Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks Preseason Preview: Players fighting for starting jobs vs. Vikings

Seahawks Preseason Preview: Players fighting for starting jobs vs. Vikings

The Seattle Seahawks (1-0) are in Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings (1-0) on Sunday night in Week 2 of the preseason. Last week’s preview focused on players fighting for roster spots. This time around, we’ll take a look at which starting spots might be up for grabs.

Seattle had the benefit of having 10 days between exhibition contests, and during that time, some interesting developments have taken place at the top of the Seahawks roster. Below is a look at some of the players who might have an opportunity to become Week 1 starters.

S Marquise Blair

There’s a growing sense that Blair might be able to challenge Tedric Thompson at free safety sooner rather than later. Blair’s preseason debut showed flashes of his awareness, anticipation, closing speed and physicality. Both of his big downfield hits, even though one was penalized, exemplified those traits.

On Friday, Blair ended practice with a sideline interception. He continues to show a higher ceiling than Thompson from a playmaking standpoint. The big difference is that Pete Carroll trusts Thompson. The same can’t be said for Blair just yet.

For his impressive plays, the rookie also had a few costly missed assignments against Denver. He freelanced on a few occasions, which led to one explosive pass play into the red zone.

“He’s just got to learn what we’re doing, figure it out, and make sure that he’s really tight with all of his assignments and responsibilities,” Carroll said. “That’s going to take some time. That takes time before we trust him, we have guys that we do trust and they know what they’re doing so he has to work his way through all of that so the competition is really stiff.”

If Blair gets sound within the scheme, he may force the coaching staff to find a way to get him on the field.

G/C Ethan Pocic

Pocic has been the benefactor of Mike Iupati’s run of injuries so far during camp. Iupati has missed a few weeks with a foot injury and now, to quote Carroll, has “an unfortunate calf thing.” That means Pocic will continue to be the starting left guard in Iupati’s absence. The starting offense is expected to get additional work over the next two preseason games, which gives Pocic a huge opportunity to prove he’s worthy of the job, even when Iupati returns.

Seattle’s 2017 second-round pick has made 15 starts over his first two seasons. This could be the season he earns a full-time role.

Nickel CBs

This remains one of the biggest positions of intrigue on the roster. Jamar Taylor, Kalan Reed, Akeem King and Ugo Amadi are all battling for the starting nickel role. Taylor had an interception against the Broncos and then had a strong week of practice ahead of Sunday night’s game against the Vikings. However, Carroll hinted that Reed might be the current leader in the clubhouse. Seattle won’t make a decision here until they absolutely have to, but I’m still eager to watch all four players tonight.

Players who aren't fighting for starting jobs, but you should still be watching anyway

RBs J.D. McKissic, C.J. Prosise and Travis Homer

These players don’t have a chance to unseat Chris Carson or Rashaad Penny on the depth chart, but all three are worth mentioning as they should be making their preseason debuts against the Vikings. The trio of running backs are fighting to make the team, and there’s no way all three will be on the 53-man roster. Staying healthy and being productive in these exhibition contests will be vital in their respective cases for why Seattle should keep them.

TE Jacob Hollister

Hollister opened camp on fire and was one of the stars in Seattle’s mock game at Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell, Wash. Since then he’s been on the shelf with a groin strain. Hollister finally made his return to practice and should play on Sunday night. I tend to think his roster spot is safe, but right now he’s behind Will Dissly and Nick Vannett on the depth chart. He’s got the ability as a pass catcher to push both for playing time in the regular season.

Quandre Diggs adds 'settling presence,' another playmaker to Seahawks defense

Quandre Diggs adds 'settling presence,' another playmaker to Seahawks defense

Quandre Diggs found out early last week that the Seattle Seahawks wanted him to start at free safety against the San Francisco 49ers. Diggs played all 83 snaps in his Seahawks debut, recording two tackles and a third-quarter interception that led to Jacob Hollister’s 3-yard touchdown catch.

Diggs also had a few highlight-reel hits, most notably a crushing blow to 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk down the right seam.

