Monthly Archives: June 2017

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The Seattle Seahawks might be without their promising young running back, but they’re not panicking.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Thursday that running back C.J. Prosise is a game-time decision against the Falcons. Prosise, who hasn’t played since Week 11 after suffering a shoulder injury, was a full participant in practice on Thursday.

Thomas Rawls could again dominate the workload, but their depth behind him is extremely thin.

Fifth-round rookie Alex Collins would be Seattle’s backup in case Prosise can’t play.

Here are some other injuries we are tracking:

1. Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (groin) was a full participant in practice after being limited on Wednesday. Offensive tackle Tyron Smith (knee) and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (back) were limited.

2. Packers wideout Jordy Nelson (ribs) and running back James Starks (concussion) didn’t practice. Guard T.J. Lang (foot) and cornerback Quinten Rollins (concussion) were limited.

3. Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (knee) was a full participant in practice.

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There was a legitimate reason why the Seattle Seahawks felt good about themselves at this time last offseason.

They were coming off a divisional-round loss to the Carolina Panthers, but quarterback Russell Wilson had reached a level the team hadn’t previously seen. During an eight-game stretch from Week 10 to Week 17, Wilson completed 67.5 percent of his passes, averaged 8.62 yards per attempt and threw for 25 touchdowns with just two interceptions.

The coaching staff felt like he’d made a significant leap in his fourth season. And the Seahawks were counting on Wilson to carry that performance over into 2016. But three separate injuries — a high ankle sprain, a sprained MCL and a strained pectoral — never allowed him to even get started.

Wilson’s numbers were fine — 64.7 completion percentage, 7.7 YPA, 21 TDs, 11 INTs — but the Seahawks had to pare down their playbook because of his limited mobility. The run game never got going, and the offensive line struggled throughout.
Russell Wilson will be looking to improve a Seahawks offense that ranked 17th in the NFL in efficiency last season. Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
With OTAs finally underway, the focus for Wilson will be on regaining that 2015 form. Coach Pete Carroll said as much when asked about expectations for Wilson during a 710 ESPN Seattle interview on the “Brock and Salk” show a few weeks ago.

“I think what you saw the second half of the year before, I think he has the ability to be the best quarterback out there, doing his thing,” Carroll said. “And he showed it. Unfortunately, in Game 1 [of 2016], he gets knocked. He has put together an extraordinary offseason. He took the physical challenge that we throw out there to have the best offseason of your life. He is having that. He is working in all areas of his game. It’s really important to him. He’s maxed that out. He’s right on it.”

Wilson has a lot going for him entering the 2017 season. He’s only 28, and his array of weapons might be the best he’s had in his career, led by Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, Tyler Lockett and C.J. Prosise. Of course, if the Seahawks can’t protect him, that won’t matter.

But at the very least, just having the quarterback healthy should help a Seattle offense that ranked 17th in efficiency last season.

“He looks great throwing the football,” Carroll said. “He looks great moving around. It just feels so much different than it did for so long of that season. Never during that season last year did we see him in practice where he could move. Never. So he mustered it up for game time. The last five or six games, [he] could move. But it isn’t like it is now. So we’ve got to take care of him, look after him, and have tremendous expectations for Russell’s performance next year.”

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RENTON, Wash. — Around Seattle, it has become somewhat of a tradition for Tom Cable to express optimism and calm panic about the Seahawks’ offensive line this time of year.

That continued Friday as Cable addressed the team’s offseason moves up front.

“I’d like to get to camp, but I’m the most excited coach on the staff right now,” Cable said. “That’s what I’ve told coach [Pete Carroll] and John [Schneider, Seahawks general manager]. I appreciate them putting this together in a year’s time and doing a fantastic job. Our personnel guys nailed this, so it’s just a matter of getting them in the right spots and going and playing ball.”

The Seahawks made three main moves on the offensive line this offseason. They signed Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi in free agency and drafted Ethan Pocic in the second round.

Exactly how all the parts will fit is unclear. Justin Britt will start at center, but beyond that, spots are up for grabs.

The coaches’ optimism about left tackle George Fant is sincere. Fant struggled as an inexperienced rookie (he hadn’t played football regularly since the eighth grade) but added bulk this offseason and has been working with Hall of Famer Walter Jones. It’s early, but Fant appears to be in the driver’s seat to start at left tackle once again.

Cable said earlier this offseason that Joeckel played as well as any left guard in the NFL last season, even though he started only four games at that spot for the Jacksonville Jaguars before suffering a knee injury. Joeckel is on a “pitch count” as he continues to get his knee healthy. He’s getting a look at guard and tackle but is probably more likely to start on the interior at this point.

Mark Glowinski started at left guard last season but is back to playing on the right side where he is more comfortable. Last year’s first-round pick, Germain Ifedi, has moved from right guard to right tackle. And then there are the wild cards: Pocic, Aboushi and 2016 third-round pick Rees Odhiambo.

“Everybody is learning two spots, really,” Cable said.

There will be plenty of different combinations between now and Week 1 of the regular season, but Cable said he expects the Seahawks to be ahead of where they were last year once training camp begins.

