Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Blog Is The Bomb!

by: William P. Tomisser

Hey, the new blog is great huh. I wanted to congratulate Michale and Chris for getting it up and running and giving us Addicts an improved place to come and hang out together. It takes a little time to get familiar with the controls but well worth the effort.

The new Forum part of Seahawk Addicts gives us a chance to stay focused on one thread and really get into the issues. I missed that from the USENET days where everything was thread based and discussions didn't wander all over the place. It's truly the best of both worlds.

I'm sure I speak for all the Addicts out here when I say that we really appreciate the effort, the site, and especially to be able to come and talk Seahawk football with other fans who are rabid as we are.

Thanks Michael and Chris.



END Read More!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

New and Improved SA up and Running

by: Michael Steffes

If for some reason you are still using the blogspot address, then we salute you for being a reader for so long.

However, we have a new and improved version of the site up and running at...

Please head there for updated info and news.

END Read More!

Mora faces Week 1 Uphill Battle

by: Chris Sullivan

While a lot of us have looked at our week one opponent (St Louis Rams) and jumped for joy, I thought it might be worth taking a look at how the Seahawks' new coaches have performed in their first game with the team. The results were, uh, less than marvelous. Take a look:





W / L































The only coach to win his first game was McCormack, who took over in Week 3 for Patera and did not actually have any adjusting or rebuilding internally to deal with as almost all coaches do. 


Now, history is history and I, for one, believe that the Seahawks are a much better team this year than they have been in the past. This is thanks in large part to Holmgren, Tim Ruskell and Paul Allen. Jim Mora Jr also came on two years ago and asserted himself to the players as a leader and a fixture on the team. That should help him lead this team more efficiently from day one.

However. If I was a betting man and had no ties to the Hawks, I might think twice before betting my wife on the Hawks in week one. 

Read More!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Reading Wrap-Up

by: Chris Sullivan

Hey guys, it's a bit of a busy morning for me and important golf is occupying Steffes' time. I thought I'd point out a few bits of interesting reading material for you, in lieu of getting a real post up:

Danny O'Neil reports the Hawks signed no tryout players.

Eric Williams has a nice video of Hasselbeck and an overall interesting read on a lot of the guys including Nate Burleson, Colin Cole and you. Okay, not you.

Housh has been dominant in red zone drills thus far and does seem to be clicking with Matty H. Hat tip to realspd for bringing this to our attention.

Jeff Richards over at Next Season Sports has a nice write-up on Mike Teel, the Hawks' 6th round draft pick. Not the most optimistic write-up, but nice nonetheless.

Greg Johns from spoke with the Seahawks' running back tandem. They've got a lot to prove, but hey, at least they know it.

END Read More!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Report: Levi Jones Not Visiting Seattle

by: Mike Parker

It's just been posted by Mike Sando that LT Levi Jones will not visit Seattle after all.

So that pretty much wraps up the debate on whether or not the Hawks are comfortable with their offensive line. I'd have to say it looks pretty deep for now, but it remains to be seen who the difference-makers are going to be. Levi Jones had no experience in a zone blocking scheme, and it appears as though Walter Jones is healthy -- or at least, on the mend.

Sando even gave a shout to Steffes in this post. Well played, good sir.

END Read More!

First Victory of the Year

by: Michael Steffes

If you go by what the professor John Clayton thinks -- and let's face it, we love the professor around these parts -- then the Seahawks have scored their first victory of 2009.

Clayton has pronounced the Seahawks the winners of the offseason:

General manager Tim Ruskell has had the league's best offseason to date because he filled needs before the draft and moved further ahead during the draft. Ruskell acquired needed size along the defensive line by getting Cory Redding and wide-body Colin Cole. An already talented linebacker corps improved with the drafting of Aaron Curry and the re-signing of Leroy Hill to a six-year contract. Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh was also a big pickup. Second-round choice Max Unger could help out at left guard and end up being the center of the future. Ken Lucas returns at right corner after four years in Carolina and adds needed size to the position. The topper was getting the Broncos' first-round pick next year, thanks to a draft-day trade.
Hard to argue with that. And we all know Clayton is about as fair to the Seahawks as any nationally focused reporter out there. Still, it is nice to receive some offseason praise. Clearly, Seahawks fans aren't the only ones who have noticed.

It is only fair to note, however, that winning the offseason does not actually equate to wins in the fall, despite how I may have titled this post. The more important moves may be the ones not mentioned by Clayton: the hirings of Jim Mora, Gus Bradley, Dan Quinn, and Gregg Knapp. It will be up to those men to make sure Ruskell's fine offseason work doesn't go to waste.

And now, I return to watching the Players' Championship, a welcome break from offseason football. END Read More!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hill's deal - Update

by: Chris Sullivan

According to Sando and PFT, Leroy Hill's "6-year $38 million" is not exactly that. Sando:

The six-year deal totals $36 million and includes no signing bonus. Hill receives $11 million in base salary over the first two years. The deal includes a $2 million option in 2010 and a $2.5 million roster bonus in 2011. Throw in the base salaries, which McIntyre and O'Neil listed, and Hill can make $36 million if he remains on the roster for all six years.
Read More!

Hawks Looking at Levi Jones

by: Michael Steffes

According to Alex Marvez of, the Seahawks have a visit lined up with former Bengals tackle Levi Jones. Jones is a talented tackle who has struggled in recent years.

This is a strange move. The Seahawks seemingly told everyone what they think about their tackle depth chart when they opted to take an interior linemen and no tackles. Mike Sando has said the team feels strongly that Walter Jones will make a full recovery. Maybe things have changed, or perhaps they saw something from Locklear they didn't like last weekend? Ray Willis would be next in line to get snaps should Jones not be healthy, or should Locklear be confined to the pine.

Levi Jones has never played in a zone blocking system, at least that I know of. He is more the prototypical left tackle guy like Walter Jones. It will be curious to see how serious the Hawks are about this move. They can't have much money left, and should they lay out some coin for Levi Jones it will totally change what many of us think about the upcoming season, and not in a good way.

And then of course, there is always this video, as if we haven't had enough problems with Joey Porter and his endless wit:
END Read More!

Leroy Hill Contract Numbers

by: Michael Steffes

Thanks to Brian McIntyre of NortwestFootball.Net. Hill's contract follows a similar trend to most contracts done this offseason: minimal signing bonus, first two years guaranteed. Hill's cap number will be higher than most hoped. Look for the team to trim some fat to make room for the rookies. Brandon Coutu becomes more and more likely to be the kicker in 2009.

