Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll provides a progress report on L.J. Collier, entire Seahawks 2019 draft class

Pete Carroll provides a progress report on L.J. Collier, entire Seahawks 2019 draft class

The Seattle Seahawks 2019 rookie class has been quiet apart from DK Metcalf. The second-round receiver is the only rookie to have a sizeable role on offense or defense.

But Pete Carroll reiterated his confidence in the entire class on Wednesday, starting with first-round pick L.J. Collier.

“I think it’s a really good class,” Carroll said. “I think it’s an excellent group. Every one of the guys are contributing in a way that they show us they belong. There’s no doubt in our mind. It’s really going to be good for the long haul here.”

Collier has played in just two games thus far and was a healthy scratch last Thursday against the Rams. He should be active in Week 6 against the Browns with Brandon Jackson likely to be out with a neck injury. Carroll shared his excitement to see Collier play and contribute.

“I think that L.J. is going to show you here now in the next few weeks that he’s going to be able to figure into what’s happening,” Carroll said. “It’s just taken him awhile. He missed so much football. I’m planning on him being a factor this week and continue to grow with that.”

Collier is kind of a tweener defensive lineman who provides some to the pass rush and in stopping the run, but doesn’t do either at an elite level. He’s got one tackle in 36 total snaps through two games.

A high-ankle sprain during training camp set Collier back a month, but Carroll believes the rookie looks to be more focused and in better shape than ever.

“He’s got great length,” Carroll said. “In that, he uses it in his pass rush. He’s a penetrating player – gets in the backfield because of his quickness. He’s going to make stuff happen. We don’t have any thought about that he’s not going to be a really good player. We just think it’s time and experience.”

LB Cody Barton (third round), LB Ben Burr-Kirven (fifth round) and RB Travis Homer (sixth round)

That trio of rookies is playing solely on special teams, but they’re playing significant roles in that regard. Barton and Burr-Kirven each played 20 special teams snaps against the Rams while Homer played 13.

“Cody and BBK are doing a really good job contributing," Carroll said. "Travis Homer is doing a really good job contributing on special teams. Those guys are playing the big factor for us in that they’re in on everything.”

WR Gary Jennings (fourth round) and WR John Ursua (seventh round)

Jennings is yet to be active this season and was nearly waived in order to promote Adrian Colbert from the practice squad. Instead, Seattle opted to waive Brian Mone. Ursua was only active in Week 2 against the Steelers and didn’t catch a pass. They’ll continue to be gameday inactives unless Seattle suffers an injury at the position.

“Both those guys can play,” Carroll said. “That’s why they’re on the team. They’re really good players for the near future and for the long-term future as well.”

S Marquise Blair (second round)

Blair has played in three games with one total tackle. He showed promise in the preseason before a back injury slowed his progress. Now he sits behind Lano Hill, Tedric Thompson, Bradley McDougald and Ugo Amadi on the depth chart.

“He’s got a knack for hitting football and being around the ball,” Carroll said. “We think he’s going to be good. He’s just playing behind some guys that know what they’re doing and it’s hard to unseat those guys. He is in the competition this week again. He’s practicing for play time this week. We’ve already conveyed that to him. We think he deserves that. He and Lano will be working really hard in practice this week for more play time.”

Carroll added that they’re keeping Blair at solely free safety in order to “expedite the learning and the responsibilities.” It’s clear that Seattle still doesn’t trust Blair enough within the scheme in order to give him game reps.

CB/S Ugo Amadi (fourth round)

Amadi started Week 1 at nickel corner before Jamar Taylor took over. He’s also the team’s top gunner in punt coverage. He impressively downed a Michael Dickson punt at the 1-yard line against the Rams last Thursday. Carroll continued to praise Amadi’s knack for making plays.

“We work on that stuff all the time, but you still have to demonstrate the poise and just chill that a terrific athlete does,” Carroll said. “I thought that was a really good demonstration of that. Wasn’t even a surprise because he just does stuff all the time. He’s working his way in too.”

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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USATI

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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USATI

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.

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list

Nearly six months after Bobby Wagner negotiated a three-year, $54 million contract extension to make him the highest paid at his position, the Seattle Seahawks linebacker is making waves again.

Wagner was recently named to Forbes’ prestigious 30 Under 30 Sports list, which features athletes, inventive entrepreneurs and professionals in the field of media, law and development.

His accomplishments on the football field are impressive, but it’s Wagner's off-the-field accolades that caught the eye of Forbes.

“We should take the time to learn and understand how to make the money work for us, versus working for the money,” Wagner told Forbes.

Wagner made a five-figure investment in startup Denali Therapeutics in 2014 that has since gone public with shares close to $18. The 29-year-old also recently joined Andressen Horowitz’s $500,000 minimum investment cultural fund, which features companies like Hipcamp and Lime scooters, and included investors such as Diddy and Shondra Rhimes. 

This isn’t the first time Wagner has been recognized for his entrepreneurial pursuits. In 2017, he was part of a group of current and former NFL players who invested in 12-year-old Mikaela Ulmer’s lemonade business “Me & the Bees.”

Wagner has stressed the importance of athletes not only learning business, but understanding it. He has also talked about his desire to pursue something in the business field post-football.

