Stern gets his way
Usually I spend my time writing about the Seattle Seahawks. Every once in a while something happens in sports that I just cannot resist commenting on. What happened in Dallas at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting today is one of those events.
I’d like to start off by thanking Chris Hansen for all the hard work he has put in while attempting to bring the NBA back to Seattle, not to mention the money. If he ever has to buy a beer in this city again it is a shame. I’m sure that right now he is wondering if there was anything more he could have done, but there isn’t.
If I could tell him one thing it would be that he did more than we could have ever dreamed of.
Chris fought for the Seattle sports community. He took on the Port of Seattle, and won. He took on the Seattle Mariners, and won. He took on the tree huggers, and was going to win that as well.
Unfortunately there was no way to beat Howard Stern’s ugly old troll brother David.
David Stern has had it in for the City of Seattle ever since the city wouldn’t play ball with him. He wanted a new stadium for a franchise that was part of a failing business model, in a city that was still trying to pay off the new renovations to the recently remodeled Key Arena. Seattle wasn’t having it.
There has been a lot of animosity towards Howard Shultz for selling the Sonics to Clay Bennett. While I agree that it was pretty clear that Clay wanted to move the team, Steve Ballmer and Chris Hansen weren’t looking to buy the Sonics from Schultz, in fact no local ownership group was.
Personally, I think Schultz would have rather sold to a local group who wanted nothing more than to keep the team in Seattle, but you can’t sell anything to people who aren’t there. Clay Bennett and his investment group were there, and they were there with $350 million to allow Shultz to walk away from a business model that was broken and a poor investment that crushed the love that he had once had for the game.
It is not the popular opinion, however I do not blame him for selling the team, I would have done the same thing.
I’d like to hand it to Sacramento, they got a lot done in a short amount of time with the help of David Stern. Somehow he was able to piece together a smoke and mirror show that convinced 22 NBA owner groups to vote to keep a team in a small market. A small market that has nothing concrete in place for a new arena deal nor do they have a big pocket owner. Smart business men chose to keep the team in that situation rather than agree to move the team to a much larger market. A city that had an MOU in place to build a new stadium in downtown of an area. A city in a region that is home to 8 Fortune 500 companies and many other potential corporate sponsorship giants such as Alaska Airlines and Boeing. To reject selling the team to a group of owners contained not 1, but 2 billionaires, one of which (Steve Balmer) would have been the richest owner in the NBA.
David Stern is a wizard more powerful than OZ. Congratulations to David, the City of Sacramento, and the Seattle Mariners, you got what you wanted all along. I feel ashamed that I let myself believe that the Sonics were coming back. It will not happen again, I won’t let it.
Seahawks’ team needs
No matter how good a team is during the previous season, there are always changes that need to take place if you want to stay competitive. Even the Super Bowl champions will be looking to upgrade certain positions.
This year’s Seattle Seahawks team was very good, but they are still in the final stages of rebuilding.
Rebuilding the team was a process that Pete Carroll and John Schneider started in 2010. It honestly doesn’t feel like the Seahawks ever went through a rebuilding phase because Seattle never went through a period of time where they weren’t competitive. Now they are at the point where the roster is a few pieces away from being complete.
Bruce Irvin will be a very interesting player to watch develop as his career moves forward.
What I’m saying is that the window isn’t fully open yet. After they upgrade these five positions, their widow will be wide open and the expectations should be a trip to the Super Bowl.
Currently on the roster:
- Red Bryant (FA 2017)
- Bruce Irvin (FA 2016)
- Greg Scruggs (FA 2016)
- Chris Clemons (IR) (FA 2015)
- Dexter Davis (IR) (FA 2014)
The lack of depth at defensive end became very apparent watching the Seahawks play the Falcons in the Divisional Round of the playoffs this year. Chris Clemons‘ absence affected everything the defense was able to do against Atlanta.
Talking heads rolled their eyes at the 2012 Seahawks draft class
The 2012 Seattle Seahawks Draft Class produced a 1st-round pick that scouts called a reach for the pick.
Bruce Irvin may have been a reach in late April, but now that it is early January 2013 he’s far from a reach. Having played in all 16-games for the Seahawks this year Irvin has flown under the radar, but don’t let that effect the way you view him. In those 16-games he’s piled up 8 sacks, which is a team record for a rookie defensive player in the category, and forced one fumble.
