Redskins

Seattle on cusp of playoffs, not talking about it

201212161920696562849-p2.jpeg

Seattle on cusp of playoffs, not talking about it

RENTON, Wash. (AP) It's not hard to get Pete Carroll talking. Getting him to speak about the postseason is another matter.

All the Seattle coach wants to focus on is the importance of beating San Francisco on Sunday night. The byproduct of getting a victory over the 49ers would be the Seahawks getting to 10 wins for the first time since 2007, earning at least a wild-card berth in the NFC playoffs, and keeping alive the slim hopes of winning the NFC West.

There is a lot of good that could come Seattle's way with a victory. But you won't find Carroll or his players speaking much about what lies ahead.

``You don't bring up the playoffs until the playoffs get here,'' Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. ``You're still in the regular season and we're playing trying to win the rest of these games and see where the chips fall.''

If Seattle (9-5) can get a victory over the 49ers on Sunday or in the season finale against St. Louis, it would be its second playoff appearance in Carroll's three seasons. Yet this one would be far more deserved.

When the Seahawks won the NFC West in 2010, they became the first division champion with a losing record at 7-9. It took a victory over St. Louis in the finale that season for the Seahawks to win the division on a tiebreaker, but Seattle at least justified its spot in the playoffs by upsetting then-Super Bowl champion New Orleans in the wild-card round.

But that playoff trips was at the infancy of Seattle's roster remodel that Carroll and general manager John Schneider have been constructing. It was a mix of new faces and what the duo inherited that won the division in 2010.

This group that's pushing for a playoff spot has all been molded under the watch of Seattle's decision-making duo.

``I think we're playing so much better in so many areas. We're taking care of the ball the way we want to, and we're getting after the football well now that we're in the latter part of the season,'' Carroll said. ``We're running the football with consistency and we're keeping the scores down defensively, and the kicking game is solid. These are all of the elements that make us team with not many holes right now.''

While that 2010 team made the postseason, they were still flawed. The offense still had Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, but his long-term future with the team was in doubt. The defense still relied on experienced veterans that were not getting any younger.

Seattle had yet to find its unique, long cornerbacks in Sherman and Brandon Browner that make the rest of its defense work. They hadn't given fifth-round pick Kam Chancellor an opportunity to be a starting safety. Golden Tate was inconsistent at wide receiver and the Seahawks had not found a plan that worked to best use running back Marshawn Lynch.

Those problems are now solved as is the biggest question, the quarterback. Russell Wilson has been the best quarterback by passer rating in the NFL since Seattle's Week 7 loss at San Francisco. Lynch is second in the NFL in yards rushing behind only Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and the Seahawks have the second-best scoring defense in the league.

``It all begins with the quarterback. Russell is playing an extremely high level right now and it's just the maturity and growth that we've all come to grow with him in this offense as a whole and rally behind the things that he does well,'' Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin said. ``At the beginning of the season we were kind of searching for that and now that we're putting it together you've been able to see it the past two games with us putting up 50 points.''

Carroll said the way Seattle is now playing is what he hoped would happen when he arrived in the winter of 2010. The growth Seattle has shown over the last two seasons is similar to how he saw USC improve between his first season with the Trojans and the second year that ended with a victory in the Orange Bowl and proved to be the foundation for their major success.

``I think in most of the critical areas we're just cleaning things up, and you can see that our young guys are growing,'' Carroll said. ``They're understanding what's expected, and I think the most important thing is to see consistency. They get it and they come back and do it again, and do it again. Those are really good indicators that we are going in the right direction.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

'My whole house is going to be jersey'd out': Redskins players explain why they swap jerseys

'My whole house is going to be jersey'd out': Redskins players explain why they swap jerseys

Tress Way wants an office. Does he need an office? No, and he admitted as much this week at Redskins Park. Regardless, the punter wants one and he has a vision for it, too.

That vision doesn't include a computer or a chair with solid back support or a fancy stapler, either. Instead, it's all about what will be hanging on the walls.

NFL jerseys. Lots and lots of NFL jerseys.

Way, like many of his teammates and many other players around the league, has been swapping jerseys with opponents following games for a handful of years now. Between the uniforms he has hanging in his locker at the organization's Ashburn practice facility and the collection he's developed in past seasons, he's now picked up more than enough to decorate that future office.

He loves the thought of it as much as he hates the thought of a touchback. 

"That'd be awesome," he said. 

Honestly, it's hard not to notice the other, non-Burgundy and Gold colors that dot the walls of the Redskins' locker room. About half of the players feature jerseys from other teams among their other belongings, if not more.

View this post on Instagram

1k 💪🏾💪🏾

A post shared by Daron Payne (@94yne) on

So, who do they target?

