Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Better effort at Pro Bowl?

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 28, 2013 at 8:22 am with 31 Comments »
January 28, 2013 10:35 am
Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) of the NFC runs after receiving a lateral during the second quarter of the NFL football Pro Bowl game against the AFC in Honolulu, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas (29) of the NFC runs after receiving a lateral during the second quarter of the NFL football Pro Bowl game against the AFC in Honolulu, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

With league commissioner Roger Goodell considering the end of the Pro Bowl because it has turned into a flag football game, Kareem Copeland writing for NFL.com thinks the effort was better in this year’s game, a 62-35 win for the NFC.

Copeland: There were a few questionable moments. Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil pulled up when he had a blindside shot to sack Saints quarterback Drew Breesat one point. But there were also hustle moments. Saints punter Thomas Morstead chased down Chiefs safety Eric Berry from behind and was carried into the end zone during an interception return after a botched field goal attempt. There were even a few solid hits.

“Goodell got what he wanted. Defenders actually tackled. No one was injured. There was a reverse on a kick return and a trick onside kick. (Houston defensive end J.J.) Watt even got bloody early in the game.”

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com wraps up the six Seattle players’ efforts in the Pro Bowl. Check out highlights from the game here.

Marshawn Lynch: 4 carries for 21 yards, 1 TD
Earl Thomas: 1 tackle, 1 interception
Leon Washington: 92-yard kick return
Russell Wilson: 8 of 10 for 98 yards, 3 TDs; 4 carries for 10 yards rushing
And the most important stat: No injuries of note.

With San Francisco arriving for the Super Bowl down in New Orleans on Sunday, Bill Barnwell of Grantland provides a nice run down on hundreds of prop bets available in Vegas for the big game.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times notes that the stadium experience could be changing at NFL stadiums, with a lounge-style atmosphere to attract more people who prefer the experience of watching the game at home.

Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports offers his thoughts on some of the prospects that caught his eye at the Senior Bowl.

Jason LaCanfora has a good list of projected free agent on offense and defense worth checking out.

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports that San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith is expected to ask for his release before the beginning of free agency in March. Smith is due to make $8.5 million in 2013, with the majority of that due April 1.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated talks with Smith about losing his starting job to Colin Kaepernick midway through the season.

Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that this year’s Super Bowl matchup proves that you don’t have to throw the ball 40 times a game to make it to the big game.

Categories:
Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. There is a difference between not playing hard and protecting players in this game – The only time I saw guys pulling up was in an instance wherethey other players were in an injury risk.

    Definitely was a good day for all the seahawk players!!

  2. thursday says:

    the links for profootballtalk and peter king’s interview are the same

  3. “And the most important stat: No injuries of note.”

    Amen.

  4. princeaden says:

    Imagine what Wilson could do with a true #1 receiver like Fitz or V. Jackson. :)

  5. Imagine what he would do with Spencer instead of Unger and TJ Duckett instead of Lynch? :(

  6. jawpeace says:

    I enjoyed watching the Hawk players do well. I thought Wilson 3 TDs was almost worthy of MVP of the game. But I know in the probowl it is easier for a QB to get three TDs than a TE to get what Rudolph got. But still I favored Wilson… I wonder why?
    Overall it was much improved over last years snore fest. Thought the score was a blow out it still was a better game. Especially with the Hawks excelling.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    He has a true #1 in Sidney Rice.

    62-35 represents better effort. That’s funny.

  8. jawpeace says:

    Hey is any one an ESPN insider? I was wondering what the loser Mel regraded the Hawks draft as. For he really gave them a bad grade the first time. Would like to know if he ate his humble pie being so wrong or instead of manning up did he give himself some lame excuse? Any apology to Jon over Wilson? Well I almost certainly know the answer for that one is a no. But I thought I would ask.
    THANKS

  9. hawkfan777 says:

    jawpeace,

    They were talking about that article on KJR. The short version is Mel said that he did a horrible job grading the Seahawks draft. Specifically with his thoughts on Wilson and Wagner. The only player that he thinks his evaluation was good on was Bruce I. who he said may get 10 sacks but will not be a 3 down player and will be a liability against the run. He still feels that his original thoughts on him were accurate.

