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NFC West Team Breakdown: Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks helmet

Image via Wikipedia

With only nine wins combined over the last two seasons the Seattle Seahawks went to work in the offseason, overhauling both the roster and the coaching staff.  With the NFC West wide open this year the Seahawks are hoping the changes have an immediate impact.

Pete Carroll returns to coach in the NFL for the first time since 1999 and while he put together one of the great college programs of the 2000’s he has his work cut out for him in Seattle.  A big first step toward getting back to the playoffs will be protecting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.  The veteran missed nine games in 2008 was healthier in ’09 but he still missed two games.  Hasselbeck was pressured way too much in ’09 and certainly the protection couldn’t be any worse than the final four games of 2009 when Hasselbeck was sacked 10 times and threw 10 interceptions.  To strengthen the line Seattle drafted tackle Russell Okung and signed guards Chester Pitts and Ben Hamilton.  Certainly the Seahawks don’t lack the weaponry with TJ Houshmandzadeh and tight end John Carlson.  The Seahawks also drafted flashy Golden Tate and are hoping to revive the career of Mike Williams.  Seattle’s once proud running game nearly washed out last year as the Seahawks ranked 26th in rushing and scored just seven touchdowns on the ground.  Looking to add a spark to the Julius Jones-Justin Forsett backfield tandem Seattle acquired Leon Washington in the offseason.

The next step in Seattle’s rebuilding project is to put more playmakers on the field.  Patrick Kerney led the team in sacks with a mere five however he retired in the offseason.  Deon Grant led the secondary with just three interceptions but in the offseason Grant signed with the Giants.  To help fix the secondary the Seahawks used one of two first round picks on safety Earl Thomas.  Seattle will need Thomas after routinely getting picked apart by opposing quarterbacks.  Much of the focus should be on Seattle’s linebackers.  MLB David Hawthorne led the team in tackles, registered four sacks and picked off three passes.  The Seahawks are also looking for more from 2009 first round pick Aaron Curry.  Not surprising, Seattle was much better defending the run.

Hasselbeck is now the dean of NFC West quarterbacks and the Seahawks need a full season from him.  The revamped offensive line should help keep Hasselbeck upright.  On defense the Seahawks need Thomas and Curry to jell quickly.  After two tours of duty in the NFL Carroll needs to prove he can be as successful in the pros as he was at USC.  It’s not far fetched to think the Seahawks can compete in the division if they stay healthy.This could be an eight or a nine win team which just might be enough to win the watered-down West.

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Charlie Whitehurst: The Future Of The Seahawks?

While the Tennessee Titans were worried about their rookie Stafon Johnson, Seattle stood across the field and watched as their team barged through to a victory. The preseason games have provided a look at a lot of players and if the numbers are correct, NFL fans are anxious to see the actual season get underway. Fortunately for Seattle, the end result was rewarding. Charlie Whitehurst did everything that was expected of him on the field and managed to set a few records along the way.

This upcoming superstar quarterback threw for almost 215 yards and appeared to be thankful for the opportunity and the ability. Seattle’s quarterback indicated that this was far and away the best preseason game he had played in his five years in the NFL. The quarterback ended up in Seattle two seasons ago via a trade that gave him $8 million dollars. Charlie Whitehurst led the Seahawks to a 20-18 win in the preseason match against Tennessee and will now prepare for the next team on the ladder.

Two touchdown passes put the game out of reach for the Titans and first year coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have been any more excited. Seattle starter Matt Hasslebeck played before handing over the reigns to someone else for the rest of the game. The popularity surrounding the Seahawks quarterback and their back up should put their fans in an extremely happy place. Charlie Whitehurst has proven he is no shabby apple and folks better wake up and take note of his skills.

Seahawks beat Titans, 20-18

There was a perfectly executed opening drive, a solid start for quarterback Vince Young, and some gritty play from the defense that was without several starters.

Young also threw an interception, however, and some guys competing for starting roles gave up some big plays.

In many ways it was a typical preseason opener. The Titans lost this one to the Seahawks, 20-18.

“I feel like we did all right out there,’’ Young said. “I made a mistake. … But as a whole I thought we did good for the first time out there.’’

Young was sharp on the opening drive and running back Chris Johnson scored a one-yard touchdown. Young completed his first five passes — including going 4-for-4 for 70 yards on the opening drive — as the Titans took a 7-0 lead just over five minutes into the game.

On the next possession, Young made a big blunder and Seahawks cornerback Josh Wilson intercepted a poorly thrown ball intended for Justin Gage.

Young was 5-of-6 for 78 yards in 13 snaps. Johnson was done after one series, 10 plays. He had five carries for seven yards — six of those on his first carry.

“It felt good to get back out there for a few runs,’’ Johnson said. “We got a couple of runs in there, but we still have some work to do together. I think we’ll get things going more and more as the preseason goes on, and we’ll be ready when it matters.’’

