Friday, May 10, 2013 @ 2:05pm
Tom Cable will have five new offensive linemen at his disposal after the Seahawks added three in the draft and a pair of rookie free agents.
"He's doing really well," Cable, Seattle's offensive line coach, told "Bob and Groz" on Friday before the start of the team's three-day rookie minicamp.
Carpenter, a first-round pick in 2011, was a starter at right tackle as a rookie before he suffered a season-ending ACL tear after the team's ninth game. He returned to the field in Week 4 of last season and started seven games at guard before reinjuring the knee in Week 13.
Carpenter remained in Seattle to continue his rehab and prepare for the upcoming season. Cable said he recently had a "cleanup" procedure on that knee and that it now "feels the best it's felt this whole time."
Cable also said Carpentrer is significantly stronger.
"He's had a monumental offseason in the weight room," Cable said. "For a big guy and coming out of Alabama you would think he was there in terms of strength numbers; he really wasn't, but he is now. So it's a real credit to him and [strength and conditioning coach Chris] Carlisle and those guys in the weight room."
Carpenter is among the four players competing for one of two starting spots at guard, the others being Paul McQuistan, John Moffitt and J.R. Sweezy.
Friday, May 10, 2013 @ 10:43am
Seahawks general manager John Schneider has likened the NFL Draft to Christmas, which makes this weekend's rookie minicamp the first chance he'll get to see all his new toys in action.
Seattle's 11 draft picks and nine undrafted free agents will practice at the team's Renton headquarters Friday through Sunday. The group will also include 38 players on a tryout basis, Schneider said, as well as quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who was signed last month.
Schneider joined "Brock and Danny" before Friday's practice and shared a few notes about the weekend:
"His movement skills at the combine were good. His movement skills at his individual workout were excellent," Schneider said. "It will be really interesting to see – his background, obviously Harding and the level of competition is one of the reasons he was drafted where he was drafted. So I'm very interested to see him."
Schneider also mentioned Luke Willson, the tight end Seattle drafted in the fifth round. Willson was a backup at Rice who caught nine passes in 11 games last season, but Schneider likened him to Bruce Irvin and Russell Wilson from the year before as a player Seattle was determined to draft.
"Luke was actually a guy that was in that same mold," Schneider said. "We really, really would have been disappointed if we wouldn't have been able to acquire him, that down-the-field threat."
Fells back in the fold. Darren Fells is among the tryouts at Seattle's minicamp. Fells, the former professional basketball player who's trying to make it in the NFL as a tight end, was waived by Seattle on Wednesday. Schneider said that move was about creating a spot on the roster, which is currently at the 90-man limit.
"He's still gonna get a chance to compete this weekend and see how he does. This will be his second time through the install, so hopefully that helps him," Schneider said. "He's got great hands, he's a big target. You just want to see how he develops this weekend."
The 6-foot-7 Fells last played football in high school.
Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 4:14pm
Seahawks defensive end Greg Scruggs recently suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament that will threaten the backup pass rusher's availability for the upcoming season.
A source told 710Sports.com's Danny O'Neil that Scruggs underwent reconstructive surgery on his right knee Thursday morning, an operation performed by team surgeon Dr. Ed Khalfayan. General manager John Schneider told "Brock and Danny" Friday that Scruggs sustained the injury during a recent agility drill.
"One thing is guaranteed that I'm going to bust my butt to get back to full strength and contribute next year. Very disappointing...," Scruggs tweeted Thursday.
Scruggs, a seventh-round pick out of Louisville in 2012, finished his rookie season with two sacks and six tackles, playing in 11 regular-season games and both of Seattle's playoff games. He was projected to be a backup this season, a versatile defensive lineman with the size (6-foot-3, 284 pounds) to slide inside on passing downs.
His loss is one the Seahawks can absorb after bolstering their defensive line over the offseason. Seattle signed ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett as well as tackle Tony McDaniel before adding tackles Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams in the draft.
Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 1:53pm
Marshawn Lynch's pending DUI case and Doug Baldwin's future in Seattle beyond 2013 were among the topics discussed when Danny O'Neil hosted another edition of "Hawk Talk" on Thursday.
You can find the transcript of the chat here. Below are some highlights.
A guest posing as Brock Huard asked whether Lynch will be available for the start of the season considering he has a DUI case pending in Alameda County, Calif.
