Updated Nov 4, 2013 - 12:15 am
The Bob and Groz Show on 710 ESPN Seattle
Thursday, December 5, 2013 @ 11:09am
By Brady Henderson
Bob Stelton and Dave Wyman are broadcasting live from Seahawks headquarters in Renton today for another edition of "The Huddle".
• Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com, noon
• Quarterback Russell Wilson (press conference), 12:25
• Punter Jon Ryan, 12:45
• Safety Earl Thomas, 1
• Defensive end Cliff Avril, 1:15
• Seahawks play-by-plan voice Steve Raible, 1:31
*Times and players are subject to change
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 @ 2:18pm
At 6-foot-5 and 298 pounds, J.R. Sweezy is easily the smallest member of the Seahawks' offensive line. But according to center Max Unger, Seattle's right guard is the biggest eater. And it's not even close.
No pre-Thanksgiving interview – especially one with an NFL offensive lineman – would be complete without a question about food. In this case, one's capacity to stuff his face with it. So when asked which of Seattle's offensive linemen would do the most damage if they all got together for a Thanksgiving dinner, Unger said Sweezy without hesitation.
"It's crazy. It has to be a medical condition because ... he's a D-lineman, I mean, he doesn't look like an O-lineman," Unger said of Sweezy, a college defensive tackle who's in his second season with the Seahawks, "and he eats, I'd say, three times as much as anybody.
"It's ridiculous. It's like a problem."
Seattle's offensive linemen won't be having Thanksgiving dinner together, but Unger said they're going to pool some money together and hand out turkeys in the Renton area.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 @ 12:32pm
The way Golden Tate sees it, teammates Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond are good guys who made bad decisions.
That's what the Seahawks receiver told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Tuesday when asked about the cornerbacks' off-the-field transgressions, which he called selfish.
Thurmond will miss Seattle's next four games while Browner is reportedly facing a one-year ban, each having allegedly violated the league's policy on substance abuse. The NFL typically doesn't suspend first-time offenders under its substance-abuse policy, which means it's almost a certainty that Browner and Thurmond had previously run afoul of league rules. In that case, each would have been subject to frequent drug tests and suspensions should they fail them.
Tate said it was "definitely poor judgment" for Browner and Thurmond to slip up knowing the heavy scrutiny they're under, the severe consequences of their actions and everything that's at stake for the Seahawks, who are an NFL-best 10-1 and considered Super Bowl contenders.
"I'm not in their minds. I don't know what they're thinking and I don't even know the situation. I just know who they are on a regular basis," Tate said. "It's very unfortunate. It's very unfortunate. You would think that the guys would really find what we've got going more important. I don't want to talk down or bad about any of these guys, but what we have right now is way too important to jeopardize that, to yourself and to this team, because really you're affecting way more than yourself.
"I feel like that was kind of a selfish move on both those guys' part, but it is what it is. Like I said, the show must go on, and that's what we're going to do."
Monday, November 25, 2013 @ 11:25pm
By Brady Henderson
Potentially down to three cornerbacks with the reported suspensions of Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner looming, the Seahawks will have to make some moves to address the position before their Monday night showdown with New Orleans.
Here are five players who are believed to be options:
Antoine Winfield. Coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Brock and Danny" Monday that it's "a possibility" Seattle signs Winfield, who joined the Seahawks in the offseason but was released at the end of training camp when he was beat out by Thurmond to be the team's nickel cornerback.
Released at the end of training camp, cornerback Antoine Winfield (21) is an option for Seattle with Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond each facing suspensions. (AP)
Winfield, 36, decided to retire when Seattle released him, and while he may not have formally done so, that raises an obvious question about his readiness to immediately contribute (one Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss in the video at the top of this post). For what it's worth, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network indicated via Twitter Monday that Winfield is in football shape.
Marcus Trufant. The longtime Seahawk reportedly worked out for the team Monday. He spent 10 seasons with the Seahawks, beginning his stellar career in Seattle in 2003 when he was drafted in the first round out of Washington State and ending it last season as he served as the team's nickel cornerback. While he struggled at times in that role, Trufant also had his moments. And his familiarity with the organization in general and Seattle's defense in particular is an obvious bonus.
The same question about Winfield would apply to Trufant, who is 32 years old, has a history of back problems and hasn't played since he was released by Jacksonville at the end of training camp.
Perrish Cox. The former 49er and Bronco is expected to work out for the Seahawks on Tuesday, according to Mike Silver of the NFL Network. Cox, who is listed as 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, made nine starts for the Broncos as a rookie in 2010 and was a backup during his two seasons with the 49ers, who released him earlier this month. Update: Seattle announced the signing of Cox Tuesday afternoon.
