Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2014 Training Camp News & Notes: July 30th Edition

Eric Winston is starter material
It has been only two practices. Michael Bowie has not yet gone a full practice. Justin Britt is a rookie who should improve with experience. All these are legitimate reasons to question whether newcomer Eric Winston will start the season as the Seahawks right tackle. That said, Winston is a completely different level of pass blocker than Britt, and is very well versed in this run scheme. Britt looks stronger, and may be a better power run blocker (need to see more of both to assess that), but he is still learning the zone blocking system of Tom Cable. Winston learned essentially the same scheme under Cable's offensive line teacher, Alex Gibbs. He struggled last year in Arizona, but that was running a power scheme. Every year he has played in a zone scheme, he has been an above average right tackle. He grades out as an improvement over Breno Giacomini when looking at those past years of performance. There are also some subtle clues coming from the team about their expectations. Winston was made available for the press after his first practice to do a press conference, and then was on the radio again today. Generally speaking, the PR staff does not showcase new additions like that unless the in-house expectation is that the player will play a meaningful role on the team. is early, but the right tackle position is already far better than it was 48 hours ago.

PODCAST: On-Air With Softy Talking Seahawks Training Camp

I joined the Softy Mahler show on KJR today to talk all things Seahawks training camp.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Tom Cable May Have A Blind Spot

Let me start by saying Tom Cable is one of my favorite coaches on the Seahawks. He stopped the never-ending turnstile of offensive line coaches and instilled a toughness the Seahawks had not seen on the line since Walter Jones, Steve Hutchinson and Robbie Tobeck paved the path to a record-breaking ground game. Cable should be a head coach again, and might be a great option to succeed Pete Carroll down the road. He also may have a coaching blind spot. A blind spot that could derail the Seahawks season if left untended.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014 Training Camp News & Notes: July 27th Edition (First Padded Practice)

Offense not ready to function with Britt at right tackle
Justin Britt was overwhelmed again today in pass protection, most often by Cliff Avril. You could almost sense the blood in the water when Avril stepped across from Britt and either sped around him or powered through him. This was not a one-off occurrence. It happened almost every time in 1v1 pass rush drills, and not just against Avril, and then again in team drills. The first team offense could not move the ball because the pass rush was in Wilson's face almost immediately. They did better in run drills, and Britt is stronger in that aspect of his game. Tom Cable has proven he will favor run blockers over pass blockers time and again. He did it last year with Michael Bowie over Alvin Bailey. Still, Britt would have to make huge strides by the end of camp to be a starting caliber tackle early this year.

Guest Appearance On Bleacher Report Talking Marshawn Lynch

I have been doing interviews with Adam Lefkoe of Bleacher Report over the last few months. I'll try to remember to post them here now and then. Here was one from earlier this week about the Marshawn Lynch holdout.


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Saturday, July 26, 2014

2014 Training Camp News & Notes: July 26th Edition (2nd Practice)

Cassius Marsh looks promising
I am tempted to be even more bullish on Marsh after the burst and acceleration I have seen in his first two practices, but I need to see him in a padded practice and then against live competition. This must have been exactly how the front office and coaches felt when Marsh arrived late to OTAs (due to graduation rules) and they tempered their initial enthusiasm by saying he might just have "fresh legs." If what I saw today is an indication of what he will bring to the field on Sundays, Marsh will force his way into the rotation this season.

Friday, July 25, 2014

2014 Training Camp News & Notes: July 25th Edition (Opening Practice)

A very healthy bunch
The team enters camp in pretty good shape. Most of the players sitting out are recovering from off-season surgeries, and appear close to being ready. The team feels younger somehow. It may have to do with players like Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Breno Giacomini and Paul McQuistan moving on while young guys like Michael Bowie, Justin Britt, Greg Scruggs, Benson Mayowa and others are being asked to step forward. The fresh legs of players like Paul Richardson, Kevin Norwood and Christine Michael also help.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Players Who Could Change The Seahawks Season

Ending a season by winning a Super Bowl is hard to beat. There is something special, though, about the start of every football season. New faces join the team. Players get older. Some get better. Some get worse. New names emerge from obscurity, and familiar names sometimes fade into the sunset. As terrific as the Seahawks were in 2013, there are some players who were either unavailable, unused or simply not on the team who could have a significant impact on the coming season. Here are five such players to keep an eye on.

DOWNLOAD: Hawk Blogger 2014 Seahawks Training Camp Guide & Handout

It is almost that time. A new football season is about to begin. The Seahawks have sold out every public training camp. That means a lot of new faces will see players vying for a roster spot for the first time. I have spent more than a normal amount of time at these sessions in the past, and wanted to offer a few items to help make your visit even better.

Having a roster handout like this will help you know who all these unfamiliar players are. You will want to have this. Trust me! I've added my own notes on every player. This is especially useful for people who are bringing a loved one who is not as big of a fan as they are, so they can get an idea who is who.

- Bring sunscreen
They supply sometimes, but don't be caught without it!

- Don't sit down
It's a waste of time to sit down. The drills and action moves around. You should move with it. 

- Remember, this is general seating/standing
You do not have the right to the view in front of you. If someone is choosing to stand, move so you can see. 

- Wait for the three horns
The practices go longer than you think. It is not over until it's over.

- Use the bathroom on the way in
They are not convenient to get back to, and you'll miss the action!

Have fun, all. Happy Seahawks 2014! 
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The Path Back To The Top: Six Decades Of Super Bowl Trends

This is the latest in an ongoing series examining key factors that lead to repeated Super Bowl success. Some articles will focus on specific teams. Others will examine a particular facet or trend of note.

Some things have changed over the nearly fifty years of Super Bowls. Some things have stayed the same. Take a look at how the winners of the ultimate prize have performed each decade since the 1960s.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Path Back To The Top: 48 Year Averages For Super Bowl Winners

This is the latest in an ongoing series examining key factors that lead to repeated Super Bowl success. Some articles will focus on specific teams. Others will examine a particular facet or trend of note.

History Of Winning

Super Bowls have been played for the last forty-eight years. The types of champions have ranged from the teeth-breaking Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders to the sleek sports car offenses of Kurt Warner's St. Louis Rams and Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts. Despite coming in so many shapes and sizes, there are certain truths we can learn by examining the collection of winners in their entirety. To that end, I have compiled the key statistics of every Super Bowl winner, and will share some striking findings. There is so much to cover, we will have to take it in bite-sized pieces. We will start by seeing what the composite of a Super Bowl winner is (i.e., averaging the regular season numbers of every winning team), and how the 2013 Seahawks fit, or broke from, the norm.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Path Back To The Top: The Myth Of 4,000 Yards QBs

This is the latest in an ongoing series examining key factors that lead to repeated Super Bowl success. Some articles will focus on specific teams. Others will examine a particular facet or trend of note.

Some people want Wilson to prove he can throw for more yards

Passing Muster

Seahawks fans have heard it before. Some even are guilty of it themselves. Russell Wilson has won a Super Bowl, and is entering his third season, so the team should lean on him more and pass more often. Others will point to various quarterback rankings that are announced and hold it against Wilson that he has not proven he is capable of a 4,000 yard season. Super Bowl history indicates all that talk is counter to what matters most: winning a championship.