Atlanta Falcons

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Joe Fann 1-on-1 with Bobby Wagner

Talkin' Seahawks Podcast: Joe Fann 1-on-1 with Bobby Wagner

Seahawks Insider Joe Fann breaks down Seattle's win in Atlanta, diving into the worries that could come from a weak second half against the Falcons.

Also, Joe sits down with Bobby Wagner, linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks, and the two talk about the importance of trading jerseys in the NFL and what celebrity Wagner has given his jersey to.

Plus, with the Seahawks halfway through the season, Joe gives out grades for the Seahawks performance so far, and looks to what this could mean for the future of the team.

What They're Saying: The Seahawks have lost two important starters

What They're Saying: The Seahawks have lost two important starters

The Seattle Seahawks 27-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons is in the rear view mirror, but that doesn’t mean people aren't still buzzing about Sunday's tale of two halves.

Here’s a look at What They’re Saying about the Seahawks on Monday:

Peter King of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk named Seahawks punter Michael Dickson "Special Teams Player of the Week."

“It hasn’t been a great sophomore season for the Aussie, but he had a big day in Atlanta. His four punts netted 47.8 yards and left the Falcons starting drives at their 10, 37, 14 and 14-yard lines in a seven-point Seahawks win.”

He also noted two key losses for Seattle:

“In two weeks, the Seahawks have lost two important starters for the season to injuries: tight end Will Dissly and center Justin Britt.”

Our very own Seahawks Insider Joe Fann shared his thoughts on Bobby Wagner’s big night. The Seahawks linebacker surpassed former safety Eugene Robinson to become Seattle’s all-time leading tackler.

“Wagner, still just 29, should have several years of great football left in him, which means he's going to continue to add to his record. By the time the future Hall of Fame linebacker decides to hang it up, his record will dwarf the one he just broke.”

Could the Seahawks move Rashaad Penny before the NFL trade deadline on Tuesday?

Jonathan Adams of Heavy says Seattle appeared to show off its 27th overall pick in 2018 in Sunday’s game against Atlanta. 

“There is some belief the Seattle Seahawks may have been showcasing the running back for a potential trade ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. Penny was part of 18 plays against the Falcons, which is up from his two snaps the previous week.”

Adam Jude of The Seattle Times says, however, Seattle should retain Penny.

“He’s good, and there’s little incentive to sell low right now. Penny hasn’t become the elite running back many hoped he would be by now after the Seahawks took him in the first round in 2018, but the Seahawks don’t need him to be that at the moment. They have Chris Carson. Penny, when healthy, is about as good as any No. 2 back in the league. That’s fine for now.”

Fansided’s John Buhler says Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is leading the MVP conversation.

“This may not have been a banner day for Wilson in terms of his fantasy football stats, but provided the Seahawks with a performance that only an MVP can deliver. To lose at home on the road against a fellow playoff contender to then travel across the country to face the most desperate team in football and get a W, no matter how certain it felt, is what MVP players do for their team.”

Social media reacts as Seattle Seahawks hang on to beat Atlanta Falcons 27-20

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Social media reacts as Seattle Seahawks hang on to beat Atlanta Falcons 27-20

The Seattle Seahawks knew exactly what they were getting when they waltzed in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday afternoon: A 1-6 team without starting quarterback Matt Ryan.

But whether the Seahawks would rise to the occasion and take advantage of the lowly Falcons were a question only Seattle could answer, and they did in Week 8.

Behind a bounce-back performance from quarterback Russell Wilson, who connected with DK Metcalf and Chris Carson for three combined touchdowns, the Seahawks (now 6-2) took down the Falcons in Atlanta.

Here’s a look at the top moments on social media from the Seahawks 27-20 victory.

[READ: Seahawks Insider Joe Fann shares his 3 takeaways]

Seattle settled for a field goal in the opening quarter, but it was DK Metcalf who had the first touchdown of the day.

The pacifier mouthpiece-wearing wideout hauled in a 4-yard touchdown from Wilson to make 10-0, Seattle. Metcalf channeled Tyreek Hill and threw up a "peace sign" in classic fashion. 

But Metcalf hour wasn’t over yet. Wilson found Metcalf before halftime for another TD pass, and Seahawks Twitter nearly lost it.

