Seahawks Insider

Rookie Justin Britt closes in on starting RT job; Marshawn Lynch to get some carries tomorrow night vs. Chicago; Walters is out

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Aug. 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm with 107 Comments »
August 21, 2014 3:09 pm

The Seahawks are off the field from their walk-through practice indoors here at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton. It was like a Saturday in the regular season, with no helmets and just T-shirts and shorts.

A new addition this offseason to the Seahawks' indoor practice facility in Renton (Gregg Bell/Staff writer).
A new addition this offseason to the Seahawks’ indoor practice facility in Renton (Gregg Bell/Staff writer).

Here are the quick highlights from what coach Pete Carroll said following it — and after he talked for about 10 minutes to Dick Motta, the former NBA coach who was the coach of the Washington Bullets when the SuperSonics beat them to win the 1979 NBA championship. Motta went on to coach the Dallas Mavericks in the 1980s (look it up, kids!):

–Get ready for Marshawn Lynch to get his first carries since the Super Bowl. Carroll said of tomorrow night, “It’s time for him to get some carries.” Lynch was in the backfield for only the first two plays and nothing more last week against San Diego; his only tangible contribution then was being faked to by Russell Wilson on a play-action pass.

The coach again praised his star running back for how good of shape he is, even after reporting a week late to camp following a short contract holdout that netted him an extra $1.5 million guaranteed for this season, to $6.5 million.

–Carroll is sounding like rookie Justin Britt will open the regular season as the starting right tackle, a job most assumed would be Eric Winston’s by now when the Seahawks signed the ninth-year veteran at the start of training camp.

“He’s been really solid. He’s making great strides to begin a legitimate starter,” Carroll said of Britt, the 6-foot-6, 325-pound, second-round draft pick from Missouri.

Offensive-line coach Tom Cable has been impressed with how quickly Britt is learning nuances of being an interior blocker, with all the calls and recognition of defensive fronts. To hear Cable tell it, Britt has rarely made the same mistake twice.

–Expect Kam Chancellor to make his exhibition-season debut tomorrow night. Carroll said his strong safety “is ready to play some football.”

–Carroll says LB Bobby Wagner (hamstring) and rookie WR Kevin Norwood (bone spur, foot) may get on the practice field next week.

–It sounds like LB Bruce Irvin (hip surgery) won’t get on the field for first time this summer until after Aug 28 exhibition finale a week from today at Oakland.

–Bryan Walters’ momentum to become the Seahawks’ punt returner has come to a thudding stop. Carroll said Walters won’t play in tomorrow night’s third exhibition game against Chicago because of the sore ribs that have kept him watching practice with an electric-stimulation machine attached to his torso all week. Walters, the fifth-year pro and Ivy League’s career leader in punt-return yardage, got hurt while daringly returning punts into waves of oncoming Chargers last Friday.

Earl Thomas will again be the first man back returning punts tomorrow. Be that as it may, eh?

–Vote of confidence: Pete Carroll called running back Christine Michael “the most improved” Seahawk this preseason. Take that for what it may be worth. But, at a minimum, it’s not damning, despite Michael’s two fumbles within an eight-carry span over the first two exhibition games.

–Carroll deadpanned about the a few, shall I say, “skirmishes” in practices lately, such as Thomas vs Simon yesterday during stretching that I mentioned last night after KING-5 TV aired the footage.

“We are working on our retaliation skills,” Carroll said.

–It’s Last Chance Saloon time for Korey Toomer. The fifth-round draft choice from Idaho in 2012 has barely been on the field this preseason, back only this week, following a hamstring injury. “Time’s running out,” Carroll said. “More show than other guys, he’s got a lot to show.”

That sounds harsh, as if Toomer egged Carroll’s house last night. But what the coach is referring to is the fact the linebacker has been on injured-reserve for each of his first two seasons with the Seahawks, and this week just came off the preseason physically-unable-to-perform list. He’ll play tomorrow night — because he has to in order to have any flicker of hope of getting on even the practice squad for the regular season.

–DT Michael Brooks, signed off waivers last year from Detroit, had surgery today on his knee, Carroll said.

–The coach said undrafted rookie LB Horace Miller has a bad knee sprain and will be out for a while.

Here is the first couple minutes of Carroll today. He is standing next to Chase, a guest to practice today through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Carroll playfully consulted with Chase on a few personnel question, to get the kid’s opinion and then “relay” it to us:

And here is the transcript of Carroll’s entire Q/A today:

Head Coach Pete Carroll

August 21, 2014

(Opening) This is another great opportunity for us coming back to CenturyLink. We loved our week last week and the way the guys played and responded was really cool but that was last week so we’re really hoping that we can come back out and get it all revved up again one last time before the preseason is done here. We had a good week and so we’re ready to go.

(On what you need to see from the starters Friday night) We just want guys to play. We want them out there and have to get them more play time, just to get adapted to the new season again. As we stage it, this is the game they will play the most and so, other than that, its consistency. We like to see us come back out and play really good, smart football again. Take care of the ball like we always do. Just see if we keep growing.

(On how important it is for the offensive line to get some work together after getting some guys back) It is really important. It has been obvious on the practice field, just the language that they share, the communications, the sense for one another.  It makes a big difference in this position, more than any other position in the game. It’s great to see it out there. If we get everybody out there soon, we will be good in this ball game. But we continue to practice together which is really good. But you’ll see who plays when we come tomorrow night.

(On how far Christine Michael has come and has left to go) I think he’s the most improved guy. I think he’s the most improved player on our team. I think he’s come a long ways, in so many ways. He just needs to keep playing and he needs to keep showing and competing. And that he’s growing as a football player and he’s explosive and his mind is in and he’s all over it and so we’re just anxious to keep bringing him along.

