Monthly Archives: September 2017

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RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman took issue Wednesday with the NFL’s injury reports, saying their purpose is to better inform gamblers on how to bet games.

“From what I understand, the rule is for the gamblers, for Vegas, to make sure that the odds and everything are what they’re supposed to be, which is apparently what the league is concerned about when talking about injuries and things like that,” Sherman said. “So maybe somebody should look into that, because I thought we weren’t a gambling league and we were against all those things. But our injury report is specifically to make sure the gamblers get their odds right.”

An NFL spokesperson responded to Sherman’s comments on Wednesday, telling The Seattle Times:

“The decades-old policy is in place to ensure that all clubs provide accurate and timely information to other clubs, the public and media about every player’s availability. It is designed for competitive fairness purposes and curtails the potential for someone to attempt to gain and exploit inside information.

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“Without such a policy, you could envision a potential scenario in which a teammate or team personnel could be approached by a third party to sell inside information about a player’s undisclosed injury that could sideline or inhibit his performance. The policy, which is closely monitored by the league, provides a transparent look at player availability.”

NFL teams are required to submit injury reports on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday ahead of Sunday games.

The league’s injury report policy states: “All players who have significant or noteworthy injuries must be listed on the Practice Report, even if the player takes all the reps in practice, and even if the team is certain that he will play in the upcoming game.” Teams are required to list the degree to which injured players took part in practice as: did not participate; limited participation; or full participation.
The issue was raised Wednesday after Sherman stumbled while walking up a short flight of steps toward the podium for his weekly news conference.

“Injury report,” Sherman said jokingly. “Gotta call the league, make sure they know.”

The Seahawks got into some hot water with the NFL after coach Pete Carroll revealed publicly at the end of last season that Sherman had played through a knee injury in the second half of the season. Sherman, who didn’t miss a game during the 2016 campaign, had been on the team’s injury report regularly during the season, but his knee was never listed as the reason. The NFL looked into the matter but decided not to discipline the Seahawks.
Sherman was on the Seahawks’ injury report before both of the team’s first two games this season, including last week, because of a hamstring injury. He didn’t practice Wednesday and Thursday of last week.

Asked about that after Seattle’s win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Sherman downplayed the severity of the injury and said, “Now we’ve just got to mention everything, make sure the league is — they want to be aware of things. I think I’ve got a hangnail, so we’re going to put that in the injury report next week. Yeah. We don’t want to miss nothing.”

Sherman said Wednesday he doesn’t pay attention to NFL betting lines but that he’s certain they’re affected by injury reports.

“I think somebody said we were heavy favorites last week,” he said, referring to the Seahawks being favored by two touchdowns against the 49ers in their home opener, which Seattle won 12-9. “So I’m sure people were disappointed by that.”

 

 

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Three things to know ahead of the Seattle Seahawks’ home opener Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers:

Seahawks’ defense has had 49ers’ number. The Seahawks have won six straight games over the 49ers since 2014 and five straight at CenturyLink Field by an average of 20 points. Seattle’s defense in particular has been tough against San Francisco. That’s best illustrated by Total QBR. The 49ers’ QBR against Seattle since 2014 is 26.8 compared to 51.3 against all other teams, according to ESPN Stats & Information. It’s a new year and a new 49ers offense under coach Kyle Shanahan and quarterback Brian Hoyer, but the Seahawks’ defense looks like it can be even better than its versions from recent years with a healthy Earl Thomas at free safety and the addition of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Richard Sherman is listed as questionable for this game because of a hamstring injury, though coach Pete Carroll sounds optimistic about his chances of playing. Sherman has never missed a game in his career. If there were ever a game that the Seahawks could get by without their All-Pro cornerback, this seems like the one.
The Seahawks’ defense looks like it can be even better than its versions from recent years with a healthy Earl Thomas (29) at free safety and the addition of defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
What to expect from Shanahan. The Seahawks faced Shanahan twice last season when he was the Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator, winning in 26-24 in October and then losing 36-20 in the divisional round of the playoffs. One of the hallmarks of those Atlanta offenses under Shanahan was how much running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were used as pass-catchers out of the backfield. Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard said that based on what he’s seen so far, Shanahan wants to use his running backs similarly in San Francisco. Another hallmark of Shanahan’s offenses, according to Richard, is stretch and outside zone runs designed to beat defenses around the edges as opposed to up the middle. “We’re preparing for the things that he has had success with before in the past, so the playbook is open,” Richard said. “It’s only been one game, they’ve had a preseason, but as far as we imagine, there’re many more plays that he has under his sleeve.”

