Seattle Seahawks

4 trades Seahawks fans should be thankful for on Thanksgiving

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4 trades Seahawks fans should be thankful for on Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Seahawks fans! Quality time with family and friends is made much more enjoyable by knowing your football team is 9-2, I’m sure. While there have been plenty of positives across the board, here are four John Schneider trades that Seahawks fans should be thankful for.

All four deals have paid massive dividends in 2019, and they were each steals in favor of Seattle.

1. Jacob Hollister (from the Patriots for a 2020 seventh-round pick)

Seattle acquired Hollister from New England back in April. The Seahawks lose some credit here because they waived Hollister at roster cuts and were lucky he made it back to the practice squad. I was of the belief that the tight end had done enough to make the 53-man roster to start the year.

But once Will Dissly went down, Hollister became one of the most important figures in Seattle’s offense. He caught a pair of touchdowns against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9, including the game-winner in overtime. He scored again the following week against the 49ers on a diving one-handed grab. Hollister would have had a touchdown in three-straight weeks had Russell Wilson not missed him on a lay-up against the Eagles.

In total, Hollister has 19 receptions for 159 yards and three scores. He’s clearly earned Wilson’s trust and will continue to be a focal point of Seattle’s passing game. It’s still hard to believe that the Patriots, having just lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement, were willing to essentially give Hollister away, but here we are.

2. 2020 fifth-round pick (from the Steelers for Nick Vannett)

This one is also a head-scratcher from Pittsburgh’s standpoint. Seattle acquired valuable draft capital and ended up signing Luke Willson as a result of the deal. Vannett has caught just six passes for 63 yards in eight games with the Steelers. The deal also led to...

3. Quandre Diggs (from the Lions for a 2020 fifth-round pick)

Seattle flipped that fifth-rounder for Diggs just days before the trade deadline. So if you’re scoring at home, the Seahawks essentially traded Vannett for Willson and Diggs. That’s a pretty remarkable return, especially when you consider the impact Diggs has had in his two games in Seattle’s secondary.

The Seahawks defense has done a complete 180 since Diggs entered the lineup at free safety, allowing just two offensive touchdowns in that span while racking up eight sacks and eight takeaways. Diggs has an interception and a fumble recovery to his name, and he earned a standout 88.4 Pro Football Focus grade against the Eagles last Sunday. His presence has completely changed the complexion of the defense. Again, it’s hard to understand why Detroit was so eager to move on from Diggs given the minimal return.

4. Jadeveon Clowney (from the Texans for Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo and a 2020 third-round pick)

The other three trades were steals. This one was a heist. Seattle was going to cut Mingo, and Jacob Martin, while a nice player, doesn’t project to be anywhere near the player Clowney is. On top of that, Houston is paying half of Clowney’s $16 million salary in 2019.

Clowney has been far more impactful than his three sacks might suggest. He’s scored two touchdowns, one on a pick-six against the Cardinals and one on a scoop and score against the 49ers. Clowney absolutely dominated that game in San Francisco with 11 pressures, five quarterback hits, one sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a score. Seattle hopes that Clowney’s sports hernia injury isn’t too serious and that he’ll be back in the lineup against the Vikings on Monday night. He missed the team’s Week 12 win in Philadelphia.

Week 14 preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch against the Rams

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Week 14 preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch against the Rams

The Seattle Seahawks (10-2) are on primetime yet again in Week 14, on the road in a divisional matchup against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5). It’s a massive game for both teams as Seattle continues its pursuit of an NFC West Championship and Los Angeles is just a game back of Minnesota for a wildcard spot.

The last three games between these two teams have been decided by a combined eight points, so there’s no reason why this one shouldn’t go down to the wire as well. Here are five Seahawks players who will play crucial roles in whether or not Seattle is able to get the win Sunday night.

1. WR Tyler Lockett

Lockett has just four receptions for 64 yards over his last three games. Most recently, he was blanked on Monday night against the Vikings. Seattle’s No. 1 wide receiver has had a tough go of it recently with a bad leg contusion followed by a nasty flu bug that was still clearly hampering him in the Minnesota game.