“I think there was an impact,” Pete Carroll said. “I thought both the safeties played really well. … I think the settling presence of a veteran and also, he’s a hitter. He’s a real hitter and he goes for it. He had a couple big shots. Had a big shot in the toss. Had a couple shots on receivers that I think had a factor later on in the game.”

Seattle acquired Diggs from the Detroit Lions on Oct. 23 in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick. He then missed two games while he dealt with a hamstring injury that he’d been playing through in Detroit.

Now back to full strength, Diggs has teamed up with Bradley McDougald as Seattle’s new safety pairing. Carroll has always valued veterans in those spots, and Diggs’ experience makes him dependable as the last line of the Seahawks defense. That faith in Diggs allowed Seattle to play more single-high rather than playing predominantly two-deep as the defense had been prior to Diggs’ entering the lineup.

“I thought the safety play was the best we’ve seen it this year,” Carroll said of Diggs and McDougald. “I thought that was the best game that our safeties have played. I’m hoping that we can continue to grow and get better and feed off it. It’s an early assessment because Q’s just played one game. He can do a lot of things, so we’ll be anxious to figure out how he can complement what we’re doing and utilize him now that he’s crossed the threshold of playing time for us.”

Those comments don’t appear to bode well for Marquise Blair, who’d started three-straight games prior to Monday night. Carroll said that they want to keep Blair involved and that the rookie “played in dime situations” against the 49ers, except the official game book doesn’t have Blair playing a single snap.

Given that Seattle’s defense took a major step forward against the 49ers, forcing three turnovers and carrying the Seahawks for much of the game, Blair might continue to watch from the sideline moving forward.

Bobby Wagner noticed an uptick in the overall level of play from the secondary due to Diggs’ contributions.

“His range – he’s red line to red line,” Wagner said. “He definitely adds another playmaker to the back end that allows us to do a lot more things once he gets acclimated to the system.”

Most importantly, Diggs said his hamstring came out fine following Monday’s overtime win against the 49ers. He’ll have a bye week to rest and should be 100% in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Podcast: The Seahawks pass rush showed up at a bad time for the Niners... sorry not sorry

Podcast: The Seahawks pass rush showed up at a bad time for the Niners... sorry not sorry

In a game that featured one of the best if not the best defensive line in the NFL, Monday Night Football showcased a dominant performance from the d-line you did not expect.

The Seattle Seahawks (8-2) finally saw their pass rush excel on one of the biggest stages in the league and against the last remaining undefeated team, the San Francisco 49ers (8-1). Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo finally got a taste of the medicine their d-line has been dishing out through the first eight games of this season.

And it all started for Seattle with Jadeveon Clowney. The Seahawks traded for Clowney 74 days ago and has been worth every penny since. On Monday, he absolutely lit up the stat sheet: five tackles, five QB hits, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one touchdown.

Pro Football Focus credited Clowney with 11 pressures and a 90.7 overall grade against SF.

“If I’m being honest, that seems low. What’s a perfect pro football focus grade because that’s what it felt like you were seeing from Jadeveon Clowney. He was absolutely fantastic,” said our Seahawks Insider Joe Fann on the lates Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast.

It was finally the pass rush Seattle has been waiting for this season. Seattle’s defense, who had given up huge yards in the previous weeks to Atlanta’s Matt Schaub and Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston, came through against one of the best in Garoppolo.

Listen to the full podcast below:

MORE ON THE SEAHAWKS

Report: Tyler Lockett not expected to miss any games with leg injury

Quandre Diggs adds ‘settling presence’, another playmaker to Seahawks defense

Let’s call it as it is… Geno Smith said “Hails”

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Takeaways from the Seahawks' thrilling OT win against the 49ers

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Takeaways from the Seahawks' thrilling OT win against the 49ers

One of the best Monday Night Football games to date. One for the ages. An instant classic.

These were just some of the thoughts and feelings from the NFL world following an epic 27-24 overtime Seattle victory over rival San Francisco on Monday night.

