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Morning links: Can Kearse be a playmaker?

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 1, 2013 at 7:29 am with 83 Comments »
August 1, 2013 9:33 am
Seattle Seahawks' Jermaine Kearse in action at an NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks’ Jermaine Kearse in action at an NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In my story today, the Seattle Seahawks believe they have several, reliable options to go to in order to replace the void left by Percy Harvin being out with a hip injury.

Those options include Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Sidney Rice.

But perhaps the person who will benefit the most is second-year pro Jermaine Kearse.

The University of Washington product has developed into a core special teams player and versatile performer for the Seahawks in his rookie season. Kearse also had Lasik eye surgery in February, which seems to have helped correct some of the rash of drops he experienced at Washington and with the Seahawks.

“Jermaine Kearse is having a hell of a camp,” Seattle receivers coach Kippy Brown said. “He’s quick. He’s a great route runner. He’s very disciplined. He’s a guy who learns well.”

So Kearse has a chance to be a playmaker for Seattle?

“I don’t have any doubt,” Brown said.

Brown also had this to say when asked about replacing Harvin’s role in the offense.

“First of all, we’re not going to change what our philosophy is,” he said. “And having been in this league a long time, every game is different, every opponent is different. They have their strengths and weaknesses. And when you game plan, you go and attack that.

“That may involve getting a receiver in a certain area, or it may involve the running game. So when you game plan, if you have a player you want to get the ball to, you figure out how to do it. And we have some very talented players on this team.”

Dave Boling of The News Tribune notes that the Seahawks had roughly $26 million accounted for in this year’s salary cap unavailable for Wednesday’s practice in Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice and Zach Miller.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today writes that the first warning signs of Percy Harvin potentially suffering a serious hip injury can be traced back to the NFL Scouting combine in 2009, where according to a source he had impingement and tightness in both hips as well as weak abductor muscles,

Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that the long-term prognosis of Harvin’s hip injury is the most concerning thing for the Seahawks.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr.Neal ElAttrache explains Harvin’s injury in this video link.

Jim Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that Seattle’s injury concerns has him wavering on his prediction that the Seahawks will go 19-0 and win the Super Bowl this season.

Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com provides a run down of what happened at practice on Wednesday.

Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times writes that the remaining Seahawks receivers are confident they can get the job done without Harvin.

ESPN’s Mike Sando re-ranks the NFC West receiving group with the help of Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. after injuries to Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin, placing Seattle at No. 3 behind Arizona and St. Louis.

Richard Sherman explains to Willie McGinest how he locks receivers down on the outside in this video link.

If you didn’t catch it on the magazine rack, Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated’s well-written piece on Richard Sherman is now available via the SI Vault.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated interviews Golden Tate in this video link.

Kevin Lynch of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the 49ers intend to rotate more players along their offensive defensive line this season. San Francisco heavily relied upon the team’s defensive starters in 2012, and guys like Justin Smith wore down at the end of the season.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis could have suffered a slight fracture in his hand.

Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that former Seahawks defensive end Lawrence Jackson is getting a long look from the Vikings.

Bill Barnwell of Grantland details the secrets of general manager Ted Thompson’s success acquiring players in Green Bay, and notes the personnel senior executive sporting from the Packers, including John Schneider (Seattle) and Reggie McKenzie (Oakland). You could also add former San Francisco general manager and current Seahawks senior personnel executive Scot McCloughan to that tree.

Changes have been made to the Pro Bowl, including no kickoffs and honorary captains Deon Sanders and Jerry Rice choosing sides.

Categories:
Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 83
  1. SandpointHawk says:

    Eric, check your copy on the Kevin Lynch link…

  2. montanamike2 says:

    I have a hard time putting the Rams and ‘Cards ahead of us, really Sando?

  3. yankinta says:

    I’m Totally Psyched,, I will get to watch Seahawks Practice at the VMAC today….. Go Hawks!!!

    Hopefully I’ll get to watch Stephen Williams catch some passes so that I can see what the fuss is all about…. also will look for Chris Harper….

  4. It will be interesting to see what the FO does in regards to Tater. I already thought he was going to have a good year even with the PH addition but with him out I think he is going to have an outstanding year. Contract year, looking to get paid, good chemistry with DangerRuss. If Baldwin bounces back this year and has an a la Bobby Engram impact, is Sidney Rice the odd man out next year?

  5. Sarcasticus says:

    Positional rankings are pretty pointless and nothing to get riled up over. Besides, Sando is just anti-Seahawks. (Check the name before you respond.)

    I think the offense will be better than last year, but I think it is because the skill payers are all returning and Carp will make the O-line better. I don’t see Harvin’s injury as a loss because I never saw him as part of the offense yet. You can’t subtract which was never there. This offense rolled last year and returns intact. You can add Harvin later in the year for an added dimension, but I would be insulted if I was one of these wide receivers for the Seahawks. How many times are they going to be asked about stepping up? Hold on a second. They were fine without Harvin. Reporters are asking the questions as if everyone just stepped aside the moment Harvin got off the plane. These guys are established. Harvin was here to add to that, not replace. Stop disrespecting them.