(On if details for Christine Michael are the big thing he needs to focus on) Yeah, there are details for everybody. He has some too. It’s just a general sense of getting comfortable with the game and what’s expected of him and all of that. He’s really been busting his tail to get it done.

(On how important it is to get Marshawn Lynch a few touches in the game tomorrow) How important? I don’t know if I can really label that. But it’s important. There is importance. Yeah, it’s time. It’s time for him to get some carries and get involved a little bit. Really, I could not be more pleased with the conditioning level that he’s had – the consistency of practice and his preparation has been great so he’ll be ready to go and I know he’s looking forward to that too.

(On if he will play the guys that are just coming back next week where he normally wouldn’t) Might we? We will find out.

(On how Malcolm Smith and Korey Toomer did this week) They did well. They like the way they practiced. They’re ready to play some football which is great.

(On Kam Chancellor) Kam Chancellor’s ready to play some football. He may get out there.

(On how important the next few weeks are for Korey Toomer) Time’s running out. We haven’t had a chance to see him. He had a really good off-season, but unfortunately he just has not had enough back-to-back time to really establish where he is on the roster and all of that. So more than some other guys, he has a lot to show. Hopefully, he’ll get some good opportunities.

(On what you’ve seen from Earl Thomas at punt returner) Well, we’ve just seen a little bit. He’s practice really hard at it. A bunch of guys have. We’re ready to do whatever we need to do. He’ll get out there first again in this game and hopefully he’ll get a couple shots.

(On Bryan Walters playing tomorrow) It doesn’t look like it. We’re going to hold him out.

(On Jimmy Staten injury status) It’s really up to the rehab guys. He’s working hard, he’s making progress. We’re just hoping that he can get back out next week so he can get some play time. It’s going to be kind of a race to get there. It’s been really unfortunate. He just hasn’t had the chance yet. He did really well, came in great, just showed some glimpses of what he could be and then hopefully we’ll get him some play time.

(On Kevin Norwood) He’s progressing really well. He feels great. Next week is the week that possibly he can get back going again. It’s going to be, again, it’s kind of like Jimmy [Staten], it’s a race to get him back out there. The week will be short again.

(On Kevin Norwood’s injury status and him playing next week) We’ll see. We are hoping that. We are really aiming for the next week, if we can get him out the week after that. And if we can get him out the week we will go for it. He’s getting real close, he has had no setbacks. He’s flying around the field so it’s just a matter if it’s the right days and we will see how each day goes back-to-back well and we will see what happens.

(On how Justin Britt is progressing) Really solid, his progress has been really solid. He’s making great strides to be a legitimate starter. I’ve said before it’s all in his makeup that really kind of substantiates that he’s able to do this and handle this so it’s gone great so far.

(On the scrimmages and practice this week) We are working on our retaliation skills.

(On Horace Miller and Michael Brooks) Yeah, Michael Brooks is going to get operated on. I think that’s happening today and Horace, it’s awhile to get back. He’s got a pretty big knee strain. He’s still on crutches and all.

(On if Bobby Wagner can get back next week) We are hoping so.

 

 

Leave a comment Comments → 107
  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I was afraid Walters would get banged up.
    I just can’t see him making it now.
    Bates just adds a toughness & size no other WR on this team has.
    Even lockette at this point would be a better option imo.

    I know some were down on CM for fumbling & rightfully so however he has (imo) been the better runner so far this season over Turbin & his blocking is much improved so far.

    Again I don’t see a clear #2 job here. I see them both contributing about the same amount.

  2. Bates did next to nothing last game, he’s got to step up this game for any chance at making the roster. Norwood getting back is bad news for all the other WR’s on the bubble. Perhaps Seattle intends to stash Bates on the PS again, now that the rules have been changed and he’s eligible for another year. That may be best–this is a TOUGH WR corps to crack…

    If Turbin has been a better runner, its only by a hair. He doesnt have a 47 yard run, thats for sure. Of course, its hard to say much when playing in preseason. Still, Turbin looked good vs ones and twos, Michaels did most of his damage vs scrubs. And he fumbled–twice.

    He did have a nice reception vs the Chargers. But to me at least, Turbin is the better all-around back and I didnt see anything from Michaels that says he’s a better runner–yet. I think we’re all expecting him to take the lead back job, eventually.

    Even the reporters are saying Turbin all but locked down the number two job last game; saying Micheals will get onfield as much as Turbin from game one is wishful thinking, IMO, but we shall see.

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    There is no such thing as a lock on the #2.

    Carroll has already said CM will be playing more this season.

    And now he says CM is most improved.

    I trust what Carroll says.

    CM will get his share of touches this season.

  4. I agree, he will see more touches this year compared to last year–unless he keeps fumbling. But I cant see him taking away the backup spot from Turbin come Game One. Thats all…

  5. montanamike2 says:

    doubledink That was cool that you scored a pair of tickets to the game tomorrow.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Who really cares if CM or Turbin comes in the game first after Lynch goes out in game one.

    They will both see the rock this season at different times in different amounts.

    And same goes for Turbin if he fumbles.

    They both have different styles that can help this team and neither one is going to be warming the bench like CM did last season.
    It’s not a one or the other or who will be the so-called #2 thing.

    It’s Lynch #1,Turbin & CM sharing the rest of the touches.

    My guess is it will take several games to see who is contributing more but I still expect them both to contribute throughout the season because they both offer a different style.

    CMs upside though is potentially higher.

