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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks' Links for Friday

Seattle Seahawks news, rumors, links, info, interviews, analysis and more. Happy Friday y'all.

Saturday Night Live - Barry Gibb Talk Show - Video - Hey, did you guys see when Charlie Whitehurst was on SNL? - NFC West's top 40 players: "(11) RS-RB Leon Washington / Seahawks: Bouncing back from a gruesome leg injury in 2009, the electrifying Washington became the first player in league history to return three kickoffs for scores in two different seasons." news: Young faces join Reed, Polamalu among NFL's best safeties: "5. Earl Thomas, Seahawks (^): The only person who has coached both Polamalu and Thomas is Pete Carroll, who told me at the end of the season that Thomas is the closest he's ever seen to Polamalu's skills. Thomas had five interceptions as a rookie, the same number as Reed and more than both Collins and Polamalu."

Breaking down wide receivers: Seattle - NFC West Blog - ESPN: "Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson breaks down the wide receivers of each NFC West team. Today: Seattle Seahawks. You have to give Pete Carroll a lot of credit for taking a chance on Mike Williams, and you have to give Williams a lot of credit for taking full advantage of that opportunity. Williams is the Seahawks' best weapon. He isn’t super-fast or explosive, but he builds up speed. He uses his huge frame to compete well for the football with his excellent body control, long arms and huge hands."

On To The Next One: Lazarius "Pep" Levingston: "Lazarius Levingston was picked in the seventh round (#215 overall) by the Seattle Seahawks.  The former LSU Tiger, better known as "Pep" was the last player from his class at LSU to be selected in the 2011 NFL Draft.  He has experience playing at the defensive end and defensive tackle positions.  He also now has experience with more than one sports agent." / Special Reports - Hey, big spender: Paul Allen on philanthropy: "Paul Allen may be the less well-known co-founder of Microsoft, the technology company, but until recently Bill Gates’s former business partner had a more eye-catching impact on downtown Seattle. From the Seahawks, the American football team, to the Experience Music Project, a museum about the history of popular music, he has long spent his software shares as quickly and widely as his ex-colleague could increase their value. Now, as Allen goes public with long-simmering frustrations over the credit for their joint wealth in his book Idea Man, Gates is stepping up the visibility of his own giving. Philanthropy has become a continuation by other means of their decades-old jostling over a common legacy."

Kirk Cousins vs Michigan (2010) " Seahawks Draft Blog: "I’ll have some further thoughts on Cousins and also Baylor’s Robert Griffin later in the week."

NFL Network: New labor deal could be 'within striking distance' - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - "As NFL owners, officials and players meet for a second consecutive day of collective bargaining negotiations near Boston, NFL Network is reporting that they've reached a "critical day" and could be within "striking distance" of a compromise."

49ers in depth: Harbaugh looks to guide overdue turnaround - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL - More on the 49ers going into 2011.

Sizzle and Fizzle: NFL commish both sizzles and fizzles - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN: "Eric Weddle: "My agent has talked to over 10 teams that would be interested if I hit the free-agent market, so it is what it is," Weddle told us on the SiriusXM Blitz. "There are teams that need a safety and I would be excited and happy to help out any team that would want me. We will see what gets done, and when a CBA does get done, I’ll for sure come on with you guys and tell you guys how it is doing.""

Free agency in the East: Guards - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN: "Top five potential unrestricted free-agent guards 1. Harvey Dahl. Most likely to stay in Atlanta, but he's a fearsome run blocker who would help in Dallas if they decided to commit to the run. Also a natural guard who could help the Redskins move Montgomery to center if Casey Rabach falters and they need to do that. The Falcons also have another solid guard, Justin Blalock, who would be unrestricted under the proposed new rules, so they may have to make a choice."

Report: Players can live with new CBA proposal - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports: "Momentum was running high through Tuesday's owners meetings, as all indications pointed us in the direction of a (relatively) unified group of owners ready to make their latest best proposal to the players when the two sides met in Boston on Wednesday and Thursday. Those meetings, added to the three weeks of confidential meetings in different areas of the country through the month of June, finally put both sides on the same page — at least, to a point. Now, according to's Mike Freeman, it seems that the players will be okay with the broad strokes of the proposal as presented."

Panthers lead list of teams on the hook with new projected salary floor - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports: "Estimates say that when a deal is struck, the 2011 salary cap could be anywhere from $110 to $130 million, depending on who you're reading or listening to.  For our purposes, we'll go with an even $124 million, which was the approximate cash commitment per team in 2010, when there wasn't a salary cap. Based on that number, it's very easy to see which teams would be violently opposed to a 90 percent-plus cash guarantee each year, because their cash commitments in recent years have been so far below the average. That new floor would require commitments of at least $110 million with a reasonable cap, and as you're about to see, many teams aren't even in the same zip code right now."