A seven-play, 46-yard drive ended in a TD from running back Chris Carson. Carson celebrated accordingly, sharing a moment with his teammates Jacob Hollister and Russell Wilson.

Despite a near comeback from the Falcons, the Seahawks were able to come away with a win in Atlanta.

Seattle heads back home in Week 9, where they’ll welcome the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4) to CenturyLink Field. Kick off is set for 1:05 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks in action vs. Atlanta Falcons, follow us on social!

Seattle Seahawks in action vs. Atlanta Falcons, follow us on social!

With the early kickoff, Seattle will look to pick up a win vs. the Matt Ryan-less Atlanta Falcons. 

Joe Fann gets you ready: 

The Seattle Seahawks (5-2) are on the road in Week 8, looking to bounce back against the Atlanta Falcons (1-6).

This should be the perfect get right game for Seattle following a disappointing loss last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Atlanta has lost its last five games, most of which by a large margin. Matt Ryan is out with an ankle injury, which means Matt Schaub will be starting against the Seahawks. The Falcons promoted Danny Etling from the practice squad on Saturday in case of emergency.

Our Seahawks Insider Joe Fann and Digital Producer Lindsey Wisniewski are in Atlanta for the game, so make sure you follow along on social

How and Where to Watch:

Kick-off: 10:00am
On TV: Fox
Streaming: NFL app // Yahoo Sports App

Ducks and Beavs in the NFL

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USA Today

Ducks and Beavs in the NFL

The Ducks and Beavers both took to the gridiron on Saturday. On Sunday, a handful of former Ducks and Beavers showed off their talents at the NFL level. 

Here is how some of them did:

OREGON STATE BEAVERS:

Jordan Poyer: Buffalo Bills

Poyer put on a show in the Bills' 17-16 season-opening victory over the New York Jets. He led both teams with nine total tackles, six solo, and a sack. 

Brandin Cooks and Johnny Hekker: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams came out victorious on Sunday in Carolina. Johnny Hekker only had to punt three times, but when he was called upon he averaged 46 yards per punt. As for Brandin Cooks, he had just two catches on the night for 36 total yards, but his 24-yard reception was the longest passing play of the game.

Steven Nelson: Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh had a rough go in Week 1, losing to the Patriots 33-3. Steven Nelson ended the game with three tackles, one solo.

OREGON DUCKS

Marcus Mariota: Tennessee Titans

Mariota was on point in the Titans' 43-13 victory over the Browns. Mariota was 14 of 24 for 248 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed three times for 24 yards. 

Kenjon Barner: Atlanta Falcons

Barner didn't see any touches on offense, but he was a standout on special teams. He had four punt returns for 46 yards, and two kick returns for 44 yards. 

Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner: San Francisco 49ers

Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner helped anchor a defensive line the held the Buccaneers to 295 yards of offense in the 49ers' 21-17 victory. Armstead had five tackles, two solo, and a sack. Buckner had two solo tackles, one of them for a loss. 

 

Atlanta signs Tony Brooks-James after an impressive two days at rookie minicamp

Atlanta signs Tony Brooks-James after an impressive two days at rookie minicamp

After going undrafted in the 2019 NFL Draft, former Oregon running back Tony Brooks-James has officially found a home in the NFL.

Brooks-James made a quick impression on the Atlanta Falcons through two days of rookie minicamp; the Falcons signed Brooks-James following practice on Saturday.

Reportedly a standout at practice, Brooks-James broke several big runs, slipping through the hole and showing off his exceptional speed in the open field.

Brooks-James’ confidence never waivered. He was invited to both Atlanta’s and Seattle’s rookie minicamps. After the Seahawks’ practice, NBCSNW Seahawks insider Aaron Fentress spoke with the 5-foot-9, 190-pound versatile running back.

"I think I have a chance to stick here (in Seattle) or in Atlanta," Brooks-James said. "It's all about getting a chance to stick and stand out."

He then paused and smiled before letting it be known, "I'm making a team."

At Oregon, Brooks-James totaled 3,302 all-purpose yards over his career. He averaged 26.1 yards per kick return last season and 25.7 per return as a redshirt junior.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxVWtfbFWbm/

Atlanta signs Tony Brooks-James to free agent contract

Atlanta signs Tony Brooks-James to free agent contract

The Atlanta Falcons signed running back Tony Brooks-James to a free agent contract. Here is what the Falcons are getting with the ProDuck and how Brooks-James fits the team’s needs.

