NFC West: Na\'Shan Goddard

Around the NFC West: Clinging to past

February, 4, 2010
2/04/10
8:28
AM ET
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch passes along thoughts on the comments Jack Youngblood made about the Rams on his radio show. Youngblood took issue with the team's decision to fire long-time trainer Jim Anderson. Youngblood: "Jim Anderson is probably the finest trainer in the National Football League. He’s there 26, 27 years. The most experienced man in the building. Think about that. The most experienced pro football man in the building. And he gets let go. Why? I know for a fact that there’s no trainer in the National Football League that gave himself to his football team, to his players, better than Jim Anderson did." With all due respect, Youngblood has been retired for 25 years and probably hasn't conducted an audit of current training staffs across the league. The Rams certainly aren't going to say anything negative about an outgoing employee who served the team diligently for many years, but it's clear the new regime felt it was time for fresh blood in a key role. These sorts of moves will draw criticism until the new Rams regime shows evidence things are heading in the right direction. The Rams have no present. Until then, the distant past will look preferable.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with former Rams running back Marshall Faulk, who says the Bears' offensive players had better report to camp in shape now that Mike Martz is their offensive coordinator. Faulk: "This will be eye-opening (for Jay Cutler). He'll never have as much on his plate as he’ll have. ... Last year, it looked like he was bored in the (Chicago) offense. A little frustrated. If he’s frustrated (under Martz), it'll not be because he’s bored."

Also from Thomas: catching up with former Rams defensive back Todd Lyght.

Shawntae Spencer of the 49ers answers questions from fans on the team's Web site. Does he get nervous playing against elite receivers? Spencer: "Nervous? No! I have nothing to lose, everything to gain. They’re the stars, I’m just me. That’s how I look at it. The matchups with guys like Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are usually for guys like Nate Clements or Walt Harris. It was kind of easier to dominate the No. 2 receiver in the past, but when I got a chance to go against the top receivers I embraced it."

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' are allowing offensive quality-control coach Shane Day to interview with the Bears for a job as quarterbacks coach under Mike Martz. That is pretty standard.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democract says it's unlikely the 49ers will acquire Donovan McNabb from the Eagles because too many things would have to fall into place. I have questioned whether the Eagles would trade McNabb. If McNabb is available, of course the 49ers should investigate.

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers have promoted Paraag Marathe to executive vice president of football and business operations. Maiocco: "In his new role, Marathe will continue to report directly to general manager Scot McCloughan on football matters. He will now also report to 49ers president and CEO Jed York on the business side of the organization. Marathe will work alongside the chief marketing officer when an individual is hired for that newly opened position." The 49ers have tweaked their front-office roles this offseason, parting with chief operating officer Andy Dolich and creating a new position for chief marketing officer.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at several players the 49ers might not consider drafting in 2010, including Alabama nose tackle Terrence Cody. Barrows: "He can be dominant at times and would be a big barrier between offensive players and Patrick Willis. But with Cody, you have to look at the cost-benefit ratio. How many snaps can you get from a guy who weighs 370 pounds? That question likely will push Cody to the bottom of the first round where a playoff team like the Chargers or Patriots will pounce."

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic draws comparisons between former USC teammates Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart. Bush: "I spoke to Matt when I first heard that Kurt Warner was retiring, and I told him, 'You know what? It's time to go to work now. All eyes will be on you, and it's time to go to work.' I know he's capable of being a starting quarterback, a great quarterback in this league because I've seen it firsthand. I know this is a different level, but I know he's more than ready."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says a 30-minute special on Kurt Warner's legacy will air on regional Arizona television before most likely making its way to the team Web site.

Also from Urban: Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald says nice things about Leinart on the Dan Patrick Show after Warner noted that it's tough to know how well Leinart will fare because the quarterback hasn't played much. Fitzgerald: "A lot of the experience Kurt is talking about (that Leinart didn’t get) is due to him. (Kurt) is a Hall of Fame player and Matt Leinart, having to back him up for so many years, it's made it difficult. It's not about Matt Leinart not being able to play. I just think it’s been how good Kurt’s been able to play. He really set the bar high."

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says former Seahawks Na'Shan Goddard and Marlon Favorite have surfaced at the Super Bowl as members of the Saints. Goddard played left tackle for the Seahawks in Mike Holmgren's final game as Seahawks head coach. The team had trouble running a play. That's no slam on Goddard, only a reflection of what can happen when a practice-squad player finds himself lining up against front-line talent in a game situation.

Earl Vaughan Jr. of the Fay Observer says Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry is having his high school jersey retired.

