Good morning. Yes, we’re finally here, with training camp beginning this morning at the VMAC for the Seattle Seahawks. My story today deals with the immense expectations facing this team, as Seattle heads into the 2013 season as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
But guiding Seattle through the hype is an experienced hand in Pete Carroll. As head coach at USC for a decade, Carroll won seven Pac-12 titles and two national championships, so he understands how to keep a team focused when the spotlight is on his players.
“This is an exciting young football team, and these guys are at a point where they have worked really hard to grow together and to establish the kind of makeup on the team that gives you a chance to do good things,” Carroll said during the team’s offseason program in May. “And coming off of last year, that is all a part of what’s going on.
“But with that also comes the responsibility to handle it well. Over the years I’ve seen what it takes to be consistently on top and to stay on top and to keep winning, and to endure all that goes along with that. It takes a giant commitment. Guys have to really be in it for the right reasons and to do things right.”
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Bill Branwell of Grantland completes his ranking of the Top 50 most valuable assets in the league, which includes Richard Sherman (No. 24), Earl Thomas (No. 23) and Russell Wilson (No. 2). A agree with what Branwell has to say about Thomas and Sherman here: “Earl Thomas moves like Richard Sherman talks, and I'm complimenting each of them in saying so. Thomas is already the best safety in football and he's just 24 years old, so if he stays healthy, we could very well be looking at a guy who is a lock for the Hall of Fame by 30. Sherman's upside isn't quite as high, and he's not quite as good as his world-class shit-talking might suggest (I remember that Falcons game, too), but he's a very good cornerback who fills in admirably in run support and who will have a cap hit of $600,000 this year and less than $700,000 next year. Both benefit from the presence of Pete Carroll, who is regarded as a wizard with defensive backs.
“If Thomas plays at this same level for four more seasons, he'll be Patrick Willis, who is as sure a bet for the Hall of Fame at 28 as anyone has been besides Tom Brady.”
Speaking of Sherman, he graces the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated, and is profiled by Lee Jenkins. Sherman tells Jenkins his constant jawing was all part of his plan to bring more attention to his team. “It’s part of a greater scheme to get some eyes, to grow the market, to grow Seattle,” he says. “Now people are paying attention, and they’ll probably be disappointed this year because I will be a lot more reserved.”
Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle offers five questions as the Seahawks begin training camp.
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com offers an inside look at what happened at the facility on Wednesday as players checked in for physicals.
Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times also previews the start of camp for Seattle.
Joe Fortenbaugh of the National Football Post takes a look at what happens to running backs the year after they have 300+ carries in a season. Marshawn Lynch was one of five running backs to go over 300 carries in 2012 with 315.
Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated has Seattle at No. 3 in his NFL preseason power rankings.
Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reports that former Seattle receiver Braylon Edwards has signed with the Jets again.
ESPN’s KC Joyner believes that Sidney Rice is an underrated WR prospect for fantasy leagues. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this. Joyner: “Last year, Rice obliterated rated cornerbacks. His 11.7 YPA versus that matchup caliber ranked second among qualifying wide receivers. Even more amazing is Rice's composite 11.1 YPA against red- and yellow-rated cornerbacks. Only one wide receiver posted a higher YPA mark in that category on at least 30 targets (Cecil Shorts). This trait already puts defensive teams at a huge disadvantage when facing Rice, and they will be even harder pressed to deal with him now that the Seahawks have added Percy Harvin to their receiving corps. If Seattle starts to pass the ball a bit more often this year, Rice could be a WR3 candidate who posts WR2 (and maybe even WR1) fantasy point totals.”
Actress Olivia Munn discusses her love of the Cowboys. (Yes, there's a picture)
Defensive end Austen Lane, now with Kansas City, describes what it was like to cut by Jacksonville earlier this season.