I’ll be the first to admit when I’m wrong, and I was wrong on Draft night in April. When the pick of Irvin flashed my initial reaction was “WHAT?!” I wanted a guy by the name of Chandler Jones. Someone I had watched over the past 3-years in college and knew his potential, but I didn’t factor in the truth and that’s Irvin fits Seattle’s defensive scheme, Jones on the other hand wouldn’t have. I was wrong to have second guessed Pete Carroll and John Schneider and that’s the reason I’m a member of the 12th Man and not the Front Office.
The 2nd-round selection in Bobby Wagner reminded me of another MLB selected by the Seahawks a few years back-Lofa Tatupu a small guy, but has the ability to guide his teammates and contribute to their success. He’s proven his case with 140 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 interceptions as well as his name being thrown around as a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Hopefully unlike Tatupu his success in Seattle lasts longer than his six-years with the team in which he appeared in three Pro Bowls-all in his first three-years in the league.
Just like Lofa, Wagner has a young core of Linebackers near him in KJ Wright, Malcolm Smith and Mike Morgan. Tatupu came in with one of Wagner’s teammates in 2005-Leroy Hill.
The Seahawks 3rd-round pick was a Quarterback by the name of Russell Wilson, a QB that scouts called “too small to be able to start in the NFL.”
Wilson can’t hide his 5’11 frame, but he hasn’t let it get to him. To open the season Wilson was named starting QB for the Seahawks over free-agent signee Matt Flynn. Jon Gruden compared him to Drew Brees and stated throughout the pick if he was still a head coach he would have been selected way before his selection in the 3rd-round.
The Jaguars, Bills and Chiefs all passed on Wilson as the Jaguars selected a Punter with their pick in the 3rd-round and since then Wilson has started every game for the Seahawks completing 64% of his passes for 3,118-yards and 26 Touchdowns-tying the NFL Rookie Record for touchdown passes by a quarterback by the name of Peyton Manning. He’s led the Seahawks to an 11-5 record and four game-winning drives (defeated the Chicago Bears in OT). Did I mention he can scramble as well? Wilson rushed for 489-yards and scored on the ground four times for the Seahawks.
His selection in the 3rd-round is the reason he’s being overlooked by some as a Rookie of the Year underdog behind his opponent he’ll take on Sunday in Washington-Robert Griffin III.
Wilson has shown he will be playing for years to come as a starting QB in the NFL and hopefully will be a cornerstone for the Seahawks as they continue their success with such a young team in the NFL.
Robert Turbin was selected in the 4th-round and viewed as a workhorse that down the road should be able to lessen the load on Marshawn Lynch in the backfield and he’s proven just that. In 16-games he rushed for 354-yards averaging 4.4 per carry, while also having 181-yards receiving. He’s shown at times his hands aren’t the best when he’s receiving, but through the season has shown he’s improving in that category and will be a vital part as teams try to wear out Lynch in the playoffs-something easier said than done.
The Seahawks final six-picks in rounds 4-7 have all contributed in role situations, but each one has shown he has potential to develop. CB Jeremy Lane (6th-round pick) and OG JR Sweezy (7th-round pick) have each started 3 games apiece and appeared in 13-games with the Seahawks.
Lane has piled up 15 tackles and Sweezy has shown he has done a nice job of transitioning from defensive line in college to the offensive line in the pro’s.
DT Jaye Howard (4th-round pick) has appeared in two-games for the Seahawks-not accumulating any stats.
LB Korey Toomer (5th-round pick) is currently on the Practice Squad/Injury designation and hasn’t played a game for the Seahawks.
SS Winston Guy (6th-round pick) appeared in two-games for the Seahawks and recently just got activated after being suspended four-games for violating the NFL Substance Policy.
DE Greg Scruggs (7th-round pick) has played in 11-games for the Seahawks piling up 6 total tackles-5 of them himself as well as 2 sacks and a pass deflection for the Seahawks. He’s shown he can get involved in a core that already consists of Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Irvin.
After the NFL Draft the Seahawks were awarded many negative reviews, some even called them the loser of the Draft, but as the Seahawks suit up Sunday in Washington it’s easy to argue that they’re far from the losers of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Very few teams have their top picks contribute right off the bat let alone throughout their career, but the Seahawks have found players that fill roles and blossom off of them. To have only 1 player not appear in a single game for the team that drafted them their rookie year is something you don’t see often and if you do it’s unusual to see a successful team.
