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Goodell says ‘tremendous amount’ of interest in expanding playoffs

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on March 26, 2014 at 9:49 am with 26 Comments »
March 26, 2014 9:49 am

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with the media in Orlando at the league meetings. Here’s what he had to say:

On the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl and the effect it may have on future Super Bowls being held in open-air stadiums in cold-weather cities:

We discussed the Super Bowl in the context of what we achieved, the successes that occurred and things that we can do better. We do that every year following the Super Bowl and try to achieve a better event for our fans and for our teams. The overall reaction was positive. People believe that the Super Bowl was a great opportunity to put us on the number-one stage and promote the Super Bowl. There was a positive reaction to it. The only future discussion we had was really the bidding process in May and we already have three cities that are in that process.

 

On Woody Johnson reaching out to the NFL before signing Michael Vick and his thoughts on if Michael Vick is a changed person:

I’ll refrain from sharing anything about the conversation, but I’ll be happy to talk about the general views toward Michael. Michael is a young man who made a tragic mistake. He paid a very heavy price for it, but I’ve seen him, in everything he’s done, exceed expectations. He has worked very hard to be a positive force in a lot of different areas. That’s something I admire about him. When we went through the process of reviewing whether he would come back into the league, he demonstrated that he was somebody who was committed to saying, ‘I am going to do this the right way. I am going to be a positive force.’ He has, and I’m proud of the work he has done. I think that’s the kind of thing we should have.

 

On if the league has thought about having a larger psychological evaluation for players:

We’ve not only thought about it, we’re doing it. We look at the total wellness of an individual — the physical wellness as well as mental wellness and then we try to give them the resources to try to be able to deal with that. We have definitely made great strides in that. That doesn’t mean we don’t have more work to do. We continue to focus on that.

 

On the details of players being reviewed for mental wellness and will Jonathan Martin be required to the same evaluation:

The answer to your first question is that’s a medical decision. I’m not a medical professional. I’m not one that would dictate that. Those are done by the medical professionals that are joint medical professionals between the players association and the NFL. It’s their decision, the evaluation, and also whatever recommendations they might make.

On Jonathan Martin: I would have to check on that. I don’t know the details on that. I believe he has got some evaluation already.

 

On potentially expanding the playoffs and what are the next steps:

We had a good discussion on it on several fronts. As you know, the Competition Committee has been looking at this for a couple of years. We have discussed it in various committees, including broadcasting. We had a full discussion on the floor with the owners and other executives this week. I think there’s a tremendous amount of interest in this, possibly even to the point of support, but there are also things we still want to make sure we do it right. We’ve been very incremental in trying to do this, but we believe competitively it could make even our races toward the end of our season even more exciting with more teams vying for playoff positions, which is great for our fans. We still want to do some additional work, including talking with the players association. We have a scheduled meeting set for April 8. This will be one of the things we’ll probably discuss and then we’ll also have to talk to broadcast partners and there are some scheduling issues that we still need to work through.

 

On if he wouldn’t make a decision on suspensions of the three Dolphins players until after the medical determinations:

The medical evaluations are the priority, yes.

From our standpoint, the medical evaluations will determine what happens. There will be no determinations until we have that information.

 

On memories of Ralph Wilson:

Yesterday was a sad day for the NFL. For a lot of us in the NFL, he was a special man and someone that – coming from western New York, I know how much he did for the western New York region and I also know what he’s done for the NFL having seen it first-hand. As a commissioner, I saw that he’s a great owner. He was the kind of guy who was principled. He was strong. He understood when to compromise. He’s going to be missed by the NFL and by me, personally. I spoke to Mary last night and I’ll be at the funeral. He’s someone that deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He has really done incredible things for the league and pro football in general. That’s something that will be a great legacy for him.

