Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson would be restricted to 16 games if 18-game schedule were to pass

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Seahawks QB Russell Wilson would be restricted to 16 games if 18-game schedule were to pass

The idea of an 18-game NFL season is nothing new, but a recent proposal owners have suggested could change the game as we know it.

Per Andrew Beaton of The Wall Street Journal, the new proposal would not only give owners an 18-game schedule, which would essentially raise their revenue by around $2.5 million, but players would be limited to play in 16 of those games.

If the owner’s proposal did become a reality, the Seattle Seahawks would not only face an 18-game season, but also have to play two games without Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson on the field.

Owners began pushing for a lengthened season in 2011, which resulted in an offseason lockout. However, the 16-game per-player limit is part of a re-upped push by the owners to once again find a compromise with the NFL Players Association, who has been resistant to such change considering the dangerous effects it could have on its players.

Such a drastic change to the NFL schedule would not only impact the players, but also the game strategy and the way team’s shape their rosters.

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement is set to expire following the 2020 NFL season, in March 2021. 

Pete Carroll provides Seahawks injury updates, mum on who will play vs. Vikings

Pete Carroll provides Seahawks injury updates, mum on who will play vs. Vikings

Pete Carroll was full of regret over his press conference last week prior to the Seattle Seahawks preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. In his eyes, he divulged way too many details about who would play and how much.

“I thought I had a really bad performance on that one, so be prepared to hear nothing about who is playing,” Carroll said to open his presser on Friday. “I gave you way too much last time.”

He was true to his word, staying mum regarding what to expect in Minnesota.

“You’ll have to wait and see until gametime,” Carroll added.

Carroll did share several updates for many players on the roster, which helps us guess who will be out there on Sunday in Minnesota. It should be noted that most starters, Russell Wilson included, are expected to play against the Vikings.

Here's all the newsworthy information from the Seahawks head coach:

-    Bobby Wagner made his return to practice after getting a procedure on his knee last week. He looked to be at full speed during individual drills, but he didn’t participate in 7-on-7s or team periods. He won’t play against the Vikings, but Carroll didn’t rule out seeing him at some point in the preseason.

-    Ziggy Ansah had a minor setback, suffering a groin strain five days ago. Carroll said the strain will have no impact on his availability for Week 1 and added that his shoulder is at full strength.

-    Geno Smith (knee) made a “remarkable recovery” and was in pads on Friday. He went through individual work but, like Wagner, didn’t participate in any other portion of practice. Smith is clearly doing his best to be available on Sunday.

-    Will Dissly is “fully back” as far as the Seahawks are concerned and could make his preseason debut against the Vikings.

-    Shaquem Griffin’s bruised knee flared up, leaving his status for Sunday up in the air. He didn’t practice on Friday.

-    Mike Iupati (foot) had an “unfortunate calf thing” during workouts. There’s no timetable for his return to practice.

-    Marquise Blair is working at free safety and strong safety. My guess is that the Seahawks want him to be the No. 2 at both spots. He had an interception to end practice on Friday against Paxton Lynch, showing his awareness, anticipation, closing speed and ball skills. Now Blair must show the coaches that he can be tight with his responsibilities and assignments. Carroll doesn’t like players to freelance outside of the defensive scheme.

-    Carroll had high praise of Al Woods, and it sounds like the veteran defensive tackle is the odds on favorite to start in place of Jarran Reed to open the season. “We’re excited that we’ve got him,” Carroll said.

-    Jamar Taylor had another strong practice on Friday in what has been a productive week for him. He kept up with Tyler Lockett stride-for-stride on two separate 1-on-1 reps. Carroll called him “very competitive, fast and explosive.” Taylor is competing at nickel and outside corner.

-    Bo Scarbrough has a groin strain and may not play against Minnesota.

-    Jacob Hollister (groin) is back at practice and should make his preseason debut on Sunday.

Could DK Metcalf be the player to replace Doug Baldwin?