  10. Southendzone says:

    Yep, Kiper went from original C- to an A in his revision column.

    You know who looked like a true #1 WR yesterday? AJ Green! He was the most impressive player on the field i thought. The bomb he caught from Andrew Luck was awesome.

  11. It was more entertaining because you could tell there was more effort put into the game. Too bad the AFC didn’t bring their focus or concentration though, as they sure couldn’t hold onto the ball. That NFC defense came ready to make plays though. Liked seeing all the trick plays and the respect the NFC’s Jeff Saturday got on the AFC second series getting to snap the ball to Peyton and shake hands farewell, even though he didn’t quite get there on the merit of this year. Those two had a long run calling out blocking together.

    Although, perhaps as a Seahawk fans it was more enjoyable. I found myself biding my time until the second half. Wanted to see how Russell handled himself, and he didn’t disappoint. Plays like an old pro with young legs somehow, a testament to his workmanlike preparation, field vision and gamer’s/competitor’s drive.

    Didn’t even look like he was ‘trying too hard’ like some rookies might in the ProBowl, or even how I was worried he might be perceived. When he ran, it was not even like he was going full speed and always looking to facilitate. When that kid lets the game slow down for himself, he is scary good with his eyes downfield. Definately fun to watch for a true ‘Hawks fan, it’s been a fun year.

  12. Scary good *on the move*, with his eyes downfield.

  13. When Thomas came out, the NFC gave up big pass plays and more TD’s.

    Wilson looked perfect on his first 2-3 drives, and the AFC had no answer for him at first. Then they were able to bring pressure. I thought the NFC O-line got handled pretty good, whereas the NFC D-line never got any pressure in the second half. Wilsons play was far better than the stats show–he pretty much scored at will, better than any other qb in the game, and he evaded pressure the best of all qb’s.

    Luck had a much easier time of it, because by the time he scored, his counterpart Wilson had racked up 14 or 17 points, something like that. He was facing an NFC defense that was sloppy and had a huge lead.

    Wilson looked incredible, though I do have to say Lucks pass to AJ Green was absolutely beautiful!

    Sure wish at this point either Marshall or Jackson would have agreed to terms with Seattle, though their character concerns arent gone. We need a big fast WR who can stretch the field and go over the middle in the worst way. And no, Rice just isnt physical or fast enough to be that #1 WR. Him and Tate work well together, but they both disappear too often to negate the need for a stud WR with freakish size.

  14. I think there was good effort overall. The AFC coaches just were way too conservative, and their side seemed to have practiced a little less seriously. The NFC seems to understand that this game is gonna be sloppy, so play sandlot football and let er rip! Let the qb’s toss it up, let the big fast WR’s go get the football!

  15. Dave Boling says:

    Seeing some reports that Todd Wash is going to Jax with Gus Bradley (http://tinyurl.com/agnrb8c). Lateral move that Pete OKed. Makes me wonder if this opens the way for Bryant Young, on the Fla. staff with Quinn, will come into replace Wash.

  16. SandpointHawk says:

    jawpeace, I posted a link to Seahawks.com yesterday where Farnsworth went over Kipers mea culpa…I’ll just cut and paste the whole article this time..

    Count ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. among those who’s willing to admit he erred on the grade he gave the Seahawks after they made their selections in last April’s NFL Draft.

    In fact, it seems the line forms behind Kiper, who has given the Seahawks an A in his regarding of the 2012 draft after initially slapping them with a C-minus.