 

On how involved the league was with the Dan Snyder’s announcement of the Redskins Foundation for Native Americans:

We had been listening, but so has Dan. The point of his presentation is that he has been listening. He’s visited I think 26 different tribes. He’s been working very closely with them. He’s not only listened, he’s has learned, and now, he is taking action. He is trying to address some of the very important needs that they have identified when he has been having those meetings. That was a presentation completely by the Redskins. It was their initiative and I think the membership appreciated hearing that.

 

On discussions regarding workplace conduct:

This is a professional workplace for everybody. That’s players, coaches, trainers, equipment men, executives. All of us expect that and it is our job to make sure we deliver that. I think this is going to be a collective effort. You’ve heard some of the coaches. We’ve had several different sessions discussing this with executives, owners and coaches. We are going to talk with our players on April 8 and that’s the focus of the meeting. We’ll talk about what we can do to ensure a professional workplace. I mentioned to you the other day that I met with 40 players from nine different teams over the last three months to discuss this. They want a professional workplace and we owe it to them. We are going to work with them to try to create that.

 

On making the locker room environment closer to the front office:

You guys have all been there. Locker rooms are unique. There are unique things that we have to think about. We want them to be professional. We want them to be comfortable –everyone in that locker room – so they can focus on doing their job. That’s what we all owe them. We will be working with our players, our coaches, our executives and with outside experts. We will be going through a lot of training on the club level over the next several months and I’m confident that everyone understands the importance of it and embraces it.

 

On if he is monitoring Ray Rice’s legal issues and next steps:

The answer to that is yes. And I don’t’ know on the second part. We will let the facts dictate that.

 

On federal investigation into Jimmy Haslam’s business:

I don’t have any timetable on what the federal authorities are working on. So I don’t have any inside knowledge of that in any way. But there has been no reason for us to take any action as of now and we don’t have any indication that will occur. But we will see how things unfold.

 

On stadium proposal in Miami:

We didn’t discuss that here with the full membership. We didn’t have a stadium committee meeting. That is something that will have to come to the stadium committee. I did speak to Steve [Ross] last week and I salute him for his commitment to try to bring a first-class stadium to that area. He is committed to it and I think he’ll achieve that. It will be great for the area, it will be great for the Dolphins and great for the NFL. I think lots of great events will come there as a result of it.

 

On speaker Wade Davis discussing gay athletes:

I had the privilege of meeting Wade a few weeks ago. He came into our office and met with several of our executives. I found his message to be very important for all of us to hear. He’s part of the family that we all are in the NFL. He just wants to make sure we provide the kind of workplace where people can be comfortable playing football, and he wants to help us work to do that. He recognizes that everyone is not an advocate or someone who is going to carry the flag. But these are young men who want the opportunity to play in the NFL and they want to do it right. Our job is to make sure we provide that opportunity.

 

On message he hopes membership takes back to their clubs from Wade Davis:

A better understanding of what these young men are thinking about and going through. Also, what they can do to provide the right opportunity and the right environment. That’s the key.

 

On the future of the Buffalo Bills:

I haven’t focused on that. That’s not something I’ve spent any time on in recent days. My thoughts and my heart are with the Wilson family. We all know they have a lease. We know the terms of that lease and we also know we have to find a long-term solution to keep the Bills there and that’s what we will work to do. But that’s not the priority right now in the next few days.

 

On players being listed improperly on injury reports:

It is of importance to us because we think that is an important policy. It has not been on my radar this week though.

 

On the Redskins name discussion continuing:

This is something, to your point, that has been discussed for decades now. It comes up every once in a while. People have strong views on it. But I think Dan [Snyder] has been very responsive and has been listening. It’s also pretty clear when you look at public opinion here. When you look at the polls 90 percent of the Redskins fans support the name, they believe it’s something that demonstrates pride and the general population also supports it overwhelmingly. He’s trying to be responsive and he’s listening and recognizing that people have different views.

 

On interest level for team in Los Angeles:

We’ve been very open that if we had the right opportunity to be back in Los Angeles with the right formula, meaning a stadium, most importantly. We know there are millions of fans who want a team there. We would love to do that, but it has to be successful. We are going to do it right if we are going to do it. There are different proposals out there and different opportunities but not one that we are focused on and can say that we have the right solution yet. We’re not there.