END Read More!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wide Receiver Positions Explained

by: Matthew Heuett

Flanker, split end, tight end, and slot; X, Y, and Z. What do all of these terms even mean? That’s what reader Hawksince77 would like to know, and since we’re in the middle of the offseason and he was kind enough to raise the question, this seems like as good a time as any for a quick refresher course on the various receiver positions. As I go through each position, I’ll also list the players Seattle has utilized in those roles over the last several seasons and who we can expect to man those same spots in 2009.

To understand where some of these position names originated we have to go back to the old Pop Warner days of football, when the running game was everything, the ball was round and stubby, and forward passes were few and far between. Back then, the most popular offensive formation was the single-wing, which used an unbalanced line and fakes to multiple backs in order to confuse the opposing defense.

To see my poorly drawn diagrams and get in on all the hot explanation action, click on

Single-Wing Formation (from Þe Olden Tymes)

In case you’re wondering, the snap from center went to either the tailback or fullback, the quarterback was a blocking back, and the wingback and ends were primarily blockers with some receiving responsibilities (the wingback less than the ends). While this formation fell out of favor by the 1950s as more teams began to emphasize the passing game, aspects of it can still be seen in the game today. For instance, the shotgun formation is derived from the long snap to the tailback or fullback utilized by single-wing offenses, and the wildcat formation that was all the rage during the ’08 season is just a modified single-wing with a shiny new name.

It’s important to note a few key features of the single-wing formation that still hold true for football offenses today. First of all, of the eleven players on offense, by rule seven must be lined up directly on the line of scrimmage and four must be lined up at least a yard or more behind it. In addition, only the players who line up in the backfield and the outermost players on the line of scrimmage (the ends) are allowed to catch passes. That way, the defense can tell at a glance who on offense is eligible to catch passes and who is just there to block, allowing them to key in on which offensive players might need to be covered downfield. Just imagine how maddening it would be to play defense if you had to worry about guarding against trick plays where a center, guard, or tackle slips out to catch a short pass in 4th and 1 situations.

Modern 4 WR 1 TE Formation

Tight End

In the modern game, the old style ends have been replaced by two different, more specialized positions: the tight end and the split end. The tight end, sometimes referred to as the “y” receiver, lines up “tight” with (i.e. directly next to) the rest of the offensive line, usually beside the right tackle. Although the tight end position still carries with it many of the same blocking responsibilities of the old end position, star players like Kellen Winslow and Mike Ditka helped popularize the increasing use of the tight end as a receiver in the passing game. In fact, many tight ends in the league today like Kellen Winslow, Jr. and Dustin Keller are used primarily as receivers rather than blockers.

After suffering through a revolving door of injuries (Itula Mili, Ryan Hannam), busts (Jerramy Stevens), and aging stopgap measures (Marcus Pollard) over the last several seasons, Seattle is finally set at the tight end position with returning starter John Carlson. John Owens will see playing time on running downs as a blocking specialist tight end (a position previously held by Ryan Hannam and Will Heller). Depending on what they show in training camp, either rookie Cameron Morrah or perennial practice squad member Joe Newton may see some action in two tight end formations on passing downs, although given Newton’s previous two failures to make the roster I’d say the likely choice here is Morrah.

Split End

The split end, or “X” receiver, lines up directly on the line of scrimmage, but is generally placed well away from (or “split” off from) the offensive line. However, unlike the old end position, the split end is primarily a receiver, running routes on the left side of the field. Because he lines up directly on the line of scrimmage, the split end is more likely to be jammed at the line in bump & run coverage, so receivers playing this position are usually bigger, more physical players who can muscle their way out of blocks. On running plays, the split end is responsible for blocking a cornerback or safety downfield (most running plays that go for big gains are due in no small part to a receiver making a good block in the secondary).

Over the last few seasons, Seattle’s split end position has been manned primarily by Nate Burleson, D.J. Hackett, and Koren Robinson, with Logan Payne, Jordan Kent, and Billy McMullen seeing some time at the position as injury replacements. For the 2009 season, Burleson, Ben Obomanu, and rookie Deon Butler appear to be the main candidates to start at this position. However, given the physical demands of the position, Butler may be better suited to play flanker or slot receiver than split end, but I defer to the coaches’ judgment on that matter.


Next up we have the flanker, or “Z” receiver, which evolved from “flexing” out (another term for lining a player up away from the offensive line) the wingback as a receiver on passing plays. Because the flanker lines up a yard or more behind the line of scrimmage, this position favors a smaller, quicker player who can take advantage of the space between him and the cornerback to avoid being jammed at the line, although a savvy cornerback will try to neutralize this by lining up on the inside shoulder of the flanker in order to force him to juke to the outside where the cornerback can then squeeze the flanker against the sideline.

Because of this advantage, the flanker position is typically manned by a team’s #1 receiver on every play (which, incidentally, is why a defense’s top cornerback almost always plays opposite the flanker). Like the split end, the flanker is typically responsible for blocking a cornerback or safety on running plays, although because of his size he isn’t generally expected to be as effective a downfield blocker as the split end.

Deion Branch and Darrell Jackson have been the two main starters at flanker over the past few seasons, with Courtney Taylor, Bobby Engram, and Keary Colbert seeing time as injury replacements. For the 2009 season, T.J. Houshmandzadeh appears to be the favorite to start at flanker, although Branch will likely man the spot when Houshmandzadeh moves inside to the slot position in three receiver sets.

Slot Receiver

Finally, we have the slot receiver, which just like the tight end position is also sometimes referred to as the “Y” receiver. This receiver lines up a yard or more off the line of scrimmage in the space (or “slot”) between either the offensive line and the flanker or the offensive line and the split end. Like the flanker, the slot receiver position appears to have developed from flexing out a wingback as a receiver, although in this case the wingback was not flexed out quite so far.

Since the job of this position is to catch short to mid-range passes in the middle of the field, the main trait teams look for in a good slot receiver is the ability to take a crushing hit from a linebacker or safety without either dropping the ball, getting intimidated, or breaking into a thousand pieces. Because of this, speed and size aren’t as important in selecting a slot receiver as durability, toughness, and a knack for finding open spaces out where the big hitters roam. A good slot receiver acts like a security blanket for the quarterback, giving him a possession receiver he can rely on to get open and help him move the chains in third down situations.

Engram has been Hasselbeck’s go-to man in the slot for Seattle for the last several years, with Darrel Jackson and Michael Bumpus filling in when Engram has been hurt. In 2009, expect to see a steady diet of Houshmandzadeh at this position when the team goes to three and four receiver sets.

