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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for Wednesday

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Aug 30, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) tackles Oakland Raiders running back Taiwan Jones (22) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field . Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE
Aug 30, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons (91) tackles Oakland Raiders running back Taiwan Jones (22) during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field . Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

The first game of the 2012 NFL Regular Season happens today. Which is pretty cool, I think.

San Francisco 49ers 2012 Preview: Stacked 49ers Squad Faces Tough Conference Road Tests - YouTube
The San Francisco 49ers are understandably excited heading into the 2012 season. After advancing all the way to the NFC Title Game in the first year of the Jim Harbaugh era, expectations are sky high for a squad that should again negotiate the NFC West fairly easily. Alex Smith, Patrick Willis and the rest of the 49ers dominating defense, kick things off in Week 1 on the road against the Green Bay Packers. That's just the first of several pivotal road tests that David Fucillo of SB Nation breaks down and previews.

Wolf Grey Podcast Season Preview with Joey Rebbe
Last night I was able to get together with Joey Rebbe from SBNation Seattle to record a little preseason podcast extravaganza. Overall the experience should be a good learning one for both of us, and it’ll get much better when he’s up in Seattle as we’ll likely use my studio instead of Google phone recording. It got the job done however and I’m pleased with what we came out with...

Seahawks head into opener with void at tight end | Local News | The Seattle Times
Moore, a former college receiver at Stanford, caught 34 passes for 324 yards and four touchdowns last year for the Browns. He will likely be asked to fill the pass catching hole left by Winslow's departure. "I did a lot of that in Cleveland," Moore said. "If that's a role I can fill here, I'd be happy to do that if that's part of the deal."

The AP Pro32 | Pro32: Head to Head

Sizing up Russell Wilson with Jon Gruden - NFC West Blog - ESPN
"I think the surprising thing that goes along with Russell Wilson being a starter, is they went out and gave Matt Flynn a big contract, where some people probably felt Flynn was the guaranteed starter, given the money he was given. But if you look at the body of work, what Russell Wilson did in college and what Matt Flynn did in college, it's to me not even close. "I haven't met anybody who has been a team captain at quarterback on two major college teams in backtoback seasons and taken their teams to Bowl games. When Russell Wilson walks in the room, you feel his presence. He has an incredible vibe about him that's outstanding for an offensive football team and a team. And I think he can play it. "The only downside to this kid is he's just not tall in some people's eyes, and I'm just happy that he's proved the critics wrong so far and I'm pulling for him. I really like this guy."

Landry Jones (QB, Oklahoma) vs UTEP " Seahawks Draft Blog
Credit where credit is due, this is the best Landry Jones has looked for a long time. Hopefully that is down to some form of epiphany at the end of last season rather than the quality of opponent in week one. Yet there are some encouraging signs here.

Versatility helps long shot win job | Dave Boling - The News Tribune
"You have to be ready," he said. "You can only control so much, so you have to be mentally ready to go when you get the opportunity. I think it brings high praise to this organization that they give you the opportunity, and if you’re ready to take advantage of it, you get a fair shake.

Where NFC West stands on offensive lines - NFC West Blog - ESPN
"You look at guys around the league who have had success as an offensive line and a lot of times they’ve played together in the same system for a while," left tackle Joe Staley said from 49ers training camp. "You see that moreso on the offensive line than at any other position."

St. Louis Rams: The Team Is Young, but Just How Young? | Bleacher Report
When head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead took over the Rams earlier this year, it was safe to assume that some house cleaning would take place. Yet, most never expected to see 60 percent of the roster turned over in one offseason. Blog | Up next: Arizona Cardinals "
When: Sunday, 1:25 p.m., University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz. Record: Cardinals were 1-4 in the preseason; 8-8 last season, when they won seven of their last nine games Where they rank: 18th on offense (14th rushing, 18th passing); 14th on defense (21st rushing, 13th passing) during the preseason Series: Cardinals lead 14-12; including a 23-20 overtime victory in last year’s season finale that snapped the Seahawks’ three-game winning streak in the series.

2012 Seahawks Season Preview - 2011 Recap, Seattle Seahawks Outlook, NFL draft
Hard to believe the NFL season begins this Sunday with a Seahawks matchup versus the Arizona Cardinals. I’m ready…are you?

Dave Krieg's Strike Beard: Detailed Predictions for the 2012 Seahawks
Yesterday I posted my predictions for the entire NFL, which included #10winsandaplayoffspot for our Seahawks. Here's some of my big (and small) predictions for what should be a very enjoyable season for the Twelve army.

NFP Week 1 Power Rankings | National Football Post
Rodgers and the Packers start the season as our No. 1.

Practice Squad analysis: NFC East | National Football Post
After the final cut down to 53 players, most fans and media outlets only look closely at those who made the final roster. However, "the devil is in the details" as numerous current NFL starters such as Fred Jackson of the Bills, Chris Clemons of the Seahawks and Antonio Garay of the Chargers spent time on the practice squad before developing into the players they are today. So today we take a look at five practice squad players in the NFC East that we believe have the tools to develop.