 

On franchises existing in Buffalo and Toronto:

I’m not sure that I’ve studied that enough to know. I know there are a lot of fans that come –having been from Western New York. They are close from a proximity standpoint and there are fans that come from Toronto and there are fans that go from Buffalo up to Toronto. They have worked very hard in Buffalo, and obviously western New York and southern Ontario to regionalize that team to attract from a broader area. That is healthy for the team and they have drawn – in large part though that series – more fans from southern Ontario and the Toronto area. Again, that’s important and that’s something that we want to encourage.

Leave a comment Comments → 26
  1. Singularitarian says:

    if it aint broke, don’t fix it. you’re not supposed to be able to just walk into the playoffs

  2. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Don’t turn football into hockey. Playoffs looks pretty good the way they are to me. And I don’t THINK I’m saying that because they worked out for the Hawks last year!

    And can we please leave the extra point alone? The extra point in no way diminishes my enjoyment of the game.

  3. RDPoulsbo says:

    There’s already over 1/3 of teams that make it into the playoffs. 12 is a good number and the top 4 teams getting particularly rewarded for their regular season performance.

    For the owners, expanding the playoffs only accomplishes 2 things: In the short run, more revenue for the added playoff games. In the long run, it greases the wheels for an 18 game season for more revenue. Giving that jumble of 8-8 teams a legitimate shot at getting in means needing extra games to help separate the morass of teams getting in through 3-way tiebreakers, down to the 3rd or 4th level. Neither of which actually improves the quality of the product on the field.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    I agree. This isn’t the NBA where half the league gets in. Parody shouldn’t be confused for mediocrity. Goodell must not feel that way, however.

  5. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Goodell works for the owners. Every owner wants an increased chance at another home game, 1 more TV rights check, etc.

    I’m fine with expanding the season or the playoffs – as long as you also increase 1) the roster sizes, 2) league minimum salaries and 3) the salary cap.

    Or how about guaranteed contracts?!?!? Can anyone explain to me why football doesn’t have those?

  6. I love the NFL playoffs as is. You really have to earn it to make it. And if you make it you can win it. There are the occasional times where a 7-9 team makes it(us!) or a 10-6 team misses but it balances out and is the exception not the rule.

    On the Jared Allen front, what I wonder is knowing what they know now would the FO still have cut Clemons when they did? It doesn’t seem like they had any pressure to cut him at that particular time as his cap space has yet to be spent. Maybe a deal was in place with someone that fell through? Maybe they just chose to part ways regardless.

  7. I agree with you who have said not to become like some other sports where so many teams get in the play-offs that the regular season loses some of its importance. But I wouldn’t have an issue with adding one (and only one) play-off team to the AFC and NFC.

  8. HawkfaninMT says:

    On the Clemmons topic, I do not think they would have changed their decision. If memory serves me Clemmons was due to count 8M this season. All basically got 8M this season(and next). If the hawks were willing to spend 8M on a DE it would be Allen over Clemmons. The way I see it they had set the ceiling at around 5.5-6M, and neither player wanted it.

    \No blame on either side here, it is just the way it goes sometimes.

  9. jawpeace says:

    I think the playoffs are great the way they are set now. Expanding would be stupid in my book because you would have to increase each conference by two more teams-to make an even number. That is too many. Down the line if the NFL expands creating new franchises. Two in the NFC and AFC in three years and then another two teams three years after that. Then expanding the playoffs could make more sense.

    The only change I would make is after the first round is over. Seeding then reverts to best records. So a Wild Card team at 11-5 that won in the first round would be seeded higher than a 9-7 divisional winner that also won and would host the game if matched up in the second round.

  10. Sarcasticus says:

    I was embarrassed when the Seahawks made it into the playoffs with a losing record. It seems that adding another team might up the chances that happens again. Just using last year’s final standings, an 8-8 team from the AFC would have made it in.