Final Thoughts and Likely Personnel Groupings
Hooray, I Think He’s Almost Done Typing

Since you’ve read this far, I hope that you’ve found this explanation useful (or at least not too pedantic and grating). If nothing else, it’s fun to see how the various offensive positions have changed over time to meet the needs of newer game plans -- or, in the case of the wildcat offense, to see how well all these new personnel types are able to handle some stuff taken straight from the faded pages of Pop Warner and Knute Rockne’s dusty old playbooks.

If I had to make an educated guess (and even if I don’t, I will anyway), here’s the personnel I’d say we’re most likely to see used in some common formations in 2009:

2 WR, 1 TE
Flanker: Houshmandzadeh and Branch (to spell Houshmandzadeh -- the man is 32, after all)
Split End: Burleson
Tight End: Carlson

3 WR, 1 TE
Flanker: Branch
Split End: Burleson
Slot Receiver: Houshmandzadeh
Tight End: Carlson

2 WR, 2 TE
Flanker: Houshmandzadeh
Split End: Burleson
Tight End 1: John Carlson
Tight End 2: John Owens (on running downs) or Cameron Morrah (on passing downs)

4 WR
Flanker: Branch
Split End: Burleson
Slot Receiver 1: Houshmandzadeh
Slot Receiver 2: Obomanu and/or Butler

In the running for a possible sixth wide receiver spot: Taylor, Payne, and Bumpus

~END~ Read More!

Rookies Most Likely to....

by: Mike Parker

Chris Steuber at has compiled quite the list of 2009 draft picks in an assortment he calls "The Rookie Most Likely to..."

And I hope you're sitting down.

Both Aaron Curry and Mike Teel made the list, which comes at a huge surprise to me. Expectations are already set high for Curry, whom many labeled to be the top overall player in this year's draft, but Teel is where the surprise part comes in.

Steuber gives the "Most Likely to Be a Steal in Five Years" honors to the former Rutgers QB. He says that even though Teel had a rough start to his senior season, his finish made up for his inconsistencies:

[H]e was given one more chance by Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano, and Teel rewarded him with a tremendous finish to his senior year by completing 68.5-percent of his passes for 2,056 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions
Steuber speculates that this could point to Teel's potential, as he may just need some mentoring under the right system to flourish into a capable NFL quarterback.

Curry, meanwhile, was distinguished by Steuber as being the "Most Likely to Win Defensive Rookie of the Year." Other sources tend to agree on this, but I liked Steuber's cut-and-dried wording:
. . . it should be a consensus pick, Seattle Seahawks first round pick Aaron Curry. He was my No. 1 prospect entering the 2009 NFL Draft and he will emerge as the top defensive rookie this year.
If you believe the hype, this team is going to be a force to be reckoned with. The front office has taken full advantage of having a high draft choice this year, and has only built on those prospects throughout the offseason.

Here's to hoping, but here's also to flying under the radar. Let the haters drink their Hate-orade and keep fleecing the Seahawks for "losing" when teams like the Cowboys don't win a playoff game for a decade and are still somehow consistently touted as legitimate Super Bowl contenders.

With the best Seahawks draft in several years happening this offseason, Tim Ruskell has set this team up for something truly remarkable.

(Thanks to Jay and Cousin Tam for the link.)

END Read More!

Top Ten Impact Rookies

by: Chris Sullivan

Hey all, I'm back from the dead (aka a nice workstation), and in catching up on reading I stumbled on Danny O'Neil's stumbling upon the NFL's "Top 10 Rookies who should make an impact" article. O'Neil skewers it a bit, but the full list is really somewhat obnoxious and worth picking apart a bit more. 

1. Robert Ayers -- like O'Neil says, this is a one-year starter with 9 career sacks. Will he be good in the NFL? Sure, but as we saw last year, one of the least likely positions to have an impact in their rookie year is defensive end. Also, he plays for the Donkeys.

2. Jason Smith -- while he may have an impact, he's not going to put the Rams on his back and ride them into the sunset. He wasn't even slated in as their starting LT in the Rams' first mini camp. 

6. Percy Harvin -- he didn't even show up to his first day of work! Harvin has disaster written all over him, and without a quarterback his impact is instantly limited. Come on, guys. 

7. Michael Crabtree -- as we discussed in the run-up to the draft when oh so many people expected us to take Crabtree, it is very rare for a WR to have an instant impact in the NFL, especially when they're coming from a route-light offense like Texas Tech. He'll help the 49ers, but let's be realistic about this.

9. Rey Maulauga -- Drafted in the second round by the Crimecinati Bengals, Maulauga should have an impact . . . sure, I can see that. But #9? Have you noticed who hasn't shown up on this list yet?

10. Pat White -- Really? Reaaaally? Pat White will have a greater impact than either Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez? Reeeeally? Nothing says high impact quite like a wildcat quarterback in an offense that only barely needed one (Ronnie Brown seemed to manage pretty well last year, no?). 

No Aaron Curry? The last five rookies of the year have been linebackers, but the only one making this list was taken 38th overall? What a joke! What do you guys think? Is this another case of the Seahawks getting disrespected, or, as I tend to lean, is it more a case of a sportswriter trying to ruffle some feathers and make bold, rather than obvious, predictions? Only two of the top ten picks were included in the list, which can't have been an accident. Sound off below! 

Read More!

Don't Forget About Red Bryant

by: Michael Steffes

Dave Boling has an article for the Tacoma News-Tribune this morning, reminding Seahawk nation not to forget about Red Bryant. While he was slowed by injuries last year, Bryant had a positive showing over the weekend at mini camp.

If he stays healthy this year, hopefully he will show us why "Mr. Ruskell" liked him enough to take him in the fourth round last year (and considered taking him in the third).

Also, Brandon Mebane has him eating sushi. That can only help, right? END Read More!

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Buzz on Ruskell

by: William P. Tomisser

After listening to many of the KJR interviews as well as ESPN 710 programs with John Clayton, Kevin Calabro, and Brock & Salk, I've noticed that there's been quite a lot of talk about trust lately, particularly with respect to Tim Ruskell and Todd Leiweke.

There have been allegations over the last couple of years of Ruskell not dealing with players in good faith or that players have shied away from Seattle because of the front office and their prior dealings with players. Also, a lot of discussion was centered on how well Ruskell was able to operate this season and how well Seattle's offseason has progressed.