Could DK Metcalf be the player to replace Doug Baldwin?

How do you replace the irreplaceable? 

That is the question the Seattle Seahawks will try to answer after losing Doug Baldwin, one of the league's best slot receivers. The former Pro Bowler meant much more to Seattle than his yards and touchdowns--it was also his personality that made him one of the greatest leaders the Seahawks have ever had both on and off the field.  

In an interview with Seahawks Insider Joe Fann, NBC Sports football writer Peter King talks about which player could fill Baldwin's shoes in the lineup. 

[READ MORE: Peter King calls Seahawks the ‘Steelers of the NFC,’ predicts 10-6 record]

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.

Peter King calls Seahawks the ‘Steelers of the NFC,’ predicts 10-6 record

Peter King calls Seahawks the ‘Steelers of the NFC,’ predicts 10-6 record

Peter King’s annual training camp tour stopped in Seattle on Thursday afternoon, and he had several interesting things to say about the 2019 Seahawks.

Off the top, he compared them to the Pittsburgh Steelers. King referenced the former distractions for both clubs – great players (Marshawn Lynch and Earl Thomas were the two he mentioned by name) who were “a handful” and have since moved on to other franchises.

“I think Seattle is the Pittsburgh of the NFC,” King said. “I think these are two very similar teams – teams that have had a lot of outside distractions the last few years. Now Pittsburgh is rid of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, and they might not be a better team, but they’re a more placid team and a more football team. Seattle is basically the same way.”

Seattle has put all of its eggs in the Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner baskets. King spoke with both players after practice and said they are the perfect pair for the franchise to have invested in long term.

“When your team leaders are Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson, those are ‘football guys’ who don’t let a lot of the outside stuff ever bother them,” King said.

King also echoed the common concerns surrounding the Seahawks. He, too, is curious who will replace Doug Baldwin’s production and wonders how much Seattle will get out of Ezekiel Ansah.

Rashaad Penny is who King tabbed as his breakout candidate. He called Penny the “1-B to Carson’s 1-A,” and he anticipates that the second-year running back will get every opportunity to make a big impact in 2019.

Finally, and most notably, King predicted a 10-6 record for the Seahawks this season. He cautioned fans from setting their expectations much higher than that given the overall strength of the NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams should both be contenders to win the division.

Heck, even the two games against the Arizona Cardinals might not be cake walks depending on how the Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury experiment unfolds in Year 1.

“If Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t slip on a banana peel in September, if he plays 16 games, then the 49ers are going to be good. In my opinion, it’s a three-team division now instead of two,” King said. “I’d be happy with a 2-2 split between the four games against the 49ers and the Rams. I think there are three teams in this division that could all play deep into January.”

Fann Mail: Who are the Seahawks potential surprise cuts?

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Fann Mail: Who are the Seahawks potential surprise cuts?

With the Seattle Seahawks having broken camp and taking Wednesday off, now is as good a time as any to introduce our weekly mailbag. Throughout the year, I’ll take your questions and give you my take on the most pressing topics facing the Seahawks. I want to start by thanking all of you who participated in Round 1.

With that, let’s dive in.

We’re just over two weeks until the deadline for roster cuts (Saturday Aug. 31 at 1:00 p.m. PT), and there’s still plenty of uncertainty as to which names will be on that 53-man list. This question is a little subjective because it all depends on how you define “surprise.”

I’ll give you three that I think fit that bill: Shaquem Griffin, Barkevious Mingo and Jaron Brown.

Griffin has struggled to find a home on defense, and guys like Cody Barton and Austin Calitro would be safer plays at SAM should Mychal Kendricks go down. His contributions on special teams may be what keep him around for one more season. To me it comes down to Griffin or 2019 fifth-round pick Ben Burr-Kirven. Seattle may opt to part ways with Burr-Kirven rather than break up the Griffin twins this year.

