Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 3:53pm
Earl Thomas had a three-letter reaction when he learned of his ranking on the NFL Network's list of the league's top-100 players.
"Lol," the Seahawks' All-Pro safety tweeted after checking in at No. 66 Thursday.
Thomas took it as a slight that he was ranked 66th for the second straight year despite being a first-team All-Pro selection and a Pro Bowl starter in 2012.
In the video below, Brock Huard and Danny O'Neil assess Thomas' 2012 season and discuss what he can do to take the next step in 2013.
You can listen to Friday's show here.
Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 1:50pm
By Danny O'Neil
Training camp is more than two months away, but the Seahawks suffered their first loss of the season.
Bruce Irvin will be suspended for the first four games of the season, the NFL announced Friday, for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
That's the cue to begin the hand-wringing, whether it's about depth at Seattle's pass-rushing defensive end or the fact that Irvin becomes the fifth Seahawk in three years to be suspended for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
"I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans for making a mistake," Irvin said in a statement released by the Seahawks. "I took a substance that is prohibited in the NFL without a medical exemption. I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions."
He was not suspended under the league's policy for substance abuse, which generally requires multiple violations. He was suspended under the policy for a performance-enhancing substance, which is triggered by a single violation.
Irvin's explanation points to Adderall, an amphetamine that can be prescribed for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. A player will be suspended for testing positive for amphetamines unless he has applied for – and received – a medical-use exemption from the league.
That explanation does not minimize the impact of his suspension nor does it excuse Irvin's oversight that led to it, especially on a team that became a focal point for the discussion of Adderall when cornerback Richard Sherman had a four-game suspension overturned last season because the testing procedure was not followed.
There is no way to minimize the impact of the suspension either in terms of the loss of Irvin, a player Seattle chose as the first defensive end off the board in 2012, or the misjudgment that led to the suspension.
Irvin's suspension is a reality check after an offseason of unchecked optimism and acquisition, a reminder of just how fragile a formula for success can be.
Before the news of Irvin's suspension, the Seahawks had so much depth at defensive end that they were working Irvin at strongside linebacker to see how if it was possible to get him on the field at the same time as returning starter Chris Clemons or Cliff Avril, the defensive end Seattle signed in free agency.
Now, Avril is the only pass-rushing end Seattle can be certain will be available for the season-opener as Clemons is coming off knee surgery to repair a torn ligament suffered in January.
Not only that, but running back Marshawn Lynch has a court hearing in the Bay Area next week on a motion to dismiss a DUI charge he faces there. If that motion is denied, Lynch could face a trial this summer and were he to be convicted, he could face league discipline as well.
None of this news undermines Seattle's hopes for this season, but it serves as a reminder that 2013 isn't going to be a parade either. There is going to be adversity. There will be mistakes, and some of those mistakes – like Irvin's suspension – are going to be maddeningly self-inflicted.
Friday, May 17, 2013 @ 12:34pm
The NFL has suspended Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.
Irvin issued a statement through the team in which he apologized to his teammates, coaches and Seahawks fans and said he made a mistake by taking a substance that is prohibited without a medical exemption. The league does not divulge which substances trigger positive tests.
"I am extremely disappointed in the poor judgment I showed and take full responsibility for my actions. I will not appeal the discipline and instead will focus my energy on preparing for the season so I can begin earning your trust and respect again. I look forward to contributing to the team the moment I return," Irvin's statement read, in part.
Irvin, Seattle's first-round pick in 2012, led all rookies in sacks last season with eight while playing mainly as a situational pass-rusher. His role was expected to expand this season with the Seahawks facing the possibility of having to begin the year without their best pass rusher, Chris Clemons, who's recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.
Ian Rapoport, a reporter for the NFL Network, tweeted Friday that the Seahawks knew Irvin's suspension was a possibility before the start of free agency, which would further explain why they added pass-rushers Cliff Avril and Michel Bennett.
Irvin becomes the fifth Seahawk since 2011 to be suspended for violating the league's performance-enhancing substance policy. Allen Barbre, John Moffitt, Winston Guy and Brandon Browner are the others. Richard Sherman had his suspension overturned on appeal.
He expressed remorse via Twitter Friday: "I messed up and I feel so bad and have been depressed for weeks now. I've had sleepless nights because I knew when this came out, I would let so many people down, including myself. I have worked so hard to rebuild my image and it takes another blow."
Related: Irvin's suspension is a reality check for the Seahawks.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 2:48pm
The Seahawks have signed sixth-round pick Spencer Ware to a multi-year deal, leaving Seattle with eight of its 11 draft choices under contract.
The team announced the signing Thursday. Still un-signed are running back Christine Michael, cornerback Tharold Simon and left tackle Michael Bowie.
Ware was primarily a halfback at LSU, but Seattle chose him 194th overall with the intention of coverting him to fullback.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 @ 1:16pm
We're four months away from the Seahawks and 49ers beginning to settle the matter during a Week 2 meeting at CenturyLink Field.
In the meantime, we'll have to settle for debate among scouts, analysts and talk-show hosts about which NFC West rival has assembled the best team. That's what "Brock and Danny" did Thursday when they were joined by Mike Sando of ESPN.com for a position-by-position look at each roster.