This season, it is apparent to many observers that Ruskell seems to be in a zone. It's also a pretty good bet that in the past there was dissension between him and Holmgren that kept Ruskell from operating as freely as he has been able to do this offseason. Much of the discussion focused on the fact that when a GM and head coach are on the same page and have the same vision for the franchise, things flow along with few obstacles and decisions are made easily and without friction. To continue reading, click

That appears to be the case now in Seattle, and lots of football-savvy analysts are noticing and predicting that it will be a large plus on Seattle's side to have that kind of harmony in the ranks. It's obvious that Mora's enthusiasm is trickling down to the players at mini camps, where the practices have been much more energetic than they were under Holmgren and everyone is hustling to and from the different stations at a run. Every player I've heard interviewed this season is jacked sky-high about the team and the upcoming season. They all praise Mora as being tough but inspiring. I believe that this will be a new look that shows up on the field of play in September with everyone bonded together as a tight-knit family and full of enthusiasm and energy. It all comes from the top down, starting with Ruskell and Leiweke with Mora as the hotlinked conduit to the team.

Quite a bit of discussion was also given to the Hill situation and how it was handled. Hill was interviewed by Brock and Salk and was asked point blank if he was in any way angry at what Seattle did, and the two gave him every opportunity to show the least bit of rancor over the possible loss of money or the fact that Seattle painted him into a corner by dropping the tag at just the right time where there would be few other serious suitors. Hill was repeatedly pushed to say something negative about Ruskell and the Seattle front office, but he had nothing but complimentary things to say. He was completely at peace with how it came down and more than once stated that he wants to retire a Seahawk. He said that the Seahawks made good faith representations to him and followed through with no deceptions whatsoever. Both sides praised the integrity of the other side in getting together and getting the deal done with honesty and in standing behind their respective words as the deal matured to the signing point.

Hill said that Ruskell did call him before they dropped the tag and told him they were going to do it and that they still very much wanted him to be a Seahawk. They told him why they were dropping the tag and why it was so important to get him signed and participating in the mini camps so that he could acclimate quickly to the Mora's new defense schemes. Hill really didn't even pursue any other offers, instead concentrating exclusively on getting the Seattle deal done. Seattle could have played hardball at that point and would have probably succeeded in forcing him to take a lower offer than they had previously offered, but in a classy move they actually upped the original offer by a couple of million dollars, giving Leroy the chance to save face and sign a good contract that made him feel wanted and important and showing the rest of the league he was a valuable asset to the organization.

That's why Hill wants to be a lifelong Seahawk. He feels that the Seahawks treated him with dignity and respect, especially considering how he had let the team down this summer. That's why Ruskell is getting the reputation as a tough but fair negotiator who shows concern for both the players' side of the deal and how each contract decision appears to his front office peers. He often gets criticized for a lot of things that come from fans' perceptions of how a deal or a trimming of the roster comes about. However, you don't hear that criticism coming from players -- in fact, players voice just the opposite opinion, aside for those players unhappy that they were let go who disagree with his assessment of their skills and/or worth to the team. That's pretty much the norm in any employer/employee relationship that gets terminated.

Ruskell says that he doesn't care about any of the criticism and that every move he makes has the team's welfare at the heart of the action. Show me a GM who endears himself to the players he cuts due to a lack or deterioration of skills or being a disruption to the team, and I'll show you a potential backstabber who smiles to your face and blames the action on someone else while he slips the knife in himself. Ruskell tells it like it is and does what he has to do, but takes the responsibility for the decision himself. Upon reflection, players usually come to appreciate his forthrightness in the end.

Todd Leiweke praised Ruskell for having the guts to pull the tag in the first place and reading the situation correctly. Ruskell believed that Hill wanted to be a Seahawk and that the franchise tag was an impediment to that process because it set the bar too high for Hill's worth to the team. By eliminating the tag and the $8.3 million a season starting point to the negotiations he felt the tag introduced, Ruskell got the two sides talking again and in the right price range for a fair contract more in keeping with Hill's abilities and his worth to the team.

According to Clayton, Ruskell is getting a reputation as one of the top GMs in the league today and that the word coming out of camp is that players trust him and Mora to be fair and feel good about the way Seattle regards their players as family. Other players considering Seattle as a place to play don't consider it to be in Southern Alaska so much anymore because they have the best training facility in the NFL and they are earning a reputation for treating their players fairly and with respect. It would seem strange to me that the team would be viewed any other way, considering the high emphasis Seattle places on character both on and off the field. For them as an organization, to be anything other than high character themselves just wouldn't fit the profile.

Ruskell and Leiweke are very close and say they have each other's back in whatever needs to be done to make the team better. Even though they have had to make some tough decisions that haven't been very popular with the fan base, such as letting Weaver walk rather than upping their contract offer, it was done with no disrespect shown to any player or any negative press releases that would keep a player from readily finding a position with another club. Weaver said some disparaging things about the Seattle organization, mainly concerning how they valued his contributions to the team, but never accused the Seattle front office of being disrespectful in any way. The two sides just disagreed on Weaver's value to the team. That's what they pay Ruskell for by the way: to make precisely that sort of evaluation.

The front office is making decisions that Holmgren found hard to make and in some cases couldn't pull the trigger on, preferring to keep a favorite player even to the detriment of the team (for example, Koren Robinson was kept quite a bit past when he should have been shown the door, and Jerramy Stevens was another classic case). Holmgren didn't like the D-Jack trade either, but Ruskell seems able to separate his emotions from the analytical decisions that need to be made. Even though some have taken the view that Ruskell's approach in some negotiations has disrespected the player somehow because of the player's popularity, Ruskell has proved to be right in most cases such as D-Jack, Hackett, and now most likely Weaver when you objectively look at him as a pure lead blocker, which is all the team's new offense wants out of a fullback and is willing to pay for.

If we want our football club to have the absolute best 53 players on the active roster to play as a team and win football games, you have to leave sentiment out of it and make decisions based purely on football savvy and character. Ruskell is proving to be one of the absolute best at doing just that, and although he's entering the 5th year of his first job as the head man in an organization this is probably the first one where he's truly been able to make decisions with the full support of people surrounding him. Tim Ruskell is showing that he could be our most valuable player.

How long has it been since we had multiple players (Tatupu, Trufant, Hill, Jones, and Strong for example) who expressed a desire to follow Cortez Kennedy as lifelong Seahawks who start and end their careers in the Pacific Northwest? Seattle has become a desirable place to play, and even though some players (notably those from the East Coast) still shun the idea of coming out West, more and more marquee players such as Houshmandzadeh are not only happy to come out here but make it a priority. Seattle's on the map, whether the East Coast cartel wants to acknowledge it or not. Once we start beating their butts in a majority of the games, they'll have to believe -- or maybe they won't, but at that point who cares?

