Good morning. Happy new year.
I started the new year off right by not actually writing a story for today's paper. I don't expect the tradition to last.
Instead, our Don Ruiz wrote about the ever-shrinking strike zone in the NFL from a Seahawks' perspective. Following the Rob Gronkowski hit that ended his season, chatter began about adding a rule for hits to the knee or below.
Since the NFL already has such an emphasis on hits above the shoulders, options and tactics for hard-hitters like Kam Chancellor are changing.
Chancellor said his first move is to always try and clear his head and get his shoulder out front. Then, he's aiming for the sternum in order to deliver a blow but avoid a penalty.
To me, the most interesting comments in Don's story came from tight end Zach Miller. We always hear from defenders on tackling rule changes, but rarely from offensive players.
“I think it’s good that they’re trying to protect the head, but if they’re doing it at the cost of your knees, I don’t like that one bit,” Miller said. “… The knees should be off limits. If they need to take away some of the limitations on the head hits, I’d rather be hit in the head and have a concussion than blow out my knee and be out for an entire year.”
Retiring Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez told Monday Morning Quarterback the league should do something about receivers getting hit in the knees.
Chad Ochocinco said on Twitter the same thing Miller said, that he would rather be hit in the head.
> In case you missed it yesterday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was interviewed in Seattle on Tuesday by the Washington Redskins for their head coach opening. Schefter also reported that the Cleveland Browns will interview Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn today.
Here are the dates as they pertain to assistant coaches being allowed to interview while their team is still in the playoffs:
Jan. 5: Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the wild-card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the wild-card games.
Jan. 12: Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their wild-card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of divisional playoff games.
Jan. 26: An assistant coach whose team is participating in the Super Bowl and who has previously interviewed for another club's head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.
Pete Carroll said Monday he preferred assistant coach interviews took place this week, and that he was fully supportive of assistants pursuing head coaching jobs.
> Red Bryant is thankful to still be around in Seattle for such a successful regular season.
> One way or another, the Seahawks will face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in 2014.
> ESPN writes about the Seahawks' defense taking a fundamental turn the last five weeks.
> ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Percy Harvin avoided IR with an excellent workout Monday. That could explain the shift in what Pete Carroll was saying from morning to afternoon talks with the media that day.
> Monday Morning Quarterback wonders if the Packers can get playoff revenge against the 49ers.