The most common answer is guys that they suited up with before the NFL. Way, for example, boasts one from his college long snapper. Quinton Dunbar looks for fellow Florida Gators, while Tim Settle hunts for other Virginia Tech Hokies. 

There are other reasons to make an exchange, however. Paul Richardson aims to acquire them from anyone who grew up in Los Angeles, like he did. Dunbar, meanwhile, will search for stars he's looked up to. After matching up with the 49ers, for example, he hopes to scoop Richard Sherman's uniform.

"I'm going to hit him up on Instagram," Dunbar said.

Some swaps are prearranged, such as the one Dunbar wants to orchestrate, while others are totally unplanned. Settle explained he doesn't go into games thinking about it, but if he takes a picture with someone, he'll offer to make a trade on the spot. 

Though the defensive tackle doesn't plan them out, he does have a specific idea for what he'll eventually do with the threads.

"My whole house is going to be jersey'd out," he said. "It's something that you get to work on, you're building something. It's every man's dream to have a nice, little decked-out man cave."

There is one especially prized piece currently on display in Ashburn, and judging by the amount of interest in it, it may need its own surveillance crew. That is the Tom Brady jersey that's dangling in Adrian Peterson's locker, a gift from one Hall of Famer to another.

Settle, who sacked Brady in Week 5, has long idolized the QB. So, please forgive the jealousy that creeps into his voice as he talks about the fact that Peterson was the one to receive Brady's No. 12. He understands it, but he's not thrilled about it.

"They've been in the league, they're dinosaurs," he said. "Two dinosaurs in the league."

Way, meanwhile, also considered approaching Brady after the Washington-New England contest. Ultimately, he decided against it for fear of being shut down.

"I'm terrified of that, that's why I never asked Tom Brady to switch," Way said, grinning. "I thought about asking Tom, 'Tom, I know you look up to my game, I look up to your game.' I was afraid of that rejection. Same with Brees that day that he broke the record against us [in 2018]. 'I know you look up to me, I look up to you. Maybe we could switch.'"

Settle and Way may have missed out on landing Brady's, but they have other names on their lists they intend to track down. And while the jerseys will one day be framed and mounted in offices or man caves, they will also represent something more than a sweet accessory to a room.

"They're part of memories, too," Settle said. "This is a dream. Trading jerseys with somebody you grew up with or played with or you look up to or that you want to meet, I'm all for it." 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

After Patrick Mahomes' injury, could Case Keenum or Colt McCoy be on the move?

After Patrick Mahomes' injury, could Case Keenum or Colt McCoy be on the move?

Patrick Mahomes hurt his knee Thursday night, and while the severity is unknown, Kansas City's Super Bowl plans just got dealt a major hurdle. 

The truth is if Mahomes needs knee surgery then the Chiefs might need to recalibrate their hopes for January and beyond. If Mahomes only needs rest, however, then the Redskins might actually be able to help. 

It's no secret Washington and Kansas City know how to make a trade. January 2018 the two teams worked out a blockbuster when quarterback Alex Smith came to the Redskins and cornerback Kendall Fuller along with a third-round pick went to the Chiefs. The same power brokers are in charge now that pulled off that trade: Andy Reid in KC and Bruce Allen in DC.

And oddly enough the Redskins have a bit of a surplus in veteran quarterbacks. Neither Case Keenum or Colt McCoy can replace Mahomes, the 2018 NFL MVP, but either signal caller might be able to keep the Chiefs afloat for a few weeks.

The trade deadline is approaching fast, coming October 29th. The Redskins are currently 1-5 and there is no reason to keep both Keenum and McCoy on the roster the rest of the year. 

Washington drafted Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick, and eventually, the Ohio State star will start for the Redskins. Beyond that, both Keenum and McCoy have contracts that expire after this season. Neither player figures in the long-term plans for the Burgundy and Gold, and certainly the future is to eventually go to Haskins.

Want one more mitigating factor? Even after his devestating injury last season, Alex Smith is due more than $20 million guaranteed next year. He has been at practice and games for weeks, and appears to be close with Washington upper management. It's not crazy to think that in some role Smith will be around in 2020 along with Haskins. That makes Keenum or McCoy that much more expendable down the stretch. 

If Kansas City needs somebody to run their offense for a few weeks, the Redskins should dangle McCoy or Keenum. Or both. 

It's unclear that either player would entice much of an offer, but keep in mind, McCoy is widely respected around the league and Keenum had the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game just two seasons ago. The return for Washington might not be much, but something is always more thank nothing. 

Most deals get made around necessity, and Kansas City might have a big need. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS