Tag Archives: Kelcie McCray

CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks at Cardinals

The defense is in recovery mode after its marathon performance.

Bradley Sowell will miss a few weeks, and Thomas Rawls is close to returning. Quinton Jefferson was placed on IR.

The Seahawks’ offense hasn’t proven anything this season — and probably won’t until Rawls returns.

Some think the Seahawks need to try to acquire a cup o’ Joe at left tackle.

A trade for Thomas or Staley is not likely.

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CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks at Cardinals

Kam Chancellor likely will not play — plus other injury reports.

Kelcie McCray is ready to start again in place of Chancellor.

David Johnson is playing great for Arizona and is one of the key matchups.

An inside look at the Cardinals via Q&A with one of their beat writers.

The Cardinals’ pass rushers offer another test of Seattle’s developing O-line.

The secret to the strip sack: Aim for the elbow, Cliff Avril says.

The Seahawks have become the most effective blitzing team in the NFL.

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Did Kris Richard learn a key lesson?

atlanta-logoThe Seahawks hopefully learned a big defensive lesson in their narrow win over the Falcons: Don’t get too fancy.

While Kris Richard did a great job dialing up blitzes and putting pressure on Matt Ryan, who was sacked four times and hit 13, the one part of the game plan that nearly cost the Hawks was the Richard Sherman-Julio Jones matchup.

The big problem: The Hawks moved Sherman around too much and he sometimes ended up covering a tight end or some other receiver on the wrong side of the field. Whether they intended to or not, the Hawks looked to be playing a hybrid man-zone at times in the third quarter — and it was a total failure.

They should not have moved Sherman unless it was to shadow Jones — wherever Jones lined up. But they let the Falcons dictate their coverage, and it nearly cost them the game.

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Theme of the week: Experience matters

atlanta-logoPete Carroll spent a lot of his Monday press conference explaining Richard Sherman’s outburst during Seattle’s 26-24 win over Atlanta and breaking down the injury situation, but he offered some good analysis of his 4-1 football team as well.

Among the big points he made: Experience matters, and they missed Kam Chancellor; Kelcie McCray handled the criticism like a pro; Germain Ifedi had a rough game as he makes up for missed time; the pass protection is strong because of Russell Wilson’s development; and the running game just didn’t get the chances vs. Atlanta because the Seahawks had to rally in the fourth quarter.

Carroll said the 36-yard touchdown by Julio Jones that set Sherman off was a result of “just not being on the same page.”

“What was clear to me is that Kam is a big factor,” Carroll said. “We don’t see that stuff; I can’t remember another game when Kam was playing (where that happened). He has such a connection and skills at communicating and all that.

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Russell Wilson rallied the offense and the defense stood stout at the end as the Seahawks beat Matt Ryan and the Falcons 26-24.

Wilson pulled off his usual magic, proving once again he is one of the elite.

Earl Thomas played his best game of the season.

Cliff Avril’s big game helped his parents’ home country of Haiti.

Michael Bennett should be OK despite leaving the game with a knee injury, but Luke Willson’s status is unclear, pending tests.

Bennett was irate over the cut block by Jake Matthews that knocked him out.

Richard Sherman blew his top over blown coverages.

It seems as though Kelcie McCray – filling in for injured Kam Chancellor — was the culprit on the first blown coverage, missing a defensive call.

Sherman should have been called for pass interference on the Falcons’ final pass play. But he wasn’t. And that’s that.

Undeserved Pro Bowl spot should spell end of Kam in Seattle

Kam Chancellor during the fourth quarter against Denver (Getty)It will be a stunner if Kam Chancellor is with the Seahawks next year — his undeserved Pro Bowl spot almost surely sealed his exit from Seattle.

He obviously will use his fourth Pro Bowl election to try to bolster his argument that he should be paid more. Remember, he missed the first two games this season while trying to get a better contract, which is set to pay him $5.1 million in 2016 and $6.8 million in 2017. He quite obviously will try to do it again — and use his “reputation” Pro Bowl vote as proof.

General manager John Schneider already should be planning to trade Chancellor, but this will be the nail in that coffin.

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Special teams will win some games; St. Louis a good place to start

Stedman Bailey returns a punt 90 yards on a trick play vs. Jon Ryan and the SeahawksThe Seahawks’
special teams have always been good under Brian Schneider. Well, almost

They have had a little trouble against one team in one venue — and, of course, it happens to be the place where they start the season Sunday: St. Louis.

The Hawks have been beaten by Jeff Fisher’s and John Fassel’s special teams twice in the past three years, and you know Schneider and Pete Carroll are sick of it.

