- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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SEATTLE -- A collection of links from a Seahawks perspective leading into Sunday's game:
1. Welker vs. Trufant the key. ESPN.com NFC West reporter Mike Sando teams up with ESPN.com AFC East reporter James Walker for a "Double Coverage" piece in which Sando highlights the matchup between Patriots receiver Wes Welker and Seahawks nickel back Marcus Trufant. " One key will be whether Brady can get the ball out to Welker quickly enough to avoid Seattle's pass-rushers. ... Welker leads the NFL with 24 receptions from the slot over the past three games. Seattle's opponents haven't gone after Trufant all that much, but St. Louis slot receiver Danny Amendola did give him some problems. Welker is a tough matchup for everyone and should be a tough one for the Seahawks."
2. Video -- Bradley on 'great challenge.' In a video on Seahawks.com, defensive coordinator Gus Bradley discusses the "great challenge" of facing the Patriots and how the coaching staff believes the defense is ready for it. He opens his news conference by rattling off some of the Patriots' impressive stats and later discusses how he expects the Patriots to try to lock them into a personnel group by playing a fast tempo, and seeing if the Seahawks get frustrated. Bradley notes it's hard to simulate that up-tempo approach in practice. He also makes another point of note: Given the amount of single-high safety the Seahawks play, they rely on their cornerbacks to hold up in one-on-one matchups on the outside.
3. Carroll's NFL comeback. Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times has Seahawks coach Pete Carroll reflecting on the time he was fired by the Patriots in 2000. Carroll took his family to Disney World at a time his coaching philosophy was about to take shape. "It is classically one of those deals where you get kicked in the tail and come back better," Carroll says in the piece. "I hate to learn the hard way. I like the other guys to learn the hard way. It did give me an opportunity to put something in motion that I'm really, really proud of."
4. Preparing for the up-tempo hurry-up. Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune writes on the Patriots' quick pace of play on offense, and how the Seahawks might defend it. "It just really challenges you mentally in getting lined up," safety Earl Thomas says. “When you watch on tape, a lot of their explosive plays just come on guys who really don’t have a clue of what they’re doing out there, like busted assignments. So we just try to eliminate that, and make sure we’re still playing fast, even though they’re going up-tempo on us."
5. Innovation on defense for Seahawks. Jerry Brewer, a columnist for the Seattle Times, writes on the Seahawks' defense and commends an outside-the-box approach. "The Seahawks have built the league's best defense with preposterous brilliance. They're so unconventional that they're ideal," Brewer opines. "...Patriots coach Bill Belichick is the greatest NFL defensive mastermind of his time, and even he is doing the trendy offensive thing, complete with a gimmicky no-huddle attack. This Seahawks defense is the epitome of Carroll's nonconformist virtue."
6. Video -- Bevell focuses on offensive improvement. In a video on Seahawks.com, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell notes that the Seahawks emphasized third-down improvement last week and felt good about the results (50 percent). Now the key is to finishing things off in the red zone, where the Seahawks rank last in the NFL in touchdown percentage.
7. Miller and Rice can't be overlooked. The Seahawks might be a run-first team with running back Marshawn Lynch and rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, but as columnist John Boyle of the Everett Herald points out, tight end Zach Miller and receiver Sidney Rice have been more productive of late in the passing game.
8. Browner -- from CFL to NFL elite. Cornerback Brandon Browner is the topic of an Associated Press piece, which notes his transition from the Calgary Stampeders to the Seattle Seahawks. Browner had an NFL-high 19 penalties last season, as his physical style of play epitomizes the way the Seahawks like to play.
9. Getting to know first-round pick Irvin. Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes on rookie defensive end Bruce Irvin, who made his mark with two sacks last Sunday, then reached out in the local community two days later.
10. Kennedy jersey retired at halftime. The Seahawks will retire the jersey of Pro Football Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy at halftime, as Sunday will be "Cortez Kennedy Day" in Seattle.
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