the back if it is windy

  20. montanamike2 says:

    That’s heaven Chuck, once in a lifetime memories. Wish i was there too.
    As a Dual citizen i was raised in Canada and Boxing day was a part of Christmas and known for it’s huge sales. Here in the States Christmas is over. Both Country’s then get ready for New Years though and the sales of alcohol spikes.

  21. RDPoulsbo says:

    Enjoy your time in Seattle Chuck. Remember that when it rains here, it’s seldom a downpour. It’s most likely going to be a mist or drizzle. Your standard coat and a hat with layers underneath should be all you’ll need.

    Touchdown City is a lot of fun, but enjoy the various happenings on the street as well.

  22. trout_hound says:

    Earl’s site has some nice stuff on there. I like his explanation of his pick last Sunday and how he emulates Ed Reed:

    ‘My interception in last week’s game against the New York Giants is a perfect example. That play was the result of work we put in during practice. We’re all so in-tune with the game of football, we’re always coming up with ways to make the most of opportunities. We learned a lot from watching the Ravens with Ed Reed and their secondary. We saw a lot of tipped balls being capitalized on.

    On that play, the Giants were in the red zone and tried to throw a fade ball on Sherm. We know in the league great quarterbacks always try to throw it to the pylon, and that’s what they were doing. Sherm was on it, but couldn’t get into position to make a pick. I’m always telling him and the other corners: If they can’t catch it, tip it up and I’ll be there. I got a great break on it and was right there to make a pick. Then I just tried to make like a receiver, and get two feet in before going out.”

  23. SeahawkFan12 says:

    Hey Chuck,
    Have an amazing time with your son and enjoy the well-deserved time off!
    Awesome that you are doing this trip, and there is no doubt the Hawks will
    help make it special for you and your boy with a big win on Sunday.
    GO HAWKS!

  24. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Enjoy your weekend Chuck, it will live up to all your expectations.. If you get a chance, take a tour of the stadium tomorrow. Also the seattle underground tour is very interesting.

  25. Win% probabilities week 16 (from NYT)
    .53 MIA @ BUF .47
    .23 MIN @ CIN .77
    .47 IND @ KCC .53
    .38 TBB @ STL .62
    .62 CLE @ NYJ .38
    .46 DAL @ WAS .54
    .57 NOS @ CAR .43
    .67 TEN @ JAX .33
    .72 DEN @ HOU .28
    .35 NYG @ DET .65
    .22 ARI @ SEA .78
    .40 PIT @ GBP .60
    .23 OAK @ SDC .77
    .62 NEP @ BAL .38
    .36 CHI @ PHI .64
    .19 ATL @ SFO .81

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/12/20/3tfo-cardinals-seahawks-week-16/

  26. montanamike2 says:

    I like them odds.

  27. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Sweezy out this week. Im curious to see what Bowie can do at RG. He seemed to be getting better ever week at tackle before Breno came back.

  28. montanamike2 says:

    He might take his job.

  29. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Coach Pete at top with Reid? That would be a cool bonus award. We of course all know the main award this team and the one we want is the Superbowl champions. All other regular season, individual honors are secondary to the main goal. I’d see Reid winning this anyway, taking a team from 2-14 to playoffs is a nice feat. Plus they won’t be in the Superbowl, so give it the other guy.

    http://q.usatoday.com/2013/12/20/coach-of-year-power-rankings-week-15/

  30. thursday says:

    I’ve been in the opposite end zone seats and yeah, definitely exposed. If it were me, I’d be bringing one of those poncho things and there’s a stiff breeze that usually comes off the water so layers are good. I’m going to be at the game too (and the one after), but in the club level this time hahah.

  31. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Lol xcman. That was really cool!

  32. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Chuck – scream your lungs out Sunday! We are counting on you.

  33. Chuck, I saw a game from 328, which I believe is a bit higher up from where you are by the flag…the view was really very good. Out in the open though, I had a sunny, nice day but in the elements you’ll want those winter coats.

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