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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks Links for Saturday

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One more day.

Jake Locker vs. Bill Belichick among key matchups in Week 1 -
Larry Fitzgerald vs. Seahawks' cornerbacks Fitzgerald is the Arizona Cardinals' offense. In order for them to win this divisional game, he will need to get the better of two of the NFL's biggest and most physical cornerbacks. Both Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman are tall, long and aggressive press corners for the Seattle Seahawks.

Cardinals’ Kevin Kolb disaster could pay big dividends for John Skelton | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
If it wasn't the worst trade in NFL history, it was certainly in the Pantheon. When the Arizona Cardinals sent a second-round draft pick and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Philadelphia Eagles for backup quarterback Kevin Kolb, and then signed Kolb to a five-year, $65 million contract with $12 million guaranteed in July 2011, the resulting lack of value Kolb provided changed the way backups in high-volume offenses were treated from a contractual perspective. When ex-Green Bay Packers backup Matt Flynn had to "settle" for a three-year deal worth $19.5 million and $10 million guaranteed, the die was clearly cast.

NFP Friday Buzz | National Football Post
Just because the Seahawks cut Terrell Owens does not necessarily mean he is finished. In fact, people inside the Seahawks believe Owens still can help an NFL team. The problem? He came to camp late and was not in football shape even though he was in excellent physical shape. He needed more time to get in football shape, and time was not a commodity the Seahawks had. - Seahawks have other rookies besides Wilson worth noting
"It definitely helps your confidence when you have a coach like Pete Carroll who really believes that you can be successful," Turbin told PFW a few days before the season opener in Arizona. "He is a great coach who has been a huge part of my progress as a rookie."

New England Patriots have top-paid NFL practice squad -
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Josh Portis - $6,700 per week ($113,900)

The top signal callers in the NFL, plus Week 1 picks - Grantland
You heard me … Russell Wilson! You know where I stand: I believe the quarterback position comes down to 50 percent charisma/personality/leadership/intelligence/coolness-under-pressure, 25 percent hard work and 25 percent talent. If you're the smartest, coolest and most charismatic guy in the huddle, if you're the one who stands out even when 53 dudes are busting each other's balls in the locker room after a practice, if you're the one everyone likes, if there's just something indefinable about you that makes people say, "There's just something special about the way that dude carries himself," you're halfway there.

Final record predictions for all 32 NFL teams -
My somewhat irrational love for the Seahawks is not that irrational. They have two solid quarterbacks; they used to have zero. They have a rising defense that is difficult to prepare for. Pete Carroll's three-year plan is ready to go. We see the 49ers struggling to pass and not getting the injury luck they did a year ago.

Vilma decision could affect Seahawks, 49ers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Vilma's availability to the Saints could enable the team to part with Barrett Ruud, the linebacker acquired from Seattle by trade last month. The Seahawks are in line to receive a late-round draft choice from the Saints in return if Ruud remains on New Orleans' roster for an undisclosed number of games. Seattle appears less likely to collect on that trade now that Vilma is available. Blog | Friday in Hawkville: Lynch questionable for opener "
The players have elected center Max Unger (offense), end Red Bryant (defense) and Michael Robinson and Heath Farwell (special teams) as the captains for the season. Robinson is the only holdover from last season.

Seahawks game preview: Week 1 vs. Cardinals -
Who matters: Rookies. On the offensive side of the ball, rookies will be leading the charge for the Seahawks Sunday, led by 2012 third-round draft pick QB Russell Wilson. Seventh-round pick J.R. Sweezy will be Seattle's starting right guard, while fourth-round pick Robert Turbin could get the start if Marshawn Lynch (back) can't go. This rookie trio impressed everyone during the preseason, but if the Seahawks are going to get it done Sunday, the rookies need to prove they can handle the pressures of the regular season too.

Seahawks are primed to prove critics of their 2012 draft wrong | The Brewery | The Seattle Times
Think back to April, when the Seahawks lived up to their eccentric nature and drew a tremendous amount of criticism, mostly from the national media, for their picks in the 2012 NFL draft. Beginning with the Seahawks' surprising decision to select defensive end Bruce Irvin after trading down from No. 12 to No. 15, they left themselves open for a lot of second-guessing. Draftniks obliged.

N.C. State’s Sweezy starts for NFL’s Seahawks - NC State -
"The best way to put it is that everything is opposite right now," Sweezy said. "I have to use my hands differently, my footwork is different – it’s just been crazy so far. It was a pretty tough transition, but I’ve had nothing but positive people behind me helping me during this offseason."