TEAM NEEDS running back, running back, running back. Currently on the ATL roster: Devonta Freeman, who has battled injury; newly acquired three-year back Jeremy Langford, former Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, and a few others. Brooks-James should be in that competition with his unique speed.   

YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW THAT in the running back room at Oregon, Brooks-James was lovingly referred to as “grandpa”. He also almost single handedly put a stop to “swag surfing” in Autzen Stadium, when former Oregon coach Willie Taggart left for Florida State.

AT OREGON Brooks-James totaled 3,302 all-purpose yards over his career. His workload decreased from a high of 118 touches in 2016 to 60 touches last season. He finished last season with 57 carries for 306 yards and four touchdowns. Brooks-James added 21 kickoff returns for 548 yards, with his 26.1-yard average return ranking 21st nationally.

PRAISED FOR his speed, speed, speed! Brooks-James ran the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds at Oregon’s pro day and though that’s an unofficial hand-timed result, it would’ve tied for second among running backs to run at this year’s NFL Combine. Plus, his 4.17 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle would’ve been third among those who ran at the combine.

NEEDS TO WORK ON Ball security; Brooks-James had four fumbles as a senior. In order to get a chance to play special teams in the NFL, Brooks-James must hold on to the ball better and prove to be more reliable as an undersized player.

QUOTE After Oregon’s pro day Brooks James said, “Do-or-die day for me. I left it all on the field. ... Major chip on my shoulder. From not being invited to a bowl game or Combine and been looking down on, I had a chip on my shoulder that I had to brush off today."

BEST SOCIAL POST Brooks-James, also an Oregon track and field athlete, combined both his sports in one impressive photo.

MEASUREABLES 5' 9", 190 LBS

HOMETOWN Gainesville, Fla.

Carolina Panthers running back Kenjon Barner lit up by a punter Matt Bosher

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Carolina Panthers running back Kenjon Barner lit up by a punter Matt Bosher

Rule No. 1 during a kick return: do not let the kicker tackle you. 

Destroyed, lit up, leveled, you name it. Atlanta Falcons kick-off specialist/punter Matt Bosher absolutely crushed Carolina Panthers running back and special teams player Kenjon Barner on a kick-off. 

Very rare, but when it happens, it is all too sweet. At least for the kicker. For the returner, it is embarrassing. Just read for yourself:

In his fifth year of his NFL career, Barner (former Oregon Ducks running back) finds himself back with the team that originally drafted him in Carolina. On Sunday, despite getting brutally tackled by Bosher, he had a nice game recording four punts for 109 yards and his longest of 37 yards. Unfortunately for Barner, that doesn't matter to the internet.

The Panthers (6-9) continue their downfall with their seventh loss in a row, this time to the Atlanta Falcons (6-9), 24-10 in Carolina. 

 

And THAT's why you probably shouldn't bet big $ on sports events

And THAT's why you probably shouldn't bet big $ on sports events

I cannot remember being more certain of a Super Bowl winner than I was last week. I just KNEW that Atlanta would beat New England. They had a better team, played in a better conference and should have been the favorite but for all the sentiment about the coach and quarterback for the Patriots.

And if I had it to predict all over again, I'd say the same thing. But I'd hope the Atlanta coaching staff would come to its senses late in the game. Come on, guys -- a first down at the New England 22 with about four minutes to play and you pass? You pass?

I didn't get it at the time. Just run the ball three times, get the ball in the middle of the field for your kicker -- who is one of the best in the business -- run the clock down and boot a field goal that would have sealed the game for you. That's all they had to do.

But no, what followed was a disaster. A franchise-changing disaster. By the time the Falcons were finished with that series they'd taken themselves out of field-goal position, Tom Brady was the greatest quaarterback of all time and Atlanta was a bettor's nightmare.

The Falcons were getting three points. A steal. And I would have lost a fortune.

Except that I've seen these things happen so many times before that I don't bet on sports events -- other than an occasional dinner wager or five bucks here and there. You can have these things figured out ahead of time and then somebody does something stupid or there's a power failure on the field or maybe a garbage-time cheap score destroys your point-spread cushion.

