THUNDERING BLURB » seattle seahawks http://thunderingblurb.com ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 2009 NFL Running Back Battles to Watch: Part 2 http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/06/2009-nfl-running-back-battles-to-watch-part-2/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/06/2009-nfl-running-back-battles-to-watch-part-2/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2009 17:44:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=439 Welcome to part two of the 2009 NFL Running Back Battles To Watch. Yesterday we looked at a bunch of great backs including – but not limited to – the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and the Carolina Panthers.

Today we’ll be looking at some more interesting backfield situations and seeing what they might mean for their respective teams.

We’ll start off with a team that has a clear-cut number one back but also some questions as to what to do if he cannot carry the full load over the course of the 2009 season.

Jacksonville
We all think Maurice Jones-Drew aka ‘The Human Bowling Ball’ aka ‘The Bad Little Man’ will be the bell cow here and get most if not all the work. The man can do it all and despite his size, usually stays healthy. With no Fred Taylor, he should get every carry Freddy used to get, right?

Well, yes and no. While MJD is a stud and the offensive line is much healthier and better than 2008’s version, the Jaguars will by no means risk burning out Jones-Drew before the playoffs. I expect one of the backs behind him to get a fair share of carries as well.

Note that I am not saying they will cut significantly into his totes – but that it will factor in and probably in a good way.

Former USC tailback Chauncey Washington patiently waited for his shot, but now has to hold off former Liberty stud Rashad Jennings a guy who improbably fell to the Jags in the seventh round – something I still can’t figure out.

Both players have the ability to fill in for MJD but despite being a USC Homer, I like Jennings better. He can catch, he can slide into holes but he has decent size. Matt Waldman of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio and footballguys.com said it best; ‘what you should know about Jennings is that he’s a bigger back with finesse’.

That size combined with the skills Waldman alludes to make him a very attractive compliment to Jones-Drew and a guy to watch for long term on his own as well.

Jennings has some issues finishing a run and will need to improve that if he wants to catch Washington.

And lest we forget, Greg Jones has been occasionally stud-like when he has had a shot in the past and is a great 3rd down back. Jones has never quite been the same since a knee injury and is often hurt.

Who ends up spelling MJD could have some real value for fantasy owners and Jags fans. It should be a horse race between these three.

New Orleans
Will Reggie Bush stay healthy? Will Pierre Thomas? Who gets the ball on third downs and at the goal line?

Big questions for an offense which needs to improve it’s run game to take some pressure off the pass game. It looks like Thomas has the between-the-tackles work locked down while Bush will continue to play scat-back.

But both have some injury questions (Bush his legs and Thomas’ wrist) so the Saints have journeyman Mike Bell, second year player Lynell Hamilton, and undrafted free agents P.J. Hill and Herb Donaldson.

Mike Bell has played well in camp so far but don’t discount the rookies. The Saints went hard into the street free agent market post-draft so they clearly have some concerns with the tailback position.

Bell has played well before and then faltered. Hill has some serious character concerns but seems to realize he screwed up and is motivated to prove he has the ability and maturity to make an impact. All three are big backs, something the Saints lost when they let Deuce McAllister go.

It will be interesting to see if any can make ground on Thomas and given the injury issues (for both Thomas and Bush) and Thomas’ size, one of these guys could see action this season.

Philadelphia
With Brian Westbrook banged up again (What? Stop lying Garda! NEVER!) every Eagles fan – and many, MANY fantasy football owners – want to know who to grab for this year’s version of Westbrook Insurance.

Aside: Should Westbrook and/or the Iggles talk to Geico about a sponsorship? I mean, in these troubled economic times, shouldn’t a club be looking for cash wherever they can?

I’m not saying, but I am just saying is all.

But all shenanigans aside who backs Westy up resonates hard an long amongst the NFL community of fans and it goes beyond fantasy football folks. As much as I like the receivers and the passing offense this year, they need the run game hitting on all cylinders.

With the very real possibility that the last two years of 15 games might have been an illusion in terms Westy’s health the Eagles need to know they can throw another guy in there and crank out the yards effectively.

Which leaves you with this question: LeSean McCoy or Lorenzo Booker?

Booker was a guy who I had high hopes for coming to Philadelphia last season after being virtually ignored by Miami previously. With his ability to catch the ball and his general shifty running style, I thought Lo-Book was going to get some traction finally but sadly that didn’t happen.

Booker barely saw the field and then the team went and drafted LeSean ‘Shady’ McCoy who is plays very similarly to Westbrook’s game. And while a tad undersized, McCoy plays tough and isn’t afraid of contact.