He should be nearing 100 percent if he’s not there already. Seattle’s passing game needs Lockett to regain his early season form where he racked up 767 yards and six touchdowns in nine games. It won’t be easy on Sunday as there’s a strong chance Jalen Ramsey shadows him on primetime.

2. LB Cody Barton

Barton played 11 snaps in place of Mychal Kendricks against the Vikings. Now Kendricks is doubtful to play with a hamstring injury which would give Barton his first-career start. It should be a tremendous challenge for the rookie as the Rams are still loaded with offensive playmakers even though Los Angeles’ offense has been up and down in 2019. Pete Carroll suggested that the Seahawks would play more nickel in Kendricks’ absence, but Barton will still be a factor on base downs.

3. CB Ugo Amadi

Speaking of nickel defense, this might be the game we finally see Amadi covering the slot. Akeem King played against the Eagles and Vikings but both of those teams utilized two tight end sets. That won’t be the case against the Rams with Gerald Everett listed as out with a knee injury. Amadi should be a better matchup against Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods out of the slot. It will be interesting to see who Carroll opts to deploy.

4. RB Rashaad Penny

Penny has been on fire of late, and Seattle is banking on him continuing to roll. Over his last two games, the second-year running back has 203 rushing yards with three touchdowns and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry. He’s also caught four passes for 33 yards and another score. Chris Carson will continue to start but Penny could earn up to a 50/50 split if he has the hot hand early. They’ve formed a 1-2 punch that the Seahawks believe is sustainable.

Los Angeles has been susceptible against the run at time this year. In Week 12, Baltimore ran for 285 yards and averaged 5.9 yards per carry. Mark Ingram and Lamar Jackson combined for 206 yards on just 23 carries (8.95 average).

5. S Quandre Diggs

Carroll called Diggs’ crushing hit against Irv Smith Jr. his favorite play of the game “by far” in Seattle’s win over Minnesota. It’s an oversimplification to give Diggs all the credit for the drastic uptick from the Seahawks defense – Ziggy Ansah, Tre Flowers, Rasheem Green, Jarran Reed and others have been playing much better of late – but it would be foolish to assume that it’s just a coincidence. Diggs’ speed, veteran savvy and playmaking ability has clearly and a trickledown effect throughout Seattle’s defense.

In Week 5, the Rams gashed the Seahawks for 477 total yards. Diggs should be the difference maker who changes Seattle’s fortunes this time around.

Mychal Kendricks doubtful vs. Rams, Ansah and Clowney questionable to play

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Mychal Kendricks doubtful vs. Rams, Ansah and Clowney questionable to play

The Seattle Seahawks (10-2) should be at nearly full strength on Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5).

Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) is the most notable injury. Seattle's starting SAM linebacker is listed as doubtful to play on primetime in Los Angeles. Kendricks initially suffered his injury last week in practice. He was able to work through it for most of the game against the Vikings as he played 26 snaps. Cody Barton filled in for 11 reps against Minnesota. The rookie would make his first-career start at SAM if Kendricks is unable to go. Kendricks' absence would be financially notable as he's due $125,000 in per-game roster bonuses.

Jadeveon Clowney (core) and Ziggy Ansah (neck) are each listed as questionable and should be in the lineup against the Rams.

Here's Seattle's full injury report:

Out:

Neiko Thorpe (core)

Doubtful:

Luke Willson (hamstring)

Mychal Kendricks (hamstring)

Nick Bellore (quad)

Questionable:

Ziggy Ansah (neck)

Jadeveon Clowney (core)

4 teams Seahawks fans should be rooting for in Week 14

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4 teams Seahawks fans should be rooting for in Week 14

\We’ve reached the final quarter of the NFL season, and things are set up nicely for the Seattle Seahawks (10-2).

