NFL Nation: Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
AM ET
Examining the Seattle Seahawks' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Whether or not to keep Pryor may be the most difficult decision the Seahawks have because keeping a third QB means they will have to cut someone else at another spot they would have kept. But Pryor may have done enough in his return to Oakland Friday night to earn the spot. He was 11 of 17 passing for 134 yards overall, including a 33-yard TD pass to cap an 87-yard drive at the end of the first half. B.J. Daniels also played well, leading the team on a 91-yard drive late in the fourth quarter and throwing a 7-yard TD pass to Bryan Walters.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

Michael didn't play Friday night because of a hamstring injury, but Turbin has done enough to earn the first backup spot behind Lynch. I don't think Spencer Ware has done enough to earn a spot at RB or FB. Rookie Demitrius Bronson ran well again Friday night and could end up on the practice squad.

FULLBACKS (1)

Coleman has played well as the starting FB and continues to improve his blocking skills. The other fullback is rookie Kiero Small (5-foot-8, 250 pounds), who could end up on the practice squad. Turbin can line up at FB if needed.

RECEIVERS (6)

Four of these spots are set -- Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse and Richardson, the rookie speedster from Colorado. But eight players are vying for the final two spots, or maybe just one. Kevin Norwood, a rookie from Alabama, had foot surgery and may be headed to a redshirt season on IR. Lockette and Walters are the likely candidates for the last two spots. Walters fumbled a kickoff return Friday, but he also had the TD catch from Daniels, along with a great catch on a 33-yard throw from Pryor. And Walters had five kickoff returns for 137 yards. He also returns punts. Lockette's 4.3 speed helps make him a excellent coverage guy on punts and kickoffs. Phil Bates looked good in training camp and helped himself with the 33-yard TD catch Friday, but it may not be enough.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

The question here is whether the Seahawks want to keep three tight ends. You would think on a team that relies on its power running game, that would be a given. However, the Seahawks often used OT Alvin Bailey as a tight end (or extra tackle) on running plays toward the end of last season. It looked like Helfet had the third TE spot locked down, but he injured his shoulder last week and didn't play Friday night. Undrafted rookie Rashaun Allen or rookie Morrell Presley could end up in the practice squad.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

All the decisions here are about which men will be the four backups. Any doubts about whether Britt could step in and start at RT as a rookie have been put to rest. Bailey and Jeanpierre probably are locked in so that leaves two available spots. One could go to the veteran Winston, who will cost the Seahawks $1 million, but he can give them quality snaps at either tackle spot. The other backup has to be a guard so it could come down to Stephen Schilling or Caylin Hauptmann. Last week I had Schilling, but now I think Hauptmann may get that backup guard spot. Schilling grew up in the Seattle area and was signed in the offseason. He has shown he also can play center. Hauptmann has a bit of a mean streak that offensive line coach Tom Cable loves. The coaches are high of rookie tackle Garry Gilliam, a quality athlete who also played tight end at Penn State. He may be headed to the practice squad.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

Really tough cut coming here. After outstanding play all preseason, Schofield has earned his spot as a nickel-package pass rusher. DE Benson Mayowa is on the bubble. Scruggs’ return after missing last season will help the depth because he can play defensive end or defensive tackle. The Seahawks are high on rookie defensive end Marsh, who will factor in in nickel packages. Rookie Jimmy Staten probably goes to the practice squad. Hill has his best preseason game Friday night, as did DT D'Anthony Smith, but someone has to go.

LINEBACKERS (7)

This comes done to what happens with Irvin, who hasn't been on the field yet this summer after undergoing hip surgery, but he is expected back next week. It's bad news for Korey Toomer if Irvin is ready to play. Coyle has been the biggest surprise at camp. He has started at MLB while Wagner was out with a hamstring injury and played pretty well. Backup MLB Heath Farwell is having groin surgery and is on IR, but his career may be over. Pierre-Louis is a super fast rookie who will contribute a lot on special teams this season if he's healthy. He injured his hamstring again Friday night.