No matter how certain you are about a game's outcome, my advice is be careful. Stupid stuff happens.

NFL Training Camps: A look at the young Beavers

NFL Training Camps: A look at the young Beavers

With training camp in full swing I figure there was no better time to take a look around the league and see how some former Oregon State Beavers are performing.

For this particular piece we will look at some on the younger Beavers. There is no need to talk about players like Brandin Cooks, Derek Anderson, or Brandon Browner, as we all know how well those guys are doing. Instead we will look at some young bucks; players who are making noise, turning heads, and battling for a position on the depth chart. Let’s take a look.

Sean Mannion –

The second year quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams is a lock to be at least third on the depth chart, and depending on how Case Keenum and Jarod Goff perform, could realistically slide into the No.2 spot. Goff is the starter of the future for the Rams, so the real question is who is the true backup; Keenum or Mannion?

Mannion continues to improve, and has garnered some high praise from teammates early in camp.

Via Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Times:

“Everything’s slower to him now,” said receiver Bradley Marquez, who caught two of Mannion’s six career completions. “He’s able to know the plays, so in the huddle, he commands that respect when he comes in there. He’s coming in with confidence, telling everybody what they’re gonna do.”

…“From last year to right now,” said punter Johnny Hekker, “he’s leaps and bounds ahead of where he was.”

While it may not be this season, Mannion may end up being the Rams backup of the future. Mannion played in just one game for the Rams last season, going 6-7 for 31-yards. In four years at OSU, Mannion amassed 13,600 yards passing and 83 touchdowns.

Connor Hamlett -

Hamlett has yet to play a snap in the NFL since leaving OSU in 2014, but that could change this year. Hamlett has been a standout at Browns camp, and is the favorite to be named the backup to Pro Bowler Gary Barnidge.

Via Patrick Maks of ClevelandBrowns.com:

“He’s done great. That guy is tall,” head coach Hue Jackson said, laughing. “He’s got long arms. You can kind of throw it up there and he goes and gets it. He’s done a great job. I’ve been really pleased with him.

“One thing about him, the guy is really accountable. He’s always here. He’s always out here competing. I’m very, very impressed with the things he has done.”

Tight Ends coach Greg Seamon had the following to say with regard to the position battle at backup TE:

“Connor is a long, tall, spidery guy with excellent hands. He’s very smart,” Seamon said.

“We’ll see how it plays out. Right now, those jobs are available. What we’re attempting to do in practice is give everybody enough repetitions at all the various spots so that when we get to the games, they can go in and show what they can do.”

Hamlett played in 34 games at OSU, amassing 1,109 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.          

Isaac Seumalo –

The third round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles is playing catch up at Eagles Camp. Due to Oregon State’s quarter system, and ridiculous NCAA rules, Seumalo missed Philadelphia’s OTAs this spring. Now that he is with the team, he is a little behind the eight ball. However, with a world of potential in front of him, the hill should be easy to climb Seumalo. When healthy he showed Pac-12 foes why he was a top-round pick, and if not for those lingering injuries he may have been drafted even higher. But Seumalo is ready to battle.

Via Les Bowen of Philly.com:

"It's a tough drill. The NFL's no joke," Seumalo said. "You gotta bring it and be near-perfect every time you go, if you wanna win, and even then, it's hard. I just look for improvement."

             Seumalo said he knows the only way to get better is to be "really objective and coachable."

…"I expect that out of myself, to compete, but most importantly, get better every day," Seumalo said. "I don't make the depth chart. The best five will play. If that's me, I'm excited. If not, I'm still excited."

Seumalo is currently listed as the back up to nine-year veteran Allen Barbre at Left Guard, and with the Eagles projected to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Seumalo get some playing time this season.           

Steven Nelson –

Nelson was a stud at Oregon State, grabbing eight interceptions and making 122 tackles in just two seasons in Corvallis. His ability to shut down some of the best receivers in the Pac-12 was a big reason the Chiefs picked him up in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

The Chiefs have a young, talented defensive backfield making snaps hard to come by for Nelson in 2015. However, he still managed to make an impact, playing in 12 games for KC. 

Nelson really started to find his groove late in the season, and if that upward trend continues he will easily crack the lineup for the Chiefs.