“Those were young kids with no experience, and in George’s case, zero experience,” Cable said. “And now they’ve been through it a year. So you can expect us to be much further along in our preparation as we get ready for camp, for sure.”

 

 

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Fantasy enthusiasts from east to west are waiting to find out which running back — Thomas Rawls or Christine Michael — plays the workhorse role for Seattle on Sunday against the Dolphins. Before that Week 1 encounter unfolds, however, the Seahawks have issues to address up front.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that first-round guard Germain Ifedi suffered a high-ankle sprain in Wednesday’s practice, per a source informed of the situation. The injury is expected to knock the rookie out a “few weeks,” Rapoport was told.
The loss forces Seattle to tinker with an already untested line. One potential answer is backup J’Marcus Webb, who primarily plays tackle but has experience at guard. Webb sent out an Instagram post on Thursday that suggested he could see action against Miami.

Third-rounder Rees Odhiambo is another option — and it’s possible both could see snaps against the ‘Fins as coach Pete Carroll determines the best combination going forward.

Quarterback Russell Wilson is no stranger to playing behind undermanned, injury-riddled lines. Somehow the Seahawks have always made it work.

Until we see it on film, we refuse to panic about lineup changes in Seattle. Losing Ifedi is a headache, but Michael and Rawls are primed to do damage as one of the most promising combination of runners in the NFC. The duo will be tested right away, though, against a loaded Miami line.

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It’s time for another Seattle Seahawks mailbag. Let’s get right to the questions.

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On tha flipside @homechix
@SheilKapadia What’s Kearse’s salary cap impact if released, and is he in danger of losing his spot based on drafted/signed WRs
2:58 AM – 3 May 2017
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Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was the subject of a bunch of questions this week. He’d likely admit that 2016 didn’t go the way he wanted. Kearse was coming off a career season and struggled, catching just 41 of 80 targets (51.3 percent) for 510 yards and a touchdown.

He also led the NFL with six offensive pass interference penalties. Football Outsiders ranked Kearse 91st out of 93 wide receivers in terms of efficiency.

At wide receiver, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson are locks to make the roster. Amara Darboh, a third-round pick, likely will as well. That probably leaves one or two spots for Kearse, Tanner McEvoy, Cyril Grayson, Kenny Lawler and David Moore.

But given the way Kearse’s contract is structured, cutting him wouldn’t give the Seahawks much cap relief. They’d save only $366,666 by releasing him.

They could bump that number up to $2.2 million by using a post-June 1 designation on Kearse. But that would defer $1.8M of his remaining cap charge to next offseason.

Bottom line: neither option is ideal.

But there’s also the issue of pure cash charge. Kearse is due $2.2 million in base salary for 2017. If the Seahawks simply determine that the other wide receivers are better options than Kearse and replace his roster spot with a rookie, they could save roughly $1.735 million in cash.

So where does that leave us?

My sense has always been that the coaches and people inside the Seahawks’ building value Kearse more than people on the outside — especially when it comes to culture and being a good teammate. Having said that, Pete Carroll did replace him with Lockett in the starting lineup late last season before Lockett injured his leg.

If some of the lesser known receivers outplay Kearse in camp, there is a slim possibility that the team will look to save the cash and let him go. But that seems unlikely, especially considering that Lockett is coming off an injury and Richardson is entering the final year of his deal.

More likely, the team could look to part ways with Kearse next offseason. Doing so then would free up $5 million in cap space.

It’s possible that Kearse sees a diminished role if the players behind him emerge. But more than likely, he’ll stick on the roster for 2017.

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Josh Dowdy @JoshuaDowdy
@SheilKapadia Who will be starting on the online next year week one?
12:46 AM – 3 May 2017
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The way I see it, this comes down to Luke Joeckel and the left tackle spot. If that’s where Joeckel sticks, from left to right I think it will be Joeckel, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi.

If the Seahawks decide Joeckel is a better fit at left guard, I think we’re looking at George Fant, Joeckel, Britt, Glowinski and Ifedi.

Looking at the roster overall, eight offensive line spots seem set: Joeckel, Glowinski, Britt, Ifedi, Pocic, Fant, Rees Odhiambo and Oday Aboushi. Odhiambo and Pocic are the wild cards. If they perform especially well at camp, the starting lineup could see a shakeup.

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Ryan Mongelluzzo @rymong
@SheilKapadia Can you give a sense of the DL depth and possible rotations now that we have a bunch of new ones? I think there were a couple UDFA ones too.
12:44 AM – 3 May 2017
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I think the starters in base will be Cliff Avril, Jarran Reed, Ahtyba Rubin and Michael Bennett.

The sub packages will be interesting. The most common one will likely be Avril, Bennett, Malik McDowell and Frank Clark.

Nazair Jones should fit in as a rotational defensive tackle. The team still has high hopes for last year’s fifth-round pick, Quinton Jefferson. Dion Jordan will get a look at multiple spots on the defensive line. And Cassius Marsh could still be a factor on game days, given his contribution on special teams.