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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

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April 30, 2008 4:32 PM

Marcus Tubbs, undergoes arthroscopic surgery

Posted by Danny O'Neil

My attempt to post this update previously must have failed. Coach Mike Holmgren said on KJR-AM this morning that Tubbs underwent arthroscopic surgery and isn't expected to be ready for training camp. You can listen to the interview, which is linked off KJR-AM's site over to the right.

It's a clean-up procedure, but Tubbs has undergone serious surgeries on both knees over the past two years.

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April 30, 2008 1:48 PM

Shaun Alexander to Bengals?

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Could be. It's the franchise to his hometown of Florence, Ky. Here's the report from Mark Curnutte of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Here's a link to the story right here.

The Seahawks released Alexander before the draft. Jim Steiner, Alexander's agent, indicated in an e-mail to the Enquirer the Bengals were one of the teams he was interested in. Here's the excerpt:

"Making calls to teams. Bengals are on our list!" Jim Steiner, Alexander's agent, told The Enquirer in an e-mail this morning.

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April 30, 2008 10:29 AM

Seahawks sign former Husky Larry Tripplett, two others

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seattle announced it signed Larry Tripplett, a second-round pick out of Washington in 2002. Tripplett was initially chosen by the Indianapolis Colts and signed with Buffalo in 2006.

Here's a link to Tripplett's player profile on

The Seahawks also signed LB Wesly Mallard and claimed CB Dalton Bell off waivers from Carolina. Here's a link to Mallard's player profile on President Tim Ruskell said after the draft, indicating the Seahawks' decision not to select a linebacker in the draft would be followed by a heavier emphasis on that position among the undrafted free agents the team signed.

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April 29, 2008 3:35 PM

Seahawks release Tim Lindsey

Posted by Jose Romero

Here's what the official team press release said:

"The Seattle Seahawks released long snapper Tim Lindsey, the club announced Tuesday afternoon.

Lindsey attended West Virginia and signed with Seattle on January 15, 2008."

That's quite a vote of confidence in sixth-round draft pick Tyler Schmitt from San Diego State, who was chosen by Seattle on Sunday. Schmitt, according to the Seahawks depth chart on their Web site, is the only true long snapper left on the roster.

This was a problem area for the team last season, as you might recall.

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April 29, 2008 12:31 PM

Owen Schmitt: The Lion roars

Posted by Danny O'Neil

We take a break from the scrutiny over Seattle's draft to offer the following unambiguous praise from the fine folks of West Virginia. Forty-eight hours after the Seahawks selected West Virginia fullback Owen Schmitt and I'm still getting e-mails like this one:

I'm a Mountaineer football fan, and believe me, Seattle got a winner when it picked Owen. He's a throwback to the 1950s and 60s tough-as-nails players.

That's an excerpt of a note from Patrick. Apparently, West Virginians are quite please with the Seahawks fifth-round selection. Consider this from Brenda Wotherspoon:

Owen is a legend at West Virginia and I'm sure your fan base will grow to love him as we have. He is truly special. It was great fun hearing over 60,000 Mountaineer fans screaming, "Oooooooooooooo, Schmitt!" every time he powered up the field.

Or from Travis Seals:

from a west virginian and a diehard mountaineer fan i would like to let you know your football team just got another fan!!! owen schmitt is the best football player in the draft. not only talent but most of all,heart. you will never ever meet anyone like the "runaway beer truck" owen

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April 28, 2008 1:35 PM

Seahawks draft review

Posted by Danny O'Neil

ESPN's helmet-haired draft guru Mel Kiper checked in with his team-by-team grades of the draft. Of course, the report cards need to be taken for what they're worth, which is an assessment a full four months before any of the players will take a regular-season draft. He gave the Seahawks a 'B' the highest grade in the division. Here's the text of his excerpt on the Seahawks:

Lawrence Jackson stepped up his performance and deserved being a first-round pick. I would have looked at Dustin Keller, although John Carlson is a more complete tight end. Texas A&M's Red Bryant is a stay-at-home defensive tackle. He was productive in 2007, but he never took his game to the next level coming out of high school. Owen Schmitt is a throwback old-school fullback. Tyler Schmitt is a good long snapper. Justin Forsett has the chance to make this team at running back. Georgia's Brandon Coutu -- whom I thought was the best kicker in this draft -- could be this year's Mason Crosby.

Dr. Z of Sports Illustrated, Paul Zimmerman, included Seattle among three teams which he wasn't "wild about." The other teams were San Diego and Cleveland, which did not have a pick on the first day of the draft. Here's the excerpt of Dr. Z's summary on Seattle from his post-draft assessment:

I can find only three interesting names, DE Lawrence Jackson and Notre Dame TE John Carlson at the top, and then a drop to the fifth round for a peek at 250-pound fullback Owen Schmitt.

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April 28, 2008 12:19 AM

The Monday Rant: Announcer redundancy

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The goal of a communicator should be to convey an idea in the fewest words possible. It's why adjectives are considered the fat of language and why words like "garner" are indisputably worse than something as straightforward as "earn." Fewer letters. Greater understanding. Isn't that the goal of language? To communicate an idea in the most direct fashion?