It’s probably no coincidence that the Seahawks added a special teams standout the week before they open the season in St. Louis. Ostensibly, Kelcie McCray is safety depth. But, it just so happens that he is one of the top special-teams guys in the NFL — which is why the Hawks had to send the Chiefs a fifth-round pick.

According to Pro Football Focus, McCray was the NFL’s best “vice” in 2014. (That’s the guy on the punt return team who hinders the gunner on the punting team.)

McCray joins a fully loaded special teams crew that Carroll strongly thinks has “a chance to be very, very good.”

Special guysThe Hawks lost two of their top teams guys, Malcolm Smith and Jeron Johnson, to free agency, but second-year players Kevin Pierre-Louis and Cassius Marsh were all over the place in the preseason and clearly are prepared to step in alongside mainstays Mike Morgan, DeShawn Shead, Brock Coyle, Derrick Coleman, Ricardo Lockette and Luke Willson.

“As the younger guys … elevated, you saw their impact. That’s KPL; that’s Cassius,” Carroll told 710 ESPN. “They had fantastic preseasons in adding to a core group that’s already pretty good.

“I don’t know if we’ll see it all in Game 1 or 2, or when it’s going to show, but over the long haul this is a really good special teams group.”

It’s appropriate that the Hawks open in St. Louis and Green Bay — special teams played key roles in two of their four games against the Rams and Packers last season.

Seattle’s teams were huge in the comeback win against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC title game. Punter Jon Ryan threw a touchdown pass to Garry Gilliam on a fake field goal, and Steven Hauschka and Chris Matthews teamed up on a pivotal onside kick with 2:07 left and Seattle trailing 19-14.

Of course, Seattle’s kicking teams lost the game in St. Louis. Russell Wilson became the first player in NFL history to throw for 300 yards and run for 100, but Seattle surrendered a 75-yard kickoff that set up one touchdown, got fooled on a punt return that went 90 yards for a TD and got burned on a fake punt late in the game that helped seal the Rams’ 28-26 win.

It was the second time the Hawks had been burned by Jeff Fisher and his special-teams coach, John Fassel, in St. Louis in three years. In a 19-13 win in 2012, Greg Zuerlein hit four field goals — including from 58 and 60 yards — and the Rams fooled the Hawks on a fake field goal as punter Johnny Hekker threw a 2-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola.

The Hawks quite obviously are aware of their failures in St. Louis, and they did all they could this year to make their kicking units even better than they have been.

The big addition, of course, was Tyler Lockett, who quickly proved this preseason that the Hawks’ return game is back in gear — like it was when Leon Washington was the main man from 2010 to 2012.

“With the addition of the return threat, we’re loaded,” Carroll said, “and we can win games on special teams.”

St. Louis would be a good place to start.

Carroll gives scouting report on McCray

Kelcie McCrayThe hot topic on Day 1 of Seattle’s prep for the season opener in St. Louis was the arrival of veterans Fred Jackson and Kelcie McCray.

Pete Carroll was stoked about the 34-year-old Jackson, saying “he’ll play a lot” against the Rams. Carroll really likes the 26-year-old McCray, too, but is not so sure he will be ready to play this week.

The Hawks sent the Chiefs a fifth-round pick for the 6-foot-1, 205-pound player because they didn’t want to go with first-year safeties. McCray, a fourth-year player, joins Earl Thomas, Dion Bailey, DeShawn Shead and Steve Terrell — all but Bailey played for the Hawks during their Super Bowl season last year.

“We’re ready to start Dion and go; he’s ready to play football,” Carroll said. “He had a good preseason and he’s ready to go. We wanted some depth with some experience, and the other kids were going to be first-year guys. We thought we needed a little bit more depth than that with some background.”

Carroll’s scouting report on McCray, as told to 710 ESPN: “Kelcie McCray is a really good-looking football player. He’s a terrific looking athlete. I’ve seen a ton of film on him. He’s active, he’s physical, he’s a featured special teams guy, which is always a good indicator of an overall general football ability of a guy. He’s a hitter. He moves well in space. He’s played strong safety and free safety back and forth. We’ve seen him in all kinds of situations, close to the line of scrimmage and in the middle. He’s very well-versed.”

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Hawks keep up the drama

Kelcie McCraySeattle’s two most interesting positions this summer have been running back and the secondary, and the Hawks sure kept the drama rolling with their first cuts to 53 on Saturday.

Among their moves, they placed Robert Turbin on season-ending IR and acquired safety Kelcie McCray from Kansas City.

The Turbin move was a bit of an about-face from the report Friday that the Hawks were set to waive the fourth-year back, who has a high ankle sprain. If they had waived him, they would have risked losing him but also would have had the chance to bring him back. They decided instead just to stash him on IR, meaning he will miss the season. He’s a free agent next year, and this certainly will impact the market for him and probably increase the likelihood that he stays in Seattle.

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