Seattle Seahawks

K.J. Wright says Mississippi 'headed in right direction' after removing state flag

K.J. Wright says Mississippi 'headed in right direction' after removing state flag

When lawmakers in Mississippi voted to remove and replace the state’s flag which features the cross of the Confederate battle flag, K.J. Wright was relieved. 

The Seattle Seahawks linebacker called Mississippi’s decision to surrender the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag a “step in the right direction.”

“My first reaction was, ‘Finally,” Wright said in an interview with Ben Arthur of Seattle PI. “'Thank you for realizing what that flag means to Black people, what that flag means to people like myself, what it stood for.’ I personally thought everybody understood the context behind it, what the flag represented. It represented hatred, it represented supremacy, it represented pro-Slavery. That’s how I interpreted it. And it made a lot of people uncomfortable.”

Mississippi has a 38 percent Black population, yet it took lawmakers more than a century to ditch the Confederate battle flag sympbol after white supremacist legislators adopted the design following the South’s lost in the Civil War. 

It’s a step to making everything better for everyone... My Grandma’s grandma was a slave, and growing up, you hear those stories... My grandma, she went through segregation. She went through the Civil Rights Movement. That was some serious stuff... This stuff isn’t brand new. Like, this stuff just recently happened... So to see simple steps made in the right direction is really big for the state of Mississippi.

Whatever comes out [of this], I’m going to be proud to say I’m from Mississippi. Because right now, it’s kind of been tough. People ask, ‘Where you from?’ And I say, ‘Mississippi.’ And they be like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to go there.’ And it shouldn’t be like that. It shouldn’t be that sad. It shouldn’t be that pitiful. So, we’re definitely headed in the right direction as a state. -- K.J. Wright

 

For Wright, the divisive flag is used as a symbol of white supremacy, the Jim Crow South and racism and violence that Black Americans still face.

Wright recalls seeing the flag while growing up in Olive Branch, Miss., and playing at Mississippi State. It would fly in front of homes or fly on the back of pickup trucks.

"It’s extremely uncomfortable and extremely sad that people would represent that because you know what [the Confederate symbol] means,” Wright explained. “There’s no getting around it. There’s absolutely no getting around it. You’d see Klan members with their white hoodies on waving that flag. You saw the Confederate soldiers had that when they were fighting the Union soldiers for slavery. It’s pretty blatant, and there’s no getting around it. So, it was extremely uncomfortable as a black man [being around that]. When you see that, you definitely steer clear of those people."

Now that Mississippi has moved to remove the controversial flag, hopefully Wright can once again call his home state a place he is “proud” of. 

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: ‘Let’s treat every quarter like the fourth quarter’

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: ‘Let’s treat every quarter like the fourth quarter’

#LetRussCook has been a mantra of desperate Seahawks fans for a few years now – desperate for Russell Wilson to be fully unleashed from the opening kickoff.

We’ve seen the same script play itself out so many times: The Seahawks get down big early before making a furious comeback in the fourth quarter behind Wilson’s brilliance. Sometimes Seattle is able to overcome ridiculous odds and get a miraculous win. Other times, like in Week 17 vs. the 49ers and in the Divisional Round against the Packers, the Seahawks fall short.

The logic behind the hashtag is that if the Seahawks relied more heavily on Wilson from the jump – rather than obsess over establishing the run – they’d be able to avoid that script.

“The reality is I just want to win,” Wilson said on Thursday when asked about the “Let Russ Cook” movement.

But Wilson, while being the ultimate team-first player, is also a competitor, and he knows that having the ball in his hands gives Seattle the best chance to win game. He said he wants to find a way to score more points in 2020 and “dominate games.”

“At the end of the day I want the ball in my hands,” Wilson said. “I want to be able to make plays and give us a chance to win. That doesn’t mean just me chucking it around, but I feel like the more times I have the ball in my hands, the more things that can happen. I think the defense worries about that, too.”

Wilson agreed that the Seahawks could use to adopt a more aggressive approach in the early going of games. He noted that since he became the starter in 2012, Seattle is 57-0 when leading by at least four points at halftime. That’s a pretty bananas stat.

Pete Carroll is famous for the mantra of not being able to win games until the fourth quarter. The sentiment makes sense: that you need to stay focused for all 60 minutes, no matter if you’re up big or down big. But it also inherently overemphasizes the fourth quarter compared to the other three.

“Getting ahead is a key thing,” Wilson said. “I do believe in finishing strong. We’ve won a lot of games in the fourth quarter and been able to do some fun things in the fourth quarter. Let’s treat every quarter like it’s the fourth quarter. That’s my mentality.”

According to ESPN's Brady Henderson, Wilson ranks 12th in pass attempts in quarters 1-3 over the last four seasons. He ranks third in pass attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime over that same time span.


 
Wilson previously said this offseason that he wanted more up-tempo throughout a game. Pete Carroll acknowledged his quarterback’s wishes when he met with media back at the NFL Combine. Wilson has now doubled down on that desire given his comments on Thursday.

Whether or not we see a philosophy change from the Seahawks offense in 2020 will be one of Seattle’s biggest storylines this season.

Russell Wilson taught his ‘best friend’ DK Metcalf to swim this offseason

Russell Wilson taught his ‘best friend’ DK Metcalf to swim this offseason

It appears that there’s a budding bromance in Seattle between Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf.

The two spent a large portion of the offseason together, taking trips to Mexico and San Diego. They worked out together, trained and ran routes in order to work on their chemistry.

“Our friendship has evolved like crazy,” Wilson said. “He’s one of my best friends for sure. I love his demeanor. I love who he is. He’s like a little brother to me.”

During their time in paradise, Wilson somehow learned that Metcalf couldn’t swim. The Seahawks quarterback helped remedy that problem.

“He hadn’t really learned how to swim yet, so I taught him how to swim,” Wilson said.

There’s nothing Wilson can’t do, it appears. Pro Bowl quarterback and certified swim instructor. Wilson mentioned that Greg Olsen and Will Dissly also joined the offseason workouts at one point.

As for Metcalf, the second-year wideout is expected to have a monster season after an impressive rookie campaign. He posted 900 yards and seven touchdowns in 2019 after being the last pick in the second round. As Wilson eluded to, Metcalf clearly is taking the right approach in terms of maximizing his God-given ability.

Metcalf’s bromance with Wilson would make for a nice subplot should he follow through on the lofty expectations placed upon him.

Seahawks cut Kemah Siverand after he attempts to sneak woman into hotel, per report

Seahawks cut Kemah Siverand after he attempts to sneak woman into hotel, per report

The Seattle Seahawks were serious when they said players would have to approach the upcoming NFL season with great discipline. 

Kemah Siverand found out the hard way. 

The rookie cornerback was cut from the Seahawks roster this week after trying to sneak in a female visitor into the team hotel, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

The best part of the story is the woman came in the most suspect way possible, wearing Seahawks gear to disguise herself as a player. The Seahawks have not confirmed either report. 

As one person pointed out, Siverand has recently made a Youtube channel to vlog his rookie experience. It’s unclear whether the video was leaked on there. 

Albert Breer says the hotel’s security caught the incident on camera. If so, we’re gonna need surveillance video of this bust ASAP. 

It didn’t take long for Twitter to roast the rook for his bold move.  

Earlier this month, Pete Carroll, the NFL’s oldest coach, made it clear that he has high expectations for himself, as well as his players, to live responsibly and with self-discipline off-the-field.

“As far as being however old I am, I’m taking it as a personal challenge,” Carroll said. “If I happen to get this stuff, I’m going to kick ass on this stuff. If I don’t, it’s going to be because I’ve been able to find a way to luck my way through it. Because this is a very treacherous thing that everybody is dealing with. We’ve got, hopefully have good fortune along the way, with as well as having great discipline.”

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, players have been urged to avoid contact outside of training camp. Siverand’s attempt to bring in a visitor was against team rules. 

Siverand, one of three UDFA cornerbacks signed by Seattle this season, would have faced long odds to make the Seahawks final roster without the incident. 

Siverand last played in 13 games this past season for Oklahoma State, almost exclusively on special teams. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder had 11 tackles and one fumble recovery in 26 games at OSU after transferring two seasons at Texas A&M.

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

Le’Veon Bell is still salty about Jamal Adams leaving NY for Seattle

Le’Veon Bell is still salty about Jamal Adams leaving NY for Seattle

Jamal Adams is officially practicing with the Seahawks this week, but former teammate Le’ Veon Bell still isn’t happy on how Adams went about it leaving his former team.

Adams had some choice things to say about Head Coach Adam Gase back in July, it got to a point where Adams staying in New York would do more harm than good to the franchise.

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

Bell told reporters on Wednesday that Adams told him that he would never do something like that, bit of course, things change.

“It kind of looks like he forced his way out,” Bell said. “I was talking to him and he was telling me he wasn’t going to force his way out.”

