Seahawks Insider

Praising DE O’Brien Schofield and S Jeron Johnson, Russell Wilson’s two words of advice for Johnny Manziel; Earl Thomas the punt returner

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Aug. 20, 2014 at 10:40 am with 56 Comments »
August 20, 2014 10:40 am

Malcolm Smith was all the rage yesterday at practice, his first full one since surgery in the spring to clean out his ankle. His twisting, leaping, one-armed interception was remarkable — even for a Tuesday in August — and that is what I lead with in today’s News Tribune.

–The notebook story details the NFL’s new rules on practice squads, highlighted by them now being 10-man squads instead of eight. Honestly, I’m still working through the permutations of the new rule and trying to apply them to which Seahawks may now be practice-squad eligible that weren’t before Tuesday. Phil Bates immediately comes to mind, but consider this: With the Seahawks getting so heavily scouted in the offseason and at the first two exhibition games by other NFL teams trying to glean knowledge and talent from the Super Bowl champions in this copycat league, many whom Seattle cuts on Aug. 30 may get claimed off waivers and onto other 53-man rosters before the Seahawks could put them onto their practice squad. The list of scouts attending last week’s Chargers-Seahawks exhibition was almost college-Pro Day long.

–Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn praised two of his guys for being particularly impressive, and his words might be a hint of who does and does not make the team at rush end and backup safety. Quinn said O’Brien Schofield, whom the Chargers couldn’t block in the first half last week, “is somebody that stood out to me in training camp and through the first two preseason games. … You can feel when a guy is going for it, and I can with him this year.” Quinn has moved Schofield to the rush “Leo” spot on the edge off the offensive formation’s weak side, and Schofield has thrived in his battle with Benson Mayowa for a job as pass-rush specialist. Last year, after he arrived at the start of Seattle’s training camp upon Arizona cutting him, Schofield played the strong-side “Sam” edge spot with more run responsibilities.

Quinn also praised safety Jeron Johnson, a fourth-year undrafted free agent from Boise State, for his aggressive and dependable play through minicamps and this preseason.

Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jeron Johnson (23) celebrates a tackle with outside linebacker K.J. Wright, left, in the first half of last week's exhibition against San Diego. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is praising the fourth-year pro from Boise State. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Seattle Seahawks strong safety Jeron Johnson (23) celebrates a tackle with outside linebacker K.J. Wright, left, in the first half of last week’s exhibition against San Diego. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is praising the fourth-year pro from Boise State. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

“I know we can count on Jeron,” Quinn said.

–Some well-reader blog posters — you know who you are! — shared this link of Kam Chancellor saying his is all kinds of against fellow safety Earl Thomas being this season’s primary punt returner. We have discussed this here for the last week, and the majority seem to agree that having your All-Pro anchor of the defense’s back half as the target for kamikazes with 40-yard head starts in sprinting and wanting to take his head off is, at best, a risky proposition. At least here, Chancellor agrees, too.

I’m interested to see if Bryan Walters is practicing today in the workout that is just beginning here in Renton. The Ivy League’s career leader in punt returns at Cornell “absolutely” impressed Pete Carroll, the coach said, in last week’s exhibition against San Diego with how fearless he was. But he got banged-up ribs to match his guts, and hasn’t been on the field since. His chance to win the job is Friday against Chicago and the final exhibition Aug. 28 at Oakland, but obviously he has to get back on the field first.

–For those car/truck folks out there interested in the Chevrolet Silverado High Country I mentioned in today’s TNT that Malcolm Smith received for being the Super Bowl MVP, here is a look at him with one. That’s not exactly his; Smith told TMZ in February that he was giving his ride to his mother Audrey, who wanted it customed with “gun-metal (paint) and black rims.” Go, Mom!

–Russell Wilson was on Seattle’s KJR-AM radio this morning. Among other, relatively routine things he said — “Q: What specifically gnaws at you that you want to improve on?” A: “Everything” — Wilson was asked what advice he would give Cleveland Browns rookie QB Johnny “The Finger” Manziel, if Wilson had the chance.

Wilson simply said: “Be professional.”

Here, here.

