Seattle Seahawks

Could Seattle Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin take on a new role this season?

usatsi_11420622.jpg
USA Today Images

Could Seattle Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin take on a new role this season?

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin emerged as a feel good story in the NFL in his first year.

Now with a full season under his belt, Griffin is settling into his role with Seattle and with that comes higher expectations. So, what does the outlook look like for Griffin heading in his sophomore campaign?

According to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, the team intends to give Griffin some more looks as an edge-rusher this summer. 

“We need to show him more there,” Carroll said following Tuesday’s Organized Team Activities. “We need to see more. He didn’t get enough opportunities even in practice as we look back. Just because he had a knack for it, we need to uncover that, make sure we know what we’ve got.”

Griffin's experience off the edge is not unfamiliar territory. He excelled as a pass-rusher at UCF, recording 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss in his junior and senior seasons. While the 228-pounder would be an undersized LEO, familiarity might suit him better than his current role as weakside linebacker.

“He looked comfortable playing on the edge,” Carroll said. “We’ve already had him outside some and he’s had a chance to blitz a little bit more so he’s getting started. It looks very comfortable for him to demonstrate that flexibility, which is a real asset for us.”

Griffin played just nine defensive snaps in the season opener against Denver, but took a big leap forward on special teams in 2018. He played over 200 snaps and notched 11 tackles.

Only time will tell whether or not Griffin stays at weakside linebacker or continues to line up at edge. This could certainly be something to keep an eye on during OTAs and mandatory minicamp in June.

Shaquill, Shaquem Griffin co-lead initiative for NFL Votes

Shaquill, Shaquem Griffin co-lead initiative for NFL Votes

August 6th is an important day in our nation’s history. On this day 55 years ago, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Today, the NFL announced the launch of ‘NFL Votes’, a league-wide, non-partisan initiative that will support and encourage the civic engagement and voting of NFL players, legends, club and league personnel, and NFL fans from now until Election Day.

NFL Votes will focus on three key components of the electoral process: voter education, voter registration, and voter activation. These voting efforts are incorporated into the league's social justice initiative Inspire Change, which “showcases how the players, owners and league work together to create positive change in communities across America.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Dave "Softy" Mahler].

Of those trying to encourage others to get out and vote during this election season, Seattle Seahawks twin brothers Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin are doing just that.

We once were at a time in our lives when we felt our vote did not matter, and that came from conversations with people who felt the same way. But our vote really does count. We all sat down together, talked with our mom and dad, and you can't get to the point that it doesn't matter. That was a problem, but once you have the conversation, we actually found the truth. — Shaquill Griffin

You have to set the example. It's about getting up and doing it. People can say one thing and do another. If I want to be one of the better (examples) I have to be one who says I am going to do it and then do it. If they see me doing it and I take the step forward, I physically assure you this is the time to do it. — Shaquem Griffin

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is also amongst a group of leaders spearheading this initiative.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell adds:

“Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was meant to ensure the right to vote for all Americans, prohibiting discrimination in voting based on race or color. Through meeting with players and legends to better understand causes and issues they are passionate about, we found a consensus around the importance of voting. That's why we're putting the power of our platform behind NFL Votes, aiming to inspire and encourage people to get educated about the voting process, to get registered to vote, and to ultimately exercise their right to vote.”

For more information on this initiative, visit the NFL’s website here.

DK Metcalf’s dad recently ‘rekindled an old flame’ with Greg Olsen

DK Metcalf’s dad recently ‘rekindled an old flame’ with Greg Olsen

It’s been nearly 10 years since DK Metcalf’s father, Terrence Metcalf, stepped on the field as a professional NFL player, but not all of his former teammates have hung up their cleats. 

Greg Olsen, who signed with the Seahawks after being released by the Carolina Panthers in February, knows Terrence fondly. 

Olsen and Metcalf played together in Chicago when Olsen was a first-round pick in 2007 and Metcalf was a backup offensive lineman. They spent two seasons on the same team before Metcalf departed for the Lions in 2009.

12 years later, Olsen is one of the NFL’s elite tight ends and Terrence’s son, DK, is a star receiver for the Seahawks. About a month ago, DK decided to have his dad tag along for an offseason workout. 

He also invited a 35-year-old guest.  

