Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - A starting linebacker of the future is needed

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USA Today

Seattle Seahawks Draft Preview - A starting linebacker of the future is needed

Part 7 in an eight-part series that takes a position-by-position look at the Seattle Seahawks' needs heading into the NFL Draft on April 25-27. 

Past posts: QuarterbacksRunning backsOffensive lineWide receiverTight end; Defensive backs

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Today: Linebacker

Depth Chart: Middle linebacker: Bobby Wagner, Austin Calitro; Outside linebackers: K.J. Wright, Mychal Kendricks, Barkevious Mingo, Shaquem Griffin. 

Need: High.

Expectations: Seattle almost certainly will select a linebacker in the upcoming draft. 

Potential targets: Ashley Young provides a list of potential draft targets at linebacker. 

Picks: After trading defensive end Frank Clark to Kansas City for a first-round pick this year, a second-round pick in 2020 and a swap of third-round picks this year, the Seahawks now have five picks in the draft: first round (No. 21, No. 29), third round (No. 92), fourth round (No. 124) and fifth round (No. 159).

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Pete Carroll has expressed great excitement at having the trio of Wagner, Wright and Kendricks next season. Kendricks was acquired because Wright was injured most of last year. When Wright returned to action, Kendricks was either suspended (insider trading conviction) or injured. The Seahawks are looking forward to having all three in the lineup next season to form what Carroll has said is the team's best ever group of linebackers. 

“I don't think we've ever been better,” Carroll told reporters at the league meetings about the linebackers. “When that all comes together—we've got all kinds of ideas and things we want to do with those guys to use their strengths."

That all said, Wright, who battled injuries all of last season and appeared in just five games, will be 30 later this year and has just signed a two-year deal. Those realities could make it imperative that Seattle add a young linebacker inside of the first three rounds of the draft. 

The last time the Seahawks took a linebacker that high was in 2012 when they selected Wagner in the second round. They didn't draft any linebackers at all in 2013, 2015, 2016 or 2017, and used only a fifth-round pick on Griffin last year.

Mingo, Calitro and Griffin provide solid depth but none of them figure to be a marquee starter in the future. Aside form wide receiver and defensive end with the loss of Clark, adding a future starting linebacker appears to be a must. Getting one deft at rushing the passer would be an added bonus.  

Seahawks DL Jarran Reed is eager for his return: ‘Trust me, I’m ready’

Seahawks DL Jarran Reed is eager for his return: ‘Trust me, I’m ready’

Jarran Reed received a standing ovation during Monday’s team meeting, his first since returning to the VMAC from his six-game suspension. But that’s the extent of the honeymoon welcome back period for Reed’s return to the Seattle Seahawks active roster. That’s because Seattle desperately needs Reed to jumpstart its struggling pass rush.

Reed spoke to reporters on Wednesday and covered the standard clichés of needing to stay within himself and do his job. But he also made it clear that he expects to be thrown right into the fire on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

“I’m fully game ready,” Reed said confidently. “I worked my tail off. Trust me, I’m ready.”

Reed rejoins a Seahawks team that fared remarkably well in his absence, going 5-1 in the first month-and-a-half of the season. But Seattle’s pass rush ranks among the league’s worst. The Seahawks have just 10 sacks through six games. Only five teams have fewer, two of which have played one less game. Seattle’s last sack came in Week 4, and the Seahawks failed to hit Baker Mayfield once last Sunday.

“It hasn’t been very productive for sacks. I wish we had more. We’d like to have more,” Carroll said. “We’re a work in progress. We’re not a finished product yet.”

Al Woods has never been known as a pass rusher and Poona Ford hasn’t taken a step forward in that regard. Reed’s return gives Seattle a much-needed interior pass rush presence. His impact should have a trickle-down effect throughout the entire defense, but Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah should be the primary benefactors.

Both are stuck on just one sack, but Clowney has been easily the more impressive of the two despite seeing more double teams than any other edge defender in the NFL.

“Jadeveon has been all around the quarterback,” Carroll said. “His pressure numbers are good. He’s been close. He could have had four or five already. I think you’ll see a difference now that J. Reed is back. I think the complement that he brings, not just what he’ll do but how he’ll affect the other guys.”

Ansah, strictly from a pass rushing standpoint, has been underwhelming. Carroll, especially in terms of the coach’s vernacular, was fairly critical of Ansah’s first four games in Seattle.

“He hasn’t gotten free like we would hope,” Carroll said. “He’s still working at it and getting his timing down. I can’t imagine him not continuing to improve and find it.”