The 49ers' Aldon Smith was second in the NFL last season with 19.5 sacks. (AP)
First, a disclaimer: It's not an apples-to-apples comparison as the teams have different defensive fronts. Aldon Smith is an outside linebacker but sometimes plays with his hand in the dirt in San Francisco's 3-4 defense, so he's considered a defensive lineman for the purposes of this conversation.
Aldon Smith and Justin Smith have wreaked havoc while working in tandem along San Francisco's defensive line, but a triceps injury limited Justin Smith late last season and even kept him out of a Week 16 loss to Seattle. The 49ers used a second-round pick on Tank Carradine after adding Glenn Dorsey in free agency, moves that Sando thinks could reflect a desire to mix more players into their defensive-line rotation after relying on a smaller number of players in recent years, possibly causing them to wear down as the season progressed.
Justin Smith will be 34 next season. Sando thinks his health is one of the only question marks with San Francisco's defensive line.
"If Justin Smith's healthy going into camp, I may give the 49ers an edge as far as what we know it's going to be," he said.
The Seahawks added to their defensive line through free agency and the draft to a much greater extent, addressing a position that struggled last season to generate a consistent pass rush and at times had trouble stopping the run. Seattle signed Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett and Tony McDaniel before drafting Jordan Hill and Jesse Williams.
While Sando likes those additions, he expressed some uncertainty about Red Bryant returning to form following a foot injury and whether any of Seattle's options at defensive tackle can replace Alan Branch without significant dropoff.
"I think you could make the case for the overall depth and rotation and flexibility and versatility of the Seahawks," Sando said, "but you could make a case then that when you line up on any one given play that the 49ers may be as good or better."
Brock Huard and Danny O'Neil share their thoughts in the video below.
You can listen to Thursday's show here.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 3:47pm
Danny O'Neil hosted another edition of "Hawk Talk" Wednesday. The full transcript can be found here. Highlights are below.
page asked for the odds that sixth-round pick Spencer Ware makes the team.
Danny O'Neil: Pretty good, I'd say. The fact that Ware carried the ball so often in minicamp made me think that while he's competing for a spot at fullback, he might have a different niche in terms of the offense than Michael Robinson.
Steven Hauschka was 1-of-4 on attempts 50 yards or longer last season. (AP)
Danny O'Neil: Yes, the 49ers have. They've stayed in Youngstown in fact, but to answer your question, I don't think Seattle will choose that option. Pete Carroll is pretty concerned with habits and routines, and I don't see him disrupting the schedule like that.
Adam isn't sold on kicker Steven Hauschka's leg strength and wondered if he might lose his job to Carson Wiggs, who was with Seattle in training camp last year and was signed as a free agent in March.
Danny O'Neil: I'll tell you what: Keep an eye on the kicker out of Portland State, Zachary Brown. He goes by Ramirez now, and he's got a boot. Certainly going to be a competition.
Patrick asked about the outlook for Benson Mayowa, the defensive end Seattle signed after he impressed the team during a tryout at last weekend's rookie minicamp.
Danny O'Neil: He was explosive, and showed enough promise to be signed to the regular roster, but I think he's more a practice-squad candidate.
Sekolah asked about expectations for Seahawks safety Winston Guy, a sixth-round pick in 2012.
Danny O'Neil: We'll see. The team tried to give him a role last year as that designated pass rusher in the bandit package, and he was in over is head.
An anonymous guest asked whether Carroll or general manager John Schneider has final say in personnel decisions and how the two settle disagreements.
Danny O'Neil: Well, personnel acquisitions are John Schneider's decision, and the idea of final say would only come up if they were at an impasse. The reality is that they've worked very well together. I know everyone wants to know what happens when they disagree, and who would win a power struggle, but the reality is that Pete is pretty open-minded and excited about what John finds, and John doesn't want to force players on a coach who didn't want a guy. In terms of chain of command: John Schneider reports up to the president, Peter McLoughlin, who reports up to the owner.
Dan asked whether defensive tackle Clinton McDonald will be on the roster in Week 1.
Danny O'Neil: He's going to be playing for is job, but after the injury to Greg Scruggs, it would surprise me if McDonald wasn't on the team. Very capable of backup who was always active last season.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 12:32pm
A pair of injury-plagued seasons hasn't validated the Seahawks' decision to draft James Carpenter with the 25th pick in the 2011 draft, a move that was widely panned at the time.
Carpenter has missed 16 games because of a pair of knee injuries, changed positions, and will be competing for a starting spot at guard in his third NFL season. That's not what a team envisions when drafting a player in the first round.
But that selection doesn't look as bad considering that Gabe Carimi, the offensive lineman taken one pick after Carpenter, is by most accounts fighting for a roster spot with the Bears.
In the video below, Brock Huard and Danny O'Neil revisit those picks and discuss whether Carimi could be an option for the Seahawks as a backup if he's released.
You can listen to Wednesday's show here.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 8:45am
The Seahawks made a pair of roster moves Tuesday, waiving cornerback Chandler Fenner and claiming long snapper Adam Steiner off waivers from the Raiders.
Steiner played collegiately at Akron and signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent last month. Fenner was signed to Seattle's practice squad in December. He was waived with an injury designation.