Monday, September 30, 2013

Are Seahawks Fans Afraid of Success?

As the franchise enjoys the first 4-0 start of it's young existence, fans of this historically hard-luck team should have plenty to be excited about.  Hell, I know I'm ecstatic myself!  For the first time anyone can remember, the Seahawks were among the handful of teams touted by the media as legitimate Super Bowl contenders through the preseason.

When the season began, there were questions if Seattle had what it takes to win on the east coast in an early game-- they answered that with a victory.  In the second week, the question was whether or not Seattle could contain the NFC Champion 49ers in a tough division rivalry game-- they answered that question handily.  Everyone expected Seattle to roll the Jacksonville, but there was concerns that the Seahawks might overlook the lowly Jaguars-- they covered the spread even with the backups playing the bulk of the second half.  Finally, Seattle had it's truest test with a potential playoff team in Houston facing that 10:00 AM east coast time slot-- it wasn't pretty, but the Seahawks answered.

Now we're officially one quarter into the regular season and so far Seattle have overcome every challenge put in their path.  If you look deep enough, you'll find concerns, but all in all, this team has answered every call.

Today, I began to look at the next quarter of the season.  Seattle goes on the road to Indianapolis, back home to take on the Titans and then two divisional road games against the Rams and Cardinals. Now, the Colts were a playoff team last year and they beat the 49ers in their own backyard.  Under absolutely no circumstances should the players or coaches be looking past this game. However, as a fan-- don't you feel good about how these teams match up?

The Colts have become somewhat of a smash-mouth football team this season.  They'll look to pound the ball at us while making efficient passes with Andrew Luck.  I'm thoroughly confident our defense will handle the Colts offense.  The Colts defense doesn't scare me at all. I think a steady dose of Marshawn Lynch will open things up for Russell Wilson to go off.  Even Vegas is favoring us to win this one on the road.

After that, it only gets easier.  It looks like we'll see a Jake Locker-less Titans team at home and a pair of division rivals who have so far fallen well short of the expectations that were put on them to be much improved. Barring catastrophic injuries to key players, you have to feel good about the Seahawks going 4-0 in the next stretch of games.

That being said, I peeked ahead to the 3rd quarter of the season-- Tampa Bay is imploding, we get them at home, Falcons have yet to get it together this year, and you gotta think Seahawks are out for their blood, Vikings are still a one trick pony with Adrian Peterson and then we hit our bye week.

As a fan, I don't see a real threat on the schedule until Monday Night against the Saints and then the short week leading to the road match up with the 49ers.

Cocky? Yes.  Improbable?  Absolutely not.

Being a fan, short for Fanatic, I posted comments on my personal Facebook page as well as the Facebook page declaring that I don't see a real challenge for this team until December. 

I was completely shocked by the responses I received.

Everyone, almost unanimously, responded with the same 'don't look past any opponent' saying to one degree or the other. I continuously reminded them that coach Carroll would certainly prepare the team as such-- but since we're not active participants in the outcome of the game, and instead fanatics of the Seahawks, it's well within our jurisdiction to get excited, speculate and overreact.

No one was buying it.

Am I being crazy? I thought about it-- absolutely not!  This team is damn good!  Historically good!

49ers fans for the better part of a decade have been obnoxiously loud about how great their team is in the preseason, only to be disproved 8 out of 10 times. My friends who follow the Packers think they're going all the way every year just because they have Aaron Rodgers. Same goes for my friends who claim Tom Brady or Peyton Manning as their guy.

Upon deeper reflection, I wasn't the one acting unusually.  It's the rest of you!

Are we Seahawks fans afraid to jinx our team?  Would the shame of falling short of winning it all be too much for this fan base to bear? Perhaps it's a little bit of both.  I can assure you, if Seattle doesn't live up to those lofty preseason expectations, no one will be more disappointed than me.

However, I'm not going to let the fear of failure as we embark into this previously uncharted territory of being the favorite hold me back from enjoying the hell out of this season.  There's a chance we won't win it all-- there's a chance we'll never be this good again. 

All I know is, right now, we're really, really good.  We've overcome every challenge put in front of us so far and there's no sign of that changing anytime soon.  So, puff your chest out, ride this wave of excellence as far as it will take us and above all else-- really enjoy this season.

Seahawks win ugly, Improve to 4-0

For the first time in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks finished the month of September with a perfect 4-0 record-- and they did it in just about the ugliest way possible.

