Coffee and Cigarettes

A pretty good batch of articles for your Sunday morning read. Settle in for a relaxing Sunday knowing (most of you) that you still don't have to go back to work tomorrow. I've got some good stuff I've been working on coming up for this week, but in the meantime this should keep you occupied.

Hillsdale WR Andre Holmes not worried by NFL lockout limbo | Detroit Free Press | freep.com: "As Andre Holmes sat through seven long rounds of the NFL draft, the Hillsdale receiver heard from a handful of teams making the same pitch: We want you to wear our uniform, but we're out of picks so we hope you'll consider signing with us as a free agent -- whenever that may be."

I saw this over at Seahawks Draft Blog in the commentary of a UDFA post, but thought I'd share it here. Apparently the Seahawks were one of the teams that called. Intriguing.

More on Holmes from SB Nation's Cowboys blog...

Andre Who? Cowboys Schedule Visit With WR Andre Holmes - Blogging The Boys: "The Sporting News says Holmes "jumped off the film" and is a big play threat: Holmes is a tall receiver with explosive quickness and home-run speed who can turn short passes into big plays. He was more consistent in '10, making big plays in key situations. He certainly will be at least a late-round pick, but he could fly up boards in the spring with some standout pre-draft workouts. While Holmes doesn't have elite straight line speed he certainly has an intriguing vertical ability, and his 6.69 three cone drill shows excellent quickness for a player his size. Holmes is the second national draft prospect after Tyron Smith scheduled for a visit at Valley Ranch - that we know about so far."

NFL: Analyzing the top 10 most disappointing trades of the past 25 years - ESPN: An ESPN Insider article but here's what it says about the Seahawks. 
"10. Seattle Seahawks trade a 2007 first-round pick (which became Brandon Meriweather) to New England Patriots for Deion Branch Branch was unhappy with his contract situation in 2006; he balked at the three-year contract extension the team offered him, then held out of training camp. When the Patriots coaxed a first-round pick out of the Seahawks just before the season, it appeared to be an all-time swindle. Seattle GM Tim Ruskell, channeling his inner Steinbrenner, signed Branch to a six-year, $39 million contract, only to discover that his prize acquisition was an injury-prone product of the New England system. The Patriots, meanwhile, turned their first-round pick into Meriweather, a two-time Pro Bowler at safety. But before you applaud New England's genius, think back to the 2006 AFC Championship Game loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Reche Caldwell, the team's No. 1 receiver by default, dropped two passes in that game, one of them a screen that practically buried itself in his jersey. In other words, trading Branch might have cost the Patriots another trip to the Super Bowl."

At least it wasn't just bad for us?

Oakland Raiders 2011 NFL Free Agent Targets: Sean Locklear Edition - Silver And Black Pride: The SBNation Raiders site takes a look at Sean Locklear as a FA option. 

Seahawks in depth: Rebuilding team still needs a QB - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - USATODAY.com: Pretty good, indepth look at the Seahawks current state. Definitely worth a read on a Sunday morning.

Seattle Seahawks Draft Grades " NFL Mocks | Covering the 2011 NFL Draft & Your #1 NFL Mock Draft Database: A little late to the party but worth a read anyway if you're into draft grades. 

Is James Hardy a good catch for Ravens? "The receiver, a former second-round pick, was a bust in Buffalo, but Ozzie Newsome signed him and keeps bringing him up. He made his first appearance in Baltimore this week."

Apparently, since the Ravens drafted WR Tandon Doss and WR Torrey Smith, still have Anquan Boldin and Derrick Mason, and several other key veteran special teams contributing WRs, Hardy is unlikely to stick in Baltimore. Chin scratching begins now...

"His physical assets are impressive. He's 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, a potentially inviting red-zone target, and he lopes gracefully across the turf, clearly a superior athlete. He played basketball as well as football at Indiana and caught almost 200 passes in three years before turning pro. But he was a major bust in Buffalo after being picked in the second round of the 2008 draft as the 41st overall selection.

