Updated Feb 25, 2014 - 9:41 am
The Bob and Groz Show on 710 ESPN Seattle
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 @ 5:03pm
By Brady Henderson
The Seahawks didn't exactly need a quarterback when they obtained Terrelle Pryor Monday in a trade with Oakland.
Seattle already has a Pro Bowl starter in Russell Wilson, one of the game's best backups in Tarvaris Jackson and a talented developmental prospect in B.J. Daniels. And the Seahawks have only carried two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster the last two seasons.
That all led to speculation that the Seahawks have some alternate plans for Pryor, perhaps a role outside of quarterback that would take advantage of his athleticism. General manager John Schneider said that isn't the case when he joined SiriusXM NFL Radio, but he didn't dismiss the possibility, either.
"If there was ever an athlete that would be able to play a slash role – if you will – it would be this kind of player," Schneider told "The SiriusXM Blitz" on Tuesday. "But that may be a little bit fantasy football at this time of the year. He is a quarterback, has been a quarterback, but no, we haven't gotten into that. This guys is – like I said – he's a very talented athlete and we can't wait to kind of put our hands on him and have our staff spend some time with him."
In the video above, Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby share their thoughts on what the Seahawks might have in mind for Pryor.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 @ 2:41pm
Before tight end Zach Miller took a pay cut, his future with the Seahawks was considered one of the biggest question marks of the offseason.
"I wanted to be here, and it was either that or retire and I'm not ready to be done yet," Miller said. "I want to finish my career as a Seahawk and just stay here and keep winning because that's what is the most fun in this league is to be on a good team, winning with great teammates."
Miller was a guest on 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Tuesday, a day after the beginning of the Seahawks' offseason program. Last month, he agreed to a contract restructure that – according to 710 ESPN Seattle's Danny O'Neil – reduces his 2014 compensation from $6 million to $3 million and includes the possibility of earning another $1 million in incentives.
Miller was scheduled to count $7 million against Seattle's salary cap in 2014, the fourth year of a five-year, $34 million deal he signed in 2011. While not an exorbitant sum, it was high enough to make Miller a candidate to be released had he not agreed to the pay cut.
He was asked whether the re-negotiation was easy given his desire to stay in Seattle.
"I knew what I wanted so it was just a matter of getting it done," he said. "All the coaches let me know how much they value me and how much they wanted me back. It ended up getting done, and I'm just happy that it all got taken care of the way it did."
Monday, April 14, 2014 @ 2:59pm
By Brent Stecker
Of all the additions the Mariners made before the 2014 season started, the signing of pitcher Chris Young was perhaps the least heralded.
Young, 34, joined the team late in spring training to fill a need, as injuries to Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker and releases of Randy Wolf and Scott Baker left Seattle scrambling to piece together the back end of its starting rotation.
Not much was expected from Young, and for good reason - shoulder issues kept the lanky right-hander out of the majors for the entire 2013 season, and he'd just been released from the Nationals camp before the Mariners picked him up.
As worrisome as that all may be, Young's comeback has been strong so far. He made his first start for the Mariners on Sunday, and though they lost 3-0, he kept the A's off-balance in his six scoreless innings and appeared to have put his shoulder problems behind him.
"My arm feels really good, and when I feel good, I feel like I can pitch pretty well," Young told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Monday.
Unlike most shoulder problems, Young's wasn't structural, but instead the pain was caused by a pinched nerve in his neck, which had to be corrected by thoracic outlet surgery. It took multiple operations to get Young back to feeling healthy, but he said it's been smooth sailing since the last one.
"The day after surgery was the first time in really four or five years that my shoulder did not hurt. … Once I started my throwing program about four weeks after surgery I just continued throwing and it has felt better and better each week, each month."
Despite the full year away from the MLB, Young has taken it all in stride and is still approaching pitching like he did during his All-Star season in 2007.
"I've been so dedicated and committed and focused on getting here and making it back and fully rehabbing from my injury, I never really expected not to make it," Young said. "It wasn't a goal for me just to get back. I want to get back and I wanna pitch as well as I ever had.
"The style is still the same. I attack, I'm very aggressive with my fastball, and then I pitch vertically as well as horizontally."
Friday, April 11, 2014 @ 7:21pm
By Brent Stecker
The Mariners have survived the first few weeks of the season with a makeshift pitching rotation. That doesn't mean they're in the clear, though.
James Paxton joined Hisashi Iwakuma and Taijuan Walker as an injured Mariners hurler earlier this week, as the rookie southpaw's strong start to the year was derailed by a strained lat muscle. As a result, Seattle now has a question mark in place for its starter Tuesday.
Manager Lloyd McClendon addressed the issue before Friday's series opener vs. Oakland, and it appears Walker and Triple-A arm Blake Beavan are the two front-runners to pitch Tuesday -- though he added he's unsure if there's another candidate.
Walker, who had his spring training cut short by right shoulder inflammation, was dominant in his second rehab start Wednesday, striking out 10 in five innings of three-hit, no-run ball for Double-A Jackson. McClendon doesn't want to be hasty with the 21-year-old phenom, though, who has just three MLB starts under his belt.
"We want to be cautious with Taijuan and make sure he's ready to compete at this level," McClendon said. "The game's a little more stressful at this level than at the minor-league level. … We have to take all that into account when we decide whether or not we're gonna bring him or somebody else in."