It was one day, like a month ago, me and Greg worked out and I brought my dad up here with me and they rekindled an old flame. It was kind of funny because they just started smiling and Greg was like ‘I got to tell you about some stories in the locker room’ and all that. So, it looked like they had a pretty good relationship, but me just learning from Greg, it’s been great. -- Metcalf said during a Thursday press conference

Now, DK will be learning from the three-time Pro Bowler and seasoned veteran who played with his father. It’s an opportunity he doesn’t take for granted.  

“He can teach me a lot this offseason since he’s been in the league 20 years now,” Metcalf said of Olsen. “He’s a great player and just to learn from him is gonna be special.” 

Metcalf hauled in 58 receptions for 900 yards and seven touchdowns in his rookie debut and you can’t rule out a Julio Jones-sized jump for him in Year 2. 

The Seahawks believe the addition of Olsen can be a bigtime weapon for Russell Wilson and the offense this year. Olsen finished with 52 receptions for 597 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his 2019 campaign in Carolina. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]

Report: Seahawks move on from Jadeveon Clowney, turn interest to Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews

Report: Seahawks move on from Jadeveon Clowney, turn interest to Everson Griffen, Clay Matthews

Following the Jamal Adams blockbuster trade, we teased out that another move for the Seattle Seahawks could be on the horizon. 

The Seahawks have had interest in veteran defensive end Everson Griffen for some time, and now they’re adding veteran linebacker Clay Matthews to the list. 

Per NFL Network’s Michael Silver, Seattle has finally moved on from Jadeveon Clowney and they have added Griffen and Matthews to their radar as possible additions to fill the Seahawks’ void up front. Silver also added that a deal could happen soon. 

The Seahawks had said they were leaving the door open for a possible reunion with Clowney, a former No. 1 overall pick. 

We made an effort to re-sign him. We'd still - the door is not closed, but we couldn't wait any longer. We had to conduct business, and so he knew that. He just is going to kind of feel his way through this odd process, and we'll see where that goes. -- Seahawks GM John Schneider said in April

The talented pass-rusher, who remains unsigned, reportedly turned down a deal from Seattle in early June. The Seahawks offered as much as $15 million for a one-year deal, per Mike Florio, but it didn’t move the needle for Clowney.  

After being traded from the Houston Texans to the Seahawks in 2019, Clowney finished with just 3.0 sacks, seven tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, one interception and two touchdowns in 13 games, all while battling core muscle injuries. 

While Clowney waits for a potential suitor to meet his price tag, the Seahawks will look into two of Pete Carroll’s former players. 

Griffen, 32, spent his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings. He’s earned numerous Pro Bowl honors and had eight sacks last season. Matthews, 34, played 10 seasons at Green Bay before moving to the Rams in 2019. Unlike Griffen, Matthews has not yet registered a Pro Bowl caliber season, however, he did compile eight sacks in 13 games last year.

The Seahawks have one open roster spot on their 80-man roster once the re-signing of defensive end Branden Jackson is completed. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]

DK Metcalf could be poised for Julio Jones-esque jump in Year 2

DK Metcalf could be poised for Julio Jones-esque jump in Year 2

Expectations are sky-high for DK Metcalf as he enters his second NFL season.

The hype is understandable, of course, following Metcalf’s standout rookie season where he posted 900 yards and seven touchdowns. Metcalf then exploded for an NFL rookie record 160 yards and a touchdown in the Wild Card round of the playoffs against the Eagles.

That’s why everyone is eager to see what kind of encore Metcalf can put together in Year 2. His pedigree, physical traits and first-year production set the table for a big step forward.

Dave “Softy” Mahler of Sports Radio 950 KJR articulated his hopes for Metcalf more specifically.

“I’ve spent a lot of time comparing DK Metcalf’s rookie year to Julio Jones’ rookie year, and the numbers are insanely similar,” Mahler said on a recent episode of the Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.

Mahler did acknowledge that Jones missed three games due to injury as a rookie. However, there are still comparisons to be made.

Jones had a line of 54-959-8 back in 2011. Those are obviously higher per game numbers than Metcalf, but Seattle’s rookie did have a slightly higher catch percentage (58%-56.8%).

That’s not bad given Jones was the sixth-overall pick, and the Seahawks took Metcalf with the final pick of the second round (64th overall).

Jones jumped to 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns in his second season. That seems like reasonable benchmarks for Metcalf.

“That’s the kind of rise and the kind of step that I’m hoping DK Metcalf can take this year,” Mahler said.