  7. Earl Thomas doesn’t look any better than anyone else at returning punts. He certainly doesn’t make you go “wow.”

    A guy like Percy Harvin is a different story. He’s about the best KR in the NFL and that talent is one of the reasons he was acquired. He can claim to be the best in the NFL at that (which is safer than returning punts, too), whereas ET can’t claim to look even above average at what has been reported by our beat guys or what we’ve seen/heard.

    I think him returning punts is lunacy. He’s one of the most irreplaceable players on this team.

  8. If Coyle makes the team, I might customize a jersey of him for my 3-year old. I’d like to see the little guy in a #45 jersey (some of you longtime guys know what I mean).

  9. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Paul Richardson – Punt Returner! not to hard to figure out… Come On Pete stop messing with Earl, you’re playing with fire my friend.

  10. doubledink says:

    Harvin and Richardson as ST returners is just wicked-sick to think about.

  11. My primary issue at RB is that we don’t have enough roster spots to keep 3 RBs and two FBs. Small probably isn’t ready for primetime and Coleman is excellent on ST as well as great in the playbook and we’ve got a lot of positions that need those extra roster spots, and even though we have an expanded practice squad I don’t trust our players to clear waivers anymore.

    T.S.

  12. PLUHawkFan says:

    Trakar:

    I agree the one big thing I worry about is getting any player we want to keep (but can’t keep on active 53) is getting them too the practice squad. Even if scouts/gm’s/coaches haven’t really seen much of one of our players, I have a feeling they’re liable to say “Hmm seattle saw something in them, maybe we should check em out”…

    I’m just really worried, we won’t be able to sneak anyone we really want onto the practice squad. Somebody is going to snatch them up….

    Only the flip side, I guess there could be worse things we needed to worry about…

    #GoHawks!

  13. PLUHawkFan says:

    *On the flip side.

    Still looking for that darn edit button…… smh

  14. montanamike2 says:

    I don’t expect any player to make it back to PS.

  15. Bobbyk–Thats great you’ve become a fan of Coyle, we’ll make you a Montana guy yet lol! (Even if you really just want KE’s jersey…lol!)

  16. doubledink says:

    Biggie Small should make it to the PS. He hasn’t flashed enough in preseason to draw too many looks his way. I don’t recall if Ware is even eligible. If he is and they only keep 4 RBs they might not want 2 PS slots used on FBs. Something’s gotta give.

  17. Punt returning is an art that not many master. I hate Hate HATE the idea of ET returning punts, especially since he doesnt seem to be lighting the world on fire at it…

    I’d also hate to get Ricahrdson killed doing it. If Walters makes the team, I want him doing it. He’s good enough.

    Im surprised they didnt try Simon at it, but he’s on tap to start next year after Maxwell gets paid and leaves…

  18. Looks like Walters is hooked up to some sort of “electric-stimulation machine.” No wonder why he wants to stay on the sidelines. :)

  19. Earl Thomas will not return a single punt in the regular season. STTBM will eat his hat if he does.

  20. montanamike2 says:

    I agree rbuzby, but i don’t know about STTBM eating his hat.

  21. RDPoulsbo says:

    The big question mark on Richardson was whether he’d be durable enough to take hits in the NFL. It’s still a valid concern until he has the chance to bulk up a little. Until then, Richardson getting hammered by guys with a 40 yard head start is just as bad an idea as Earl being exposed to the same. Walters hooked up to a e-stim machine should be a preview of the worst nightmares of having Earl back there in the first place. The more Thomas is back there taking punts in preseason, the less chance they will have to evaluate someone and not risk the heart of the defense getting injured.

  22. slicktoxic says:

    I really believe that Pete has no intention of using ET as the punt returner….and that he’s just being used (possibly with Earl’s knowledge), as the guy to beat if you want to be the PR. Just a little competition is my guess. Too valuable to risk.

  23. I think the punt return competition with Earl and Sherm participating is just a way for Pete to keep the team engaged with training camp and fired up, instead of maybe being complacent after winning the Superbowl.

  24. doubledink says:

    This thing with PC willing to use Earl as the returner caused him to mention that he also will not hold guys out of games at the end of a successful season to avoid injury.

    Think about that for a minute. Peyton Manning has a chance to make NFL history with a perfect season in recent years and his coach held him out (to not risk injury) and you could tell it just killed Manning on the sideline. Fast forward a few years and he has the opportunity to play for a team and coach who could give him that opportunity again; and Manning won’t even talk to them. That same 13-3 team with the #1 defense totally embarrasses them in the SB the very next year. Who knows if the 3 losses could have been wins with PM at the QB position and thus give him that chance again.

    I’m not saying I want Manning over RW, just the irony is interesting.

  25. freedom_X says:

    Ball security and judgement are vital factors for punt returning. It’s why not just any fast guy can be put back. Remember when Seattle had Michael Bates, a Olympic relay medalist, back as return man? He only returned kickoffs, not punts for Seattle.

    Other teams gave Bates a brief try at punt returner, but in the end he had 10 punt return attempts in his career and 373 kickoff returns. Different skill set, and not a trivial one to possess. Only a few skill position players can handle the job.

    Tom Cable said yesterday (KJR) that if the season started today, Britt is the starting right tackle.

  26. Dukeshire says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how little respect the skill it takes to return kicks and punts, gets. The overriding view seems to be that if you’re fast, you must be good at it. What a ridiculously false narrative. It’s the same mentality that allows one to believe if you can return well, you must be a great receiver too. My lord. It’s a position that requires it’s own set of skills, in addition to talent, like every other position on the field. It’s not a plug and go.