To that end, I ask why does quarterback get referred to as "the quarterback position?" This reference is made all the time, especially when the draft roles around. "The Falcons needed someone at the quarterback position." Couldn't we just say, "The Falcons need a quarterback." Three fewer words. So much simpler. What does adding the article "the" as a prefix and "position" as a suffix add? It happens nonstop.

The quarterback position as opposed to what? The quarterback concept? Is there anything other than a position that the term quarterback could refer to? I mean, a quarter back (two words) could be a refund, but a quarterback (alloneword) is a position by the very definition.

The same thing occurs constantly for NBA announcers, specifically when Hubie Brown refers to someone's ability to "score the basketball." Yes, it's possible to do all sorts of things with the basketball. You could pass the basketball. You could dribble the basketball. If you really wanted to, you could even deflate the basketball. But you could just say "score" and not have to add "the basketball" at all because in the game of basketball, you can't score with anything other than the basketball. Not even back when James Naismith was heaving spheres at a peachbasket. So you can just talk about,"LeBron's ability to score." There is absolutely no need to add "the basketball" to that statement. In fact, doing so only contributes to the obesity of language. [Ed. note: Danny O's rant has been updated, correcting a typographical error and inserting the omitted word "to," which is kind of funny, considering the imprecise language he used to criticize the imprecise language of others. "Hello pot? This is the kettle."]

And that concludes this week's episode of the grammatical curmudgeon here at the Seahawks Blog. Wait. That's unncessarily weighty words. I broke my own rule.

So let's just say I'm being overly uptight. And in the interest of being brief and straightforward, that concludes the Monday rant.

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April 27, 2008 5:28 PM

Seahawks agree with undrafted free agents

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seattle announced they agreed to terms with the following dozen players, who were undrafted free agents: S Jamar Adams (Michigan), CB Donovan Alexander (North Dakota), WR Travis Brown (New Mexico), WR Michael Bumpus (Washington State), LB Matt Castelo (San Jose State), C Dustin Dickinson (Houston), CB DeMichael Dizer (Grambling), LB David Hawthorne (Texas Christian), S Kelin Johnson (Georgia), T William Robinson (San Diego State), WR Anthony Russo (Washington) and S Eric Wicks (West Virginia).

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April 27, 2008 3:45 PM

Seahawks draft summary

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Here's one easy-to-handle listing of the players Seattle picked in the league's two-day talent selection.

For the record, Seattle got two Schmitts, there were no Huskies drafted and Cougar quarterback Alex Brink was the only player drafted from a college in the state of Washington.

There was a Corner picked to play corner (CB Reggie Corner chosen out of Akron by the Bills). There was a guy named King (Dunlap, an Auburn tackle chosen by Philadelphia in the seventh round). Players got picked from Northern Iowa, Wheaton and Bentley, but no one from Washington.

Here's the summary of Seattle's choices:

Round 1Round 2Round 4
DE Lawrence Jackson (USC)TE John Carlson (Notre Dame)DT Red Bryant (Texas A&M)
Round 5Round 6Round 7
FB Owen Schmitt (West Virginia)LS Tyler Schmitt (San Diego St.)RB Justin Forsett (Cal)
  K Brandon Coutu (Georgia)

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April 27, 2008 2:52 PM

Seahawks draft Brandon Coutu, K

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Here's the link to Coutu's player profile. He is from Georgia.

Coutu's biography said that he has had hamstring problems in the past. He said the injury happened when he was performing an on-side kick, using a technique that he will probably never use again. He was the second kicker taken in the draft. The Saints chose Wisconsin kicker Taylor Mehlhaff in the sixth round of the draft.

Coutu is very familiar with John Kasay, a kicker the Seahawks chose in the fourth round in 1991. He also said he's talking with Morten Andersen, long-time NFL kicker, to improve his technique on kickoffs.

Coutu was chosen with the No. 235 overall pick. He is the last of Seattle's seven picks in this draft.

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April 27, 2008 2:49 PM

Seahawks draft Justin Forsett, Cal running back

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Here's the link to Justin Forsett's player profile on the league's official draft site. Forsett was chosen with the No. 233 overall pick in the seventh round, the first of Seattle's two choices in the span of three picks.

Forsett performed 26 repetitions in the bench-press test at the scouting combine, an excercise in which prospects are asked to bench 225 pounds as many times as they can.

Carl Stewart of Auburn and Jerome Felton of Furman each performed 30 repetitions, Oregon's Jonathan Stewart performed 28 and Forsett and Schmitt each performed 26 repetitions.

Forsett was a starter only his final year at Cal. Before that he served as Marshawn Lynch's backup. Forsett rushed for 3,220 yards in his college career, No. 3 in school history.

Lynch played on Cal's special teams up until this past season when he became the starter in the backfield.

