Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson, Ciara deliver inspirational speech on National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Russell Wilson, Ciara deliver inspirational speech on National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Today, we celebrate her.

February 5 is National Girls and Women in Sports Day, a day that honors the powerful females who have paved the way and helped build the next generation of strong women.

There’s a spot for women and girls in whatever area or sport they want to pursue, including flag football.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife Ciara are passionate about inspiring the next generation of female athletes to dream big. It's part of the reason why Wilson became co-owner and chairman of NFL FLAG, a flag football league for boys and girls. 

The Wilsons recently met with the Miami Senior High ladies flag football team and had some inspirational words to share about the future of women’s sports.

“You ladies are doing the dang thing,” Wilson said during his visit. “I have a great appreciation for ladies and girls in sports and everything that you all are doing. Ciara and I are really passionate about the game of football, but also women’s sports. We really want to try to make you all go to the place where you guys deserve to go.”

Ciara also delivered an impassioned speech, sharing her experience growing up as a young girl without a lot of resources.

“As a woman you make me proud, as a young woman you make me proud, as a mom you make me so proud because you are really going after your dreams,” Ciara said. “And I am that girl, I am that girl who didn’t come from a lot, but I had big dreams. Because I believed in those dreams, it all happened.”

“When the moments and the times are tough, embrace those moments. They make you who you are.”

The Wilsons have been supportive of female athletes for years. Russell Wilson has often been seen courtside at Stanford women’s basketball games, cheering on his sister Anna. Ciara joined her husband in becoming part-owners of the Seattle Sounders F.C last year. She is one of few female team owners among major professional sports leagues.   

This is Russell Wilson’s chances of being named 2020 NFL MVP

This is Russell Wilson’s chances of being named 2020 NFL MVP

Russell Wilson wasn’t the NFL’s Most Valuable Player this season. In fact, he didn’t receive a single vote.

As we now know, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was a unanimous selection for the award. He became just the second-ever unanimous MVP joining Tom Brady, who received the award in 2012.

While the Seahawks star quarterback didn’t receive the nod in 2019, his chances at being named league MVP aren’t too shabby for next season. According to Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook, Wilson has the third-best odds (16-1) at winning 2020 NFL MVP.

He sits behind frontrunner Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who has 7-1 odds, and Jackson with 10-1 odds.

Wilson, who was named All-Pro for the first time in his career, completed 31 touchdown passes for 4,110 yards and had a career-low five interceptions. His passing yards were the second most of his career, second best in franchise history and sixth in the NFL this season.

The 31-year-old quarterback led Seattle to an 11-5 record and was named to the Pro Bowl for the third-consecutive season and sixth appearance overall.

He was named Pro Football Focus’ Most Valuable Player due to a statistical metric known as Wins Above Replacement. PFF says Wilson had 4.08 more wins this season than the average quarterback. Jackson’s WAR was 2.29, while Mahomes finished second at 2.96.

Wilson has not received a single vote in his eight-year career for MVP, but 2020 could be the year he adds an MVP award to his lengthy list of accomplishments.

John Schneider & wife Traci to be honored at 2020 Seattle’s Sports Star of the Year awards

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John Schneider & wife Traci to be honored at 2020 Seattle’s Sports Star of the Year awards

Congratulations are in order for John Schneider and his wife Traci. According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, the two are going to be honored at the 2020 Seattle Sports Star of the Year awards on Thursday night.

The Seahawks GM and his wife will receive the Paul G. Allen Award for their work with Ben’s Fund, a non-profit in honor of their son who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Established back in 2012, the Schneiders’ organization teams up with FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) of Washington in order to provide financial support to children and young adults with autism along with guidance and support to continue their journey.

According to Henderson, Ben’s Fund has raised $4.5 million and doled out more than 2,000 grants since its inception.

“Never did we believe we’d be able to raise as much money as we’ve raised,” Traci said last April. “It’s really special to see the impact that we’re making.”

Ben’s Fund hosts an annual fundraiser that features many active members of the Seahawks as well as alumni. The Schneiders’ make a competition out of it to see which players and position groups can help raise the most money.

Head here to learn more about Ben’s Fund, and congratulations to John and Traci Schneider for continuing to make such a positive impact in the community.

Seahawks WR DK Metcalf focused on cleaning up drops and fumbles in 2020

Seahawks WR DK Metcalf focused on cleaning up drops and fumbles in 2020

DK Metcalf joined the radio row madness last week in Miami from Super Bowl LIV. The Seahawks talented young wideout spent two afternoons making media rounds in partnership with Nesquik. Metcalf is an avid consumer of strawberry milk, and he estimates that he drinks at least one small bottle a day.