    It’s an Insider feature at ESPN.com, so you must register and pay a fee to see Kiper’s entire regarding. But here’s what he had to say about the Seahawks:

    “Give John Schneider and Pete Carroll all the credit in the world. I had major questions on value and even need with some of their picks, and in most cases, the Seahawks proved me wrong. At the time I wrote, ‘Let’s be clear: I think the Seahawks drafted guys they really wanted, and with a plan in mind for how to use them.’ Did they ever. Russell Wilson might be the defining pick of the draft, already a star and a guy Seattle got at No. 75 overall. I really liked Wilson as a prospect, and said on the set I thought he’d be ‘a great test case’ for short quarterbacks. My question of the pick also had to do with the fact that Seattle had acquired Matt Flynn. If Wilson had been 6-foot-2, I think he would have been a top-5 pick – said it then, say it now. Is that evaluation still reasonable? Has Wilson proven that short QBs can’t all be lumped together? Ultimately, evaluators will still have questions about whether short QBs can succeed because they simply have so few of them to evaluate. The sample size for guys at Wilson’s size who’ve succeeded as he has is so small that not only is Wilson almost unique, I don’t see a QB like him coming along for years. But there’s no way around the fact that he was a great pick, perhaps the best of the draft when you consider where he was taken.

    “I also had questions about the value of Bobby Wagner at No. 47 overall, but he was a home run, an impact starter and a guy who will be a fixture for years to come. Robert Turbin, Jeremy Lane and Greg Scruggs also look like great picks. The one pick I really questioned then and still feel the same way about is Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall. There’s no question Irvin can rush the passer, but that’s really all he can do, and I still don’t see him as a good value at that spot because he’s so one-dimensional. I wrote then, ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if Irvin gets 10 sacks in 2012, but that’s really his game. He’s not a three-down player yet.’ He still isn’t, and is a total liability against the run, as we saw against Atlanta in the playoffs. He finished with 8.0 sacks, but has plenty of development left if he wants to become more than a situational player. I think you want more of a complete player at that point in the draft. Still, this was an exceptional draft, a very good one in terms of immediate value and likely a defining one for the franchise based on Wilson alone.”

  17. I loved it when Wilson escaped from a surefire JJ Watt sack! The kid is really dynamic. We’re so lucky to have him.

    GO HAWKS!

  18. Thanks Dave Boling for the update!

    Wash will be missed, but Im glad Bradley has some familiar guys to work with, I wish him well in Jax.

    Hopefully we get B. Young to come here, and if not, I sure hope we dont see a dropoff!

    As for Bruce Irvin, I think we have to wait three years to form a real opinion on him. However, for now he’s a disappointment in most respects, especially considering guys like Chandler Jones went after him in the draft. Still, 8 sacks in nothing to sneeze at, and you cant teach fast, and Irvin has that in spades.

  19. That Bryant Young idea sounds very interesting. I remember him as one of the most disruptive inside pass rushers I’ve ever seen, along with Reggie White when he got put inside. Lots of technique, moves and advantages to gain from leverage to learn from that guy, I would bet. Intriguing coaching prospect for our D-line.

  20. bbnate420 says:

    Though Jones is the better all around player right now IMO, he did have 2 less sacks than Irvin. I agree that it will probably take 3 years to accurately evaluate him. I expect him to be significantly better at rushing the passer next season at least. He will probably still be a liability against the run.

    P.S. I was hoping the Hawks would draft Jones in the 1st and picked him in my mock draft. Bobby can go back and verify that. ;-)

  21. Fast is great but if he always overruns the play or gets stuck at the line then that speed is no good, Hopefully he will show a work ethic and start to find get better at those things

    Here is to improvement out of all our young guys!

  22. Dukeshire says:

    Show work ethic? Is there some evidence he isn’t a hard worker? The two specific things Irvin needs to improve are is technique and strength. As those develop, so too will his consistency and level of play.

  23. jawpeace says:

    A short thanks to Hawkfan777 for the short version and a nice Thank you SandpointHawk for the nice reposting from the article.

  24. jawpeace says:

    I thought Irving had a good year for a rookie with not very much college coaching. Irving not trying to throw his former coaches under the buss said something along the line that he did not get very much coaching from them in addition to running a weird scheme, I think it was something like a 2, 4, 5. He was not used as a typical DE. The jump to the pros is enormous all by itself. When one was not really coached in college as Irving was. I thought he had a really good year and see him only getting better.