It will be a battle in the most literal sense and no other fracas may impact the whole offense of a team like this one. If they cannot move the ball on the ground – and lack a player at the RB spot who can catch the ball as effectively as Westy – defenses could key heavily on the pass game.

San Francisco
I spent a lot of time the past few months looking oer the 49ers and there are a ton of questions surrounding this run game and what it could be.

New offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye keeps saying this will not be a run heavy playbook, but if you look at his resume, he’s definitely developed some very strong rushing attacks. So does that mean Raye is tossing some disinformation out there?

Maybe not.

The 49ers often run a game where a strong rushing attack sets up a vertical passing attack. It hasn’t worked well for many reasons – not the least of which is the lack of a permanent solution at quarterback.

So it isn’t far fetched that Raye is being truthful – a rarity in today’s NFL it seems. With the weapons at both running back and wide receiver, the Niners are set up to have an effective attack from either direction.

We know Frank Gore is the stud-bell cow-big dawg-whatever you call it in the backfield. But he cannot do it alone as we saw when he wore down last season.

So who is the backup who could share in his carries? A great question as the backs behind him all have questions.

Michael Robinson has functioned more as a fullback and special-teamer and while Thomas Clayton tends to shine in preseason games, he hasn’t played worth a tinker’s damn during the season. Neither of them have quite been able to give the team a consistent and safe backup to Gore in the past few years.

Two rookies – third round pick Glenn Coffee and street free agent Kory Sheets – have a shot at spelling Gore. Coffee is a solid one cut runner with great vision, who can aggressively attack the hole. He’s a powerful runner who could help the short yardage game, something that occasionally struggled in 2008.

Sheets has great acceleration and burst and is a very good receiver out of the backfield. He can be very elusive and shows patience behind the line with good vision and instincts. I think he could emerge as a nice compliment to Gore in the vein of a Leon Washington or Reggie Bush.

Adding Sheets as an extra weapon is nice, but ultimately the 49ers need to get someone to consistently and reliably spell Gore to save him for a potential run at a playoff spot this year.

Seattle
Somehow the Seahawks ended the draft without a replacement for the long departed Shaun Alexander, instead relying on Julius Jones and TJ Duckett for a solution at the running back position.

I can’t say I am enthusiastic about that, however I am cautiously optimistic.

With a healthy pass game – which they lacked from the get-go last season – the Hawks could find themselves in possession of a consistent though not spectacular rushing attack.

Julius Jones has shown some skills in the past and will probably make a good two-down runner for the team, getting a lift from a new zone-blocking scheme which he fits into well. However, even though he was the top running back for Seattle last season, he was pretty inconsistent and has to correct that if the team is to depend upon him.

People keep talking each season about how this is TJ Duckett’s time to shine, but I haven’t heard a lot of that yet this off-season. Maybe that bodes well for the former Falcon/Redskin/Lion. He has always possessed a nose for the end zone and he’ll get most of the redzone/end zone looks in my opinion – at least when the team isn’t throwing the ball to Houshmandzadeh or second year tight end John Carlson.

The question – aside from will Edgerrin James or Duece McAllister sign prior to the season – I am asking is where do guys like Justin Forsett end up? If Duckett is more suited to the short yardage/goal line role, will Forsett a second year man out of California, end up as Jones’ backup? Or will he be relegated to special teams?

I want to watch this battle closely as teams all know the Seahawks are gearing up to throw the ball a lot. So who ends up running the ball is of paramount importance. If they cannot move the ball on the ground, the wide receivers may find it very tough to get room to work in the secondary.

That’s it for now – if you don’t hear from me in a few days, have someone send a cop to check on me. I might be buried under an avalanche of moving boxes.

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/06/2009-nfl-running-back-battles-to-watch-part-2/feed/ 0
Championship! TJ Houshmandzedah signs with Seattle http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/03/championship-tj-houshmandzedah-signs-with-seattle/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/03/championship-tj-houshmandzedah-signs-with-seattle/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2009 23:21:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=406 Minnesota and Cinci can now cry in their beer together. Somehow while we were focused on those two teams, the Seattle Seahawks slipped back in and reportedly offered $2million more than either one of them and stole their Housh.

My take: Well, Houshmandzedah will give them a healthy solid threat at flanker and makes Deon Branch expendable which was being discussed earlier this off-season. Branch could work the slot but realy how much value has he given them so far? I think they may continue to develope soem of the young WRs and may still think about drafting a rookie early – think about Crabtree or Maclin opposite Housh? Looks nice.