Danny O'Neil: This is a great question, and we don't know. There's a hearing to dismiss the charges on May 22 with a trial tentatively scheduled going in June. If he's convicted of DUI, there's a very real possibility he could face a suspension. However, that would really depend on the commissioner's discretion. A DUI was covered under the substance-abuse policy. Lynch was previously suspended under the personal-conduct policy. A first-time DUI offense generally doesn't warrant a suspension. However, the fact Lynch was previously suspended does create a conundrum.
Doug Baldwin will be a restricted free agent after the 2013 season, while fellow Seahawks receiver Golden Tate will be an unrestricted free agent. (AP)
Danny O'Neil. Very possible. I would say that we'll have to wait and see if Baldwin is in position for a long-term deal after next year. Team could tender him – and given the lack of offer sheets to restricted free agents – Baldwin could very well wind up playing 2014 on a one-year tender.
dharmabruce asked about Jermaine Kearse and whether he will end up on the 53-man roster or the practice squad.
Danny O'Neil. Great question, and he's one of the players I'm going to be most interested to watch in training camp. He had a real rapport with Russell Wilson in training camp last year, and he's got great size. The question – as always – is his catching ability.
RWIII isn't sold on the idea of using Bruce Irvin as an outside linebacker, while Kobe Berg doubts Irvin would be dropping into coverage much in that role.
Danny O'Neil. It's going to be interesting, that's for sure. I can see how you'd be concerned that you're taking a guy and seeing if he can do something that is drastically different from the position you picked him for. I can also see how – if it works – this makes your pass rush so much more dynamic because you essentially have two blazing-fast edge rushers on the field. ...There will be times that he does have to drop. Also, if Cliff Avril is at Leo, I think there will be times he's called to drop to change things up and keep offenses guessing.
PartyHarty asked what happened to Darren Fells.
Danny O'Neil: He was released, and this is not a shock. The guy hadn't played football in 10 years, and while the combination of his size and athleticism made him intriguing, his (lack of) playing history made him a long shot. A lot was made of the fact he signed a three-year contract, and that was very misguided. The team controls a player's rights until after he completes three seasons.
Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 9:14am
A transcript of the live Seahawks chat hosted by Danny O'Neil on Thursday, May, 9.
Thursday, May 9, 2013 @ 7:59am
Seattle's rookies show up for their first day of work on Friday, and while this is more like an introductory quiz than a final exam, it's never too soon to start asking questions about this year's crop of newcomers.
Here's five things we'll be trying to find out during this weekend's three-day minicamp:
Can Tharold Simon play the part he appears perfectly suited for?
He certainly looks like a Seahawks cornerback, standing 6-feet-2. He plays like a Seahawks cornerback, too, as he was known for his feisty man-to-man coverage at LSU. He was even picked in the fifth round, which is where the Seahawks have had remarkable success finding defensive backs since that's where they selected safety Kam Chancellor in 2010 and cornerback Richard Sherman a year later.
Sure, Simon was arrested in his hometown the day the draft began, but the Seahawks have been willing to overlook a legal scrape or two in the past. He sounds like an ideal fit for Seattle's secondary. Does his play match up?
Defensive tackle Jesse Williams might have the best chance of any Seattle rookie to crack the Week 1 starting lineup. (AP)
The Seahawks have had at least one rookie in the starting lineup the past four years, a streak that has a very good chance of ending this year with all but two of last year's starters still on the roster. But while there's no way this will be like 2011 when James Carpenter, John Moffitt and K.J. Wright were all Week 1 starters as rookies, there's certainly a chance that a newcomer will make an impact.
Defensive tackle Jesse Williams might be the best bet in that regard. At 6-feet-3, 323 pounds, he's the type of big-bodied player Seattle has found success with on the defensive line, whether it was with Red Bryant at defensive end or Alan Branch at tackle. Right now, new addition Tony McDaniel projects as the starter for Seattle as the three-technique defensive tackle, which means it's conceivable Williams could play his way to top of the depth chart.
Williams also has the distinction of being the only player John Schneider has traded up to acquire during his term as Seahawks general manager. Seattle gave up two picks to acquire choice No. 137, which was used to select Williams.
How's Spencer Ware's transition game?