In a game where Seattle trailed by 17 points at the half and nothing seemed to be clicking, the curse of the 10:00 AM start time seemed to be in full effect. There were intermittent flashes of brilliance but Seattle seemed unable to string together anything of significance. J.J. Watt, whose face was dripping with blood throughout the game, was wreaking havoc on Seattle's patchwork offensive line that was missing 3 of it's 5 starters.

Texans linebacker, Whitney Mercilus, was merciless in his pursuit of Russell Wilson, racking up 2.5 sacks on the day.  Brian Cushing lead the Texans in tackles and forced a fumble before leaving the game with a concussion. Johnathan Joseph snatched an interception off of a forced pass by Wilson and there wasn't a single offensive possession that didn't feel like an uphill battle for the Seahawks.

The worst moment in the game, by far, was seeing one of our most productive players of the season hauled off on a stretcher.

Michael Bennett was taken to the hospital after a scary collision that appeared as if he may have seriously injured his neck. Fortunately, results were negative and they are now calling it a lower back injury that seems significantly less serious.

Marshawn Lynch never gave up in this game.  Lynch finished the night with 45 yards receiving and 98 yards on the ground, including a 43 yard scamper that may well have qualified as Beastquake 2.0 had it occurred in the CLink.

But it wasn't until Wilson put the game on his shoulders, or more appropriately, on his legs, that Seattle began to turn the tables on Houston.  Wilson finished with 77 yards on the ground with key first down conversions that set up the scoring drives that lead to Seattle's comeback.

Houston quarterback, Matt Schaub, threw for 355 yards with a pair of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Throughout most of the game, Schaub was having his way with the Seahawks defense, systematically picking them apart.  Had Seattle fallen short, he may well have been the hero in this game, but it was one poor decision he made with his team up 20-13 that swung the momentum fully in the Seahawks favor.  Schaub lobbed up a lame duck to his tight end but Richard Sherman saw it coming, leaped up and took the ball 58 yards to the house-- with only one shoe!

Seattle forced the game to overtime and eventually got into scoring position to sneak away with a tough road win. It was hard fought and sloppy, but a win nevertheless.  At first, it certainly appeared as if the team hadn't gotten up for the early, east coast game. The players body language was in stark contrast from what we'd seen the previous three weeks-- even on the road in Carolina. When they opened the 3rd quarter with a sack on Wilson-- It looked like more of the same. 

Instead this team fought on and believed in themselves.  The truth is, there was just too much talent on this Seahawks roster for even a great, playoff-caliber team like the Texans to overcome.  This game might not have been pretty and I'm sure the fans will remember this game simply as a victory and not the four-quarter-anxiety-attack that it really was, but this could be a game that we look back on at the end of this season as a major statement game.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cardinals Safety gives the finger -- Literally

When Seahawks division rivals Arizona Cardinals went into the Big Easy to take on the Saints-- they lost more than just the game.

Cardinals safety, Rashad Johnson, lost the tip of his left middle finger.

Johnson isn't exactly sure how the injury happened.  Apparently, he simply remembers his hand being numb after a play and noticed blood coming from his glove.  When he got to the sidelines, trainers cut the glove off of his hand.  Only one problem-- the top of his finger, nail and all, remained inside the glove.

The picture below was tweeted from Johnson's twitter account.  He has since undergone surgery, where doctors shaved the bone down to prevent infection and stitched up the wound.  Johnson's availability for this weeks game is questionable as it could take a few weeks to heal.

Man, that looks painful.  Get well soon, Rashad.

Monday, September 23, 2013

It was a long offseason for some-- longer for others

Like I said in my last post, I'm proud to see the 12th Man hold their team to the highest standards, reflective of our goals for the franchise.  The truth is, not all fan bases have this outlook for their team. 

This morning, I received a message from a Bears fan that has been harboring resentment against me since the Seahawks went into Soldier Field last season and went all kinds of Russell Wilson on their asses. Below is the message and subsequent response.

Let's look at what the Bears have accomplished thus far:  They narrowly edged out the Bengals in week one 24-21, they barely escaped with a win against the Vikings 31-30 and last night they thumped the hapless Steelers 40-23.  That's right, they're 3-0.  Barely.

The Bears don't have a daunting schedule ahead of them, but they do have to play the Saints, the Ravens and the Packers twice.  The Bears do not have much depth, so everything could change as the grind of the season wears on.