That’s not the case with the Seahawks and if these players keep progressing as they have through their rookie year who knows where they will end up once their careers dwindle down. For the Seahawks however they’ve proven to have been more successful than a majority of the teams in the 2012 Draft and each one of their selections has shown they will contribute.
They’ve also shown that I shouldn’t question Carroll and Schneider’s decisions in the future as well as the rest of the world.
Written by Zach Bellerdine
49ers at Seahawks photo blog
All I wanted for Christmas was a Seahawks victory, what I got was a 49ers butt whoopin’!
San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1, 1st Place NFC West) at Seattle Seahawks (9-5, 2nd Place NFC West)
Stadium: CenturyLink Field
Time: 8:15 ET/ 5:15 PT
Announcers: NBC (Al Michaels play-by-play, Cris Collinsworth color commentator)
Last Meeting: San Francisco defeated the Seahawks 13-6 on Thursday Night Football in San Francisco.
The Seahawks have been rolling on both sides of the ball the past two weeks outscoring their opponents 108-17. This week their offense has a true test against the 49ers who will be pressuring Russell Wilson with Aldon Smith, however with Justin Smith expected to miss the Seahawks will be able to relax just a little bit. Expect the Seahawks to look to establish the running game as they’ve been doing throughout the year, but might focus on it a little more this week than in the past. In their previous meeting with the 49ers a Robert Turbin dropped touchdown pass turned out to be the difference of the game. Seattle will hope Sidney Rice is active and healthy as he has been developing chemistry with Wilson and helping the run game continue to be effective against opposing defenses.
Seattle’s defense have been making a havoc in the NFL giving up an average just over 11-points a game in the past 3-wins. Seattle will be without DE Jason Jones in the pass protection, but expect the Seahawks Chris Clemons to have his hands full tonight. Seattle should apply a lot of pressure on 49ers Colin Kaepernick as he will make his first start against the 12th Man. If Seattle can contain the rush and force Kaepernick to make plays himself the Seahawks should be able to let their offense win the game for them, but if they don’t control Frank Gore and apply pressure on Kaepernick then expect the 49ers offense to do their job, while their defense shows why they’re at the top of the league in defense.
Prediction- 49ers 17-14.
-Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll spent 1995-96 as the 49ers Defensive Coordinator before becoming the New England Patriots Head Coach. In 1995 with the 49ers he led the top ranked defense.
-Seahawks Linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. played for the 49ers from 1994-2000, he won a Super Bowl with the 49ers in 1994. He played in 112 games with the 49ers, starting all of them with 4 INTs- 2 returned for Touchdowns. He also had 551 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 7-years with the 49ers.
-Seahawks Secondary coach Kris Richard played 2005-06 with the 49ers, in which he only appeared in one game for them.
-Seahawks S Chris Maragos was signed as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers in 2010 where he played in three games with them piling up 2 tackles.
-Seahawks OT Mike Person was a 7th-round pick by the 49ers in 2011.
-Seahawks FB Michael Robinson was a 4th-round pick by the 49ers in 2006 out of Penn St. He appeared in 62 games with them rushing for 2 Touchdowns off of 289-yards. He also had 346-yards from receptions.
-49ers Special Assistant to Head Coach Bill Nayes spent 1999-2006 with the Seattle Seahawks- a member of the 2005 NFC Conference Champions team.
-49ers Special Teams Assistant Tracy Smith spent 2011 with the Seahawks.
-49ers Offensive Line coach Mike Solari joined the 49ers after spending 2008-09 with the Seahawks as their Offensive Line coach.
Seahawks News of the Week:
-Seahawks CB Richard Sherman’s appeal case was heard Friday in regards to his potential 4-game Suspension for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse Policy. A ruling is expected within the next 5-days of the hearing.
-Seahawks placed DE Jason Jones on season-ending IR and signed DT Hebron Fangupo.
-Seahawks SS Winston Guy’s Suspension was lifted by the commissioner.
-Russell Wilson is 5 Touchdowns away from breaking Peyton Manning’s 1998 NFL Record of Touchdown passes by a rookie QB with 26.
The three amigo’s
The saying, “Good things come in three’s” couldn’t be more right when it comes to the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award for the 2012 NFL Season.