Tim Ruskell really stepped into the limelight this offseason; Seattle hasn't seen draft and offseason grades like this in some time now. Players are gravitating to Ruskell and the Seattle front office is gaining a reputation as a class act to deal with. Mora has players running up mountains for him. What's not to like about the future of our beloved team at this juncture?

There are numerous podcasts and downloadable MP3s at both the ESPN 710 site here and the KJR site here if you're interested in listening through the hours of discussion that most of the observations in this article came from. The discussions span a week from the draft until now and include many player interviews as well as interviews with Mora, Leiweke, Ruskell, and key observations from Hugh Millen and Brock Huard, both of whom offer superb insight into Seattle's inner workings. I listened to well over six hours of discussion before writing up the salient points regarding Ruskell and the Seahawks that came out of these discussions.



Bill T

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Kirtman Given Contract

by: Michael Steffes

David Kirtman had been in the Seahawks mini camps so far this year on a tryout basis.

Today the team officially made him part of the team again by agreeing with him on a contract. Danny O'Neil has the info right here. Welcome back, Kirtman! Best of luck this time around! END Read More!

Post Removed

by: Michael Steffes

I have gone ahead and removed this post after receiving a couple of emails and seeing people's distaste in the comments.

I would like to thank all those who understand that we are not promoting bigotry or hatred, and just having fun with a writer who now understands what can happen when he tells Seahawk fans to "Get their shine box", a Goodfellas reference for those who aren't familiar. We do not endorses homophobia or hate speech -- in fact, we go to great lengths to make sure that it is not tolerated on this site.

I'd like to thank some of you for again reminding me that of all places, a blog started by and run by diehard fans (and run for peanuts) is no place to be having fun, no matter how big the emotional scar from Superbowl XL is. This is football. Not only that, but offseason football. We will return to being completely serious 100% of the time starting now. I will send out a directive to all writers to begin working on a series of articles entitled "Why the Cowboys will Win the Superbowl." It should be ready sometime next never. END Read More!

Deon Butler Unplugged

by: Michael Steffes

There has already been plenty of mention of a diminutive WR with blazing fast speed who has been a Seahawk for just over week. His name is Deon Butler, and he's one of the Hawks' answers to the wide receiver woes of 2008.

Speaking from home in Virgina (I told you they send the rookies home quick), he gave an interview to Mitch Levy of KJR this morning. Here is the audio. Butler talks about both his jet-like speed and the Seahawks post-draft mini camp. It isn't hard to see why the Seahawks like him.

The team has Bulter leaning punt return duties, a position in which his speed will definitely be utilized. Give it a listen! END Read More!

Talking with Aaron Curry

by: Michael Steffes

Things are all quiet on the shores of Lake Washington this morning, as the Seahawks post-draft mini camp has concluded. However, there was a nugget that I found this morning which is worth your time, if you so choose.

Bill Eichenberger from The Sporting News got to do a Q & A with the Seahawks' first round pick, Aaron Curry. Here is the transcript. Most of it is just rehashing what Curry has said in various post draft interviews, though there was one thing I particularly liked. Asked what his approach going into Seattle was going to be, Curry answered,

I'm going to approach every workout like it's my last one, like I've always done.
END Read More!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What Did We Learn From Mini Camp?

by: Michael Steffes

Mini camp came to a close today, and now the veterans will stick around for OTAs for the rest of the week before a break. I thought it would be worth while to take note of a few things from the weekends activities. This is what I took away from the reports of the three day session.

1) Old faces, same places. Much maligned players such as Rob Sims and Brian Russell were back in familiar spots, running with the first teams at RG and S, respectfully. While the fans have their own opinions, and often strong ones, these are not always shared by the organization. By not drafting a safety until the seventh round, and Jim Mora committing to letting Max Unger focus on left guard, we get a good read that the team thinks Sims and Russell are capable players. Remember, they watch them every day on the practice field, while often the fans only see the plays they make appearances during on the television broadcast each Sunday.

2) The Seahawks are a wide receiver centric team. The team has a new offense that is supposed to be more balanced. They are employing a new blocking scheme to help with the rushing attack. Yet, for some reason, all we hear about is the wide receivers. Housh and Matt are developing chemistry, Deon Butler looks good so far, Courtney Taylor is stepping up again, or Nate burned someone deep. Truth be told, I am more interested in how the running backs look. I think that will be a hotly contested position, and right now doesn't seem nearly as secure as the wide reciever position. Hopefully running back talk heats up once the pads are on.

3) Mora likes competition. This is a good thing. There is a guy down the street from me, Pete Carroll, who proclaims the success of his teams, and they have had plenty, is due to the immense competition that goes on each day in practice. The old regime seemed to open one or two positions up for competition each year. Mora says there will be competition at almost every spot. And because he doesn't have the same binds to players that Mike Holmgren did from once holding a personnel position, he can truly let the competition determine who plays. This can only help as the 17 week schedule and injuries force back ups to see time. END Read More!

Donkeywatch 2009: McDaniels + Bowlen = Discontent?

by: Chris Sullivan

Woody Paige of the Denver Post has an interesting interview with Pat Bowlen (Owner, CEO) of the Denver Broncos. The whole thing is worth checking out, but here are some of the highlights (from a Seahawks' point of view):

  • The Broncos will "probably not" win the Super Bowl next season.
  • His new coach, Josh McDaniels, committed "rookie mistakes," but he fully supports him and is growing more assured he will be outstanding in the long term.
  • When told many were puzzled why McDaniels didn't choose more defensive players in the recent draft, Bowlen replied: "Me, too."

This should all be seen as quite heartening news to Seahawks fans. You better believe Paul Allen has never gone into a Seahawks season in the past 7-10 years thinking we weren't going to win the Super Bowl. He also would not likely admit publicly that his new coach and the GM puzzled him with their draft picks. McDaniels is on a short leash and he doesn't really have the players to get off that leash with victories. Top ten pick, top ten pick, top ten pick!

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Deon Butler won't go to waste

by: Chris Sullivan

At least, not according to Nate Burleson. Butler appears to be another high character, low ego guy to add to the team. While we've noticed some lack of intensity in the past from such players, one thing we are seeing this year in Curry and Butler (and probably Unger + Co. too, but I haven't seen the articles yet...) are humble guys who are leaning on the veterans for assistance. Butler, in particular, has fessed to having a hard time adjusting to NFL routes, and is leaning on guys like TJ "The J stands for Route!" Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch and, yes, Nate Burleson. Says Burly of Butler:

...[J]ust by watching him practice, there’s no way he’s going to be sitting on the bench on game day, and that is for sure. … Running past some of the guys that we’re going to have on the field on the defensive side, it just shows that he’s going to be a competitor. And he’s going to be an integral part of our receiving corps.”
And so it goes. This is the prototypical Ruskell guy -- hardworking, chip on his shoulder, nothing but productive, small ego, team player, big school, and generally a bit undersized. I'm excited. 
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How Much Better Have the Seahawks Gotten? Defensively.

by: Michael Steffes

Yesterday morning I took at look at some of the major changes the Seahawks have gone through on the offensive side of the ball. I listed the best possible outcome and the worst possible outcome. My feelings are that the reality will probably be somewhere in-between. Lets take a look this morning at some of the big changes defensively.