Tharold Simon. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 202 pounds, Simon has the size and physicality that are distinguishing traits of Seattle's cornerbacks. The Seahawks just haven't been able to see him in action as the rookie fifth-round pick has been on the Physically Unable to Perform List because of a foot injury. Carroll said he is expected to begin practicing week.
"That's really important to us to see what he looks like and see how he does. We really don't have any information on him as one of our guys. He's just a big, tall, good-looking guy," Carroll said. "He looks like one of our guys, but he hasn't practiced yet."
DeShawn Shead. An undrafted rookie out of Portland State in 2012, Shead is a former decathlete who has the versatility to play both cornernback and safety. Carroll said Monday that he's done enough to earn consideration for a promotion from Seattle's practice squad to the active roster.
"DeShawn Shead has done a great job with us. He's very close to being a part of this club, and on the regular roster and all that," Carroll said. "He's been practicing beautifully throughout the season so far, and we really trust him."
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Friday, November 22, 2013 @ 3:14pm
Just six and a half months removed from reconstructive knee surgery, Seahawks defensive end Greg Scruggs says he will begin practicing next week in the hope of playing at some point this season.
Greg Scruggs had two sacks as a rookie in 2012 but hasn't played this year after tearing his ACL in the offseason. (AP)
Scruggs, a seventh-round pick in 2012, tore his ACL during an offseason agility drill. He's currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list and would have to make his debut by Week 15 at the latest if he is going to play this season.
Doing so would add to the Seahawks' already-deep pass rush. Four defensive linemen have at least three sacks this season for Seattle, which is sixth in the league with 33 in all.
It would also mark an incredibly quick comeback considering the typical recovery periods for ACL injuries. Teammate Chris Clemons, for example, tore his ACL during Seattle's playoff game against Washington in early January and made his 2013 debut in late September.
Scruggs said he has stayed in Seattle during the team's bye week for extra conditioning.
"I hope to be back but nothing's guaranteed, and I don't want to get my hopes up because if I do get out there and it doesn't work out then I'll be heartbroken, sincerely heartbroken. If I don't make it and they end up [placing me on injured reserve], the first thing I'm doing is taking a vacation because that's the only way I'd be able to cope with it," he said.
"I've been grinding for six months straight, six-and-a-half months, no breaks. My first three-day break was three weeks ago. So that's a testament to why I can come back so fast."
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Thursday, November 21, 2013 @ 1:25pm
If there's one thing the Mariners can do to change their fortunes, Jim Bowden believes signing Robinson Cano is it.
That's what the ESPN baseball insider and former MLB general manager told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" Thursday, noting that signing the superstar free-agent second baseman would have a major impact on the Mariners' ability to attract other players down the line.
Free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano could command a record-setting contract to sign with the Mariners, but ESPN's Jim Bowden believes it would go a long way in helping bring other stars to Seattle in the future. (AP)
"If you're a team like the Mariners that are trying to compete in this division, to have a middle-of-the-order bat to build around, it would be a tremendous coup," he said. "Cano is the best free agent in this market. Not even close. He's a Gold Golve-caliber second baseman. ... He's a .300 hitter that's gonna hit 25 homers and drive in 100. And he's not gonna run every groundball out and it's gonna irritate you, but he's a good kid and he's got of the best swings in the game. He's a no-brainer."
Cano has been the talk of the hot stove this offseason, not just because he's an MVP-worthy talent, but also for his representation (which includes rapper Jay Z), which is reportedly calling for a contract of at least 10 years for $300-plus million.
His previous team, the Yankees, is unwilling to pay that amount, and it appears the rest of the league is in the same camp. That gives the Mariners an opening, however.
"If they could afford it, you go get Cano. Jay Z's gonna make a point here, and there's nothing he'd like more (than) to get the Seattle Mariners to offer more than the Yankees and put him somewhere else," Bowden said. "For Cano, it's gonna take a surprise team, otherwise he'll be back in the Bronx on a seven- or eight-year deal."
The rest of the market is fairly weak, with injury-prone outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury the second-biggest name, followed by fellow outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, a left-handed slugger that struggles against southpaws. After that, there are proven veterans like Carlos Beltran and Mike Napoli that are unlikely to be swayed to sign with Seattle on short-term deals.
"If you're Seattle, you'd love to do some short-term guys. Carlos Beltran would be a good fit, but he's not coming to Seattle. He's going to a place where he can get to the World Series next year," Bowden said. "The difficult part when you're Seattle and you're in that division with Oakland and Texas, it's hard to get those bats that can win right away that will have to sign short-term deals. It's hard for Seattle to get that player unless they're willing to overpay the market to get them to go there."
Unfortunately for the Mariners, those types of players are exactly what they need to fill out a lineup where the lone offensive standout is third baseman Kyle Seager.