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April 27, 2008 1:02 PM

Seahawks choose Schmitt, again

Posted by Danny O'Neil

It's not Owen, it's Tyler Schmitt, a long-snapper from San Diego State. He's 6 feet 2, 231 pounds. The Seahawks chose him with the 189th overall pick. Here's the link to his player profile from the league's official draft site.

Schmitt was one of two long-snappers to be invited to the combine. He just said that he's been snapping since fifth grade. He said he never could have foreseen that earning him a college scholarship or an NFL job.

The Seahawks went through three different long-snappers on the 53-man roster, starting with Derek Rackley, then Boone Stutz and finally Jeff Robinson, who finished out the season.

Here's an excerpt of his Q&A with Seattle-area reporters after Schmitt was chosen:

Schmitt: I've been talking to coach [Bruce] DeHaven for a while and Seattle was definitely, definitely a place that I wanted to go.

Q: So you knew about the problems they had last year?

Schmitt: Oh yeah, I knew about the problems. I was watching so I knew that was definitely a spot that was going to have an interest for snappers.

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April 27, 2008 12:00 PM

Seahawks draft Owen Schmitt, fullback

Posted by Danny O'Neil

He's from West Virginia. Here's the link to his player profile on the NFL's official draft site.

The man's got a fiery personality. Just look at this YouTube clip of him whacking his own head with a helmet after botching a punt.

That's nothing, though. That's just Owen, friends said, according to this article about Schmitt entitled "Stupid Human Tricks." Here's an excerpt from the article:

Today he wears a Mohawk haircut style that is distinctly his own. You could call it an O-hawk.

Expect him to be a special-teams mainstay as president Tim Ruskell said that the later rounds is where special-teams becomes a real consideration.

Update at 12:29 p.m.: Schmitt conducted a conference call with Seattle-area reporters, and he sounds a lot more laid-back than the live-wire personality he plays with on the field. He does still have the mohawk, it's just no longer as shaggy as it used to be. Here's a Q&A excerpt from the conference call:

Q: Do you still have the mohawk?

Schmitt: Oh yeah, I have the shaved, business 'hawk now. It's professional now. I can't have all that scraggly hair.

Q: What if someone told you, 'He's a fifth-rounder, maybe he's got a chance he isn't going to make it?'

Schmitt: All I'm really looking for is a chance. The Seahawks gave me one, and I'll do my best to fulfill that role and play and compete.

Q: Did you get the shaved, business 'hawk before the combine?

Schmitt: I think I was just getting the hair all over the place. So I just through I'd trim it up a little bit, look somewhat decent.

Q: Can you do that when you have a mohawk?

Schmitt: You know, I'm an ugly guy so I don't think the mohawk is really the thing I have to worry about.

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April 27, 2008 11:32 AM

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis on John Carlson

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Charlie Weis conducted a conference call with Seattle-area reporters regarding tight end John Carlson, whom the Seahawks selected in the second round, trading up to acquire him:

Weis: I think he's probably as ready as anyone could be mentally to go into the NFL. I think that gives people a decided edge. Obviously, the Seahawks system is different than the one I ran, but that's not the point. When you have a guy who's one of the smartest kids in the draft – just look at the Wonderlic – who's been seasoned in a pro-style offense and coached with that type of mentality, I think the transition becomes heck of a lot easier than somebody that's coming out of a regular mentality.

Q: Was he hidden last year by some of the offensive struggles your team had.

Weis: Well, what we had to do, we couldn’t really release him half the time. We had so much on protection, it forced us to keep him in a lot more than we had used in the previous year. We had a more of a veteran offensive line the previous year, and then all of a sudden last year, we only had one fifth-year senior and one sophomore who had ever played a meaningful down. So it forced to use him a lot more in protection than I ever would have wanted to.

Q: How do you rate John as a receiver and blocker?

Weis: I think probably in the last several years, having been involved in the draft for a bunch of years myself, there's only been handful of tight ends that could block and run and catch. You have those front-line receiver types or you have those slugs that can just play at the point of the attack and aren't very good at receiver. But I would say if you look at the cross-breed, the handful of guys that can do both, he's one of the few that fit that cross-breed where he can do either one of them.

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April 27, 2008 9:54 AM

Seahawks choose DT Red Bryant

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seattle drafted a defensive tackle in the fourth round, Red Bryant from Texas A&M. He's 6 feet 5, 318 pounds. Here's a link to his profile at the NFL's official draft site.

Bryant played in 42 games in college, starting 41 of them. Rob Rang of is here at the Seahawks draft headquarters. He said Bryant is more of a run-stopper.

Here's a YouTube video of Bryant.

Bryant underwent knee surgery on Nov. 17, 2006. There's also a note in the scouting profile of a scrap he got into at the Senior Bowl with Vanderbilt tackle Chris Williams. It's described as a "wild loss of composure" in a scouting report, but that might be overdoing it especially since some players get involved in a scrap in front of scouts to present proof that they've got a bit of a meanstreak.

Also, there is a Seahawk connection. Bryant is engaged to Jacob Green's daughter, Janelle. The wedding is set for February 2009.

