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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for Thursday

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En guarde: Seahawks like the look of rookie OLs Rishaw Johnson, J.R. Sweezy | Seahawks Blog | The Seattle Times
For two years, the Seahawks invested some of their most important draft picks on the big men up front of the offense. Russell Okung was chosen No. 6 overall in 2010, the first player picked under the Pete Carroll/John Schneider junta, and last year the Seahawks spent their first two choices on offensive linemen James Carpenter and John Moffitt.

Revisiting pre-draft look at Russell Wilson - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Pete Carroll and his Seattle Seahawks coaching staff have shown little use for conventional wisdom. They've built a strong, ascending defense in decidedly unconventional fashion. As discussed Tuesday, we'll be better off setting aside the usual templates when analyzing what Carroll and the Seahawks might do at quarterback. One Team's Garbage Is Another Team's Treasure
What has turned out to be one of the most active NFL offseasons to date started way back in March, when Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and future Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning squared off over a contract deadline. Manning went on a slight tour of teams, with many coming to see him (San Francisco, Miami and Tennessee). The quarterback known as the "sheriff," though, ultimately settled in Denver. While the transition to a new organization, run by one John Elway, looks good on paper thus far, the son of Archie and brother of Eli, who endured three neck surgeries within a 20-month period, has not taken a hit yet.

Larry Fitzgerald - The Elevator Chronicles - NOC - YouTube
Adam Lustick interviews Larry Fitzgerald in an elevator when he can't get credentials for the red carpet at Sports Spectacular

Larry Fitzgerald Shops for Suits in His House - Lets Buy Sh t - The NOC - YouTube
Arizona Cardinals' All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald picks out a custom suit & accessories for the Sports Spectacular.

2013 NFL Draft: Louisville Preview - CBSSports
Despite a revolving door at quarterback and defensive coordinator (they've had four different DCs the past four years), Charlie Strong led Louisville to bowl games in each of his first two seasons. In 2012 he returns with a unit that looks -- on paper, at least -- like a legitimate Big East contender.

St. Louis Rams To See A Rotation At Outside Linebacker? - Turf Show Times
The St. Louis Rams may use a committee approach at the outside linebacker position.

Gene Stallings, Alabama Football, and passing/rushing efficiency
Is pass efficiency more important than rushing productivity?

Michael Thomas Scouting Report - Niners Nation
The 49ers signed Michael Thomas as an undrafted free agent in May. We take a look at scouting reports for

Scouting Notes: Kenjon Barner | NFL Draft Hub
Barner is one of scouting’s hidden treasures right now, mostly because he’s been waiting in the shadow of Oregon superstar LaMichael James.

Average Depth of Target - Football Daily Dose -
Seahawks WR Sidney Rice 2011 aDOT: 17.1 (Rank: 5) Preseason WR Fantasy Ranking: 38 Rice is arguably the biggest injury risk on fantasy draftboards this season, but there is certainly plenty of big-play upside here. Rice saw 39 percent of his 56 targets 20-plus yards down field a season ago. He hauled in six of those throws for 223 yards and a touchdown. Assuming he can stay healthy, Rice will stick as the team’s primary deep threat. Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and the tight ends will work in the short-to-mid range.

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Walkthrough: Sneak Peaks
Atlanta Falcons: Our projections like the Falcons this year, and I do too. Looking back on the Thomas Dimitroff-Mike Smith era, it is hard to find many missteps. The Falcons are a team built on a firm foundation, with a viable franchise quarterback, skill position talent and depth, a pretty good peripheral cast, and a strong organization. They have been in the Super Bowl hunt for four years and will be there again this year.

Berman heads to the Monday night booth | ProFootballTalk
It’s officially time to break out the Deux Deux Deuxs. ESPN has announced that Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer will call the second game of the season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader, when the Raiders host the Chargers.

Cornerbacks: The pack chasing Revis |
Darrelle Revis is football’s best cornerback. He is bringing the term ‘shutdown corner’ back from the brink of extinction and playing at a level nobody else has matched for quite some time. His ability to play all across the formation and take away an opponent’s top receiver allows the Jets freedom to roll things to other receivers and gives them a luxury no other team really has. He has mastered the ability to be physical with receivers, keeping it just short of the point that he gets called for it, and that in and of itself is an art form. He is in a class by himself, but are there players in the NFL that have a shot to join him on that level? We take a look.