Beyond his affinity for dairy, Metcalf spent a few minutes talking with NBC Sports Northwest about his rookie season and his plans for the upcoming offseason.

Metcalf started immediately for the Seahawks as the team’s No. 2 receiver opposite Tyler Lockett. He posted 58 receptions on 100 targets for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. His season was highlighted by a 160-yard, one-touchdown outburst in the Wild Card Round against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I think I did pretty good, but there’s always something I can work on,” Metcalf said of his first year in the NFL. “That’s going to be my main focus during the offseason is just working on the things I saw as flaws during my rookie season and just build on that.”

And what was the main flaw that he’d like to work on? Ball security, of course.

“Mainly my drops,” Metcalf said. “I had way too many drops in my opinion. Some of those drops could have changed the outcome of the game. I’m just working on those drops, man.”

Metcalf had seven drops in 2019, tied for 11th-most in the NFL. He’s also presumably including his fumbles. He lost three as a rookie, two of which came in huge moments. One was recovered by the Ravens for a touchdown. Another came at the end of a herculean effort against the 49ers where he fumbled just shy of the goal line.

To remedy the problem, Metcalf plans to utilize the jugs machine, catch tennis balls, work on one-handed catches and pretty much everything else that will help his concentration. That extra work is nothing new for him. Metcalf was regularly seen catching balls out of the jugs machine well after practice was over during the season.

He’s going to spend a bulk of his offseason training at EXOS in Phoenix before linking up with Russell Wilson, Lockett and potentially other members of the Seahawks offense at some point in the upcoming months.

Remember, Wilson invited every skill player down to Los Angeles last summer for a week of workouts and team bonding. That’s likely to continue in 2020.

Metcalf’s impressive rookie season set the table for what could be a special career in Seattle. There’s no reason why he and Tyler Lockett can’t become one of the most formidable 1-2 punches in all of football, especially with Wilson throwing them the football. Expectations in the Pacific Northwest are sky high for the 6-foot-4 wideout.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson becomes co-owner and chairman of NFL FLAG

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson becomes co-owner and chairman of NFL FLAG

Russell Wilson can do it all.

He’s the Seattle Seahawks franchise quarterback, a part-owner of Seattle Sounders F.C. and an investor in the future of baseball with the Portland Diamond Project.

Now, Wilson is looking to impact the world of sports globally. Wilson was recently named co-owner and chairman of NFL FLAG, a youth flag football league sponsored by the NFL. Wilson’s goal is to strengthen the organization’s reach domestically while helping assist in the global expansion of flag football.

“Russell’s demonstrated character, leadership, and international experience will guide NFL Flag as a global sport in which everyone can participate—Football for All,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said in a release.

The Pro Bowl quarterback has previously worked with flag football organizations in China, Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom to help engage youth in the sport and encourage them to get active.

According to the NFL, Wilson will make his first appearance as co-owner and chairman at the NFL FLAG Summit, which will take place during the NFL Draft in April in Las Vegas, Nevada.

How the Seahawks playing in close games negatively impacts their pass rush

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How the Seahawks playing in close games negatively impacts their pass rush

You’ve heard Pete Carroll say it ad nauseum: “You can’t win a game until the fourth quarter.”

For all of the Pete Carroll-isms, this one is by far my least favorite. I believe his mantras about championship opportunities and always competing have incredible value and are a major reason why the Seahawks have had such sustained success during Carroll’s tenure as head coach.

I’ll also concede that the notion of not being able to win a game until the final quarter plays a part in why the Seahawks are so comfortable in one-possession contests. Seattle won 11 games in 2019 by eight points or less.

"I love close games," Carroll said back in December. "I think they help you. They make you stronger. They keep you in the game longer. They make you have to focus farther, and it prepares you for more kinds of things that can happen that you need background and experience in.

“It would really be OK if we could win by a lot sometimes. That'd be fun. (But) this is this season. These seasons write a story and that's kind of the story of what's been going on all year long."

But it’s a double-edged sword. That mindset inherently allows you to take the foot off the gas in the first half. Thus, Seattle walks the tightrope late in games far more than it should.

“Teams with a halftime lead win 80% of their games,” Warren Sharp told NBC Sports Northwest on an upcoming episode of the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “You have to be aggressive in the first half. I wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment of winning in the fourth quarter. … I don’t buy that at all.”

Seattle is often criticized for being too conservative offensively in the first half. Week 17 against the 49ers and the Divisional Round against the Packers are notable games where the offense fell flat over the first two quarters.

There’s a subsequent impact on the defense in such situations, especially one that was average at best like Seattle’s in 2019. Playing in so many close games did no favors for the Seahawks already meager pass rush.