Report: First day of negotiations was 'fruitful' - "With the owners and players set to negotiate again today in Boston, it sounds like their swing to a new CBA in the near future continues on a good track. According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, talks on Wednesday were "very fruitful," and they will continue until a deal is reached. "We are headed in the right direction," the source told Paolantonio. "There is a desire on both sides to reach an agreement sooner rather than later."" - Report: Camp rosters could be expanded: "If there are NFL training camps this summer, the number of players involved might be more than usual. Jason La Canfora of reports that the league's competition committee has discussed expanding the training camp rosters to 90 or more players as a way to offset the lack of OTAs and minicamps that usually fill the offseason. La Canfora quotes one general manager who said "I don't know anyone in my position who wouldn't support it. We'd love to be able to bring 90 in (for training camp). And from the players' side, it's more opportunities for them."" news: Expanded rosters would help teams get through training camp: "There is concern among many coaches and executives about how fit players will be whenever they report, and the suspicion among many is that there will be a rash of injuries. Teams will need to have enough bodies around to sustain the rush. Furthermore, with undrafted free agency now coming deep in the offseason instead of directly after the draft, the time to work with and evaluate those players will be significantly compromised as well. To that end, some general managers would support expanding the practice squad by a spot or two as well, though that topic has not been broached by the competition committee to this point."

Mac's Football Blog: Possible One-Year Rule Changes Post-Lockout: "Teams used to be able to use NFL Europe roster exemptions to carry additional players into training camp. When the NFL shut that operation down, the league opted not to adopt the Competition Committee's proposal for an 86-man roster. Player costs is often cited as the reason roster levels have remained at 80. Another possible change, one that the league is pushing for, comes from ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who tells 101 ESPN in St. Louis that the league is pushing for teams to have three or four "right of first refusals" on their unrestricted free agents."

Mac's Football Blog: PFT: NFLPA Downplays Progress in Labor Talks: "Mike Florio of reports that during a conference call with players this afternoon, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith downplayed the progress the two sides have made in recent labor talks. "Don't believe the hype," Smith is reported to have communicated to players on Thursday, adding that a deal is not close."

Aaron Rodgers shows Passer Rating Differential is important stat - Kerry J. Byrne - "It's official, sports fans: Passer Rating Differential is the most important stat in football. It's the one indicator virtually guaranteed to separate winners from losers and champs from chumps. If your team dominates this indicator, it dominates on the field. If your team's bad in this indicator, it's bad on the field.

Just ask the 2010 Super Bowl champion Packers, who finished the year No. 1 in Passer Rating Differential (+31.7), or the dismal 2010 Panthers, who finished the year with the league's worst record (2-14) and worst Passer Rating Differential (-24.0). Put most simply, wins and losses move in lock step with Passer Rating Differential (PRD), a Cold, Hard Football Facts "Quality Stat" because it has a direct correlation to success. In this case, the correlation is shocking even to the folks who created the stat. How good is the stat? Consider that 40 of 71 NFL champs since 1940 (56 percent) finished No. 1 or No. 2 in Passer Rating Differential." news: WR supply will easily meet demand with fourth-year free agents: "Santonio Holmes, Sidney Rice, Braylon Edwards, Steve Smith (Giants), and Mike Sims-Walker would be among what could be the deepest position in terms of free agents. Rice, Holmes, Smith, and Edwards could be big gets if they're not retained by their respective teams." news: NFL owners, players regaining trust with 'all revenue' model: "We've heard for nearly four months about an inherent lack of trust between NFL owners and players, with the parties embroiled in a lockout that on Thursday reached its 100th day. And after all this time, the real fix might be taking trust largely out of the equation. There's plenty of ground left to cover, of course, with the league and players in their fourth week of hush-hush negotiations, but plenty of progress is being made. Perhaps the biggest bridge to cross was the divide created by a healthy mistrust, and the splitting of the "all revenue" model could now clear the way.  

Then there's this: League sources said Thursday that NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has earned the owners' trust and respect in a very big way over the last month. In fact, that part of the equation, coinciding with the legal aspects of the dispute slowing and the lawyers taking much smaller roles, has been integral in getting the owners to move off hard-line stances and listen to players' demands."

 FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Walkthrough: Playing it Safe: "There were 754 second-and-short plays that met our criteria last year. Of those plays, 501 were runs, not counting scrambles. That means teams ran 67 percent of the time, and that's without factoring in the more conservative strategies you find in the red zone. Forget gambling -- teams play it safer on second-and-short than they do in almost any other down-distance situation."