MMQB preamble, Homage to the Opening of High School Football Season:
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on NFL training camps across the country. Here's what Jim Trotter had to say about Seahawks camp in Renton, Wa., which he visited on Aug. 9. Read all of our postcards here.
NEW YORK -- Musings, observations, and the occasional insight as we absorb the dizzying events of round one of the NFL Draft Thursday night in Radio City Music Hall...
Michael Brockers is hot, Ryan Tannehill may not be. The old draft trade chart is out the window, the Jags have an itchy trigger finger, Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd have the attention of the Rams, Seattle may not want to move as much as the current rumor suggests and, speaking of rumors, I'd advise you not to believe many of them about moving up.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Forget the flash, at least for now. When the new Nike Elite 51 NFL uniform were unveiled in Brooklyn Tuesday, it was the uniform's performance improvements that were boasted about as its hallmark feature.
With the glow (and the now annual blame-game fallout) of the Super Bowl dying down, we turn our attention to the long NFL offseason, which won't end until teams start reporting for training camp in late July. Here are the 10 questions that most intrigue me as the league transitions into player acquisition and draft evaluation mode....
While the remarkable rise of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos has dominated the headlines and captivated fans in the season's second half, there have been plenty other surprising examples of what we'll call the Danny Woodhead Effect, a lightly regarded player who emerges to overachieve beyond all reasonable expectations.
Detroit 24, Chicago 13: I don't remember seeing a game that featured the rising-star aspects of one team and exposed the faults of another so decisively.
SI.com is previewing all eight divisions throughout the week in anticipation of the 2011 season kicking off. (Send comments to email@example.com)
Not that it's a quarterback-driven league or anything, but here's a quick recap of what's transpired in the past few days when it comes to the NFL's passing set:
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on training camps across the country. For an archive of all camp postcards, click here.
SEATTLE -- Today we have a little bit on the labor-thawing NFL front, as well as the annual Father's Day book list (with an offbeat sports bio I cannot recommend highly enough), a tribute to one of the giants of the sportswriting business you may not know, how one team's prepping for the resumption of football (let us pray), some encouraging news about helmet technology, and a death in the 49er family that means half of one of the great backfields in history is gone.
Grading out the performances from Chicago's 35-24 win over Seattle in an NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field:
Breaking down the NFC divisional battle, Seahawks at Bears, Sunday, 1 p.m. , FOX
There are a good number of positional battles to keep an eye on in this week's NFL divisional playoffs. Here are the ones that take center stage:
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap up the NFL's wild-card weekend of playoff action and start counting the hours until next weekend's intriguing slate of divisional-round matchups ...
So Pete Carroll and his 8-9 Seattle Seahawks have advanced into the second round of the NFL playoffs. Pete and his guys will be in Chicago to play the NFC's second seed Sunday afternoon.
SEATTLE -- There are numerous ways to describe Matt Hasselbeck's performance in the Seahawks' 41-36 wild-card upset victory over the Saints on Saturday. However, none is better than coach Pete Carroll's summation:
Grading out the performances from the Seahawks' shocking 41-36 victory over the Saints in the NFC Wild Card playoffs ...
A couple of points about the New Orleans-Seattle wild-card matchup in the Pacific Northwest on Saturday afternoon:
Who says superstar quarterbacks are a dying breed in the NFL? Just call the Seattle quarterback Charlie White-hurts. Who's leading the coaches' dead pool? And toast could be the operative words in Houston and Philadelphia.
Did a top quarterback just come onto the market?
For everyone who pegs Arian Foster as a sure bet for 150-plus yards every week, or believes that Matt Hasselbeck has tapped into the fantasy fountain of youth, or thinks Michael Vick represents a stronger seasonal fantasy play than Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton or Vince Young, may I present a few time-tested rules about what to believe in -- and what to ignore about fantasy football after Week 1.
PHILADELPHIA -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we take in a Week 1 that's sure to spark overreaction and over-analysis on numerous fronts. But then again, that's par for the course on the NFL's opening weekend ...
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. Here's what Jim Trotter had to say about the Seahawks camp in Renton, Wash., which he visited on Aug. 6. For an archive of all camp postcards, click here.