  27. Dukeshire says:

    And clearly Britt is the starting RT. Outside of injury, he’s been with the 1s all camp and preseason.

  28. AZBubba71 says:

    Ahh…Dick Motta. Loved it when the Sonics of the mid to late 80s (led by Chambers, McDaniel, a rookie named McMillan, and some throwaway from the Mavericks named Ellis) stuck it to a heavily favored Mavericks team in the opening round of the playoffs and then somehow beat the Rockets in the next series before being crushed by the Lakers in the conference finals.

    Ellis and McMillan were unbelievable in those two series. Maurice Lucas and Clemon Johnson were invaluable as older veterans mentoring a young team. Loved Bernie Bickerstaff as a head coach and wished that his own internal dynamics (he suffered from ulcers while on the bench) would have allowed him to coach for many more season.

  29. It’s no surprise Britt is going to be the starter. The veteran guy they brought in was ranked as one of the worst starters at his position.

  30. rbuzby–Winston had changed teams twice in two years, and went from a zbs to two non-zbs schemes. Thats probably a big reason why he didnt play well. Before that, he had been a Pro Bowl player and well-respected. He’s also something of an ironman.

    I had hoped he would regain his Pro Bowl form in Cable’s zbs, but perhaps age is really catching up with him. Regardless, he isnt awful and Im really glad to have him on board as depth.

    And though it makes me nervous to start a rookie at RT–again–Im thrilled that Britt is winning the competition. Maybe we finally have a starting-caliber RT?!

  31. AZBubba71 says:

    Actually, people down here were pretty happy with Winston’s play and were surprised that the Cardinals let him go so easily without making an offer. According to local Phoenix radio, apparently the Cardinals medical staff did not believe that he was likely to hold up as a starter for the entire upcoming season…and his recent election as head of the union was thought to have hurt him here, too.

  32. Singularitarian says:

    Good call Duke. It’s not a position you can just play because you are a receiver who can’t make a team but has speed. It’s really about being able to see the balls flight while simultaneously being aware of accounting for where the defenders will be at the time of catch, then making a judgement of what the best move is for the situation. All those skills mixed with having the hands and confidence to catch the ball consistently, and the physical tools and speed to be able to actually run the ball back. Alot of people can’t gauge the trajectory while scanning the field, and don’t have the split second decision making to make the accurate decision consistently. It’s a real art

  33. hawkdawg says:

    The previous #45 I am thinking of was not a “little guy” in any way :). A beast of a player. Mad skills, and he played angry.

  34. surelyyoujest says:

    Earl punt returning…….no. Just no. It’s just basic risk management. Very little upside, pant loads of downside. No Pete. Just no.

  35. That 45 guy could return punts back in the day .

  36. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Fortunately/hopefully there will be some qualified/experienced punt returners we can pick up after cuts if things can’t get worked out before the season starts.

  37. Southendzone says:

    You guys got it right about punt returners, it’s not all speed. Tate was close to flawless at it last season. Perfect mix of vision, hands, speed, toughness.

    It doesn’t matter that on the athlete scale, ET is in a different echelon than Golden.

  38. GeorgiaHawk says:

    So it looks like the Breezy Beast Blocking Brothers are going to be the new dirt bag duo.
    Somewhere Breno is smiling.

  39. Dukeshire says:

    Easley returned punts one season, out of necessity. In today’s game, it would be tantamount to Chancellor returning punts. Right now Earl is Bob Sanders with more talent, pre injuries. And remember, Earl played special teams last year as well (coverage). I hate the idea that he’s back there, despite his passion to do so. He’s the most important player on defense and maybe on the whole team in general (yes, I know, Wilson…).

  40. montanamike2 says:

    I’m thrilled that Britt is working out. Duke you have a good point about punt returner.

  41. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Would it be wrong to hope he fumbles one tomorrow?

  42. PLUHawkFan says:

    I know almost everyone disagree’s with me. I just want the “BEST” player back there for the position. I completely understand the risk of injury thing, but I also believe and realize that players can get hurt on any play.

    You can’t play or be scared. Football is a dangerous sport, but players also prepare for it the best they can. I’m speaking from experience, if you play scared you’re more likely to get hurt then if you play full out.

    One of the biggest reason teams don’t like to let players rush back from injuries. In general injuries lead to players playing tentative at 1st which increases the risk they will get re-injured. Working them back slowly not ONLY helps them recover from the injury but to build their confidence up again as well.

    Again I realize i’m in the vast minority here, and I’m not sold that ET is the “BEST” option at PR. But irregardless of who is the best, thats who I want back there. Risk of injury is a non factor IMHO.

    #GoHawks!

  43. I think it’s pretty clear that Earl doesn’t seem to be our best option at PR. We saw Baldwin do it before and he was better and looked better at returning punts than ET does.

    Personally, I have no problem with ET on ST coverage because in that scenario, he’s on the attack (and not being attacked) and he seems to most definitely be one of the best 11 players on the field qualified.

    It seems we’re putting him at PR for the sake of it with no benefit to the team since others are equally qualified to do it (and in a case like Baldwin – BETTER at it). I don’t like it.

    He could get hurt returning a punt in the pre-season equally as much as he could in a regular season game and that’s part of why I’m baffled that he’s doing it.

  44. Georgia – No. I don’t think it’d be wrong for you to hope that considering the situation.

  45. sluggo42 says:

    I heard the 49ers practice was halted today with the Discovery of a foreign white powder. After forensics and FBI agents examined the white powdery substance it was determined to be the goal line.
    Practice resumed after the special agents determined that it was highly unlikely you that any of the 49er players would encounter the substance for the remainder of the year

  46. Earl Thomas will not return a single punt in a regular season game. He is not even close to the best on the team at it. It’s just Pete keeping his big money guys motivated and interested in camp.