CORNERBACKS (5)

It's probably down to Adams or Akeem Auguste for the fifth CB spot. Adams had good and bad moments Friday night, getting beat of a long TD pass. But he also deflecting a pass that DeShawn Shead returned fro a 54-yard pick six. Lane had a great game two weeks ago but has a groin injury. He'll start as the nickelback if he's healthy. Simon, who missed his rookie year last season with injuries, has impressed everyone with his athleticism.

SAFETIES (4)

Johnson has been solid all preseason and is the first backup at both safety spots. Shead is listed as a cornerback and played that spot Friday night at Oakland, but the team needs him more at the safety spots. Chancellor is back after offseason hip surgery. Thomas likely has won the job to also return punts. Terrance Parks could slide in here if the teams keeps another DB.

SPECIALISTS (3)

These spots are set unless an injury occurs.
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In the most meaningless of four meaningless games, the Seattle Seahawks gave up five touchdowns in an ugly first half, including four TD passes, to end the preseason with a 41-31 loss to the Oakland Raiders at the O.co Coliseum.

Mental mistakes and sloppy play characterized a game where many of the players on the field won’t be in a NFL uniform next week. The Seahawks played better in the second half, but it’s still not the way they wanted to head into the regular season against Green Bay on Sept. 4.

Here are some other thoughts on the Seahawks' final preseason game of the year.

Wilson a preseason wizard: Russell Wilson was the clear bright spot on a rough night for Seattle. He was 3-for-3 on the opening drive, including a 44-yard deep sideline completion to Jermaine Kearse and a 25-yard TD throw to tight end Luke Willson over the middle. In the first half of the final three preseason games, Wilson completed 27 of 33 passes for 372 yards and three TDs, along with three rushing TDs.

Pryor and Daniels state their case: Picking a possible third quarterback didn’t get any easier with Terrelle Pryor and B.J. Daniels both having a decent showing. Pryor led the team on an 87-yard, 10-play drive in the final two minutes of the first half, including a perfectly thrown 33-yard pass to Phil Bates in the end zone for the TD. It also was a meaningful play for Bates, who is trying to earn one of the final spots at wide receiver. Pryor also led the offense on a 10-play, 57-yard drive for a field goal in the second half. He was 11-of-17 passing for 134 yards and a 108.5 passer rating. But Daniels also shined, leading the team on a 91-yard, 8-play drive in the fourth quarter, including a 28-yard run and a 7-yard TD pass. He was 5-of-9 passing for 71 yards and a 118.3 QB rating. The only QB who didn’t play well was backup Tarvaris Jackson, who was 2-for-4 for 19 yards and was sacked once.

Big night for Walters: It started horribly for receiver Bryan Walters, who fumbled on a kickoff return. But he more than made up for it the rest of the night. Walters, who is on the bubble for making the team, had a nifty run for a 7-yard TD on a bubble screen. He had five kickoff returns for 137 yards and a great catch on a 33-yard pass from Pryor to keep a drive alive.

Mixed bag for Adams: Veteran cornerback Phillip Adams, playing against his former Oakland teammates, gave up two touchdown passes in the first quarter, but Adams also had six tackles and a pass deflection in the second quarter that DeShawn Shead intercepted and turned into a 54-yard pick-six.

Sloppy play: It’s typical for a final preseason game with so many backups on the field, but still disappointing for the Seahawks, who had 12 penalties for 95 yards. Many were careless mistakes, like being offsides on back-to-back kickoff attempts and having 12 men on the field on defense in the second quarter. Cornerback Akeem Auguste was flagged for unnecessary roughness with a late hit in the end zone after a TD catch. Rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson frustrated Jackson when Richardson didn’t know where to line up on one play.
Beast Mode and Bam Bam are on the list.

  Running back Marshawn Lynch and strong safety Kam Chancellor are the two Seattle Seahawks to appear Thursday on ESPN.com’s continuing countdown of the Top 100 offensive and defensive players in the NFL.

Lynch comes in at No. 14 on offense, and Chancellor is No. 16 on defense.

