Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin isn't feeling pressure of roster bubble

Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin isn't feeling pressure of roster bubble

Very few NFL players have the luxury of job security, and Shaquem Griffin knows he isn’t among the list of names who are locks to make the Seattle Seahawks 53-man roster.

“Every day you’re fighting for a spot,” Griffin said Thursday. “No spots are given, and I know I’m going to work my butt off to make sure I get on the 53-man roster.”

But Seattle’s 2018 fifth-round pick is confident in the strides he’s made entering Year 2. As a rookie, Griffin never quite settled in as an off-ball linebacker. Now he’s transitioning back to a strongside backer, the same position he played at Central Florida.

Griffin is able to utilize his speed, chase the ball and set the edge at SAM – all things he feels he excels at. Seattle even has blitz packages for its SAM linebackers.

“Those are things that I’m used to,” said Griffin, who had 18.5 sacks over his final two collegiate seasons. “To be back in that position and doing things that I know – it feels comfortable. I’m trying to be myself out there.”

Ken Norton Jr. has seen the progress Griffin has made over the course of this offseason, both from a mental and a physical standpoint.

“Just his confidence, he really understands that he can play at this level,” the team’s defensive coordinator said. “He has a big amount of speed – the guy is really fast. He understands what he does best. I was watching him learn how to use his speed, and he’s really smart. Combine that speed with his brain – it’s amazing to see the things that he can get done, so we’re very happy with his development.”

Griffin logged 11 combined tackles as a rookie in 16 games (one start). Most of that production came on special teams. Griffin remains on every coverage unit for the Seahawks, and he made his mark there in the team’s first preseason game against the Denver Broncos. He forced a fumble against Broncos running back Devonte Booker on the opening kickoff.

Griffin understands his aptitude on special teams may be what keeps him on the roster.

“The coaches want to see which guys can hit and which guys are going to shy away from hitting,” Griffin said. “I want them to know that I’m not going to shy away from hitting.”

He also played 14 snaps on defense before leaving the game with a leg contusion. Now back to full strength, Griffin is likely to play a majority of Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The goal over these final three exhibition contests is simple: Don’t be too greedy to make plays, stay within the defense and understand that his preparation will take care of everything else.

“The plays will come to you, and you’ll be ready,” Griffin said.

Week 2 grades: Best and worst Seahawks players according to Pro Football Focus

Week 2 grades: Best and worst Seahawks players according to Pro Football Focus

Pro Football Focus’ grades are in following the Seattle Seahawks Week 2 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Here are the players who stood out in the 28-26 victory and others who didn’t grade out as favorably.

Top 4 on offense

TE Will Dissly – 92.2

Dissly caught all five of his targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns.

QB Russell Wilson – 83.9

Wilson was stellar, completing 83% of his passes and throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns.

WR Malik Turner – 79.1

Turner caught all three of his targets for 54 yards. Unfortunately, with David Moore potentially returning in Week 3, Turner’s opportunities may be limited.

WR DK Metcalf – 67.8

 Metcalf caught what ended up being the game-winning touchdown, a 28-yard score in the four quarter. He caught 3-of-7 targets for 61 yards and his first-career touchdown.

Bottom 4 on offense

G Ethan Pocic – 32.3

Pocic played 22 snaps – 20 at right guard when D.J. Fluker was out with an ankle injury and two snaps at left guard when Mike Iupati left briefly.

G D.J. Fluker – 32.7

Fluker struggled before leaving the game with an ankle injury. He was responsible for two of the sacks against Wilson. Fluker returned in the second half and finished the game.

WR Jaron Brown – 47.4

Jaron Brown wasn’t targeted for the second straight week, and he was also called for a pair of penalties.

T George Fant – 55.6

Fant played 16 snaps against the Steelers.

Top 4 on defense

CB Tre Flowers – 71.9

Flowers rebounded nicely after a subpar performance in Week 1. He had two tackles and earned a 71 coverage grade.

S Lano Hill – 67.3

Hill made a fantastic first impression in 2019. He recorded three tackles, and intercepted Mason Rudolph on a two-point conversion attempt that would have tied the game at 21.

CB Jamar Taylor – 64.6

Like Hill, Taylor also showed well in Pittsburgh. The veteran looks to have the nickel job locked up.

DT Al Woods – 63.6

Woods had four tackles as he continues to anchor the middle of the Seahawks defensive line while Jarran Reed serves his six-game suspension.

Bottom 4 on defense

DT Brian Mone – 50.2

Mone was kept off the stat sheet in 23 snaps.