    Here is what Doug Baldwin had to say about it:

    “As much as I love Earl, he doesn’t need to be back there,” Baldwin joked. “He’s awful at it and Sherm is even worse.”

  47. montanamike2 says:

    I’m totally against Earl returning at all. If he was a game changer like Harvin it might be worth it, but he’s not shown that he’s that special. If he suddenly brings one home tomorrow i’ll reconsider, but so far he hasn’t distanced himself from anyone in particular.
    PLUHawkFan it’s OK to have a different opinion, hey that’s cool. We’re world champs, good things to ponder.

  48. WiscCory says:

    Would you rather pay KJ Wright, Bobby Wagner, or Cliff Avril?

    Gregg and all, Do you think that part of JS and PC program is to arrange contracts in a manner as to create an environment of internal competition for the big contract? Seems like a good strategy.

    My answer…

    1) Avril
    2) Wright
    3) Wagner

    This list is subject to change as the season progresses.

  49. Given their age (only a year and a month), I would say that Wagner is priority #1 since the MLB position, imo, is more important than what Wright does on the outside. However, if Coyle is the real deal, I’d say Wagner goes to #3 in that scenario because of the cheap option behind him for a few years.

    With that being said, Wagner is under team control for two more years. We know Wilson is going to get an extention next off-season and they may not be enough for Wagner as well.

    Avril and Wright are the only two who can become FAs after the season. Part of the process is how the guys develop behind them. If we have some good young OLB options behind Wright, then I think Avril becomes more important to keep if the depth behind him is lacking.

    Avril does a more important thing than Wright (rush the passer regularly) so that factors in, too.

    We’re probably going to lose one or both of those guys next year and that won’t be any fun.

  50. oldtallguy says:

    WiscCorey, being old-fashioned and believing in defense above all else, I’d resign all three, then with any available cap left I would sign a stud offensive lineman. A trade of RW should net a couple of high drat picks which can be used again on a stud offensive lineman and a smart QB who can protect the football and not turn it over. Now if that QB could throw deep then with the line fixed STTBM would be totally happy.

  51. ” Do you think that part of JS and PC program is to arrange contracts in a manner as to create an environment of internal competition for the big contract?”

    We know they always want guys to compete for a roster spot. I’m not sure what the difference is between “big contract” and “roster spot” in your question.

    Of course they have to decide who gets the big money (Sherm, Kam, Earl) and who gets let go (Clemons, Red). If someone is talented and due for a big contract, he is more likely to be let go than a talented young guy who has a small contract. But other than that, I don’t think they “try” to create a situation where two guys at the same position are due for a big contract, so they “compete” for it.

  52. FlatheadHawk says:

    @MontanaMike, I agree. Earl doesn’t seem to have that special ability like Ed Reed had. He has a nose for the ball but I haven’t seen that ability to just make a ton of people miss and make those special plays.

  53. oldtallguy

    Trade RW? What are you smoking? You can’t just plug in some mediocre “game manager” and expect the same results. Wilson does more than he is getting credit for.

  54. montanamike2 says:

    I think that was sarcasm.

  55. FlatheadHawk says:

    Do you guys think that in Carroll’s Defenses that the LB is the least important group? Or the least valued money wise? We haven’t had a “star” LB since Carroll arrived, there is some potential there but it almost seems like they can just keep plugging people in.

    Or it could just be a case of the talent they drafted and brought in verses the home runs they have hit in the Secondary and D Line.

  56. “I think that was sarcasm.”

    Sneaky old guy got me.

  57. oldtallguy says:

    Half serious, if I’m RW even with a small hometown discount I’m still getting 25 million. He’s not kapass or Dalton, he’s so much better. In today’s NFL with the cap, the ravens, whiners and Seahawks made it to the SB with low cost QBs. I want a defense that can dominate like we have, and a strong line and running game. I think RW is so awesome, but I can’t have everything

  58. I don’t think the 2013 Seahawks would have won the Superbowl with any other QB. Not with the worst offensive line in the NFL at pass protection.

    All of the QB’s you can name who throw it better than RW, would have been bad behind that injured, awful O line. None of them have the escape-ability that he does, and without that, the Seahawks would not have won 13 games.

  59. oldtallguy says:

    Did you read my post? I have fixed the line

  60. WiscCory says:

    OTG – sarcasm or not, I wasn’t expecting that answer. Interesting, however Wilson seems like the real deal, and is a winner.

    There are other QB’s in the league that are winners and aren’t the best player on their team. example, Ben Rothelsberger (I know I butchered that spelling, however don’t think he’s worth the time to google and ensure I spell correctly). Anyway, Pitt paid him because of the value of a QB that wins.

    Hell, the Bears paid Cutler and Cinci paid Dalton, and they only win some of the time (and only once each in the playoffs).

    Wilson will be paid, and by Paul Allen.

  61. oldtallguy

    I read your posts. I’m not arguing, just throwing out ideas that are not meant to be a response to your point.

    If your point is “can the Seahawks stay on top while paying their QB 25 million, if that means they can’t sign other guys?” I agree it is a valid question.

  62. WiscCory says:

    BobbyK – I feel like Wags is small for ILB, and I fear the Lofa situation all over.