Now they all just need to stay healthy.

Cinci and Minny have to be bummed. He would have been a nice pairing with Berrian. Cinci needs him especially if Johnson continues to slip. And frankly targeting Benson first was a bad move on the part of Cincinnati. Of the two losers in this bidding war, Cinci has the worst end of it. At least Minny can still count on Berrian, Peterson and Taylor. Rice may still develope into a solid #2.

Cinci is a mess though and this makes it real hard to believe they can right the ship this year. It’s a huge loss and they will need to scramble to get back on track.

edited to add – So the Bengals are now bringing in ex-Jet Laveraneus Coles. Jeez, I like Coles, but a bit of a step down, no? Good for Coles though – he might make the money he was looking for now. If it happens, Palmer also has a reliable WR but Coles is no Housh.

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2009/03/championship-tj-houshmandzedah-signs-with-seattle/feed/ 0
Thanksgiving Day Games – SEA@DAL http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/thanksgiving-day-games-seadal/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/thanksgiving-day-games-seadal/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2008 06:10:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=327 Second helpings on the breakdowns go along with second helpings on the games as Seattle travels to Dallas for a helping of whupp-ass. Sorry – can’t help but think this is game two or two in terms of lopsided matchups.

Of course, you can catch the up to date, latest info version on the Fantasy Sports Channel at BlogtalkRadio.com at 7:30amPST/10:30amEST tomorrow. Also you can read the Titan/Lion breakdown by scrollign down the page or clicking HERE.

Here is the breakdown for the Seahawks and Cowboys as of Wednesday night.

SEAHAWKS

Matt Hasselbeck
Hasselbeck is a guy who is looking banged up and assaulted still and it’s been a long season for him. Dallas is not a great secondary but Hasselbeck is still a bit rusty, overthrowing some receivers or just flat out throwing to spots where there were none to begin with. You know it takes a few weeks to get a QB back to form after a long lay-off. Hass is definitely still struggling with that, and you begin to wonder if he will emerge again this season. I highly doubt he will today so avoid him.

Julius Jones
Jones was announced as the starter Wednesday but what does that mean? Not much as he may start the game but not be the chief back. Jones seems to be slipping and doesn’t seem to have any fantasy value at this point. He has fallen out of favor and is not someone to be in your lineup.

Maurice Morris
Morris is a pretty good back and can catch the ball out of the backfield. He may be getting on in years, but he certainly has enough in the tank to be a flex for you the rest of this one. Is he a good play this year? Well, the Cowboys do occasionally allow big plays. However he’s a bit risky for my blood, as the Cowboys have shut down Gore in week 12 and contained Clinton Portis the week before. He might put up some points but I wouldn’t count on it.

Bobby Engram
In a PPR league, Hass-to-Engram used to be money in the bank. Now, like in so many banks, there seems to be some sort of crisis. Engram is not getting the targets he has in the past and while he might turn that around, it’s hard to bet on it at this point and I would try to avoid him this week.

Deion Branch
Hasn’t done enough to warrant being on this list, but thought I would remind you he a) can’t stay healthy and b) has never lived up the hype.Shouldn’t be near your lineup.

John Carlson
Carlson has been up and down of late and isn’t always getting the yards to make him a reliable start. Yes, he got a TD last weekend but I am nervous about tying my TE position to anyone Hass might be throwing to.

COWBOYS
Tony Romo
He’s back! Coming off of a 341/3 TD drubbing of the 49rs, Romo looks like a good bet to repeat the performance on Thanksgiving against a 31st ranked pass defense which has allowed 16 TDs to only 5 INTs. Romo is a lock start this week and probably will end up as one of the top QBs come Monday morning.

Marion Barber
Against the 22nd rush defense, giving up 122 ypg and 10 TDs this season, Barber should have a very good day. Will they spell him with Tashard Choice a little? Probably. But not enough to hurt his value. They will use Marion the Barbarian early and often and he is a great Turkey Day start for your team.

Terrell Owens
While I do not expect a 7 catch 213 yard performance every week, he will probably get back to steady performance. Not only will Seattle get blown up on the ground, but the secondary is vulnerable and while he will drop some passes and have some down games, this shouldn’t be one of them.

Roy Williams
A marginal start, Williams is getting more involved in the pass game as he learns and becomes more comfortable with the playbook, studs (Romo and Witten) around him get healthy and other WRs do not. With Austin gone and Crayton – well, Crayton, Williams will get chances. Just probably not enough for anything more than a #4 Wr performance most weeks. He’s a tad risky for me on Thanksgiving as well, but as a #4 with 3 upside, he might fill the bill.