The defensive starters held Seattle to one first down on its first two possessions. But the defense gave up a number of big plays in the second quarter, and the Seahawks opened up a 20-7 lead after three quarters.

Seahawks Training Camp Update

With all of the roster turnover the Seahawks have gone through this offseason, they still are relying one player connected with the winning ways the team experienced during the Mike Holmgren years to help lead them back to respectability.

Veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck continues to look impressive in the first days of training camp. The team has been giving Hasselbeck, who turns 35 in September, regular days off to keep his arm fresh.

The move also allows newcomer Charlie Whitehurst to get some much-needed work with the first unit. Received in a trade with the San Diego Chargers and given a two-year, $8 million deal to compete for the starting job with Hasselbeck, Whitehurst has been inconsistent at times for the Seahawks.

That’s to be expected for a former third-string quarterback stepping into a new system. However, Hasselbeck has picked up intricacies of new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates’ system quickly, and has looked liked the polished quarterback during Seattle’s glory days so far in camp.

“He really came out in command of what’s going on and made the whole thing work well today,” Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said about Hasselbeck’s first day of training camp.

Hasselbeck said so far the change Carroll has brought with him has been good for this team that only has won nine games in two seasons.

“Everything feels different this year,” he said. “Pete came in and just really wanted to change the culture, and it’s not that our culture was bad or anything like that. It’s just that this culture he’s trying to establish here is so much different.

“Take the crowd and the fans as an example. You never come out and not play in front of a crowd, so he’s trying to make things as game-like as possible. Whenever you’re out there stretching there’s music, he’s trying to make it like a game.”

Also helping the Seahawks get going this training camp is getting all of the rookie draft picks in camp.

Read more at Seahawks Fans Blog

Seahawks report: Strategy and personnel breakdown

After a dizzying number of moves during the offseason the Seahawks’ personnel office and general manager John Schneider are finally narrowing their focus on working to get down to a 53-man roster for the regular season.

However, the team continues to be mentioned amid speculation that San Diego restricted free agent Vincent Jackson could be available via trade. Jackson is unhappy with his team’s current offer and is threatening to sit out the season.

Jackson is a big, strong receiver who creates match-up problems for smaller corners. However, the Seahawks might already have someone with a similar skill set if Mike Williams continues to perform well.

Read More At Seahawks Fans Blog

Devastation is now a $21M ‘dream’ for Seahawks 1st-round pick Earl Thomas

Earl Thomas doesn’t need a financial adviser to tell him what he should do with the $21.1 million, five-year contract — including $12.32 million guaranteed — that the Seattle Seahawks gave the 14th overall draft choice late Saturday night.
He doesn’t need to be reminded why, as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says of Thomas, “he’s really serious about his football.”
The 21-year-old safety already has a large chunk destined for a new house for his parents, to replace the one destroyed in 2005 when hurricane Rita ripped through Orange, Texas.
Moving his parents out of a tiny bedroom in his grandparents’ place in Orange is the reason Thomas left the University of Texas two years early.
“It’s just a dream come true. I’m happy for my family and for the whole Orange, Texas, back home,” he said Sunday after his first practice of training camp.
Since the hurricane, his parents have lived cramped inside a tiny bedroom that Thomas says should be the living space for a small child. It’s inside Thomas’ grandparents house in Orange, a border town with Louisiana off Interstate 10 between Lake Charles and Beaumont. His grandfather is a pastor at the Sixth Street Community Church there.
Now, after years of his folks taking care of him, Thomas can begin taking care of them. His parents have already browsed the housing market in and around Orange. But now that their son’s deal is done, Thomas says shopping can turn into buying.

Read More At Seahawks Fans Blog

Seahawks signed first-round pick Earl Thomas to a 5-year

Earl Thomas Signs A five year Deal

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter’s Twitter account, first rounder Earl Thomas has now signed with the team.

Just shy of 10pm this evening, Schefter tweeted:

“Filed to ESPN: Seahawks signed first-round pick Earl Thomas to a 5-year, $21.1 million deal that includes $12.32 million guaranteed.”

Entering the 2010 NFL Draft at just 20 years old, Earl Thomas was one of the youngest, and most talented options on the board this year.

Selected by the Seahawks in the first round with the 14th overall pick, the team expects great things from the Texas redshirt sophomore.

At 5’10″, 202 lbs, some have questioned his size for a top round pick, but his versatility and ability to adapt lessen the concern.

His bio reads:

“A collegiate strong safety, he has shown the man coverage skills to make a successful move to cornerback. With his natural hands and ball-hawking skills, along with playmaking ability, Thomas could be the perfect solution for a team looking for a game-changing type of free safety.”

And a game-changing player is exactly what the Seahawks need right now.

So what will Earl Thomas do with his newfound wealth? He plans to purchase his father, Earl, and mother, Debbie, a new home after theirs was destroyed by Hurricane Rita. Says Thomas, “A house for them will be one of the first things I purchase.”

You can follow Earl Thomas on Twitter here.