I’d say this is getting simpler for Seahawks fans, however it feels like the entire city of Seattle is torn over who to root for on Sunday’s marquee matchup between the 49ers and Saints. Both teams are 10-2 and the Seahawks would benefit from each team winning in different ways.

Here’s a full breakdown of what’s ahead in the NFL’s Week 14 slate.

1. New Orleans Saints (vs. San Francisco 49ers)

Let me just start with saying that I believe Seahawks fans should be in this camp. Winning the NFC West is priority No. 1 because a first-round bye is crucial. Yes, the Cowboys look awful. Yes, the Eagles look abysmal. However, you absolutely don’t want to go on the road to play either of those teams on Wildcard weekend.

Besides, even as the No. 2 seed, it’s possible the Saints drop their Divisional Round game which would allow Seattle to host the NFC Championship Game.

A Saints win and a Seahawks win would give Seattle a one-game edge in the division. Then let’s assume that both the 49ers and Seahawks win in Weeks 15 and 16. That would mean Seattle enters Week 17 at 13-2 with San Francisco at 12-3. Should the 49ers win, the two teams would split their head-to-head matchups and have identical records against common opponents. It would then come down to strength of victory, which is shaping up nicely for Seattle. More on that in a second.

2. San Francisco 49ers (at New Orleans Saints)

I think it takes a Russell Wilson-level of optimism in order to pull for the 49ers on Sunday morning. I get it, in order for Seattle to get the No. 1 seed, New Orleans would have to drop one more game as it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Seahawks. However, Seahawks fans should just hope that the Colts, Titans or Panthers are able to pull off an upset in Weeks 15-17.

A 49ers loss would give the Seahawks the ability to drop two games against the Rams, Panthers and Cardinals and still control their own destiny in Week 17. A 49ers win would almost ensure that the Week 17 matchup decides who wins the NFC West and who goes on the road to Dallas or Philadelphia in the first round. Again, I doubt the joy of the No. 1 seed would match the disappointment of coming in second in the NFC West. All that said, it’s still up to you for who you decide to pull for.

3. Minnesota Vikings (vs. Detroit Lions)

OK so in the hypothetical situation that the Seahawks and 49ers enter Week 17 at 13-2 and 12-3, respectively, the game could potentially be meaningless. San Francisco winning to give each team a 13-3 record would lead to the strength of victory tiebreaker.

To put it simply, the Seahawks would need the Vikings (8-4) and Eagles (5-7) to have a better record than the Redskins (3-9) and Packers (9-3) as those are the non-common opponents for Seattle and San Francisco.

Right now the Vikings and Eagles have a combined record of 13-11, which is one game better than the 12-12 combined record of the Packers and Redskins. Philadelphia losing to the Dolphins last Sunday didn’t do the Seahawks any favors. The Packers and Redskins play each other this weekend so those teams will go 1-1 barring a tie, of course. That means wins for Minnesota and Philadelphia would add a game of breathing room.  

4. Philadelphia Eagles (vs. New York Giants)

In addition to everything I just laid out above, the Eagles winning would be a positive for any Seahawks fan who would rather play Philadelphia than Dallas should Seattle have to go on the road in the Wildcard Round.

Mama’s Boy: Geno Smith’s mom inspired the cause behind his cleats

Mama’s Boy: Geno Smith’s mom inspired the cause behind his cleats

Week 14 in the NFL adds an extra layer of importance for many players across the league.

Hundreds of players will be participating in the league’s “My Cause My Cleats” campaign where guys get to wear kicks dedicated to an initiative they’re passionate about. The shoes all feature unique designs that reflect each player’s cause. You can see all 29 shoes/cleats that members of the Seahawks organization will be wearing on Sunday in Los Angeles when Seattle takes on the Rams.

Geno Smith had his cleats sitting in his locker on Thursday afternoon: shades of pink and green with the words “Parenting with a Purpose Life Center.”

Seattle’s backup QB revealed that his mother, Tracey Sellers, started the center in Miami more than a decade ago. She works with Geno's grandmother, Joann Smith, and a team of others who collectively make a profound impact in the community.