  25. bbnate–I knew nothing about Jones coming into the season, but I could not believe what I saw when I watched him play us this year. The guy was a major disruption on every single play, pass or run. He was applying pressure on every play, or close to it. He only got schooled on a couple plays. The man is good vs the run, and a beast pass rusher in training. He’s already a load. His motor never stops.

    I was so impressed with him, I actually watched parts of a couple Pats games, and I hate the Patsies. He didnt look as dominant or disruptive in those games, but he was still pretty amazing for a rookie. I really think a lot of this kid.

    And he missed part of the season to injury, or he would have had more sacks than Irvin.

    Not to trash Irvin, who has a lot to learn, but Jones so far is much more suited to the pro game, and by far the better player. Who knows in three years though?

    Irvin’s technique will improve, and he’s gifted with speed. Compare him with guys like LoJack or Darryl Tapp, who had some skill but ultimately just werent fast enough. Sure, there’s a chance Irvin will never be a great all-around player, but Im willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for a couple years, as long as he shows improvement. His speed will only increase in value as he learns techniques to properly utilize it. All the more reason we need to hit a homerun with the new D-line coach.

  26. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    Well if there is anything to take away from Kiper’s updated evaluation of the Hawk’s 2012 draft class:

    If Irvin does in fact develop over the next couple years into a more well-rounded DE both as a pass rusher and at least not a total ‘liability’ against the run (both of which are possible and probable), then JS / PC were the true draft gurus and geniuses this year. More so than the experts giving out the grades.

    And if Jaye Howard also becomes something this year, then where does that put this class in historical terms?

    Either way, I don’t really care what the experts say on draft day. Or even afterward.

    Kiper could have called RW certain a totally wasted pick and also called that Irvin the final ‘missing piece’ the Hawks when in giving out his initial grades. It wouldn’t have made any difference on the field or in the win and loss column.

    JS / PC have already more than shown that they have as effective an evaluation program and overall philosophical approach for how to draft for their needs and evaluate pro football player potential in genearal as any front office in the league.

    One part of which has been simply playing the numbers game in the form as getting as many draftees and possible reclamation projects a shot in camp as possible.

    And then developing talent that other teams may have wasted or not recognized at all.

    I have to wonder if Richard Sherman would be the player he is today if he were taken by another team? Or even RW for that matter.

    Would Sherm have been given the opportunity to show what he can do playing press coverage against number ones by most DC’s? I doubt it.

    And I think we can guess pretty accurately how much opportunity to prove himself that RW would have been given by most other coaching staffs upon coming into training camp. Probably not much.

    I think part of what the draft gurus aren’t and cannot account for is what PC is able to do with young players that other coaching staffs might not be able or willing to do.

    None of which changes how much I detest the end of game defensive scheme that pissed away a legit shot at being in the Super Bowl this year.

    And those last two pass completions that lost the game had so little to do with our pass rush problems, as much as that was a game-long problem. That was all scheme and the scared philosophy that put our players in horrible positions on the field and allowed Atlanta’s personnel to run f-ing free to the exact places they wanted to. Can anyone tell I’m not over it yet? I don’t think I’m ever going to be. It is what it is.

    Anyhow, there’s no question that when it comes to mining and developing talent from where the rest of league has not been able to find or recognize it, there is something special going on with JS and PC. It’s amazing and unprecedented for our franchise really.

    There is certainly no other time in team history that I have had so much confidence in the front office to overcome the moves that don’t work out and which will be inevitable(Whitehurst, Tavaris Jackson) while also making so many unexpected and amazing talent acquisitions along the way.

  27. I have to say though, that just once in awhile, I would love to see Seattle take a guy in the first round and have them be a runaway hit. Okung wasnt even that. His injuries, and this year his mental errors, have seen to that. Earl Thomas is the only one I can think of who came in and was a hit from day one.

    You have to get impact players with your first round picks, no matter how well you do later in the draft. Thats the one area Seattle’s FO needs to improve on.