Though the NFL's long march to adopt and refine instant replay usage never experienced quite the tipping-point moment to match what MLB umpire Jim Joyce wrought Wednesday night in Detroit, there were a couple high-profile blown calls along the way that prompted the league to not once, but twice institute replay as an officiating tool -- first in the mid-1980s and again in the late 1990s.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla -- I'm playing the Stadium Course here at Sawgrass today, as part of the annual Tom Coughlin/Jay Fund tournament benefiting cancer-stricken kids and their families. Over/under on the number of balls I put in the drink at 17: 17.
Peter King and Don Banks are two of the 50 AP voters who will revote for the 2009 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Read Banks' contrasting view here.
Charlie Whitehurst is getting used to a new life in Seattle, a life with a little more pressure than he had as the number three quarterback in San Diego. There will be expectations now -- that he can push Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job, and even if he loses that competition, that he'll be ready to play at a moment's notice for the Seahawks this year. Until now, the thickly brown-bearded, long-haired Whitehurst has been known for one thing as a Charger: his resemblance to Jesus Christ, at least to how Christ looks in the photos and images we've become used to seeing.
With the NFL draft having reshuffled a few quarterback depth charts around the league, let's take stock of the shifting arms-race landscape as we await the opening of training camps in about three months. It's a quarterbacks' world in the NFL, but it seems to change about every other week, so you have to stay current.
RENTON, Wash. -- My favorite draft weekend story: The Man Who Said No to the NFL.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight from the third and final day of the NFL Draft, when a couple teams way out west -- Oakland and Seattle -- thrust themselves into the spotlight with some eye-opening headline moves. ...
RENTON, Wash. -- Pete Carroll's excited. Surprise!
There's pressure on everyone to figure out which draft picks will prosper and which will bust in their NFL career. There's pressure on the players too -- particularly the highly drafted ones. The 10 people on draft weekend who should be feeling the most heat:
As April dawns, the NFL offseason has already spanned almost three months for the majority of teams. The orgy of hope that is the draft remains three weeks away, but most of the heavy lifting on the personnel acquisition front has been completed and new plans and programs are firmly in place.
ORLANDO -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap up a fairly eventful and interesting three-day stay at the NFL's annual meeting...
The discussion about the effectiveness and relevance of the Rooney Rule -- and whether Washington and Seattle drove armored trucks through its plate-glass window -- has been entertaining and enlightening the past two weeks.
Five quick observations, then your e-mail from a busy NFL week:
Watching Kurt Warner dissect Green Bay's No. 2 ranked defense in Sunday's record-breaking shootout, it struck me that 10 years ago this very month we first witnessed Warner on a national stage, putting on the kind of virtuoso performance that finished off the Packers.
If Pete Carroll takes the Seattle Seahawks head coaching job, he will not have the final say on all football matters that he is seeking, according to one person who has spoken with team CEO Tod Leiweke.
The Seattle Seahawks have been exploring hiring USC's Pete Carroll as head coach for at least two weeks on some level, said an NFL source with knowledge of the situation on Friday.
Jim Mora's undoing in Seattle had everything to do with December.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight from a Week 15 that was chock-full of drama, record-setting performances and thrilling comebacks and conclusions. With Christmas just around the corner, who could ask for anything more?....
When I picked the Falcons to win the NFC South, I did it because of faith in three people -- quarterback Matt Ryan, GM Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith. I didn't do it because I trusted the defense. Not yet. The Falcons might have to win a bunch of 34-27 games this year to fulfill my faith.
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. Here's what Jim Trotter had to say about the Seahawks' camp.
If you're looking for a team set to make a dramatic turnaround in 2009, be sure to keep your eyes on the one in the Pacific Northwest.
A big stadium of synthetic turf likely to be marred by football lines once the NFL season starts. Rainy weather at times. That's about it.
The Seattle Seahawks, unable to get disappointing pass-rusher Julian Peterson to take a pay cut, traded him to Detroit Saturday for defensive lineman Cory Redding, who is in the midst of a big contract of his own.
Three thoughts before answering your mail in the wake of the one of the most interesting weekends of an offseason in years:
If there's one common refrain I've heard again and again so far at the NFL Scouting Combine this week, it's a general lament in regards to the spread of the spread offense in the college ranks.
With a nod to the mileage our new president got from one of his signature catch phrases, the idea of change someone can believe in is the goal about this time of year in various venues throughout the NFL. But if it seems like the fresh starts and new regimes came at a dizzying pace this time around, there's good reason.
It's undeniable their seasons have been greatly impacted by a wave of injuries, but does anyone else find it curious that all three of the teams with head coaches in waiting are struggling mightily this year?
