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BREAKDOWN: Packers at Seahawks

Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks

Image via Wikipedia

Midway into the exhibition season and already there’s concern about Seattle’s revamped defense.

The Seahawks surrendered three touchdowns on four possessions at the start of games against Tennessee quarterback Vince Young and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The starters have just one sack, which is a painful reminder of last season when Seattle accumulated just two sacks in the final five games.

The retooled defensive line has failed to generate a consistent pass rush and too often last week the ends failed to contain Green Bay quarterbacks who escaped outside the pocket.

The linebackers, one of the best groups in the conference just two years ago, appear in disarray. Second-year pro Aaron Curry has just one tackle and is slow adjusting to new pass-rushing responsibilities, David Hawthorne is out with a hip injury and three-time Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu, who missed 11 games last season due to injuries, hasn’t played because of a sore hamstring.

Marcus Trufant, who is playing like he did in 2007 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl, has been a pleasant surprise. Still, Kelly Jennings has yet to secure the other cornerback spot and rookie free safety Earl Thomas is prone to gaffes, such as the one that resulted in a 56-yard reception last week.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley acknowledged mistakes the first two exhibition games, but he sees improvement in a defense ranked 24th last season in yards allowed.

“Last week we had some busts,” he said. “Some coverage busts. Some alignment busts. We’re really stressing this week our communication on the field. That’s more important and once we get those things down, hopefully we’ll be more solid.

“It’s preseason and our focus is on us right now, like making sure our coverage principles and our pressure principles are all in place. It’s really a race for the next couple of weeks before that first (regular-season) game to improve in those areas.”

Next up: Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings.

“You know he’s back there,” rookie defensive end E.J. Wilson said. “You know he’s in the game and everything that he’s done in the game, but it doesn’t matter when the game starts. He’s a quarterback just like any other quarterback and it’s our job to get to him.”

Veteran strong safety Lawyer Milloy said facing the 40-year-old Favre, who holds every significant NFL passing record, is the perfect situation for the Seahawks.

“Obviously there’s things we have to correct,” Milloy said. “For me it’s stopping teams on the first drive. That’s just all attitude. It’s getting to some of these young guys, getting to some of these new players and making sure they know the defense needs to set the tone and be focused when we get out there.

“Because when we settle down, you see what we can do. But in this league, you’re not afforded the time to settle down. Minnesota is a perfect situation for us because with their quarterback and their running back (Adrian Peterson), that’s a good test for us.”


• Despite the absence of two starters on the left side of the offensive line, coach Pete Carroll said QB Matt Hasselbeck will play into the third quarter against a Minnesota defense that led the NFL in sacks last season. OT Mansfield Wrotto and G Mike Gibson are replacing rookie Russell Okung (high ankle sprain) and Ben Hamilton (sore knee).

• LB Will Herring will start in place of David Hawthorne (hip), who will not play.

• TE Cameron Morrah (flu) returned to practice after missing two days.

• On the final play of practice, DT Quinn Pitcock drew several oohs and ahhs from teammates when he dropped into coverage, deflected a Hasselbeck pass before making a diving interception.


Breakdown of the Seattle Seahawks Starting Wideouts.

T.J Houshmandzadeh:

Seattle’s passing game wasn’t pretty last year, despite the high-priced addition of Houshmandzadeh who flirted with a 1,000 yard season. He gave the Seahawks some reliability at wideout, but only found the end zone three times. Those aren’t top WR numbers. Houshmandzadeh turns 33 this year and had off-season surgery for a sports hernia — an injury that has a way of re-appearing. Given the unsettled situation at QB, expect this former Bengal’s fantasy numbers to continue their decline.

Golden Tate:

Tate, taken 60th overall, could end up as the steal of the 2010 draft. He’s a tough, yet dynamic playmaker who helped make Jimmy Clausen a household name. The sensible move would be to phase Tate in opposite T.J. Houshmandzadeh as the team’s starting flanker. The Seahawks are likely to use Tate as the team’s utility man a-la Minnesota’s Percy Harvin in 2009. Tate can stretch the field at flanker, run routes out of the slot, return kicks and punts or even man the wildcat. Loaded with potential, this is a guy dynasty leaguers should be interested in.

Read More At Seahawks Fans Blog

Which Seahawks Will Rush for a 1000 Yards?

Justin Forsett

Justin Forsett/ Sleeper Pick

Justin Forsett:
Forsett was one of very few pleasant surprises for the Seahawks last year and stood out in contrast to under-performing Julius Jones.Forsett has a chance to battle Leon Washington for the starting RB spot. Forsett has shown he can be a dynamic force, but now he has to convince a new coach of his value to the team. Once he carves out his niche, he should see plenty of action and has a legitimate chance to claim the number one role.