The Linebackers~

The Seahawks have switched out Julian Peterson for Aaron Curry. While this move leaves them several years younger, and 15 lbs heavier at the position, there is still some reason to question the possible results.

UPSIDE: The upside here is obviously that the Seahawks end up with the best linebacking crew in the league. Curry could be everything the Seahawks had in Peterson plus better coverage. It is hard to imagine that Curry will be the pass rusher Julian was, but if he is blitzed at the right times it isn't hard to imagine him having 3 or 4 sacks. Hopefully he frees Lofa and Leroy up to do more, that would make the defensive reach its peak.

DOWNSIDE: There is a rookie learning curve. Curry doesn't have the same experience with the NFL game and has trouble reading and reacting instinctively like Peterson. Without Peterson the Seahawks pass rush falls even further, making the linebacking crew less relevant.

The Defensive Line~

The Seahawks have made a concerted effort to get bigger on the defensive line. Colin Cole will take his 330 lbs to the nose, so that the "Human Bowling Ball" Brandon Mebane can focus on penetration. Cory Redding will be the most stout defensive end the team has had in a while. They now have a lot of depth and versatility in these positions.

: The defensive line becomes a beast. It becomes impossible to really double team any one player. Kerney stays healthy and the pass rush becomes fierce. Also, because of the all the big bodies, the linebackers are free to fly around and make plays. The Hawks end up with a top 10 rushing defense and finish top 10 in sacks.

DOWNSIDE: The pieces don't really fit like the team envisions. Cole has been a backup and has trouble making the transition to starter. This leaves Mebane double teamed more often despite switching positions. Kerney gets banged up again and Redding is the same player that has been a disappointment in Detroit. Jackson hasn't developed and thus the team has few options except to blitz to create pressure.

Right Corner~

The Seahawks have gone to a blast from the past in Kenny Lucas to give them a more a physical presence on the opposite side of the field from Marcus Trufant. This pushes Wilson to the slot. In theory they should have a good group of corners.

UPSIDE: Lucas is able to match up against the divisions bigger receivers. The team goes back to being one of the best team in touchdown passes allowed. Also, Lucas' stature helps the run defense. He is much more stout on the edge furthering the Hawks rush defense. Overall, his addition, and Wilson's competitiveness in the slot allow the team time to get to the QB and then turn bad passes into turnovers.

DOWNSIDE: Turns out it wasn't really the corners, and the increasing age of the safeties is a problem too. Despite solid play on the edges the team is getting beat in the deep middle of the field. Maybe Lucas, like Mike Wahle, was released from Carolina for a reason and the Hawks are the last to find out. Not too many other teams showed interest and now Hawk fans see why. Eventually Jennings is put back on the edge and the run defense then suffers.

I wish that I had a change at safety to talk about, but as for now, it would appear that the team is going to keep the status quo there. So I have listed what I think are the best and worst scenarios for these defensive changes. How do you think it actually plays out? Will this be the year the Seahawks defense finally lives up to its talent level? END
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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Seahawks Linebacker Full of Surprises

by: Michael Steffes

The Seahawks linebacking core is getting a lot of attention these days, and rightfully so. However, the on top of Aaron Curry, the Seahawks also added two undrafted free agent linebackers. One of the them is Tony Fien. He is a local product, who went to school in Mississippi. This I was aware of. However, there is a whole lot about Tony Fien that I wasn't aware of, and I guessing that many of you are in the same boat.

Chuck Stark has written an article about Tony for the South Kitsap Sun, and it is very enlightening. All of you you should get the same experience I got from reading the article, so I won't ruin the surprise. But check it out. Fien has a heck of a story. And good for the Seahawks for giving him a shot. Hopefully things work out. END Read More!

Intensity to Go Around

by: Michael Steffes

I am not one to put to much stock into what is happening on the field this weekend -- in the overall picture, these mini camp practices mean very little. There are few things I take note of, like who is running with the first teamers, although even that is clouded by the injury situation.

One thing is apparent, though: the new coaching staff are pushing these guys pretty hard. The intensity appears to have been ratcheted up a notch from mini camps in recent years. How could it not? Have you seen the new head coach? He is the NFL's version of the Energizer Bunny.

Yesterday there were reports of people getting tossed around in pass rush drills. Today, we have offensive and defensive linemen fighting. Helmets are flying, and it is only May.

Like I said, all of these means very little. What is exciting though, is that football is being played. With the ever so long and boring months of mid summer coming, let's enjoy it while it lasts. END Read More!

Did Ruskell Do Hill a Favor?

by: Michael Steffes

Mike Florio of makes the argument that Tim Ruskell did Leroy Hill a favor by putting the Seahawks' original offer back on the table. Not only did he do Leroy a favor, but he also bailed out Todd France. At least, that is the premise of Florio's article.

As Florio puts it,

Meanwhile, Seahawks president Tim Ruskell privately is winning praise for not sticking it to Hill by reducing the offer. As we understand it, Hill had nothing else even remotely close to his deal with the Seahawks. There’s a belief in some circles that, based on the market for his services, Hill might have been required to take a deal in the range of $4 million per year if the Seahawks hadn’t opted to make their prior offer available....At a time when Hill might be inclined to piss and/or moan about the rescinded franchise tag, here’s hoping Hill realizes that the Seahawks did him a big favor after the fact.
First of all, it is already clear that Hill is not "pissing and moaning" about having the tag removed. He seems genuinely pleased that, in the end, a deal with the Seahawks got worked out. If he was pissed, he could have chosen to sign somewhere for less. That didn't happen.


Let's look at this deal, and what PFT is saying about it for a minute. We have no assurances that Hill couldn't have done better than $4 million, but if that is the case then the logical question is why the Hawks went back to their $6 mil per year offer. Should they have played hardball?

My guess is that they didn't play hardball for a couple of reasons, the first being that they wanted Leroy back. He is one of Ruskell's biggest success stories in his time in Seattle, and the goal has always been to keep him here. Else, the offseason arrest probably would have allowed him to hit the free agent market in March. Plus, Leroy is a impact player on this defense and would be harder to replace than maybe the team would have you believe.