He started off well, grabbing a touchdown in his second game, but rookie seventh-round pick Stevie Johnson soon passed him on the depth chart and Hardy made little news until he suffered a torn ACL late in the 2008 season. It was a severe injury that curtailed his career, as he made only one catch in 2009 and didn't suit up for a game in 2010."

Since Pete Carroll and Seahawk fans in general (read: ME) are suckers for a comeback story, he's a guy to watch.

Breaking down the red zone fade route | National Football Post: Matt Bowen breaks down the fade route. Just thought this was funny because I did a very similar post earlier this week. He's probably better at it than me considering he played in the NFL, so it's worth a read.

Michael Crabtree a no-show for 49ers offseason workouts | ProFootballTalk: "As pointed out by Josh Alper in Saturday's one-liners, 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree has been a no-show for the team's player-organized offseason activities. The usefulness of the player-run workouts is unclear and debatable. Perhaps Crabtree would have nothing to gain from them."

I know this probably doesn't really mean anything but on the outside it makes Crabtree look like a primadonna. Which he is. And if he fails it will be good for the Seahawks so that's what I'm rooting for. For what it's worth, Dave Razzano isn't a fan: @Dave Razzano: Not surprised Crabtree no-show for 49er px's. HUGE mistake to take high on 49ers part. Harbaugh will grow tired of him soon. Not that good.

MAN, I hope you're right Dave.

Mardy Gilyard may have asked Rams for a trade | ProFootballTalk: "On Friday, former Rams assistant head coach Rick Venturi — now a radio co-host for 101 ESPN St. Louis — passed along a "rumor" that Gilyard has asked the Rams to trade him. "Rookie sensation Ram receiver Mardy Gilyard, who didn’t show up the other day for the players minicamp … It’s rumored that he asked for a trade," Venturi stated. "Are you kidding me? Nobody knows who the hell he is. What would you give up for him? An old, used kicking ball? And a ticket to a fourth-quarter preseason game in the NFL? Mardy Gilyard, you gotta be kidding me."

It does strike me as a bit weird that a guy possibly battling for a roster spot is demanding a trade. Well, hopefully one less weapon for the Rams.

NFL.com news: Ten moves that could shape landscape of 2011 season: More on the Kevin Kolb to Cardinals rumor mill: "Arizona needs to deal for Kevin Kolb By not drafting a quarterback, the Cardinals tipped their hand that they'll be in the trade market for Kevin Kolb or Kyle Orton. However, Kolb should be the guy. Sure, they'll have to probably give up a first- or second-round pick and sign him to a fairly sizeable contract, but Kolb has more Matt Schaub to him than A.J. Feely. While there's talk about the Cardinals looking to move for Marc Bulger, he's at the end of his career (sure, we thought the same thing about Kurt Warner but lightening striking twice?). Though Kolb is unproven, he's a leader and his teammates in Philadelphia followed him and respected him. That's what Arizona needs from its quarterback more than anything."

ProFootballWeekly.com - Kaepernick throws passes at 49ers' player-organized workouts: "The 49ers' QB of the future, Colin Kaepernick, the team's second-round selection in April's draft, threw passes at player-organized workouts Friday, according to a report from The Sacramento Bee."

NFP On Campus | National Football Post: Slick Rick on the hot seat???!
"As we know, Rick Neuheisel occupies one of the hottest coaching seats in America. But barring an absolute disastrous season — 4 wins or less — I’m not sure I see athletic director Dan Guerrero buying out his head coach, especially after the shake-up on the staff this offseason. Would Guerrero want to shell out cash for buyouts, only to try to bring in another big name to right the ship? I would argue that Neuheisel will get two years to turn the program around and make the Bruins a consistent winner. But can he do it? There’s certainly no better time than now, as the former Washington head coach has the recruiting edge with Lane Kiffin and the Trojans dealing with their woes."

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