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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for Monday

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Back at it!

Dave Krieg's Strike Beard: Top 5: The Best Defenses in Seahawks History
What began as a hushed, conspiratorial whisper is growing louder every day among Seahawks fans: "Seattle might have the best defense in the NFL in 2012." That unit was among the league's top 10 last season, and appears primed to make the leap into the NFL's stratosphere. That got me thinking- What are the best defensive units in Seahawks' history?

Cosell Talks: The Evolving Chess Match : NFL Films Blog
With training camps opening in less than a month, I’ve begun to think about what I expect to see in the 2012 NFL season. I’m speaking more broadly, in terms of the continuing growth of the game. It’s become axiomatic to say the NFL is a passing league. The numbers certainly verify this statement, but there’s more to it than that. I want to drill down deeper and put a fine focus on the transformative relationship between offensive concepts and defensive reaction/adjustment.

Wilson facing long odds to be Seahawks' starter in '12 - Yahoo! Sports
From Yahoo! Sports: It's worth noting how difficult it is for a player chosen after the second round to start on Opening Day in his rookie season. The last time a rookie selected after the second round started a season opener was way back in 2005, when Kyle Orton, a fourth-rounder with the Bears and the 106th prospect off the board that year, opened the campaign.

Playbook: This is how you 'finish' a run in the NFL | National Football Post
Taking a look at Marshawn Lynch's TD run vs. the Eagles.

The Shutdown Corner Podcast: Greg Cosell on the NFC North Draft | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
With the draft way in the rear view and training camps just a few weeks away, we continue our rookie personnel series with Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's "NFL Matchup," and talk about the NFL by division. Who did themselves the most favors in the draft, and who came up short when addressing their roster deficits?

Ten offseason transactions that could make a huge difference -
Sometimes, teams just need one piece of the puzzle to make a great work of art and maybe win a Super Bowl. Maybe the men we list here are just that piece.

Training-camp itinerary will feature young quarterbacks, especially RG3 - NFL -
How eager is Jason LaCanfora to start his training-camp tour? So much so, he's ready to reveal his stops. He plans on a double dose of RG3, plus viewings of Cam Newton, Peyton Manning and a potential Jets circus.

Which seven teams make the 3-win jump? Texans, Eagles, Broncos look best -
As the season approaching, most fans are optimistic, and it made me think of a conversation with a coach this past weekend, punctuated with: "We're all undefeated right now."

2013 NFL Draft: Iowa State Preview - CBSSports
Although not considered early round draft picks, senior linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein form one of the best defensive tandems in college football

2013 NFL Draft: Baylor Preview - CBSSports
Without RGIII in Waco, the Bears are expected to take a step back in 2012, but Baylor still has several NFL-quality players on their roster.

Lofa Tatupu back in game with Falcons - The Boston Globe
It seemed a bit curious. A Pro Bowl player his first three seasons in the NFL — including an All-Pro berth in 2007 — Lofa Tatupu’s career appeared to be over at 29 when the phone didn’t ring after he was released by the Seahawks nearly a year ago.

Seattle Seahawks prey on B.C. football fans
Late Lions president Bob Ackles spent more than 50 years in the football business, including significant

Oregon backs Packers - JSOnline
The state of Oregon does not have a National Football League franchise. You would assume NFL fans in that state would adopt the neighboring Seattle Seahawks as their favorite team.

Josh Gordon one to watch in the supplemental draft " Seahawks Draft Blog
The supplemental draft takes place in seven days time with a handful of prospects hoping to get their chance in the league. Josh Gordon might be the only one who gets that chance as a 6-4, 225lbs receiver with reported 4.3/4 speed. He also recorded 714 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore with Baylor. That’s pretty much where the positives end.

WR Josh Gordon: Hands are for more than catching the football | The Rookie Scouting Portfolio
Josh Gordon’s current skill and style of play reminds me of a mix between a raw Terrell Owens and Demaryius Thomas. However, his potential could be as limitless as Calvin Johnson. Gordon has a fascinating amalgamation of strengths and weaknesses for a wide receiver and this post begins a series that will examine the strengths and weaknesses of the former Baylor wide receiver, who is the wildcard of the 2012 NFL Supplemental Draft.

Buzz Building Around NFL Supplemental Draft Wide Receiver Josh Gordon | Bleacher Report
As 32 NFL franchises are putting together their research to fix a draft pick value on former Baylor wide receiver Josh Gordon and the other seven NFL Supplemental Draft picks, two of the most respected talent evaluators in the draft community are putting Gordon in lofty company.

2012 NFL Supplemental Draft: Josh Gordon Character Check | Articles
With such a short turnover from Supplemental Draft entries to the actual live auction draft itself (on July 12th), it's not easy for scouts in both the NFL as well as non-NFL scouts to get the necessary information to make an informed opinion on a prospect.