Leon Washington:
Washington is an interesting addition. The Seahawks took a risk in trading for Washington, given the severity of the leg injury that shortened his 2009 season and had many thinking his career was over. Healthy, Washington is a versatile playmaker who would be a welcome addition to the Seattle backfield mix, but there’s no guarantee he’ll ever return to form. He suffered a compound leg fracture — that’s where the bone actually breaks through the skin — against the Raiders last year; breaking both his tibia and his fibula. He’s running already and has a few months to get back into form. Playing with a metal rod in his leg, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be the same force he was before the injury.

Julius Jones:
Still not an ideal feature back. Unfortunately, that role won’t include much scoring. Jones split playing time fairly evenly with Forsett last season,will likely look to split the backfield duties 60/40 with Forsett doing most of the heavy lifting and Jones playing the Warrick Dunn role. Jones will have a decent chance to crack 1,000 yards rushing this season, but don’t expect more than a handful of touchdowns.

So weighing in what Seahawks running back will rush for a thousands yards Justin Forsett.

Read More at Seahawks Fans Blog

Golden Tate Signs With the Seahawks

Golden Tate Sure Marple Bars

The Seattle Seahawks and second-round draft pick Golden Tate have agreed to terms on a contract.

Tate confirmed the news via Twitter, posting: “Praise God!!! Terms and conditions have been reached for the seattle seahawks! Let’s play ball!”

The National Football Post is reporting the contract is for four years and $3.261 million, including $1.471 million guaranteed.

Tate concluded a standout career at Notre Dame by winning the Biletnikoff Award last year as the nation’s top wide receiver in his junior season.

He was voted a consensus First-Team All-American after racking up 1,496 yards and 15 touchdowns on 93 receptions for the Irish. In doing so, he set new single-season Notre Dame marks for catches and receiving yards and added a pair of rushing TDs as well as a punt return for a score.

Taken 60th overall in April’s draft, the 5-foot-10, 199-pound 21-year-old ended his tenure at Notre Dame ranked second in touchdown receptions (26), tied for third in receptions (157) and second with 4,130 all-purpose yards despite playing just three years. Tate amassed a school-record 15 career 100- yard receiving games.

Read more articles on the Flight of the Seahawks

Breaking News: Leiweke Resign as Ceo Of the Seahawks.

Tod Leiweke resigned as CEO of Paul Allen’s Vulcan Sports and Entertainment on Monday, leaving the arm that oversees ownership of the Seattle Seahawks, Portland Trail Blazers and Seattle Sounders FC just days before the Seahawks begin training camp.

Leiweke is leaving the Pacific Northwest after seven years, jumping at the opportunity to become a part-owner and oversee the daily operations of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. For the 50-year-old executive, the chance to return to hockey and have a stake in the franchise outweighed his current position overseeing three organizations under one umbrella.

“This was a hard decision. I was trying to tell my kids you get to a certain point in life where a dream comes true and that dream as a lifelong hockey fan was a chance to work with this great guy in Jeff Vinik, and Steve Yzerman and be a minority owner,” Leiweke said at an afternoon news conference. “With that dream came some asterisks and the asterisk is I’ve given this place everything I’ve had and we’ve built something special here and walking away from that, those are the things that do keep you awake at night.”

Read more at Flight of the Seahawks

2010 NFL Preview: Seattle Seahawks

by Ryan Lester

Written on June 28, 2010

I expect Pete Carroll to be successful with the Seahawks…eventually. They just don’t have the pieces in place for it to happen right away.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule: Difficult
The Seahawks take on the Niners in San Francisco in Week 14, then they play the Falcons at home. They have a nice matchup against Tampa Bay in Week 16, but it’s on the road. Plus, how many Seahawks are you going to rely on in the fantasy championship.

Five Star Fantasy Options

Four Star Fantasy Options
John Carlson — Somebody has to catch the ball. Carlson has been effective despite the Seahawks struggles, averaging 53 catches for 600 yards and six TDs the past two seasons.

Three Star Fantasy Options

Two Star Fantasy Options
Justin Forsett — For now, Forsett is probably the best option. If Leon Washington is healthy or Marshawn Lynch is acquired, you can all but write Forsett off. Until then, he’s the best option they have in the running game. He’s also a good receiver out of the backfield. Very quick and elusive.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh — Housh had a choice between the Seahawks and the Vikings last year. I wonder if he’d still go for the money if he could do it over again. He has good hands and size so he’ll have some moments. He’s just not in a good situation. He is playing with either an old or an inexperienced QB. There isn’t much of a running game to keep defenses honest. There aren’t a lot of other receivers to keep defenses from keying in on him.
Golden Tate — As long as he isn’t too tempted by late night snack runs, Tate should have some moments along the way, but consistency will be an issue.
Seahawks Defense/Special Teams — If Washington returns to form, the Seahawks will have a strong return game. Their defense should improve with rookie Earl Thomas’ arrival.