Reed hopes he’ll be able to benefit from the presence of Ansah and Clowney as well. It will be critical for the three of them to work in unison if Seattle’s pass rush is going to take a step forward.

“I feel like we all can help each other. We’re going to really work on that and pick it up these next few weeks.”

Reed, who posted 10.5 sacks in 2018, watched the first six games from his home. He wasn’t allowed to contact anyone within the team during his suspension. So he paced around his house while his teammates battled their way to a 5-1 start.

Now that he’s allowed back in the building, Reed hopes he’ll never have to watch another Seahawks game on TV.

“Never again,” Reed said. “I’m ready to get back and play.”

Report confirms Seahawks TE Will Dissly out for season with torn Achilles

Report confirms Seahawks TE Will Dissly out for season with torn Achilles

Everyone expected this news, but it doesn't make it any easier. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport confirmed on Wednesday that Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly will miss the remainder of the 2019 NFL season with a torn achilles.

"He's been a fantastic part of our team. He made a big impression early on all of us, and we're going to miss the heck out of him," said Seattle Coach Pete Carroll following Seattle's win in Cleveland last Sunday. "He's prepared to take this on and he'll do a fantastic job and will beat all of the timeframes that he's faced with."

The second-year player from the University of Washington was on his way to a promising 2019 season with the Seahawks with 23 receptions for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Dissly was averaging 11.4 yards per catch and established himself as the No. 2 target in Seattle's passing game behind Tyler Lockett.

Tight ends Luke Wilson and Jacob Hollister will have to carry the load now in Dissly's absence. Carroll also left the door open for Seattle to acquire a tight end via free agency or a trade. Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard would be at the top of most fans' wish list. The Seahawks signed Tyrone Swoopes to the practice squad on Tuesday.

MORE ON THE SEAHAWKS:

How the Jalen Ramsey, Marcus Peters trades impact the Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett's book "Reflection" is out now

Talkin' Seahawks podcast: Has Seattle been more lucky than good through six games?

How the Jalen Ramsey, Marcus Peters trades impact the Seattle Seahawks

How the Jalen Ramsey, Marcus Peters trades impact the Seattle Seahawks

The Los Angeles Rams, a team sitting at 3-3 after three consecutive losses, made a pair of blockbuster trades on Tuesday. The first was to send Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens for linebacker Kenny Young. The second was acquiring Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for two first-round picks.

Each deal directly impacts the Seattle Seahawks. Let’s start with the first as Seattle will host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. John Harbaugh told Seattle reporters Wednesday morning that he expects Peters to start for the Ravens in Week 7.

That means Peters will have made two trips to CenturyLink Field in the last three weeks as the Rams played the Seahawks on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 5. Peters is a two-time Pro Bowler and a one-time All Pro. He was named 2015 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year after being drafted 18th overall by the Kansas City Chiefs.

His an immensely talented corner with 24 career interceptions and four career pick-sixes. The knock on Peters is that he’s overly aggressive and sometimes guessed on plays in order to jump routes and get takeaways. It’s stellar when he’s right, but there can be huge consequences when he guesses wrong.

Peters gave up just one catch against the Seahawks in Week 5, but it was a 10-yard touchdown to David Moore. He missed a tackle on the play and allowed Moore to get by him and into the end zone.

It will be interesting to see what the impetus was for Los Angeles to move on from Peters, who’d previously overstayed his welcome in Kansas City and been traded to the Rams. It might have been as simple as Los Angeles taking advantage of the opportunity to make the upgrade to Ramsey.

Which brings us to trade No. 2. Ramsey has played in just one contest since he requested a trade two games into the season. He’s since missed three games with a back injury. My guess is that his back is suddenly a whole lot healthier now that he’s been granted the trade he desired. I suppose we'll never know whether or not the Seahawks were a serious player in the Ramsey sweepstakes or what Seattle's best offer was for the corner.

Instead, Seattle will see Ramsey in Week 14 in Los Angeles when the Seahawks play the Rams for the second and final time in the 2019 regular season. That game will likely have division and playoff seeding implications.

The biggest impact is that the Seahawks will see Ramsey twice a year moving forward. You don’t give up two first-round picks without the expectation of signing him long term. Ramsey will play under his fifth-year option for $13.7 million in 2020 (unless he holds out, of course) and then be due a new contract for 2021 and beyond.

Ramsey is largely considered the best cornerback in the league, which means that contract will set records at his position. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All Pro with nine interceptions in 51 career games.

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett’s book “Reflection” is out now

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Tyler Lockett

Seattle Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett’s book “Reflection” is out now

Tyler Lockett is already a star on the football field, but now he can add published poet to his list of accomplishments.