  6. dirtbiker_joey says:

    That piece on Sherman was fantastic! I’m not an SI subscriber so that was the first time I had seen it, but definitely a must read. Besides being the best corner in the league, he really is a great guy too. While I have always liked him, he may actually become my favorite Seahawk. They need to figure out a way to lock up him, Wilson, and ET forever.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Kearse has always had everything you want in a receiver, except reliable hands. If he can improve (dramatically) in that area, I too have no doubt he can make this (active gameday) roster.

    Very cool Sherman piece. I would love to be able to have a beer or two with him and just ask technique and scheme questions. He’s a thoughtful guy, that’s for sure.

  8. RDPoulsbo says:

    There’s no doubt Arizona has the best WR group in the division. Their problem is they’re still floundering around with the worst QB situations in football trying to get those guys the ball. I wouldn’t put the Rams ahead of the Hawks though.

  9. LBCHawk says:

    Okay, question I want to throw out for everyone.

    Who would replace Rice if he got hurt or if we let him go? Even if Tate steps up and we get Harvin back, who is has similar traits to Rice on our team?

    I don’t know anyone on this roster that could. An injury to him would worry me. Harvin doesn’t worry me half as much.

  10. GeorgiaHawk–Regarding your comment on a previous thread, I wouldnt make you eat crow if/when Kearse does well. You are right that he was prone to drops in college, and the stats others quoted show that he was still dropping passes last year, though I only remember him dropping one and losing one that was a very tough ball. But my memory aint what it once was, thats for sure…

    So Ill give you a pass.

    Ive always liked Kearse, I thought he would make a perfect FL who could also play slot. He runs routes exactly how you want, and is much quicker than people think. He’s also fast enough to go deep, and strong enough to block and be a special teams stud.

    Like Dukeshire said, he’s always looked like a prototypical WR in all things, except the drops…hopefully the lasic makes those go away.

    All the accounts from Camp are singing his praises, and its nice to see that he’s getting some credit for a change. I am happy to say that Ive been on his bandwagon since the very first, when I was stoked to see him sign as an UDFA. For once it looks like I might be right about a sleeper player…hey, I’ll take what I can get…;p

  11. Singularitarian says:

    The worst qb situation in football RD? Please. Carson Palmer makes receivers. the last time CHad Ocho Cinco and TJ Deuchemanzada were any good was with him, same with T.O. He carved out a couple of good receivers out of dog@#&* in Oakland. He’s the type of qb who will feed the ball to Fitz the way only Curt Warner could. Don’t kid yourself, AZ has got the best qb since they were in the superbowl

  12. chuck_easton says:

    LBCHawk,

    You are going to find people on here that have no time for Rice (STTBM).

    I think what it comes down to is not his production. It is not the value he brings to the WR corps and the team. It squarely rests on the fact that people feel he is not producing at a level that justifies his salary.

    If Rice were making, oh say, 5 to 6 million a season instead of the 7+ he’s getting I don’t think we’d have as many calling for him to be gone.

    I agree with both sides. I think the team is better of WITH Rice. I also think Rice is going to be one guy that either does a contract re-structure or he might find himself gone.

  13. LBC–There are several options. They could move Baldwin there and try Kearse or one of the young guys in the slot–Walters has caught EVERYTHING and is a slot guy. They could also keep Baldwin in the slot and use Kearse at FL. Thats who would get the job if it happened right now, IMO. Then they’d move Baldwin to the FL position in three-wide sets.

    Also, Harper has a shot at FL, but he will have to beat out Kearse, and that will be tough as a rookie.

    Stephen Williams to me looks like a SE, so in theory they could try Tate at Slot with Baldwin at FL and Williams at SE in three-wide as well…

    Our guys will be fine. I fully expect to see Kearse getting time backing up Rice and Baldwin during real games, esp with Harvin out. Harper and Williams seem to be competing for a roster spot, but both could make the team as well as Kearse, Tate, Baldwin, if Rice is gimpy come game 1.

    On a side note, Winston Guy may be in trouble. I think Lane makes the team, and Maragos. Johnson is a maybe, and I’m betting Seattle puts Tharold Simon either on IR, or IR with designation to return, as his injuries have prevented them from getting a good look at him and its highly unlikely he will contribute much this year, but he could be snatched if we waive him.

  14. Agreed, LBCHawk. Rice is big, tough, dependable, long limbed, and a good route runner. Harvin, Tate, and Baldwin have good skill sets of their own, but none of them brings the combination Rice does. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t around next year.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    I have argued that point myself here, many times. Rice is capable of playing (and has) all three receiver positions at an elite level. No one currently on the roster can replace his versatility. He allows OCs to move him around formations in attempts to create mismatches.

  16. chuck–You deliberately misunderstand me, I guess because its easier to put me and my opinions in a labeled box that way. But people dont generally fit into nicely labeled boxes…

    I like Rice. I just dont think he’s the player so many on this blog seem to think. Im thoroughly disappointed in his play, since he was paid and expected to produce like an elite deep-threat WR, a do-it-all number 1 SE WR, and his hip injury and the rest of them, IMO, have clearly robbed him of that sixth gear that could have, and should have, bumped him from good to elite.

    I am only unhappy with his play because so much more was expected from him, and his cap hit/pay prevent the Hawks from having a legitimate Elite WR opposite Tate (who I feel will get to that level this year). He’s a fine WR, just not strong enough or fast enough to be truly elite.