Can the Seahawks get Graham going? Tight end Jimmy Graham finished with only 8 yards receiving in a Week 1 loss at Green Bay, his lowest output since joining the Seahawks in 2015. That was on seven targets, though that number requires some explanation. One was on a throwaway; Graham got the official target because he was the nearest receiver. Another one of those targets was broken up. There was also the throw to Graham into the back of the end zone, when officials may have missed defensive pass interference. But Graham also had a costly drop on third down in the fourth quarter, a missed opportunity that Seattle couldn’t afford on a day when its offense had no margin for error. “He wasn’t himself,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “He didn’t play the way that he expects himself to play or we expect him to play. I don’t expect it to happen again.” Looking ahead to Sunday, Graham’s usage could depend on how Seattle’s offensive line holds. Against Green Bay, issues in pass protection led Seattle to use Graham as an extra blocker at times. Something else to consider: San Francisco’s defense held the Carolina Panthers’ Greg Olsen, one of the NFL’s most consistently productive tight ends, to only two catches for 18 yards last week.

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Seattle Seahawks believed their offensive line could be better this season, even with the loss of starting left tackle George Fant and only one significant addition in left guard Luke Joeckel.

And it could still be, but whatever improvement the Seahawks were expecting or hoping to see was nowhere to be found Sunday at Lambeau Field. Green Bay’s defense had its way with Seattle up front, leaving Russell Wilson under constant pressure and keeping the Seahawks’ offense from ever really finding any consistent rhythm.

That, more than anything, was why the Seahawks lost their opener, 17-9.
Eddie Lacy and the Seattle offense struggled to consistently move the ball on Sunday. Joe Robbins/Getty Images
“I’m disappointed that they were able to be as aggressive up front as they were with their defense,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of the Packers. “I have to see the film and see what happened. But I was surprised that they were able to do that.”

It looked like it could be a long day for Seattle in pass protection from the opening snap, when left tackle Rees Odhiambo was beaten off the edge. And it was. Wilson was sacked three times, but that total doesn’t tell the story. According to ESPN Stats & Information, he faced pressure on 44 percent of his dropbacks, above his career average of 37 percent over his first five seasons.

When the Seahawks were able to move the ball, they missed some big chances. One was an overthrow by Wilson to Tyler Lockett for what would have been a touchdown in the second quarter. Another was a dropped deep ball by Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. Both of those plays were on third down, where Seattle finished only 3-of-12.

“Not good enough. Just not good enough,” Carroll said of Seattle on third down. “We’re so much better than that.”

And so a new season begins with a familiar story for the Seahawks — their offense struggling and their defense needing to pick up the slack.

It did its part Sunday.

Seattle kept Aaron Rodgers mostly in check despite some challenging circumstances. The Seahawks lost starting cornerback Jeremy Lane to an ejection in the first quarter. That elevated rookie Shaquill Griffin into the No. 2 role in his first NFL game, while it also forced Justin Coleman into the nickel role only nine days after he was acquired in a trade. The Seahawks held Green Bay scoreless in the first half and didn’t yield any points until the Packers took over on the doorstep of the end zone following a sack-fumble early in the third quarter.

Griffin more than held his own despite being in Rodgers’ crosshairs all game. Free safety Earl Thomas looked like Earl Thomas, validating observations from the preseason that suggested he’s all the way back to form after a broken leg. And the pass rush that now might be the envy of every defense in the NFL following the addition of Sheldon Richardson looked as good as advertised, sacking Rodgers four times and moving him off his spot several others.

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It wasn’t a perfect day for Seattle’s defense. It allowed the Packers to convert 9 of 16 times on third down and also got caught in a substitution, leading to a Packers touchdown when Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson on a free play. But it’s hard to ask a defense to do anything more than what Seattle’s did Sunday, especially against Rodgers at Lambeau Field.

The Seahawks needed more from their offense, especially their offensive line.

“We have a really good line up front,” center Justin Britt said. “Next week well come out better, we’ll come out more prepared. It all starts with the week and the preparation we have, and going forward I think we’ll show you what we can do. But today was not our best. It sucks to lose to Green Bay again, but we’ll move forward. Long season. We’re excited. A lot more chances ahead.”

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The “12th Fan” is now a best-seller.

Seattle Seahawks jerseys with “FAN” on the name plate and the No. 12 are now the 10th best-selling jersey this season, according to sales on NFLShop.com from April 1, 2013, through Feb. 28, 2014.
Seattle Seahawks jerseys with “FAN” on the name plate and the No. 12 are now the 10th best-selling jersey this season. AP Photo/Scott Boehm
Thanks in part to a Super Bowl victory, only two jerseys sold better in February on the league’s official online store than the 12th Fan jerseys — those of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The strong month of sales brought the No. 12 jersey into the No. 10 spot, surpassing the sales of jerseys sold this year of both Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who sold more jerseys last year than any player in a single year in league history.

Selling the 12th Fan gear is a way around the Seahawks agreement with Texas A&M. Since 2006, the Seahawks have paid the university $5,000 a year to license the use of its trademark of “12th Man.” The licensing agreement doesn’t allow for Seahawks to sell any merchandise with “12th Man” on it.

With a month to go before the league’s fiscal year is complete, the Seahawks remain in the No. 1 spot, selling more merchandise than any other team. Wilson (No. 1), running back Marshawn Lynch (No. 5) and cornerback Richard Sherman (No. 6) are also among the top 10 best-selling jerseys. The Broncos are in the second team spot, followed by the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.