S Bradley McDougald – 54.2

McDougald had three tackles and an interception in the second half but had just a 42.8 tackling grade.

LB Bobby Wagner – 56.2

This one is surprising as Wagner had just a 36.7 grade in run defense. Wagner had seven tackles against the Steelers – a low number by his standards.

DE Brandon Jackson – 56.5

Jackson accounted for Seattle’s lone sack and only two quarterback hits.

Seahawks to face Drew Brees-less Saints in Week 3

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USATI

Seahawks to face Drew Brees-less Saints in Week 3

The Seattle Seahawks continue to catch break after break in the early going of the 2019 regular season. Drew Brees, who injured his thumb on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, will miss at least six weeks with a torn ligament.

That means Teddy Bridgewater will start for the New Orleans Saints in Week 3 against the Seahawks. Bridgewater completed 17-of-30 pass attempts against the Rams for 165 yards, no touchdowns and no picks. Seattle is also likely to see a hefty dose of gadget quarterback Taysom Hill. Sean Payton is sure to get creative in how to give the Saints the best chance to win at CenturyLink Field without Brees.

The Saints offense still has plenty of weapons, notably Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas, but next Sunday's game now becomes a must-win for Seattle.

This will be the third week in a row that the Seahawks have benefitted from significant injuries to the opposing team. The Cincinnati Bengals were missing left tackle Cordy Glenn and star wideout A.J. Green in Week 1. Ben Roethlisberger left Sunday's game with an elbow injury and didn't play the entire second half. Now Seattle will get to host the Saints without their Hall of Fame quarterback.

Make no mistake, the Seahawks don't owe anybody an apology for their good fortune. Seattle is a notorious slow starter and simply need to take advantage of the opportunity that has presented itself. As long as they take care of business, they'll be sitting pretty at 3-0 ahead of a Week 4 road game against the Arizona Cardinals.

Seahawks Snap Count: Rashaad Penny sees more usage in Week 2

Seahawks Snap Count: Rashaad Penny sees more usage in Week 2

The Seattle Seahawks found a way to win ugly for the second straight week, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-26 and jumping out to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2013. Let's dive into the game book for our weekly breakdown of snap counts. Here's a look at who played against the Steelers, how much and what might be meaningful takeaways moving forward.

Full summary of reps on offense and defense:

Takeaways:

- Rashaad Penny saw his usage creep up (33% in Week 2 compared to 26% in Week 1) due to two factors. One being his production and the other being Chris Carson's (43 snaps) costly fumble in the second quarter. Penny finished the game with 10 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown -- a 37-yard run late in the third quarter. On the score, Penny made an impressive cut in the backfield to make a man miss before accelerating towards the end zone. We could be on our way to more of a timeshare if Penny continues to produce and Carson can't solve his fumbling problem.

- L.J. Collier played 16 snaps in his NFL debut but was quiet overall, being kept out of the box score completely.

- Ethan Pocic played 22 snaps despite not starting. He played right guard for 20 when D.J. Fluker left the game with an ankle injury and two at left guard when Mike Iupati left the game briefly. Both Fluker and Iupati returned.

- Jadeveon Clowney was quiet in his 39 snaps. He had two tackles and one PBU on a pass batted down at the line of scrimmage. Seattle's pass rush was quiet overall as Branden Jackson accounted for the Seahawks lone sack and only two quarterback hits.

- Jaron Brown played 58 snaps but wasn't targeted for the second straight week. He's now played 99 snaps without being targeted once through two games.

- DK Metcalf is on pace for 56 receptions for 1,200 yards and eight touchdowns after catching three passes for 61 yards and his first career touchdown -- a 28-yarder in the fourth quarter. He played 70 snaps against the Steelers, the same amount as Tyler Lockett.

- John Ursua played two snaps in his NFL debut but wasn't targeted.

- Malik Turner made the most of his 16 snaps, catching a career high three passes for 54 yards. All of that production came in the first half.

- C.J. Prosise saw his first action of the regular season, playing 10 snaps. He carried the ball two times for seven yards and caught three passes for 13 yards.

- As expected, Jamar Taylor took over as Seattle's starting nickel corner and played 19 snaps.

Analysis: Russell Wilson proves again why he’s one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks

Analysis: Russell Wilson proves again why he’s one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks

Russell Wilson showed Sunday that he’s worth every penny of the lucrative $140 million contract he signed this offseason. He completed 29-of-35 pass attempts (83%) for 300 yards and three touchdowns in the Seahawks 28-26 win against the Steelers at Heinz Field.