Where the Seahawks must improve

December, 2, 2009
12/02/09
8:18
PM ET
Seeing the Seahawks listed with the Bucs, Lions, Bills and Chiefs for having zero players among the leaders in Pro Bowl balloting affirmed the decline we have seen on the field.

The time is coming for the organization to acknowledge that the talent deficiencies aren't mostly a product of injuries.

Kevin Calabro of 710ESPN Seattle asked Tuesday where the team needs to begin its upgrade.

I pointed directly to the offensive line (answer begins 21 minutes into this audio file).

The Seahawks also need to think about finding their next quarterback. But fixing the offensive line is the surest way to restore a quarterback, develop a running game and take pressure off a defense.

Left tackle Walter Jones is either finished or nearing the end. It's time to draft the next long-term starter in that spot. It's time to decide whether to re-sign Chris Spencer at center. It's time to consider adding a veteran free agent with more staying power than the now-retired Mike Wahle. It's time to treat the offensive line the way management treated the receiver position last offseason: as priority No. 1.

Earlier: NFC West draft watch focusing on the big guys up front.

Catching up with the Seahawks' cut list

September, 10, 2009
9/10/09
11:12
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Seahawks Player Released on Cutdown Pos. Current Team Capacity
Brian Russell
DB Jaguars Active Roster
Marquis Floyd
DB Browns Active Roster
Kevin Hobbs
DB Lions Active Roster
Devin Moore
RB Seahawks Practice Squad
Jamar Adams
DB Seahawks Practice Squad
Mike Hass
WR Seahawks Practice Squad
Logan Payne
WR Seahawks Practice Squad
Baraka Atkins
DL -- --
Brian De La Puente
OL -- --
Brandon Coutu
K -- --
Dave Philistin
LB -- --
Jeff Rowe
QB -- --
David Kirtman
RB -- --
Courtney Greene
DB -- --
Nate Ness
DB -- --
Na'Shan Goddard
OL -- --
Andre Ramsey
OL -- --
William Robinson
OL -- --
Joe Newton
TE -- --
Jordan Kent
WR -- --
Courtney Taylor
WR -- --
Cory Withrow
OL -- --
D.D. Lewis
LB -- --

The tough decisions teams face in reducing their rosters to 53 players sometimes aren't so tough.

They were arguably tougher for the Seahawks than for other teams in the division.

Three of the players Seattle released on its initial cutdown to 53 players have joined active rosters elsewhere in the league. Aaron Francisco, cut by the Cardinals, and Phil Trautwein, cut by the Rams, are the only other initial NFC West castoffs to join active rosters for other teams.

Seattle's Brian Russell (Jaguars), Marquis Floyd (Browns) and Kevin Hobbs (Lions) currently reside on active rosters. The Seahawks re-signed to their practice squad running back Devin Moore, safety Jamar Adams, receiver Mike Hass and receiver Logan Payne.

The apparent drama at receiver left Jordan Kent and Courtney Taylor on the outside. Kent reached an injury settlement following his release. Taylor remains available. Neither player has eligibility for the practice squad.

Defensive lineman Baraka Atkins and kicker Brandon Coutu appeared close to earning roster spots. The Seahawks once thought Coutu might have trade value. That wasn't the case in the end.
Ex-Seahawks eligible for
practice squad
Pos.
Jamar Adams
DB
Brandon Coutu
K
Brian De La Puente
OL
Marquis Floyd
DB
Na'Shan Goddard
OL
Courtney Greene
DB
Mike Hass
WR
Devin Moore
RB
Nate Ness
DB
Joe Newton
TE
Logan Payne
WR
Dave Philistin
LB
Andre Ramsey
OL
William Robinson
OL
Jeff Rowe
QB

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


NFL teams can begin forming eight-man practice squads once released players clear waivers this afternoon.

The Seahawks faced tougher decisions on the reduction to 53 players because some of their young prospects, notably receivers Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent, had no remaining eligibility for the practice squad following an injury-plagued 2008 season.

Defensive end Baraka Atkins, cornerback Kevin Hobbs and fullback David Kirtman are also among the recently released Seattle players without eligibility for the practice squad. Receiver Mike Hass also caught some fans' attention.

The chart shows recently released Seattle players who remain eligible. Safety Jamar Adams, kicker Brandon Coutu, safety Courtney Greene, receiver Logan Payne and tight end Joe Newton could be among the candidates.