Lynch, 28, has been the heart and soul of the Seattle offense since he was acquired from the Buffalo Bills in 2010.

Since Lynch joined the Seahawks in Week 6 of 2010, he ranks second in the NFL in rushing yards (4,624), rushing touchdowns (41) and yards after contact (2,000), behind only Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson in each category.

Lynch epitomizes the hard-hitting, aggressive style of football that the Seahawks play. He is a virtual bulldozer of a running back, possibly the most physical runner since Earl Campbell in the 1970s.

Lynch is the workhorse of the team’s power-running offense. He has 901 carries over the past three seasons, rushing for more than 1,200 in each of those seasons.

But he became an overnight cult-hero to Seahawks fans with his 67-yard TD run in the Jan. 8, 2011 playoff game against New Orleans that came to be known as the Beast Quake. As Lynch was breaking tackle after tackle on the amazing run, the frenzied reaction from the crowd as CenturyLink Field caused a seismic event in downtown Seattle.

It’s fitting that Lynch and Chancellor appear on the countdown together because Chancellor conveys the physical presence on defense that Lynch brings to the offense.

Chancellor (6-3, 230) is widely regarded as the hardest hitter in the NFL. He has a highlight reel filled with bone-jarring tackles on receivers, running backs and even offensive linemen.

It’s his big hits that people remember, but Chancellor consistently makes tackles that stop drives and disrupt what offenses are trying to do.

Chancellor tied Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner for the team lead with 34 tackles in the three postseason games last season, but ESPN Stats & Information revealed it was the most tackles in the postseason by a defensive back since 2001.

The Seahawks now have 11 players on the countdown so far. The four other offensive players are center Max Unger (84), offensive tackle Russell Okung (65), receiver Percy Harvin (50) and quarterback Russell Wilson (26).

The five other defensive players listed are defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (94), outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (87), defensive end Cliff Avril (57), middle linebacker Wagner (41) and defensive end Michael Bennett (34).

W2W4: Seattle Seahawks

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
12:00
PM ET
The Seattle Seahawks (2-1) play the Oakland Raiders (1-2) in the final preseason game Thursday night at O.co Coliseum.

Three things to watch:

1. Terrelle Pryor – It’s possible Pryor will need to have a good game against his former teammates for the Seahawks to be convinced he’s worth a roster spot as the third quarterback. Pryor is expected to get a significant amount of playing time in the game, but the coaches also may want to take a good look at second-year quarterback B.J. Daniels, who has been with the team since the middle of last season, when Seattle picked him up off waivers from the 49ers.

2. Bubble guys – For some players, this is the most important game of their lives because it could be the last game of their career if they don’t find a way to stand out. Possibly the most competitive position battle for the Seahawks is at wide receiver, where 10 players still are vying for five or six spots. But it really comes down to six guys competing for one or two spots. Ricardo Lockette and Bryan Walters probably have the upper hand as quality special-teams contributors who have been with the team a while. But so has Phil Bates, whom the coaches have praised all preseason. The coaches also like Chris Matthews because of his size (6-foot-5, 220 pounds), but he needs a big game to move ahead of the others.

3. Beware of O.co – Not only is this the worst stadium in the NFL, it’s also the worst field, which is saying a lot considering the problems the Seahawks had on the Redskins’ field in the playoff game two seasons ago. Part of the field in Oakland is dirt from the infield for the A’s games. It’s an injury waiting to happen, which is a good reason not to play many of the starters, or to play them as little as possible.
RENTON, Wash. -- Quarterback Russell Wilson is the ninth player for the Seattle Seahawks to make ESPN.com's countdown of the top 100 offensive and defensive players, coming in at No. 26.

Wilson moved up 21 spots from his 2013 ranking, which one would expect after leading his team to a Super Bowl victory in only his second NFL season.

And he would garner a better ranking if not for the unfair perception by some people that he is only a game manager, sort of a point guard on the field who gets the ball to the right people and rarely makes a mistake.

Wilson certainly does those things, but he is also a pin-point accurate passer with a strong arm and is a dangerous runner who makes things happen with his ability to avoid pass-rushers.