“I love business and I love to get into different investments and things of that nature,” Wagner said last summer. “I envision myself negotiating deals down the line and, so, I told myself (if) I wasn’t willing to risk challenging myself with my own money and my own cash then I’ll never take that risk down the line. That’s why I was focused on it.”

At 29, Wagner has seemingly done it all on the football field. He’s been to five Pro Bowls, earned four first-team All-Pro nods and helped lead Seattle to its first ever Super Bowl.

But with the Seahawks at 10-2 and on top of the NFC West, he could soon add another Super Bowl title to his collection.

“We still have room to improve on, which is the scary thing because we can still get better.”

Seahawks players to wear custom cleats for charity for My Cause My Cleats

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Seahawks

Seahawks players to wear custom cleats for charity for My Cause My Cleats

The Seattle Seahawks will be decked out in flashy footwear when they travel to Los Angeles on Sunday to take on the Rams.

As a part of the NFL’s campaign known as “My Cause My Cleats,” Seahawks players will wear colorful cleats to show support for the organization of their choice.

Star quarterback Russell Wilson will be wearing neon yellow and green cleats with the words “Anything is possible,” on them in support of his foundation, Why Not You, while rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf will show off his pink and green cleats with the words “Love First” in support of Prison Fellowship

Here’s a look at all of the cleats current and former Seahawks players, coaches and staff will be wearing this week.

Following the game, the cleats will be available via the Seahawks auction site. All funds raised will benefit the players chosen causes.

What They’re Saying: Seahawks’ blueprint to Super Bowl forming once again

What They’re Saying: Seahawks’ blueprint to Super Bowl forming once again

The Seattle Seahawks are on top of the NFC West and have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth Sunday with a win or tie over the Los Angeles Rams.

Seattle is beginning to look every bit the part of Super Bowl threats thanks to its MVP caliber quarterback, resurgent defense, unstoppable 1-2 punch at running back, stout offensive line and a plethora of targets at wide receiver and tight end. 

Heck, even Jason Myers is even making field goals look fun again. 

“We haven’t really done anything yet, but the finish is there for us,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said following Monday’s win. “With four games left we have to make some noise and see if we can finish this thing off right."

The Seahawks are shining on a stage they’ve been to before, but there’s still more football to be played. In true Seattle fashion: Expect a rollercoaster ride to the finish. 

Here’s a look at What They’re Saying about the Seahawks heading into Week 14:

Larry Stone of The Seattle Times says we’re seeing the vintage Seahawks on full display with no shortage of magic from Russell Wilson.

“It’s a formula that brought the Seahawks to the Super Bowl in the 2013 and 2014 seasons. And you can see the blueprint coalescing again in 2019, right along with the ever-growing confidence in the locker room.”

Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated highlighted Pete Carroll’s “do right, longer” speech and how its become the mantra of Seattle this season.

“For a team that is endearing in both style and fortitude, that has rebuilt around quarterback Russell Wilson in recent years, that waved goodbye to Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett and so many others, the Seahawks reinforced on Monday night that they are capable of another Super Bowl run. That is not, repeat not, to say they’re now the favorite. Nor is that to say they are without flaws. But in an NFC where it’s possible to make cases for or against the Saints, Seahawks, Packers, 49ers and even Vikings, the team that just keeps winning is as good a bet as any down the stretch.”

While the postseason hasn’t even begun yet, Riley McAtee of The Ringer takes a look at the two teams that are already circling one another in Week 17: the Seahawks and 49ers.

“The stakes could not be higher. Not only will the NFC West winner get the bragging rights that come with winning the division, but will also likely earn a first-round postseason bye. The loser, meanwhile, will almost certainly be a wild-card team, facing the uphill climb that entails. Since 1990, just three teams seeded fifth or worse have gone on to appear in the Super Bowl: the 2005 Steelers, the 2007 Giants, and the 2010 Packers. In that same stretch, 46 1- or 2-seeds have made it to the final game of the season. The last team to even play on wild-card weekend and still make the Super Bowl was the 2012 Ravens. The Niners and Seahawks aren’t just in a competition for the NFC West, they’re already racing each other to the Super Bowl.”

Nate Davis of USA Today has some trust issues with the Seahawks, despite recent comments from Seattle veterans K.J. Wright and Russell Wilson.

“Once upon a time, I invested heavily in the Seattle Seahawks — correctly predicting they'd win Super Bowl XLVIII six months before they actually did so, but then incorrectly betting they'd repeat the following season ... which they should have. I even figured the "Legion of Boom" teams would replace the New England Patriots as the NFL's latest dynasty ... and it could have.”

Our very own Seahawks Insider Joe Fann noted the growing relationship between running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny.

“On Seattle’s first drive of the third quarter, Chris Carson gashed the Vikings defense for a 25-yard run down to Minnesota’s 5-yard line. He then did something seldom seen from running backs that close to the goal line: He tapped his helmet, subbing himself out so that Rashaad Penny could get into the game.

It took two plays for Penny to find the end zone, ultimately scoring on a 1-yard toss to the left. It was Penny’s third rushing touchdown of the season and second in as many weeks. As far as Penny was concerned, he owed that score to Carson.”