He overcame protection issues, took the reins of the offense and carried Seattle to a second straight win to begin the season. And that’s nothing new. Wilson has been a clutch performer since he entered the league in 2012, and he’s done nothing but improve season-by-season.

The reaction of his teammates, or lack thereof, is what’s so telling. At this point, it’s just Russ being Russ.

“That’s just him,” Chris Carson said. “He’s always making big time plays in big time situations. That’s nothing new.”

Even Pete Carroll was ho hum in his praise of Wilson. The Seahawks allowed three early sacks (four total). Brian Schottenheimer made an adjustment to go with some tempo and quick passes and Wilson orchestrated every call to near-perfection.

“We put Russ in command of the rhythm of the game,” Carroll said. “All the quick stuff he did a really good job on.”

Per NextGen Stats, Wilson's average time to throw was 1.89 seconds, the quickest of any QB in a game since 2016. He made checks at the line of scrimmage into blitz beaters and utilized Tyler Lockett on underneath routes all game long. Lockett finished with a career high 10 receptions for 79 yards.

Then, when the opportunity presented itself, Wilson took a shot down the left sideline and threw a dime to DK Metcalf for a 28-yard touchdown.

“I think he played phenomenal,” Lockett said. “He did a lot of great things. He did whatever we needed to do to win. … Just to be able to see him put himself in a position where he allowed us to be successful in every single way. He knew when to check to certain things. He knew when to run certain plays.”

Wilson saved his best for last. After a fumbled exchange betweet Wilson and Carson allowed Pittsburgh to get within two, Wilson engineered an immaculate drive that burned the final 5:34 off the clock. He scrambled three times on the final possession of the game, something he hasn’t done much of through two weeks.

The first was a 10-yard run to convert 2nd-and-9. Wilson then ran for nine yards to convert 2nd-and-7, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Two plays later, on 3rd-and-16, Wilson took off once again and gained 15 yards to set up Carson’s game-clinching 2-yard run on fourth down.

“We knew they were going to make the plays they needed to and that Russ was going to do a great job,” Bobby Wagner said casually of the offense’s ability to seal the win.

And Wagner’s comments capture the common sentiment regarding Wilson: When he’s got the ball in his hands in a close game, the expectation is that he’s going to come through.

Through two games, Wilson is 43-of-55 passing (78%) for 496 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. His second touchdown on Sunday, a 12-yard pass to Will Dissly in the third quarter, was the 200th passing touchdown of his career. Wilson became the fifth-fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach the milestone. He’s also the first player to ever throw for 200 touchdowns (201) and run for 15 touchdowns (16) in his first eight seasons.

Wilson is already among the upper echelon of NFL superstars. Sunday’s performance was just another reminder.

Seattle Seahawks douse Pete Carroll following 100th win as Seattle's head coach

Seattle Seahawks douse Pete Carroll following 100th win as Seattle's head coach

PITTSBURGH -- Pete Carroll was noticeably drenched during his postgame press conference following the Seattle Seahawks 28-26 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Heinz Field.

The Seahawks had ample reason to rejoice – they’re now 2-0 for the first time since 2013 and won a game in one of the NFL’s most challenging venues for visiting teams. Beyond that, Carroll celebrated his 68th birthday on Sunday and the win marked his 100th as Seattle’s head coach.

Carroll, without offering many details, hinted that he was the focal point of some locker room festivities.

“It’s a proud statement to make that we’re able to do that here,” Carroll said of the 100 win milestone. “I love it so much that we’re doing it for the people and the fans that love us so much. I’m thrilled about it.”

Bobby Wagner was kind enough to add color to what transpired following Seattle’s big road win.

Wagner and Bradley McDougald discussed how to honor Carroll. Tackle him? No, Wagner thought, that option was too aggressive, even though Carroll is spry for 68. McDougald suggested dumping a full bucket of water on Carroll. That, too, was deemed a bit much. Instead, the team emptied the cooler in the locker room and doused their head coach with bottles of water.

“It was everything – his birthday, 100th win has a coach, his energy,” Wagner said. “We just wanted him to know how much we were thinking about him, and we understand how much work he puts in to help us get where we want to be.”

Carroll built the culture in Seattle with his exuberance, optimism and leadership. Those qualities continue to be the engine that propels the Seahawks now in Carroll’s 10th season as head coach.

“He’s very positive, and you feed off positivity,” Wagner said. “No matter how high or how low you are, he remains the same.”

Games like Sunday’s narrow win highlight Carroll’s impact on the entire roster. The Seahawks lost a fumble late in the fourth quarter while up two scores. Pittsburgh found the end zone on the very next play to make it a two-point game with 5:34 remaining.