Leave a comment Comments → 56
  1. sluggo42 says:

    Ya, be professional ya dimwit. RW in hind site would have been the #1 pick

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    The need to make Wilson official spokesman for the NFL right now.

    He already has his name on the football.

  3. RDPoulsbo says:

    The Leo spot is my one concern on defense. I’m not so sure Schofield is an upgrade over Clemons and there isn’t anyone else that’s coming close to filling that role. Hopefully he will continue to surprise, but I don’t consider the Chargers o-line to be a big challenge.

    Johnson isn’t flashy, but he’s definitely a dependable backup. No surprise here and should get that backup spot.

    I’m not seeing too many real roster battles going on outside the WR spot. Considering how many guys were lost to FA, it’s kind of surprising.

  4. yankinta says:

    I really hope Schofield blows it up this year like I know he can. That way he can get a 2nd tier money in Free Agency and we get back 2016 4th round compensatory pick for him….

  5. chuck_easton says:


    I’m putting my rule-geek OCD to work to try and understand the new PS eligibility rules as well.

    There are some strange twists, but he gist is players that would have used up their PS eligibility in the past may now have more time.

  6. Carlsonkid says:

    I was just talking with a friend yesterday about the practice squad , in particular about Coyle & Simon . He says they’re practice squad candidates – I told him they’d never clear waivers and someone else would grab them and therefor they both make the final 53 man roster . I think they’ve both done enough ready to make the team …

  7. RDPoulsbo says:

    Coyle should make the team at the expense of Harwell. Harwell will be in Jax soon. Simon probably makes it as the #4 CB. Hopefully Jefferson can heal and be the #5 because there’s a significant drop in talent after that.

  8. RDPoulsbo says:

    Farwell that is. Guess I need another cup of coffee…

  9. “I told him they’d never clear waivers and someone else would grab them and therefor they both make the final 53 man roster . I think they’ve both done enough ready to make the team”

    And, this is why we can only keep two quarterbacks on the roster. So, is it Jackson or Pryor at #2? Pryor has upside and can provide another weapon in certain situations. Too risky? Carroll is not afraid to roll the dice.

    Is it riskier to choose Pryor over Jackson or to allow Earl Thomas to return punts (in pre-season)?! How about Carp and Irvin as #1 picks?

  10. Dukeshire says:

    RDPoulsbo – I disagree. Marsh has shown a great deal of potential at weak side end.

  11. chuck_easton says:


    To help everyone out before we start talking about who might or might not be PS eligible (I won’t get into their likelihood of clearing waivers) here are the new rules:

    1. 2 of the 10 PS players (essentially the two new guys allowed) can have 2 full seasons on an active roster and still be PS eligible. This means that any player that was a rookie in 2012 or 2013 is PS eligible for one of these two new spots. Even if they have been active, a starter, for 32 games in their first two years. Technically Russell Wilson, Willson, Wagner, Michael, Turbin, Sweezy, Scruggs, Lane, Toomer, Spencer Ware, and Jordan Hill would all be eligible to fill one of these 2 new spots.

    2. The remaining 8 fall under the old eligibility rules that they cannot have been on a teams PS for three full seasons.

    3. The modification to the “3 full Seasons” rule for the remaining 8 is it used to be that if a player was on a team’s PS for at least 3 games that player accrued a ‘full year’ of PS. It has been modified that a player would now have to have been on a team’s PS for 6 games in a season to accrue a full year of PS time.

    What this means for Seattle is, in hindsight, the way the Seahawks rotate players in an out of their PS might have been genious in that not all PS players would have been on the PS for 6 games and thus still have their 3 full years of eligibility remaining.

    Questions? Comments? Am I a total Rules Nerd? Yep.

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Thanks trout_hound.

    That article by Todd is one of the best I have read here.

    He certainly has talent.

  13. chuck_easton says:

    Oh and the other eligibility rule for the 8 PS positions is that any player that has been on an active roster for 9 or more games in any one season would not be eligible for one of the 8 PS spots.

  14. FleaFlicker says:

    Duke: in case you didn’t catch it the morning, re-posting this from a couple hours ago:

    Dukeshire: I just got a really weird email from you; the sender line had your name but a different email address. Message was simply “Hi!” and then a sketchy looking web link.