Jones has made seven Pro Bowls and has been named All-Pro twice. He’s got five 1,400-yard seasons to his name and one more at 1,394. He remains unquestionably one of the NFL’s best wide receivers, if not the best.

Mahler wants to know if Metcalf shares that type of ceiling.

“’Does this guy have superstar potential?’ is the question,” Mahler said. “Is he going to be an elite wide receiver? Or is he going to be a Pro Bowl wide receiver. There are a lot of Pro Bowl wide receivers. Lots of guys make the Pro Bowl, but not a lot of guys are first-team All-Pro wide receivers. Not a lot of guys are generational talent wide receivers.”

Mahler has been a staple in Seattle sports media for nearly three decades. He’s a native to the Pacific Northwest and understands just how unique Metcalf is in regard to Seahawks history.

“The Seahawks have never had a guy who looks like this and runs like this,” he said.

Metcalf and the rest of the Seahawks are in the midst of the NFL’s ramp up period before official practices begin. Once practices finally begin, all eyes will be on the second-year wideout, eager to see what he has in store for Seattle’s opponents in 2020.

Seahawks claim former 49ers DB D.J. Reed off waivers

080520-reed-jr.jpg
USATI

Seahawks claim former 49ers DB D.J. Reed off waivers

The Seahawks have added a defensive back to their roster, claiming former Niner D.J. Reed off of waivers per Ian Rapoport. The 49ers waived Reed with an injury designation on Monday.

Reed tore his pectoral muscle earlier this summer while working out on his own. He likely won't be able to return until November at the earliest, and he could miss all of 2020. That makes this more of a down-the-road lottery ticket for Seattle. Reed was a valued member of the 49ers for his versatility to play corner, nickel and safety. The former Kansas State product was drafted by San Francisco in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Reed has appeared in 31 career games (two starts) and has accumulated 54 total tackles, one sack and two passes defended. He also returned a fumbled kickoff for a touchdown in 2019 against the Cardinals.

Seattle had two open roster spots, one of which is now filled by Reed. He'll remain on the active/non-football injury list. This move likely means the Seahawks liked him coming out of college, and they now have the chance to get him in their own building.

Do the Seahawks really owe it to Russell Wilson to sign Antonio Brown?

Do the Seahawks really owe it to Russell Wilson to sign Antonio Brown?

The Seahawks know pretty well who helps drive the hypothetical car for the success of the team and it’s a pretty easy answer.

It’s Russell Wilson.

Since being drafted by the Seahawks in 2012, the now veteran quarterback has proven he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]

With 86 regular-season wins through 2019, 49 home regular-season wins, and the first player in NFL history with at least 200 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns in his first eight seasons, Wilson's stats don’t lie.

Not to mention he brought Seattle its first Super Bowl win in franchise history back in 2014.

It’s safe to say that Wilson has done a lot to help the Seattle organization get to where it is today.

This past offseason, Wilson stated his desire to have superstars on the team-- big names with big play ability. 

The Seahawks got that recently with the Jamal Adams trade. 

But, on offense, names like Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown seem to continue to drive discussion, but will it ever materialize?

On FS1's ‘Speak For Yourself’ with Emanuel Acho and Marcellus Wiley, the Antonio Brown conversation continued: Do the Seahawks owe it to Russell Wilson to sign him?

While Marshawn Lynch and the Legion of Boom potentially overshadowed Wilson at times, he has been the fuel behind the success of the Seahawks organization the last eight seasons as their starting quarterback.

Antonio Brown, outside of his off-field actions, is one of the best wide receivers the NFL has seen in recent years.

As of last Friday, Antonio Brown was suspended by the NFL for eight games for violating the personal conduct policy set by the NFL. 

Even if the Seahawks were going to make a move for Brown, he would not see the field until October 8th against the Buffalo Bills, at the earliest.

If the Seahawks had a winning record up until then, would it be worth it to bring Brown in for a deep playoff push?

Or will Brown bring in negative energy into the locker room if he is not catching passes like he has done before in the past?

Who really knows at this point.

If Russell Wilson were to ask the front office to bring in Antonio Brown, they should seriously consider it.

The two already seem to have a connection, as evidenced by an offseason workout

Do the Seahawks owe it to Russell Wilson to sign Brown? That is up for debate. Seahawks did make Wilson the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL at one point, recognizing how valuable he is to the organization.

But if Wilson does ask for Brown to help him win games, the best thing to do is to try to make the face of the franchise happy for the years you have him, right?