Seahawks: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
7:06
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Biggest surprise: Starting free safety Brian Russell, signed in 2007 after the Seahawks grew tired of assignment errors in the secondary, seemed to fend off a challenge from versatile backup Jordan Babineaux. That made Russell's release a surprise even though coach Jim Mora had said Babineaux would compete for the job in camp. The team went with Ben Obomanu as its fifth and final receiver, releasing Courtney Taylor and Jordan Kent. Rookie defensive linemen Nick Reed and Michael Bennett joined preseason surprise Derek Walker among 11 defensive linemen, prevailing at Baraka Atkins' expense -- a big surprise. Rookie seventh-rounder Cameron Morrah beat out Joe Newton as the third tight end. Veteran kicker Olindo Mare beat out second-year pro and 2008 draft choice Brandon Coutu in a close battle. The team cleared another spot by placing starting corner Marcus Trufant on the physically unable to perform list, helping corner Travis Fisher earn a spot among the initial roster. Keeping 11 defensive linemen meant keeping only six linebacker, costing versatile veteran D.D. Lewis a job.

No-brainers: The Seahawks also released safety Jamar Adams, guard Brian De La Puente, cornerback Marquis Floyd, tackle Na'Shan Goddard, safety Courtney Greene, receiver Mike Hass, cornerback Kevin Hobbs, fullback David Kirtman, running back Devin Moore, cornerback Nate Ness, tight end Joe Newton, receiver Logan Payne, linebacker Dave Philistin, tackle Andre Ramsey, tackle William Robinson, quarterback Jeff Rowe.

What's next: The Seahawks reduced to 52 players with these moves, but the team was expected to add veteran safety Lawyer Milloy for depth and experience.

Practice-squad report: Seahawks

August, 21, 2009
8/21/09
10:46
AM ET
Seahawks eligible for
practice squad
Pos. Perceived Status
Jamar Adams
DB
Bubble
Marquis Floyd
DB
Likely cut
Courtney Greene
DB
Likely cut
Michael Bennett
DL
Bubble
Nick Reed
DL
Bubble
Derek Walker
DL
Likely cut
Kevin Brown
DL
Likely cut
Red Bryant
DL
Keeper
Aaron Curry
LB
Keeper
Dave Philistin
LB
Likely cut
Shane Simmons
LB
Likely cut
Max Unger
OL
Keeper
Mansfield Wrotto
OL
Keeper
Na'Shan Goddard
OL
Likely cut
Andre Ramsey
OL
Likely cut
William Robinson
OL
Likely cut
Kyle Williams
OL
Bubble
Jeff Rowe
QB
Likely cut
Mike Teel
QB
Keeper
Dan Curran
RB
Likely cut
Devin Moore
RB
Likely cut
Brandon Coutu
ST
Bubble
Cameron Morrah
TE
Bubble
Joe Newton
TE
Bubble
John Tereshinski
TE
Likely cut
Michael Bumpus
WR
Bubble
Deon Butler
WR
Keeper
Mike Hass
WR
Bubble
Logan Payne
WR
Bubble

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The race among Seahawks receivers for the last couple roster spots features high stakes.

Contenders Jordan Kent, Ben Obomanu and Courtney Taylor are no longer eligible for the practice squad. One or two of them could be finished in Seattle, at least for now, if they fail to earn spots on the initial -- not even close to final -- 53-man roster.

Kent and Taylor each were active for at least nine games last season -- Obomanu was active for 12 in 2007 -- as the Seahawks worked through catastrophic injuries at the position. That made each receiver ineligible for future practice squads.

Deon Butler, Mike Hass, Logan Payne and Michael Bumpus are the current Seattle receivers with eligibility remaining. Butler is expected to emerge from camp as the fourth receiver behind T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch and Nate Burleson.

The chart shows all 29 current Seahawks players with eligibility, arranged by position.

NFL teams must reduce rosters from 80 to 75 players Sept. 1. They must reduce to 53 players Sept. 5. They can begin forming eight-man practice squads Sept. 6 at noon ET.

As the NFL puts it:

After 12 noon, New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free-agency credit or who were on the 45-player active list for less than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season(s).
A player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons.

The situation at tight end remains quite competitive, with Joe Newton and Cameron Morrah likely competing for one roster spot behind John Carlson and John Owens.

The Seahawks face tough decisions on the defensive line, with Nick Reed and Michael Bennett fighting for spots on the 53-man roster. Baraka Atkins is not eligible for the practice squad after playing 12 games as a rookie in 2007 and nine more last season.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks have a few tough decisions to make before reducing their roster to 53 players in less than three weeks.

The final spot or two at receiver remain unsettled. I see at least 10 defensive linemen worth keeping, but perhaps no more than eight offensive linemen. The final spots at all three general positions on defense -- line, linebackers and secondary -- could spur debate.

The Seahawks aren't even certain which kicker will earn a roster spot, opening possible trade scenarios for teams with needs at the position.