Jason Witten
Witten is still hampered by that rib injury and it isn’t helping his fantasy prospects that rookie Martellus Bennet has gotten two TDs in two weeks. Often that’s the extent of his targets, but those are TDs once belonging to Witten. I think he gets off the snyde here and resumes his place as one of the better TEs in Fantasy.

So there you have it – grab your Cowboy hats and hop on your horses – the Cowboys should ride to great fantasy points on Thanksgiving! The Seahawks…. well, there’s always next week.

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/thanksgiving-day-games-seadal/feed/ 0
FYI Bye Week Teams http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/fyi-bye-week-teams/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/fyi-bye-week-teams/#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2008 23:10:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=195 Forgot to post this earlier – so keep these guys in mind – TON of teams off this week…

Week 4 – Detroit, Indy, Miami, New England, NY Giants, Seattle

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/fyi-bye-week-teams/feed/ 0
The Hits Keep On Coming – Burleson OUT for Season http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/the-hits-keep-on-coming-burleson-out-for-season/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/the-hits-keep-on-coming-burleson-out-for-season/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2008 21:56:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=147 NFLN just reported Nate Burleson gone for the season. Big hit for an offense that is already out Engram and Branch. Expect Branch to rush back faster than they otherwise might have pushed him.

Hass is in for a long season.

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/the-hits-keep-on-coming-burleson-out-for-season/feed/ 0
Friday Morning News Stampede http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/friday-morning-news-stampede/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/friday-morning-news-stampede/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2008 13:24:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=131 I’ll be posting my rankings at the big three (RB, QB, WR) and will probably touch on them during the News Stampede at Noon EST/9am PST. For now, a little light news to start our Friday off.

Also, a reminder I will be on The Jake Stevens Show ‘There It Is!’ on ESPN 1230 just after 7:30am PST/10:30am EST and you can catch it here or here.

Baltimore Ravens
According to the Baltimore Sun (which, if I recall, has been pushing for McGahee to leave the city all off season) the Ravens are preparing RB Ray Rice to start against the Bengals Sunday. We knew this, I think, and I still say with a rookie QB and an iffy O-line, he’s not the best play. Rice looks like he will be a solid play long term, but don’t get carried away. If he has the most upside of your backups, he might make an ok RB2. But I would rather not have to worry about how he will do in game 1 against 8 men in the box. Also, how much of a factor will McGahee be, if any?

Indianapolis Colts
Injured Center Jeff Saturday has decided against surgery (a common theme this NFL off-season, huh?), opting to rehab the torn right knee ligament and hoping to come back sooner than later. Certainly that would be good news for Manning and the Colts. It’s always a risk (see: Merriman, Shawne) but Saturday is an important presence along the offensive line and the sooner he gets back to snapping the ball, the better as far as Manning owners are concerned.

Seattle Seahawks
WR Deion Branch practiced in a limited fashion Thursday, though I think he is still a shaky bet to play Sunday. Even if he does, how effective will he be, having missed so much of the off-season? Yes, he’s a vet who knows the playbook, but timing is important for wide receivers and Branch hasn’t played consistently (really, at all) in a long time. Even if he’s in the Seahawk’s lineup, he shouldn’t be in yours. Not this week.

Tennessee Titans
WR Justin McCariens was back at practice yesterday after coming down with flu-like symptoms on Wednesday. He’s about the best bet in the WR core but I still wouldn’t throw him out there. In his favor is a familiarity with the offense from his first stint with the Titans and a veteran presence and experiance. Against him is the lack of any production since he left for the Jets and an overwhelming sense that he is past his prime – whatever THAT was. I still say the best receiving option here will end up being Chris Johnson. I suppose Alge Crumpler may put up some points, but I don’t want to have to count on it week 1.

That’s all for now folks – rankings scattered throughout today.

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/friday-morning-news-stampede/feed/ 0
Wednesday News and Notes http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/wednesday-news-and-notes/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/wednesday-news-and-notes/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2008 13:44:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=125 2 days to kick off and things are getting livelier – here’s the breakdown for the morning – and don’t forget The Thundering Blurb Daily News Stampede hits at noon EST/9am PST and tonight is the usual Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Show at 9pm EST/6pm PST. Both on BlogTalkRadio.com and ITunes!

