CHAWK LINES -- Week in review

The Seahawks are already snooping around pre-released free agents. Ricky Jean Francois got everyone excited, but then he signed with Scot McCloughan — the man who drafted him in San Francisco.

There are a bunch of veteran defensive linemen already available, and we agree with Danny Kelly: The Seahawks are likely to explore that market closely.

Earl Thomas had his torn labrum repaired, and Tharold Simon apparently had shoulder surgery this week as well.

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Hawks need to ‘find a way’ to keep Mebane?

Brandon Mebane and Zach Miller ( Mebane apparently is in danger of being cut.

On 710 ESPN, John Clayton said, “I think they’d like to find a way to be able to keep him.”

That’s both ominous and surprising.

It’s hard to imagine the Hawks parting with Mebane, especially with so few in-house options at nose tackle. He was playing some of his best football before suffering a torn hamstring in November and being place on injured reserve.

Mebane, 30, is slated to make $5.5 million in the final year of his deal. Clayton thinks he is in line for a pay cut like tight end Zach Miller took last year, when he reduced his 2014 pay from $6 million to $2.88 million and his 2015 pay from $5 million to $3 million.

Of course, the difference is: This is the final year of Mebane’s contract. So they either would be asking him to take a pure pay cut or they could extend his deal by a couple of years. The pay cut does not really make sense, but Clayton thinks the Hawks think so.

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Is Blackmon the solution to Hawks’ CB conundrum?

Will BlackmonThe solution to the Seahawks’ depth problem at cornerback might just have arrived — courtesy of former Seattle DC Gus Bradley.

Two years after the Hawks let cornerback Will Blackmon go and Bradley swept him up in Jacksonville, Bradley might have returned the favor Thursday by releasing Blackmon.

The Hawks are hurtin’ for certain at the position this offseason, with Jeremy Lane dealing with a broken wrist and torn ACL, Richard Sherman healing up a torn ligament in his elbow, Tharold Simon possibly facing shoulder surgery and Byron Maxwell poised to leave March 10 when some team (possibly Jacksonville) offers him a monster contract.

That leaves all of one guy healthy: Marcus Burley.

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The return games were pathetic, but free agents aren’t the answer

Bryan WaltersWithout a doubt, the worst part of the Seahawks last season was the return game — which is why many fans are taking notice every time a team cuts a return specialist these days.

In the last few days, Ted Ginn Jr., Jacoby Jones and Reggie Bush have been cut, but Seattle fans shouldn’t get too excited about any of them. The Hawks can do better.

They certainly need to.

In 2014, they ranked 30th in kickoff returns, at just 21 yards per attempt. And they were 25th on punts, at seven yards.

It was the most pathetic combined return performance by a Seattle team since the 2005 unit, which averaged 27.8 total yards behind kick returner Josh Scobey and punt returner Jimmy Williams and coincidentally also lost the Super Bowl.

You know you are horrible when (a) Bryan “Wave It Off” Walters is your best return guy, (b) it’s a victory just to hold on to the ball and (c) a touchback is typically your best kick return.

Continue reading The return games were pathetic, but free agents aren’t the answer

Bush/Carroll news is a good excuse to rip the NCAA one more time

Reggie Bush and Pete CarrollReggie Bush and Pete Carroll together again?

Don’t count on it. Bush, cut by the
Detroit Lions on Wednesday, is
going to be 30 in March, and the Hawks have no room for him in their backfield.

But the dual news surrounding the former USC duo (USC is giving Carroll an honorary degree in May) took us on a trip down memory lane — back to 2010, when Carroll came to Seattle and the NCAA’s good ol’ boys showed once again what a bunch of corrupt hypocrites they are.

One little sheep actually bleated for the Seahawks to fire Carroll in the wake of the NCAA’s vindictive and heavy-handed sanctions against USC. We laughed at that bozo, knowing the NCAA to be one of the most unethical organizations in America and any of its sycophants (like Mike Florio and Steve Sarkisian) to be mindless chuckleheads. We were too busy explaining why Carroll was not Dennis Erickson, despite the seeming similarities.

A few months later, we ripped the spineless fools — especially Sarkisian — who backed the farcical, two-faced, money-grubbing, oppressive establishment and blamed Bush for pulling back the curtain.