The second reason is something I touched on yesterday, and it is something that Tim Ruskell doesn't get enough credit for. Ruskell and his top guys put a lot of work into figuring out the value of a player to the Seahawks. They attach this value to the player and then are fairly rigid in sticking to that value in their negotiations. Remember last year, Marcus Trufant wanted to be paid as a top-tier corner. The team was open about feeling that he was more of a second-tier talent and should be paid as such. In the end there was a compromise, but the deal was closer to what the second group of corners are paid.

With Hill, the team appears to have taken the same approach. They tagged him, knowing he would be overpaid at $8.3 million per year, then offered him a long term deal for 6 years, $36 million. Leroy was waiting for more. With the tag applied, there was no rush, as Hill had the $8.3 to fall back on -- that is, until the tag was removed.

What should be praised here is not that Ruskell did Hill a favor, but that Ruskell stuck to his valuation of Hill. The moves made by the Seahawks in this situation devalued Leroy on the open market. It would have been very easy for the team to use the loss of leverage against Hill. Instead, it would appear that Ruskell stuck to his value once again. If Hill was worth 6 years and $36 million to the team last week, then he was still worth that amount this week too. The team's stance didn't change. What happened was that the change in situation caused Hill to re-evaluate the situation.

In a perfect world, a situation like this was what the transition tag was made for. They could have let Hill find out if he had more value in the open market back in March. However, the transition tag has become a worthless tool. The team tried this approach before and got burned.

There's no doubt that Ruskell is as stubborn as they come, but when it comes to fielding a team of 53 guys, all under a hard salary cap, it benefits the Seahawks to have a guy who sticks to his guns. END
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How Much Better Have the Seahawks Gotten?

by: Michael Steffes

I think it is now fair to say that the majority of the Seahawks major moves have been made. They have added and subtracted several players. Now they have the draft choices coming along. But how much better have the Seahawks really gotten? This is the question at the heart of a major turnaround in 2009. There is an upside and a downside to each change, and the production will probably fall somewhere in the middle.

To See the major changes....

Coaching Staff~

It is hard to replace a legend, but if anybody has the energy to work at it day and night it appears to be Jim Mora. Both coordinators are are new as well. The Seahawks will rely on new coaches to get more from old players at key positions.

UPSIDE: The offense functions with more balance and is able to sustain drives, while the defense finally lives up to the expectation of its talent level.

DOWNSIDE: The offense struggles under a new system. They don't have the pieces in place to execute the zone blocking like they want to. Matt and Walt get a year older with nothing to show for it. The defense gets similar production out of guys like Jackson, Russell, and Tapp. The back ups still aren't ready to take over.


Matt is healthy, Wallace is even more experienced now. And healthy again. The team has got to see a rise in play at this position.

UPSIDE: Matt is good to go and plays at minimum 13 or 14 games. He plays with a chip on his shoulder after last season, and all the talk in the media about the Hawks needing to find his replacement.

DOWNSIDE: Matt has back problems again. Wallace is the clear cut starter for most of the season. While efficient, he is not spectacular, and this team thus needs to rely on defense and special teams to win

Running Back~

Morris is gone. Jones will be the featured guy, and Duckett's role will expand. There will be a third guy in the mix for carries as well.

UPSIDE: Jones and Duckett form a perfect tandem, "Thunder and Lightning" if you will. Because of the time share, they both remain healthy and help lead a top 10 rushing attack. Jones shows that the begining of last season was not a fluke.

DOWNSIDE: Jones is just not a bell cow back. His inconsistency becomes a problem again. Duckett can move the chains, but struggles when given too many carries, as his past production indicates. Forsett is a preseason wonder, and the Hawks have to put the offense on the QBs shoulders again.

Wide Receiver~

After being totally decimated by injuries last year, the Hawks added the top available WR in free agency, and complemented him with a speed guy to help open up the middle for him. Everyone will be healthy heading into training camp this year. In fact, some decent players won't make the cut.

UPSIDE; This group has the possibility of being one of the leagues best, in my opinion. Houshmanzadeh will make throwing in the red zone easier. Burleson, who appears to be close already, is a big play guy, even if inconsistent. Branch can be a reliable target assuming he is on the field, and he is kinda due to have a year with no problems. Even Marcus Tubbs has one. Add Butler into the mix of young guys, who hopefully spent all offseason working their tails off after finding out they weren't NFL ready last year, and this group is deep top to bottom.

DOWNSIDE: With no true #1 threat and Matt's security blanket in Bobby Engram gone, the passing game just isn't the same. It becomes inconsistent, especially against better defenses. As the year goes on, the vets like Housh, Branch, and Burleson start to get banged up. No real threat emerges from the young guys, again.

Offensive Line~

The Seahawks really only made one change to the offensive line, and that is Max Unger. They let Pork Chop go, who was really probably their best linemen last year. Walter Jones had microfracture, and Mike Wahle is said to have a bone on bone situation in his shoulder.

UPSIDE: The upside is huge. Walter recovers enough to be a top teir tackle, if not totally dominant force on the left side, and Locklear shakes of a bad first year after getting paid to show that he is the linemen the Hawks inked to that long term deal. Willis slides down to right guard to play, and stays there for the year without being moved. This because Wahle holds off Unger, allowing him a year to get stronger and learn the league, while Spencer stays healthy and builds off some of the promise he showed when in the lineup last year. Rob Sims never sees the field.

DOWNSIDE: Injuries strike again. Walt continues to have trouble with his knee. Locklear at left tackle gets its first run. Willis plays right tackle, but that leaves the interior of the line fairly week. Unger plays as rookie, at both center and guard because Spencer is inconsistent. Vallos, Sims, and Wrotto all get time on the interior as well. The line never gains an continuity and thus the offense sputters overall.

So, we can do this for the defensive changes later in the day, or tomorrow. I tried to present the two extreme positions of what could happen with some of the positions the Seahawks have addressed. My guess, is that the reality falls somewhere in-between on each of them. It is hard to assume drastic change until we see it, but also, it seems as if the Hawks didn't get any breaks last year, and a few are going to go our way this year. But maybe not.

How do you see each of these situations shaping up? We expected big changes last year in the line and running game, some came through, and others didn't. What ACTUALLY improves this year, and what will Tim Ruskell be addressing again next year? Have at it.....END
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Observations from Renton

by: Mike Parker

As some of you noted in the comments of the previous post, Mike Sando put up 10 interesting observations from Seahawks minicamp today.

