Seattle Seahawks news, rumors, links, info, interviews, analysis, and more! I know you check FG each morning religiously by now so here is your daily dose of NFL and Seahawk links!
NFL.com news: Here's hoping these fine NFL QBs get the ring they deserve: "4. Matt Hasselbeck Mentioning Hasselbeck on a list like this cannot be done without pointing out that some people feel the Seahawks were robbed in Super Bowl XL. Wherever you fall on that subject –- and my boss Dave Dameshek has made his feelings known on the Dave Dameshek Football Program -- we can agree that Hasselbeck has been one of the best quarterbacks to not get that elusive ring. And if the dirt sheets are to be believed, Hasselbeck is probably going to have to accomplish that with some other team other than the Seahawks." Tip of the cap to Eric Williams for pointing this out.
FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Formation Analysis: 6OL Sets: "This year's top team running 6OL sets (and occasionally 7OL sets) was Oakland, normally with Khalif Barnes as the sixth lineman. The Raiders were one of three teams that used six linemen more than 100 times. Oakland also was the best team in a 6OL formation, averaging 6.2 yards per play. The Raiders had five different plays of 40 or more yards from 6OL sets: three pass plays, a 57-yard Darren McFadden touchdown run, and a 71-yard touchdown run by Jacoby Ford on an end around. In addition, Barnes himself caught two passes as a tackle eligible, including a touchdown against Kansas City in Week 9." Tip of the cap to Doug Farrar for pointing this article out.
Potential second-year impact players, Part II | National Football Post: "Walter Thurmond – Seattle Early in the 2009 college season, Thurmond looked like a sure first-round pick. He showed great cover skills to go along with excellent return skills. Then he tore up his knee near the end of the season and had to go through a long rehab. When he was drafted by Seattle he was not 100 percent and though he played the whole season he never looked like the athlete we saw at Oregon. With another offseason to rehab he should be back to top form. He has the tools to eventually be a No. 1 corner in the league." Tip of the cap to me for finding this myself.
NFL.com news: Sophomore surge: Teams hoping second-year players emerge: "Golden Tate, WR, Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll has been fascinated by Tate's big-play ability, but didn't fully tap into it a year ago. However, he has already voiced plans to make the former Notre Dame star a bigger part of the offense. While some aspects of his game remain raw and unrefined, he flashed big-time ability with the ball in his hands. As a punt returner or sub-package receiver, Tate is being counted on to deliver impact plays in his second season.
Russell Okung, OT, Seattle Seahawks: Okung's rookie year was hampered by an early season high-ankle sprain and his first-season performance suffered as a result. He had problems staying in front of elite rushers, and some worry about how he fits within the Seahawks' scheme. However, other elite blockers have suffered through their fair share of growing pains before emerging as dominant fixtures at their position, and Okung could experience a similar fate."
Three routes you must defend in the red zone | National Football Post: "Today, I want to look at three route schemes on the chalkboard that we will see from NFL playbooks once the ball crosses the 20-yard line: the Pin route, Dino Double Post and Double-China 7. Let’s run through these concepts, check out the diagrams and then break them down to get a better understanding why you can beat Cover 2, Cover 4 (Quarters) and Cover 1 defensive schemes in the red zone."
Report: Third-round pick might get deal done for Steve Smith | National Football Post: "Need a big-time playmaker? Everyone knows that the Carolina Panthers could be looking to trade veteran wide receiver Steve Smith after the lockout ends. It’s well know that Smith was frustrated last season with the Panthers, and at his age he could be looking to go to a franchise not in a full-fledged rebuilding mode. Smith is 32 and remains a viable deep threat. He has two years remaining on his contract at a cost of about $15 million. That price tag is what might make the cost of trading for him not prohibitive."
FP - Which Bad Team will be Good in 2011?: "Arizona Cardinals: 40%. Weak division. QB still an unknown, but you have to believe that Wiz is not going to watch John Skelton and company destroy his coaching career. Some veteran QB will get a chance to win this division with a team that has playoff talent everywhere except QB. My suggestion is a quick release QB behind an OL that struggled without Kurt Warner. Probably Kevin Kolb if I had to guess."
YouTube Chalkboard: Six WRs Who Will School You " The Rookie Scouting Portfolio: "Wide receiver can be a difficult position to evaluate because there are three general factors that contribute to a player’s success in the NFL: Athleticism, technique, and the mesh of his skills within the team’s offensive system. Here are six NFL WRs with lessons to share through the lens of YouTube highlights."
Joy of helping kids, sadness of NFL lockout on Branch’s mind at 6th annual football camp: (Deion) "Branch is coming off one of his most successful seasons in his nine-year career in the NFL. Branch, who finished the year with six touchdowns and 818 receiving yards, was traded midway through the season from the Seahawks back to the Patriots. He said the move back to New England, which he won Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX with, was one of the happiest moments of his career. "I felt a little rejuvenated going back to New England. I felt happy again and I got excited about playing the game," Branch said. "You go from winning a Super Bowl, and then you go somewhere where things don’t work out right. Then you get an opportunity to go back and compete for something special. You can’t compare the environment (in New England) to anywhere else in football. It’s a first-class organization.""
Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Reid prefer two tight-end sets | NJ.com: "In the dozen years Reid has been the Eagles’ head coach, he has tried to duplicate that tight end tandem, most recently with Chad Lewis and L.J. Smith, but has never been able to get it quite right. If he still has hopes of that double tight formation, along with wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson on the outside, there are two options – develop second-year man Clay Harbor, a fourth-round pick in 2009, to be the No. 2 opposite starter Brent Celek, or sign a viable tight end once free agency starts."
