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NFL Pre Season Week One In the Books

It’s here (and it’s about time)! The pro football season officially got moving over the weekend with a full slate of preseason action. Even though the games don’t count in the standings, there is plenty happening on the field and on the sidelines that have relevance for the regular season – and for next week.

For instance, the Seahawks failed to cover against Tennessee, but they did get a win for new Coach Pete Carroll while rolling up 322 yards. Carroll had hinted all week that he wanted to win in preseason and QB Charlie Whitehurst threw for 214 yards. Carroll bolted from the edge of the field to the bench in the second quarter to congratulate the defense following a three-and-out stop in the second quarter. He had a hug for Whitehurst for his first TD throw. Who says preseason is meaningless? Not the emotional Carroll.

Of note is that Seattle’s pass defense was shaky, a problem last season, and pass pressure is still the biggest question mark on Seattle’s defense. With Saturday’s victory, Seattle now has won its past six exhibition games. Seattle was undefeated in exhibition games last season, which didn’t do much to prevent the Seahawks’ 5-11 belly flop in the regular season.

The Patriots got a win over the Saints after building up a 24-7 lead. The offense has new looks – not just with personnel, but with a slight change of strategy. Last season the Patriots relied heavily on wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker to carry the offense. QB Tom Brady went to the shotgun a lot, too. Sports Betting at the Sportsbook

What they showed in the preseason opener is that there appears to be a slight change in philosophy. Brady was far more under center than usual and they used 2 and even 3 tight ends at times. Part of that was that they drafted two potentially talented tight ends in Rob Grankowski and Aaron Hernandez, while adding veteran TE Alge Crumpler.

The Patriots were a weak red zone team last season and it’s clear they want to spread the football around more, possibly run more and use the tight ends in an attempt to bolster their red zone efficiency. In the preseason opener, they were 6 of 13 on third down and very strong in the red zone.

What team looked the worst? Let’s call it a tie with the Lions, Rams and Bills, three bottom feeders from last season. The Lions lost 23-7 at Pittsburgh, though there was room for optimism. Detroit outgained the Steelers and held Pittsburgh to 3.3 yards per rush. With the starting defensive line on the field, the Steelers offense gained 12 yards.

The Rams got flattened at home by the Vikings and the big story was not Sam Bradford but the St. Louis offensive line, which looks as bad as ever. Bradford’s NFL debut consisted of six completions in 13 attempts for 57 yards and a passer rating of 58.8. But the real story came in all the hits Bradford absorbed by the Minnesota pass rush. Bradford was sacked four times and hit at least three other times. “We had some issues up front,” Steve Spagnuolo said. So, what else is new?

The Buffalo Bills’ backfield took a major hit as running backs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch were hurt early in the 42-17 preseason-opening loss to the Washington Redskins. Jackson is believed to have a broken left hand, while Lynch hobbled off with an injured ankle. Jackson’s injury is the most serious as head coach Chan Gailey said Jackson will miss the rest of the preseason. Gailey has been demanding a tough, physical game, and it’s taking a toll as they are loaded with injured players.

The final word of the weekend goes to the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff, who punished receivers by sending them to the toilet. Kansas City coaches hauled a mobile outhouse onto the practice field and told pass catchers to go in, have a seat and close the door. The port-a-potty was used for a unique kind of pass-catching drill that players, suppressing a laugh, hailed as effective in developing some quick hand-eye coordination.

The Chiefs, you see, led the NFL in dropped passes a year ago. Assistant head coach Maurice Carthon, who introduced the Chiefs to the port-a-potty drill, stood about 10 feet away and shouted to another coach when to fling open the door. The second the door opened, Carthon fired the pass and it was on the player to hang on.”It teaches you hand-eye coordination,” rookie wide receiver Dexter McCluster said. So if they bounce the football to them would it be a one-hopper in the hopper? Just asking.

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Seahawks not interested in Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens can’t catch a break. The man has scored 144 NFL touchdowns in his career but nobody seems to want to sign him.

Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll was on the staff of the San Francisco 49ers back in 1996 when the team drafted Owens. But Carroll apparently isn’t looking back through rose-colored glasses. He told ESPN that the Seahawks aren’t planning to sign Owens even if his two main receivers — T.J. Houshmandzadeh, 32, and Deion Branch, 31 — are both coming back from offseason surgeries and are relative oldsters in the league.

