In my story today, at 5-10 and 200 pounds, Seattle Seahawks safety Chris Maragos doesn’t look like much. But since being activated Oct. 22 for the Cleveland game, the Wisconsin native has made the most of his opportunities, serving as a key special teams player and backing up Seattle’s best defensive player, Earl Thomas.
Maragos walked on at both Western Michigan and Wisconsin, where older brother Troy served as Bucky Badger. He eventually earned a scholarship his senior season as a tough, speedy free safety and was an honorable mention Big-10 selection and captain.
San Francisco signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent last year, and he spent some time on the active roster. Fans mistook him for kicker David Akers. The Niners released him during final roster cuts, and the Seahawks added him to the practice squad in the second week of the regular season.
“My whole career, there’s always been a little crack in the door, and I’ve always said I just want to kick the thing open,” Maragos said. “Wherever I can fit in, whatever I can do, I’m just trying to look for my opportunities to excel. And when they present themselves, you’ve got to be ready to take advantage of them.”
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Peter Yoon of ESPN Los Angeles is reporting that UCLA will announce the hiring of Jim Mora as their new head coach today.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com profiles Brandon Browner, who has steadily improved throughout this season.
More Farnsworth: He offers some notes from Friday’s practice.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks’ secondary is becoming a first rate unit.
ESPN’s Mike Sando predicts a 23-6 Seattle victory over the Rams. Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports ranks the top 10 college quarterbacks likely available in the draft this year. Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley and Robert Griffin III are his top three.
Kathleen Nelson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that quarterbacks Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley sat out of Friday’s practice for the Rams, with Tom Bradnstater taking the first-unit reps and Kellen Clemons just showing up for practice on Friday.
Clark Judge of CBS Sports talks to a league scout who calls the Rams the worst team he’s seen in years.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated takes a look at the playoff race with four weeks left.