    Might want to do an anti-virus update and full system scan and/or change passwords.

  15. FleaFlicker says:

    Gregg, that’s kind of amazing how many scouts are showing up to call dibs on our to-be-cut players. Would be cool to have a follow up piece in a couple weeks to see where everybody lands. Maybe even with a few quotes.

    Probably a good intern project…

  16. GeorgiaHawk says:

    That would be cool FleaFlicker.

  17. Southendzone says:

    Simon seems a near lock to make the squad at this point. People are talking about Coyle as if he is as well, but there’s significantly more doubt on that one at the moment.

    Agree that Ob Scho isn’t the Leo that Clemons was. Clemons really mastered that position. if OB brings his game to that level, we are in for a treat on Defense again this year. There’s also still potential for Irvin to play that position at times and I do believe given the time & experience, he could still come to dominate as a pass rusher.

  18. SandpointHawk says:

    Thanks Chuck_E

  19. LouieLouie says:

    There was one other quarterback on the field that was even dumber than “The Finger.” That was RG3. Did anyone see the hit he took near the sidelines? Then there was his awful slide a bit later, which he got up and limped away from. If he plays like he did Monday night, RG3 won’t make it through October this year.

    I wonder what advice Wilson would give RG3.

  20. RDPoulsbo says:

    It’s easily forgotten that Clemons also defended the run well. I not so sure the current group will be able to get near that level, Marsh included.

  21. Chuck_easton Thanks!

  22. I saw that LouieLouie, RG3 slid awkwardly. It looks like the turf at that stadium is still a mess too. And he took some hits for no good reason, trying to get a couple extra yards. Not smart, especially in a pre season game. We are lucky our QB is so smart.

  23. montanamike2 says:

    Thanks for the clarification Chuck. Boy did the Rams ever make out on that RG3 trade.

  24. NewJerseyHawk says:

    Our 2nd string DB’s if cut and even attempted to be passed through waivers to the practice squad, would be on the 1st plane east to Newark, NJ with limo service to Florham Park, NJ to sign with the Jets and Idzik….The Jets have no DB’s that would be on our roster today and that includes 1st round busts, Kyle Wilson and Dee Milliner, both who cannot play a lick….They have Calvin Pryor at safety, who is a rookie out of Louisville, but I like Jeron Johnson as a player even more than Pryor now.

  25. Some of you guys seem to be comparing Schofield at Leo to the Pre-injury Clemons, which is unfair. Of course he’s not going to come in and be that good. Clemons was the perfect Leo–BEFORE his injury. AFter the injury, he just wasnt the same. While he racked up something like 4 sacks in a 5-6 game stretch, he went something like 11 games with only one more sack after that. He did bring pressure–I know its more about pressure than just sack numbers–but you could see he was lacking that extra gear to get home for the sack.

    Truth is, Clemons is damaged goods and old;he wasnt worth the cost, and we moved on Regardless of whether or not we could replace his pre-injury production or not. We only have to equal what Clemons would have given us POST-INJURY to make dumping him and his big salary a no-brainer.

    Schofield will likely not be our main rush end; that will be Avril. However, we now have Scruggs and Marsh to backup or play next to Bennett, as well as Jordan Hill and Kevin Williams and more fast LB’s than you can shake a stick at…

    Will our blitzes look the same as last year? No, but thats a good thing…teams wont know where to expect pressure from on any given play, and to me that means a by-committee pass rush approach may reap higher sack numbers–and much more pressure–than last years version.

    We dont have to have two guys in double-digit sacks if we have 6 guys with 4-8. And thats what I think is going to happen…

    Really hoping Mayowa shows up the next two preseason games, like he did last year–I havent seen too much from him so far this preseason. And I really like that kid…and he doesnt have bum knees like Schofield.

  26. I saw RG3’s stumble and slide…that turf in Washingtons stadium is an absolute disgrace. And RGKnee doesnt look anywhere near the agile athlete he was his rookie year….sad, that kid had IT. Now, Im not so sure…his deep pass was really nice though…

    Manziel is a total tool. I keep trying to root for him, since he could help change the NFL–along with RW and Newton–but he’s such a jackass its really, really hard to do that…

  27. MikeFromNewJersey says:


    So true about the Jets. They will be first in line to pick up our castoffs.. Where abouts in Jersey are you?