“We won’t be able to do that this time around,” he told the site. “We’re going to continue to work with the guys we’ve got. … I think our situation is OK with where we are.”

Marshawn Lynch Could be coming to the Seattle Seahawks!

NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora is reporting that the Seattle Seahawks have interest in trading for Bills running back Marshawn Lynch.

lynchLynch certainly wouldn’t be upset about a trade to Seattle. Yahoo sports is reporting the Bills want a second-round draft choice for Lynch.

Earlier reports have stated that Lynch has yet to even introduce himself to his new Bills head coach Chan Gailey. Others have reported that Lynch is skipping all Bills offseason activities in protest for the Bills for not trading him earlier.

At this time last year, though he was facing a three-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after he was charged with a concealed weapon charge in Feb of ’09, things were generally looking good for Lynch. He was entering his 3rd season in the NFL, and had already put up 2,000 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons.

Just one year later, here we are, and both Lynch and the Bills are going a completely different directions. Lynch lost his starting job to Fred Jackon last year. Jackson proceeded to run for over 1,000 yards in his first year of any significant playing time, verifying Lynch as the backup. On draft day Lynch’s future with the Bills starting only looking shorter when the Bills drafted running back C.J. Spiller in the first-round of the draft.

The one person who could prevent Lynch from becoming a Seahawk may be a man he has yet to meet; Chan Gailey. According to La Canfora, Gailey is determined to prove to his new team that he is the man in charge in Buiffalo.

No matter how hard-headed Gailey may be, keeping Lynch on the roster just doesn’t make sense at this point.

The Bills used their first-round draft pick of the draft on a running back for a reason. Keeping three quality running backs on a roster with one begging to be set free will only hurt the Bills in the long run. The Bills, might as well grant Lynch’s wishes now, and at the very least get a draft pick in return for doing so.

The New Scheme Seattle Seahawks Defense!

What is LEO?
I’m starting to hear more and more about this scheme, and wondered if any of you run, coach or have seen anyone in high school and/or college using this alignment. I know West Virginia uses this defense.

This scheme is still relatively rare right now on the college level according to articles I’ve read.

Its strength lies in the flexibility to combat both ground-oriented and spread oriented teams with the following personell:

3 DLs, 3 LBs and 5 DBs

The general front is a 3-3 Stack. The three LBs line up directly over the DL, and that’s why it’s call a Stack. The nose tackle almost always lines up directly over the center except for a special front variation. The stack concept is from the old school, and mixed with the 5 DB deployment of the new. I guess you could call it the defensive equivalent to the Spread Option on offense…mixing past with present to form an innovative scheme.

Base alignment vs. the standard I formation:

Personally, I really like the scheme given the pressure you can apply on offenses with the disguise the stack gives you in addition to the added speed and playmaking ability of an extra defensive back. Extremely flexible and a break from the more traditional alignments on defense.

Two of the five DBs will be strong safeties (DB-LB hybrid types). In this scheme, they’re usually referred to as Rovers/Gators/Bandits. I think this really lends to the aggressive and deceptive qualities of the defense because the Rovers can be easily used as blitzers, and also in pass coverage.

It’s also fairly easy to morph from the 3-3-5 into another front without having to make personell changes.

Of course, you need a very active and effective DL to maximize the potential of any 3 DL front otherwise you open yourself up to problems in the ground game specifically. Those leaks can turn into cascades because you put too much pressure on the rest of the defense. Any good defense (run or pass) starts up front with strong DL play.

I’m a fan of attack oriented, physical defenses and that’s why this scheme appeals to me. 40 Canes is another favorite of mine; made famous by the Miami Hurricanes of course. 4-3 front with physical Cover 2 Man secondary coverage.

I could envision the 3-3-5 becoming part of the high school answer to defending the more wide open offenses we see each season. At the HS level, you can face everything from the Wing T to the various Spread forms so it’s obviously very important to employ a more flexible scheme on defense. It’s very tough to find a true DE, and I think that’s also a contributing factor to more teams moving to a 3 DL set up in addition to the need for more speed on the field to combat modern day talent

Dispite T.O character hampering his job Seahawks would be good fit.

NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche reported last month that several teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, made preliminary calls about Owens this offseason, but the receiver wouldn’t reveal his suitors Friday.

“There are some teams out there that have created some interest,” Owens said. “And a few of those teams asked to be anonymous — I know Seattle has come out and said they were interested — so other than that, we’re just waiting for the right opportunity.

Owens, 36, had just 55 receptions for 829 yards and five touchdowns with the Bills last season, but he has 1,006 catches for 14,951 yards and 144 TDs during his 14-year NFL career. Despite those numbers, the feeling around the NFL is that Owens will not sign until a team desparately needs a receiver, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported Thursday.

La Canfora reported that he recently talked to a general manager “who is running a team that a lot of people would say has need for a wide receiver” and that executive said his club isn’t targeting Owens. The GM also doesn’t see a team being interested in the receiver until an injury occurs.

Owens said he doesn’t have a problem competing for a roster spot. He also acknowledged he might not find a team until training camps begin in late July.

“I know there’s a process where teams have drafted players, they’re looking at free agents,” Owens said. “They have to go through minicamps, the OTAs and eventually into training camp, and there are some things that may transpire. There are 32 teams out there, so you never know what could happen. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity of wherever I may play.”

What price does the Seattle Seahawks pay Terrell Owens?

The pair of rumors that refuse to go away regarding the Seahawks are their interest in a pair of Bills, current RB Marshawn Lynch, and former wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Owens recently did a sit down with the NFL Network, including an interview with Rich Eisen and offered up some vague hints regarding his future.

When asked about interest in him from around the league, initially, Owens only named the Seattle Seahawks specifically.

You can also choose to interpret this how you please, but when he mentioned the Seahawks, he did not use past tense in describing his contact with them as has been previously reported.

Later in the interview when asked directly if he would like to play with Donovan McNabb, Owens was very open about his desire to team up with him again– That leaves the Seahawks and Redskins as the only teams he would confirm that have interest/he is interested in.

When asked about the possibility that asking for too much money may be a factor as to why he is still jobless, Owens refuted that notion; stating he wants to at least be a No. 2 receiver and be compensated as one, but that the contract figure is without a doubt negotiable.

Factor in that John Schneider didn’t rule out signing Owens entirely, and connecting all of these tidbits does lead to some plausible speculation that interest could be less mild then speculated.

I am still wary about his impact in helping this team reach the playoffs in 2010, we’re in a full blown rebuilding mode, and it isn’t likely to happen that quickly.

And what sort of message would it be sending after we cut ties with LenDale White; going from a questionable work ethic to a controversial guy like Owens?

Sure, getting to watch another fading future Hall of Famer would be sort of cool, sure, go grab his jersey, I have a Jerry Rice one.

Don’t get your hopes high, and if he does sign here. the Seahawks are still in the rebuild mode but it does give a play maker in the wide receiver positions.

The possibility of Marshawn Lynch coming to Seattle

After releasing running back LenDale White, the Seattle Seahawks could be looking to bolster their running back group.

Allen Wilson of the Buffalo News reports the Seahawks explored a trade for Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch before the NFL Draft in April, but the price was too steep for Seattle.

lynchNow it appears that Lynch is not at Bills workouts, meaning there is friction between him and the team.

Reports say Lynch remains in good shape despite missing voluntary workouts with the team this offseason.

Lynch is a power running back and would replace White’s expected production well if the Seahawks chose to pursue that option. One hinderance is that Seattle is already without a third-round pick in the 2011 draft after trading the pick as part of an earlier deal for quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.

Lynch is 24 and has played three seasons with Buffalo since he was drafted with the 12th overall pick in 2007.

His production dipped in 2009 after two straight seasons of 1,000-plus yards and a yards per carry average over 4.0.

Last season he served a three-game suspension after a guilty plea to a misdemeanor gun possession charge. When he returned to the field, he lost carries to Fred Jackson and his production suffered. Lynch rushed 120 times for 450 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 28 passes for 179 yards.

Current Seahawks running back Justin Forsett could be a potential draw to Seattle for Lynch as the two roomed together when they both played at California.