Bryant just finished his conference-call interview with Seattle media. He was asked about the scrap at the Senior Bowl with Williams, who was chosen No. 14 overall by the Chicago Bears. Here's an audio link to his response.

Q: Not knowing you, we've read about this fight at the Senior Bowl. Was that out of character for you?

Bryant: It wasn't out of character as far as just the intensity. I play with a lot of intensity and Chris Williams -- as you could see, he was the 14th pick in the draft -- he plays with a lot of intensity. I felt like he was trying to take advantage of me and so I had to let him know right off the get-go that it wasn't going to take place … A lot of people are going to be shocked because I know I've got something to prove. I know words are cheap and people talk all the time, but I'm going to do whatever it takes to be a success story.

Q: Did you throw at a punch or just push-shove type of thing?

Bryant: No, I was trying to break his facemask.

[A great deal of laughter from reporters listening]

Q: Were you successful?

Bryant: I think I almost broke it. I know he had a headache for about two days.

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April 27, 2008 8:57 AM

Second-day expectations

Posted by Danny O'Neil

9:52 a.m.: Seahawks are up on the clock in the fourth round.

9:41 a.m.: Buffalo just drafted the player with the most literal name in the draft: Reggie Corner, who appropriately enough, plays corner.

8:20 a.m.: The Seahawks have five picks over the final four rounds. Expect Seattle to look to fill out some depth and find a kicker. An offensive lineman, a linebacker or two and defensive tackle are all positions I expect the Seahawks to look for to round out this draft class.

And while most of the league is taking stock of the impact of its draft, well, the Cleveland Browns just made their first pick. LB Beau Bell from UNLV was chosen in the first round. Also, and this is of personal interest, a fellow named Oniel Cousins -- UTEP tackle -- was picked by the Baltimore Ravens in the third round. He won't be confused with "O'Neil Cousins," who are plentiful. There's 30-something of us on my father's side of the family alone.

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April 26, 2008 5:07 PM

President Tim Ruskell: John Carlson top rated tight end on Seattle's draft board

Posted by Danny O'Neil

President Tim Ruskell and coach Mike Holmgren just finished answering reporter's questions. Specifically, Ruskell explained the rationale at tight end. He said he always thought the second round was the best value round to pick a tight end. Also, he said Carlson was the top rated tight end in Seattle's grading scale.

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April 26, 2008 4:28 PM

Quotes from Lawrence Jackson

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Q: How do you help them, what do you bring?

Jackson: I bring versatility along the defensive line. I know everybody saw what the Giants did in the Super Bowl with their defensive line. I have the ability to go outside and rush the passer, the quickness and strength to bump down inside on the pass rush. The athletic ability to stand up and move around, confuse the offense a little bit.

Q: How much did you play defensive tackle, true defensive tackle?

Jackson: I played quite a bit. I couldn't put a percentage on it. But for the first eight games or so this past season, as soon as third down I would bump inside so we could get the four best D-linemen on the field. As well as the year before, I played a lot of three technique. So I have a lot of experience at it.

Q: Is that something you think you'll be doing here in Seattle?

Jackson: I think they saw that versatility and it obviously opened their eyes to some possibilities. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they used me in that role.

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April 26, 2008 3:59 PM

Seahawks trade up in second round

Posted by Danny O'Neil

They selected John Carlson, a tight end from Notre Dame. Seattle used the 38th pick to choose Carlson. That pick originally belonged to Baltimore.

Seattle gave up its second- and its third-round picks to move up and select Carlson. The official transaction is Seattle gave up the 55th and 86th overall picks to move up those 17 spots to choose Carlson.

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April 26, 2008 3:15 PM

Seahawks pick DE Lawrence Jackson

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seattle chose USC's Lawrence Jackson with the No. 28 overall pick.

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April 26, 2008 2:58 PM

Seahawks trade down

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Seattle traded its pick, the No. 25 overall pick to Dallas. The Seahawks slide down three spots and will pick No. 28, with what is Dallas' second choice of the first round.

The Seahawks got Dallas' fifth-round pick (No. 163) and its seventh-round pick (No. 235) in exchange for moving down three spots in the first round.

The Seahawks trading down is not a surprise. President Tim Ruskell had done everything but put a for-sale out in front of that pick in his comments the past few weeks. The general expectation was that teams might be looking to move up to pick one of the four quarterbacks. The Cowboys traded up to select Mike Jenkins, a cornerback from South Florida.

Duane Brown becamse the seventh offensive tackle chosen in the first round of this draft. Houston selected him with the No. 26 pick. Next up is San Diego, which is one spot ahead of where the Seahawks currently sit.

Still no wide receivers picked in case you hadn't noticed with those repeated video cutaways to Devin Thomas and DeSean Jackson.

The Chargers picked Antoine Cason, cornerback from Arizona. No tight ends, no wide receivers yet taken. Defensive end Lawrence Jackson from USC is still available and that's a player the Seahawks have under consideration.