    In 2012, an 8-8 Steelers would have made it. In 2011, an 8-8 NFC team would have made it. I don’t see how rewarding an 8-8 team with a playoff spot makes the races more exciting. Players are taught the number one job is to win your division. You should not expect to get in if you don’t do that.

    How much more did this year reward the faithful because of all those years the Seahawks didn’t make the playoffs?

  11. Sarcasticus says:

    RE:The Redskins – I have lived in DC. My brother is a huge fan and used to sing the fight song as a kid. I never really thought much of it, but it is definitely time for this name to go. It is offensive. In the interview today, Goodell said that 90% of Redskins’ fans don’t want the name changed. Well, of course they don’t want anything changed with their team. (Even though that seems to go against reports from just two months ago http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/02/redskins-tout-new-poll-that-actually-shows-increasing-support-for-name-change/ ).

    Then again, it is against the point. Changing the name would be the right thing to do. Who cares what the majority wants? What if in my home state of Alabama, they decided to start a team in the home of the black belt and call the team the Birmingham Blackskins? What about a new team in San Antonio called the Brownskins? How is Redskins not the same thing? They could keep the same logo. They can sing their songs. They could come up with a new name that maybe celebrates the local natives (hard not to say that with sarcasm knowing history). It is time for someone in that organization to speak up and do what is right. Unfortunately, Snyder has made it clear that won’t happen.

  12. chuck_easton says:

    Hawkfromday1,

    Quick response to your 3 conditions:

    “I’m fine with expanding the season or the playoffs – as long as you also increase 1) the roster sizes, 2) league minimum salaries and 3) the salary cap.”

    1. Increased Roster Sizes means more player salaries and thus a larger hit on the cap. So, overall, less money to each player.

    2. Higher league minimums…see #1, higher pay to the bottom of the depth chart means more cap space taken and less overall money to the top of the Depth Chart.

    3. The Cap is determined by overall league revenue after expenses. Per the CBA the Cap is set based on revenue (after operating costs). Only way to raise the cap is to redo the CBA and give the players more than the current 50% of the revenue. That was why there was a lockout. Teams wanted the player’s cut to be no more than 50%.

    Only other option is to increase ticket prices thus increasing revenue and thus a higher cap. So, you are advocating for higher cost to the fan?

  13. rramstad says:

    You don’t have to expand both conferences by two. You can expand them by one. You’d create more competition as the first seed gets a bye and the second seed has to play… so you don’t get as many situations at the end of the year where the last game doesn’t matter. Same actually with the bubble teams fighting for the seventh and final spot in each conference… more teams alive in the last week. Basically you end up with two more games on wild card weekend, and otherwise the playoffs stay the same.

    Now that said, I think it’s an awful idea. 12 of 32 is still plenty and the rare 7-9 team gets in. If you expand to 14 of 32 that’s dangerously close to half the teams in the league getting in, which is silly, the whole point of the regular season is to crown division champions and divide the playoff teams from the rest of the field. 16 of 32 is so watered down as to not even begin to be considered IMHO.

    I also don’t like an 18 game regular season, FWIW. I think the only way you get there is by removing two preseason games, increasing roster sizes overall, increasing the cap by that amount, and allowing either a larger number of active players OR possibly an emergency system i.e. like the emergency QB, each team can have an emergency OL, DL, LB, CB, you get the idea, a player that once they come in, the starters can’t go back in. This would provide a little more cushion for teams without changing the rules a lot.