“She started it when I was in high school,” Smith explained. “She helps out all the young parents in the community – single mothers and fathers. She helps them get jobs. She helps them if they need to find shelter. She does everything from providing diapers and baby food to actually taking people to job interviews.”

Tracey had Geno when she was 17 years old and was able to overcome the challenges and obstacles of being a young single parent. In addition to her center, she does real estate and private contracts.

“There’s nothing that she doesn’t do, honestly,” Smith said.

Smith means that quite literally. His mom is his financial advisor and his assistant. It’s been that way ever since he was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.

Now into his seventh NFL season, she still invests in him daily and makes sure she’s always there for him and his growing family.

“It’s extremely cool,” Smith said. “I’m a father now, and I realize truly how much time and effort was sacrificed into getting me to this point – raising me the right way and instilling a good foundation in me. I love my mom to death for that. I can’t thank her enough. She’s my idol.”

Being a good parent is intuitive to Smith given the example his mother set for him growing up. However, she’s always there to remind him of what’s most important.

“The main thing is investing time into my kids,” he said. “It’s hard with being at work, but every second that I get, every minute that I get, I’m on the phone with them or I’m with them. You can never replace that.”

Smith estimated that the Parenting with a Purpose Life Center assists up to 100 single parents at a time and has served well over a thousand helped since its inception. You can go here to learn more about the center.

Fann Mail: Why you shouldn’t be worried about Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett

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Fann Mail: Why you shouldn’t be worried about Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett

There’s a month left in the 2019 regular season and at 10-2, the Seahawks are sitting pretty. The problem is that there are two other teams in the NFC with the same record. Seattle, although it hasn’t officially clinched yet, is a lock for the playoffs.

The biggest question over the final quarter of the season is whether the Seahawks can claim a first-round bye, or even the top seed in the NFC. This week’s mailbag focuses on the topics that will help Seattle accomplish that goal. Thanks, as always, to those who asked questions.

Tyler Lockett has just four receptions for 64 yards over his last three games, but I don’t think it’s time to panic or worry that he’s lost his early-season magic. Even the best of receivers are susceptible to down games. Beyond that, he’s had a brutal stretch of luck in that span. He suffered a leg contusion against the 49ers that resulted in two nights at Stanford Hospital. Lockett then caught a nasty flu bug that was still clearly affecting him on Monday night against the Vikings.

Seattle’s No. 1 receiver should be getting closer to 100% this week, and the Seahawks need him to get involved in the offense once again. Russell Wilson’s MVP-caliber first half of 2019 was in direct correlation with Lockett’s breakout season. The Seahawks offense is at its best when those two are connecting on a regular basis. I expect things to get back to normal against the Rams on Sunday.

I think Jarran Reed, a potentially elite interior defensive lineman, should be the priority over Germain Ifedi. Reed has begun to look like his 2018 self of late despite battling through an ankle injury. He has four quarterback hits over his last three games. Finding a way to keep Reed and Jadeveon Clowney would be a huge boost to the defense heading into 2020.

There’s still a chance that Seattle brings back Ifedi as well. He could be affordable, somewhere in the $5-7 million range, depending on the free agent tackle market. The Seahawks could also look to take a tackle in the early rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Regardless, Reed is the better player and would be much harder to replace.

Akeem King is four inches taller than Ugo Amadi and is the preferred matchup against teams with bigger slot receivers or an emphasis on throwing to tight ends. That’s why it’s been King against the Eagles (Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert) and the Vikings (Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith). This weekend’s matchup with the Rams could be Amadi’s chance to see the field against Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. We could even see a mix of both nickel corners as King would likely play when the Rams go to 12 personnel (two-tight end sets with Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett).

George Fant has been a staple in Seattle’s offense all year, but his playing time jumped from 34% of snaps to 56% of snaps in Weeks 12 to 13. That likely has more to do with game script and Seattle’s success on the ground against the Vikings. He will still play even when Luke Willson (hamstring) is back in the lineup. So while Fant’s role definitely isn’t a stop gap, it isn’t likely to be quite so big in every game.