    If he’s not willing to take a big pay cut next year, I am ready to move on. He’s been drastically overpaid the last couple years, based on his play, not stats alone, and owes Seattle big, IMO.

    But Im glad he’s here this year, and with Harvin out, I surely dont want to see him miss time, especially early in the season. And I’d love it if he came back and showed the speed I believe he’s lost…crow pie would be delicious then!

  17. I dont agree that AZ has the best WR corps in the NFC West. Not by a long shot. Fitz is what he is–the best. Outside him, they have Michael Floyd, who I loved in college. But this is the NFL, and he’s still a maybe–he’s done nothing yet. And the rest are guys who also havent arrived. Color me unimpressed.

    And Im not buying the hype around Palmer. He hasnt been himself since he blew his knee out in that playoff game so long ago. While I expect him to improve, Im not convinced he can return to his early career performance, though it is possible. Arians is a great offensive mind.

    The Rams WR corps is interesting, but again, Austin has yet to take a snap in the NFL, and is tiny. He’s a giant maybe. Add to that the fact they let Gibson and Amendola walk, and they dont have all that much. I do think that Chris Givens will be a fine WR, but they arent the top WR corps…

    The Niners?! Oh give me a break…Manningham is gonna be gimpy, Crabtree is toast for the year, and Jenkins has no clue. They got Lockette and some other has-beens or never-were’s..

    Which leaves Seattle. With Rice, Tate, and Baldwin, not to mention they young guys that are making plays vs the best secondary in the NFL on a daily basis, guys like Kearse, Williams, Walters, and Harper. I think we have the best WR corps, and that will be proven in the regular season and the playoffs.

  18. RDPoulsbo says:

    Oh please, Palmer has been living off the reputation he had before his knee surgery. He hasn’t been much of anything since then. He’s way past his prime and the Cards will be looking for another QB next season.

  19. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    singilartarian, at this point in his career palmer is garbage. could fitz and the rest of the receivers make him look better sure but to say he is a good QB is laughable he has not been good for years. with the defenses he has to go against in the west if he makes it to game 8 i will be surprised. i laughed my ass off when the raiders traded for him,(i have friends that are raiders fans) they are still eating crow.
    he throws picks and is not very accurate when it counts anymore. 70/80%
    of his yards come in garbage time.

    STTBM, couldn’t agree more on rice. he was brought in to be a true number 1 and he is at times. although he is getting paid at 1.5 receiver rates not truly a 1, now harvin is getting number 1 money.

  20. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    lmao wisccory

  21. Golden_Gate_Nate says:

    When evaluating a receiver group, you really need to factor in the Tight End position as well. Especially in today’s NFL, where the TE can be such a huge part of the passing game, often even splitting out in the formation. Certainly the QB is also a big factor (as is O-line) if you’re looking at the passing game as a whole. As RDPoulsbo pointed out, the AZ receivers are the most talented, but they don’t have a competent QB to throw them the ball and an atrocious O-line that doesn’t give him time anyway. But let’s keep this simple, agree that Bradford, Kaepernick, and Wilson are all competent QBs, SEA, SF, and STL all have good pass-blocking O-lines, and just look at TEs.

    Vernon Davis gives SF a clear advantage, whether he lines up as a traditional TE, or split out wide. Don’t be surprised to see Davis put up the best TE numbers in the league this year – even if many of those come while lined up outside. The loss of Delanie Walker hurts, but Vance McDonald has also turned in a very nice camp so far and looks to be making up for the Walker loss.

    SEA’s TE situation is a bit murkier. Miller is hobbled with an injury, and who really knows how much that is going to affect him. The injury to McCoy hurts. Is either Luke Willson or Sean McGrath ready to step in and fill the gap?

    Lance Kendricks gives Bradford a solid option at TE with reliable hands, and his banged-up knee should be ready to go by the regular season. Look for him to build on his break-out year. The pickup of Jared Cook, though, is what really pushes the Rams up the board in their passing game.

    The Cardinals? Do they even have a TE?

    So, grouping TEs with WRs, here’s how the division stacks up:

    1. SF
    2. STL
    3. SEA
    4. AZ

  22. Golden_Gate_Nate says:

    By the way, I hate to admit it, but I love Sherman. I liked him as a receiver at Stanford, and never understood the move to CB. I thought he had the skills to be a big time receiver – and still does. It turned out for the best and, unfortunately for us, that worked out for you. People call him out for the trash talk and the PEDs, but as someone who rooted for a team he played for, I know there’s more to him and hate to hate him. Hopefully he will see the light and come home after his rookie contract expires.

  23. SandpointHawk says:

    Cute WiscCory…

  24. WiscCory says:

    GGN ~ FYI, when I see your name I skip that post. That’s the only note I’m ever sending your way.

    GO HAWKS!!

  25. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    golden gate , go away that is the stupid thing i have ever heard . you have boldin and davis thats it nada after that ready to play. ask davis what it’s like to play seattle he spent the last game on the sideline with his ears ringing.
    http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=321223026
    last time they play seattle smacked them around nothing else matters at this point.
    although here is another tid bit seattle leads all time series 14/13 and hold all the blow-outs. and in case you missed it seattle embarrassed
    the niners last decemner but wait the niners are used to that because for the most part they win or get smoked, so nice talking with you no don’t go away mad …….just go away. you have a nice life now

  26. wabubba67 says:

    As long as Harbaugh is in SF, rest assured that Sherman will never even consider becoming a 49er.