    SeventiesHawkFan–Youre placing blame in the wrong place. Im not sure of all the answers, but Seattle called an aggressive defense on the last couple plays of the Atlanta game. It just didnt work out. Wagner has a lot to learn about covering TE’s like Gonzalez. The guy is a HOF’er you know, he’s not just any TE. But yeah, whatever they called it didnt work.

    And it wasnt the last two plays so much as it was the whole game watching Browner play off-man or off-zone, instead of the press he’s best at. No wonder he was so pissed. The other two games I remember us playing that way, we lost to inferior opponents as well–Detroit and Miami.

    Just like the third and long woes; Bradley came out and said he tried everything in the playbook on defense, with the same results. So who knows? Seems like it was different reasons each time for the same outcome.

    Now we have a chance to go in a different direction, and I think its gonna work out really well. Back to Carrols 4-3 Under. Cant wait!

  28. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    STTBM,

    In response to this:

    “SeventiesHawkFan–Youre placing blame in the wrong place. Im not sure of all the answers, but Seattle called an aggressive defense on the last couple plays of the Atlanta game. It just didnt work out. Wagner has a lot to learn about covering TE’s like Gonzalez. The guy is a HOF’er you know, he’s not just any TE. But yeah, whatever they called it didnt work.”

    I wish we could have an entire blog post and extended discussion over the off season about just how horriffic and inexcusable the last two defensive plays really were:

    And I hope that the Seahawks coaching staff does not give themselves the excuses that you are apparently willing to offer.

    I am of the firm and unwavering belief and conviction that there are SO MANY THINGS that were inexcusable, indefensible and just schematically SCREWED (insert more forceful expletive here please) UP with how those last two plays were called defensively by Bradley and Pete Carroll.

    And it quite frankly was the probably most costly coaching (screw) up with something probable to gain in this franchise’s history.

    Maybe not the most obvious and egregious coaching mistake of them all. But in terms of: our team has the whole enchilada of a Super Bowl appearance and win very realistically and probably within our grasp . . . and we just pissed it all away by literally giving the game away to a team that was beaten, well I cannot think of any moment in Seahawks history that exceeds what happened on the last two defensive snaps at the end of that game.

    And I think you are making way too many generic excuses for how it all went down.

    Especially when it comes to the completion to Gonzalez.

    Gonzalez being a HOF Tight End had absolutely nothing to do with that pass completion at all. And it certainly wasn’t a hard to route to defend.

    Gonzalez did nothing special up to the moment he caught the ball. He ran in a straight line and turned around and the ball was right there. A route that twenty other tight ends could run and complete.

    ANY form of changing or delaying or disrupting Gonzo at the LOS would have given the blitz time to get home and Gonzo wouldn’t have been down the field as far as he was, nor would he have had time to turn around as the ball was released.

    Or if he had simply been recognized as the hot route, something that was EASY to recognize, then covering him would have been easy for Wagner as well. There was nothing complicated about covering that route for any of our LB’s, including Wagner.

    The claim that Wagner was somehow responsible and blew the assignment and coverage on that play is complete bull—- as well.

    Wagner was in the exact area of the field he was supposed to be, and he did exactly what he was coached to do. He wasn’t trying to cover Gonzalez. He was supposed to react to the routes the Falcon’s receivers were running and then find who to cover.

    Which Atlanta’s DC exploited by putting Gonzo where he knew Wagner wouldn’t be. It was EASY for them. And it was PREDICTABLE.

    The moment the (fear-driven) defensive decision was made to let the entirety of Atlanta’s receiving personnel run freely all over the (insert expletive here) field to whatever spot they damn well please and not be challenged for every yard they want to run, that game was LOST.

    What Gonzalez did after the catch breaking tackles may be another matter, but the fact is that the SCHEME and coverage that were called was why he was open. And the FEAR and general philosophy behind what that coverage was called was what really lost the game in the end.

    While we’re on the subject, let’s dispel this pass rush meme as well. It was an overall problem all game and we need to improve ourselves in precisely this area most of all.