Halfway through this NFL season, I can't get over the staggering decline and fall of the West. There are few givens in 2008, but one of them is that nobody plays worse football collectively than the eight teams in the NFC and AFC West divisions.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we witnessed the bruising heavyweight fight that the Titans-Ravens game morphed into on Sunday, before a demoralized M&T Bank Stadium throng ....
Quick Pre-MMQB This-Is-What-the-Olympics-Mean-To-NFL-Players Interlude:
SI.com has dispatched 10 writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. For the complete schedule of postcards, click here.
Last Sunday, Mike Holmgren quietly celebrated his 60th birthday. The Seahawks head coach can expect a little more attention for his next big day, when he coaches his final game in Seattle and, likely, his final game ever.
We all know the NFL headline machine never really gets unplugged, but the next two months unfold at the most leisurely pace of any on the league's calendar. While we wait for things to pick up, here's a sneak peek at 10 of the most intriguing topics I want to know more about once training camps start springing to life in late July.
The Super Bowl was three months ago, but we're still a long way away from watching another meaningful football game in 2008. That said, with the draft in the books, the personnel acquisition phase of the offseason is nearly complete and teams largely are already what they're going to be this season. Who's on their way up? Who's on their way down? Here's our post-draft assessment of the team in each division poised to make the biggest move this year, in either direction.
Veteran left guard Mike Wahle has agreed to terms with the Seahawks, a source told SI.com.
One of the toughest games to pick in a long time. A long, long time. I'm torn.
"Would you say the blessing, Breleigh?" Deanna Favre said last Thursday night before dinner, and her eight-year-old daughter earnestly cast her eyes toward the floor in thought. A day shy of her half-birthday, Breleigh, a bubbly, ponytailed blonde, had much to be thankful for. "God," she said, matter-of-factly, "thank you for this food tonight, and thank you for my family and friends, and please help us beat Seattle, and please let us win the Super Bowl, and please let me have a happy half-birthday tomorrow."
In the moments before kickoff, some players listen to metal and some listen to rap. Some talk to God and some talk to themselves.
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West, but make no mistake, they were the ultimate wild card. No one knew quite what to make of them. They had not beaten a playoff team since the opener against Tampa Bay. They had not even faced a playoff team since traveling to Pittsburgh in October. They were division champions, but that is no great accomplishment, considering their division is regarded as the worst in football.
There's nothing quite like the NFL's 11-game Super Bowl tournament for delivering must-see games, and this weekend's first-round playoffs are as up for grabs as ever. We've got two rematches of memorable December games in the AFC, and two NFC road teams with momentum that seem poised to make noise in the postseason.
Will the Jags ever win a big game under coach Jack Del Rio? It's a question that must be asked after they fell to the Colts 28-25 on Sunday.
As we stare down the second half of the NFL's regular season, this much seems apparent from my vantage point: In most cases, a 2006 playoff trip portends little in the way of a repeat performance this year.
Six weeks into the NFL's regular season isn't the time to start making a bevy of bold, definitive calls. But in some instances it's enough of a sampling to begin seeing the writing on the wall in a few situations around the league. So, with apologies to my colleague, Peter "Big Dog'' King, here are five things I think I think are going to take place before we're deep into the NFL's next offseason:
Trent Edwards, QB, Buffalo: The rookie enjoyed an outstanding debut against the Jets. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 234 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Though those numbers aren't staggering, the poise and efficiency Edwards displayed during his first start was impressive. Edwards may give the Bills a brighter future than J.P. Losman.
Ever wonder what the Seahawks' locker room tastes like after a big game?
At Seahawks headquarters in Kirkland, Wash., where the team has moved their camp this year from an extremely rural site in Cheney at Eastern Washington University. Players are thrilled to be closer to home. One difference, however, between Cheney and Kirkland: the weather. I could always count on a 93-degree, sun-burned afternoon at EWU. This morning, it was cloudy, 61 degrees, occasionally misty and in general, an absolutely typical Seattle day.
Challenge No. 1: Change the attitude.
What's green and plastic and costs $10 billion dollars? The newest addition to Boeing's fleet: the 787 Dreamliner
Boeing debuts 'Dreamliner'
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as the NFL's offseason enters its May minicamp stage ...
Musings, observations and the occasional insight in reaction to the release of the NFL's 2007 regular-season schedule ...