Seattle Seahawks
Week 1 Roster
Counts since 2003
QB RB WR TE OL DL LB DB ST
Fewest 2 5 4
3 8 8 6 7 3
Most 3 6 7 4 9 10 8 8 4
Average 2.8 5.3 5.3 3.2 8.8 9.3 7.0 7.8 3.2
Currently on roster
4
8 10 5 14 13 9 13 4

The chart provides a framework for how many players the Seahawks might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Rams.

Here's a quick look at which Seahawks players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players:

(Read full post)

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks finished their morning practice and the players were given a welcomed afternoon off, with the Sunday evening session being canceled.

The new coaching staff is working players harder this summer. Practices have been more physical, even if they aren't approaching what the Rams and 49ers are doing contact-wise. That was to be expected with a new staff taking over.

I'll have an in-depth Camp Confidential on the site Monday, consistent with the ones addressing the 49ers and Cardinals recently. Then it's off to St. Louis for a few days with the Rams.

A couple of notes from practice Sunday morning:

  • Receiver Deion Branch seemed to have benefited from resting his surgically repaired knee for a few days. He appeared natural and uninhibited in his movements. At one point, Branch bounced hard from left to right on both legs while juking a defender. Another time, he beat the coverage for a long touchdown pass up the left sideline.
  • No one can say what rookie Aaron Curry's contract will be worth. It's the nature of rookie deals. Teams seek protections in case the player disappoints. Players seek guarantees and a chance to maximize their value if they play well. The variance built into Curry's deal could conceivably be as much as $20 million depending on personal and team success.
  • Receiver Jordan Kent stood out in practice. He seems to make strides each summer as he learns to play a sport that wasn't his sole focus athletically before the NFL. Kent, a 6-foot-4 former long jumper, caught the ball at its highest point a couple of times Sunday. Too often in the past, Kent hasn't always used his height to full effect.
  • Cory Redding was back at practice after a couple days of rest. The team gave Pro Bowl linebacker Lofa Tatupu the day off.
  • Players sometimes go at different speeds when they practice without pads, particularly in pass-rush drills. Defensive end Lawrence Jackson came after tackle Na'Shan Goddard after Goddard decked him during the drill. Teammates broke it up.
  • Still no sight of Walter Jones or Marcus Trufant on the practice field. Both have suffered from back issues.
Seahawks OL
Pos. Age
Status
Chris Gray G 38
UFA
Walter Jones
LT 35 Signed
Steve McKinney C 33
UFA
Mike Wahle LG 31
Signed
Floyd Womack
G 30
UFA
Sean Locklear RT 27
Signed
Chris Spencer
C 26
Signed
Ray Willis RT 26
Signed
Na'Shan Goddard T 25
Signed
Rob Sims RG 25
Signed
Steve Vallos C 25
Signed
Kyle Williams T 24
Signed
Mansfield Wrotto
G 24
Signed
William Robinson
T 24
Signed

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks' ability to bring back Ray Willis on a two-year deal significantly upgrades their depth at two and possibly three positions on the offensive line.

Willis appeared likely to find a starting job elsewhere when free agency opened. The Redskins liked him. They considered adding him as their starting right tackle. The money apparently didn't line up with Willis' expectations, which was a break for Seattle.

Willis has starting experience at right guard and right tackle. His presence buys security for the Seahawks on multiple fronts.

If left tackle Walter Jones experiences additional knee trouble, Sea
ttle could move right tackle Sean Locklear to the left side, with Willis stepping in at right tackle. If Rob Sims or the currently unsigned Floyd Womack isn't the answer at right guard, Willis can help at that position as well.

Inactive list features star power

December, 7, 2008
12/07/08
2:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SEATTLE -- Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones join the Patriots' Ty Warren on the list of players named inactive for the Patriots-Seahawks game.

Seattle inactives: Hasselbeck, Jones, kicker Brandon Coutu, safety C.J. Wallace, linebacker Leroy Hill, tackle Na'Shan Goddard, defensive tackle Red Bryant and defensive end Brandon Miller.

New England inactives: Warren, receiver Kelley Washington, linebacker Vince Redd, linebacker Pierre Woods, tackle Wesley Britt, guard Billy Yates, tight end David Thomas. Matt Gutierrez is the third quarterback.

Hasselbeck is suiting up as the third quarterback behind Seneca Wallace and Charlie Frye. If Hasselbeck plays, Wallace and Frye cannot return to the game.

With Jones out, Seattle's offensive line looks like this, left to right: Sean Locklear, Floyd Womack, Steve Vallos, Mansfield Wrotto and Ray Willis. The projected starters this season, left to right: Jones, Mike Wahle, Chris Spencer, Rob Sims and Locklear. Mansfield is making his first NFL start. Veteran center Steve McKinney, signed during the week, is active.

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