Someone asked why bother with picking up later draft picks, well, with a competition looming at kicker, that could actually be valuable in getting your pick of kickers.

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April 26, 2008 2:41 PM

Position of the day: Tackle

Posted by Danny O'Neil

USC's Sam Baker became the sixth offensive tackle to be chosen in the first round this season and that doesn't include Branden Albert, the guard from Virginia who is expected to play tackle for the Chiefs in the NFL.

The six tackles chosen in the first 21 picks matches the total first-round picks at the position in the previous three drafts combined. Three tackles were taken in the first round last year, one was picked in the first round in 2006 and two were first-round picks in 2005.

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April 26, 2008 12:36 PM

A sad state of affairs for Washington colleges

Posted by Danny O'Neil

No player from either Washington or Washington State is expected to be chosen in the first three rounds of the draft, which would make it the second time in the past three seasons that happened. That happened only once from 1995 to 2005, and that was 2000.

There is even the expectation that Shane Simmons [Ed. note: Post mistakenly referred to him as Sean. Danny has been duly punished for the typographical transgression], a linebacker from Western Washington will be the first player from a college in this state to be chosen in the draft. He's expected to be chosen in the later rounds of the draft.

No player from Washington nor Washington State has been chosen in the first two rounds of the draft since Khalif Barnes, Washington tackle was taken in 2005. Here's a year-by-year accounting of how many Cougars and Huskies were chosen in the first three rounds of the past 13 drafts:

Round 1 picks
Round 2 picksRound 3
2007001 (Jason Hill, WSU)
200501 (Khalif Barnes, UW)1 (Karl Paymah, WSU)
20041 (Reggie Williams, UW1 (Tank Johnson, UW)2 (Marquis Cooper, UW)
   (Devard Darling, WSU)
20031 (Marcus Trufant, WSU)00
20021 (Jerramy Stevens, UW)3 (Larry Tripplett, UW)0
  (Raonall Smith, WSU) 
  (Lamont Thompson, WSU) 
200101 (Marques Tuiasosopo, UW)0
1999001 (Brock Huard, UW)
19981 (Ryan Leaf, WSU)5 (Jerome Pathon, UW)0
  (Tony Parrish, UW) 
  (Cameron Cleeland, UW)0
  (Leon Bender, WSU) 
  (Dorian Boose, WSU) 
199702 (Corey Dillon, UW)2 (Bob Sapp, UW)
  (James Darling, WSU)(Scott Sanderson, WSU)
199602 (Lawyer Milloy, UW)0
  (Ernie Conwell, UW) 
19953 (Napoleon Kaufman, UW)02 (Torey Hunter, WSU)
 (Mark Bruener, UW)  
 (Mark Fields, WSU) (Don Sasa, WSU)

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April 26, 2008 12:14 PM

The draft is underway

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Two picks, two Longs and another -- oh, four hours or so until the Seahawks pick. No real surprises yet, but there are rumblings that the Seahawks might opt for the unexpected today. Rick Gosselin, the NFL columnist for the Dallas Morning News, traditionally assembles one of the most accurate mock drafts in the country. He has the Seahawks choosing Chad Henne, quarterback from Michigan. Here's a link to his mock draft right here.

Update at 1:28 p.m.: ESPN's Sal Paolantonio just checked in regarding Baltimore's status at No. 26, a spot the Ravens traded down to. He said there are rumors the Seahawks might be interested in a quarterback. Baltimore is definitely interested in a quarterback, and Paolantonio said that will leave the Ravens sweating out Seattle's selection.

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April 23, 2008 10:23 AM

Tight end interest? Shockey-ing

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The New York Daily News reports that Seattle is one of two teams pursuing tight end Jeremy Shocky, the 27-year-old Giants tight end who was injured and missed last season's Super Bowl run. Here's a link to the story right here.

Now, Seattle does have a void at starting tight end with Jeb Putzier and Will Heller right now on the roster. Marcus Pollard, last season's starter, signed with the New England Patriots this week.

And there is the possibility the Giants would part ways with Shockey, who has been injury-prone. The offensive did more than all right without him last season, winning the Super Bowl after he went down.

Does that mean Seattle's making a push to acquire him? I haven't been given any indication that's the case. The Giants obviously would be interested in drumming up a market right now. If a trade is going to happen, it's going to be before the draft. Logically, they would want to get as much in return as possible. Don't be holding your breath waiting for Seattle to add him.

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April 22, 2008 4:21 PM

Statement from Shaun Alexander

Posted by Danny O'Neil

A press release was just made with a statement from Shaun Alexander regarding his release. Here's the full text of it:

"We received the news from the Seahawks' front office today that I have been released. While it really isn't a surprise, this news marks a major transition in my life. I started my NFL career in Seattle and hoped I could remain with the team through the rest of my days as a player. That said, things change.

I will be playing for another NFL team this fall, and doing everything I can to contribute. I am healthy, energized and looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my NFL career.