McClendon added that any reticence he has about bringing Walker up too soon isn't related to his MLB experience.
"It has everything to do with the lack of work in spring training and the amount of innings he had because of the injury in spring training," he said.
As for Beavan, 25, he is no stranger to pitching in the big leagues -- he has 43 career starts for Seattle over the last three seasons. He's looked good in two appearances for the Tacoma Rainiers this season (2.08 ERA, eight strikeouts, 13 innings), so a spot start isn't out of the realm of possibility for him.
One person who isn't be in contention to join the team just yet is Iwakuma, who is coming off a career year in 2013.
He finally threw his first bullpen this week after recovering from a strained finger tendon, but won't pitch to live batters until after a few more bullpen sessions.
"He's doing well. His first bullpen session went very well," McClendon said.
In the video above, 710 ESPN Seattle's Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby further discuss the Mariners' rotation situation.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 @ 2:44pm
By Brady Henderson
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette's alleged involvement in what the Miami Police Department is calling a "suspicious incident" that also involves 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 @ 1:38pm
The Mariners will play their 2014 home opener tonight after a season-opening road trip in which they went 4-2 and finished with a loss to the Athletics in Oakland.
Such as start would have been considered a success under ideal circumstances. But considering the injuries that have hit their starting rotation, it's about as well as the Mariners could have hoped to fare over the first week of the season.
"I told our guys it was a disappointing loss in Oakland the last game but the fact of the matter is we're coming home 4-2 and that's pretty darn good," manager Lloyd McClendon said, "and we can hang out hat on that."
McClendon joined 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" this afternoon. Here's more from that conversation:
Paxton's second start. James Paxton will take the hill for the Mariners tonight with the hope of following up his stellar 2014 debut. Paxton allowed two hits and two walks while striking out nine batters over seven scoreless innings in a win over the Angels. That was six days ago. McClendon said the extra day's rest should be particularly helpful for a young pitcher like Paxton.
"That first start for any young pitcher, they're going to be pretty hyped up, pretty pumped up, and afterwards they're going to be pretty sore. We saw that with (Erasmo) Ramirez," he said. "The veterans know how to handle it a little better. So I think the extra day's rest will help him somewhat. We're going to have to try to keep his emotions under control with this being the opener. We had him out yesterday; he looked real good, he looked real relaxed. I feel good about him coming into this game, we've just got to make sure that his routine warming up is where it needs to be building up to that first pitch."
Almonte's learning curve. The first week of the season has included a few positives from leadoff hitter/center fielder Abraham Almonte, including a .379 on-base percentage and three extra-base hits. There's also been one notable blunder – a base running error on Sunday in which he made the third out of an inning while trying to go from first to third on a single to right field.
McClendon said that was a teachable moment for Almonte and that such mistakes should be expected from a 24-year-old rookie.
"You have to live with them," he said. "You have to understand he is going to make those mistakes, but as he continues to progress he's going to get better at them also. And we'll be raving about this kid one day."
'I just didn't think that was right.' Spring training wasn't a week old when McClendon fired back at a Yankees coach who had made critical comments about second baseman Robinson Cano's occasional lack of hustle during his time in New York. When the television broadcast showed McClendon giving home-plate umpire Manny Gonzalez a piece of his mind after Sunday's game ended on a called third strike, it was another example of the manager having one of his player's backs.
"I certainly think there's a certain way that you do things," he said. "The umpire made the call – live with it, move on. The game's over, go to the locker room. But he chose to have a confrontation with my player, and I just didn't think that was right."
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 @ 8:39am
By Brady Henderson
No position in the NFL has a shorter shelf life than running back. It's an established reality, and not a surprising one given the nature and the volume of the contact that is typically absorbed at that position.
Kevin Seifert's latest column on ESPN.com takes a closer look at the so-called "running back cliff", and the upshot is that production begins to precipitously decline after the age of 27. Specifically, ESPN's data showed that after peaking at 27, a running back's production on average drops by 15 percent the next year, 25 percent the year after and nearly 40 percent by age 30.
It's an especially relevant conversation around here now that Seattle's Marshawn Lynch is weeks away from his 28th birthday. Lynch rushed for 1,257 yards in 2013, which ranked sixth in the NFL and represented a 21 percent decrease from his total the year before when he rushed for a career-high 1,590 yards.
"It doesn't mean that Marshawn Lynch's career is getting ready to hit a wall," Seifert told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Danny" on Monday. "It just means that historically it wouldn't be a surprise if his production starts decreasing."
So, how much does Lynch have left? Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby share their thoughts in the video above, offering a couple reasons why Lynch may not experience as steep a decline as some other running backs.
Thursday, April 3, 2014 @ 4:51pm
By Brady Henderson
As good as James Paxton was Wednesday in his season debut, it wasn't the first time he'd earned a victory after pitching at least six shutout innings.
He did that twice late last season, beginning with an MLB debut in which he allowed four hits over seven innings while striking out 10 in a win over Kansas City. That was the first of four starts he made during a September callup that saw him allow just four earned runs over 24 innings.
So when Paxton was pitching his way to a seven-inning, two-hit performance against the Angels Wednesday, he was just picking up where he left off.
"It did feel like I kind of just got back into that groove and I was feeling really comfortable out there," he told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz".
Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss Paxton's performance in the video above.
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