He was the second running back Seattle selected, but the Seahawks are actually looking at him as a potential fullback. Will he make that transition quick enough to make the 53-man roster? Anyone thinking that his selection signaled the potential end of Michael Robinson's time with the Seahawks should think back to Mack Strong, who spent the better part of a decade beating out fullbacks like Heath Evans, Chris Davis and then David Kirtman.
Still, Ware is a big, physical back and it will be interesting to see how quickly he takes to the position whose job description reads like a battering ram.
How does Michael Bowie look?
Of the four players Seattle took the seventh round, this is the guy that just might have the best chance at making the roster. Start with the position: Bowie plays offensive tackle, a position where Seattle returns starters Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini while Mike Person is the primary backup at age 24, a member of the practice squad who was promoted to Seattle's 53-man roster last year.
Bowie spent time at a junior college, transferred to Oklahoma State where he played as a junior and was projected to start at left tackle for the Cowboys last season only to be kicked off the team the month before the season started. Bowie wound up playing at Northeastern State in Oklahoma, and Schneider said Bowie was chosen where he was for a reason: "He has a background," Schneider said.
There's also a reason he was drafted at all because he's got plenty of ability, he knows Okung and he plays a position that gives him a shot to make the 53-man roster.
Which undrafted free agent will find a way onto the team?
Great question. There's an average of one a year over the past decade, and anyone who questions the level of impact an undrafted player can have should be reminded that Doug Baldwin led this team in catches two years ago. Three undrafted rookies made the team that year: Baldwin, quarterback Josh Portis and safety Jeron Johnson.
None made it a year ago, but you could have one this year even with the stature of Seattle's roster. A big part of Seattle's pitch to sign undrafted linebackers John Lotulelei of UNLV and Craig Wilkins of Old Dominion was that Seattle didn't use a draft choice on anyone to play linebacker. We'll see if either of those can make a case for the regular-season roster.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 8:56pm
Seahawks guard James Carpenter is one of 14 players to enter the NFL as a first-round pick after playing for coach Nick Saban at Alabama.
Perhaps those injury issues are coincidental, but John Clayton made the connection to Alabama during Monday's edition of "Cold Hard Facts" when the conversation shifted to Carpenter, a first-round pick in 2011 whose first two NFL seasons have been cut short by knee injuries.
"Do you notice that a lot of the guys coming out of 'Bama are injured or suffering injuries or carryover injuries or (are) all banged up? They go through so much training when they're there," Clayton said. "... This is one of the reasons why Alabama is so successful and Nick Saban's got himself a mini-dynasty going on in college football, is because they work so hard."
Clayton cited a pair of Alabama players from this year's draft as further evidence: cornerback Dee Milliner and running back Eddie Lacy. Milliner, selected ninth overall by the Jets, reportedly underwent five surgeries while in college. Lacy has a toe injury that is believed to be part of the reason he fell to the Packers at the bottom of the second round.
"A lot of these guys coming out of 'Bama, they literally are out there practicing and lifting just about almost every day," Clayton said, "so you kind of wonder, is that just now what you get when you get an Alabama player – that he's not injury-prone but there is a little bit more of a chance that he is going to have more injuries than most?"
Which brings us back to Carpenter, who missed a total of 16 games while finishing each of his first two seasons on injured reserve. Carpenter remained in Seattle over the offseason to rehab and prepare for the upcoming season. He'll be competing with three others – Paul McQuistan, John Moffitt and J.R. Sweezy – for one of two starting spots at guard.
Dave Grosby and Danny O'Neil pick up the conversation there, previewing what is one of the Seahawks' only expected position battles.
You can listen to Wednesday's show here.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 @ 1:36pm
The Seahawks' experiment with Darren Fells was a short one.
The team has waived the former professional basketball player who was attempting to make it in the NFL as a tight end, a move first reported by Brian McIntyre of Yahoo! Sports and later announced by the team. The Seahawks signed Fells in March.
Seattle selected a tight end in the fifth round of last month's draft, adding Luke Wilson to a group that includes last year's starter Zach Miller and backup Anthony McCoy. Sean McGrath and Cooper Helfet are the other tight ends on Seattle's roster.
The 6-foot-7 Fells has played professional basketball overseas. He's the younger brother of NFL tight end Daniel Fells.