  28. Southendzone says:

    STT, yeah, Clemons wasn’t 100% the minute he got back on the field from his injury, but he was hitting his stride by season’s end and kicking about as much ass as he always has.

    I disagree with the characterization of him as damaged goods.

    Wasn’t worth the cost, OK, there’s definitely an argument there, which is exactly why we cut him. But if the hawks were going into a meaningful game tomorrow and the choice was CC or Ob Scho, it’s an easy choice.

  29. AZBubba71 says:

    Someone posted on another thread that Kevin Williams is on IR?!? Tried to look it up, but could not find anything. Can somebody please tell me if that is true.

    Was really looking forward to seeing Mebane and Williams in the middle this year….flanked by Avril, Schofield, et. al.

  30. Dukeshire says:

    FleaFlicker – Good looking out. Thanks!!

  31. South–I disagree; Clemons took a game or two to get back when he returned from injury, then he was mostly back. He was getting 1/2 a sack to a sack per game, and making a difference. After a few games, he slowed down…and looked like he’d lost a step. Then, late in the playoffs, he stepped it up. He still looked a step slow in the SB, but he made plays and got pressure. Still, not like the Clemons of old…

    I guess we’ll see this season in Jax, but I think its obvious that Clemons lost a step.

    Equally obviously, PC and JS dont agree with you and were and are prepared to go forward without Clemons, and with Schofield, Mayowa, and whoever.

    In a vacuum–where pay and the cap dont exitst–would I pick Clemons or Schofield? Schofield. He’s younger, faster, and appears to be coachable and on the upswing, with a higher ceiling.

    You disagree, and thats ok too. You really think he looked like Clemons of old in the SB? You think he will play like he did in 2012 for Jax this year, and hasnt lost some speed/quickness?

    Even if he hasnt, PC and JS werent prepared to risk it at his salary. Funny thing is, they didnt give him a chance or an offer to take less money, they just informed him he was being released.

  32. montanamike2 says:

    I think that middle finger of johnny football cost him any more chances to compete this year. Ever since he was drafted he’s acted entitled, he’s got more talent than Tebow, but as an NFL QB he’s worth about the same, at least for now.

  33. AZBubba–No, Kevin Williams the vet of 800 years in the league with Minny is fine. Its Tha Monstar, Jesse Williams, who is on IR with yet another knee injury.

  34. montanamike2 says:

    I don’t think Clemons would have even entertained the idea of a significant pay cut.

  35. MontanaMike–You may be right, though his play was pretty bad as well. He missed open guys and threw about as well as Tebow. I expected better from Johnny Football…just reiterates how special RW is, huh!

  36. montanamike2 says:

    Too many Williams in the league.

  37. MontanaMike2–Who knows if Clemons would have taken a paycut? I doubt even he knows. He did say in an interview he was not given a chance to take a paycut, just dumped. Though to be fair, his behavior previously (holdout) would tend to imply he wouldnt take a cut…

    Im of the attitude you should give everyone a chance, but it seems to me PC and JS just decided now was a good time to move on from Clemons, regardless.

  38. AZBubba71 says:

    STTBM–Thank for the answer. Glad to hear that the old vet is still healthy! RBs will have a tough time between the tackles with Williams/Mebane in the middle….team speed will take care of the runs to the outside. (Bummer about Jesse Williams, though. You don’t know what you lost if you never had it, I guess.)

  39. montanamike2 says:

    Yeah the mantra of this team is to keep a few core guys and replenish with cheap youth as often as possible.

  40. montanamike2 says:

    We swing for the fences and hit on quite a bit, i’m not sure if Jesse Williams ever plays a down for us.

  41. No problem AZBubba!

    Yeah, J. Williams was a guy I was really looking forward to watching play. I think he has the talent to be a stud DT. Those knees are shot though…I think Seattle gives him one more shot to come back, then cuts bait. Hopefully he can come back and show us what he’s got. He’s looked good in every practice he’s been able to attend since we drafted him…

    Even if all we get is one good year out of him, its worth the shot–kinda like with WT3.