  27. Hopping we see more “chop-chop” and less “drop-drop.”

  28. Oh, and by the way, Jim Moore, while 19-0 is fun to dream about, it won’t happen. Ignoring the fact that it’s never been done, even if this team had all pieces at 100% (no injuries to Harvin, Miller, Clemons, Avril, Rice, no Irvin suspension), they still need to travel to Carolina, Houston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and New York for 1:00 games. That has historically been an Achilles Heel for us, and three of those teams were playoff teams last year. Plus a few tough games in our division.

    Do we have the talent to win all those games? Sure. But realistically I think we should be thrilled to go 3-2 in those games and finish 13-3. Honestly, I think 12-4 is a reasonably optimistic expectation for this year. That’s just the reality with a tough schedule, injuries or not.

  29. I’m not gonna jump on GGN when he posts a football post. Disagree with the rankings though.

    No way in the world I’d trade the Hawks receiving group for that of the Rams or Niners though. Boldin is strong, and I’m sure a good leader for the group, but he’s not going to get very open against the good corners (esp when he has to act as your #1 receiving option until Crabtree comes back). Love Vernon Davis, but he’s not shown himself to be a Gronkowski/Graham level guy that you have to gameplan for – not consistently at least.

    I’ll add this – I went up to SF for the Niners/Hawks game two years ago and had real good seats. Watching the game, and for some reason even the warmups, Davis stood out as the most remarkable looking athlete on the field. So fast and so fluid at that size. Nobody else out there looked like him.

  30. doubledink says:

    Golden_Gate_Nate

    Well reasoned and civil post. Thanks for joining the discussion.
    And yesterday I wasn’t saying you claimed our team sucks. I was referring to how things digress.

    If Miller is hobbled I am worried about TE this year. We will most likely lean more on out WRs and RBs to fill the void. Not as TEs but in fewer TE dependent formations.

  31. doubledink says:

    At the risk of committing blasphemy on here, I think the difference this season between Sea and SF is our tougher road schedule. I just hope I’m wrong.

  32. Davis is clearly the best TE in the division, but he won’t be as effective as a SE as he is at TE. Different coverages available for him then. Bolden will help ease the loss of Crabtree but that is a huge loss for SF.

    If healthy our WR – sme groups we had last season mind you – will be just fine. Rice would have higher #’s if they actually targeted him more. Baldwin healthy will really help us. I remember the photo of his collar bone last year – after that he was never quite the same. I am hoping the laser eye surgery that he had will help- time will tell.

    It will be a very interesting season!!! Will SF keep tipping their offense so that STL will beat up on them again. Will Arizona actually provide some competition in the division games this year? I don’t think anyone can sweep the division this year- too many even battles- good match ups

  33. Vernon Davis is to SF’s offense what Justin Smith is to their defense imho. He’s the lynchpin & without him they are not at all the same team. He’s damn good.

  34. Ok I know this might be a little (a lot) nit picky but seriously I’m really getting tired of all the Harvin talk: “in order to replace the void left by Percy Harvin being out”

    I apologize but what void? He hasn’t played a day with the Seahawks. In fact to the contrary, the receiving corps did pretty well last season improving as they went along. I truly believe with RW’s leadership, direction and overall team cohesion they don’t ‘need’ Percy to win a Super Bowl. Now that’s not to say an additional weapon like Percy is useless, just he is exactly that; an addition, not the end all be all.

    Ok off my soapbox.

  35. doubledink says:

    Staying the same, personnel wise, is not progress. We haven’t really added talent. That was what Harvin was supposed to bring. That is what causes many to wring their hands. A healthy Carp would be the only new starter to this offense.

    Sure they will all grow from last year but so do other teams/players. Hopefully continuity will trump new faces.

  36. We haven’t really added talent? Beg to differ…

    Growing up all our young 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year players into 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years players will add a ton of talent this year.

    Just watch tape of the Seahawks in the early games last year (very inconsistent — narrowly avoiding a loss to the panthers, getting beaten by the Rams, along with good wins over the Cowboys and Patriots) versus the five consistent and dominating victories with which we closed out the regular season.

    Same players, better team, greater talent. This years’ team will be another significant step up for all of our young players.

    (Not to mention that adding Antoine Winfield, Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Christine Micheal, Jordan Hill, and Jesse Williams IS adding a lot of new talent as well)

  37. And, many of San Francisco’s starters will not be getting better this year, just older. Niners have 7 starters over 30. Seahawks have 3 starters over 30.

  38. doubledink says:

    Stevos,
    And other teams haven’t done the same? By personnel wise I meant replacing the lower tier starters with new, better faces. We have done that on defense but not on offense.

  39. doubledink says:

    Aside from Carp, this is the same offense we fielded last year. Hopefully scheme additions and continuity and the fact that there is just so much talent there wasn’t a low tier starter on the offense to get replaced will overshadow this.