Bell, of course, appreciates everything that Adams did for the Jets organization but doesn’t seem to see eye to eye on how Adams went about ending it.

I love playing with him,” Bell said. “He’s a great teammate. I just — sometimes you don’t like how people handle things.=

At the end of the day, the Jets got a lot for Adams in their blockbuster trade with the Seahawks. 

With receiving two first-round picks, and safety Bradley McDougald for the Seahawks, the Jets will eventually let this be in the past because they can now really look into the future of their organization. 

Bell might obviously want to win now, and losing Adams does hurt, but the Jets are looking into the future on what the franchise could look like.

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

 

 

Seahawks could still land Jadeveon Clowney in bottomed-out pass rush market

Seahawks could still land Jadeveon Clowney in bottomed-out pass rush market

Everson Griffen signing with the Cowboys for a mere $6 million is bad news for Jadeveon Clowney. There’s no other way to spin it. Griffen posted 8.0 sacks in 2019 and made his fourth-career Pro Bowl. And yet, he received essentially the same money as the Seahawks paid Bruce Irvin and only $3 million more than Benson Mayowa.

It’s an indication that the pass rush market may have bottomed out as training camps are now in full swing across the NFL. Again, that’s awful news for Clowney, who now appears to have lost his game of chicken in free agency.

Clowney initially wanted market-setting money north of $20 million annually on a multi-year mega deal. He then dipped his asking price to the $17-18 million range and is yet to budge since. He declined the Seahawks best offer in the ballpark of $15 million and everything else that has come his way.

His goal, of course, was to wait out the COVID-19 travel restrictions that kept him from taking an in-person physical with teams. His best offers are probably behind him even though the travel bans have been lifted. It’s a bit of bad luck given the global pandemic, but it’s also partially an overestimation of his own market and a gamble that went south. Sometimes, patience isn’t a virtue.

Clowney’s loss may be Seattle’s gain. The Seahawks have $15 million in the bank, and while some of that money will go to practice squad players and injury replacements, Seattle wouldn’t have to get too creative in order to create enough cap space to pay Clowney on a one-year deal.

What will that number be? Doubling up Griffen feels like it would be the ceiling. So that’s $12 million. The Seahawks would still surely be willing to pay something in that range, right? Seattle’s desperation for a premier pass rusher hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s only gotten more severe after learning that second-round pick Darrell Taylor will remain on the PUP list for at least another few weeks.

At his point it’s either Clowney, Clay Matthews or stand pat. Those three options range from best-case scenario to completly reckless. It’s really hard to imagine Seattle assuming the risk of the latter given the scrutiny on its pass rush and the organization’s stated need to improve the group that generated just 28 sacks a year ago.

Which makes this the more pertinent question: What will it take for Clowney to sign at this point? He has a few options. He can swallow his pride and accept that his patience cost him some money in 2020. That approach could easily be coupled with the confidence that he’ll ball out this season and recoup that money as a free agent in 2021. Door No. 2 would be to take the Le’Veon Bell route and sit this season out, or, at a bare minimum, wait to sign until the middle of the season if/when a contender loses its star pass rusher.

Skipping the 2020 season would make zero sense from a financial standpoint. It would be impossible for Clowney to get his desired mega deal in 2021 and make up for the money he’d miss out on this season. However, Clowney could decide that it’s not worth putting his body through the rigor of an NFL season if he’s not being paid what he feels like he’s worth. Nobody could argue with him for making such a decision.

But while Clowney continues to weigh his potentially dwindling options, Seattle remains the most logical destination for him. He’s said he enjoyed his time with the Seahawks. The organization loves him. The familiarity on both sides would be valuable given he’d be signing in mid-August.

Most importantly, Clowney would be surrounded by a vastly superior supporting cast compared to 2019. He was on an island last season. Ziggy Ansah was a non-factor. Jarran Reed missed six games due to a suspension and then battled a lingering ankle injury upon his return. Now Clowney would be joined by Irvin, Mayowa, a healthy Reed, Alton Robinson, Taylor and Jamal Adams. Teams would no longer be able to throw constant double teams at Clowney without consequence.

Who knows how this saga will end, but the door remains very much ajar for Clowney’s return to Seattle.  