  63. I have seen Tom Brady and Dan Marino play in person and both of those guys are unbelievably quick at moving a foot here or there in the pocket to avoid would-be guys who want to take off their heads. You can be a 4.2 guy in underwear and be “slow” in the pocket. Brady and Marino might lose in a footrace to a turtle but I guarantee they can move much, much quicker in the pocket (and can buy more time) than a guy like Mike Vick in his prime could (I’ve seen each in person) who was super quick in the open field and unbelievably fast.

  64. “I have seen Tom Brady and Dan Marino play in person and both of those guys are unbelievably quick at moving a foot here or there in the pocket to avoid would-be guys who want to take off their heads.”

    That is something Manning doesn’t do. In the Superbowl it seemed like he simply ignored the rush 100%. He was totally focused downfield. He actually stepped into the back of his linemen a couple times when the Hawks were pushing them back. At least one play where his arm got hit was because of that. The D lineman was able to hit Mannings arm even with an O lineman between them. We know he isn’t “mobile” but he doesn’t even try to take that one step you mentioned. That is why he shouldn’t get a pass for his SB performance.

  65. Gregg Bell says:

    WiscCory:
    1. Wright
    2. Avril
    3. Wagner

    Not because Avril isn’t as good as Wright, but because Wright in my mind is more versatile–better at more skills. Avril the pass-rusher will command big bucks on the FA market, but I don’t see the Seahawks getting in a bidding war for him when they feel they have other pass rushers. If Wagner wasn’t still a couple years from FA he’d be #1 because a middle linebacker you can trust is hugely valuable to a team to re-sign. Coyle may be a surprise, but he’s not Wagner. Not yet.

    A host of great comments recently on this blog — personnel, the new practice-squad rules, debating the punt returner. I enjoy reading what y’all have to say. An informed populace is one much easier to write to(!)

  66. Gregg Bell says:

    Not worth a separate blog post, but look what’s become of the 49ers’ new palace field after just one game on it:

    http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/20/6643139/wild-pitch-49ers-halt-practice.html

    And this: nbcbay.com/pChODHp — if this works to open, it’s a picture of the 49ers completely resurfacing the entire field from dirt, from goal line to goal line

  67. The Wags vs Wright question is quite the conundrum, one that may not have an answer–yet. We have another year before we can even pay Wags, but need to get Wright extended before he hits the open market or we’re gonna lose him. The only way we can afford him is if we give him a contract like Sherms and ET’s–not in total dollars, but in structure–where we give him money a year early for a discount per year for the life of the contract.

    Bobbyk–Thing is, Wright can play every LB position, and well. He’s totally won me over with his ridiculous smarts and insane improvement in coverage despite his nearly 4.8 40 “speed”. Until Coyle came along and demonstrated he could handle MLB, we had no one behind Wright who could man that spot cabably; Farwell doesnt count.

    You are right that Coyle could mitigate our need to hang onto Wright. I just think Wright is the only LB on the team who can man every position at a high level. He’s a star already, as is Malcolm Smith–they just arent paid like it. And Smith cant play MLB.

    My bet is Seattle tries to pay Wright, hes smart enough to refuse, he plays a hell of year, and gets MASSIVE money from a team like Baltimore, Chicago, or even GB. Smith does the same thing, and we lose them both. But we have fill-ins behind them, so we’ll live with the pain without bleeding to death….And by default, we’ll pay Wagner, since he’s smart and mean and FAST. You cant coach fast!

  68. On the punt returner position: not every position has the same injury risk. Some are acting like ET has no more risk returning punts than he does playing FS, which is ridiculous. ET isnt used to taking hits, and that leads to a)fumbles and b) injuries, as any coach knows. He’s also not good at avoiding hits or limiting his target area, which can clearly be seen in his interception returns; dude has no clue. Never mind the fact that he’s got 11 crazy ST’ers–many of whose only job is to destroy the opposing team on kickoffs–who would love nothing better than blow up ET’s knee and knock him out for the season.

    Its absolutely retarded for PC to risk him even in one preseason return. There is zero upside to risking him, and soooo much to lose.

    I can understand if you think he will somehow be awesome at returning punts, though he’s shown little if anything thus far, he is a fantastic athlete–but to say there is no more risk in returning punts than any other position shows a deliberate blindness bordering on insanity, IMO.

  69. The Niner’s field problem is funny. Throwin’ some red meat to the fans there Gregg, eh? You knew we would love that.

    The NFL team in Washington DC still has a crappy field, but their owner doesn’t care. At least the (despised) Niner’s are putting in new grass.

  70. WiscCory says:

    I believe the turf is very symbolic of the 49ers season. Time will tell.

    BTW Gregg, this was another great write-up today. Seems like the Todd move to DC was a win-win for all. I hope a guy like you has the privilege of covering a Super Bowl winning season.

  71. PLUHawkFan says:

    STTBM,

    For the Record, I was not advocating for ET to return punts. I agree with most other bloggers here, that he doesn’t seem to be even decent at it. I want the “BEST” player back there for the job.

    My point was that I want the “best” player regardless. Injury risk is a non factor in my opinion. Football is full of risk. Am I saying that there is no more risk at PR then other positions? No i’m not saying that either. I agree there is more inherent risk with that position. That being said the “best” player for the job will factor into that though.

    A good/great PR’r has to have good vision, elusiveness and good hands as well as know how to take a hit. Thats why I say injury risk should be a non factor. (AS LONG as we truly are picking the best person for that job) I hope that makes sense. I just don’t agree with (for arguments sake if ET WAS the best and was really good) that we shouldn’t have him back there because of injury risk. Thats hogwash, and shouldn’t be a factor.. Again this is my only semi knowledgeable position.