The Seahawks fifth-year receiver released his poetry book titled “Reflection,” on Tuesday, which discusses topics such as identity, sports, race, relationships and how to live a purposeful life.

Lockett said the book has been something he’s long desired to put together since he began writing poetry as a student at Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“It really means a lot to me, because I found that the best way to be able to help somebody is just to talk about yourself,” Lockett told NBC Sports Northwest's Joe Fann. “If you share your own scars, they’ll listen more.”

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who recently had Lockett on his DangerTalk podcast, said he believes the 27-year-old receiver’s ability to express himself through poetry is extremely rare.

“I think it could be a bestseller,” Wilson said. “I really do. I think when you guys read it, you’re going to be shocked. I really think so. You’re going to be surprised just how thoughtful he is about life, what he understands. He may look really young, but he’s definitely grown.”

The book is already No. 1 on the “new release” chart in African American Poetry on Amazon. You can pick up Lockett’s first collection of poetry here.

Fann Mail: What to expect from Earl Thomas’ return to Seattle and how to feel about it

Fann Mail: What to expect from Earl Thomas’ return to Seattle and how to feel about it

The Seattle Seahawks are riding high at 5-1. It’s a dream start for a team that notoriously opens the season slow and then turns it on in the second half. Up next is a matchup against the 4-2 Baltimore Ravens.

Containing Lamar Jackson will be the primary point of emphasis for Seattle in Week 7. However, it’s Earl Thomas’ return to CenturyLink Field that is the top storyline. Let’s start there in this week’s mailbag. Thanks, as always, to those who submitted questions.

Every Seahawks fan should feel nothing but love for Thomas. He is a future Hall of Famer and will be in the Seahawks Ring of Honor one day. Richard Sherman was the mouthpiece of the Legion of Boom, but it was Thomas’ silent swagger that helped make Seattle’s secondary so imposing.

I’m curious to see what, if anything, the team does for Thomas tribute wise this Sunday. The best course of action might be to do nothing and wait to extend an olive branch after Thomas retires. Thomas is known for being locked in on gameday and any tribute isn’t likely to be well received. There’s still plenty of bad blood between he and Pete Carroll. Thomas said he doesn’t regret giving Carroll the finger as he was carted off last season. This is the literal definition of a revenge game.

My guess is that this is bridge is burned and will remain burned for a while. When the Seahawks do attempt to make amends as an organization, it will likely be when Carroll is long gone. But that shouldn’t change how fans feel about Thomas and his contributions to the organization from 2010-18.

I’d be very concerned about the pass rush as a Seahawks fan. Seattle hasn’t had a sack in two weeks, and it’s alarming the defense wasn’t able to hit Baker Mayfield once on Sunday – especially given that the 49ers sacked Mayfield four times and hit him eight times the game prior. The pass rush has a long way to go, and we haven’t even seen enough glimpses of its potential in order to feel optimistic.

The obvious storyline this week is whether or not Jarran Reed can help jumpstart the group. Reed had 10.5 sacks last season and an improved interior rush should help Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah off the edge. The secondary has had its issues for sure, but the pass rush has done nothing to help out the back end of the defense so far. As the Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia pointed out, the Seahawks are tied for producing the lowest percentage of sacks and quarterback hits on opponents passing snaps.

It all depends how long D.J. Fluker is out. As long as he’s out, Jones will remain at right guard. Carroll sounded optimistic that Duane Brown would miss only one more game at most. I think Seattle will bank on George Fant playing better in his second start at left tackle rather than continuing to move Jones around.

Marquise Blair played just eight snaps against the Browns but it was a step forward given that he was a healthy scratch the week prior. The good news for Blair is this: neither Tedric Thompson nor Lano Hill have cemented themselves as every down players. Carroll said all four safeties (Blair and Bradley McDougald included) deserve playing time. But that sounds like coach speak for, “Nobody outside of McDougald is good enough to warrant full-time reps.” So until one of the other three emerges, it behooves Carroll to do his best to keep every guy involved from a confidence standpoint.

This all is to say that the opportunity is there for the taking for Blair.

Carroll left the door open for making a move at tight end, saying, “We’re always working at it,” on Monday. To me, the most obvious move would be trading for O.J. Howard. The Buccaneers first-round pick back in 2017 has laid an absolute egg through six games this season. Howard has just 13 receptions for 176 yards, no touchdowns and a lost fumble. He seems to be in Bruce Arians’ doghouse, and it seems like the best thing for both parties would be to move on from one another.

