Archive for September, 2010

Leon “Me 12th Man” Washington

The New York Jets weren’t sure how Leon Washington would bounce back from a compound leg fracture so they decided to part with the 2008 Pro Bowl and All-Pro Selection running back.

Seattle decided to make a run at the running back and see how he would fit in with Lendale White and Justin Forsett in the back field and possibly in the special teams area by giving the Jets a fifth-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft. Little did they know that White wouldn’t fit in the Seahawks future plans and would be handed a pink slip before Training Camp even opened up.

That left Forsett, Washington and Julius Jones as the running backs in Seattle.

Washington has taken full advantage of the situations that the Seahawks have given him. As kick returner for the Seahawks Washington’s leg appears to be just fine and if you don’t believe it maybe you should ask the San Diego Chargers special teams unit.

As the third-quarter was underway Washington took the game into his hands and decided to run with it- a full 101-yards for a touchdown. The longest kick return in Seahawk history to put them up 17-0, but with an injured Marcus Trufant the Chargers were able to throw themselves right back into the game and make what looked like a Seahawk defeat into a 20-20 game.

With 6:24 left in regulation and the Chargers on a 20-3 run Washington again took things into his hands. This time a 99-yard return.

That’s all that was needed for the Seahawks 27-20 win over the AFC West and put them 2-1 heading into NFC West rivals St. Louis Rams.

Now Leon Washington is a Seattle super hero. He’s received recognition by Sports Illustrated’s NFL writer Peter King and could very well earn the honor of NFLs Special Team Player of the Week.

And opposing special teams know what Leon Washington can do, but more important Leon Washington knows he’s come along way from his injury during the 2009 season with the Jets.

All for a fifth-round pick the Seahawks have the most explosive kick returner in the NFL heading into the fourth week of the NFL Season.

Watch out St. Louis for kick-off.

Chargers at Seahawks: Week 3 Game Preview

San Diego (1-1, 0-1 T-2nd in AFC West) at Seattle (1-1, 1-0 1st in NFC West)
4:15 ET, 1:15 PT
Stadium: Qwest Field
Announcers: Ian Eagle (Play-by-Play) and Dan Fouts (Color Commentator) (CBS)
Last Meeting: In 2006 the Chargers beat the Seahawks 20-17 as Matt Hasselbeck tossed for 189-yards and Shaun Alexander rushed for 140-yards in the Christmas Eve meeting in week 16.

Analysis:
A new coach and staff yet the same inconsistent play by the Seahawks in the first two-weeks of the 2010 NFL Season. After a huge 31-6 win over NFC West rivals San Francisco the Seahawks went out to Denver and got beat 31-14. The Seahawks will have the 12th Man behind them this week but will be going up against a strong Chargers defense. The Seahawks passing game is doing decent and the line hasn’t been playing as well as some would like to see, but they’re getting the job done. Look for Seattle to try and get a decent run game going so they can open up the passing game, but if not the line has been doing well with the pass block. Mike Williams should be healthier this week than last weekend and he will be involved as well as Deon Butler and Golden Tate.

Defensively the Seahawks will have a test this week. Ryan Mathews most likely won’t be rushing the ball for the Chargers, but they have a very good quarterback in Phillip Rivers. Rivers will look to his go-to-guy Antonio Gates so look for the linebackers to be busy covering him. If the Seahawks can get pressure on Rivers and create him to look at other players other than Gates the Seahawks could be in a position to win the game. In week one the defense kept the Seahawks in the game until the offense was able to get going. Look for this to be the story this week, but unlike the 49ers it can’t go on for too long. The defense will be busy with Darren Sproles running the ball.
Connections:

-Seahawks assistant offensive line coach Luke Butkus played center for the Chargers from 2002-03.
-Chargers offensive coordinator Clarence Shelmon worked with the Seahawks from 1992-97.

Seahawk News of the Week:
-The Seahawks named Peter McLoughlin as new president of the Seahawks. He previously was the St. Louis Blues of the NHL CEO.

-ESPN.com is reporting sources tell them that Leroy Hill is facing a two-or-three-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. He already plead guilty on a marijuana charge and is now being charged in a domestic dispute. He’s been sidelined with an Achilles injury.

Seahawk Inactives:

Nate Ness

Quinton Ganther

Leroy Hill

Evan Dietrich-Smith

Chester Pitts

Russell Okung

Anthony McCoy

EJ Wilson

San Diego Inactives:

Ryan Matthews

Larry English

Stephen Cooper

Cam Thomas

Adam Terry

Vaughn Martin

Jyles Tucker

JT O’Sullivan (Emergency Quarterback)

Also don’t forget to check Hawk096 out on Twitter for up-to-the minute game info, news and notes. Enjoy the game 12th Man!