As I sat in the Seattle Seahawks' war room before the 2001 draft, my first year with the team as a scout, one of our discussions involved explosive North Carolina State wide receiver Koren Robinson.
March is all about player movement in the NFL, but if you were paying attention, you probably noticed that free agency didn't dominate the headlines to the degree it has in recent years. Last month's roster shuffling featured an unexpected element: the renaissance of the significant NFL trade, which had grown relatively rare in the era of free agency.
Editor's Note: The NFL officially announced the cancellation of its preseason game in China on Monday.
There's nothing about Stingaree, an upscale lounge in the heart of San Diego's Gaslamp District, that should elicit memories of the 901 Club, a dingy hole in the wall bar next to USC's campus, but on this night it's hard not to have flashbacks.
With the deal that will send Atlanta backup Matt Schaub to Houston and install him as the successor to Texans starter David Carr, the NFL's quarterback carousel has again started to turn. Here's a look at eight quarterback issues worth keeping an eye on as the offseason progresses ...
Though he belatedly joined this year's free-agent class -- upon being released by Pittsburgh in a Thursday afternoon salary cap move -- it didn't take Steelers outside linebacker Joey Porter long to generate interest on the open market.
Brooks, a former NFL wide receiver and cornerback, spent the last seven years as a scout for the Seahawks and Panthers.
LAS VEGAS -- Placing a fat stack of $100 chips onto the blackjack table at the Mandalay Bay Casino early last Thursday morning, Drew Bennett smiled at Shirley, the silver-haired dealer with a severe game face, and posed a playful question.
Ratings for Super Bowl XLI showed that more people watched the Indianapolis Colts' victory over the Chicago Bears than last year's game featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks.
Because I'm not sure if I'm ready for a world where the most famous living person named James Brown is a jovial NFL studio host, here are 10 things I learned about the sports world this weekend...
CHICAGO -- I covered The Other Game. You know, the game that wasn't the game of the year.
Chicago Bear fans are no doubt thrilled their team is heading to Super Bowl XLI in Miami, but it's stock market bulls who had the biggest win on Sunday.
• Numbers to know: You can't forget the Rex Grossman watch, but don't fixate on it to the point where you look past the Thomas Jones factor. The Bears are 14-1 in the past 15 games in which Jones carries at least 20 times. Last week against Seattle, Jones ran for two touchdowns, becoming the first Bears rusher to do that in a playoff game since Walter Payton in 1979. Look for the Bears to feed the ball to Jones and Cedric Benson, limiting the impact the erratic Grossman can have on the game.
Four more NFL teams began their offseasons in the wake of division-round playoff losses over the weekend. Here's a look at the key issues they face in the coming days, weeks and months ....
Call this the Crippled Quarterback round of the playoffs. Rex Grossman looks like he's never seen a blitz before. Peyton Manning is going through some kind of weird regression. Tom Brady still has the ability to pull games out of the fire, after his wildly inaccurate streaks have gotten the Patriots into the fire to begin with. Only Drew Brees seems serene and untroubled, which kind of describes The People's Choice of this tournament, the Saints. But ssshhh, New Orleans has a glaring weakness people won't discuss. Well, I'll discuss it, and pretty soon, as a matter of fact. Here comes a look back and a look ahead:
CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Robbie Gould kicked the Chicago Bears into the NFC championship game for the first time in 18 years.
SI.com's Don Banks had a veteran NFC insider assess the divisional-round playoff games.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Defensive tackle Michael Wright sat at his corner locker Thursday while a media armada encircled linebacker Mike Vrabel at the opposite end of the room. Wright, who sparkled in four emergency starts -- mostly for the injured Vince Wilfork -- has returned to being an obscure reserve, one who went undrafted in 2005.
• Numbers to know: In their past four road games, the Colts are 0-4 (which represents all four of their losses this season) and have allowed 902 rushing yards, for an average of 225.5 per game. For comparison sake, Baltimore gave up just 1,214 yards of rushing all season to rank second in the league, averaging just 75.9 yards per game.
Jenn, I read that you're favoring the Chargers to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. What about the Patriots? Care to elaborate on why you're ruling them out? And I almost forgot: Will you marry me? -- Thomas, Texas
Where was Trey Junkin last Saturday night when the Dallas Cowboys' season slipped through Tony Romo's fingers? The most infamous long snapper in NFL playoff history was at a New Orleans bistro contemplating the Chilean sea bass at the end of his fork.