I want to thank the Seahawks and Coach Holmgren for all they have done for me and my family over the years. I have nothing but respect and affection for the Seahawks staff, my teammates and the organization. I wish them the best.

I especially want to thank the Seahawks fans. You made me feel proud every time I stepped on the field as a Seahawk. I look forward to hopefully returning to Qwest Field one day to play against the Seahawks, and the daunting task of facing the 12th Man --Seahawks fans are among the best.

Finally, Valerie and I want everyone to know that Seattle is home for us, and it will remain so no matter where I play next. We have made far too many wonderful friends to say goodbye. My family will remain in the Seattle area, and when my days in the NFL do eventually come to an end, I plan to retire here. Our hearts are woven into the fabric of this community, we are blessed to be part of it, and we enjoy contributing to it in every way we can.

Thank you, Seattle. You have become a part of me and you will forever remain in my heart."

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April 22, 2008 4:17 PM

Alexander's release official

Posted by Danny O'Neil

President Tim Ruskell just talked to a group of reporters here at Seahawks headquarters, informing of the decision to release running back Shaun Alexander after he was cleared by doctors to begin playing football again.

Ruskell did not say whether the team designated him a post-June 1 cut or not.

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April 22, 2008 12:53 PM

Shaun Alexander's release expected

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Shaun Alexander's potential release isn't a surprise. Many have anticipated it since the Seahawks signed Julius Jones in free agency.

It now appears the release could be imminent however. KJR-AM reported it first this morning, and a source with knowledge of the situation said Alexander's departure appears imminent, likely Tuesday or early Wednesday. He remains on the roster, however, and as of yet there has been no change.

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April 21, 2008 2:05 PM

Rocky Bernard arrested

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The Seahawks defensive tackle was arrested early on Monday morning for investigation of domestic violence.

The news story from The Seattle Times can be found in this link here.

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April 21, 2008 9:24 AM

The Monday rant

Posted by Danny O'Neil

The offseason reduces the number of stories I write and increases the amount of reading I do. That increased reading results in some interesting discoveries. Some maddening ones, too. Some things that
probably increase my blood pressure, prompt teeth grinding or some other unhealthy habit.

So in the interest of promoting my personal health, I'm introducing a feature to the blog. The Monday Rant. Ease into the week by releasing some tension. Kind of like a pressure valve. Or a belch.

And today's subject: "Stories we don't want to hear any more about until there's more definitive resolution." To wit, that involves two stories which keep bubbling to the surface when in fact nothing of lasting significance is currently happening:

1) Chad Johnson's ongoing unhappiness with the Bengals. I don't want to hear that he's really, really, really mad and wants a trade as opposed to two weeks ago when he was just generally peeved and wanted a trade. The next step might be threatening to hold his breath until he's traded. Well, I don't want to read about that. I want to know when he's actually traded, when he shows up to work or when he starts missing game checks, but no more progress reports until then.

2) Next up, the possibility of Brett Favre's un-retirement. Well, actually, is it even possible to un-retire if you haven't missed a game yet? He walks away in a teary press conference and then we here reports his agent is asking about potential interest and then he's saying he might come back to the Packers if injuries emerged. No more information with bits and pieces. He's retired. I don't want to hear about him playing again until he says he's not retired.

Like Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman" I'm just getting warmed up. Keep reading to get the full rant.

Continue reading this post ...

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April 18, 2008 10:57 AM

FB Leonard Weaver to sign one-year tender

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Fullback Leonard Weaver, a restricted free agent, intends to sign his one-year tender on Friday. His agent, Harold Lewis, and president Tim Ruskell both said that is the plan.

Friday was the deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets with another team. Had Weaver signed an offer sheet, the Seahawks would have had the option of matching the offer and retaining Weaver or receiving a second-round pick as compensation.

The second-round tender is $1.42 million. Lewis said the intention of all sides and hope is that a long-term contract will still be worked out.

Weaver played the past three years with the Seahawks after making the team as an undrafted free agent from Carson-Newman in 2005. He became Seattle's starting fullback last season after Mack Strong's injury.

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April 17, 2008 7:09 PM

Seahawks don't figure to be chasing Chad Johnson

Posted by Danny O'Neil

You've probably heard this by now, but Chad Johnson's unhappy. Downright mad even. The Bengals receiver gradually increased the volume of his displeasure until his desire to be traded was expressed point blank this week to's John Clayton.

Well, whenever a player gets unhappy that triggers the question of whether the Seahawks would be interested. I've gotten no indication from anyone in Kirkland that Seattle would be interested. No definitive "No" either, but there's a number of facts that would point to him not being a Seahawk anytime soon. Namely:

1) The Bengals have given no intention they plan on trading him.

2) The concern about the Seahawks present configuration of receivers is greater outside the building than inside, which is to say the team feels pretty good about the group even though Deion Branch will be coming off knee surgery. The team likes youngsters like Jordan Kent, Courtney Taylor, Ben Obomanu and Logan Payne. So much so, in fact, that Seattle was willing to let D.J. Hackett head to Carolina instead of attempting to out-bid the Panthers.

