Wednesday, March 5, 2014 @ 10:35pm
Suspending three players before the first spring practice certainly wasn't how Chris Petersen wanted to begin his career at Washington.
"I've been doing this long enough to know that it comes with the job. It's part of the job," Petersen said. "These guys are still young guys that are developing and trying to figure things out, and that's our job is to try to help educate them. As we know and through our experiences, guys are going to make mistakes. Part of the thing is helping these guys figure it out and mature and do things the right way and mature.
"But it's a hard, painful process at times, no question."
The absences of quarterback Cyler Miles and wide receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow didn't come as a surprise as Washington began spring practices Tuesday. That of linebacker John Timu, however, did. The three-year starter and two-time defensive captain was suspended for the first two weeks of spring ball after he was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of vehicle prowling, which were deferred in King County District Court last month.
Petersen did not comment on the specifics on Timu's suspension, though he noted that the alleged crime took place well before Washington's current coaching staff arrived.
"So we deal with it how you're supposed to and you move on," he said.
Miles and Stringfellow, meanwhile, remain indefinitely suspended for their alleged involvement in an assault that took place last month near UW's campus. Neither player has been charged, and Petersen indicated that he'll wait for the legal process to play out before making a decision on their statuses with the team.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 @ 10:03am
By Brady Henderson
Scott Baker missed all of 2012 following Tommy John surgery then experienced what he called a "pretty major setback" that limited him to three games at the end of last season.
Now he believes the health issues are behind him as he tries to make the Mariners' rotation.
"It's really nice to actually come into a spring training and feel well," he told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Tuesday, "and I feel like I'm kind of getting back to my old self."
That would be a good thing for the Mariners, and not only because of the fact that Baker, 32, averaged 11 wins during the five seasons before his elbow surgery. As Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss in the video above, Seattle's rotation could use a reliable pitcher given all the questions marks it's currently dealing with.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 @ 10:16am
By Brady Henderson
The Seahawks and 49ers have plenty in common, from the division they reside in to the way their teams are defined by strong defenses, physical running backs and young, athletic quarterbacks.
Where the similarities end is in the harmony between their respective head coaches and front offices. While there has been no indication that Pete Carroll and John Schneider have been in anything but lockstep while molding the Seahawks into Super Bowl champions, recent reports have characterized the relationship between their 49ers counterparts, head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke, as turbulent and potentially untenable.
From Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com:
The men are barely speaking, I'm told, and almost all communication is through email. Harbaugh also has a strained relationship with team president Paraag Marathe, sources said, and he has clashed with many within the organization. It could prove untenable. If anything, the impression I got this week was that the situation there is actually much worse than how it has been portrayed in the media, and helps explain the delay in giving a new deal to the coach, who has two years left on a contract he has outperformed.
That's the who and the what. Those theorizing about the when and the why have cited personnel disagreements dating back to the 2011 draft, Harbaugh's first with the 49ers, and what one 49ers writer, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee, described as the coach's proclivity for chaos and inability to function without discord regardless of those around him.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com, a guest on Monday's edition of "Bob and Groz" on 710 ESPN Seattle, said the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl and going through the 49ers to do so inflamed matters, helping explain why such dysfunction could exist on a team that has had so much on-field success.
"It's just amazing to me," Sando said. "Over the last three years they've won 41 games, counting the playoffs. No one's won more. They're tied with New England. And you're having issues? That's why I really think the Seattle component is a big part of it."
In the video above, Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby share their thoughts on the 49ers saga and how different it appears to the harmony in Seattle's front office.
Sunday, February 23, 2014 @ 4:28pm
With no new developments on a possible return of the NBA to Seattle, the city is now taking a long, hard look at another option to bridge the gap of time between the seasons of the Seahawks, Sounders and Mariners.
Hoping to ride a wave of momentum after the Winter Olympics hockey tournament, the Seattle Sports Commission will head to Vancouver this week to watch a Canucks game and meet with the city's sports and tourism officials to get more knowledge about the NHL product.
Ralph Morton, the executive director of the Seattle Sports Commission, talked with 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" about the motivation behind the trip, and he explained that it appears to be an opportune time for the city to pursue an NHL franchise.
"I see this town and a thriving community," Morton said. "I think the time is right. I think this community can afford it and everything I hear has been pretty darn positive (about bringing the NHL to Seattle)."
As was the case in last year's failed bid to bring the NBA back to Seattle, a new arena would be necessary for Seattle to gain an NHL franchise. The NHL has already proved to be more realistically viable for Seattle than the NBA, though, by showing an interest in expansion.
"I think it says something the fact that (the NHL) would consider a temporary situation. I think that's a strong statement about how eager they might be to be here in Seattle," Morton said.