Howard, still only 24, is a lottery ticket worth chasing at 6-foot-6, 251 pounds. Who knows what the price tag is, but John Schneider should be calling to inquire regardless.

Players get placed on waivers at 1:00 p.m. PT on a given day and then are available to be claimed for the next 24 hours. If five teams put in a claim on a player, the team with the highest waiver order is who gets him. If no team claims the player, then they become a free agent. The one caveat is that if you claim a player, you must add him to your active roster.

Most signs point to yes.

So as much as I love gummy candy, I’m all in on chocolate. That take in and of itself might make this list controversial.

1. Kit Kat
2. Twix
3. Snickers

Feel free to @ me on Twitter with your disagreements.

Bonus list of best gummy candy:

1. Sour patch kids
2. Sour punch straws
3. Swedish fish

Ooh a Harry Potter nerd question, and I’m so here for it. Truth be told, I have no idea if there are any rules here. But I did some research. My first thought was an elephant. When I googled “are there elephants in Harry Potter?” some wizard named Hedley Fleetwood popped up. Apparently, Mr. Fleetwood had a wooly mammoth Patronus. That sounds pretty epic so I’m going to steal that one. The internet can be such a beautiful place.

What They’re Saying: The Seattle Seahawks are Russell Wilson’s team

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NBC Sports Northwest

What They’re Saying: The Seattle Seahawks are Russell Wilson’s team

It’s a new week, but the chatter around magician, I mean Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, is still loud and clear.

Week 5 brought another brilliant performance from the Seahawks franchise quarterback, who looks worth every penny of the $140 million contract extension he signed with the Seahawks this offseason.

Sideline meetings held by Wilson, K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner turned the tides on Sunday, allowing the Seahawks to come back from a 14-point deficit in the second quarter to beat the Browns 32-28 at FirstEnergy Stadium. 

Up next, Seattle (5-1) welcomes the NFC North leading Baltimore Ravens (4-2) in a clash at CenturyLink Field.

Before we preview this week’s matchup, let’s take a look at What They’re Saying about the 5-1 Seahawks in Week 7:

Robert Mays of The Ringer shares his thoughts on Wilson, who he calls the MVP favorite.

“Even as Wilson continued to show that he belonged at the table with the league’s best quarterbacks, his early-career reputation followed him. But now, with the final piece of the Legion of Boom gone and a lackluster running game that can take this team only so far, Seattle’s fortunes don’t hinge on its past identities. The Seahawks are now unmistakably Russell Wilson’s team, and for the first time, people are understanding how great that team can be.”

Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk also raved about Wilson’s nearly flawless game. He may have thrown the word Super Bowl in there too. 

“This year, he’s arguably playing better than any other quarterback, and if he keeps it up he very well could become the MVP. More importantly the Seahawks could end up forcing the road to Miami through Seattle, which will make a return to the Super Bowl more likely.”

NBC Sports’ Peter King called the Seahawks “a formidable team” and noted the return of defensive end Jarran Reed.

“This is a formidable team, and they’re never out of it with Russell Wilson in charge. And now the Seahawks get a valuable and rested piece back for their defensive front—Jarran Reed, suspended for the season’s first six games—just at the right time. The Ravens come to Seattle next Sunday as the most dangerous rushing team in football."

James Brady of SBNation discussed the NFC West and how the 49ers are now the team Seattle needs to beat in the division.

“The NFC West is still going to be a fight — the Seahawks are 5-1 and the Rams can’t be counted out at 3-3 — but the 49ers now should be favored in that fight. The Seahawks had their run of being the most-feared team in the division when the Legion of Boom was running the show. The Rams took over that mantle when McVay came in. Now it’s the 49ers’ turn to the bullies in the division.”

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer says Wilson would get his MVP vote if voting took place today. 

“As it stands now, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson would probably get the edge for me over Watson for MVP. And one reason why is that 20-6 deficit in Cleveland today felt like nothing for an offense that doesn’t really have another skill player who’ll keep the defensive coordinator up on Saturday night. So much of it is Wilson himself, and how he rubs off on his teammates.”

And last, but not least. We've got to talk about the Seahawks wide receivers' celebratory dance to NSYNC. It dominated Sunday and is still the talk around the NFL two days later. 

Andrew Joseph of For the Win

"The Seahawks are now the favorite team for every NFL fan. I’m sorry. Those are the rules."

The ’90s boy band’s Twitter page even gave the team a score on their performance after the Seahawks’ official page tweeted out the video asking, “How’d we do, @NSYNC?”

“The judges scores… 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10,” NSYNC’s Twitter responded, a perfect score all around.