“If you realize that your defense struggles in certain aspects, like pass rush and pressure, you can make it a lot easier on that unit by having leads and so the opponent needing to pass the ball becomes more predictable,” Sharp said.

Cliff Avril, a guy who knows a thing or two about rushing the passer, agreed with Sharp.

“I’m glad you brought that up because most people don’t look at that piece as well,” Avril said on the most recent Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast. “As a pass rusher, you hope going into that fourth quarter that you have a 14-point lead, because you want to be able to pin your ears back.”

Getting to the quarterback on first and second down is incredibly challenging in close games. Defenses obviously have to respect both the run and the pass game in such situations. But Avril also noted that getting sacks on 3rd-and-long is not as easy as you’d assume.

That changes if an opponent has to ditch its running game. Even a pedestrian pass rush like Seattle’s in 2019 (just 28 sacks, second worst in the NFL) would have an easier time against a predictable offense that is chasing points.

“If you can steal a sack on 2nd-and-7; if you can steal a sack on some play actions on first down where they have to throw the ball or you have a lead and they have to come back, it definitely makes it a little easier,” Avril said.

It’s important to circle back to the fact that the Seahawks continue to be one of, if not the most mentally tough team in the NFL. The fact that they don’t get rattled in crunch time – whether they’re playing with a lead or trailing by a score – is impressive.

But one would hope that a middle ground exists where Seattle can focus on winning the first half while still acknowledging the importance of finishing in the fourth quarter.

“The one score games do show that your team is resilient,” Avril said. “It does show that your team can play all the way through the fourth quarter and different things like that. But as far as the pass rush in particular, it makes it extremely hard and difficult for those guys to be able to get sacks.”

Schefter: Seahawks have interest in Greg Olsen; the TE will visit Seattle

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Schefter: Seahawks have interest in Greg Olsen; the TE will visit Seattle

The Seahawks are starting their free agency planning early. Seattle plans to bring in veteran tight end Greg Olsen this week according to Adam Schefter.

Olsen and the Panthers mutually agreed to part ways last week, immediately making him a free agent. He already has visits planned with the Bills and Redskins. Notably, Bills general manager Brandon Beane and Redskins head coach Ron Rivera were each formerly with the Panthers.

The tight end has plenty of experience playing the Seahawks. In nine matchups against Seattle, he's racked up 32 receptions for 368 yards and two touchdowns. For his career, he's accumulated 718 catches for 8,444 yards and 59 touchdowns over 13 seasons. Olsen was originally a first-round pick (31st overall) of the Chicago Bears back in 2007.

There's been plenty of speculation that Olsen would retire and pivot to broadcasting. He'll have several jobs waiting for him whenever he does opt to call it a career. But this free agency tour suggests that he's not at that point just yet.

The Seahawks are in need of a tight end, and Olsen could be the perfect insurance policy for Will Dissly, who is currently rehabbing his way back from a torn Achilles. Much like Marshawn Lynch's return, Olsen's value from a leadership standpoint would be notable as well.

Olsen has no need to rush, and it's unlikely we have a resolution to this any time soon. But Seattle's interest is still notable. Stay tuned.

The NFL Draft order for the first 32 picks is in: Seahawks land at No. 27

The NFL Draft order for the first 32 picks is in: Seahawks land at No. 27

The Super Bowl is over, the offseason is back in session and the matter of business at hand is the 2020 NFL Draft.

Now that the final game has wrapped, the order of teams in the first round has been officially set. While there are still compensatory picks to be dealt at a later date, teams now have a clear picture of where they’ll be picking in the first round. 

The Seahawks, who finished the season at 11-5, will have the No. 27 pick in the draft.

Here’s a look at the order:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Washington (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5 Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars  (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

25. Vikings (10-6)

26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)

27. Seahawks (11-5)

28. Ravens (14-2)

29. Titans (9-7)

30. Packers (13-3)

31. 49ers (13-3)

32. Chiefs (12-4)

In recent years, Seattle has been a mixed bag of success when it comes to first-round draft picks.

Seattle selected Germain Ifedi with the 31st pick of the 2016 draft. He’s been a mainstay on the Seahawks oftensive line, missing only four games and starting 60 total in his four years with Seattle. His inconsistent play and plethora of penalties, however, have been problematic for Seattle. Pro Football Focus ranked Ifedi 64th overall amongst 81 tackles in 2019.

Rashaad Penny was taken 27th overall in the 2018 draft. While Penny struggled during his debut season with injury, he shined in 2019, running 129 yards and 74 yards in back-to-back games against Philadelphia and Minnesota. His stellar campaign came to a unfortunate end in Week 14, when he suffered a season-ending ACL tear.