    I speak from a tad bit of experience. I played WR and PR on teams as well as CB in high school ball. I wasn’t great, but I wasn’t terrible either. And I know it’s not NFL :) but I’ve played the game and been a fan and one time (Pop Warner coach) for 25+years now.

    I’ll stay in the minority in this one though, I know 99% of you will disagree. I will say this, if deciding our PR guy is the biggest problem we have this year… It’s gonna be a hellava ride

    #GoHawks!

  72. PLUHawkFan

    Did you read what angry Doug said about Earl retuning punts?

    “As much as I love Earl, he doesn’t need to be back there,” Baldwin joked. “He’s awful at it and Sherm is even worse.”

    This is just Pete’s way of making training camp more interesting. I will eat my hat if Earl returns even one punt in a regular season game.

  73. PLUHawkFan says:

    rbuzby:

    I agree that why my 1st paragraph I said, I agree with most that he doesn’t seem to be the best choice. I was just making my argument that, “THAT” should be the reason he doesn’t return punts this year. Because he’s not the best option. NOT because there is a risk of injury if he does.

    Thats all.

    Trivia question for the blog, see how well many of us know local football.

    My semi claim to fame is that I played football with 2 former NFL Quarterbacks, (and if I want to get technical 3) the third, while I didn’t play directly with him, I practiced with him occasionally (because his dad was our coach and he was in Jr high at the time).

    Can anyone guess what High school I went too and who the 2 (3) quarterbacks were? :)

    #GoHawks!

  74. Gregg Bell says:

    Thanks WiscCory. I appreciate that.

    Interesting theory raised by rbuzby and others here about Carroll just keeping the competition meter pegged during the dog days of summer with Thomas as lead punt returner. Still makes no common sense to me, so that is a plausible explanation.

    But sometimes Carroll does things he and no one else believes in, and so far more times than not in Seattle it’s worked out. We’ll see, but I will still be surprised if it’s Thomas catching Green Bay’s first punt on Sept. 4.

    Let’s do an informal poll here: Yay or nay, will Earl Thomas be the punt returner in the opener?

    Let ‘er rip…

  75. montanamike2 says:
  76. PLUHawkFan says:

    Earl Thomas as opening day Punt returner…….. “I highly doubt it” Nay.

  77. Earl will not return 1 punt in a regular season game. Wait and see.

    Gregg, it’s only me that has said Pete is just using the punt returner “competition” as a way to keep the newly paid stars, and the whole team, engaged in training camp. It’s a way to keep the “competition” theme going, especially among the players who just signed big contracts. Earl and Sherm.

    Nobody else has been pushing this theory. It’s all mine. Pete knows what he is doing.

  78. Maybe the 9ers should hit LeGarrette Blount up for some grass. Hemp is pretty durable..

    If last week’s game was blacked out in Montana – Why wouldn’t this weeks?
    I’m hoping it’s not down here in SoCal. (NFLN) Blackouts are in effect when the game can be seen on a local channel correct? Root Sports still won’t air Seahawks content down here.. They blame new NFL rules.

  79. SandpointHawk says:

    Puyallup HS: Brock Huard, Damon Huard & (Coach) Mike Huard and of course Billy Joe Hobert….

  80. PLUHawkFan says:

    Good Job Sandpoint Hawk.

  81. seahawkNJ says:

    Nay. Punt returner is one of the more difficult and downright scary positions to play IMO.

  82. PLUHawkFan

    We need some clues to answer your question.

  83. WiscCory says:

    I say Yay. Carroll wants to show the speedy hawks off. Why tinker with it unless you’re actually considering it?

  84. PLUHawkFan says:

    rbuzby:

    SandpointHawk got it right off the bat. So apparently I gave too many clues ;) *Grin

  85. surelyyoujest says:

    STTBM, love your posts dude, but please avoid using the ‘R’ word. I’m not Mr. Political Correctness or anything, but that’s one that always makes me cringe.

    “Its absolutely retarded for PC to risk him even in one preseason return.”

    I agree with your point entirely though.

  86. montanamike2 says:

    Woke up early again and the first thought was, today is the day. I hope tonight’s game isn’t blacked out because there’s no replay until later this week! Good point mocarob, there’s a lot of us in Montana that will be pissed! The NFL is just trying to squeeze every penny out of us, i think if you buy the NFL package the pre season should be included, let alone the hats, jerseys and glasses and such.

  87. montanamike2 says:

    Cups and glasses, not the wearable kind.

  88. montanamike2 says:

    I feel like Christmas is coming except there won’t be coal in my stocking. My stepfather introduced us to the holiday but i wasn’t expecting actual coal! I think it was my bicycle collection that did it, about a month before the holiday, my stepfather went to take out the garbage and found the container half full of used paint cans. He immediately went into the garage and saw all my new bicycles stripped down, freshly painted and hanging off the rafters. I can think of a few other reasons too, but i think that was the big one. That was my story of the day, i lived in Victoria that year and i love that place. I have quite a few stories from that year but i’ll save them for other morning rants.

  89. Nay on ET returning punts. As I watched Walters last week during the returns he made I kept cringing every time he would jump straight up and lose his momentum…that’s how you get hurt. He did it on several occasions. One thing I really did like and he was effective at was to catch the ball while he was moving forward at a pretty good clip, able to see the field and possible lanes. I hope we let him continue to improve and be our PR guy. First priority is for him to make the 53.

    Should be a great game tonight!!!

  90. Hammajamma says:

    On the pending FA question, I agree with the Wright over Wagner consensus, but I don’t see either of them getting the “massive” contract some think. Carlos Dansby will prove the folly of big bonus dollars for LB’s this year.