ESPN Stats & Information shows Wilson was fourth in the NFL last season in yards per pass attempt at 8.3, and had the most scrambling yards at 434.

Few quarterbacks in NFL history has accomplished as much as Wilson in their first two seasons. His 24 victories are the most in league history for a quarterback's first two seasons. His .750 regular-season winning percentage (24-8) is second best among all active QBs. Only New England's Tom Brady is better with a .775 winning percentage (148-43).

Wilson is the fourth offensive Seahawk on the ESPN.com countdown, joining center Max Unger (84), offensive tackle Russell Okung (65) and receiver Percy Harvin (50).

The five defensive players listed so far are defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (94), outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (87), defensive end Cliff Avril (57), middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (41) and defensive end Michael Bennett (34).
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RENTON, Wash. -- If you were to name a half dozen NFL teams that play it old-school in practice by getting rough and rowdy at risk to players, the Seattle Seahawks would not be one of them.

That's why it's surprising to learn the Seahawks are being fined and are losing two 2015 minicamp practice sessions for violating the no-contact rules in offseason workouts. The combined total of the fines for the franchise and coach Pete Carroll exceed $300,000, sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

The Seahawks are as cautious as any team in the league when it comes to protecting injured players and limiting their time on the field until they are fully recovered.

Receiver Percy Harvin might be the best example of that. The Seahawks took every precaution last season until they were convinced Harvin was in no danger of damaging his surgically repaired hip. He played in only one regular-season game.

The team also usually ends its practice sessions earlier than the time allowed by the league, but a practice session in June got out of hand and the team has paid a heavy price.

The Seahawks did not address the issue Tuesday. Carroll is expected to talk to reporters following Wednesday's walk-through practice.

The fine is a result of excessive contact from a mandatory veteran's minicamp practice session June 18 when cornerback Richard Sherman and wide receiver Phil Bates were involved in a fight.

It isn't the fight that caused the fine. It's the contact in drills that led up to the fight. The violation was for permitting the players to engage in excessive levels of on-field physical contact.

The 2011 collective bargaining agreement bans physical contact between players during the offseason. Specifically, the rule states: "There will be no contact work (e.g., "live" blocking, tackling, pass-rushing, bump-and-run) or use of pads (helmets permitted) at minicamps."

The fight was the headline of the day, but not the main violation. Both Sherman and Bates landed blows to the other's head. Neither player was injured. Obviously, coaches can't control whether a fight breaks out. That's not the issue.

The altercation began one play earlier when receiver Bryan Walters made a diving catch on the sidelines while being closely covered by free safety Earl Thomas, who fell over the top of Walters after the play.

Walters injured his right shoulder and was in obvious pain on the sideline. Receiver Doug Baldwin was clearly angry, believing Thomas had landed on Walters in the no-tackling scrimmage.

Sherman was playing press coverage on Bates the next play. They grabbed each other at the snap, and neither man let go. Sherman ripped off Bates' helmet and punches flew before Sherman also lost his helmet.

Moments later, Carroll briefly halted practice and called everyone to the middle of the field.

"He just told us we needed to regain our focus and remember why we're out here," middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said afterward. "Things got a little out of hand, but it was a lot of fun. I loved it. It felt like a game out there. And I felt like the defense won.”

The NFL later requested tapes of the practice session to determine if a violation occurred. The Seahawks appealed the penalty and lost.

It's the second time in the past two years the Seahawks have been penalized for violating offseason contact rules.

While the fine may seem excessive, the financial loss isn't the biggest problem for the Seahawks. Losing two days of practice sessions in next summer's minicamp is a big deal to the coaches.

The team will have a single practice session on the final day of minicamp. The players still will be paid for the canceled practice sessions.