Seahawks miss out on Everson Griffen, shrinking pass rush options

Seahawks miss out on Everson Griffen, shrinking pass rush options

Everson Griffen will be coming to CenturyLink Field this season, it will just be as a member of the visiting Cowboys in Week 3. Griffen signed with Dallas on Wednesday, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Both Rapoport and Mike Silver reported that the Seahawks had interest in signing the four-time Pro Bowler. It's unclear whether or not Griffen's decision came down to money or just a lack of urgency from Seattle's front office. Either way, it's a potential huge miss for the Seahawks, who are still without a premier pass rusher. On top of that, second-round pick Darrell Taylor remains on PUP with an uncertain return date as he works his way back from offseason surgery to repair a stress fracture in his shin.

Griffen joins a loaded Cowboys pass rush that features Demarcus Lawrence, Gerald McCoy, Aldon Smith and Tyrone Crawford.

The Seahawks pass rush, or lack thereof, continues to be the biggest talking point surrounding the team. Seattle has exercised extreme patience and frugality in its effort to rebuild a pass rush that generated just 28 sacks a year ago. Fans held out hope that Griffen would finally be the long-awaited addition who would arrive this summer and save the day. Now, at least in terms of strictly edge players, Jadeveon Clowney and Clay Matthews are Seattle's only options.

Not pulling the trigger on Griffen also indicates that Seattle might be willing to stand pat and go into the season with who is already on the roster. That, of course, would be a massive risk given the scrutiny over the group. There's no guarantee that Bruce Irvin, Jarran Reed, Benson Mayowa, L.J. Collier, Taylor and Alton Robinson will be enough to get Seattle's pass rush back to respectability. Heck, Jamal Adams might very well be the Seahawks best pass rusher.

The Seahawks currently have $15 million in cap space, but a portion of that will go to injury replacements. It still should be enough to land Matthews. Signing Clowney would probably take a bit more creativity in terms of creating additional cap space. There's still time for Seattle to make a move, but time, and, more importantly, the number of quality free agent options is dwindling.

Seahawks get good news on K.J. Wright, less so on Darrell Taylor

Seahawks get good news on K.J. Wright, less so on Darrell Taylor

Pete Carroll provided a few personnel updates following the first official practice of training camp on Wednesday.

Starting with K.J. Wright, the Seahawks longtime WILL linebacker has made an impressive recovery from offseason shoulder surgery. He was a full participant on Wednesday, something Seattle didn’t expect.

“It’s a marvelous return. He’s raring to go,” Carroll said. “We anticipated that he could quite likely go on PUP, but he cleared his physical with flying colors. We’ll still look after him and take care of him but he’s in great shape.”

Wright had a tremendous season in 2019, recording a career-high 132 tackles and three interceptions. However, he’ll have to beat out first-round pick Jordyn Brooks in order to keep his starting job at WILL. Making it back for the official start of camp was absolutely crucial for him.

The news isn’t as positive in regard to Darrell Taylor. Seattle’s second-round pick remains on the PUP list as he continues to work his way back from offseason surgery on a stress fracture in his shin.

“He wasn’t ready to go,” Carroll said. “There’s no damage to his knee, he’s just got to get back from the work he’s been doing. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take. He’s done some testing and treatments and things that take a week or so to take hold and all that. I’m hoping in another couple weeks he’ll be ready to get back in it. They’re working with him right now, and he’s dying to get back. It’s not quite right, and so we’ve got to take our time so that once he’s back, he’s back for good.”

That’s not ideal for the pass rusher that the Seahawks coveted in the draft. They traded up to get Taylor in the second round with hopes of him being an instant contributor. Seattle is wise to exercise patience, but the ambiguity of when he’ll be able to return remains troublesome. The Seahawks don’t have the luxury of losing edge rushers to injury.

Other notes:

- Chris Carson isn’t currently with the team due to a death in the family. “Our hearts are with him and his family,” Carroll said on Wednesday.

- Colby Parkinson could be back in the near future as he’s made an impressive recovery from an offseason foot injury. The Seahawks are loaded with depth at tight end with Parkinson, Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, Jacob Hollister, Luke Willson and Stephen Sullivan.

5 burning questions: What we’ll learn during Seahawks camp

5 burning questions: What we’ll learn during Seahawks camp

At long last, the Seahawks will begin official training camp practices on Wednesday from the VMAC. Media will be allowed to be in attendance, and a portion of the practice will be streamed live on Seahawks.com.

We’ve been waiting months for this very moment. Seattle last took the practice field seven months ago in mid-January. That means we’ve had plenty of time to discuss each player and top storyline ad nauseum. But just in case you’ve been on a well-deserved summer vacation and need a refresher, here are the top five storylines to follow during camp.

We’ll revisit each of these five questions at the end of camp to recap how things develop over the next several weeks.