No need to summarize a summary, but it seems like WR Deon Butler's name popped up at least three times in the midst of Sando's post - and this particular play was first on his list:

Third-round choice Deon Butler diving to catch a 50-yard touchdown pass after outrunning cornerback Kevin Hobbs.
And apparently, Bobby Engram and his wife put in good words for Butler. Bobby and Butler both attended Penn State, though obviously years apart. Perhaps Butler could step in as a speedy slot option?

In more good news, Sando noted that Leroy Hill played "without any animosity" towards his recently-ended contract situation.

As far as Aaron Curry is concerned, he reportedly "looks the part," though it's of course very early to tell to what extent. Expectations are definitely high.

END Read More!

Hawks Release T. Schmitt, Dizer

by: Mike Parker

Eric Williams has reported that the Hawks have cut LS Tyler Schmitt and CB DeMichael Dizer.

Schmitt's unfortunate story with the Hawks has ended before it really even had a chance to begin. His back issue, which put him on injured reserve last year, apparently never healed enough to put him back into NFL shape. Dizer went down with a torn ACL during the team's scrimmage at Qwest last year and was basically dead weight on the depth chart after the team brought Ken Lucas back.

The Hawks have two remaining long snappers: Ryan Senser, formerly of Ohio; and Sean Griffin, formerly of Michigan. Griffin is in camp on a tryout basis.

END Read More!

How the Mighty Have Fallen?

by: Michael Steffes

In a way, I kind of feel bad for DJ Hackett. I really liked Hack. My lovely girlfriend wanted a Hackett jersey as her first Seahawks Jersey. Hack was fun to watch, at least when he was on the field. Many of us were surprised that he didn't get a big money deal last offseason. Well, now he has to attend a mini camp on a tryout basis just so he can continue playing.

Zorn and the Redskins have invited Hackett to try out this weekend at their post-draft mini camp. Jason LaCanfora of the Washington Post has the story. Kelley Washington, formerly of the Bengals and Patriots, is also getting a tryout.

Since the Hawks are having such a blockbuster A+ week, I think it is fair that we can review some of the transactions of which the fanbase was so critical recently. Releasing DJ Hackett was one of these. It is hard to argue that he couldn't have helped us last year -- anybody with two hands and a pulse could have conceivably helped the WR position last year. But to see that Hackett is now heading to a camp without a contract, we can see that Tim Ruskell does his homework when he determines a player's value.

Darrell Jackson was another example. Clearly, the fourth round pick was probably more valuable to the organization than Jackson, who has disappeared since being traded. Now that we know what the team received in exchange for letting guys like Niko, Bentley, and Wyms walk, we can evaluate those decisions as well. How many of the 7th rounders taken with those compensatory picks will make the team? Last year both did.

Next year, there will be a whole new set of decisions to examine like Morris, Weaver, and Engram. But while we bask in the excitement of how the Leroy Hill situation worked out, let's remember that all of the decisions that Ruskell makes are based on a value he places on the player. And so far, for the most part, he has judged that value effectively. There is lots of turnover in the NFL, and since that's something that happens no matter what, it is invaluable that the team knows when to keep someone and when to let that player go.

END Read More!

Mini Camp Opens Today

by: Michael Steffes

For those of you unfamiliar with the process, or who need a refresher, the Seahawks' post-draft mini camp begins today.

Here is what that means:

Players probably started arriving yesterday, or at least the few who aren't already here for the entire offseason working out. They probably began checking in and taking physicals yesterday. Today they will be in Renton, in meetings this morning and in their first practice this afternoon. Usually, afternoon practices start around 1:15 PM.

Tomorrow, the team will have two practices followed by one on Sunday, after which time the team will depart until OTAs begin. In reality, the team doesn't completely depart. Those who live in the area will continue to work out at the facility, and all of the rookies will be given a nice big playbook to go home with.

For the most part, this weekend is about putting together the base of the offensive and defensive schemes. They will do more of this in training camp, but they want players to get a feel for what they will be doing in the new systems.

In years previous, the vets could help bring the young guys along. This year, the vets have had only a brief experience working with the new schemes in the previous mini camp, so will be lots of learning for everyone.

The best part about mini camp is that we get to see the team on the field. It brings us one step closer to the season getting starting. END Read More!

Defensive Roster Analysis

by: Michael Steffes

I was planning on doing this yesterday afternoon to follow my offensive roster analysis, but it seemed prudent to wait until the Leroy Hill situation wrapped itself up so that we could take a more accurate look.

Without further ado, to see the defensive side of the ball, click


Number Kept Last Year: 4
Average Number Kept: 4.5

: Mebane, Cole, Bryant, Terrill
Camp Battle: Kevin Brown, Tez Doolittle
Favorite: toss up

This team will probably end up keeping an extra end over an extra tackle, mainly because several of the ends offer the versatility to play tackle. That said, who isn't rooting for TEZ?


Number Kept Last Year: 5
Average Number Kept: 4.5

Locks: Kerney, Jackson, Tapp, Redding
Camp Battle: Atkins, Reed, Bennett, Brandon Miller
Favorite: Atkins

Atkins came on last year at the end of the season. If everyone is healthy, there will be some tough decisions to be made here. Reed would almost certainly be a candidate for the practice squad.


Number kept last year
: 6
Average Number Kept: 7

: Tatupu, Curry, Hill, Laury, Lewis, Herring, Hawthorne
Camp Battle: Phillstin, Fein
Favorite: toss up

Linebackers are pretty set. If one of the UDFA guys shows his worth, they could keep him. However, the way this roster is built, it would seem they are more likely to keep an extra defensive linemen or defensive back.


Number Kept Last Year: 4
Average Kept: 4

Locks: Trufant, Lucas, Wilson
Camp Battle: Jennings versus Hobbs
Favorite: Jennings

It's too hard to give up on a former first rounder, especially with Lucas on a one year deal.


Number Kept Last Year
: 3
Average Number Kept: 4

Locks: Grant, Russell, Babineaux
Camp Battle: Wallace, Adams, Greene
Favorite: Adams?

With Babineaux as a swing DB, the team may look to keep one more true safety. The three are pretty evenly matched. I give the nod to Adams based on the board in the Seahawks war room everyone keeps referencing. Russell will remain for one more year.


Number Kept Last Year: 4
Average Number Kept: 3

Locks: John Ryan?
Camp Battle: Coutu versus Mare (again), Schmitt versus Senser
Favorite: Coutu, Schmitt

I have to think the team would like to hand the job to Coutu if he earns it. It would save them about $2 mil and they would get some use out of keeping him last year. If Schmitt can stay healthy, he will get the nod at long snapper.

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