Mingo might be pushed off the roster by Ezekiel Ansah and L.J. Collier being on the active roster in Week 1. Cassius Marsh, Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin are three other defensive ends that should make the team. Like Griffin, Mingo may benefit from playing on special teams, which could give him a spot over a defensive tackle like Earl Mitchell. However, Seattle may look for those contributions elsewhere and save $4.1 million by cutting Mingo.

I think Brown is the safest of the three. Seattle doesn’t have enough sure things at wide receiver to part ways with the veteran who scored five touchdowns in 2018. But it’s still conceivable, especially if the Seahawks decide they want to keep Jazz Ferguson and John Ursua on the roster. More on this in a moment.

I’d be shocked if the Seahawks didn’t keep six receivers. They simply have too many talented rookies to go with just five.

Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and David Moore, in my opinion, are locks. Gary Jennings is also a safe bet and would really need to stumble the rest of the month in order to get cut. I’m also of the belief that Ferguson will be on the roster because he’s been too good already to sneak onto the practice squad. There aren’t enough 6-foot-5 receivers with 4.5-second speed going around to do that.

So then it comes down to Ursua vs. Brown. Like I mentioned before, with all of the unproved names on this list, it makes sense to keep Brown. Sure, Seattle could save $2.75 million by cutting the veteran, but that’s not a big enough number to have money be the primary factor in this decision. I think ultimately it’s Ursua who gets cut and ends up on the practice squad along with Malik Turner and potentially Terry Wright.

Rashaad Penny will be involved, but he’s the clear No. 2 in the 1-2 punch between him and Chris Carson.

I anticipate Carson taking at least two thirds of the workload, but Penny will still get a few series a game. Brian Schottenheimer’s plan to utilize running backs more in the passing game will also help bump Penny’s usage a bit.

It feels like Week 1 is more imminent than it really is. We’re still more than three weeks away from Seattle’s opener on Sept. 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, which gives Ezekiel Ansah (shoulder) plenty of time to get back into the fold.

Pete Carroll has had nothing but positive updates regarding Ansah’s progress, but he’s also said that every player needs to practice. Unless Ansah gets a full week of work without limitations leading up to Week 1, I don’t see him being a major factor against the Bengals.

My guess is that Ansah is active but doesn’t play more than 15 snaps. The Seahawks are going to be extremely cautious with the guy they expect to be their top edge rusher.

Shaquill Griffin has been the Seahawks most consistent corner. He’s given up the fewest big plays, and has had his share of pass breakups.

However, Griffin and the rest of Seattle’s corners need to improve their ball skills. Griffin had just two interceptions last season and fellow starter Tre Flowers had zero. The pair hasn’t had many in camp, either. Getting more takeaways through the air is a point of emphasis for them in 2019.

I don’t see this happening for several reasons but here are the top two:

1. Seattle won’t part ways with the draft capital that the Houston Texans will be seeking in exchange for Jadeveon Clowney.

2. While the Seahawks can afford Clowney, who is due to make just shy of $16 million, it would be a one-year rent-a-player with no guarantee of working out a long-term deal. Clowney will play the 2019 season on the franchise tag, and the deadline has passed to sign him to an extension. All around this simply isn’t the kind of move that’s been in John Schneider’s DNA.

Seahawks WR Gary Jennings is settling in after ‘borderline dominant’ practice

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USATI

Seahawks WR Gary Jennings is settling in after ‘borderline dominant’ practice

Everyone is trying to figure out who will make the Seattle Seahawks roster at wide receiver. Most of the 11 guys at the position have had moments that make you say, “huh, maybe he’s got a shot.”

But it’s the recent emergence of undrafted rookie Jazz Ferguson that has people rushing to play the numbers game. Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and David Moore are locks. Jaron Brown and Gary Jennings are also safe bets. With Jennings, however, that assumption is based solely on the fact that he’s a fourth-round pick.

Because the West Virginia product was awfully quiet through the first two weeks of camp and in Seattle’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. Jennings didn’t have a single reception on two targets despite playing more snaps (36/69) than any other Seahawks receiver.