Coming into the game, the big story was the 49ers defensive front who has been absolutely tormenting opposing offenses this season. But the story quickly flipped onto Seattle's defensive line lead by one stellar performance from Jadeveon Clowney: five tackles, one sack, five QB hits, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one touchdown.

"What's crazy to me is this performance from the defense came out of nowhere," said our Insider Joe Fann.  From locker room sound to the sights and sounds from the game he's got all the stories you want to hear from the big win.

Listen to the full podcast below:

MORE ON THE SEAHAWKS

Report: Tyler Lockett not expected to miss any games with leg injury

Let's call it as it is... Geno Smith said "Hails"

Seahawks vs. Eagles flexed out of Sunday Night Football in Week 12

 

Report: Tyler Lockett not expected to miss any games with leg injury

092319-lockett.jpg
USATI

Report: Tyler Lockett not expected to miss any games with leg injury

It's been a fantastic week for the Seattle Seahawks, and it continues to get better.

Seattle came out of its win against the San Francisco 49ers relatively injury free with one major exception. Tyler Lockett suffered a bad leg contusion, so bad that the Seahawks star wide receiver spent two nights at Stanford Hospital before flying back to Seattle on Wednesday.

But what appeared to be a potential "severe situation" (Pete Carroll's words) now seems to be all clear. Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday that Lockett isn't expected to miss any games.

Seattle's bye week couldn't have come at a better time as the Seahawks won't have to worry about rushing Lockett back to health. He's not a guy who would need to practice at any point next week, either, in order to play in the Week 12 road game against the Philadelphia Eagles

Lockett has 62 receptions for 793 yards and six touchdowns on the season as Seattle's clear-cut No. 1 receiver. It's great news that his leg injury shouldn't dampen what has been a career year for Lockett.

Let's call it as it is... Geno Smith said "Hails"

Let's call it as it is... Geno Smith said "Hails"

We have our next great controversy. A true battle between two conflicting sides. The next ‘What do you see: blue dress vs. gold dress?’ or ‘What do you hear: Laurel or Yanny?’

In last night’s epic Seahawks vs. 49ers Monday Night Football overtime thriller, Seattle backup quarterback met Niners corner Richard Sherman at midfield for a coin toss to determine possession in overtime. The head referee asked Smith his call: heads or tails?

And the rest is history. Which do you hear?

Seahawks vs. Eagles flexed out of Sunday Night Football in Week 12

Seahawks vs. Eagles flexed out of Sunday Night Football in Week 12

Still coming down from last night’s overtime thriller in the Bay? Same. But now the Seahawks (8-2) enter into a much needed bye week of recovery with momentum on their side. 

Putting the Seahawks in primetime calls for a special game: Seattle is now 28-5-1 in primetime games under Carroll, including 9-2 on MNF. The formula for a good game is simple: primetime + Seahawks = happy sports fans.

But, the Seahawks who were scheduled for a Sunday Night Football showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles in two weeks, just got the boot.

The game that Seattle got flexed for? The Green Bay Packers (8-2) at San Francisco 49ers (8-1) at Levi’s Stadium, CA.

In a way this makes sense. Two division leaders (NFC North and NFC West) but both teams in tight divisional races. The Minnesota Vikings are one game behind the Packers while the Seahawks, after an epic OT win on Monday Night Football, are on the heels and breathing down the necks of the Niners.

The Eagles are also in a tight race in the NFC East but both Philadelphia and the Dallas Cowboys have the same record and sitting at the top of the division at 5-4.

Here is what the Seahawks’ remaining schedule looks like:

11/24 at Philadelphia

12/02 vs. Minnesota (MNF)

12/08 at Los Angeles (SNF)

12/15 at Carolina

12/22 vs. Arizona

12/29 vs. San Francisco 

Tyler Lockett injury update as Seattle heads into the bye week

usatsi_13656154_147386290_lowres.jpg
USATI

Tyler Lockett injury update as Seattle heads into the bye week

Good news for the Seahawks on Tuesday morning as it appears Tyler Lockett is out of the woods in terms of anything severe resulting from his injury last night and he might not even miss any game time:

Pete Carroll on 710 ESPN Seattle radio this morning also added that Lockett, "should be OK going forward."

