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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for Saturday

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SEATTLE - DECEMBER 01:  Quarterback Vince Young #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles is sacked by K. J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks on December 1, 2011 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
SEATTLE - DECEMBER 01: Quarterback Vince Young #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles is sacked by K. J. Wright #50 of the Seattle Seahawks on December 1, 2011 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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Two factors will be key to Seahawks' pass rush - Blog -
The Seahawks finished in a tie for 19th in the league last season with 33 sacks, a deficiency they tried to address by signing Jason Jones to a one-year deal and drafting Bruce Irvin in the first round. More sacks is the ultimate goal. Earlier pressure, according to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, will be the key.

Draft picks heading to Ohio
The Seahawks' 2012 draft class will spend four days in Ohio next week at the NFL Rookie Symposium, but the players already have heard a lot of what the messages will be thanks to Maurice Kelly.

Feeling the rush: Kolb's big offseason - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Half of a second can mean everything for a quarterback when an All-Pro defensive lineman is bearing down on him. Kevin Kolb appeared to do little wrong on the play that ended his first season with the Arizona Cardinals. He dropped back to pass on third-and-6 and hesitated briefly before attempting to target tight end Todd Heap in the right flat.

Seahawks Advance to Semifinals in PFW Bracket For Best Defense In NFL - The Daily Drip - SB Nation Seattle
It should surprise no one that the San Francisco 49ers have advanced, by fan vote, to the semi-finals in ProFootballWeekly's "Best Defense in the NFL" bracket. The team they're meeting this week in that tournament may come as more of a surprise though, - none other than their NFC West rivals - the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks had the upset last week by besting Houston's vaunted and respected defense in the vote, but their task this week just gets harder as they face one of the main favorites to win the whole tournament - Vic Fangio's 49er defensive unit.

Chat wrap: Seahawks' next middle 'backer - NFC West Blog - ESPN
One of our leftover NFC West chat questions provides an opportunity to expand upon an interview conducted during the Seattle Seahawks' mandatory minicamp last week. "What are your impressions of Bobby Wagner so far?" Griz from Montana asked. "Is he going to be able to step in and at least be a stable presence at MLB? I'm hoping his speed allows K.J. Wright to rush the passer a little more often this year."

Seattle Seahawks defense prepared to play physical -
Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has high hopes for his D-line this season. Reinforced by rookie Bruce Irvin, Seattle is hoping to up its physical game. Blog | And then there were 10 "
The Seahawks’ offseason program is down to the last players standing: The rookie free agents.

NFL - Which playoff teams won't repeat? - ESPN
History tells us some playoff teams from last seaosn will make way for teams with easier schedules. John Clayton singles out the most likely candidates.

An inside look at Shanahan's game plan | National Football Post
Checking out my defensive notebooks from my playing days.

Breaking down the 'Y-Shake' vs. Cover 2 | National Football Post
Using video to highlight Tony Gonzalez vs. the Eagles.

Julio Jones can be top-five receiver starting now -
Falcons WR Julio Jones racked up 959 yards and eight touchdowns in his rookie campaign without the benefit of an offseason. This year, the sky is the limit for the young wideout.

Stellar pass rush a common theme among Super Bowl champs -
Eye-popping offensive passing stats (5,000 yards! 40+ touchdowns!) are all the rage, but NFL decision makers are placing their attention on the other side of the ball. Daniel Jeremiah explains why.

A.J. Jenkins is signed but still buried on 49ers' depth chart - Mocking The Draft
The story goes that the 49ers' brass, holding the No. 30 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, wrote down A.J. Jenkins' name on their card the night before the picking commenced, knowing he would be available.

2011 Secret Superstars: How Did They Fare? |
Now that we’ve finished bringing you our Secret Superstars of 2012, it’s only fair that we take a look back at last year’s crop and see how they handled the PFF spotlight. When we decide on who to name as each team’s Secret Superstar we generally focus on a couple of areas: players playing all the time while getting very little recognition, or players playing very well in limited snaps.

Cardinals Reportedly Taking It Slow with Floyd, but Is That the Right Approach? | Bleacher Report
Usually the headlines during this month-plus long lull in the NFL calendar tout the chances of a first-round pick breaking into the starting lineup. In Arizona, the noise coming out of the desert points in the opposite direction...

Three and out: Moss back on top -
Rejuvenated Randy: Matt Maiocco of CSN has reported that 49ers wide receivers Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree are currently atop the depth chart. Moss has received nothing but praise from coaches and teammates since joining the team. His revival also seems to be encouraging Crabtree to up his game as well. After spending the last three seasons as the No. 1 with no competition, the young receiver will now have to earn his targets. He, too, has been praised during this minicamp, his first without any lingering injury issues. At first glance, one would think both players’ fantasy values would get a boost, but Crabtree racked up a career-high 874 yards last year largely due to his 72 receptions. Moss will likely eat into those totals, and adds another red-zone target for QB Alex Smith. Both players will still be good value picks, but neither should be considered more than a No. 4 WR in fantasy drafts.

Nnamdi Asomugha: No receiver makes me nervous -
Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha wants it to be clear: Wide receiver is the easiest position on the field.

What we learned at the six minicamps this week -
With the final six minicamps coming to a close, Gregg Rosenthal takes a look at the biggest stories to come out of each before the NFL hits its summer hibernation.

Seattle Seahawks defense prepared to play physical -
Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley had a few choice comparisons when talking about his beefed-up defense.

Matt Forte says he'll play with Chicago Bears in 2012 -
Matt Forte and the Bears are working on a getting a contract banged out. Although the RB said he won't sit out the season, he is still unsure about whether he will show up to training camp.

2012 Seahawks Schedule - Five Tough Matchups, NFL Schedule, Seattle Seahawks blog
NWSB Insider and Seattle Seahawks blogger Matt Church weighs in with a Seahawks post about the five toughest 2012 NFL matchups that await the team this season. In particular the week 16 game vs. division foes the San Francisco 49ers and Alex Smith. It is very likely that this will be the most important game on the Seahawks’ schedule. Will it be Matt Flynn or Tarvaris Jackson at the helm for Seattle?

Seattle Seahawks Minicamp Update - Roster, News, Seahawks blog, Matt Flynn, Antonio Bryant
NWSB Insider and Seattle Seahawks blogger Reggie Gill weighs in with some question marks swirling around Seahawks minicamp this week. NFL news, Seahawks roster updates, a QB competition, rookie draft picks progress, the waiver wire action. Plenty of Seahawks news to cover this week. Matt Flynn, Chris Clemons, Antonio Bryant, Tarvaris Jackson, Russell Wilson, Bruce Irvin, and Brian Banks are all front and center.

NFC offseason grades: Bucs spend wisely; Cowboys, Bears benefit from big trades - NFL - Sporting News
Now that we've handed out the AFC offseason report cards, we turn our attention to the NFC. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had some money to spend—and spent it wisely—to upgrade their young team under new coach Greg Schiano. The Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears, partly because of injuries, fell short of their playoff goals a year ago. But they reloaded to become more competitive in two of the league's toughest divisions.