In an era where every precaution is taken to protect players' safety, the NFL is sending a clear message here, not just to the Seahawks, but to every team. Excessive contact will not be tolerated.
Most significant move Tuesday: Nothing surprising on the seven moves Tuesday to get to the 75-player limit after making eight roster moves Monday. However, moving rookie defensive back Eric Pinkins to the reserve/non-football injury list means the Seahawks could bring Pinkins back after the sixth week of the regular season. Pinkins (6-foot-3, 220) was a sixth-round draft pick from San Diego State. He played safety in college, but the Seahawks coaches want to convert him to a cornerback.

Vets to IR: Of the three players placed on injured reserve, cornerback A.J. Jefferson was a bit of a surprise. Being on the IR list means a player is done for the year. Jefferson had an exceptional game in the preseason opener at Denver, but suffered a high-ankle sprain. Now the question is, do the Seahawks want to keep him around all year or just reach an injury settlement? That’s likely the plan for guard C.J. Davis, who went on IR Tuesday. MLB and special-teams captain Heath Farwell probably will have surgery to repair a groin injury he suffered Friday night against the Bears.

Seahawks moves Tuesday: Waived/injured are DT Michael Brooks, WR David Gilreath and LB Horace Miller. Placed on injured reserve are Farwell, Jefferson and Davis. Placed on reserve/non-football injury is Pinkins.
RENTON, Wash. – According to 30 NFL insiders, Pete Carroll is the second highest-rated head coach in the league.

ESPN.com Insider Mike Sando has an interesting story out Tuesday that ranks all the head coaches in tiers, based on information he received from eight general managers, four former GMs, six coordinators, four position coaches, four executives and four personnel directors.

Sando asked them to give a rating between 1 and 5 on each coach, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst.

The only coach who came out with a better overall average than Carroll was New England’s Bill Belichick. Third on the list was New Orleans' Sean Payton.

To see the entire list, click here.
RENTON, Wash. -- Defensive end Michael Bennett became the eighth Seattle Seahawks player to make ESPN.com’s #NFLRank top 100 list of offensive and defensive players in the NFL.

Bennett (6-4, 275) comes in at No. 34 on the defensive countdown. The Texas A&M product came to the Seahawks from Tampa Bay last season and was the most productive player on the defensive line with 8.5 sacks while playing both end and defensive tackle.

Bennett, 28, parlayed his 2013 season into a big-money deal with the Seahawks, who signed him to a four-year contract with $28.5 million in March.

ESPN Stats & Information says Bennett was one of two players in the postseason last year to record at least one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, joining San Francisco’s Aldon Smith.

Bennett is the fifth Seattle defensive player to make the #NFLRank countdown, joining defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (94), outside linebacker Bruce Irvin (87), defensive end Cliff Avril (57) and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (41).

The offensive players on the countdown list so far for the Seahawks are center Max Unger (84), offensive tackle Russell Okung (65) and receiver Percy Harvin (50).
Most significant move: It's a bit of a surprise Jackson Jeffcoat didn't make it to the Seattle Seahawks' last cut. Jeffcoat, the son of former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, was an All-American last season at defensive end for Texas. It was surprising he didn't get drafted, but the Seahawks signed him as a rookie free agent immediately after the draft. Jeffcoat (6-foot-3, 255 pounds) was seen as a possible rush end at the Leo spot for the Seahawks, but they moved him to outside linebacker three weeks ago, believing it would give him a better chance to make the team. However, Jeffcoat struggled learning the position. And he had no chance to make the team at defensive end with rookie Cassius Marsh and veteran O'Brien Schofield playing well as backups.

Some will return: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made it clear he would like to bring a few of these players back, which probably means they would add a couple of them to the practice squad if they clear waivers. "They invested in us and we've invested in them," Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle. "We talk to them about where they may fit in our future." Rookies who could be practice-squad candidates are Jeffcoat, running back Demitrius Bronson and wide receiver Kevin Smith, the University of Washington product who showed good hands in practice. The Seahawks brought in veteran offensive lineman Wade Smith to possibly add depth up front, but Smith was expendable when the team saw good things from Stephen Schilling, who has played guard and center. CB Terrell Thomas, a seven-year NFL veteran who played for Carroll at USC, may catch on with another team.