  91. Surelyyoujest–You are 100% right and I apologize; I shouldnt have used that word in that way, and I am embarrassed to have done so. Especially since I used to use it as a play on the AZ Cards name, to insult and mock them on another blog. It caught on, and later on this blog someone called me on it (possibly you?). I thought about it, and posted a comment stating why I wasnt going to use the word in that way any more. We’ve had some fairly distasteful ‘discussions’ on the word after, but for the most part its died out. Now Ive slipped up and been a jerk…mea culpa.

    On ET returning punts; Nay. Hell No!

    PLU–I hear you, I get where youre coming from. I hope my comment didnt come across as personally upset with your stance; Im just passionate about the subject, and I really dont want to see ET get hurt returning a punt (badly!).

    I played with Omare Lowe, who played CB for UW. He played for something like 7 years as a ST’er, went through preseason with us in 2005 I think it was before getting cut. Even a couple years younger and 25 lbs lighter than his NFL weight, the dude was 100 times the athlete I ever was lol!

    MontanaMike2–All your new bikes lol?! Did you make like Freddie Prinz and steal them or what?!

  92. Hubrismh says:

    Big dollars to QB’s have killed more teams lately than anything else.

  93. Hubrismh says:

    Since I know everything, I can assure you all that ET will NOT be returning punts. 98% .

  94. Hubrismh says:

    Angry Doug let the beans slip. Someone stated earlier hoe he just jumps straight up. Another says he looks “awkward”, in another word.
    But, he is quick and fast. But, he doesn’t know how to pick a “lane” to run thru, as his whole life has been filling the lane to stop the runner.

    Walters slim chances of sticking might be improved with a poor showing from others tonite.
    I don’t see PRich, too valuable. Too fragile.

    As brilliant as I am, I don’t see a clear winner. Perhaps angry Doug himself… Sure hands, vision, speed…

  95. Hubrismh says:

    Final score tonite:

    Hawks-35
    Bears- 13

  96. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Kudos to Chris Cooley on first take today.

    And the Seahawks are actually being talked about right now on first take.

    Lol. No Johnny Football?

  97. Hmmm. Guess I’m the odd man out. I’m all for Earl returning punts. I say go for it. Most punts nowadays end up a fair catch or out of bounds. With other teams fully aware of Earl’s speed on defense they’ll not be looking to let him return it. Earl is fast, tough and dangerous. I say let him trt it the first few games. If he makes a few great returns and perhaps even a touchdown or two I think minds will change. I don’t see him anymore likely to get hurt returning than running full speed sideline to sideline to tackle or break up a pass. And if he can catch a punt make the first 2 gunners miss I don’t think anyone will be able to catch him. Anyways….

  98. Hubrismh says:

    Lol George, first take was great. I guess you know your team is ok when the pundits make a whole segment, not about the game, but rather about whether or not the Bears will survive the evening…

  99. Hubrismh says:

    DFloyd, I don’t think Earl has the hands to be a returner… You need soft reliable hands, and ET doesn’t have them. He is a safety remember, not a WR

  100. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Damn!

    They are sneaking Johnny Football in after all.

    Time to turn the channel.

  101. GeorgiaHawk says:

    ET is just trying to prove to his new buddy/mentor (Ray Lewis) That he can do what Ed Reed could do.

    He needs to take his alpha male down a notch or two before someone on the punt coverage team does.

    Great (smaller) free safeties of the last 10 years have dealt with a number of injury issues.
    No need to increase those odds by returning punts.

    Get smart ET!

  102. juliusvrooder says:

    I am with Angry Doug. I do not think Earl will win the job. If he does, I will be more worried about muffs than injuries. I love the guy, but he has dropped a ton of picks over the years…

  103. Ok Hubrismh I can agree on the hands maybe but I’m a wait and see guy. What’s Earl had 2? maybe 3? return chances so far? I say let him go at it til he fails then I’ll have no problem voting “nay”. Heck, who knows, maybe learning to catch punts will help him getting more INTs as far as improving his hands.

  104. jchawks08 says:

    rbuzby, your comment at 10:25 sounds awfully yanky, if you know what I mean.
    STTBM, I was going to also call you out at it being interesting you used the ‘R’ word and ‘PC’ in the same sentence.
    Meh.. It happens. We’re only human. Still evolving into our final forms.
    Earl returning punts: If I were in Vegas, I’d put a few dollars down on ‘Nay’. Would not be surprised to lose that bet, however.
    As DFloydd stated above, ET is fast, strong, agressive, smart, willing, agressive, strong, and able to return punts.
    Then I kind am on Georgia’s side that I wouldn’t exactly mind seeing him fumble one tonight and mishandle another.

  105. jchawks08

    I’m not being “yanky”. It’s true. I am the only one pushing that theory. Nobody on this blog or covering the NFL has espoused it.

    My theory could be wrong. But it’s true that nobody but me has been saying it.

  106. BigShermyWorm says:

    Why is it okay for people to call something stupid but not retarded? That’s just plain RETARDED! No one is worried about offending the people that are just stupid or high-functioning but don’t quite qualify as mentally retarded? And I have a mentally retarded aunt. That doesn’t mean I cry about anyone using the word in any context. As the late/great George Carlin tried to teach us, words are about the context, stupid.

    Retarded:
    adjective
    1.
    characterized by a slowness or limitation in intellectual understanding and awareness, emotional development, academic progress, etc.
    2.
    Slang. stupid or foolish.
    noun
    3.
    (used with a plural verb) people who are slow or limited in mental development (usually preceded by the):
    new schools for the retarded.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/retarded?s=t

    Take a look at number 2.

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