One Star Fantasy Options
Matt Hasselbeck — He’s old. He can’t stay healthy. He has very few options in the passing game. If you’re taking Hasselbeck as your QB2, you may be drafting the name.

Charlie Whitehurst — He’s going to get his snaps so Carroll can see what he has. It’s hard to gauge a QB that has never taken a snap at this level. When you have a bad line, non-existent running game, and limited options at WR, you can’t get too excited over his prospects.
Julius Jones & Leon Washington — Jones bores me to tears while Washington must prove his back from a horrific leg injury. Jones will have a few solid games if he gets 15-20 carries, but they will be few and far between. Forsett’s skill set is similar to Washington, which could limit his fantasy impact.
Deon Butler — Butler has good speed, but will likely be fighting for crumbs after Carlson, Housh, and Tate have been fed.

Half Star Fantasy Options

Louis Rankin & Quinton Ganther — Since the Seahawks’ RB situation is so cloudy, this duo should at least be mentioned. They could get meaningful carries at some point of the season. That said, You surely don’t need to draft them unless they ascend up the depth charts (unlikely) during Training Camp.
Deion Branch — Branch has had too many injuries to be a factor any more.

article can be found on Bleacher Report by Ryan Lester

Seattle Seahawks rebuilding checklist pluses and minus.

With a five-week break between the last minicamp and the start of training camp, it might seem like a good time to offer judgments on the status of the Seattle Seahawks’ reconstruction project.

Better? Worse? Hey, I’m not laying down any chips while the dealer is still shuffling the deck.

When the PR staff put together a fresh roster before Wednesday’s minicamp practice, 42 of the 85 guys listed were new to the team. But by the time the list reached our hands, a couple more transactions had been made.

When he got into town last winter, coach Pete Carroll predicted as much. And because the team he was taking over had been 5-11, who would object to his eager rearranging of the furniture?

“We just want to get a new look and build off the strengths of what we have, and let’s see if we can keep pushing it,” Carroll said at the minicamp.

And the Seahawks are not done pushing; Carroll said he easily could imagine another half-dozen moves before the start of the season.

How has all this positioned the team for training camp that starts at the end of July? And where are the areas where the most ground needs to be gained?

The first big move Carroll and general manager John Schneider made was trading for San Diego’s third-string quarterback, Charlie Whitehurst. At that point, the team had so many holes to fill, we fairly asked: Was this the place to start?

Starter Matt Hasselbeck responded exactly as any new staff could wish, by solidifying his position and status as starter and team leader. By later adding former first-round pick J.P. Losman, the Hawks seem well-insured if Hasselbeck suffers further health issues.

Who’s No. 2, Whitehurst or Losman? If nothing else, the issue could enliven the exhibition-season schedule.

Who does Hasselbeck pass to? T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch missed much of the offseason and minicamps getting over surgeries, which leaves question marks. But Mike Williams’ career rehab seems to be progressing, and at 6-foot-5, he seems to be a great red zone target at the very least.

The wild card will be the progress of rookie Golden Tate, who may be raw in some respects, but has just kept proving himself as a guy who can make big plays, a quality all-too rare the past couple seasons.

The one man who has the most ground to cover before games get serious in September is rookie first-round pick Russell Okung, who has to take over for presumptive Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones.

The sixth player taken in the draft, Okung is being tossed into the deep end, and his advancement will be critical to whether the Seahawks can score more than their anemic 2009 average of 17.5 points a game.

Carroll has been non-committal on the running back issue, too, as the injury rehab of Leon Washington through camp will affect the Julius Jones/Justin Forsett balance of carries. Maybe this turns into a committee effort.

Who, if anybody, will generate a pass rush? To be determined in August.

At linebacker, will Leroy Hill get out of the doghouse for his off-field behavior? … Will Lofa Tatupu return to full health? … Will Aaron Curry approach his potential? If nothing else, voluble linebacker coach Ken Norton Jr. will be all over anybody not putting out enough effort at that position.

And will the Seahawks actually enter the season with the curious pairing of rookie Earl Thomas and 15-year-veteran Lawyer Milloy as starting safeties?

As Carroll warned at the end of minicamp: “We have a long way to go” before having to make the final cuts to 53.

He has a phrase he likes to use whenever the question of competition for a position is raised: “Let the games begin.”

Clearly, there will be plenty of the little games before the real and important ones begin in September.