3) Johnson's loquacious ways on the football field make him an entertaining character, but I don't think that's the kind of "character" president Tim Ruskell sets about to acquire. To be clear, though, Johnson's not some sort of social menace either. He's just loud. Then again, Darrell Jackson's ticket got punched out of Seattle for being petulant over his contract situation.

Now, it's worth pointing out that Seattle has taken on perceived character risks before with great results. Ricky Watters was considered a volatile player when he came to Seattle and there was no turmoil in his time with the team. Also, I want to emphasize at this point that no one in the Seahawks front office has said to me, "No, we're not interested," or "Absolutely not," but I think it's pretty reasonable to look at those three facts and conclude the Seahawks aren't going to be one of those teams trying to pry Johnson out of Cincinnati.

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April 17, 2008 9:24 AM

Pete Williams, "The Draft" v2.0

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Pete Williams does a very good job of outlining the situation Tim Ruskell inherited when he accepted the job as Seahawks president. The franchise fired its president (Bob Whitsitt) and lost director of college scouting (Scot McCloughan) and vice president of football operations (Ted Thompson).

The Seahawks had two draft boards in that 2005 draft: One prepared according to the scouting protocol and reports from the previous regime and one assembled under Ruskell's methodology.

Three years have passed since that draft. The scouting department now prepares scouting reports according to the system Ruskell imported. Ruston Webster is now part of the front office, too.

But it's worth a look back to see how Seattle fared in that first draft under Ruskell. It's been three years, which is the time NFL executives will tell you is necessary for a selection.

The results? One Pro Bowl linebacker in Lofa Tatupu, two others who are solid starters in center Chris Spencer and linebacker Leroy Hill and Ray Willis who is still considered a potential contributor along the offensive line. Five other players the Seahawks drafted are off the team. Four are out of football entirely, and according to Stats Inc., that is tied for the most in the league.

For comparison's sake, here's how the Seahawks draft results compare to other teams from the NFC West:

Total selections
 First-day picks  
TeamTotal picksStill on team Total picksStill on team Highest choice waived
Arizona74 43 LB Darryl Blackstock (3rd, No. 95 overall)
San Francisco116 44 WR Rasheed Marshall (5th, No. 174 overall)
Seattle94 43 QB David Greene (3rd, No. 85 overall)
St. Louis114 44 G Claude Terrell (4th, No. 134)

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April 16, 2008 4:58 PM

D-Jack now Denver's Jackson

Posted by Danny O'Neil

It was just about a year ago that a major cause of civic concern was president Tim Ruskell's decision to trade wide receiver Darrell Jackson for a fourth-round pick. Not only that, but he was trading him for a fourth-round pick within the division.

Well, Jackson lasted one season with San Francisco before being let go and has now agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Denver, according to Here's a link to the report right here.

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April 16, 2008 12:22 PM

"The Draft" by Pete Williams, Discussion v1.0

Posted by Danny O'Neil

This isn't Oprah's book club since a football has an oblong shape, not a big 'O'. But the first 'Hawk Talk Book Club will convene, discussing Pete Williams' year-long, multi-layered look into the year of preparation that went into the 2005 Draft.

He looked at the competition that agents engage in over clients. He analyzed the approach of an NFL team specifically -- in this case the Atlanta Falcons -- and he provided an epilogue to measure the outcomes.

The result is a wealth of information and very few concrete conclusions, which is pretty accurate because there are no magic bullets when it comes to the draft.

The book is interesting with regard to the Seattle Seahawks on several levels. First, Tim Ruskell was assistant GM in Atlanta for much of the time Williams' spent reporting and then left to become the Seahawks president in February 2005, just before the draft. Secondly, one of the players the Seahawks chose in the 2005 draft -- Florida State tackle Ray Willis -- is featured prominently in the book.

Let's start there because I think what gets lost this time of year is just how many prospects teams are wading through. Ray Willis was a fourth-round pick by Seattle, a second-day selection who was placed on the backburner of any assessments of the team by the time training camp rolled around. But this guy was a top tackle at one of the nation's elite football programs. A prospect who had his pick of agents and who fell to the second day of the draft because of an ankle injury.

The discussion of the draft ends up focusing so much on the players drafted early, but that's only part of the story of the annual talent buffet. A small part. The players selected in the later rounds have put just as much into the draft process, and the teams that pick them need to make the most of those selections to remain competitive in the salary-cap era. It's not just the high-end picks panning out. It's finding solid contributors in the later rounds. Guys like Craig Terrill (sixth-round choice). Rob Sims (fourth-round pick). And Willis, who three years after being picked remains a player the Seahawks coaching staff likes but who hasn't started a game yet.

2005 draft review: Remember this year? Ruskell's first draft when the Seahawks traded down in the first round, picked a center when Robbie Tobeck was already entrenched at that position and then traded up in the second round to pick a middle linebacker everybody said was undersized. That was Lofa Tatupu and he's three-for-three in Pro Bowl appearances in his NFL career.