2012 NFL Division Previews -
People keep telling me the San Francisco 49ers are in for a wake-up call, but, sorry, I don't see it. The club that returned to the playoffs last season for the first time in nine years is stronger, deeper and more confident. That makes them the team to beat in the NFC West, with everyone else playing for second. That includes Seattle, a dark horse I once thought could push the 49ers. But then the Seahawks started playing games with their quarterbacks again and wound up choosing a 5-foot-11 rookie as their starter. Nothing against Russell Wilson, but the odds are against you, young man.

RB-OL Collisions: Reading the Road with Marcus Lattimore | The Rookie Scouting Portfolio
A criticism I read about a few college running backs this week was the tendency for some of them to run up the back of offensive linemen. Sometimes this is a fair criticism of a player. However, it’s also an observation that requires a strong frame of reference about the critic. It’s easy to evaluate a running back, see him run into a lineman’s back, and conclude that he lacks patience, agility, or good decision-making.

NFL predictions 2012 -- Super Bowl, awards, Saints, Peyton Manning, Tim Tebow - NFL -
John Skelton, Cardinals: The unheralded backup has quietly pieced together a clutch resume, with six game-winning drives in 11 starts, more than any QB in football at a similar point. He'll get his chance to shine early this year.

First Round Report Card |
Bruce Irvin: Currently only a sub package player who, at 245 pounds, needs to spend more time trying to go around people than through them. Got very little going against the first-string offenses he faced.

49ers list Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree as starting receivers | ProFootballTalk
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh may say he has five No. 1 receivers, but only two of them are listed as starters on the 49ers’ depth chart: Randy Moss and Michael Crabtree.

Waiver Wired: Week 1's top pickups -
Chris Wesseling breaks down the best players who still might be available in your league. - Rams could be open to trading CB Fletcher
With both Rams rookie CBs Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson making very strong impressions for the most part this preseason — it should be noted that Jenkins does have to do a better job tackling, as evidenced by some really ugly whiffs on a few occasions — rumors that the Rams could be looking to trade holdover CB Bradley Fletcher make a lot of sense. Fletcher, currently fourth on the depth chart behind newcomer Cortland Finnegan, Jenkins and Johnson, is scheduled to make $1.2 million in the final year of his contract.

Sports Radio Interviews " Blog Archive " Ken Whisenhunt Picks John Skelton Over Kevin Kolb in Arizona
Ken Whisenhunt joined XTRA Sports in Phoenix with Bickley and MJ to discuss Skelton’s reaction to winning the competition, the determining factors, Skelton’s pocket presence and accuracy, Kolb’s role going forward and game-planning for Russell Wilson.

SB Nation NFL Bloggers Vote On Preseason Awards -
SB Nation's NFL bloggers voted on a number of preseason awards including MVP and rookie of the year.

Miami Dolphins' Joe Philbin has no regrets after 'Hard Knocks' -
The replacement refs better be ready for the worst. At most of the 14 camps I visited over the summer, coaches I spoke with wore out the thesaurus in the verbiage they used to describe what they were expecting from the replacement officials. We've had our visuals in preseason, too. One came last Wednesday during a particularly conspicuous moment of official bewilderment, when Bill Belichick and Coughlin looked across the field at each other and both, more or less, threw their hands up in incredulity. This dispute has come down to the benefits issue. Until the NFL and the refs can bridge the gap, expect coaches to adapt, scout the replacements and find every way possible to take advantage of them.

NFL -- Brandt: Suggestions for referee stalemate and MJD fine - ESPN
Finally, today marks the beginning of full accounting for the 2012 salary cap. Until now, teams had been operating under a "Top 51" accounting, excluding salaries for players below the top 51 salaries on the team. But as of 4 p.m. today, everything counts on the cap: all 53 salaries, injured reserve players, practice squads, injury settlements, etc. Teams have to "get under and stay under" from this point forward.

Seattle Seahawks 2012 Season Preview | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
- Carroll may be the one getting the last laugh, however, after Wilson put on an absolutely clinical display in the preseason to wrest the starting job away from expected heir Matt Flynn, hailed as one of the prized possessions on this spring's free-a...

Breaking Down Sam Bradford Under Pressure - Turf Show Times
Can Sam Bradford work effectively under pressure? The results so far suggest that he can.

Are NFL Playoff Outcomes Getting More Random?
Most fans like to think of the NFL’s playoff system as being the final word on each team’s season — run the table and you’re the champs, the "best team in football"; lose, and your season means nothing. But what if I told you that the NFL playoffs are getting a lot more random in recent seasons? Would it change your attitude if you knew we were getting closer to the point where every playoff outcome might as well be determined by a coin flip?