"They need some impact bats in the middle. They need to surround Seager with more Seagers and guys that can bang the ball around," Bowden said.
And if the Mariners want to attract those types of players, it could all start with Cano.
"The problem with the marketplace right now (is) there's not a lot of guys besides Cano. So if I'm Seattle, let's just go put all our money in Cano and have our three-hole hitter to build around," Bowden said. "And once Cano gets there, guess what happens? Then all of the sudden the Beltrans and the Napolis say, 'Yeah, I'll go to Seattle. With the pitching they've got at the top of the rotation, and now that they're starting to hit with Cano and Seager.' It's amazing how quick it can turn, but you've gotta have that big guy in the middle."
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 10:34pm
It was back in August when Bruce Irvin made a play that served as both a glimpse of his potential as a linebacker and a reminder that it could take some time to fulfill it.
During Seattle's preseason game against Oakland, Irvin bit so hard on a play fake that he had the running back wrapped up in the backfield before realizing quarterback Terrell Pryor was running toward the sideline with the ball.
While he's enjoying his new position, Bruce Irvin says he has a long way to go to in his transition linebacker. (AP)
Irvin is now six regular-season games into the position switch, which has produced some more flashes of brilliance and a few predictable growing pains.
"People say they see good stuff, but I only focus on the mistakes," Irvin told 710 ESPN Seattle's "The Huddle" Thursday, "and I've got a long way to go."
Irvin has been Seattle's starting strongside linebacker since serving a four-game suspension at the beginning of the season. While he's playing a new position, not all of the job duties are completely foreign. He's still at times asked to rush off the edge – which he did primarily as a rookie last season – and he had some prior experience dropping into coverage.
"I played safety in junior college," he said, "so the backpedaling and breaking on balls is really familiar [to] me."
It sure looked like it when Irvin ran with Rams tight end Jared Cook and made a leaping interception during Seattle's Week 8 win over St. Louis. Irvin had lined up over Cook in the slot and didn't take the bait when the tight end faked an out route, leaving him in excellent position to make a play on the ball.
It was Irvin's first career interception, and it came under the bright lights of "Monday Night Football." Must have been quite the thrill, right?
"I'm going to be real with you," he said, "I'd rather get a sack."
Irvin got one of those later in the game, his second of the season. He had eight of them last season, most of any rookie in 2012 and any in Seahawks history. That made it a bit of a surprise when Seattle moved Irvin to linebacker over the offseason, a switch that allowed the Seahawks get their multitude of pass rushers on the field at once while also taking advantage of Irvin's ability to make plays in space.
He's sure happy to have done it.
"That might have been the best decision of my life, moving back to the backer. Me being a defensive end, my body frame is not meant to carry 260, 270 (pounds). I'm a speed guy," said Irvin, who's listed at 248. "I think taking me off the line and letting me use my athletic ability more really saved my career."
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Thursday, November 14, 2013 @ 3:46pm
From Christian Ponder to Matt Cassel to Josh Freeman, the Vikings have had all kinds of trouble staying healthy and finding consistent production at quarterback. But while that has grabbed most of the attention during the Vikings' 2-7 start, their problems are not limited to who is taking the snaps.
The Vikings' defense is ranked 29th in the NFL against the pass this year. (AP)
Vikings color commentator Pete Bercich joined "The Huddle" on 710 ESPN Seattle on Wednesday, and he explained that as Minnesota prepares to face the 9-1 Seahawks on Sunday, its struggles mainly stem from ineffective defensive play.
"The underlying issue, despite the carousel at quarterback, has been our defense," said Bercich, a Vikings linebacker from 1995 through 2000. "We lost Harrison Smith, one of our safeties. We've been without (safety) Jamarca Sanford. So we have not been able to stop too many teams, and we're last in the league on third-down conversions. We're giving up somewhere near 400 yards a game."
Minnesota has been prone to being burned through the air, as it has allowed 285.7 passing yards per game in 2013, 29th in the NFL. But even with former Vikings receiver Percy Harvin possibly returning from injury to make his debut for Seattle on Sunday, it's the Seahawks' running game that has Bercich concerned.
It's a valid concern. Though the Vikings rank near the middle of the league in run defense (113.7 yards per game), they were ripped for 191 yards on the ground last week against Washington, and Green Bay rushed for 182 against them two games before that. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are the league's best running team, as the combo of running back Marshawn Lynch (871 yards) and quarterback Russell Wilson (395) has lead them to an average of 153.4 rushing yards per game.
"The defense has really been the issue, and Marshawn Lynch and the rest of your squad, Russell Wilson, present plenty of problems for this defense," Bercich said. "That's gonna be the big question – can we hold up against the run? Can we stop Russell from running, as well?"
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