Seahawks' cuts: Terminated veteran contracts of G Wade Smith and CB Terrell Thomas. Waived OLB Jackson Jeffcoat, OT Cory Brandon, RB Demitrius Bronson, S Mike Dobson, WR Kevin Smith and CB Thomas Wolfe.
Wagner
Harvin
RENTON, Wash. -- It's pretty impressive when a player can miss almost the entire 2013 season and still end up No. 50 on ESPN.com's top 100 countdown of offensive and defensive players in the NFL.

Such is the case for Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin, who did enough the few times he was on the field last season, including an 87-yard kickoff return for TD in the Super Bowl, to get the respect of the ESPN voters.

And Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner finally is starting to get the respect he deserves, coming in at No. 41 on the defensive countdown.

Harvin had hip surgery last summer to repair a torn labrum and played in only one regular-season game, facing his former Minnesota Vikings teammates in November. He had a 58-yard kickoff return that day to give Seahawks fans a glimpse of what he can do.

Harvin played only 59 snaps last season, with 42 of those coming in the playoffs. Along with his TD run in the Super Bowl, Harvin also was the leading rusher that night for the Seahawks with 45 yards, including a 30-yard run on an end around.

Harvin is 100 percent healthy now and has shown signs in the preseason of just how explosive he can be, especially his elusiveness after he makes a catch. In his four seasons at Minnesota before the trade to the Seahawks, Harvin ranked second among wide receivers with 1,857 yards after the catch. Wes Welker was first over that span with 2,508 YAC.

Wagner, who is starting his third NFL season, is the glue in the middle of the Seattle defense. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Wagner has 309 tackles in his first two seasons in the NFL, including the postseason. The only players with more during that span are Carolina's Luke Kuechly (330) and Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict (311).

What isn't factored into that stat is that Wagner missed two games last season with a high ankle sprain, but he was so anxious to get back that he probably returned too soon and didn't play well the first couple of games.

Once his ankle was healthy again, Wagner was a tackling machine, including 34 tackles in the three playoff games.
SEATTLE -- Earl Thomas is going to hear about from his teammates after getting tackled by the punter Friday night.

Of course, he already had raced 59 yards up the field before that happened, one of the highlights of the Seattle Seahawks' 34-6 victory over the Chicago Bears.

Thomas
Thomas, Seattle’s All-Pro free safety, proved he is a viable option to take over the punt returning duties, even though some people fear he might get hurt doing it. Thomas has said all along he’s serious about doing it.

“Eventually, people are going to start believing what I’m saying,” Thomas said. “I don’t have any fear. I’m just happy to be back there and I want to make something happen. That’s why I rarely will fair catch.”

It’s that tendency to play with reckless abandon that worries some fans, and even a few teammates. Strong safety Kam Chancellor, who looks at Thomas like a brother, said last week he doesn’t want Thomas back there on punts, believing it’s too big a risk.

Thomas doesn’t look at it that way. He lives for big plays like the one Friday night.

“It’s about staying true to yourself and knowing what you can do,” Thomas said. “I just want to help impact the game. But it wasn’t just me. It was the team. They open up the holes for me. I made the right [moves] when I had to, initially on the takeoff. But if it wasn’t for that big gap, I wouldn’t be able to do anything."

Thomas is one of the fastest players on the team, a man with extraordinary athletic gifts. But he’s still going to hear about Chicago punter Pat O'Donnell stopping him. Even quarterback Russell Wilson brought it up.

“I’m surprised [Thomas] got tackled, actually, and I think it was by the punter,” Wilson said smiling. “So I’m going to pick on him. But he’s so talented. He’s so agile and so quick.”

Which is why the coaches have Thomas back there doing his thing. They believe it’s worth the risk.
SEATTLE -- Coach Pete Carroll was thrilled about how well his Seattle Seahawks starters played in the 34-6 victory over the Chicago Bears Friday night, building a 31-0 halftime lead. But he pointed out one positive area that many people may have overlooked.