    But lack of pass rush was NOT the problem nor a factor on those final two plays.

    You can applaud Bradley and PC all you like for supposedly being ‘aggressive’ by sending a blitzer, but the coverage called on the back end was completely incongruous with sending a safety or corner.

    And Ryan did NOT have time anyway. The real problem is that he didn’t NEED ANY TIME.

    He didn’t have to go through any progressions to a second or third option. He hit his back foot on both plays and the ball was out in around two seconds.

    And there is NO blitz or pass rush that can be expected to get home faster than two seconds.

    You might get lucky if you get a man through cleanly, but that’s not what a designed blitz should ever EXPECTED to accomplish.

    On a play like that you are banking that the hot or primary route will be covered and then the QB won’t have time to get to the second or third option. Or will have to force a throw into a tight window or double coverage or take a sack.

    In that sense, the blitzes Bradley / PC called were in fact successful, even if those were mistimed and not perfect in and of themselves.

    Which again gets back to the coverage and how it was called. If you are sending a blitzer, WHY would you let every single receiver run freely down the field to the open holes in your zone?

    Why would you let Atlanta dictate where your players are going to be on the field? Rather than us dictating to Atlanta which receivers will have their routes redirected and disrupted and even how far down the field they will be able to run in those first two seconds?

    Or why not play man on at least what you think are the hot routes? So that Ryan has to at least THINK AND MAKE A DECISION after the snap, rather than have it all worked out before the snap even happens?

    I suppose we can blame the pass rush ad nauseum, but central problem is much larger than that.

    The entire scheme and fear-driven philosophy on third down and end of game situations that Bradley and PC have run over and over again could not be more blatantly exposed as a LOSING PROPOSITION.

    It puts the other team in the driver’s seat. And puts our players in bad places on the field. And their players in the places they want to be.

    Which is why we lost.

  29. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    And also to be perfectly fair to our coaching staff and brain trust:

    While they may have lost the Atlanta game through their end of game bungling and mismanagement, I am also fully aware of, recognize and am truly GRATEFUL for the myriad other brilliant and improbable personnel and coaching choices that put the Hawks in position to have a legit Super Bowl run.

    I don’t want anyone to be ridiculed or disrespected or run out of town.

    But I would like for there to be an honest, unsparing, no-nonsense and stark acknowledgement of what’s continually causing your team to LOSE GAMES IT SHOULD WIN.

    When it comes to our third down and end of game defense, as well as clock management at end of games, as well as knowing when to take points or go for it . . . these are all TRUE PROBLEMS that this coaching staff needs to recognize and resolve if they want to win Super Bowls.

    Schematically and philosophically this staff cannot shown that it will fall apart in critical moment situations. We’ve seen it over and over again.

    And until those things are explicitly addressed and corrected, all of their other brilliant and improbable decisions and personnel moves are going to be just good enough to be in contention but not win it all.

    Which is rather disappointing. And even a bit of a giant tease.

    And championship teams don’t make aw schucks excuses or wrap everything up in convenient but not entirely true excuses (like we need a better pass rush, which is a true statement, but not a complete enough explanation).

    Needing a more effective pass rush is a true and inarguable statement.

    But it’s also being used to provide cover for the other glaring and very real COACHING reasons for why we just lost a such a huge game that we should have won.

  30. bbnate420 says:

    SeventiesHawksFan, you get the award for longest posts. ;-0

    STTBM, Jones only missed 2 games, so that is debatable about his sack total. Irvin lost 1 or a half sack in that GB game too I thought, if I am remembering correctly. He was being held and almost got Rodgers down/assisted on a sack Clemons got credit for. Jones is far superior against the run IMO. I agree with you there. I like Mayock as a draft analyst, and he really started to play up Jones as the draft neared. He comes from an athletic family too. One brother also plays football I believe, and one of his brothers is Jon Jones of UFC fame.

  31. edstang45 says:

    Seventies hawkfan…….I would respond but my battery went dead

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