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Coffee and Cigarettes: Seahawks links for Thursday

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Aloha! Today we will take a step back and look at the types of players the Seahawks look for at specific positions. It's no secret that every year, Seattle picks players that leave fans and draft pundits alike scratching their heads. They look for different traits than other teams do, and while overall it's been effective, there have been some swings and misses along the way. If you haven't already, I highly recommend listening to Zach Whitman talk about SPARQ and analytics with Rotoworld's Josh Norris. He outlines the athletic profile the Seahawks and other SPARQ following teams covet in players, and why some of the flashier combine stats like the 40 mean very little to those teams in regards to certain positions.

Carroll and Schneider tend to look for players with rare athleticism over classic measurables. It's why they drafted Bobby Wagner, Bruce Irvin, and Christine Michael. It's why they pass on players every year that I swear they would have drafted based on draft position and availability. As outlined by Rob Staton yesterday over at Seahawks Draft Blog, the Seahawks value the short shuttle above most other drills when it comes to evaluating their pass rushing Defensive Tackles. It's a good indicator of lateral agility as well as explosion and quickness in a short area.

In their Offensive Lineman, they have historically focussed on the broad jump over other drills. It is a solid indicator of the athletes lower body strength and explosiveness. That, coupled with the Seahawks requisite length of arms (they have only drafted OL with arms 33 inches or longer in the PC/JS era), gives us a solid idea as to who they may be looking at in the draft as opposed to who the draft pundits think they will try to add. There are examples of them breaking their own rules for a player they just have to have, but in general, these are the measurables they look for. It's a way of getting their scouting process down to an algorithm as opposed to it being solely subjective to who they have in their scouting department.

When you look at teams and trends, the league is all about playing copy cat. You can see the Seahawks using this to their advantage. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl with a hard hitting, BIG defensive backfield. They value length and fluid hips in their CBs, allowing them to own the redline, treating the sideline as another defender against the big and fast WRs that have become the standard in the league. Then, when teams began copying their defensive philosophies, they began drafting smaller, quicker WRs that can beat longer CBs with their ability to change direction on a dime. I remember watching those smaller WRs killing the LOB over the middle in games with the Chargers, Colts, and a Super Bowl against the Patriots that I'm not yet willing to admit ever happened.

The Seahawks use their analytics to get an edge over the current trends in the NFL. It's a way to find gems in the draft and free agency. And while it's not "Moneyball", it has allowed them to allocate resources, both in draft picks and cap space, in a way most teams don't. While every year we have seen some players walk that we wish we could keep, we've also been able to retain the nucleus of the team longer than most championship caliber teams are able to. It's the PC/JS way, and it works. We will look more into players in the coming days and weeks, I just wanted to lay down the framework for the type of players we will look at, and why. Hope everyone has a great day!

And now...to the links!

Richard Sherman celebrates 28th birthday by giving back to fans
One of the best cornerbacks in all the NFL, the Seahawks' Richard Sherman, turned 28 on Wednesday, and his teammates and the NFL alike came out to make his day special.

Thurmond rejected big offers as he ponders retirement - NFL.com
Walter Thurmond remains one of the top free agents on the open market. The versatile defensive back has turned down offers of $4 million-plus per year as he contemplates retirement.

How long can Richard Sherman stay great? | Cover32
So far Richard Sherman has not missed a single game for the Seahawks.

German wide receiver one of NFL Draft's biggest sleepers - NFL.com

"He's the kind of guy you rush out and see." That's Gil Brandt and he's talking about one of the draft's best-kept secrets, a wide receiver from Germany who's about to leap onto the scene.

Tyrann Mathieu: Seahawks are toughest team | Cover32

Tyrann Mathieu is one of the toughest and most talented defensive backs in the NFL. You don't get nicknamed the Honey Badger for nothing.

Seattle Seahawks counting on CB Jeremy Lane to solidify Legion of Boom - Seattle Seahawks Blog- ESPN
By bringing back Jeremy Lane on a four-year, $23 million deal, the Seahawks are betting on the cornerback's future, not paying for past performance.

Former Seahawk Russell Okung has a message for Seattle fans | FOX Sports
Former Seahawk Russell Okung has a message for Seattle fans

John Nordstrom admits he probably shouldn't have sold the Seattle Seahawks - Dori Monson | MyNorthwest.com
The department store mogul sold the Seahawks in 1988 for a hefty $80 million. Problem is the Seahawks are currently valued at an estimated $1.87 billion.

Now that Jermaine Kearse has new deal, Doug Baldwin will get his – eventually | The News Tribune
Doug Baldwin recently got engaged.

What will Seahawks do to strengthen offensive line? - NFL.com
General manager John Schneider isn't saying the Seahawks are done searching, but all signs point to the draft if they were to make some kind of drastic improvement on their offensive line.

Top prospects who are overshadowed by teammates in the 2016 NFL Draft - NFL Videos

The "Path to the Draft" crew reveals talented prospects in the draft who might be overshadowed by their standout teammates.

Picking the worst-ever free-agent signing for all 32 NFL teams

NFL Nation reporters choose the most disastrous free-agent signings for each team, including Emmitt Smith's ineffective stint in Arizona and Washington giving Albert Haynesworth $41 million.

Lions LB DeAndre Levy: NFL ‘can't be trusted’ on CTE | SI.com

Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy has opened up about his concerns regarding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and the NFL in a letter to the Detroit Free Press.

NFL prospects hurt by red flags hanging from draft profiles | SI.com

It takes more than a contrite apology to repair a prospect profile tarnished by behavioral red flags, whether they stem from legal troubles or mere anecdotes that cast doubt on a player’s maturity and NFL readiness. The long list of prominent prospects with something in their past worth looking into shows exactly how broad that spectrum can be.

What teams are asking NFL Draft prospects just took a weird turn - CBSSports.com

In what has become an ever-increasingly ridiculous saga of questions asked by NFL teams to draft prospects, an LSU safety's story might trump all.

Eight under-the-radar NFL free-agent signings - NFL.com

Alfred Morris to the Cowboys and Chris Long to the Patriots are just two of Marc Sessler's under-the-radar signings that are bound to pay off. Who else made the list?

NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Rams trade up with Bucs to get a QB at No. 9 - CBSSports.com

The Rams need a QB, but picking 15th likely takes them out of range of Jared Goff. The solution? A big trade up to snag a Cali-raised QB for a fresh start in LA.