  14. SEA Free Agents:
    (referenced player numbers refer to PFF ’13 reg season overall performance ratings)
    Acquired:
    Taylor Price WR DET +11.0
    Red Bryant DE > JAX +7.5
    Clinton McDonald DT > TB +7.3
    Walter Thurmond CB > NYG +4.8
    Brandon Browner CB > NE +2.8
    Breno Giacomini RT > NYJ -0.2
    Chris Maragos S > PHI -0.7
    Chris Clemons DE > JAX -7.7
    Paul McQuistan G > CLE -24.8

    Still Out There:
    Doug Baldwin WR 25 yo RFA +11.0 (must re-sign)
    O’Brien Schofield DE 27 yo UFA +2.7 (healthy?)
    Sidney Rice 28 yo WR UFA (cut) +1.4 (healthy?)
    Michael Robinson FB UFA +0.6 (probably not?)
    Kellen Davis TE UFA -6.6 (not if A.McCoy healthy)

    SEA Team Needs:
    WR (starting SE & Flanker): Other available UFAs 29 yo Robert Meachem +5.6, 26 yo Damian Williams +2.0, 28 yo Austin Collie +1.4, 29 yo Josh Morgan +0.8
    RT (starter and depth): Other available UFAs 26 yo Eben Britton +4.1, 26 yo (LT) J’Marcus Webb +2.7, 26 yo Bruce Campbell 0.0 (failed physical with DC 3-13-14)
    DE (rotational Leo/RDE & 5-tech): Other available UFAs 28 yo Robert Ayers +8.6, 30 yo Parys Haralson +2.5, 28 yo Lawrence Sidbury 0.0 (IR’d early in ’13 w/shoulder)
    G (depth): Other available UFAs 27 yo Garrett Reynolds +2.8
    CB (depth): Other available UFAs 29 yo Terrell Thomas +0.4, 26 yo Aaron Berry 0.0
    S (depth): Other available UFAs 28 yo Chris D. Clemons +4.1, 26 yo Kurt Coleman +0.2
    TE (depth): Other available UFAs 31 yo Kellen Winslow +4.9, 28 yo Bear Pascoe +1.8, 29 yo Dustin Keller 0.0, 27 yo Jermichael Finley -2.8

    SEA Draft Picks:
    1-32, WR Kelvin Benjamin
    2-32, RT Jack Mewhort
    4-32, DE (5-tech) Josh Mauro
    5-6 (from OAK), G Anthony Steen
    5-32, CB Terrance Mitchell
    6-32, DB Marqueston Huff
    7-32, TE Colt Lyerla

  15. Heck, the comment above didn’t copy and paste right…

    SEA Free Agents:
    (referenced player numbers refer to PFF ’13 reg season overall performance ratings)
    Acquired:
    Taylor Price WR DET +11.0
    Red Bryant DE > JAX +7.5
    Clinton McDonald DT > TB +7.3
    Walter Thurmond CB > NYG +4.8
    Brandon Browner CB > NE +2.8
    Breno Giacomini RT > NYJ -0.2
    Chris Maragos S > PHI -0.7
    Chris Clemons DE > JAX -7.7
    Paul McQuistan G > CLE -24.8

    Still Out There:
    Doug Baldwin WR 25 yo RFA +11.0 (must re-sign)
    O’Brien Schofield DE 27 yo UFA +2.7 (healthy?)
    Sidney Rice 28 yo WR UFA (cut) +1.4 (healthy?)
    Michael Robinson FB UFA +0.6 (probably not?)
    Kellen Davis TE UFA -6.6 (not if A.McCoy healthy)

    SEA Team Needs:
    WR (starting SE & Flanker): Other available UFAs 29 yo Robert Meachem +5.6, 26 yo Damian Williams +2.0, 28 yo Austin Collie +1.4, 29 yo Josh Morgan +0.8
    RT (starter and depth): Other available UFAs 26 yo Eben Britton +4.1, 26 yo (LT) J’Marcus Webb +2.7, 26 yo Bruce Campbell 0.0 (failed physical with DC 3-13-14)
    DE (rotational Leo/RDE & 5-tech): Other available UFAs 28 yo Robert Ayers +8.6, 30 yo Parys Haralson +2.5, 28 yo Lawrence Sidbury 0.0 (IR’d early in ’13 w/shoulder)
    G (depth): Other available UFAs 27 yo Garrett Reynolds +2.8
    CB (depth): Other available UFAs 29 yo Terrell Thomas +0.4, 26 yo Aaron Berry 0.0
    S (depth): Other available UFAs 28 yo Chris D. Clemons +4.1, 26 yo Kurt Coleman +0.2
    TE (depth): Other available UFAs 31 yo Kellen Winslow +4.9, 28 yo Bear Pascoe +1.8, 29 yo Dustin Keller 0.0, 27 yo Jermichael Finley -2.8

