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Lions acquire DE Jackson from Seahawks for 2011 draft pick

The Seattle Seahawks traded defensive end Lawrence Jackson to the Detroit Lions for an undisclosed draft pick in 2011.

One day after Jackson admitted he was in limbo in Seattle, the Seahawks announced Wednesday that they had traded away the lineman, who was 28th overall selection in the 2008 NFL Draft. Seahawks general manager John Schneider wasn’t on the job when the team drafted Jackson out of USC.

Neither was Pete Carroll, Jackson’s former coach at USC, nor the rest of the Seahawks’ defensive staff. They are installing schemes that call for ends to be run stuffers or fast pass rushers, and Jackson has demonstrated he is neither.

Jackson becomes the latest arrival on the Lions’ revamped defensive line. Veteran tackle Kyle Vanden Bosch and Ndamukong Suh, the second overall pick in April’s draft, arrived earlier to help rescue the NFL’s worst defense.

In Seattle, former tackle Red Bryant has moved his 335-plus pounds to end on one side of the starting defense. The Seahawks also acquired former part-time linebacker Chris Clemons from the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason to be their pass-rushing end, then grabbed 315-pound defensive tackle and end Kentwan Balmer from the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers on Monday.

Jackson, who returned to practice Tuesday after missing one week with a hamstring injury, sensed he lost his place in the Seahawks’ defense this summer. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder wasn’t big enough to be a run-stopping end, and he isn’t yet enough of a proven pass rusher to become a specialist.

“I’m kind of in the middle of both extremes,” Jackson said after Tuesday’s practice. “Everything is still up in the air right now.”

Not anymore. Jackson is headed to the Lions, cast off for a draft pick as Carroll and Schneider continue to turn over the Seahawks’ roster, half of which has changed since they took over in January.

The pick the Seahawks receive from the Lions likely will be in the same low round next year as the one the Seahawks dealt to the 49ers to acquire Balmer, who was drafted one choice behind Jackson in 2008.

Jackson started 24 of 31 games in his two seasons with the Seahawks. He had a career-high 4½ sacks during the 2009 season.

“Detroit showed strong interest in Lawrence, and this provides him an opportunity to move forward while he is still early in his career,” Schneider said in a statement released by the Seahawks. “We wish him the best.”

The Seahawks filled Jackson’s roster spot before Wednesday’s practice by signing Amon Gordon, a free-agent defensive tackle. Gordon, 28, went to Mariner High School in the Seattle suburb of Everett before leaving for San Diego before his senior year.

Gordon called being back home for the first time since high school “absolutely awesome.”

Gordon initially was a 270-pound linebacker at Stanford before he entered the NFL with the Cleveland Browns in 2004. He then had microfracture knee surgery and bounced to the Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans through 2008. Gordon reached an injury settlement with the Eagles last year and was with the New England Patriots for workouts this offseason.

The Lions made a series of moves Wednesday, also claiming kicker Steven Hauschka and defensive back T.J. Rushing off waivers and cutting kicker Aaron Pettrey and cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels.


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.

Big returns on a little wrinkle by Clare Farnsworth

The more Pete Carroll sees of Red Bryant at defensive end, the more the Seahawks coach likes the idea of giving the converted tackle a chance to make the defense bigger – and better

Since taking over as coach of the Seahawks in January, Pete Carroll has made enough adjustments to the roster and tweaks to the lineup to qualify for his chiropractor’s license.

None, however, have been bigger than giving Red Bryant a shot at playing defensive end.

The 330-pound Bryant has played sparingly at defensive tackle since being selected in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL draft. But his position, and participation, could be in for an overhaul if Bryant can play as well at end as once the pads go on as he has the past three weeks in practice.

“Probably of all the little things we have looked at and trying to experiment and such, that is the one thing that looks to be really, really positive,” Carroll said Monday after the team’s third OTA practice, but the first with the rookies participating.

What started as a why-not idea by defensive line coach Dan Quinn is blossoming into a possible look-what-we-found move.

Carroll likes to play a little lighter and a lot faster at the opposite end – a position he calls “Leo” and is being manned by 254-pound Chris Clemons. To make it really work, however, there must be some bulk on the other side – the end position that plays across from the tight end.

That’s where Bryant’s size could give the Seahawks a hefty advantage.

“The other end in the system really needs to be a very effective run defender first,” Carroll said. “We always want to rush the passer out of the defensive ends. But in the status we are in right now in the program, we have to get the five-technique position filled up with a guy that we know can play the running game.”

And the 6-foot-4 Bryant can fill that role. As Carroll put it, “If we were able to man the defensive end with a guy that weighs 330 pounds that is a good thing.” Then he cracked, “That is, if we can get Red down to 330. We are working on it.”

This the-bigger-the-better approach is an abrupt change for the Seahawks, who have played light at the end position for several seasons. The past three years, just-retired Patrick Kerney, a 272-pounder, was paired with either Lawrence Jackson (270), a first-round draft choice in 2008; or Darryl Tapp (270), who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in March for Clemons and a fourth-round draft choice the club used to select 289-pound defensive end E.J. Wilson.

Jackson still is around, and played for Carroll at USC.

“The coaches are trying to figure things out,” he said. “And I’m trying to figure out the best way to prepare myself to perform, at whatever role they put me in. I’m a professional, so I’ve got to be able to do it.”

Whatever “it” eventually might be.

The coaches also can use Bryant and Jackson is running situations to maximize the bulk factor. In passing situations, they can go smaller and dip into a group of pass-rushers that include Clemmons and fellow ends Nick Reed, Dexter Davis and Ricky Foley, as well as linebacker Aaron Curry.

The wild card in all this potential shuffling is Bryant.

“You see we’ve moved some guys around,” Carroll said. “We’re trying to figure it out with Red Bryant over there right now. He’s been a very bright side of this change right now. We never thought of him as a defensive end when we came in here.”

Until Bryant forced them to think again.

“He’s worked really hard in the offseason program and he seems to be moving well and has taken to the position,” Carroll said.

Bryant would take to any suggestion that will get him on the field more after being active for 10 games in his first two seasons.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” he said. “Any way I can help the team, any way I can get on the field, I’m going to take advantage of it.”

So far, better than good.

“We have a chance to find a lot of plays out of Red,” Carroll said. “He’s done a very, very good job. I know he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. He feels good about himself and he knows his stuff and he’s looked effective.

“Until we get the pads on, we won’t know though.”