Carroll
Carroll
“A note that I’m really fired up about is when the first unit’s on the field, we’ve had two penalties,’’ Carroll said. “It’s really good execution for us. It’s a big step in the right direction and hopefully we can keep that going.

“I’m really happy with those guys and their attention to the details to get that done. That will help us down the road.”

One year ago, the Seahawks had 34 penalties for 354 yards in the first three preseason games, including 14 for 182 yards in a 17-10 victory at Green Bay in the third game where most of the starters played three quarters.

And careless penalties have hurt the team at times in the regular season, as well. That’s why seeing the team play such disciplined football is important to Carroll, along with the fact that the starting offense has scored 55 points in the first half of the past two games.

“They’re as ready as I can get them right now,” Carroll said of his starters. “We did just what we wanted.”

That included a controversial decision Friday night to have quarterback Russell Wilson and the starting offense play the first series of the third quarter, which seemed an unnecessary risk considering the score. But Carroll explained his reasoning.

“We wanted them to come out in the second half and make the transition from halftime, so we forced them back out there a little bit,” Carroll said. “We could have substituted, but that was the plan. Everybody hung on to that one.”

 
RENTON, Wash. -- Defensive end Cliff Avril, who had eight sacks last season and forced five fumbles, is the fifth Seattle Seahawks player to make ESPN.com’s countdown of the top 100 NFL players on offense and defense.

Avril
Avril, 28, checks in a No. 57. He was everything the Seahawks hoped he would be in his first season in Seattle. Avril (6-foot-3, 260 pounds) came off the bench as a pass-rush specialist, consistently disrupting the opposing team’s passing game.

Avril’s initial step off the edge is as quick as any player in the league, but his specialty is his ability to slap the ball out of the quarterback’s hands.

ESPN Stats & Information says Avril was one of two defensive ends last season with at least five sacks and five forced fumbles. The other was St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn.

Including the postseason, the only player with more forced fumbles over the past three seasons than Avril (15) is Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (17).

The other four Seahawks who appeared on the countdown were defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (No. 94), linebacker/defensive end Bruce Irvin (No. 87), center Max Unger (No. 84) and offensive tackle Russell Okung (No. 65).

W2W4: Seattle Seahawks

August, 22, 2014
Aug 22
12:00
PM ET
The Seattle Seahawks (1-1) will play host to the Chicago Bears (2-0) in a preseason game Friday night at CenturyLink Field.

Three things to watch:
  1. The starters: Typically, the third preseason game is the one where the starters see significant playing time. “I’m expecting to play all the first half and probably into the third quarter,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. In the case for the Seahawks, it comes against a team that should provide a good test in the Bears, and give a good indication where both teams stand heading into regular season. Each team has one more preseason game next week, but starters play sparingly in that one while guys on the bubble have one last chance to show they belong on the roster.
  2. Christine Michael: Starting running back Marshawn Lynch will get a few carries Friday for the first time in the preseason, but the man who has something to prove is Michael. He has been viewed as the heir-apparent to Lynch, but hasn’t helped himself in the preseason with a fumble in each of the first two games. Meanwhile, backup running back Robert Turbin was sensational last week with 81 yards on 12 first-half carries against San Diego. However, coach Pete Carroll had high praise for Michael on Thursday. “I think’s he the most improved player on our team,'' Carroll said. "He’s come a long way in so many ways. He just needs to keep showing he’s growing as a football player. He’s explosive and he mind is in it. He’s really been busting his tail.” Michael has run pretty well, but it won’t matter it he puts the ball on the turf again.
  3. The Bennett brothers: Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett (28) is looking forward to facing his brother, Chicago tight end Martellus Bennett (27), Friday night. “It’s interesting to see how it plays out going against my brother,” Michael Bennett said. “Every year you get to play against some guys you know, but this time it’s my brother.” The Bennetts grew up in Houston and played for Texas A&M. The Bears also are the team that tried to sign Michael as a free agent five months ago, but he took a little less money ($28.5 million over four years) to stay in Seattle. “It’s was weird, but it’s just part of the business,” Michael Bennett said.

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