Let’s roll -

New England Patriots
You don’t know how accurate this rumor is, since Belichick treats injuries like State Secrets but WEEI radio in Boston says that have heard an MRI taken on Tom Brady’s foot revealed that there is a crack in it. Of course there is very little chance of confirming this BUT I know a couple of places I trust that are working hard to dig up facts on this and I’ll keep you posted here and on both podcasts. There was a rumor last week Brady was on crutches which was denied, so take this with a grain of salt. Also consider that he could play with a small crack or fracture in his foot and likely will – still this could affect his mobility and effectiveness.

Don’t hit the streets in a panic, but it’s something to keep an eye on. I will keep you posted if I can dig anything up.

Arizona Cardinals
After all the noise about Anquan Boldin’s dissatisfaction with his less than Larry Fitzgerald-like contract, the Cards WR has done what I said he would – he’s been the professional he always is and is focused on the game and playing his best. Boldin was in a recent issue of the Arizona Republic and sounds ready to go.

“My teammates work too hard, and I know I’m a big part of the process with this program. If I held out or did anything like that, I’d be letting them down.”

If you had any reservations about owning him in a Fantasy league – put them to rest. With Warner behind center, Fitz may get more looks, but both WRs will shine this season.

Seattle Seahawks
There have been some reports that Deion Branch could be back for the opener. Seems like those were a little premature – according to the Seattle Times , he isn’t quite ready and is getting into football shape. You have to consider that Branch hasn’t played a down in some time and even when he returns, he will have to spend some time getting his rhythm back. While Hass needs his WRs to step up, Branch is a guy who will be nothing more than bench depth – at best – for the next several weeks, minimum.

Denver Broncos
Not that this should come as a shock to anyone as this is the birthplace of RBBC, but HC Mike Shannahan is planning on rotating Selvin Young and Andre Hall at running back this season. Denver Bronco beat writer Mike Klis is saying that after about 6 weeks or so, they’ll probably throw rookie Ryan Torain in the mix. That might not quite happen unless Torain is a phenomenal rookie who can step into an offence minus Training Camp and about half a season and just play – but it tells you things are the same in Denver as they always are. Hall will get a chance to shine in short yardage and spot work and Young will work everything between the 20’s. Shanny has already told us he doesn’t think Young will hold up for a whole season, so you knew there would be a split. I like Hall and I think he will do well – but as always, the Denver RB sitch is a difficult one to sniff out. Figure Young as your better bet, but watch Hall. And Torain might be a nice play late in the season, once he has some games under his belt.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Finally, Fred Taylor was reportedly arrested over the weekend for disorderly conduct. The AP report posted on ESPN is interesting and has Taylor egging bystanders on to do…. well I don’t know. But he kept on being loud and vocal while they were searching his car and he got himself arrested. This continues the rule that no good can come a) outside a Miami nightclub and b) after midnight. Taylor could face some sort of suspension – probably minor – depending on the full report and what he does next. The NFL will have somethijgn to say soon, though likely not before week 1 is in the books. Make sure you have alternatives going forward.

Thats all for now – the News Blurb is just a few hours away!

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/wednesday-news-and-notes/feed/ 0
Tuesday http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/tuesday/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/tuesday/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2008 13:54:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=122 Quick reminder that today will launch the Thundering Blurb Daily News Stampede – Monday through Friday I’ll drop you a quick 15 minutes of news you’ll need to know to get the edge on your league mates.

A few stories of note this morning:

Baltimore Ravens
Willis McGahee returned to practice on Monday and while it’s clear he’s still coming back from surgery, what isn’t clear is who will start. My money is on rookie Ray Rice, but McGahee could steal carries if he practices well enough. Couple that with the fact that I think either runner will face 8 men in a box as the Bengals dare Joe Flacco to beat them with his arm – and I suspect either running back is a risky choice, even against the Bengals. Speaking of quarterbacks, Troy smith is home from the hospital and has dropped an astonishing 20 pounds. He won’t be playing anytime soon, hence the rumors Joey Harrington and former Jaguar Todd Bourman might sign with the team.

Oakland Raiders
Javon Walker also returned to practice yesterday and while NFLN’s Adam Shefter reports that he is considered questionable with a hamstring injury, he looked fine, though he did have trainers check his leg out. Walker is not someone I want to have to start at all this week against Denver.

Seattle Seahawks
Matt Hasselback was back at practice Monday and said his back was not going to be a factor going against the Bills week 1. While I am always concerned with a back injury, I may be more concerned with the beat up wide receivers. Hass could be a risky play against an improving Bills secondary.

That’s all for now – remember to subscribe to ITunes and get the News Stampede delivered right to your door!

More later….

]]>
http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/tuesday/feed/ 0