The Seahawks responded with a clutch drive without ever having to punt it back to Pittsburgh. Chris Carson iced the game with a 2-yard run to convert on 4th-and-1, and Russell Wilson was able to take three knees from there.

Seattle’s resolve stems from Carroll’s optimism. A team without the Seahawks mental toughness could have very easily folded and blown a game like that – especially on the road.

“He introduces the culture,” Tyler Lockett said. “People who come from other teams see it, and they’ll do anything to be able to stay. They realize how different it is. They’re able to have fun. They’re able to compete. They’re able to love football again. Some people lose that love when they go to other teams.

Added Wagner: "We have a lot of grit. Our mindset is not like any other team."

Wilson, who played a dazzling game with 300 yards and three touchdowns, presented Carroll with the game ball amid the locker room hoopla.

“I have a lot of respect for who he is as a person, who he is as a coach and what he’s meant for this city and this football team,” Wilson said.

Social media reacts as Seahawks take down Steelers for first 2-0 start since 2013

Social media reacts as Seahawks take down Steelers for first 2-0 start since 2013

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had never been to Pittsburgh prior to Sunday’s Week 2 meeting with the Steelers, but he knew he was in for something else.

“We’re going to their home, their first home game,” Wilson said last Thursday. “It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be intense. It’s just football. We’ve got to be ready to play and be on our stuff and be clear and play sharp.”

Wilson was right about two things: the stories about the roaring fans known as Steelers Nation are 100 percent accurate. And two, the Seahawks needed to be on their game to get a win at Pittsburgh for the first time in 20 years.

Both happened on Sunday, as the Seahawks defeated the Steelers 28-26 in a hard-fought showdown at Heinz Field.

Here’s a look at how fans and media reacted to the Seahawks victory. You can also read Seahawks Insider Joe Fann’s three takeaways from the game here.

The Seahawks trailed by 7 to start the game, but Russell Wilson soon found tight end Will Dissly for a 14-yard touchdown to tie up the game.

The Will Dissly show wasn’t over in the first quarter. The second-year tight end connected with Wilson once again for his second touchdown catch of the night.

Following halftime, running back Rashaad Penny stepped around the tackle and broke into open space for a 37-yard run for the touchdown.

The Seahawks led by just two points with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, but that all changed when Wilson found rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf in the end zone for the first time of Metcalf’s NFL career.

The Seahawks are headed back to Seattle in Week 3. They’ll take on the New Orleans Saints next Sunday at 1:25 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.

Instant Analysis: 3 takeaways from Seattle Seahawks Week 2 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers

Instant Analysis: 3 takeaways from Seattle Seahawks Week 2 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH -- For the second straight week, the Seattle Seahawks (2-0) pulled out a narrow victory, beating the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2) 28-26 from Heinz Field. Turnovers and penalties nearly doomed Seattle, but again, the Seahawks made just enough plays to squeak out a win.

Seattle is now 2-0 for the first time since 2013. Here’s what you need to know from the game.

1. Dissly’s day

Will Dissly was Russel Wilson’s go-to guy in the red zone on Sunday. The second-year tight end caught two touchdowns against the Steelers, a 14-yarder in the second quarter and a 12-yarder in the third. He finished the game with five receptions for 55 yards and the two scores. Dissly also had two massive catches on Seattle’s final drive to help kill the clock.

 

2. Carson coughs it up twice

Carson lost two fumbles on Sunday and has now lost three through two games. Both led to Steelers touchdowns. The first resulted in a James Connor 1-yard touchdown run. The second came late in the fourth quarter. Seattle had just gotten a stop to get the ball back with a nine-point lead. Carson coughed it up on the Seahawks first play and the Steelers returned it to Seattle’s 3-yard line. Vance McDonald caught his second touchdown of the game on the very next play.

Carson was then pulled in favor of Rashaad Penny. Speaking of Penny, the second-year back had a fantastic 37-yard touchdown run. We may see more of him moving forward if Carson can’t hold onto the football. Carson did ice the game with a clutch 2-yard run on 4th-and-1. Wilson took three knees from there.

3. DK gets his first

Metcalf had an up and down day but it ended on the highest of highs. He hauled in a 28-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to put Seattle up 28-19. He finished the game with three catches for 61 yards and the score.

Metcalf did have an offensive pass interference penalty at the end of the first half that pushed the Seahawks out of field-goal territory.

He still has plenty to clean up in his game, but the rookie’s ability to take the top off of a defense has been evident in both games thus far.