The overall NFL fan base expected Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck and Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III to both contend for the award. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson wasn’t even supposed to be a starter, let alone the third head of the three-headed sea monster of Rookie QBs taking over the NFL.
Wilson, a third-round draft selection by the Seahawks wasn’t expected to even be the teams opening day starter when the season kicked off, but a strong pre-season made it hard for Head Coach Pete Carroll not to start him. Wilson has rewarded Carroll for his decision and has put himself in consideration for the Rookie of the Year award.
Through 15-games it’s evident each quarterback brings different talents to the game, Luck is the more typical quarterback that’ll rack up the passing yards, while RGIII is the more mobile quarterback that uses his athleticism skills the main component of his success. Wilson on the other hand seems to have a mixture of skills making him a threat. He can scramble out of the pocket and run for days, allowing his receivers to get open or space for him to take off. He’s also shown he can pass the ball down field and be accurate with it.
One thing the three of them all have in common is the ability to win, if the season were to end today all three rookie quarterbacks would have led their teams to the playoffs. Wilson and RGIII still could possibly win their divisions as well after Week 17 comes to an end.
Wilson’s ability to give his team a chance to win is one thing that none of the other’s can say. Of Wilson’s five losses all of them have been of 7-points or less, meaning Seattle was in it until the end. Of Luck’s five losses, only one was of less than 7-points, RGIII on the other hand has been consistent with only one loss of more than 7-points.
Wilson has led his Seahawks to three victories in which less than 2-minutes were left in play. He beat the Green Bay Packers on Monday night on a Hail Mary pass to Golden Tate as time expired, beat the New England Patriots on a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:18 left to play and defeated the Chicago Bears on the road with a touchdown pass to Rice in Overtime.
More than anything though is that Wilson is 1-touchdown away from tying future Hall-of-Famer Peyton Manning rookie record for the most touchdown passes. The record is 26, Russell enters Sunday’s game with 25 going up against the St. Louis Rams.
These three rookie quarterbacks have shown they have the potential of Making the 2012 NFL Draft class elite. It might not be comparable to the 1983 of John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino (all first-round selections) when all of their careers come to an end, but it might be one of the best trio of quarterbacks taken in a draft in a long time. Even though all three weren’t selected in the first-round they’re proving the sky’s the limit for them.
Wilson’s commitment, leadership and improvement has been shown from Day 1, he arrives at the training complex on Tuesday’s, a given off day to players, at 8 a.m. sharp allowing him to dissect film and prepare for the next opponent. He also requires all rookies to be there with him.
NFL voters have no clear cut selection for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, had the three of them all been members of different classes they would all be able to showcase a trophy in their house.
I guess the saying all good things come in three’s is a true thing. It’s just unfortunate awards don’t come in trio’s.
By Zack Bellerdine
A song before the big game
I was on twitter late last night, like most nights, when “Duranged Pitt” sent me a link to his song “Hawk Gang” and asked if I would put it on my site.
The lyrics are relevant, it has a good beat and overall a high quality production. I recommend giving it a listen, or downloading it to play at the tailgate party before the big Sunday Night game at CenturyLink this week. I may even add it to my workout playlist.
Listen and download here.
Seahawks beat Jets 28-7
Seahawks All Access
I started this after the “Canada Day” Seattle Seahawks game but never got around to finishing it, all I managed to accomplish was the title. The reason why I chose Jon Ryan to be the subject of this piece was two fold.
First, he’s Canadian so he seemed to be the perfect subject following Canada Day at CenturyLink and second, he became this first punter since 1946 to average 60-yards per punt in a game (3 punts minimum).
When I think of punters and kickers I think of small guys. Usually they are the only people in an organization who are smaller than the teams ball boy.
Usually they are about as athletic as a program designer at Microsoft or an engineer at Boeing (had to give a little love to the local companies), but not Jon Ryan, at 6’0″ 216 pounds he is not your typical punter.
In high school Jon was Sheldon-Williams Collegiate High School’s running back, kicker and punter.
Of course, when you attend a high school that currently has 650 students enrolled, you will probably have to pick up some slack. Then, in college, he was the University of Regina’s (About the size of Eastern Washington University) leading receiver as well as handling the teams punting duties.
To further attest to his athleticism, he was fast enough to be a sprinter for Regina’s track team.