That’s why Monday’s practice felt like such a big deal. Jennings was a stud. He showed well in every period of practice and made several highlight-reel receptions. The best was a one-handed, 40-yard catch in traffic on a throw from Russell Wilson.  

“He really needed it, I think, just to be honest with you,” Wilson said of Jennings’ monster practice. “I think just to make some plays, get the ball in his hands and one, show himself that he can be great in this league hopefully and two, I think ultimately just to (show) the team and everything else, the ball hasn’t gone his way much for whatever reasons.”

Jennings admitted he was bogged down early on by the depth of Seattle’s playbook. Transitioning from a spread offense in college to Seattle’s pro-style system, with all new verbiage and more intricate concepts, is not easy.

The rookie spends hours each night studying his playbook, and he can finally feel himself turning the corner from a mental standpoint. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer said that progress has been evident.

“He was one of those guys that it kind of took him a while to pick some stuff up for us,” Schottenheimer said. “Now I think he’s kind of relaxed a little bit, ‘Oh, these plays make a little bit more sense.’ You see the natural speed, and size and athleticism.

“(Monday was) probably one of the best practices any receiver has had all camp, yesterday. It was borderline dominant some of the plays he made, and it wasn’t just one period it was every single period.”

Jennings has done his best to not let himself press despite the slow start. He understands this is a process, and he’s playing the long game. Additionally, Jennings knows that patience is vital for any wide receiver. Opportunities come sporadically with 11 guys splitting reps.

Finally, and most importantly, Jennings knows he belongs in the NFL.

“I can ball,” he said assuredly.

And he’s right. Jennings posted 1,096 receiving yards as a junior at West Virginia and scored 13 touchdowns as a senior. He can also fly, evidenced by his 21.56 MPH play speed at the Senior Bowl and 4.42-second 40-time at the NFL Combine.

“I don’t really feel pressure,” Jennings said. “I just go out and do what I know I can do.”

There’s precedence that fourth-rounders don’t always make the team (see: Harper, Chris in 2013), but it would be a shock if Jennings wasn’t on the roster in 2019. He knows this game is all about consistency, though, and that he needs to start stringing positive days together.

A few standout performances in the preseason wouldn’t hurt, either. Jennings still has three exhibition contests to show himself, and he’s likely to see a healthy number of snaps in each one. His next opportunity will come on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

“I look forward to balling out in these next few games—,” Jennings paused, smiled and quickly remembered Pete Carroll’s mantra of taking things one “championship opportunity” at a time. “— or the next game, so to speak. I don’t want to look too far ahead. I can’t wait for it. The first game was a great experience, and I look to build on that.”

Seahawks offense is ‘lightyears’ ahead in Year 2 under Brian Schottenheimer

Seahawks offense is ‘lightyears’ ahead in Year 2 under Brian Schottenheimer

Jaron Brown dropped a few buzz words earlier in camp when he told reporters that the Seattle Seahawks were going to “open up the playbook” in 2019. Brian Schottenheimer downplayed Brown’s comments a bit on Tuesday, but the offensive coordinator was keen to note that he’s feeling the benefits of having a season under his belt.

“It’s always easier in Year 2,” he said on Tuesday. “You can add things. You can build off the things you did last year – whether you complement it or protect it with other things.”

A full season of tape and a better understanding of his players are the primary contributors to Schottenheimer’s current peace of mind. He added that the plays “come to life” in the film room when players can see themselves running the offense compared to last summer when everyone was starting from ground zero.

That allows Schottenheimer to better coach and critique his players with points that “take greater meaning.”

“We’ve just been able to go so much faster,” Schottenheimer said. “It shows you how advanced we are. A lot of it is about how comfortable Russ is. We’re lightyears ahead of where we were last year at this time. It’s been fun to have it that way.”