As for Trader Joe’s, I love their frozen food section. Endless options!

Josh Gordon has shown to be a master of the third-down slant. All four of his receptions with the Seahawks have come in that exact fashion and each has moved the chains. But your point is valid, we haven’t seen much from Gordon otherwise. My best guess is that Gordon’s role is what it is at this point. He’s going to be used in selective situations, but he may never become a focal point of Seattle’s passing game.

And I think the Seahawks are OK with that. Even one clutch catch on third down is enough for him to warrant a spot on the gameday 46-man roster.

If I’m a Seahawks fan, it’s less about “who” and more about “where.” There’s a massive difference between a first-round bye and hosting a Divisional round game than going on the road Wildcard weekend. Winning the NFC West would drastically improve Seattle’s chances of making it to the Super Bowl.

I don’t want to be the guy who doesn’t answer a semi-serious question. I thought they were OK – didn’t love them, didn’t hate them. I think if you’re going to do action green, though, just go all in and wear the pants as well. I do still think the half-and-half that we saw Monday night is better than any combination of grey on white.

I think it depends on your supply of nanobubbles. Hopefully you’re starting to feel better!

Russell Wilson is authentically himself

Russell Wilson is authentically himself

Monday Night Football brought us so many gems: 'Baby Yoda' Russell Wilson, A touchdown celebration dance honoring the group New Edition, and Russell Wilson getting mic'd up. 

The video starts with Wilson in the huddle saying "Clear hearts, clear eyes, clear minds... let's go to work. One play at a time. Locked in. Let's go do this thing together. Whatever it takes."

Other bytes include: 

"One play at a time. No fear. No fear, baby!"

"Hey! Ho! Atta baby!"

"Thirty minutes of great football right here, let's go get it."

To some, the mic'd up experience was... Lame? Boring? Underwhelming? Cringeworthy?

If people were looking for Russ to say something salacious, to be a poor sport, talk smack, they'd have to look elsewhere. 

When you're as big of a star as Wilson is, people are always on the lookout to catch you slipping. They want to expose that maybe you aren't as genuine or respectful or authentic as you claim to be.

Thing is, with Wilson, this is just who he is. Sorry to disappoint...?

The internet was quick to correct back in defense of Wilson:

In NBC Sports' Headstrong series, Wilson talked about his positive mental tactics during a game. 

"This game is a lot greater than just a play. The reality is god blessed me to be able to play this game and to have great perspective on life and to be here."

"It reminds me to have a grateful heart."

And in case you were wondering if Wilson's speech when being mic'd up on MNF was a fluke, we submit to you exhibit B. 

Luke Willson (aka the ‘juice master’) helps Tyler Lockett and David Moore get past the flu

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Seattle Seahawks

Luke Willson (aka the ‘juice master’) helps Tyler Lockett and David Moore get past the flu

Tyler Lockett and David Moore turned heads on Monday when they arrived to CenturyLink Field in matching Canadian flag onesies.

One could surmise that the outfits were a shout out to teammate and Canada native Luke Willson. But after some careful investigative journalism, NBC Sports Northwest has uncovered why the Seahawks receivers felt it prudent to make such a gesture in Willson’s honor.

It turns out that the tight end was tasked by Pete Carroll with being the caretaker for Lockett and Moore while they battled the flu last week. Carroll referred to Willson as the “juice master” and the “passion coordinator.”

“He just supported us and made sure that we were good and that we were still in it. When you have the flu, it’s devastating,” Lockett said following Monday night’s win against the Vikings. “You’ve got to have people that are there to carry you on. That’s exactly what Luke did for a lot of us.”

Luke Willson is the most gregarious and energetic player in the Seahawks locker room, and it’s not particularly close. He’s the mastermind behind “techno Thursday,” and he’s often seen hooting and hollering at anyone within earshot.