NFL.com news: Sides must reach resolution soon to preserve full preseason: "The clock continues to tick. And the NFL and players continue to work. With the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears -- the teams in this year's Hall of Fame game -- scheduled to open training camp just three weeks from Friday, time is beginning to run short for negotiating teams as they look to preserve the preseason in its traditional form. The two sides return to the bargaining table later this week for a fifth round of "secret talks." The owners and players have spent a total of nine days in four different locations -- suburban Chicago, New York's Long Island, Maryland's Eastern Shore and suburban Boston -- during this phase of negotiations. They've also communicated away from the table, and one source has said that about five hours of work goes into every hour of face-to-face talk."
"Me time" a lockout casualty | National Football Post: "When a deal is struck there will be a frenzy of activity in an extremely condensed period of time, the mechanics of which are being heavily discussed in these meetings. Team executives know they are now in a protracted calm before the storm. Of the major sports, the NFL has the longest offseason. Its offseason is longer than its season, with the next meaningful snap after the Super Bowl coming seven months later in September. And that, of course, is without a lockout. In talking to teams, there has been one benefit to this idle offseason: no dealings with agents and players complaining about their individual contract situations."
Chargers QB Sees Advantage With lockout - Denver Sports News Story - KMGH Denver: "San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers believes that the fans may actually benefit from the NFL lockout. Rivers came to that conclusion after conducting several workouts during the down time. "The level of play is going to be the best it’s ever been," Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Sunday. "Guys are going to be fresh - mentally fresh, which is maybe more important than being physically fresh. "For some guys it all runs together. Now, with it being how it’s been, guys doing their different things, if it gets done like we hope, it’s going to be kind of like that lost toy you found.""
NFL lockout: Beware clash of owners - CSMonitor.com: "The reports that have leaked out of the ongoing contract talks between the owners and players are sounding as favorable as we've heard in the last few months. Instead of the angry saber rattling that characterized the early days of this lockout, the gloom and doom has been replaced with upbeat phrases like "heading in the right direction" and "very fruitful" and the all-important "close." Sometimes it's dangerous to characterize the progress (or lack thereof) of ongoing negotiations. But from all the most knowledgeable conversations we've heard, a real breakthrough has happened and a season that once looked like it could be at risk is showing signs of life."
NFL shops new 8-game package - SportsBusiness Daily | SportsBusiness Journal: "The NFL is negotiating with TV networks about a new early-season eight-game package that would start as soon as next season, according to several sources. The potential Thursday night package could be worth as much as $700 million per year, the sources said. Such a windfall, providing a sudden increase in overall league revenue, could help soften the blow to the players from the emerging labor deal in which they are likely to receive a smaller percentage of revenue than they previously have received."
Rookie pay a hot topic that has been brewing for years | National Football Post: "During that trip, then NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue dropped in on the camp. He met with the teams and held a small press conference in a hot and humid gymnasium, and I asked him about his thoughts on the rapidly escalating contracts for draft picks. Eli Manning, the New York Giants quarterback, was drafted No. 1 overall that year. He ended up with a $54 million, six-year contract, a deal that included $20 million guaranteed. The rookie contracts had taken off in the five or so years leading up to that draft class, and seemingly no ceiling was in sight. Tagliabue couldn’t have brushed aside my question much faster than he did. It wasn’t something he considered an issue. And he didn’t really want to talk about it. So much for that line of questioning. At least then."
Sides split on rookie wage scale issue? - CBSSports.com: "The lockout isn't over, and there's absolutely no guarantee that there willl be a new CBA any time soon, but it sure does feel like everyone's moving right along on the same path towards football in 2011, doesn't it? So, hey, some cold water: the deal ain't done yet. And one of the issues that just popped up early last week was how to handle implementing some sort of rookie wage scale. Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the owners and the players broached the issue for the first time last Thursday and "it proved to be a difficult issue to navigate.""
Are talks toward a new NFL labor agreement losing steam? - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - USATODAY.com: "Are negotiations between the NFL and its players toward a new collective bargaining agreement -- and termination of the lockout -- starting to lose momentum? CAPTIONBy Mark J. Rebilas, US Presswire After reporting last week that a deal was "within striking distance," NFL Network correspondent Albert Breer has been told by one anonymous NFL executive that "There are enough legitimate issues to where it could all fall down still." A source told The Associated Press that "not much progress" was made in last week's talks in Hull, Mass., where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and (decertifed) union head DeMaurice Smith were among the attendees."
The NFL: What Would You Change (Part III) - Canal Street Chronicles: "Before we get started with our final installment dealing with changes that are negotiated in a CBA, I'd like to take a moment to throw dirt on the NFL. We finally have a bit of optimism that a deal (in principle) will be agreed upon before Independence Day, with the official mouthpiece of the NFL saying "we're working as hard as we can, we know what's at stake" and "we'll continue to work each day until a deal is done". How does this mesh with meeting two or three days a week for the past month, then taking a 4 day weekend off?"
Domonique Foxworth fills in for Peter King's Monday Morning QB - NFL - SI.com: ""When is this lockout going to end?" It's a question I hear in one variation or another nearly every day whenever I am approached by NFL fans of all allegiances. Just this weekend, for instance, while I was at the store picking up some diapers for my daughter, a woman approached me with this now-familiar refrain: "When are you guys going to get back on the field?" As I began to try to answer her question, she blurted out, "You don't understand. Without football, we won't make it!""