Three Years of Pass Rushing Productivity: Linebackers |
Day three in our look back at three years worth of Pass Rushing Productivity, and that means we’re moving away from those guys for whom you would consider pass rushing a primary job. After looking at edge rushers and interior defensive linemen we’re onto the linebackers (not including 3-4 outside linebackers who were looked at in edge rushers).

What Does (or Should) It Mean to be Crowned "Champion"? | Smart Football
Given that some form of a college football playoff now seems to be a reality, I am glad the BCS is gone and generally think this move to a playoff is a good thing, but I don’t think there’s anything inherently better about a playoff over any other system. There’s no "right" way to determine what a champion is in almost any sport. In thinking through this I was reminded of a piece I wrote a few years ago on the old site. I’ve included it below:

2013 NFL Draft: Connecticut Preview - CBSSports
The 13 Huskies drafted into the NFL from 2008-12 was more than UCONN had produced since 1962... combined. The run could continue in 2013.

NFL players union asks league to investigate protracted Brees negotiations - NFL -
Are the Saints acting in good faith with franchise player Drew Brees? Negotiations on a long-term contract haven't been fruitful, and Jason La Canfora says the players union has asked the league to investigate the matter.

More running, less (in more ways than one) Freeman is Bucs' plan - NFL -
Josh Freeman has lost weight, which is good news for the Bucs. More good news: Len Pasquarelli says the Bucs, under Greg Schiano, plan on running first and relying on their lighter-but-still-talented QB a little less.

Virtual pencils ready: End of June is time for your final NFL exam - NFL -
The NFL calendar year comes to a close with the end of June. Professor Pat Kirwan wants to see what you remember from the 2011 season. Finish this grueling 21-question exam right and you may be Hall of Fame-bound.

Playbook: Panthers 'counter' option | National Football Post
Using video to breakdown DeAngelo Williams' TD vs. Saints.

5 SEC players to watch in 2012 | National Football Post
These players will be on the spot this fall.

Three and out: Maclin itching for action -
Chomping at the bit: After being hampered by health issues in 2011, Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin is ready to breakout this year. As NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah points out, the receiver has "looked outstanding in offseason workouts," and expects him to have a "huge year." Maclin has admitted he is in a better place this season, telling "When you have happy players, guys definitely want to go out there and play and give it (their) all…I wish the season started tomorrow; that’s how ready I am." Fantasy owners with short memories will avoid the Missouri product after a disappointing 2011, but Maclin has the potential to return to his 2010 numbers this season, one in which he scored 10 touchdowns and racked up 964 yards. His current status as a No. 3 receiver makes him one of the better values in fantasy drafts.

Sound FX: Haloti Ngata, Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware, Patrick Willis -
Four defensive superstars will be revealed in the final 10 of NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2012: Haloti Ngata, Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware and Patrick Willis. To get you ready for tonight’s show, here’s an inside look at the final four from the field, as these guys were wired for sound over the past season

QB participation shows importance of new offseason program -
Last summer, Aaron Rodgers scoffed at the importance of offseason workouts. This year, however, the Packers quarterback changed his tune. And as Albert Breer points out, he wasn't alone.

Cold Hard Facts - Podcasts -
John Clayton says he wouldn't be surprised if the Seahawks ask Tarvaris Jackson to take a pay cut if he doesn't beat out Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson in the team's quarterback competition (3:11). Clayton thinks Jackson would accept a salary reduction from $4 million to $1.5 million. Clayton also weighs in on the Seahawks' wide receiver situation, saying Kellen Winslow's addition would allow them to get by without a great No. 2 option (11:07).

Podcasts -
Could the Seahawks' wide receiver core exceed expectations? Should the NFL lessen the 'bountygate' penalties placed on the New Orleans Saints? What's next for the NCAA after the announcement of a 4-team playoff beginning in 2014?

What's this about the year of the tight end? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thanks to Vernon Davis, the San Francisco 49ers rank second among NFL teams in touchdowns by tight ends over the past three seasons. The other NFC West teams rank no better than 27th.