 

Odds and ends:

- Wilson’s second touchdown to Dissly marked his 200th career passing touchdown.
- Lano Hill intercepted Rudolph on Pittsburgh’s 2-point conversion as the Steelers tried to tie the game at 21.
- Bradley McDougald intercepted Rudolph on a pass that bounced off the hands of Donte Moncrief.
- Seattle’s pass rush went MIA, getting just one sack on the day.
- Tyler Lockett caught 10 passes for 79 yards, setting a new career high for receptions in a single game.
- The Seahawks had 10 penalties for 93 yards and plenty more that weren’t enforced.
- On his 68th birthday, Pete Carroll has reached his 100th win as Seahawks head coach.

More Highlights:

 

 

 

 

Seahawks Week 2 inactives: L.J. Collier to play, Ziggy Ansah out again

Seahawks Week 2 inactives: L.J. Collier to play, Ziggy Ansah out again

Those hoping to see Ziggy Ansah in Week 2 will be sadly disappointed. The Seattle Seahawks have opted to give Ansah another week as the team continues to exercise extreme patience. Ansah was a full participant in Friday's practice, but clearly Seattle thinks he needs to get an additional week of practice under his belt. His absence is notable given that Pete Carroll said during the preseason that he anticipated Ansah being ready for Week 1.

Here's Seattle's list of inactives:

DE Ziggy Ansah

WR Gary Jennings

C Joey Hunt

S Tedric Thompson

CB Neiko Thorpe

DT Poona Ford

WR David Moore

Steelers inactives:

CB Justin Layne

FB Rosie Nix

OLB Jayrone Elliott

G Fred Johnson

OT Chuks Okorafor

TE Zach Gentry

DE Isaiah Buggs

Takeaways:

- L.J. Collier and John Ursua will make their NFL debuts on Sunday.

- Mike Iupati (LG), Jamar Taylor (NCB), Brian Mone (DT) and Lano Hill (SS) are expected to be inserted into the Seahawks starting lineup.

Week 2 Preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch vs. Steelers

Week 2 Preview: 5 Seahawks players to watch vs. Steelers

The Seattle Seahawks (1-0) are in pursuit of the franchise’s first 2-0 start since 2013. To get there, they’ll have to ruin the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) home opener on Sunday at Heinz Field. Seattle’s starting lineup is expected to have changes on both sides of the football.

That’s where we’ll put our focus in this week’s five players to watch.

1. S Lano Hill

The writing has been on the wall for Hill to start since Monday when Pete Carroll said the third-year safety “deserved to play.” Hill started Seattle’s final two games of 2018 – wins against the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals – before a hip injury ended his season. Tedric Thompson (hamstring) is doubtful to play against the Steelers, which means Hill will likely start at strong safety with Bradley McDougald moving to free safety. The Seahawks will hope that Hill can provide a spark to a secondary that struggled against the Cincinnati Bengals.

2. LG Mike Iupati

Iupati was active in Week 1 to be used for emergency purposes only. He played one snap after Justin Britt left the game briefly, but other than that, it was Ethan Pocic at left guard. Iupati figures to reassume the starting role now that his foot and calf are fully healthy. The veteran may help stabilize an offensive line that didn’t play well versus Cincinnati, allowing four sacks and paving the way for just 2.9 yards per carry. Britt appears to be fully healthy, and with the addition of Iupati, expect to see a bounce back performance from that group.

3. WR Tyler Lockett

You won’t win many games in the NFL when your best offensive skill player doesn’t get involved until the fourth quarter. The Seahawks were able to escape with a victory last Sunday despite Lockett having just one catch, albeit a 44-yard touchdown. Defenses will continue to key on Lockett, but Seattle can’t allow him to be removed from the game all together. I’m curious to see if Brian Schottenheimer gets Lockett a few easy touches early on to get him going. If the Steelers double Lockett to the degree that the Bengals did, DK Metcalf and Will Dissly will have to step up.

4. DL L.J. Collier/DE Ziggy Ansah

Cheating a bit here but both Collier and Ansah are worth mentioning. I’m really curious to see if one or both will play against Pittsburgh. Collier (ankle) is healthy, but Carroll suggested the team may keep him down on gameday anyway due to a lack of practice time. Ansah practiced in full on Friday but still has the questionable tag. My gut tells me that both will be up on Sunday. However, Seattle has shown that they’re willing to be patient with players.

5. DT Brian Mone

Sticking on the defensive line, Mone is in line for extra work with Poona Ford (calf) listed as doubtful. The undrafted rookie played 26 snaps with three tackles in the opener. That workload could be doubled on Sunday as he'll line up next to Al Woods on base downs.