Week 1 49ers at Seahawks Game Preview

San Francisco (0-0, 0-0) at Seattle (0-0, 0-0)
4:15 ET, 1:15 PT
Stadium: Qwest Field
Announcers: Sam Rosen (Play-by-Play) and Tim Ryan (Color Commentator) (Fox)
Last Meeting: Seahawks K Olindo Mare kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired to defeat San Francisco 20-17 in Week 13 of the 2009 NFL Season. It would turn out to be the Seahawks last win in Seattle under Jim Mora and Mora’s last win as Seahawks head coach.
Analysis:
It’s a brand new start for the NFL, but with no Walter Jones blocking Matt Hasselbeck’s blindside what can be expected from the offensive side? Hasselbeck felt safe when the Seahawks selected Russell Okung with the sixth-overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, but Okung is out today and Tyler Polumbus instead will make the start. Expect the 49ers to put pressure on Hasselbeck and get the Seahawks to win by rushing rather than passing. The running game is the Seahawks weakness. Justin Forsett will get the start, but who will have the most carries is the question. Leon Washington could be a factor in sharing carries with Forsett as well as Julius Jones. For the Seahawks to have success the running game is going to have to make its contributions to allow the passing game to be set-up.

Defensively the Seahawks line is the weakness of the unit. Leroy Hill won’t be playing, but David Hawthorne earns the start. Last year he made a name for himself in opportunities and might actually be an upgrade over Hill. Lofa Tatupu earns his fourth-straight Opening Day start and is healthy a major upgrade for the Seahawks. Also healthy is Marcus Trufant which upgrades the Seahawks secondary after a weak year last year. The drafting of Earl Thomas also improves the secondary and if Seattle could get a little pressure up front it could make some plays with this secondary.

Overall: This is a good test for Seattle. The 9ers passing game isn’t its key. If Seattle can stop the run and create pressure on Alex Smith it could be a close battle. If not look for San Francisco to run all over Seattle- literally.

Connections:
-Seahawks first-year head coach Pete Carroll worked with the 49ers from 1995-96 as Defensive Coordinator. He left there for his first NFL Coaching gig with the New York Jets.

-DE Kentwan Balmer  was traded to Seattle in August after being the 49ers first-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of North Carolina. In two-years with the 49ers he picked up 19 tackles in 27 games- starting none of them. He played 2008-09 with the 49ers.

-RB Michael Robinson was selected in the fourth-round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the 49ers out of Penn State. With the 49ers he scored two rushing touchdowns and rushed the ball 86 times for 289 yards in his career. In 2008 was named a Pro Bowl alternative for his Special Team contributions. He played with the 49ers from 2006-09.

-Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. played for the 49ers from 1994-2000.

-Seahawks Defensive Line coach Dan Quinn coached the 49ers from 2001-04.

-Seahawks Assistant Defensive Backs coach Kris Richard played for the 49ers from 2005-06.

-Seahawks Special Teams assistant Jeff Ulbrich played for the 49ers from 2000-09.
Seahawk News of the Week (A lot more than I can type):

-Sean Locklear, Julius Jones and Leroy Hill all restructured their deals to stay in Seattle.

-The Seahawks will reportedly work out OG Josh Beekman and Jason Hill next week.

Seahawks making their first appearance as a Seahawk:

-OG Stacy Andrews- Acquired in a trade (Philadelphia).

-TE Chris Baker- signed with Seattle during free agency (New England).

-DE Kentwan Balmer- Acquired in a trade (San Francisco)

-DE Raheem Brock- Signed as a free agent with Seattle (Tennessee).

-DE Chris Clemons- Traded to Seattle for Darryl Tapp (Philadelphia).

-RB Quinton Ganther- Signed with Seattle during Free Agency (Washington).

-OG Ben Hamilton- Signed with Seattle as a Free Agent (Denver).

-LB Matt McCoy- Free Agency (Tampa Bay).

-OT Chester Pitts- Free Agency (Houston).

-OT Tyler Polumbus- Trade (Detroit).

-RB Michael Robinson- Free Agency (San Francisco).

-DT Junior Siavii- Free Agency (Dallas)

-RB Leon Washington- Trade (New York Jets).

-QB Charlie Whitehurst- Trade (San Diego).

-WR Mike Williams- Free Agent (Sat out 2009).

Rookies Making NFL Debut:

-S Earl Thomas- 1st Round

-WR Golden Tate- 2nd Round

-CB Walter Thurmond- 3rd Round

-DE EJ Wilson- 4th Round

-S Kam Chancellor- 5th Round

-DE Dexter Davis- 7th Round

Week 1 Seahawks VS 49ers

The season has officially begun, the Champions have defeated the Favreings, oops I mean Vikings, to start the season. Now it we are a half a day away from the first Sunday football action since Hank Baskett fumbled away Manning’s second Superbowl ring and brought the Lambardi trophy to a team better know for fans wearing bags over their heads then for winning.
This time tomorrow we will have a clear picture of the type of team the Seahawks are going to be this year. Pete Carroll insists the moves he is making are to better the team today but from my experience on the offensive line it is important that you are familiar with the guy standing next to you. Not only has the left side never played together, the starting left tackle has been here less then two weeks. My fear is that his insistence will make Seahawks fans buy into this “win now” talk and be terrified when the Seahawks look terrible on the field.
There are going to be growing pains my friends. Pete took over a terrible football team that had completely quite on the previous regime. If we take a second to think back to last year I said, and it’s on iTunes under The Brett and Brian Show, that there were two players worth protecting based on last years play; Olindo Mare and Jon Ryan. Everyone else stunk.
I expect much better play out of those who have stayed and think those we have replaced it has been to better the football team but not all of those dividends will be paid this season. This is a 6-8 win team.
Tomorrows game will have it’s ups and downs. For the first time in a long time I expect to see a hard hitting aggressive defense playing tough blue collar football. The energy high the intensity in the stadium will be incredible. That said their will be some mistakes and a minimum of two plays that go 40 yards or more. They have bolstered their line quite a bit but in doing so created a major weakness in pass protection. As much as I am a fan of G Mike Iupati he has trouble with fast players in space. Expect blitzing linebacker heading towards him and the line running stunts to spread the line.
On the offensive side of the ball we will see quick hitting pass plays, a lot of three step drops. Play action passing, draw plays and roll outs will also be the norm, all with the objective of giving Hasselbeck enough time to get ride of the ball and keeping Patrick Willis from finishing him off. In the running game we will see miss direction plays in effort to slow down this very aggressive 49ers team.
Prediction: When the final wistle blows the Seahawks will fall to the 49ers 13-24

Mawae Hangs up the Cleats

Drafted in the second-round of the 1994 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks as RG Kevin Mawae started just three games for the Seahawks in that season, but he started a career that could carry him to the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame- Canton, OH.

Mawae lasted only three-years in Seattle after finding a new position at center. That’s when he moved onto the Empire City where he stayed at the position of center until he announced his retirement Friday.

Throughout his NFL Career Mawae went to eight Pro Bowls, was a three-time All-Pro Selection and a member of the 2000 All-Decade team. However his main honor is one that the players voted him for and that he will have the responsibilities of until 2012- President of the NFLPA.

The job ahead of him might be harder than the job of protecting his quarterback come game time. He’s the voice of the players. A voice that’s needed to keep the NFL from locking out after the 2010 NFL Season.

A task that looks to be getting harder by the days. The players have their wants and of course the owners have their’s. Prior to Thursday Night’s NFL Kick-off game between the defending Super Bowl Champions the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings all players came off of the side-lines pointing the No. 1 finger in the air. It was a kind gesture saying “we are one”.

Paul Tagliabue’s legacy as the NFL Commissioner might all be judged on the the CBA development after this season completes and he will have no say in the talks.

If the NFL were to lock out it would ultimately cost millions of the most loyal sport fans to find another sport to watch or support until the NFL returns and then still they could lose a good chunk of the support.

The players want more money and the owners want less money for the players and more for their checkbooks. The owners want to expand the NFL regular season to 18 games and cut down the pre-season games, while the NFL players want to keep the 16 game schedule. So where do they meet?

The greatest thing about the NFL season is unlike baseball, basketball or hockey every game matters. One loss in an NFL season could decide your season and fate whereas one loss in the other three major sports could have a microscopic matter at the end of the season. Still 18 games would keep the importance of each game high, but the beating the players would suffer could cost a team a legit chance at the Lombardi trophy.

A center’s job isn’t just snapping and blocking the quarterback, but being the leader of the line. It’s not an easy job and nor is the one that now lines up across from Mawae. At the end of the game clock the only thing that’ll matter is if we have a season of Pro Bowlers lining up opening week in 2011 or replacement players.

And Mawae will play a major role in determining that.

Tis’ The Seasom

The moment we have all been waiting for since week 17 (or week 8 in some cases) of last season is a day away. Our Seattle Seahawks are set to face the San Francisco 49ers in Qwest Field Sunday afternoon. You may not recognize all the names on the back of the jerseys but don’t let that intimidate you, not even Coach Carroll knows them all.
It has been a crazy week, the craziest I can remember as a Seahawks fan. This guys getting cut along with those two and he’s on the trading block but we are bringing in him and trading for that guy, let’s restructure this contract so we don’t have to cut him, oh wait let’s bring back this guy and cut that guy. Now let’s set a practice squad. What we do know is that the 53-man roster is set, for this hour, at least I think it is. Don’t be surprised if we see more moves in the coming weeks as people get jostled around due to injuries and what not.
Now we must focus on the the task at hand, beating the 49ers and shutting up their annoying, arrogant fan base. I mean what have they won since the 90′s? A few game?
They come into the loudest stadium in the NFL, I don’t care what new DE Raheem Brock or NFLN Jason LaCanfora say about the situation the proof is in opponent false start penalty’s, with the expectations of becoming NFC West Champions. That’s how little respect they have for the Seahawks. They hadn’t even made the flight from San Fran to Seattle and they already had Their NFC Western Division Champions gear on.
Let’s welcome the 49ers and their fan base with the same respect they showed us last year and the days weeks leading up to this game. Go Seahawks!