  40. RDPoulsbo says:

    I would say the offense wasn’t the problem once the reigns were taken off Wilson. The achilles heel (pun intended for the token SF fan claiming their WRs are better this year) was a consistent pass rush. You hang the losses to St. Louis, Detroit, Miami and Atlanta on the inconsistent pass rush. They almost lost to Chicago because of it as well. That’s why the brought in proven pass rushers in Avril, Bennett and McDaniel.

    The offense is going to be fine. Miller is being brought back slowly as a precaution, Baldwin is healthy again, Bevell can taylor the offense to Wilson rather than using a T-Jack centered offense to start the season, etc.

  41. chuck_easton says:

    STTBM

    I didn’t misunderstand your position at all. As I said if Rice was making a couple million a year less I don’t think you’d have a problem at all.

  42. Talent and experience are two distinct concepts. I think of them as multiplicative variables on one side of an equation. I agree with doubledink in that we didn’t add any talent to the offense, outside of Harvin. However, I also agree with Stevos that the increased experience of the existing talent is a net gain. We can expect to see huge jumps especially in second year players (Sweezey, Turbo, and, to a lesser extent, Wilson). A healthy Carpenter (fingers crossed) could be argued as added talent. The only real loss was McCoy as I think most of us expect Michael to more than make up for the loss of Washington’s limited fold on the offense. In total, I expect a slight improvement on what was a very effective offense at the end of last year. Of course, the huge caveat being how healthy Miller is and how injuries affect the team over the course of a long season.

  43. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Winslow still doesn’t get it. He was behind Miller and although I thought he could have been decent for us, it didn’t work out. Of course he would have been way better then drops Moore.

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/story/_/id/9529431/kellen-winslow-fueled-seattle-seahawks-release-2012

  44. doubledink – no, many teams can’t claim the same progress in their players improving. We are much younger than most teams, with young starters still growing by leaps and bounds. We have 13 starters with 4 or less years in the league. All those guys are just coming into their peak years, some haven’t reached their peak yet.

    The Niners have about 7 guys in the same category – still on their way up. And as I said they have about 7 starters over 30 and in decline.

    On top of this, the 49ers have recently signed Ricardo Lockette and Charly Martin to their roster after these guys could not make it as Seahawks. Bad signs for the Neeners. Watch the Niners, Ravens, and Eagles all decline over the next couple of years.

    a telling bit of trivia…
    number of older players on roster who are entering their 9th year in NFL (or older)

    Niners = 16
    Ravens = 13
    Eagles = 10
    Falcons = 7
    Seahawks = 7
    Rams = 5

    The NFL is a young man’s league, and the Niners are on the wrong end of this equation. Meanwhile, the Seahawks, Falcons, and Rams are all on their way UP.

  45. bbnate420 says:

    I guess Mr. Moore thought the Hawks weren’t going have any injuries when he made that ridiculous 19-0 prediction?

    STTBM, don’t sleep on Andre Roberts. He is a very good WR. And Floyd had a pretty good rookie year, especially considering the garbage he had throwing the ball to him.

    I don’t have a big issue with Sando ranking the Tardinals WRs above ours. I wouldn’t place the Lambs above ours though. Givens had a pretty good year in 2012, but he was the 3rd option. He hasn’t played in games with teams focusing on him yet, so we don’t know how he will respond. Quick didn’t do much as a rookie. They are relying heavily on Austin, who is a rookie. They have a lot of unknowns. Talented but unknown. Nothing really needs to be said about the Whiners mess at WR.

    I have always liked Kearse’s talent. He was projected as a 2-3rd round pick going into his senior year. His penchant for dropping passes didn’t improve his senior year and he wasn’t targeted as much. I think his history of drops has been talked about ad nauseum.

    LBC, I think Kearse or Tate would likely play the FL if Rice was out. Then they could play Harper or Williams at SE.

  46. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    doubledink, you sound like a niners fan. the most important part of the receivers is wilson getting more familiar with them. he has had a full season and now a full off season as the starter workin hasg with these guys.baldwin is healthy kearse is maturing into a very good receiver.

    as was said the offense was not the problem as much as the D giving games away. they solve that problem this team becomes a dynasty in the making.

  47. dirtbiker_joey says:

    I had Winslow on my fantasy team for a couple of years when he was in Cleveland. He did pretty damn well for me. Too bad he didn’t work out for us last year.

    With as many guys who have come through here and lost out on competition (Flynn, TJack, B. Edwards) or asked to restructure (Lofa, Trufaunt) it’s surprising there aren’t more guys bitter and resentful toward the Hawks and PC/JS. Hell, TJack even came back!

  48. bbnate420 says:

    WiscCory, very funny. Hopefully it’s taken in the spirit it was meant.

    Stevos, I think that OrrObb and doubledink are saying that there is a difference between talent and experience. It’s a matter of semantics. Experience will hopefully lead to more production, but it doesn’t necessarily make them more talented. Without Harvin, the big talent upgrade offensively will hopefully be Carp. He couldn’t add his talent from the bench and clearly wasn’t 100 % or even that close to when he did play. Christine Michael is another potential talent upgrade. He’s clearly more talented at RB than Washington IMO. He could see significant time with the team wanting to reduce Lynch’s carries.