  42. montanamike2 says:

    I feel that way with Toomer this year.

  43. Funny, I was totally un-thrilled with the K. Williams signing, but with J. Williams hurt, Im stoked to have the old Minny vet in town. Shows how smart and careful JS is; he knew better than to count on J Williams to stay healthy. Same reason we drafted Pierre-Louis when Toomer was healthy and doing well…cant trust him to stay healthy, so you bring in as much competition as possible, and let preseason sort it all out…no tears if you cut a good player, since it means a better player beat them out…

    Kinda like Blackmon last year; the guy played very, very well and returned kicks as well. How the hell did he end up out of the league when healthy the year before?! Now he’s in Jax and doing fine…

  44. MontanaMike–Dude, are you reading my mind or something?! Lol, like thats all that difficult…heh!

  45. montanamike2 says:

    Sometimes i think we agree too much, it gives the appearance of Montana homerism.

  46. montanamike2 says:

    Actually, i can’t believe that about half the guys on this blog are from Montana or Edmonton, at least that’s the way it seems.

  47. montanamike2 says:

    Just kidding Slave, we do agree on a lot though.

  48. Nothing wrong with MontanaHomerism! And we disagree enough to keep it interesting. Differing viewpoints make good conversations.

    Its nice to see Montana get behind the Hawks once again–its been growing the last 3 years. It used to feel like I was the only one in the whole damned state..

    Now if only the Chicago game ends up on TV, Ill be a happy guy…

  49. montanamike2 says:

    It was supposed to be on last week then they blacked it out!

  50. montanamike2 says:

    New thread.

  51. Southendzone says:

    yes, at the end of the season, I do think he looked like the Clem of old. I think the difference is that the Clem of old didn’t play with Avril & Bennett so he was the main sack guy. If his #’s were down, I don’t think his effectiveness was down.

    We hear over & over how last year’s DL got a good rotation & fewer snaps per player so that’s going to suppress stats.

    Clearly when you factor in salary it makes a huge difference, that’s why it’s not fair to say that JS/PC disagree with my opinion because the cut was primarily for cap reasons so we really don’t know that answer.

    I’m not against O’Brien at all, I think he is really good and has upside as well. To me, Clemons is a solid veteran who understands the position nearly to perfection. For 2014, w/o consideration of salaries, I’d take Clemons over O’Brien.

  52. trout_hound says:

    They should black out Green Bay, Minnesota and Denver games here in Montana rather than Hawks games. Used to be way more of those fans. But now there seems to be a shipload of fairweather Hawk fans that jumped on board the last two seasons. Spent a lot of years as the only Hawks fan rooting at the bar when they stunk. Couldn’t get myself to shell out the money for the NFL Sunday Ticket this season, so I may be back at the bars watching a few games this fall.

    Georgia – I think he was saving it up for his new gig.

  53. South–Ok, good to hear your view. Whos to say who is right? I think Clemons effectiveness was way down over about a 12 game stretch.

    One thing that I noticed was that despite playing opposite Avril and near Bennett–both of whom drew attention away from Clemons–his effectiveness seemed to suffer. I would have expected the extra attention to those two players would have resulted in Clemons getting more sacks. But that didnt happen…

    I dont have All-22 film, but it would be fun to re-watch the games from that vantage point and compare Clemons’ time to the qb to previous years, and to Avril’s time to the backfield…Then we’d know for sure!

    Until then, we’ll just have agree to disagree! It wouldnt hurt my feelings any if Clemons tore it up in Jax this year. PC and JS arent perfect…Thanks for the civil discussion, it was fun!

  54. trouthound–Yeah, last time I went to the bar to try to get Seattle’s game (in Missoula) they had about 10 Broncos fans, and 40 Hawks fans, and maybe 5 other fans…

    You paying attention Goodell?! Its not smart to blackout the closest local teams games, even if it is preseason–especially right after they kicked Bronco butt in the SB! How is that good business?!

    Unless its all a Goodell plot to ruin excitement for the preseason so he can get the votes he needs to expand the regular season…

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