Via of J Kissel of Chiefs.com:

Throughout offseason workouts this year, Nelson has been one of the standouts for the Chiefs defense, making plays all over the field on both the outside as well as inside at the nickel cornerback position.

“He really started picking up towards the end of last year,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid recently said of Nelson. “I thought he kind of took off the last quarter of the season. We were excited to see if he’d continue to grow at that inside position.”

…Nelson has spent a lot of time this offseason at that nickel position—a spot he hopes to earn and one that he hopes to show Reid and the other coaches he can handle.

“He has made some plays in the inside with the first group there,” Reid said of Nelson’s offseason playmaking thus far.

The nickel package is a great spot for Nelson to fall in. It fits his skill set well, and will continue to give him an opportunity to grow. The position for those young DBs in Kansas City will be a very interesting one to watch.

D.J. Alexander –

Not a lot of news coming out of Kansas City with regard to the linebacker, as the Chiefs have one of the strongest linebacker corps in the NFL. Justin Houston, Derrick Johnson, Josh Mauga, and Tamba Hill make up a formidable first unit, while Dee Ford, Ramik Wilson, Frank Zombo, and Alexander anchor the second unit. 

The Chiefs’ second unit is strong, stronger than what some teams trot out on their first team. For Alexander, cracking the starting lineup will be very hard to do. But there is a tremendous amount of potential with Alexander, and 12-year veteran Derrick Johnson sees it.

Via BJ Kissel of Chiefs.com:

            After practice on Monday, Johnson gave a little breakdown of each of the young guys:

“Well, ‘Little DJ” (D.J Alexander) is probably our fastest linebacker,” Johnson explained. “I hate to say that because I've always been the fastest, but his speed to the ball is unbelievable. He's still young and he's still learning, but his potential is through the roof.

Not only has Johnson seen Alexander’s potential, Alexander has leaned on the veteran’s leadership as he continues to grow:

For Alexander, the leadership of not just Johnson and Mauga, but from all of the guys in that defensive room, is special.

“They're all like big brothers,” Alexander explained. “They want to see us do better and they're pushing us. They’re staying on us and challenging us and we look up to them because we want to be like they are.”

Alexander looks to be a large part of the Chiefs defense this coming season, and if he isn’t able to crack the starting lineup I would not be surprised to see teams contact KC trying to trade for the young linebacker.

Obum Gwacham –

The former wide receiver turned defensive end looks like he may have found a home with the New Orleans Saints. Gwacham was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2015, but was let go in September of that year. A day after being waived by Seattle, he was claimed by the Saints. Now in his second season with the Saints, Gwacham has found a sense of comfort as he enters his first training camp with the team.

Via Amos Morale III of NOLA.com:

"It's nice that I'm able to be here with this team during camp because I was with a different team last year," he said. "It's nice that I can grow with everyone and we can go through the struggles of camp days together."

Gwacham has been working at camp with Saints defensive line coach Bill Johnson and pass rush specialist Brian Young to improve his technique. Specifically, he worked on his zero-step technique which he says involves initiating contact with the offensive lineman or tight end first.  

"It allows you to push-pull him and it makes it much easier to control them," he said. "So that's one of the biggest things that I worked on and I've definitely seen it pay off."

Saints head coach Sean Payton said the key with Gwacham's development will be how he handles playing against the run. 

            "That'll be a challenge," he said. "That'll be a little more new."

            Overall, Gwacham thinks training camp has gone well so far.

Gwacham had eight tackles and a forced fumble in nine games last season, and is currently listed as the backup defensive end behind Kasim Edebali. He is in a great spot in New Orleans, as they don’t need him to be a starter yet, and a year as a true No.2 will really help his development.

Terron Ward –

There hasn’t been a lot of noise with regards to Ward coming out of Falcons training camp. Ward his missed a few days of practice recently due a lingering ankle injury, but he still could be a factor for Atlanta this year. Ward was used sparingly last season, carrying the ball 29 times for 95-yards, but could see a little more action as he has the inside track to be the teams No.3 RB.  If his touches in the offense don’t see an uptick, that doesn’t mean he won’t see more playing time. With the recent release of kick returner Devin Hester, the special teams spot is up for grabs. Ward returned kicks at OSU, and worked on kick returns during offseason workouts.

Whether at running back or on special teams, Ward should have a chance to help Falcons, if he can stay healthy that is.