Lockett spent the night in a Bay Area hospital while dealing with a leg injury sustained in Monday night's win vs. the 49ers. 

Last night, as Joe Fann reported, there was concern about the extent of the injury:

Carroll said there was a lot of swelling right away in Lockett’s leg, which brings along the fear of compartment syndrome that can lead to blood clots.

“There’s concerns about that,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to make sure that there isn’t a compartment element. We’ve got to take care of him. We’re ahead of it so we should be in good shape.”

Lockett caught three passes for 26 yards against the 49ers. Thankfully for Lockett and the Seahawks, Seattle has a bye in Week 11 before traveling to Philadelphia in Week 12. 

Seahawks culture shines again in Jason Myers' redemption game

Seahawks culture shines again in Jason Myers' redemption game

The Seattle Seahawks have one of, if not the best locker room cultures in the NFL, and it’s been that way since Pete Carroll has been the team’s head coach.

The Seahawks play with unwavering effort no matter the opponent or what the scoreboard says. The same can’t be said for every team. Seattle has an unbreakable confidence and optimism that something good is always about to happen. There’s a level of accountability that must be adopted by everyone – players and coaches included. Most importantly, everyone has each other’s back.

We saw that earlier this season when the team supported Chris Carson after he lost a fumble in three-straight games to open the season. Now we have another example with Seattle’s commitment to Jason Myers.

Pete Carroll said all last week that there was no consideration to making a change at kicker following Myers’ pair of missed field goals in Week 9 against the Buccaneers, including a 40-yarder that would have won the game in the final seconds of regulation. Not a single player badmouthed Myers or threw him under the bus after that performance.

And then a week later, Myers was one of the heroes in Seattle’s 27-24 win on Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers. His 42-yard field goal sailed through the uprights as the final seconds ticked away in overtime. Had Myers missed, the game would have ended in a tie. Myers made both of his field goal attempts and all three of his extra points against the 49ers.

Instead, the kicker was hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates and carried off the field at Levi’s Stadium. The celebration continued in the locker room.

It was another perfect illustration of what makes Seattle so unique. The Seahawks, while often a heart attack-inducing team, have been able to achieve such sustained success due to their culture.

“It’s important,” Bobby Wagner said of the team’s support of Myers. “If you watch the kickers, and they miss a field goal, everybody in the world gets to see him miss a field goal and everybody in the world gets to get on him. With us, when we miss a tackle, or we miss a block, people might miss that and so it’s important to let them know that we all mess up. Just like you have our back, we have his back. He came through for us.”

Bobby Wagner wins Lakers tickets in bet with Richard Sherman

Bobby Wagner wins Lakers tickets in bet with Richard Sherman

Bobby Wagner posted a game-high 11 tackles in the Seattle Seahawks 27-24 overtime win against the San Francisco 49ers on “Monday Night Football.”

His defense took a massive (and unforeseen) step forward as Seattle forced three turnovers and sacked Jimmy Garoppolo five times. San Francisco’s offense went eight-straight drives without scoring with six of those possessions lasting four plays or less.

But Wagner went home with more than a divisional win. He told reporters postgame that he had a side bet with Richard Sherman. Apparently he missed the beginning of Seattle’s locker room celebrations in order to gloat about his winnings.

“I was too busy talking trash to Sherm,” Wagner said.

So what was the bet?

“Lakers tickets.”

A reporter joked that they probably wouldn’t be sitting in the rafters.

“Nah. Not when you go with Sherm,” Wagner said.

Both the 49ers and the Seahawks seem destined for the playoffs, which means Sherman will have to wait until January or maybe even February in order to make good on the bet. A quick look at the schedule shows the Lakers hosting the Celtics on Feb. 23.

That might be the game you can catch Wagner and Sherman sitting courtside at Staples Center.