  49. bbnate420 says:

    Willson could also potentially be more talented in the passing game than McCoy. I highly doubt he will ever be close to the blocker that McCoy was.

  50. bbnate–Roberts is a TALENTED wr, but he lacks skill and is lazy. Even Fitz’s DAD called him out. Dude’s a punk and hasnt listened to Fitz’s suggestions, and I have no respect for anyone that stupid. But yeah, if he ever pulls his head out, he has the talent to be someone.

    Good point about the Hawks maybe moving Tate to FL if Rice is out, and putting Williams or Harper at SE. Harper could potentially play either spot. I thought he fit the FL better than SE myself, but I dont know where he’s been practicing in camp. Perhaps both spots.

    hawkfaninoklahoma–Rice signed his contract two years ago. At that time, his contract placed him in the top 5-10 highest paid WR’s, which is the kind of production/performance that was expected of him. While his production was limited by our qb’s and scheme, his performance, IMO, has also been a bit lacking. He’s still vastly overpaid. Salaries keep rising–you cant expect your 4-6 year deal to be the gold standard for your position three years after you sign it–which is why second and third deals have a lot of guaranteed money up front, big signing bonuses, and usually have a throw-away year. The player gets security against injury/fading skills for a couple years, and the team gets a contract that will look pretty good three-four years down the road if the player continues to produce at the expected level. Both sides win if all goes well.

    In Rice’s case, he got lucky we paid him that much when we did. And we are getting hosed, and I fully expect him to take a big cut or be waived next year. For now, I really hope he plays and stays healthy–he’s a good to very good player.

  51. doubledink says:

    Excuse me??
    Chuck Knox used to say, “The other guys get paid too.”
    I am the most excited I have ever been as a NFL fan of 45 years, 15 as a Ram fan, 30 as a Seahawks fan, 45 yrs as a niner hater. BUT, I won’t just drink the koolaid.

    Growth and continuity are important, more so on the OL, which is where we have less of it with Mofeezy at RG and Carp at LG.

    Other teams watch film too.

    Yes, we are on the good side of the age equation. That is a plus. But a lot of fans are talking like this will be a cake walk and I beg to differ.

  52. LBCHawk says:

    Thanks for all the responses to my question on Rice.

    I agree, his contract numbers are a bit high this year and next ($8.5 mil and $9 mil). But look at the overall agreement– really $38 million (I don’t count the $3 mil in escalators for pro-bowl) over 5 year period, that’s $7.6 mil/year. That’s what you pay a free agent wide-out with his skills. Victor Cruz got just as much for being a slot guy and giving a hometown discount. I would take Rice over Cruz any day.

    Someone above wrote that Rice was not thrown to when open and I totally agree with that. We are a run-first offense. Rice can’t change that.

    Maybe our front office could do something with guaranteed money with Rice– a small cut for all or nearly all of it guaranteed? That move would have to be done right away and I just don’t see that. But they could always go that route.

    Anyhow thanks for the responses again and Go Hawks!

  53. the “talent” vs “experience” argument is just symantics I think. Of course there is a distinction between those two concepts, but on the football field it makes no difference whether a player wins a matchup due to talent or wins a matchup due to superior technique and experience.

    In a career, players have their developing years, their peak years, and their decline.

    Few players in their first of second years are real difference makers over a 16 game seasons. Being young and still learning is a disadvantage. (as we saw when the Very-Talented Bobby Wagner got burned in last year’s playoff loss to the Falcons.)

    Many average players in years 4-8 excel and win games because they are in their peak years and can consistently win their matchup. Being in your prime years is an advantage for NFL players. (Look at Clemons, Bennett, Giacomini, Bryant… none of whom were starters as rookies but blossomed in their prime years).

    By extension, even the most talented players will start getting beaten more often, and injured more often, after their 9th or 10th year in the league. Being older is a disadvantage. As Justin Smith found out last year when he was so slow to recover from injury and played like crap through the final games, holding his team’s defense back. Now Frank Gore is over 30.

    We were talking about predicting “trends” for next year, after all. Currently we are seeing some bad trends for the Niners, and good trends for the Seahawks.

  54. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    STTBM, i was not disagreeing that he was brought in to be more than he has been. even when he signed his deal thou he was not even close to the top contracts out there. my belief is there are few truly number 1 receivers out there, rice is a 1.5 in my books not really a 1 but better than a true 2 harvin is a true number 1 he is a game changer.

  55. “Growth and continuity are important, more so on the OL”

    doubledink — I agree absolutely. This will be no cakewalk. This is still the 49ers division, and until we’ve beaten them in SF, and beaten Atlanta, we haven’t proven anything.

    That said, I believe we are on the way up. And I like it.

  56. judah27 says:

    DD don’t get me wrong, I’m totally down with the Harvin deal, it’s just to make the statement there is a ‘void’ when he was never there and all of the media creating hysteria that doesn’t exist is a bit much. I’m all for bringing in new and better talent if not for competition at least. I do agree with what you are saying in terms of acquiring new talent it’s just I do think we are going to be a lot better than the beginning of last season . Even if we play the same as we did at the end of last season, we should head to the big show.