    SEA Draft Picks:
    1-32, WR Kelvin Benjamin
    2-32, RT Jack Mewhort
    4-32, DE (5-tech) Josh Mauro
    5-6 (from OAK), G Anthony Steen
    5-32, CB Terrance Mitchell
    6-32, DB Marqueston Huff
    7-32, TE Colt Lyerla

  16. TechWorlds says:

    90% of Redskin fans support the name “Redskins”.. of course they do! They are Redskin fans. I want the name changed just to piss off Redskin fans.

  17. News flash: Roger Goodell reports that NFL owners approve of anything that makes more money.

  18. Kingpear says:

    Kim008. Not a fan of Kelvin Benjamin. Drops a ton of passes, and not a fluid route runner. Given the offense thre are only so many fly patterns to run. Also, the depth of the draft at WR is fairly sizable. I think you will see then go OL, DL or corner first.

  19. Stevos–LOL! YEEESSS!

  20. Whatever happened to Dustin Keller? He was a rising star…knee injury?! Didnt come back with the same speed?!

  21. Dang it! did it again… will try to do it in parts…

    SEA Free Agents:
    (referenced player numbers refer to PFF ’13 reg season overall performance ratings)
    Acquired:
    Taylor Price WR < JAX 0.0

  22. Re-signed:
    Steve Hauschka K +33.8
    Michael Bennett DE +24.2
    Tony McDaniel DT +16.1
    Tavaris Jackson QB +3.4
    Anthony McCoy TE 0.0
    Jeron Johnson S -0.2

  23. Lost:
    Golden Tate WR > DET +11.0
    Red Bryant DE > JAX +7.5
    Clinton McDonald DT > TB +7.3
    Walter Thurmond CB > NYG +4.8
    Brandon Browner CB > NE +2.8
    Breno Giacomini RT > NYJ -0.2
    Chris Maragos S > PHI -0.7
    Chris Clemons DE > JAX -7.7
    Paul McQuistan G > CLE -24.8

  24. Still Out There:
    Doug Baldwin WR 25 yo RFA +11.0 (must re-sign)
    O’Brien Schofield DE 27 yo UFA +2.7 (healthy?)
    Sidney Rice 28 yo WR UFA (cut) +1.4 (healthy?)
    Michael Robinson FB UFA +0.6 (probably not?)
    Kellen Davis TE UFA -6.6 (not if A.McCoy healthy)

  25. The “Team Needs and the UFAs available” remains as it was pasted-in on the first try above.

    SEA runs ’11’ personnel (1 TE, 1 RB, 3 WRs) about half the time, so SEA’s biggest need right now seems like WR. Losing Tate, SEA currently has a need for a WR to start at the ‘X’ or SE, and SEA may have also moved on from Rice, so they might well also need a starting ‘Z’ or flanker. Whoever he is, the SE better have the profile of a guy that has the speed to get down the sideline, he better have the quickness to get away from the corner, and he better be good coming off a press. The new ‘Z’ receiver, or flanker to replace Rice is also going against CBs, and often the better of the two starting CBs because right handed QBs tend to throw to flankers more often than to SEs – the ‘Z’ has to have the speed and acceleration to beat CBs and quickly get separation. But, from time-to-time, you can run the ‘Z’ in motion since he’s off the line of scrimmage, you can get him down in the slot and run for passes over the middle. So, there’s a little bit of the characteristics of a slot receiver inherent in the Z receiver. Still, the ‘Z’ WRs are much different than the slot receiver.