We'll have to wait and see.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]

Russell Wilson's “Mr. Unlimited” resurfaces, remains very cringeworthy

Russell Wilson's “Mr. Unlimited” resurfaces, remains very cringeworthy

You know it’s 2020 when the Russell Wilson “Mr. Unlimited,” video has made a comeback.

The two-year old video where the Seahawks quarterback refers to his alter ego as Mr. Unlimited unearthed on social media Wednesday morning and let’s just say Twitter was shook. 

Watch it below:  

Hey guys, Russell here. Yes, the typical boring Russell, Robot Russell the one you guys love to know. I’m real, real exciting. I’m real exciting. But anyways everybody has to have an alter ego right? And I’ve been thinking about what my alter ego would be and I think I have an alter ego. His name is Mr. Unlimited. You got to be unlimited. You got to have a thought process of being unlimited. So when people ask you what you’re thinking about or what you want to do in life or where you want to go, tell them I’m unlimited. You know what I mean.

Then, perhaps the best part of the video, is when someone, likely his wife Ciara, begins to yell questions about who helps keep Mr. Unlimited going and spoiler alert, the answer was always Mr. Unlimited. 

So when they ask you certain questions like… ‘What brings you motivation, Russell?’ Mr. Unlimited! ‘Who’s your role model, Russell?’ Unlimited! ‘Who’s your go-to person for advice, Russell?’ They think Pete Carroll, they think this person, that person . . . love you Pete but it’s Mr. Unlimited!

Seahawks Twitter had a field day roasting the corny video. 

Don’t worry, Russ, there are a lot of legends that have an alter ego. Beyonce becomes Sasha Fierce when she performs, Eminem becomes Slim Shady and Will Ferrell has Ron Burgundy. 

The Mr. Unlimited Slander will not be tolerated. 

Wilson, whose career is on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory, is a seven-time Pro-Bowler who was second-team AP All-Pro last year behind unanimous league MVP Lamar Jackson. After one of his most productive seasons in 2019, Wilson and the Seahawks are poised for another magical run. 

This year, the Seahawks’ prospects are, well, unlimited.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Jake Heaps.]

Former Duck Dion Jordan finds new NFL home with San Francisco 49ers

Former Duck Dion Jordan finds new NFL home with San Francisco 49ers

Dion Jordan is still trying to live up to his NFL draft standing. 

The highly-touted pass rusher out of Oregon was selected third-overall by the Miami Dolphins in 2013, but has yet to prove his career in the NFL can pan out. 

Now, Jordan’s getting another shot with the NFC West Champion San Francisco 49ers. 

Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Jordan, who last played with the Oakland Raiders, is expected to sign with the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday. 

[Listen and download for free ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football].

Jordan, the highest member of the Ducks defense to be drafted (at No. 3 overall), has provided lackluster returns since he entered the NFL. 

The former Oregon standout began his career in Miami, where he produced three sacks in 26 games before the NFL handed Jordan a season-long suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He was conditionally reinstated in 2016 but failed to see the field for the Dolphins that year. 

Jordan looked to salvage his playing career when he joined the Seahawks in 2017, ultimately spending two years in Seattle. In 17 games over two seasons, Jordan started three games and recording 5.5 sacks, 27 solo tackles and 11 quarterback hits. 

However, the following May, the embattled defensive end was suspended again. This time, Jordan was handed a 10-game suspension for using Adderall, which he later admitted he took for his ADHD. 

Looking for a fresh start, Jordan signed with the Oakland Raiders. He was immediately placed on the reserve/suspended list while he finished out his 10-game suspension and was reinstated by the NFL in November. In 2019, Jordan had a pair of sacks for the Raiders in seven games last year and played 173 snaps.  

Now, a member of the San Francisco 49ers, the 30-year-old pass rusher will be reunited with former Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who just re-signed to the 49ers this offseason. 

Jordan should see time as a rotational edge defender for the 49ers, providing speed depth behind Dee Ford. 

San Francisco also worked out current free agent Ziggy Ansah, who last played in Seattle in 2019, but it appears they have opted for Jordan instead. 

[Listen to the full Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Josh Jamieson, Director of Operations of Oregon men’s basketball].

Fann Mail: Forecasting the Seahawks rotation at defensive line and linebacker

Fann Mail: Forecasting the Seahawks rotation at defensive line and linebacker

We’re inching closer to real football as the ramp up period of 2020 training camps continues. The Seahawks continue to work out behind closed doors at the VMAC, but the first official practice could come by the middle of next week.