  57. judah27 says:

    The offense beat Atlanta…;)

    Just kidding

  58. GoldenGateNate–Davis is a fine player, and the best TE in the NFC West, better than Jared Cook and Miller. But he’s not going to be as effective lined up wide as he is in the slot or on the line catching passes. You guys lost Delanie Walker, so I have no idea how good your TE depth is behind Davis.

    We have Miller, and as long as he’s healthy, he’s a fine player. Losing McCoy really hurts us, but Luke Willson will be a fine pass-catching TE, and McGrath is looking like a good player as well. We’re just thin on blocking TE’s.

    Time will tell which NFC West team has the best TE group, and I think injuries will tell that tale.

    The Whiners have a better O-line–so far. D-line, I think with Smith’s injuries and aging, Seattle will have the edge. McDaniels, Hill, Williams, Mebane, McDonald and Howard all offer a huge upgrade over last years DT crew, and we added Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett on the line as well. Not to mention we will get Clemons and Irvin back at some point. We also have some young pass-rushers with serious potential. And our new D-Coord and line coach will surprise you–they are an upgrade to Bradley and his guy, and they did pretty well last year, no?

    That said, I think the Rams have the best D-line in the NFC West, not least because of their stellar coaching. The Cards?! Meh, wait and see…

    LB’s, the Rams are very good there, as are the Whiners. But Seattle has three young LB’s, two of whom are potential Pro Bowlers, and Irvin and Avril will play there too. If the Whiners and Rams are better there, its by a hair. We’re good enough at LB to consider it a strength.

    Secondary? Legion of Boom. Nuff said. The rest get in line behind. Even our backups are good enough to be near the best if they start. Im serious; teams like the Raiders, Jax and the Jets cant wait to snag our castoffs.

    RB’s? WHiners may have the edge, but not for long. Gore is older than Lynch, and LeMichael James is tiny. Turbin and Michaels are studs, and its only Michaels inexperience that holds us back from being monsters at the RB position. And Derrick Coleman has looked good too. FB? Uh, Mike Rob is perhaps the best FB in the business.

    qb? You can have Kaep. He’s a douche. He has a ridiculously strong arm and is faster than greased lightning. And he’s smart. But he’s not Russell Wilson. Wilson’s mind, his drive, and his maturity outshine Kaep in a major way. Not to mention the fact that Wilson can read a defense and check down far better than Kaep. Not to mention he’s more accurate with his throws.

    Harbarf is perhaps a better coach than Carrol, but time will tell there. He’s a total buttface, an overly competitive douchenozzle and I wouldnt take him as coach if Seattle was 0-34 the last two seasons with Jim “No Accountability” Mora as coach…

    The NFC West Rivalries will be awesome into the next decade. Must-see TV for anyone who isnt a total East Coast Homer.

  59. HeinieHunter says:

    I could not agree more with RDPoulsbo. We need to fix the inconsistent pass rush of last year if we are going anywhere in the playoff. At times last year they looked terrible. If they can put consistent heat on the QB our secondary will feast this year. iMHO

  60. SandpointHawk says:

    Eric: How is Michael Bennett doing? We aren’t hearing anything about him.

    I have to mention that Kearse looked very good in practice today.

    I’ll hold my tongue on all the fans worried about Paul Allen’s money. Hell I’ve been giving him money for since 1981 when DOS was released…

  61. doubledink says:

    A little off topic, but a factor in last years Superbowl was experience.
    On the huge stage, that is the SB, usually it turns out to be too big for one team to handle. That team was SF. The bookends of that argument are the first and last plays of the game.

    Each team had 2 weeks to prepare for the opening play and Crabtree gets a procedure flag!?!

    Then when the game is on the line, last play, the defender knows just how much interference he can get away with in that situation. Experience again.

    It was a big factor in both of the Seahawks’ biggest chances. The ’83 AFC Championship and SBXL. We beat the Raiders handily all season until that day when the young talented kids met the mean old men on the battlefield. In SBXL the Seahawks had the more talented team and got hosed on some pathetic calls. But there were lots of pathetic calls that day (I recall a non-fumble and a clipping no call in our favor). But the frustration over circumstances was more detrimental (Stevens’ implosion and Hass’s last pick).

    That said, no one has been more bitter toward the refs of SBXL than me.

    What I like most of this year’s Seahawks is the proper blend of youth and experience. That 3-4 year mark is perfect.

    Now that I’ve stuck my neck out there, let the flaming diatribes begin. :)

  62. I think its interesting that NIners fans are insisting the 49ers have the best TEs because they have Vernon Davis.

    and… they are insisting they have a good WR Corps because of… Venon Davis.

    Davis can’t play two positions at once. The 49ers are short-handed at BOTH WR and at TE. Whichever position Davis plays will benefit, while the other suffers. This will make the Niners too one-dimensional. A team that can account for Davis (wherever he lines up, and can also account for Gore, will force Kaepernick into many difficult situation.

    I think the Seahawks are that team.

  63. bbnate420 says:

    STTBM, I don’t know anything about Roberts personally, neither do you really, and I don’t care. 64 catches, 759 yards, 12 yards a catch, and 5 TDs in 2012. And that’s with garbage throwing him the ball. Production is production. I am pointing out that he is a good receiver for them. Could he be better if he listened to Fitz? I don’t know for sure, but I’d imagine so. It doesn’t have anything to do with ranking the WR positions though. He produces a lot regardless of whether he could produce more.