Russell Wilson’s comfort in the scheme doesn’t mean the Seahawks will become a pass happy team, though. Schottenheimer’s critics are quick to point to Seattle ranking dead last in pass attempts a year ago.

Wilson had just 427 attempts a year ago. By comparison, Ben Roethlisberger led the league with a whopping 675 attempts. But as team’s league-wide continue to air it out more and more, Seattle would point to its league low 11 turnovers in 2018 as a benefit of its ground-and-pound style.

“Each game is going to be different,” Schottenheimer said of the team’s balance between the run and pass games. “We’ve never not put things on Russ’ shoulders. We’re always going to put the ball in his hand and let him drive the system.”

Wilson’s volume as a passer may see a small uptick in 2019, but it’s evident that the Seahawks will remain a run-first, impose-their-will type of offense.

“The run helps us set up the play-pass,” Schottenheimer said. “The play-pass helps us set up the run. Can I tell you how many runs and how many passes we’re going to call in Week 1? I’d love to be able to tell you that, but I don’t know that right now.

“It’s going to come down to each game. We’ve obviously got a premier quarterback. We’ve got an excellent stable of backs and a terrifically powerful offensive line. So teams are going to have to figure us out.”

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson joins Seattle Sounders ownership group

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson joins Seattle Sounders ownership group

Russell Wilson’s budding business empire just got a little bit bigger.

Just one year after the Seattle Seahawks quarterback and his wife, Ciara, announced they had joined the Portland Diamond Project, a group working to bring Major League Baseball to Portland, the Wilsons are plotting their next move in the Seattle sports community.

Wilson and Ciara became one of 11 families to become team owners of the Seattle Sounders, according to an official release from the Sounders Tuesday. This is the six-time Pro Bowler’s first stake in sports ownership.

"Seattle means so much to me and Ciara," Wilson said in a Sounders press release. "We're fired up about being part of the Sounders for a long, long time, having ownership in the Sounders and continuing to build that winning culture."

News of Wilson’s latest business move comes as no surprise. The 30-year-old agreed to a four-year, $140 million contract extension in April to remain in Seattle through the 2023 season.

Now, that the Wilsons have made the Pacific Northwest their home, joining the Sounders ownership group cements their dedication to Seattle and the greater sports community. 

Brian Schottenheimer, Seahawks want Chris Carson to get 50 targets in 2019

Brian Schottenheimer, Seahawks want Chris Carson to get 50 targets in 2019

One of the biggest storylines to come out of Seattle Seahawks training camp so far is the team’s desire to utilize its running backs more in the passing game.

On Tuesday, Brian Schottenheimer put a number on how many targets he expects starting running back Chris Carson to see as a receiver.

“We need to get that number around the 50s,” Schottenheimer said. “That would be a great situation for us.”

That number isn’t outrageous compared to a guy like Alvin Kamara and his 105 targets in 2018. But it’s significant when you consider that Carson saw just 24 targets a year ago. Schottenheimer said the coaching staff came to the determination over the offseason that they could and would get more out of Carson.

“Chris can help us win in a lot of ways,” the offensive coordinator said. “One of the ways that he wasn’t last year was in the passing game.”

Carson isn’t your stereotypical pass-catching running back like a Kamara, but his hands might be on par.

“They’re pretty good,” Schottenheimer said bullishly. “I’d put them up against anybody.”

Second-year running back Rashaad Penny figures to benefit from this philosophy change as well. Tuesday’s practice featured a healthy scrimmage portion. On the final play of practice, Russell Wilson split Penny wide to the left and hit him on a quick out for a 5-yard touchdown to beat an all-out blitz by the defense.

Schottenheimer referenced the play specifically after practice. He shared that Wilson and Penny were working on those very same mechanics during individual drills at the start of Tuesday’s practice.

“It was cool to see things like that that they work on come to fruition. Where it’s like, ‘Wow, when it really counts, when you’re in a situation like that, they’re able to make that play,’” Schottenheimer said.