Morton believes Seattle fans would take to an NHL franchise much like it has to the Sounders, who regularly set MLS attendance records at CenturyLink Field.
"The sport, to some people it's foreign, but there's a ton of hockey fans in the region. I think it would be a big success similar to MLS coming to town," Morton said. "I also like the idea … similar to what's happened with the soccer, where you create the little I-5 rivalry between Portland and Vancouver for soccer, here's an opportunity with hockey. Imagine those Vancouver games, playing against them. It just kinda has a built-in audience and builds that instant rivalry."
A number of new politicians, including mayor Ed Murray, have recently taken office in Seattle, though Morton doesn't see that as a road block to a potential deal with the NHL.
"I think our new mayor is supportive of the idea. You saw him in the big parade as one of the 12th Men there riding along with some of the (Seahawks). I think they realize the economic impact that sports has on the region. I'm positive from a political perspective that they see the value that this would bring."
The prevailing idea is that Seattle sports fans are more set on seeing a return of the Sonics in Seattle, but Morton believes those same fans could be just as interested in an NHL franchise.
"The Sonics truly were part of our culture, and I think they kinda still are even though they're not here at the moment," he said. "It's interesting, when you hear people and you talk to a group, you might walk in assuming that it's 'Let's get the Sonics back.' But you keep getting a lot of these people who will say, 'We want hockey as much as we want the Sonics.'
"You do have this core base of people because of who we are as a city, where people have moved here from the Midwest, people have moved here from Canada, a little more of an international, diverse city, that we have a ton of hockey fans here. So there's a passionate base that maybe is hockey-first. In my opinion, it would work pretty well here."
Thursday, February 20, 2014 @ 10:45am
By 710Sports.com staff
Draft analyst seem to be in agreement that this year's crop of prospects is the best in recent memory. Opinions differ, though, as to which positions are the deepest.
Russ Lande of the National Football Post joined 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" Wednesday for a draft discussion, and offensive line was the first position he mentioned.
"I don't think they're going to use a first-round pick on anybody like that," Lande said of the Seahawks, who hold the final pick in the first round, "but I think when you get into that second or third round I think there's some really good football players."
Lande mentioned UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo and Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson as two of the best guards that are expected to be drafted in that range. As it stands now, Seattle doesn't have a third-round pick, having traded it to Minnesota in the Percy Harvin deal.
In the video above, Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss the areas on Seattle's offensive line that the team could improve through the draft.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 @ 3:58pm
By Brady Henderson
Tight end is becoming an increasingly specialized position in the NFL, one at which not many play every down and few excel at more areas than one.
Williamson, a guest on 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" Monday, said that of the top three tight-end prospects – Seferian-Jenkins, Texas Tech's Jace Amaro and North Carolina's Eric Ebron – the former Husky is "the most Gronk-like" because of his ability to be an every-down player who can line up with his hand in the dirt and a capable run blocker in addition to a receiving threat.
"I'm thinking he's a top-50 pick for sure," Williamson said, "and maybe even a late-first, early-second guy."
Seferian-Jenkins won the Mackey Award last season after catching 36 passes for 450 yards and eight touchdowns, widening his lead as the most prolific tight end in school history.
He missed the season opener while serving a suspension for an offseason DUI arrest. Williamson believes that NFL teams will look past that if they determine throughout the scouting process that it was a one-time mistake and not indicative of a serious problem.
"You actually have to sit down with the young man," he said. "When I was scouting for the Browns, you go there and you talk to secretaries and strength coaches and janitors and if a lot of them are telling you, 'He's a fine kid, he just screwed up,' then it's a lot easier to brush that off."
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 @ 8:18am
By Brady Henderson
What we know about Golden Tate is that he is a tough, durable and explosive wide receiver whose best days are likely still ahead of him and whose desire to remain with the Seahawks is such that he could conceivably turn down slightly larger offers to do so.
We also know that the Seahawks would love to keep Tate, who is one of their key free agents and a player who was instrumental in Seattle winning its first Super Bowl. It's just a matter of the extent to which the team will go to do so, and whatever price the Seahawks determine for Tate will be at least somewhat influenced by the strength and amount of less expensive alternatives should they have to move forward without him.
According to Matt Williamson, the Seahawks will have plenty.
Williamson, a former NFL scout who now works for ESPN, told 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Monday that this draft is going to be among the deepest in recent memory and singled out wide receiver as one of the strongest positions. He even suggested that the depth at receiver could push to the middle of the draft prospects that would otherwise be taken much earlier.
"There's a ton of underclass wide receivers in this class, and that might work out for Seattle well, too," he said. "If you get a fourth-round receiver that has a lot of tools that generally goes at the end of the second round and you let him wait for a year while the guys that you have continue to play well, maybe he's a real find."