  64. bbnate420 says:

    Very, very, very good point, Stevos. Can’t have their cake and eat it too. Of course, they could be delusional enough to believe that Vance McDonald is already definitely better than Miller. Who knows? I wouldn’t doubt it.

  65. doubledink says:

    One of the things I love about football is it is similar to heavyweight boxing in this regard: You don’t have to be able to beat them 4 times out of 7. You just have to beat them today. That fact introduces all kinds of wrinkles.

    “All of war is the art of deception” – Sun Tzu

  66. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I wouldn’t trade a 27 year old Miller for a 29 year old Davis any day.

    Especially since Davis got SlobberKnockered by Kam. Lol.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xzu8ADarrM

  67. Sekolah says:

    “On a side note, Winston Guy may be in trouble. I think Lane makes the team, and Maragos. Johnson is a maybe, and I’m betting Seattle puts Tharold Simon either on IR…”

    STTBM, are you actually following camp reports on Winston Guy? He’s knocking the sh** out of people in camp. He hit Luke Willson so hard the other day that Willson is now wearing one of those red ‘non-contact’ jerseys at practice. Guy had a very underwhelming rookie year, but he seems to be taking a step forward this year. It’s going to take a serious collapse by him or an injury to force him off this roster at this point. Pete has been exceedingly patient with him to this point, so it is hard for me to imagine Guy even getting caught up in the numbers game

    I think Jeron Johnson is probably a lot closer to being cut than Guy is. Guy has a taller ceiling for potential than Jeron does, IMO.

    I could definitely see Simon being placed on I.R.

  68. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I agree with Simon being placed on I.R. However cutting Johnson? Say it isn’t so.

  69. Sekolah–I havent seen a single report from camp that mentioned Guy doing anything. Im stoked to hear he’s laying the wood though, so thanks for that! You might be right regarding Jeron Johnson. Its gonna be a dogfight for every position in the secondary.

    Ive said it often, the Jets, Raiders, and Jags have to be salivating, ready to fight for any DB’s we cut…

  70. Hawkfaninoklahoma–I know you werent disagreeing with that. I just thought folks werent thinking about the fact that contracts signed a year or two years or three years after Sidney’s are bound to be for more money, what with the incredible salary inflation the NFL has seen lately.

  71. “Vernon Davis is to SF’s offense what Justin Smith is to their defense imho. He’s the lynchpin & without him they are not at all the same team. He’s damn good.”

    I think he’s very good too – but I’m gonna disagree with the linchpin perspective. I’ve followed him mostly b/c he’s been my fantasy league tight end the past couple years, and he puts up a ton of very average/below-average days. check his gamelog from last year: http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/9592/vernon-davis

    I’d say Gore is more their key on offense historically, and now Kaep.

  72. bbnate420 says:

    Johnson is a scrapper. Guy is the clear choice IMO if he can be playing to the level that Johnson is. Guy’s much more talented.

  73. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    Early reviews on O’Brien Schofield seem to be really positive. Carroll and LB coach Ken Norton raved about him.

    Rob Rang on Ian, says Kearse looks like the best player on the field at times.

    Niners CB Chris Culliver doing the same, and All-Pro linebackers Patrick Willis (broken hand) and Novarro Bowman (groin) missing time in San Francisco with injuries. San Fran is also having some injury issues at wide receiver, with various things bugging Kyle Williams and A.J. Jenkins (and of course Michael Crabtree.)

  74. doubledink says:

    Thanks, hawkfan

    I am so hoping Kearse explodes on the scene this year. With Baldwin healthy WR does not worry me.

  75. bbnate420 says:

    Question is, would they miss AJ Jenkins? The guy hasn’t even caught a pass yet.

  76. Sekolah says:

    “Niners CB Chris Culliver doing the same”

    I’m not sure what you meant by this comment, but a recent report is saying that Culliver may have blown out his knee while at practice:

    “Culliver was running down the field on a one-on-one punt coverage drill with rookie Marcus Cooper blocking him when he fell to the ground and clutched his left knee. Culliver immediately summoned a trainer and eventually was carted into the the team’s training room, his head in his hands.”

    http://www.theredzone.org/BlogDescription/tabid/61/EntryId/36388/Culliver-suffers-knee-injury-at-49ers-practice/Default.aspx

  77. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    lmao, this just in KC’s OC “we have the best QB in league” snort

  78. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    sekolah, sorry cut half the report off when i cut and pasted

  79. Sekolah says:

    yeah, I saw that, oklahoma. Rolled my eyes at that. I read what he had to say, you know, like how it was phrased, and it came off to me as more of an attempt to instill confidence in his guy. Still, couldn’t he have just said “He’s among the best” or something similar? The entire NFL world is laughing at that guy right now – Chiefs fans included I would think.

  80. Alex Smith is the best backup in the league.

  81. …unfortunately for the Chiefs, he’s starting…

    Seriously though, Smith is a good qb now. He’s just got a weak arm and is skinny. Harbarf saved his career though, and the Chiefs are lucky to have him–he’s gonna be fine and give them time to find their QBOF.

  82. They have a run game – smith will be fine for where they are/what they need

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