1. Who is going to start at left guard?

Mike Iupati will be given every opportunity to retain his starting job as the incumbent. Pete Carroll surely hopes Iupati will be able to stay healthy and show he’s worthy so that at least the left side of the offensive line can carry over from 2019. Carroll said in January that he didn’t want to see massive turnover up front. And yet, if Iupati gets beat out by Will Haynes, Ethan Pocic or Jordan Simmons, that will mean 80% of the offensive line will be new in 2020 with B.J. Finney at center, Damien Lewis at right guard and Brandon Shell at right tackle.

2. Who emerges from the pack at wide receiver?

We know the top three receivers will be Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Phillip Dorsett. The roster spots behind them are up for grabs, though. David Moore should be able to claim one even after an underwhelming 2019 season. However, he’ll have a trio of talented youngsters vying for his spot. John Ursua, Freddie Swain and hybrid receiver/tight end Stephen Sullivan are all players to watch in camp. The biggest threat to Moore’s roster spot would be the potential signing of Josh Gordon. That’s a big if at this point given Gordon is yet to be reinstated, and nobody knows if he’ll be given any additional suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse and performance enhancing substances policies.

3. Can Jordyn Brooks unseat K.J. Wright at WILL linebacker?

Both John Schneider and Carroll have opened the door for Brooks to be Seattle’s Week 1 starter at WILL linebacker. Carroll called it his clearest path to playing time. Wright, despite having offseason shoulder surgery, played well in 2019 and should be ready for the start of the 2020 season. He’ll still have to show he’s the clear-cut better option over the rookie if he’s going to retain his job. Seattle was enamored enough with Brooks to take him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and so it makes sense that the Seahawks would want to get him on the field immediately. Should Brooks show himself to be worthy of starting at WILL, Wright will then be relegated to SAM linebacker as he enters the final year of his contract.

4. Where will L.J. Collier fit in?

Now fully healthy from his severe ankle sprain as a rookie, Collier will have to find a home on Seattle’s defensive line. He’s touted as a player with the ability to rush the passer off the edge on base downs and from the interior in sub packages. Rasheem Green and Branden Jackson are the only players that share a similar skill set which will give Collier every opportunity to carve out a role for himself. The signing of Everson Griffen would change that, obviously, but who knows if that will ever happen. If it doesn’t, then there’s no excuse for Collier to not see a healthy number of snaps come Week 1. If he’s unable to earn such a role, the groans from fans will grow louder regarding the team’s 2019 first-rounder.

5. How will Marquise Blair, Tre Flowers and Ugo Amadi fit into the defense?

Quinton Dunbar has been removed from the Commissioner’s Exempt List after prosecution dropped his armed robbery charges due to a lack of evidence. That means, pending any suspension from the NFL, of course, that Dunbar should be starting in Week 1 opposite Shaquill Griffin. So what does that mean for Flowers? He’s still a capable corner. Can the Seahawks get creative and find a way for him to get on the field? Will he join the mix at nickel with Amadi and Blair? Could Griffin or Dunbar potentially trace their matchups into the slot from time to time? Griffin did express his desire to shadow an opponent’s best receiver this season. All of those questions make the rotation in the secondary a very intriguing storyline to follow. We likely won’t fully get the answer until Week 1, but camp should reveal some of what Seattle has up its sleeve.

Seahawks WR John Ursua receives second negative COVID-19 test

Seahawks WR John Ursua receives second negative COVID-19 test

John Ursua can officially rejoin his Seattle Seahawks. 

Two days after the second-year wide receiver tested positive for COVID-19, Ursua revealed to Rob DeMello of KHON 2 Sports that he tested negative on two-straight occasions, concluding his initial test was likely a false-positive. He received the results on Monday evening. 

Following his positive test on Saturday night, Ursua landed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list. He said he was extremely shocked when he first tested positive. 

“We’re not exactly like the bubble but we kind of treat everything as if it is,” Ursua said. “Our food is delivered to us; we only get to go to the facility and come back to the hotel. We do all of our meetings here at the hotel. They try to keep us out of restaurants, out of closed off areas, so they’re doing a great job.

He was the first and only Seahawks player to date to land on the list. 

Now, that the University of Hawaii product has been deemed healthy, he’s expected to return to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center to rejoin his team at training camp. 

Ursua, a seventh-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had one reception for 11 yards in Week 17 vs. San Francisco. He also played in three regular-season games and in the Seahawks Wild Card road win over the Philadelphia Eagles. 

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