To be fair, while I did say at that time that the Bears would be cellar dwellers in the NFC North, I did change my tune with the hiring of Marc Trestman and a solid draft.  Still, it's hard to imagine the Packers not righting the ship when all is said and done.

What is clear is that our friend Joey probably hasn't watched a single Seahawks game this year. Seattle is far and away the best, deepest team in the NFL and while it's hard to forecast so far into the future, it certainly looks like the road to the Super Bowl will run through CenturyLink. 

I will continue to expect more from my team every week.  It'd be easy to troll the 49ers message boards and gloat over their slow start-- or follow up on some commenters from last season to rub it in, but my eyes will continue to be on each game, each week.  Just like our Seahawks.

Seahawks get it done at home

Seahawks  45
Jaguars      17

The Seahawks were huge favorites to beat the Jaguars at home yesterday and what they did was just that.  Nevertheless, expectations being what they are, no one is content with the victory-- not even the fans.

This is a good thing. We saw what happened with the Philadelphia Eagles "Dream Team". They had lofty expectations given the depth of talent on their roster, only to watch everything fall apart as the team became complacent.  When faced with adversity, rather than strive for excellence, the finger pointing began.

Yeah, Seattle put up 45 points and never seemed to lose control of the game.  Sure, Russel Wilson threw for over 200 yards with 4 touchdowns-- Hell, even backup quarterback, Tarvaris Jackson passed and ran for a touchdown yesterday.  However, it was what Seattle didn't do that remained their focus in the aftermath.

Bobby Wagner, who had an impressive tipped-pass interception and was in on several tackles, said as much after the win.  He knew what was expected of the defensive unit and after allowing just 3 points from Super Bowl contender and division rival 49ers-- giving up 17 points to a Jags team that hadn't scored that many points all season was completely unacceptable.

Personally, I love it.  For a team and a community that has never really 'been there before', the team and the 12s are very much acting as though they have.  It bodes well for the arduous road ahead.

The other great thing through these first few games is that there has been week to week improvements made in different areas.  This week, the passing game stepped up with Sidney Rice, Golden Tate and Luke Willson each pulling down 5 balls a piece for 75 yards or more. Zach Miller had 2 touchdowns himself and Doug Baldwin made a spectacular one-handed catch.

Red Bryant left the game with back spasms and Jermaine Kearse hurt his ankle but otherwise the Seahawks got out of this win unscathed. Michael Bennett continues to be Seattle's most productive free agent acquisition, netting a sack and a half. Clinton McDonald also had a sack and a half as Seattle's front line continues to get better. Christine Michael looked great in his first show of extended playing time as the Seahawks backfield amassed 156 yards on the ground.

Another tough test lies ahead this week as Seattle faces another playoff hopeful on the road against the Houston Texans, however, the Texans haven't looked as impressive as they were hyped up to be.  All three of Seattle's division opponents lost this week and it looks like we might be seeing the demise of the 49ers. Frank Gore got into an argument with coach Harbaugh over abandoning the run game too early, Kaepernick continues to fail to carry his team in big moments, star defensive end Aldon Smith will miss time as he enters rehab following his second DUI arrest and injuries are beginning to expose the lack of depth.  Seattle has to win these next two AFC South road games against playoff hopefuls to truly assert their dominance.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Take it Easy-- don't count on it!

While recording segments for this week's SeahawksFTW Weekly podcast, Adam and I got into a discussion
regarding what we should expect to see this Sunday when the Seahawks take on the Jaguars at the CLink. Paraphrasing, Adam said something to the effect of "Pete's not going to run up the score on Gus.  They have too much respect for him."  I was, to say the least, a bit taken aback.

I retorted, "Are you trying to tell me that the man whose mantra is 'Always Compete' is going to coast through this game because an ol' buddy of his is now across the sidelines?!"

Since then, Adam has softened his stance a bit, but I've heard more than one local radio analyst make similar comments.  Now, don't get me wrong, I know that Pete isn't the only member of the Seahawks organization with tremendous respect for the first-year head coach of the Jags, Gus Bradley-- but I absolutely refuse to believe that they'll modify their game plan in any way as a gesture of respect.

Sure, I doubt we'll see them go for two unnecessarily. It's safe to say they probably wont go for it on 4th down unless they absolutely have to.  Perhaps we might even see backups get some time or questionable injuries held out to err on the side of caution-- but believe me, they will do their best to win on every single play.