Offseason Breakdown: San Francisco 49ers | Audibles
Raise your hand if you thought San Francisco would go 13-3 and host the NFC title game last year. Everyone but Jim Harbaugh, keep your hands down. In his first season at the helm in San Francisco, Harbaugh brought a brash bravado — see: The Handshake War with Jim Schwartz — that helped rouse the 49ers from a longstanding slumber. Prior to their 2011 breakthrough, the 49ers had not finished above .500 or made the playoffs since 2002.

Expect defenses of Bills, Giants, Panthers to climb the charts - NFL - Sporting News
If improving at and around the quarterback position is the key to a team executing a big offensive turnaround, it only makes sense that making a similar jump on defense also revolves around the passing game. Last season provided the best example of this defensive formula, as it helped one team end its franchise playoff drought.

NFL - Franchise tag decisions getting complicated - ESPN
Saints quarterback Drew Brees cleared up a vague part of the franchise-tag rules this week. With his successful challenge to the franchise rules, no player can be franchised more than three times during his career, no matter if he moves to another team. Brees was franchised once with the San Diego Chargers and this year by the Saints, who felt they also had the ability to franchise him next year at 120 percent of his 2012 salary and possibly a third time in 2014.

Young and (better be) ready in the NFL - NFC East Blog - ESPN
There were doubts, this time last year, about Cam Newton as the No. 1 pick, about Newton as an NFL-ready starting quarterback, but they were all external. In the offices of the Carolina Panthers, who had taken Newton with the first pick in the draft, any and all doubts were outlawed. Newton was their guy, and they were all-in on him. After a rookie season in which he threw for 4,051 yards, ran for 706 and totaled 35 touchdowns, they have no regrets.

Three Years of Tackling Efficiency: Interior Rushers |
As we head through the weekend we reach the end of our three-year look at tackling efficiency. Already this week we have given you a detailed breakdown of the tackle numbers for linebackers, defensive backs and now we’re breaking out the big guys – the defensive interior.

Three Years of Tackling Efficiency: Edge Rushers |
Sam Monson of breaks down three years of data to reveal the best and worst tacklers among the NFL's edge rushers.

Three Years of Tackling Efficiency: Defensive Backs |
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus has a look at the DB's with an eye toward which have been the best and worst tacklers over the past three years.

Three Years of Drop Rate: Running Backs |
With receiving backs being more important now in the NFL, Khaled Elsayed details who the most effective & least have been over the last 3 years.

Three Years of Drop Rate: Tight Ends |
PFF's Khaled Elsayed uses our Signatue Stats to reveal the tight ends with the best - and worst - hands in the NFL.

Three Years of Drop Rate: Wide Receivers |
PFF's Khaled Elsayed runs the numbers on dropped passes for the past three seasons and highlights the standouts, good and bad. - Bucs banking on progress from Foster
After a tough introduction to the NFL during his rookie season, Mason Foster is getting another chance to prove he is the answer at middle linebacker for the Buccaneers.

Franchise leaders — receiving stats
A list of the career receiving leaders for each NFL team

Franchise leaders — rushing stats
A list of the career rushing leaders for each NFL team

Franchise leaders — passing stats
A list of the career passing leaders for each NFL team

NFC West links: Jenkins-Rams dispute - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Seahawks don't need Matt Flynn to be a top 5 quarterback, because they can lean on their solid running game and strong defense, writes Rosenthal. If Flynn is just average, that'll be a big upgrade for the Seahawks, and might be enough to get them to the playoffs.

Podcast: From Aldon Smith to Russ Grimm - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The latest Football Today podcast from Ross Tucker and Matt Williamson contained conversations of note for the NFC West. Let's consider a few of them while hoping for a safe Fourth of July holiday here in the U.S.:

Matt Flynn has what it takes to start for Seahawks -
Matt Flynn has a good shot to start in Week 1 for the Seahawks. Gregg Rosenthal believes Flynn's accuracy and poise will push him past Tarvaris Jackson and Russell Wilson.

Doug Flutie still flustered by discrimination against short QBs -
Doug Flutie says the NFL is biased against short QBs, and he doesn't understand why. The ex-Pro Bowl pick hopes rookies Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore get a fair shake, Ian Rapoport writes.

Al Davis' life celebrated in Las Vegas memorial service -
Friends and family gathered in Las Vegas to memorialize the former Raiders owner, who would have been 83 years old today.

How much does familiarity give Jackson an edge? - Blog -
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss how much Tarvaris Jackson's familiarity with Seattle's offense and its receivers gives him an advantage in the Seahawks' quarterback competition. - Blog 710 ESPN Seattle at

Counters to NFL passing games? Elusive - NFC North Blog - ESPN
Mike Tomlin's smile slipped into a smirk. During breakfast at the NFL owners meeting, we were discussing the league's inexorable shift toward the passing game. A longtime defensive assistant before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007, Tomlin refused to concede. "There will always be [a counter]," he said. "It was amazing a few years ago that we sat in here and we talked about the Wildcat. Ohhh, the Wiiiiiildcat. I bet no one has a Wildcat question today, because there is a counterpunch defensively. That's the awesome thing about football. There are guys in labs right now, like [Steelers defensive coordinator] Dick LeBeau, working on that and responding to things."