So last week, whenever he saw Lockett or Moore, he’s shout them out. He yelled “flu game” at Lockett (in reference to Michael Jordan’s flu game) and “rat in a cage” at Moore (in reference to the Smashing Pumpkins song “Bullet with Butterfly Wings).

“I don’t know what these things mean, man,” Willson admitted about the jargon that comes out of his mouth. “Keep the vibes going, you know? They had the flu. They were sick.

“My dumbass was sitting here with a bum leg, not sick, but unable to perform. I figured I might as well do something. Pete kind of gave me the role of watching my guys D-Mo and Lock and make sure they’re vibed up.”

Willson said he was half being a “pseudo troll” and half genuinely trying to help keep spirits up. He did say he was honored by Lockett and Moore’s gameday outfits.

According to Moore, he and Lockett already had the onesies from a joint trip to Canada back in January. They’d been waiting for an opportune time to pull them out. Monday was the perfect moment in a necessary ode to Willson.

“That caught me off guard,” Willson said. “I didn’t know they were doing that. I mean I was hyped. I feel like they’re Canadian legends now, you know?”

Willson has missed Seattle’s last two games with a hamstring injury. He was on the field doing a rehab workout when Lockett and Moore arrived. Everyone told Willson he needed to hustle to the locker room in order to see them.

“I was pretty hyped,” Willson said. “I don’t know how I’m going to repay the favor, but I’ve got a few ideas.”

Pete Carroll provides positive injury updates about Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah

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Pete Carroll provides positive injury updates about Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah

It sounds like Jadeveon Clowney (core) and Ziggy Ansah (shoulder) are in good shape following Monday night’s win against the Minnesota Vikings.

Clowney has been dealing with a core muscle injury that is sports hernia-related. He registered three tackles, one quarterback hit and a forced fumble in his return to action after missing one game.

Following the win, Clowney said you’d have to “ask him (on Tuesday)” as to how he was feeling. Pete Carroll indicated on Wednesday that the Seahawks star pass rusher came out OK following the primetime win.

“(He’s) pretty good,” Carroll said. “He’s practicing today, and that’s a really good sign.”

Ansah suffered a shoulder stinger on Seattle’s final defensive possession. Carroll sounded less enthused about Ansah, but still positive overall.

“He looks like he’s doing OK so far,” Carroll said. “We won’t know for a couple of days if he’s cleared and all that.”

Carroll sidestepped a question about whether or not Ansah’s stinger was related to his offseason shoulder surgery.

“I can’t tell you that,” the coach said. “I don’t know that answer.”

Seattle’s pass rush has come alive over the Seahawks last three games. The defense posted eight combined sacks against the 49ers and Eagles before hitting Kirk Cousins seven times on Monday night. Ansah, in particular, has been tremendous of late with five quarterback hits over his last two games.

Both Clowney and Ansah practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday and should be in the lineup on Sunday night against the Rams.

Russell Wilson surprises Rainier Athletes with holiday shopping spree

Russell Wilson surprises Rainier Athletes with holiday shopping spree

Every holiday season starts at DICK'S, apparently.

Russell Wilson, in conjunction with the DICK'S Foundation's "sports matter" program and his own Why Not You Foundation, surprised a group of kids from Rainier Athletes with a holiday shopping spree on Tuesday night. Each kid received a $200 gift card to spend on sporting goods of their choice. In addition, Wilson presented a $25,000 Sports Matter grant to the Rainier Athletes organization from the DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation. The grant is to ensure as many kids as possible have the opportunity to play sports.

Wilson spent 1-on-1 time with the kids, explaining the impact sports have had on his own life as well as serving as the kids' personal shopper.

“It’s all about the youth," Wilson said. "It’s all about encouraging youth to believe and dream big. I used to come to this store, to DICK’S Sporting Goods, as a kid not having much and wanting the new pair of shoes or the new baseball glove. Just to be able to give them a little love.”

Wilson is well-known for his trips to Seattle Children's Hospital every Tuesday. Now he's taking his "giving Tuesdays" a step further during the holidays. Wilson posted a quick recap video on his Instagram that you can see below.