    Per Hugh Millen awhile ago, talking about SEs, “In almost all routes, that corner has him in man-to-man. Now, if he runs a shallow cross and it’s zone, then the corner will let him go, but most routes up the field, that corner’s going to be covering the wide receiver, man-to-man. Now, who is a corner? In the NFL, the corner is the guy on the playground, when you play tag, that always won. He’s got that great agility. He is the cheetah running down the gazelle on the Serengeti. The corner is the best athlete on the football field, and I’ll even include receivers and running backs, in that group. Because think about the skillset for a cornerback – he doesn’t have to have great hand-eye coordination, he just has to be able to follow you. And so, those guys are hard to beat, and particularly for an X receiver, if he’s getting a jam on you, you gotta have that ability to get off the line of scrimmage.”

    PH @ SE? Don’t think so, not alot. PH has the speed (4.41-40), and enough strength to beat press – but he’d be better used in the slot where he’s allowed to motion and has long shown that he’s been a terror for other teams to cover.

    Baldwin? Maybe (4.42-40, same as Tate’s). Doug has also been successful at slot and will be a valuable backup there in case PH should get an injury – but facing LBs, safeties, or the third-best CB in slot is different than breaking free from a RCB, and being tied to the LOS against press. On a run-play the WR also has to be a downfield blocker, especially in ’22’ personnel, something Tate loved to do and did well. Don’t remember seeing Baldwin doing that(?) Also, Tate had pretty good YAC and could run end-arounds and the occasional swing pass. Just haven’t seen Baldwin doing that(?) I do think that Baldwin has some ability to win one-on-one contests in heavy personnel packages, but I kinda think maybe he might be better used at the ‘Z’, especially if Rice is gone(?)

    Jermaine Kerse has the speed (4.43-40) and has shown ability, and this is his 4th year(?) so maybe he should be ready to show that he can start at SE. Is Lockette also still on SEA’s roster? He could backup Kearse there and run those fly patterns.

    I see Kelvin Benjamin (6-5/235, 4.54) if there at #32 as backup to Baldwin at flanker, and becoming Rice’s eventual replacement if PH should get injured (or hurt.) He is PCs prototypical ‘Z’.
    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1860744/kelvin-benjamin

  26. This is Kearse’s third year. And yeah, I think he’s got a shot to win the starting SE job now. He also will compete at FL, and can play all the positions. Baldwin will want a starting job, but despite his 4.42 40 time, he’s nowhere near as quick or agile as Tate is. He’s a definite candidate at FL though, as he just finds ways to make plays. He’s also a good blocker, though not in Tate’s league there.

    I think Seattle is after a true SE; someone with size (6′-3″+, 215 lbs+) and speed (4.4 or better), who can already run a route tree. Not sure Benjamin from FS fits the bill–he’s a lot like Mike Williams, kinda slow, runs ok routes but drops a lot of passes. If they can get a guy they like they will nab him and see if he can play SE for us.

    However, my bet is we start the year with Harvin at either SE or Fl, and we also see a lot of 3-wide sets with Harvin in the slot. Kearse and Baldwin will battle it out for the starting WR spot opposite Harvin.

    As much as Harvin doesnt fit the traditional SE or FL roles, we cant just leave him off the field whenever we have 1 or 2 WR onfield. He’s paid too much to sit that much. I think PC and Bevell will use him all over the field, at every WR position, to further confound defenses. Kearse as Ive said–and Carrol has said–plays all positions equally well, and Baldwin played FL a lot last season, as well as slot. Seattle will be able to rotate guys any which way, confounding defenses, and dictating to them by getting favorable matchups on every play.

    This is gonna be good. Kearse will step up, and we will score a rookie stud WR in the first or second. We will draft our RT of the present and future, and Bailey and Bowie will compete hard for the G positions.

    Im getting pumped for next season!

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