We were never USC fans, but the fact is Carroll, Bush and company dominated on the field like no other team in the 2000s. Carroll went 97-19, won two national titles and lost one he could have won.

The NCAA can do whatever it wants on paper (it vacated the 2004 title and all 12 wins in 2005), but it doesn’t change what really happened.

With two national titles and one Super Bowl title, Carroll has proven without a doubt that he is one of the great coaches of this era. (Just imagine if he had finished his two championship losses properly: five titles.)

And he clearly is a better human being than anyone who has ever been part of or supported the greedy, phony, spiteful, evil empire known as the NCAA.

USC obviously thinks so, or it wouldn’t be honoring him twice in two days in May. Good for USC.

Hawks love speed in first two rounds, so who are their top options?

Combine logoIf the Seahawks don’t go with big men with their first two draft picks, we have a good idea who their other top candidates will be — now that the Combine is finished.

The Seahawks love speed in the first two rounds. In 2010, it was Earl Thomas (4.43 in the 40) in the first round and Golden Tate (4.42) in the second. In 2012, they picked Bruce Irvin (4.50) in the first and Bobby Wagner (4.45) in the second. In 2013, they traded their first-rounder for Percy Harvin (4.41) and picked Christine Michael (4.43) in the second. And last year they traded out of the first and grabbed Paul Richardson (4.33) in the second.

The only non-speedsters the Hawks have taken in the first two rounds have been left tackle Russell Okung (first round, 2010), left guard James Carpenter (first, 2011) and right tackle Justin Britt (second, 2014).

You get the idea where the Hawks are looking with their top two picks: If it’s not an offensive (or perhaps defensive) lineman, it’s going to be a guy with wheels (i.e., sub-4.5 speed).

Continue reading Hawks love speed in first two rounds, so who are their top options?

CHAWK LINES -- Week in review

The Seahawks reportedly have offered Marshawn Lynch about $21 million over the next two seasons. Does he want to play though?

John Schneider and Pete Carroll both spoke at the Combine, about Lynch, the Super Bowl and the future.

Schneider revealed that Jeremy Lane suffered a torn ACL on the same interception play on which he also broke his wrist in the Super Bowl.

Among many topics, Carroll said they were working on hiring some assistant coaches at the Combine.

Speaking of Lynch, he had a good message for a crowd at an underground concert in Oakland on Thursday.

Russell Wilson also did some talking this week, taking the blame for the goal-line interception in the Super Bowl but reminding everyone that he is moving forward and thinking ahead, as always.

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Lynch controls the action, and his bosses know it

Super Bowl Carroll dumbfounded as Lynch walks pastPete Carroll and John Schneider have kowtowed to Marshawn Lynch for years, so why would anyone think they suddenly would take a tough-guy approach with him and set a drop-dead deadline for him to accept a new contract or declare that he will play in 2015?

Carroll and Schneider are not disciplinarians. They ask their players to do things; they never tell them.

In Lynch’s case, they have let him do whatever he wanted ever since they traded for him in 2010. He plays when he wants, he defies the NFL as he chooses and he grabs his junk whenever he is about to score. He has Carroll and Schneider by the balls, too.

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If NFL wants Hawks back in AFC, Paul Allen should make league pay for it

AFC West champsThe news that the Chargers and Raiders are working on a deal to move to Los Angeles together raised once again the specter of the Seahawks moving back to the AFC — and, if the NFL does come calling yet again, Paul Allen needs to make the league pay in a major way.

A few months after Field Gulls posited the idea of the ping-pong move, 12th Man Rising brought it up again Thursday after the Los Angeles Times reported the newest development in the saga to get an NFL team back in Los Angeles.

Continue reading If NFL wants Hawks back in AFC, Paul Allen should make league pay for it

With Lane out, here are some cornerback options

Jeremy Lane gets upended on an interception return in the first quarter, suffering a broken armWith the stunningly bad news that Jeremy Lane could miss the start of the season with a torn ACL, it is clear the Seahawks will sign at least one veteran cornerback in addition to drafting one or two.

Considering they have just three other cornerbacks — Richard Sherman, Tharold Simon and Marcus Burley — they have to add some bodies.

Continue reading With Lane out, here are some cornerback options