Hyped Seattle secondary ready for season debut - NFL -
"With us, I just think we're trying to be the best,'' Thomas said. "We compete with each other. We hold each other accountable and when you do that the bar is set high. We're going to play at a high level and we trust our preparation to go out there and ball.''

Big-money QBs sit in Seahawks-Cardinals opener | Local News | The Seattle Times
"It never was about money and hopefully it never will be," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "This is a game that competitors play, and guys that win the battles should be playing. In my mind, they should be playing. I don't care how much money they make."

Batting around views on Russell Wilson - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Polian, the former NFL executive and current ESPN analyst, thinks height issues won't matter so much in a West Coast offense incorporating quarterback movement off play-action and bootlegs. Wilson, as you might have heard, stands 5-foot-10 and 5/8. blogs - Kent Somers - Some pre-game snacks
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton will meet with reporters every Friday this season. Those sessions are usually entertaining and informative. Here are a few highlights from Friday's session:

Cardinals bypass Kolb for Skelton at QB Sunday | Seattle Seahawks - The News Tribune
"It’s kind of a bottom line league and everyone looks at wins and losses," Skelton said. "But at the same time there is a lot of room for improvement. There were a lot of plays that I let go, a lot of bad decisions, a lot of bad throws, but it is something to build on."

Wilson ready for blitzing Arizona defense, Flynn added to injury report | Seahawks Insider
"Well I think you have to focus on both," Wilson said. "We have to focus on what we can control, but also what they try to do to us, and why they try to do it – knowing the why’s of football and understanding what their purpose is. "I think more than anything I just try to study as much film as I can and prepare myself in the best way possible, and prepare our football team, and go out there and perform on Sunday."

NFC West News: Arizona Cardinals Lock Up Daryl Washington Through 2017 and More | Bleacher Report
Just yesterday I touched on defensive end Calais Campbell and his monster offseason contract extension, and now Mr. Bidwell goes out and extends another core piece of the Cardinals 3-4 defensive scheme.

Seahawks vs. Cardinals: How Should Seattle Attack Arizona? | Bleacher Report
For the third time in as many years, the Arizona Cardinals will be squaring off against a rookie quarterback to open the season. Currently, they stand at 2-0 when taking on first-time starters, beating both Sam Bradford and Cam Newton. But that doesn't mean the Cardinals will skate to 3-0 with ease. The Seattle Seahawks have a much better defense than the Rams and Panthers did in their respective years, and Seattle's weapons on offense pose more of a threat.

Seahawks vs Cardinals: 5 Keys to the Game for Seattle | Bleacher Report
It's time for Seahawks football! As the preseason concludes and the games start to matter, the Seahawks organization is faced with something they haven't had to deal with in several years—lofty expectations. Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have quietly built something intriguing in Seattle, and Arizona seems to be a perfect place for a road test.

‘Back To Football’ Event Recap & Shaun Alexander Q+A |
All it took was one look at this guy to realize that football is back. Only at a gathering of football fans can a man wearing tight-ish leather pants, spikes around his sleeve and a sailor hat not be considered weird and out of place. In fact, it’s the opposite. That’s the kind of thing football turns people into. That’s the person we all become while watching football.

Colin Kaepernick's read-option puts Packers on notice -
The Green Bay Packers are prepared for a Colin Kaepernick cameo Sunday, but will they see it? The San Francisco 49ers found success during the preseason with their backup quarterback.

Outside The Norm? Denard Robinson | National Football Post
How does the Michigan QB project at the NFL level?

Matchups: Ridley Me This - Matchups -
When pitting Bears personnel against the Colts' on an offense-versus-defense basis, the one major mismatch that stands out is Chicago's powerful, versatile run game, which should ram the ball down Indy's throat. The Colts lost NT Brandon McKinney (ACL), NT Josh Chapman (knee), and top ILB Pat Angerer (foot) for extended periods in the preseason, and all three were slated to be key cogs in new coach Chuck Pagano's run defense. Keep an eye on Michael Bush's usage while this game is still in doubt, but Matt Forte is an easy top-ten running back play in Week 1. Bush will be Chicago's primary goal-line back, but he's not a flex option until we see him getting a significant piece of the open-field playing-time pie. ... Kellen Davis, Earl Bennett, Devin Hester, and rookie Alshon Jeffery are players to monitor in Week 1, but not start in fantasy leagues. We need to learn more about their roles in the passing game. Jeffery, of course, is the most intriguing prospect in the group after a productive preseason. We just don't even know whether he'll start.