From what we know from Coach Bradley's time here-- that's exactly how he'd want it to be.

Let's be real, even if Seattle win's 62-0, losing to a championship caliber team in Seattle isn't nearly as embarrassing as losing to the perpetually awful Raiders. I think it's safe to say that the Seahawks will cover the 20 point spread-- even if the backups see extending playing time.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Seahawks Capture Win before loudest fans on Earth

It was far and away the most anticipated regular season Seahawks game in the almost 40-year history of the team and we could not have asked for better results.  Most people assumed that, if the Seahawks were to win, it would look more like last week's victory over the Panthers than last year's lopsided victory over San Francisco at home-- but most analysts were so enamored with the 49ers win over Green Bay last week, they assumed there was no way Seattle could top them.

Boy, were they sadly mistaken.

In front of a national audience and representatives from Guinness World Records, the Seahawks established themselves as the most complete team in the NFL.  They put up 29 points to the Niners 3 on the back of Marshawn Lynch, but it wasn't the offense that won this game for them.  Seattle's defense, lead by the the Legion of Boom, fed off of the record-breaking crowd noise to accomplish what no other team in the league can: contain Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick, who is now 0-2 in games started against the Seahawks, was once again flustered and inconsistent.  The 49ers quarterback was responsible for 4 turnovers, 3 interceptions and a fumble, never seeming to find an open receiver.
The same guy that Ron Jaworski and Mike Greenberg were touting as the future greatest quarterback who ever lived looked a lot more like Mark Sanchez than he did Peyton Manning. When the game is put on Kaepernick's shoulders, he seems unable to win the game for his team.

The Seahawks offense again struggled to fire on all cylinders, but were able to lean on one specific facet of their offense when the others weren't effective. Last week, it was the run game that couldn't get going.  This week, it was the pass game-- but that's what makes this team so special.  They will find a way to beat you.

The team certainly did their part, but the game ball has to go to the 12th Man last night.  Seattle's fans were able to set the record for the loudest crowd noise in spite of an hour-long delay due to lightning. Despite the obvious body language and the tightest huddles I've ever seen, the 49ers continue to deny the impact the crowd noise has on them every time they come here. But as Richard Sherman says, "We keep putting it on tape!"

Marshawn Lynch was in full Beastmode last night, amassing 135 all-purpose yards and scoring all three of Seattle's touchdowns.  Russell Wilson was never able to get much going in the pass game and threw an interception when Golden Tate fell down on a deep route, but you have to be impressed with the maturity with which he carried himself all game long.  Wilson took a beating last night as the 49ers implemented the very same 'hit-the-quarterback-if-he-becomes-a-runner' game plan Jim Harbaugh bitched about the Packers running. There were a couple plays that bordered on unsportsmanlike conduct, but Russell stayed cool and took it like a champ. 

There was some bad news that came out of last nights game-- Russell Okung left the game early with an apparent ankle injury and did not return. Paul McQuistan filled in admirably, but losing your Pro Bowl left tackle is always a tremendous concern. Outside of that, there did not seem to be any significant injuries on the Seahawks side, which is a huge accomplishment given how physical these two teams always play-- especially against each other.

We can't talk about last nights game without giving all the credit in the world to Seattle's defense.  3 Points-- that's all they allowed one of the most dangerous offenses in the league to put up on them.  Cliff Avril was spectacular in his Seahawks debut, racking up a sack, forced a fumble and never let Kaepernick get comfortable.  The Seahawks other free agent acquisition, Michael Bennett, was every bit as dominant himself. No matter where they lined him up, inside or out, Bennett was wreaking havoc all over. The three active members of the Legion of Boom, Chancellor, Thomas and Sherman all had clutch interceptions last night.  It's almost crazy to think that this team is only going to get better when Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin and Brandon Browner get healthy and back on the field.

Relish this week, 12s.  This was an incredible victory over a tough team and our path to the Super Bowl is starting to look a lot more realistic than even we had previously imagined.  

Seahawks 29
49ers          3

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SeahawksFTW Weekly #1

We're proud to introduce a brand new feature to called "SeahawksFTW Weekly". This is a sports radio-themed podcast that we will bring you every week of the Seahawks season to recap the Seahawks performance, review scores around the league and preview the upcoming Seahawks opponents.