That means it’s the perfect time for a mailbag to go over all of Seattle’s top storylines. Once practices start, Week 1 will end up getting here in a blink.

As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions.

I don’t think the Seahawks have hid the fact that Irvin will be playing primarily, if not exclusively, at LEO. To this point, Irvin has been Seattle’s top addition to the pass rush. His value will come along the defensive line, not at SAM linebacker.

Bobby Wagner will obviously be at MIKE. Unless Jordyn Brooks shows to be completely lost in camp and a potential liability in a game, I expect him to start Week 1 at WILL. He’s Seattle’s future at that position, and it makes sense to try and get him reps as soon as possible. That would move K.J. Wright to SAM in base.

The biggest question is whether or not Wright or Brooks gets the reps at WILL in sub packages. They could theoretically rotate throughout a game, but again, as long as Brooks is showing promise, don’t expect the first-round pick to leave the field much.

Here’s my best guess for Seattle’s starting defensive line in base: Rasheem Green, Jarran Reed, Poona Ford and Benson Mayowa.

As I mentioned above, Irvin will be a staple in sub packages off the edge. Then you’ll have guys like Collier (interior), Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson who will compete to be a part of the rotation.

Jarran Reed has to be better for the Seahawks to win the NFC West. I expected him to get a short-term prove-it deal after an unproductive 2019 season. I was write about the short-term part of it, but Seattle giving Reed $23 million over two years is hardly a prove-it deal.

The Seahawks clearly believe that Reed will return to his 2018 form where he posted 10.5 sacks. The biggest question is whether or not he can produce to that level without playing alongside an elite edge rusher. Remember, Frank Clark had 13.0 sacks in 2018.

Reed has just 5.0 combined sacks in his other three seasons. The defensive line will go as he goes which means he needs a bounce back season in 2020.

My honorable mentions are Duane Brown, who Seattle desperately needs to stay healthy, and Tre Flowers, who the Seahawks are hoping can make a Year 2 to Year 3 jump similar to Shaquill Griffin.

Rasheem Green led the Seahawks with 4.0 sacks in 2019, and he’s still just 23 years old. This will be the year where he shows whether his ceiling is as a rotational piece or if can be something more. Seattle would be ecstatic if Green can get to the 6.0-sack range in 2020.

I have a hard time figuring out fair expectations for Collier after what was essentially a red shirt year as a rookie. I think it’s fairer to put the baseline at merely earning reps and then going from there. The Seahawks believe he has legit pass rush ability, both off the edge in base and on the interior in sub packages. The cause for concern over Collier will be legit if he can’t crack the rotation immediately.

I’ll put it at 25%. I maintain that Jadeveon Clowney’s best chance to recoup his value and cash in as a free agent in 2021 is with the Seahawks. I understand if he has frustrations from being on an island last season and dropping into coverage more than he would have preferred. However, the overall depth and quality of Seattle’s defensive line is vastly superior to what it was in 2019, and the addition of Jamal Adams would help Clowney as well.

Who knows how players opting out and increased cap space for some teams will impact Clowney’s offers. That’s the wildcard of this saga that makes me believe nothing is imminent. He might not sign until Labor Day Weekend.

I think it’s possible that Seattle will sign an edge rusher, a defensive tackle and/or a cornerback. Quinton Dunbar being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List makes corner arguably Seattle’s biggest need. Outside of Shaquill Griffin and Tre Flowers, I’m not sure the Seahawks have a guy they’d feel comfortable starting on the outside. Signing a veteran for depth purposes and injury protection would make sense.

Cedric Ogbuehi and Jamarco Jones will compete to be the backup tackles. Ogbuehi is the favorite to assume George Fant’s role as the tackle-eligible player that Seattle loves to utilize. However, the Seahawks could use that role less in 2020 depending on how often they run two tight ends sets with Will Dissly and Greg Olsen.

https://twitter.com/Nivaldo04727329/status/1290671798384721921
Ugo Amadi should be Seattle’s nickel corner depending on the matchup. If an opposing offense has a prototype slot receiver, like Trent Taylor in San Francisco, then Amadi would be the ideal matchup. Amadi’s reps should vary on a game-to-game basis because of that. Marquise Blair figures to be the one rotating with Amadi based on matchup.

Sadly, Joe Fann is a long-tormented Mariners fan. All of my fingers are crossed that Jared Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez turn into superstars!