So was it a good draft? Take a look at Seattle's haul by reading the rest of this link:

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April 15, 2008 9:46 PM

Prime-time snub?

Posted by Danny O'Neil

There are 32 teams in the NFL. Twenty-five of them will play on Monday night in the upcoming season. The Cleveland Browns -- who've made the playoffs exactly once since re-entering the league -- will play on Monday night three times, tied with Green Bay for most in the league.

The Seahawks are one of the seven without a Monday night date. None of the other six made the playoffs last season let alone five years running as Seattle has. None of the other six teams omitted from Monday night had a winning record.

I make this point at the risk of throwing a log onto the smoldering resentment of a region that so often feels it gets overlooked. So I'll make the point that the lack of a Monday night game won't matter one bit in where the Seahawks finish this upcoming season. And the Seahawks do play twice in prime time on Sunday night games so it's not as if Seattle will be overlooked entirely. Still, it's puzzling to see that the San Francisco-Arizona game on Nov. 10 is the only appearance by the NFC West.

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April 15, 2008 11:27 AM

Seahawks schedule: Turkey day in Big-D

Posted by Danny O'Neil

For the first time since 2003, the Seahawks won't be playing on Monday night. However, they will be playing on Thanksgiving for only the third time in franchise history. [Editor's note: An earlier version said this would be the second time. That's incorrect. This is the third time.

The Seahawks play in Dallas on Nov. 27 in the second of two national broadcast games that will be played on Thanksgiving. The Seahawks played the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in 1986, beating the Cowboys 31-14. They also played Dallas on Thanksgiving in 1980, losing 51-7. [Thanks to the reader, Kyle, who reminded us of that game that he admitted was a good one to forget given the final score. Also, there are three games on Thanksgiving, the last being a prime-time game televised on the NFL Network.]

The Seahawks have a bye in the fourth week of the season. They also had a bye in Week 4 in 2004.

  • Also, the Seahawks exhibition game against Minnesota -- originally scheduled for Aug. 9 -- will be played on Friday, Aug. 8.

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    April 14, 2008 3:07 PM

    Schedule released tomorrow

    Posted by Jose Romero

    The NFL will release team-by-team dates and times for all regular-season games tomorrow at 11 a.m. The television schedule will also be announced, according to ESPN.

    The schedule release will be televised on the NFL Network. The Seahawks' 2008 opponents are Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis (all three home and away), Philadelphia (home), Washington (home), Dallas (away), the New York Giants (away), New England (home), Buffalo (away), the New York Jets (home), Miami (away), Green Bay (home) and Tampa Bay (away).

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    April 14, 2008 11:16 AM

    Seeing more of Mora

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Jim Mora will be among some noteable names this summer when he plays in the $600,000 American Century Championship, a celebrity amateur tournament.

    The field will include Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, current pro stars like Ray Allen and Drew Brees. There's also NFL head coaches Herm Edwards, Dick Jauron and Mike Shanahan in the field.

    Mora, who will become the Seahawks head coach in 2009, is one of the competitors as well. Play begins on on July 11 and will be televised on ESPN2.

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    April 7, 2008 3:12 PM

    Seahawks sign defensive back Omare Lowe

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Omare Lowe is a familiar name in these parts. Not only did he play for the Washington Huskies, but he was part of the Seahawks training camp in 2005, being let go in the final round of cuts.

    Well, he's going to take another crack at making the Seahawks roster. The team announced it signed Lowe to a one-year contract on Monday.

    Lowe is a familiar for defensive backs coach Jim Mora, too. Lowe played for Mora in Atlanta in 2006. Lowe spent last season on the injured list, being placed on injured reserve in August.

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    April 3, 2008 3:15 PM

    Seahawks exhibition schedule announced

    Posted by Danny O'Neil

    Some familiar foes are on the docket for Seattle. The Seahawks play the Vikings in the first exhibition game on Aug. 9 in Minnesota, the fourth time in five seasons Seattle and Minnesota have played an exhibition game.

    Seattle will also play at San Diego in an exhibition game for the third consecutive season. That game will be televised on ESPN on Monday, Aug. 25.

    The Seahawks' regular-season schedule will be announced later this month.

      Date Opponent Time TV
    Week 1 Sat, Aug. 9 at Minnesota TBA KONG-TV (Ch. 6)
    Week 2 Sat, Aug. 16 Chicago TBA KONG-TV (Ch. 6)
    Week 3 Mon., Aug. 25 at San Diego TBA ESPN
    Week 4 Fri., Aug. 29 Oakland TBA KING 5

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    April 1, 2008 4:17 PM

    Rob Sims gets paid

    Posted by Jose Romero

    The Seahawks left guard -- we could see him move over to the right side this season with Mike Wahle expected to start at that spot -- received from the NFL what is known as "performance-based pay," it was announced today.

    Sims, who started all 16 games last season and enters his third pro campaign, picked up an additional $245,566 based on his playing time. The league disperses the pay from a fund, with lower-salaried players like Sims getting a higher percentage of money.

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