In the video above, Bob Stelton and Dave Grosby discuss how that might affect the Seahawks' thinking on Tate and propose one reason why Seattle may be reticent to rely on finding a replacement in the draft.
Thursday, February 13, 2014 @ 6:45pm
By Brady Henderson
Evan Silva of Rotoworld joined 710 ESPN Seattle's "Bob and Groz" on Thursday for a conversation that included his thoughts on the limits to which the Seahawks will go to re-sign defensive lineman Michael Bennett and a potential alternative if they don't.
Below are Silva's thoughts on each subject followed by mine.
Silva's give: The Seahawks likely won't break the bank for Bennett given a) their relatively tight budget and what could be a steep cost to re-sign him, b) the depth of this year's class of free-agent defensive linemen and c) general manager John Schneider's track record of finding bargains in free agency. The market for Bennett and other pass rushers should be soft, just like it was last year when Bennett signed a one-year, $4.8 million deal with Seattle.
"I think the same thing is going to happen because if you look at the defensive ends, if you look at the defensive tackles, these positions are loaded in free agency," Silva said. "Why would a team go out and pay huge money to Michael Bennett when they can get a younger Everson Griffen for two years and $7.5 million while Michael Bennett's out there telling everybody he wants $10 million a year?"
Henderson's take: The Seahawks are already over the projected 2014 salary cap, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and have other key players who are either free agents or eligible for new contracts. That makes it hard to imagine them giving Bennett a deal worth $10 million per season, as good as he was while helping Seattle win the Super Bowl. And while Bennett has said he won't give Seattle a discount in what could be his best and final shot to cash in, it's also hard to imagine him realistically expecting that much money from any team. According to the website spotrac.com, only 10 defensive linemen are making an average of at least $10 million per year, and most of those deals were signed before the market went south last offseason.
Schneider has proven to be particularly shrewd when it comes to finding value via trade, the draft or free agency. The best example of the latter would be last year when Seattle got 16.5 regular-season sacks out of Bennett and Cliff Avril, whose average salaries were a combined $11.3 million. And the Seahawks shouldn't have a hard time convincing pass rushers to come to Seattle, where the crowd noise at CenturyLink Field and the league's best secondary makes it easier to get to the quarterback. That was part of the reason Bennett and Avril signed with the Seahawks, and the seasons they had should only reinforce Seattle's appeal.
The Seahawks have obvious incentive to re-sign Bennett, who was a key member of the pass rush they had been searching for since Schneider and coach Pete Carroll arrived in 2010. They probably won't break the bank for him, but they may not even have to.
Silva's give: Everson Griffen, who has spent his first four seasons playing behind Jared Allen and Brian Robison in Minnesota, is a sleeper in this year's crop of free-agent pass rushers and would make sense for the Seahawks should they not re-sign Bennett.
"This guy can play linebacker, he's an explosive pass rusher, versatile, young," Silva said of the 26-year-old Griffen. "And there's not a whole lot of buzz on him right now. Now, that may pick up when the scouting combine comes next week, and that's when the mingling starts and people start talking who's going to go where, how much is this guy worth. Everson Griffen is a guy that I would keep in mind because he's not one of the bigger names, but I think he could end up having the biggest impact on the defensive-end free-agent market, which is pretty loaded ... I think he can have the best bang for his buck."
Henderson's take: If the Seahawks let Bennett walk in free agency, they would presumably try to find a player who can replicate his ability to play inside and outside. Listed at 6-feet-3 and 273 pounds, Griffen is nearly the same height and weight as Bennett. One question, though, is whether he has the quickness that allows Bennett to overcome the size he gives up when he slides inside and faces bigger interior offensive linemen.
Griffen played for Carroll at USC before he was drafted in the fourth round in 2010 by Minnesota. Such connections are worth noting when it comes to free agency, even though there is no guarantee a team would have any more interest in a player with which it has some familiarity.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
- March 6, 2014 - Hour: 1Is Michael Bennett the best available free agent in the NFL? Bob and Chris Egan discuss that as well
- March 6, 2014 - Hour: 2ROOT Sports' Bill Krueger joins Bob and Egan to share his thoughts on Mariners camp so far and whet
- March 6, 2014 - Hour: 3With Michael Bennett set to enter free agency, The Professor, John Clayton, joins Bob and Egan to di
- March 5, 2014 - Hour: 1Is lineup protection a myth? ESPN and Fangraphs' Dave Cameron joins Bob and Jim Moore to talk about
- March 5, 2014 - Hour: 2UW head football coach, Chris Petersen joins Bob and Jim Moore to talk about the challenges of year
- March 5, 2014 - Hour: 3What does Colin Kaepernick's asking price mean for Russell Wilson when he's allowed to restructure