L.J. Collier seemingly struggled during his rookie season. The defensive end, who Seattle took at No. 29 in the 2019 draft, had just three tackles in 11 games. He struggled to get playing time on a team that so desperately lacked production in the pass rush. Pete Carroll is optimistic Collier can make a jump similar to that of Rasheem Green in year two.

John Schneider and Pete Carroll are always active on draft day, so don’t be surprised if the Seahawks make a move early on to climb up in the draft to select a more valuable player this season.

Frank Clark finally gets his championship ring with Kansas City

Frank Clark finally gets his championship ring with Kansas City

Frank Clark is a Super Bowl champion.

One season after the Seattle Seahawks moved on from the elite pass-rusher, Clark helped the Kansas City Chiefs clinch their first Super Bowl championship in 50 years.

Clark had a crucial sack on 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garappolo on 4th-and-10 in Super Bowl LIV, giving Kansas City the ball with a 24-20 lead and just 1:25 remaining in the game.

If it wasn’t for Clark’s sack, the 49ers may have went on to score the game-winning drive. Instead, Chiefs running back Damien Williams went on to ice the game with a second touchdown run in the 4th quarter.

Frank Clark had some choice words to say about the NFC Champion quarterback after the game.

“You paying the guy $140 million, $130 million, whatever he’s getting paid,” Clark said of Garappolo. “He’s gotta throw the ball. Obviously he didn’t do that. They threw for about 200 yards on checkdowns; that ain’t enough to win a game against us.”

While Frank may have switched teams, his outspoken nature has been a constant since his days in Seattle. It's what makes him one of the toughest defenders in the NFL. I guess you get to talk trash when you have five sacks in the postseason and 13 overall in 2019.

The Seahawks traded Clark to the Chiefs for a 2019 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick last offseason. The two teams also swapped third-round picks in the 2019 draft. Seattle used the first-round pick to acquire L.J. Collier and the third-round pick to take Cody Barton. 

Kansas City and Clark later agreed to a five-year contract worth roughly $105 million.

While it's too early to tell if Seattle made the right choice with the Clark trade, he is certainly reaping the benefits. 

Ian Rapoport discusses odds the Seahawks re-sign star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney

Ian Rapoport discusses odds the Seahawks re-sign star pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney

The NFL offseason is now officially underway following the Chiefs beating the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday.

Free agency is a month and a half away as the new league year doesn’t begin until March 18. That means Seahawks fans have to endure at least another six weeks of waiting to find out whether or not Jadeveon Clowney will re-sign in Seattle.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport joined the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast to discuss the odds that Clowney is back in the Pacific Northwest in 2020.

“He wants to be on a good team with a good culture, where he feels appreciated, which, he certainly was in Seattle and certainly was not in Houston,” Rapoport said.

Clowney made it clear that he wants to join a contender who will give him an immediate chance to compete for a ring. Rapoport said there is some precedence for players leaving money on the table. He said he’s “almost positive” that Za’Darius Smith signed with the Packers last offseason despite Green Bay not being the highest bidder.

Clowney will likely take lucrative offers from what he perceives as “bad teams” and use them as leverage against the “good teams” he sees as more of a fit.

“My guess is, if the money is the same, he’ll pick Seattle because he really appreciated and liked his time there,” Rapoport said.

But will the money be the same? As Rapoport pointed out, the Seahawks aren’t normally a team to “go nuts” in free agency. Seattle opted not to pay Frank Clark last offseason. Why should fans expect anything different to happen with Clowney?

Despite Clowney having just three sacks in 2019, he’s expected to get paid like Clark and Demarcus Lawrence, which means north of $20 million annually. Any discount will only come if being the NFL’s highest paid edge rusher doesn’t matter to Clowney.

“He only had three (sacks), but he was so good,” Rapoport said. “He’s basically a wrecking ball. He’s kind of like Jason Pierre-Paul. He gets some sacks, but he’s just so disruptive. I think he gets paid like he had 20 sacks.”

As he should. Clowney is a true three-down defensive end, and he is arguably better against the run than any other edge rusher.

Clowney will still be just 27 years old at the start of next season. Although there will always be some durability questions about him, Clowney still has the allure of the former No. 1 overall pick who knocked a guy’s helmet off in college.

The reality is that it’s impossible to tell whether or not Clowney will return to Seattle at this point. It would take Seattle breaking tendency in order for that to happen.

“I feel like they really want him back,” Rapoport said. “I feel like he wants to be back. Usually when two sides are on the same page, a deal can get done. I just don’t know how much Seattle is really going to offer.”