Seattle Seahawks TE Will Dissly out for the season, unless ‘something miraculous happens’

Seattle Seahawks TE Will Dissly out for the season, unless ‘something miraculous happens’

The news out of Seattle isn’t good. Russell Wilson’s main redzone target, Will Dissly, is likely out for the season. That is, unless "something miraculous happens," as Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters Monday.

The second-year tight end sustained an Achilles injury during the second quarter of Seattle's 32-28 win over the Cleveland Browns. Dissly was trying to catch a hurried third-down pass from Wilson when he went down. He was taken to the blue tent to be evaluated before being carted to the locker room. You can read more on Dissly's "serious" Achilles here via Seahawks Insider Joe Fann.

The news about Dissly is just how Seahawks coach Pete Carroll described it on Monday: "really unfortunate." Dissly was just a half dozen games into the 2019 season after returning from a patellar tendon injury he suffered in Week 4 of the 2018 season.

The fact of the matter is: Dissly will be out for some time. The amount of time he’ll be away from the field and the severity of his Achilles injury, however, still remains unknown.

Here’s a look at how fans reacted to the news of Dissly's season-ending injury.  

Stay locked on NBC Sports Northwest for the latest on Dissly's injury.

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Has Seattle been more lucky than good through six games?

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USATI

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Has Seattle been more lucky than good through six games?

Joe Fann dives into the Seahawks win against the Cleveland Browns, going over the comeback win and looks into the last couple close wins for the Seahawks and asks, "Has Seattle been more lucky than good through six games?"

Joe discusses the highs of Russell Wilson's continual success and the lows of losing Will Dissly and the impact it will have on the Seahawks remaining season.

He also spins ahead to next weeks match-up against the Ravens and what the Seahawks will have to do to get another win at home, this time against Baltimore.

Week 6 PFF grades: Seahawks WRs, Shaquill Griffin earn top marks vs. Browns

Week 6 PFF grades: Seahawks WRs, Shaquill Griffin earn top marks vs. Browns

Pro Football Focus’ grades are in from the Seattle Seahawks Week 6 win against the Cleveland Browns. Seattle’s receivers graded favorably and PFF continues to recognize Shaquill Griffin’s breakout season.

Here are all the best and worst marks from the 32-28 win.

Best offensive grades

WR David Moore - 81.1

Moore caught 3-of-4 targets for 36 yards and blocked a punt in the first half.

G Mike Iupati - 79.3

Iupati was given a run blocking grade of 80.1, and he wasn’t penalized once against the Browns after being flagged three times the week before.

QB Russell Wilson - 76.7

Wilson threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns while adding a third score on the ground. He’s still yet to throw an interception this season.

WR DK Metcalf - 73.5

Metcalf caught 4-of-5 targets for 69 yards. His biggest catch was an 8-yard grab to convert 3rd-and-7 on Seattle’s final drive of the game.

WR Tyler Lockett - 72.7

Lockett caught all five of his targets for a team-high 75 yards. He had his fourth-quarter touchdown overturned as replay indicated his knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line.

Worst offensive grades

T George Fant – 38.6

Fant allowed one sack, eight total pressures and was given a pass blocking grade of just 14.9, per PFF. The numbers indicate he’s much better suited for his traditional role as an extra tight end/offensive lineman. Hopefully Duane Brown is able to return in short order.

OL Joey Hunt – 46.8

Hunt played just eight snaps in Fant’s normal role, but he still allowed a sack to Myles Garrett.

RB C.J. Prosise – 48.5

Prosise failed to convert on a two-point conversion attempt and then lost a fumble in the second half.

Best defensive grades

CB Shaquill Griffin - 83.0

Griffin’s stellar season continues. Per PFF, Griffin allowed just two receptions on five targets for only 14 yards. PFF also credited Griffin with three passes defended.

DL Jadeveon Clowney - 80.8

Clowney was credited with three hurries, four total tackles and two run stops.

DE Ezekiel Ansah - 76.6

Ansah had his biggest play of the season when he stripped Nick Chubb on a screen pass and recovered the fumble himself.

DL Quinton Jefferson - 74.0

Jefferson had four total tackles and three run stops.

DL Poona Ford - 68.1

Ford had one run stop and was given a 69.7 grade in run defense.

Worst defensive grades

CB Jamar Taylor – 29.7

Seattle went back to playing base predominantly as Taylor saw just 12 snaps. He was given a coverage grade of just 29.9

LB Mychal Kendricks – 46.5

Kendricks missed two tackles and gave up three receptions for 46 yards and one touchdown.

S Bradley McDougald – 47.9

McDougald was given just a 33.9 grade in run defense.