Seattle Seahawks Blog - Hawk Blogger: Matt Flynn's Path To Starting
Ron Jaworski, of ESPN, has been ranking the Top 30 NFL quarterbacks the past few weeks. He chose to rate Matt Flynn as the Seahawks starter and put him at #27 on the list. Flynn enters training camp as the #2 quarterback on his own team. Jaworski is not alone in assuming Flynn will win the starting role. Nearly every media member that covers the Seahawks and most fans expect the same thing. It may prove harder than most expect.

Seattle Seahawks Blog - Hawk Blogger: Breaking Down Seahawks QB Tarvaris Jackson
Inconsistency can be a funny thing. It is often used when a person cannot detect any predictable pattern in a person or thing. The real question is whether there truly is no pattern to a person, or whether the observer is simply is unable to recognize the pattern. Tarvaris Jackson is a perfect example. Analysts ranging from Brock Huard to Tim Hasselbeck to this blogger have talked repeatedly about Jackson being better than expected, but maddeningly inconsistent.

Ron Jaworski: Tom Brady is NFL's No. 3 quarterback -
Ron Jaworski has studied the game film and calls Tom Brady the most "comfortable pocket quarterback" in football. However, Jaws has two other QBs ranked higher than Brady for best in the NFL.

A.J. Jenkins, 49ers rookie WR, reportedly needs to get stronger -
A.J. Jenkins, the San Francisco 49ers' top draft pick, lacks the necessary upper-body strength to beat physical coverage at the line of scrimmage, which has caused him to struggle early on, according to a report. - Niners WR Jenkins looks like major work in progress
Based on his extremely inconsistent play in the early stages of the offseason, it’s hard to imagine surprise first-round WR A.J. Jenkins making anywhere near the kind of impact that surprise 2011 first-round draft pick Aldon Smith made for the Niners in his rookie campaign. - Irvin already opening plenty of eyes in Seattle
Granted an enhanced opportunity to show off his skills so far this offseason — with disgruntled DE Chris Clemons nowhere to be seen due to contract concerns — it appears controversial first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin has made a very favorable impression. - RB Williams impressing Cardinals with special will
We hear RB Ryan Williams is right on schedule, if not a little bit ahead, in his recovery from the torn right patella tendon that wiped out his rookie campaign. "They were thrilled that he was able to participate in 11-on-11 drills at the mandatory mini, and the medical staff just raves about his work ethic," said one source on the scene of Williams, the team’s surprising second-round draft pick last season.

Has Philip Rivers Peaked? - Matchups -
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers tied for third in the NFL in interceptions in 2011, an out-of-character distinction for one of the league's most historically efficient passers. In-season rumors swirled that Rivers was hiding an injury, speculation both he and the Chargers' organization adamantly refuted. In late November, ESPN's Adam Schefter published a story stating that "numerous NFL executives and coaches around the league" believed something was wrong. "Based on the opinion of people around the league," wrote Schefter, "Rivers has to be playing hurt, no matter how much he denies it."

Maximize Your Starting Lineup - Football Daily Dose -
I know. I know. You should never go into a fantasy football draft with a set plan as to when you will target certain positions. That’s true.

Running Backs to Avoid - Draft Analysis -
For too many owners, the default position on draft day is set to "safe." That means rolling with a proven commodity rather than a fresh face. It can mean reaching for someone that’s led us to success in previous seasons, or buying into the theories of the mainstream media’s talking heads. It also leads to overvaluing certain players.

Prospect Notes: Keenan Allen | NFL Draft Hub
There are so many good things to say about Allen, it’s hard not to like him as a prospect.

Ryan Williams ready to make up for lost rookie season -
The Cardinals had high hopes for Ryan Williams as a rookie before the RB suffered a knee injury in the preseason. A healthy Williams is gearing up to be a big contributor in the backfield in '12.

Playbook: Raiders' Heyward-Bey vs. Cover 0 | National Football Post
Using video to breakdown the 'hot read' vs. Texans.

Pick your poison: Lynch vs. Richardson | National Football Post
Would you rather take a shot on the rookie from Alabama or the proven veteran?

Playbook: Victor Cruz vs. Eagles' Cover 4 | National Football Post
How did Cruz beat the Philly secondary? Let's take a look.

There's plenty of value at the quarterback position | National Football Post
Three later round options who are currently going at an excellent price.

Nike's 'The Opening' takes center stage | National Football Post
The nation's best prep players are on display.

Breaking down a '3-Man' rush scheme I trust | National Football Post
Drawing up 'Ruby Tent Robber' on the chalkboard.