Coffee & Cigarettes: Seahawks links for Saturday

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Holiday weekend!

NFL 101: Introducing the Zone-Running Game | Bleacher Report
In today’s installment of the “NFL 101” series at Bleacher Report, former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen breaks down the basics of the zone-running game to give you a better understanding of scheme and execution at the pro level.

Are First Round Quarterbacks Starting Earlier? — FootballPerspective.com
Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Teddy Bridgewater were selected in the first round of the 2014 Draft. The Jaguars seem intent on giving Bortles a redshirt year, but it seems likely that the Browns and Vikings will hand their rookie […]

The All-22: Teams are turning primary receivers into slot machines | Audibles - SI.com
Admit it — if I say “slot receiver,” you probably think of Wes Welker, and why wouldn’t you? Welker has redefined the position as it’s grown in importance throughout the NFL with his uncanny command of option routes and short-area concepts. But there’s more to the slot role than a bunch of seven-yard slants these days. Victor Cruz of the New York Giants has become a new kind of speed slot receiver, putting safeties to the test with elite speed up the seam. Other teams have followed that paradigm, but the really interesting thing about the slot position these days is how many teams are taking their star receivers and putting them inside to create matchups that are nearly impossible for defenses to win.

Miller on Lynch's absence: 'To each their own' - 710sports.com
No player marches to the beat of his own drum quite like Marshawn Lynch.

San Francisco 49ers News — Niner Insider Blog » Return of return man: RB James at offseason practices
Running back LaMichael James’ first return of the 2014 season came last week.

Cardinals' Peterson: Sherman isn't a shutdown corner - 710sports.com
While quarterbacks tend to steer clear of Richard Sherman on the field, opposing players – provoked or not – don't seem to show the same reluctance when it comes to their opinions about his game or outspoken nature.

Seattle's over/under still at 11 | Seahawks Blog | Seattle Times
There have been a few different releases in the last week of over/unders for win totals for the 2014 NFL season.

Post-draft depth chart: running back | Seahawks Insider - The News Tribune
With the draft and rookie minicamp over, we’ll start looking at each unit. This is by no means a hardline depth chart. Obviously, multiple things are subject to change. Rather, it’s a general view with some thoughts on how everyone fits in, but we’ll try to line up players to some degree. Let’s start with the running backs:

Carson Palmer raves about Cardinals' Michael Floyd - NFL.com
Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer knows he will need a standout performance from Michael Floyd to battle the stout NFC West defenses in 2014. So far the third-year receiver is delivering the goods.

When it comes to landing Super Bowls, cash, new stadiums get call - CBSSports.com
When Minneapolis, flush with a big-money new stadium in tow, beat old NFL favorite New Orleans for Super Bowl LII, it was no shock. In fact, it highlights a trend.

One hit wonders? | National Football Post
Can Kansas City stay near the top of the NFC West?

Debating NFL playoff expansion, more 2014 offseason topics | Audibles - SI.com
Free agency and the NFL draft are in the books and full training camps are still almost two months away, but the NFL is far from quiet. Chris Burke and Doug Farrar debate the latest NFL headlines, including the seemingly inevitable expansion of the playoffs and the rookie they can't wait to watc...

Kansas City Chiefs GM John Dorsey rebuilds in light of player losses | The MMQB with Peter King
The Chiefs were one of the surprise stories of the 2013 season. After posting a 2–14 record in ’12, coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey tweaked the roster enough to usher in a nine-game improvement and the franchise’s second playoff berth since 2006.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2013 Offensive Personnel Analysis
Football Outsiders Almanac 2014 and for more offseason articles like this one from last summer, but today I'm going to share some interesting things you see going through personnel grouping data from 2013.

NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' was most-watched TV program in America last year | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo Sports
From Yahoo Sports: Football is still king.

Cardinals, Chiefs, Dolphins, 49ers hold rookie minicamps this weekend | ProFootballTalk
Though it's a holiday weekend for some, it's a working weekend for the rookies of four NFL teams. The Cardinals, Dolphins and 49ers kick off their rookie minicamps on Friday, with the Chiefs commencing their rookie workouts on Saturday. The practices will span three days for all four clubs.

Cardinals like what they’re seeing from Michael Floyd this spring | ProFootballTalk
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been a one-man show on offense for much of his career in Arizona, but that changed last season with the emergence of Michael Floyd.

Grading the Draft: NFC South
The NFC South is shaping up to be a competitive division. Tampa Bay has work to do but seems headed in the right direction while the talent level in Atlanta and New Orleans was better than the results on the field in 2013. Carolina is developing a dominant defense and needs to add a few pieces on offense. Yet despite this the division owned two selections in the top eight.

Grading the Draft: AFC South
One team from the AFC South made the playoffs last season while the other three placed in top twelve of the NFL Draft, including Houston who owned the first pick. The division has a lot of ground to make up before its truly competitive and they hope the draft is a stepping stone.

They Call It Pro Football – Official NFL Films Blog » Blog Archive Bring the noise: five teams who attracted the most buzz from the draft «
The draft is complete, and with another three-day football extravaganza in the books and a whole week for football fans worldwide to sit back and decompress, it’s time to reflect on who made the most noise in the draft. Add in a full week of media coverage behind us and we’re set to break down who’s generating the most buzz after their weekend in New York City.

Can Rams Pass Rush Become the League's Most Fearsome Unit in 2014? | Bleacher Report
Ever since Jeff Fisher chose the St. Louis Rams over the Miami Dolphins back in 2012, the Rams have been on a fast track to defensive success in the league’s most competitive division.

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