In the debut edition, we interview Bryan Hersh from for the 49ers fan perspective of Sunday night's game. We invite you to share this with all of your friends and look forward to having you on board for what is shaping up to be a really cool venture.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Seahawks squeak by: Seattle 12 Carolina 7

Every fan of every team would love to kick their season off with the win, perhaps even more so on the road, but this particular road victory left a bad taste in my mouth.

I wish I could point to one thing specifically, but it wasn't just one thing.  Seattle may have won this game, but this was not a performance indicative of a Super Bowl hopeful.  The mental mistakes and boneheaded penalties from the preseason carried over into this game. They were able to hang in there and overcome those things to get the win-- which was great to see, especially on the road. However, if you're going to hold your team to championship standards, you can't be content with the way the Seahawks played altogether.

First and foremost-- the offensive line played horribly. They couldn't open any lanes for Marshawn Lynch and they left Russell Wilson scrambling for his life throughout the game.  James Carpenter looked awful in particular and I expected so much more given the fact that there were no rookies starting up front for the first time in years. Carolina played well up front, but Seattle should not have been overwhelmed by this group as much as they were. Tom Cable needs to get this group right before the home opener when they'll face an elite defensive front.

Lynch only carried the ball 17 times for 43 yards yesterday as it seemed Carroll has turned away from the run-first mentality that we all assumed this team would live by this season.  Robert Turbin had a great change-of-direction run for 15 yards late in the game but Seattle by in large put the game on Wilson's right arm. 

Dan Quinn's defense looked soft.  In his debut, taking over for Gus Bradley as the defensive coordinator, Seattle had little pass rush and gave up the middle of the field to Carolina for most of the game.  They did manage to hold Cam Newton to a paltry 125 yards passing but part of that can be attributed to the Panthers applying the brakes once they had the lead.  Despite getting Brandon Mebane and Tony McDaniel back, Seattle still gave up 125 yards rushing to the Panthers.

Still, there were some bright spots worth noting. I thought Wilson and the receiver group played tremendously. Doug Baldwin played with the reliability of Bobby Engram, coming up just nine yards short of a 100 yard game, grabbing 7 catches.  Jermaine Kearse continued the spectacular playmaking we saw in the preseason, making an incredible 43 yard grab for Seattle's only touchdown-- the first touchdown of his career.

Russell Wilson was brilliant despite the deficiencies of his line and run game.  Wilson completed 75% of his passes en route to his first regular season 300+ yard performance of his young career.  The Panthers knocked Wilson around all game but he still managed to keep a cool head.  If not for a sack fumble just before the half-- Wilson would've played mistake free.

Much like last season's match up in Carolina, Seattle's defense played stout when the game was on the line.  Carolina had a chance to win the game at the end but Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman were able to separate the ball from DeAngelo Williams in the red zone, effectively sealing the victory.

Seattle needed this win to get their season off to the start that their expectations demand.  They absolutely need to shore up these problems before they take the field this Sunday for their home opener against the defending NFC Champions.  The 12th Man will certainly lend a hand but this team needs to establish a significantly more dominant rushing attack and do a much better job keeping their quarterback protected.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Opponent Preview: Carolina Panthers

The most anticipated Seahawks season of all-time will kick off in just 4 days with Russell Wilson and company heading into Charlotte to face the Panthers. The two teams met early last season in Carolina, with the Seahawks narrowly escaping with a 16-12 victory due largely in part to Seattle's defense. Wilson was still a few weeks away from really hitting his stride while Cam Newton continued the struggles that would plague him all season long.

Newton is arguably the best player on the Panthers roster.  After an incredible rookie season, Newton experienced a surprising sophomore slump last year. Physically, Newton is Russel Wilson in a linebacker's body.  Mentally, there are a lot of question marks in his game. Newton came to a talent-poor Panthers team having never really experienced failure or losing before. I think that may have worn on him but he looks primed to rebound from last season and should not be overlooked.

Despite having a backfield robust with capable running backs, Newton was the Panthers leading rusher last season.  If they don't figure out a way to make better use of DeAngelo Williams and recently drafted Kenjon Barner-- head coach Ron Rivera will soon be unemployed.

There is still a shortage of quality weapons at Newton's disposal.  Ol' reliable Steve Smith may have lost a step or two but he still gives 100% on every play-- and is almost certain to get after it with Richard Sherman on Sunday both verbally and physically.

The Panthers defense is anchored by veteran linebacker, Jon Beason, but Luke Kuechly has emerged as the future star.  I had high hopes that the Seahawks would draft Kuechly to replace Lofa Tatupu, but I have been nothing but satisfied by the performance of Bobby Wagner.  Carolina shored up their defensive line in the draft, taking a pair of defensive tackles with their first two picks-- Star Lotulelei (no relation to our John Lotulelei) and Kawann Short.  They also added former Seahawk, Colin Cole, to that mix.

By no means is Carolina a powerhouse-- I don't think they'll fare much better than 8-8 this season. They are a young team with talent trying to piece it all together.  Unfortunately for them, they play in the same division as Atlanta, New Orleans and another team on the rise in Tampa Bay.  I certainly expect Seattle to come away with a win this weekend, but I don't believe it will be an easy one.  It shouldn't be a close game but I think it will take a few series before Seattle comes close to establishing the rhythm that carried them deep into the playoffs last year.  While this is another 'dreaded, east coast 10:00 AM start' game-- it's also the first game of the season, which bodes well for Seattle.

Monday, September 2, 2013

No surprise that I'm surprised by Seahawks cuts

Saturday afternoon, the 32 teams that make up the NFL were compliant in cutting their rosters down to 53 players by the imposed deadline. The Seahawks had some difficult decision to make given their wealth of talent but there were some surprising moves made, nonetheless. Before we go into further detail on specific moves, lets take a look at all of the moves Seattle made to get their roster ready for the regular season.

Quarterbacks: QB Brady Quinn
Running Backs: FB Michael Robinson
Wide Receivers:  WR Phil Bates, WR Bryan Walters, WR Arceto Clark and WR Chris Harper
Tight Ends:   TE Darren Fells, TE Cooper Helfet and TE Sean McGrath
Offensive Linemen: G Ryan Seymour, G Jared Smith and G Rishaw Johnson
Defensive Linemen: DT Michael Brooks, DT Dewayne Cherrington, DT Jaye Howard, DT Sealver Siliga and DT Clinton McDonald
Linebackers: LB Ty Powell
Defensive Backs: DB DeShawn Shead, DB Winston Guy, DB Ron Parker and CB Antoine Winfield

It was no shock that Brady Quinn was released given the fact that Seattle generally only carries 2 quarterbacks on the roster in the regular season.  I'm confident he will find a new job with another team

Probably the biggest shock on this list was the termination of Michael Robinson's contract.  Granted, he was due $2.5 million, which is a lot for a fullback, but few teams value the fullback position quite like the Seahawks.  Since the beginning of camp, the Seahawks were looking internally for Robinson's replacement, even giving wide out Phil Bates a shot before cutting him.  Spencer Ware and Derrick Coleman are the two players vying for Robinson's duties but neither of them were very impressive this offseason.

Despite missing the past couple weeks with a virus of some sort, the only real knock on Robinson is his cap number.  My hope is that Seattle is able to bring Mike Rob back into the fold under a veteran minimum contract while sneaking Spencer Ware onto the practice squad.  If Seattle is unable to get him back this season, it will become the first area where Seattle has regressed from the season before.

It was a minor shock to see Seattle cut Antoine Winfield, seeing as how he was outplayed by Walter Thurmond, but it was fairly unexpected to see him elect to retire because of it.  I can understand how a Pro Bowl veteran like Winfield wouldn't want to be a backup player but he looked like he could still be a starter on several other teams. Maybe he'll stay near the phone this season in case of injury.

We can only deduce from Seattle's decision to only keep two tight ends on the roster that Zach Miller is fully healthy and ready to go.  Sure, offensive tackle Mike Person has had some reps this offseason at blocking tight end, but the only two pure tight ends on the roster are Miller and rookie Luke Willson.  Both Helfet and McGrath played admirably this preseason and I would've been comfortable keeping either of them.  With Willson's inexperience and Miller's injury history-- this move is more than unsettling to me.

The other surprise, to me anyway, was the Seahawks decision to cut Winston Guy.  I thought Guy outplayed Jeron Johnson this preseason and I had heard that Carroll and Schneider were really high on him.

Seattle continued to try to shore up the defensive line by trading Jacksonville for defensive lineman, D'Anthony Smith.  You can count on seeing a rotation of players on the defensive front for at least the first few games.  Hopefully the cream rises to the top.