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Tag:Julius Jones
Posted on: June 30, 2010 4:11 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 4:34 pm
 

Where will Carroll lead Seattle?

Seattle has been the supposed landing places of a few high-end free agents this offseason. And why not? Head coach Pete Carroll hasn’t been shy about adding new players and subtracting the ones he hasn’t wanted (even if they played for him at USC). First, Bills RB Marshawn Lynch was heading to the northwest. That didn’t happen. Now, the Seahawks apparently are interested in obtaining the services of San Diego WR Vincent Jackson.

Even if Seattle doesn’t pull in another top-notch free agent before the season starts, never fear. Carroll seems to know exactly what he’s doing. Or, at the very least, what he wants.

As we discussed here , Carroll’s roster hasn’t been a safe haven for anybody in the Seattle locker room. Since he took the job in January, he’s acquired 60 players, and of the 80 players heading to training camp, 44 of them weren’t on the roster pre-Carroll. I’m always wary of a team which gives its coach the absolute final say over the personnel that plays for him, but apparently, Seattle thinks it’s a good idea. And Carroll hasn't been shy about using his power.

But just because there’s been significant turnover, that doesn’t mean this year's Seattle squad will make anyone forget about its 2009 debacle (the 5-11 record, the firing of then-coach Jim Mora after only one season). Aging veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck struggled, the top running back Julius Jones was unimpressive, and the offense never found an effective No. 1 receiver (T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the team leader in receptions, is not meant to be a No. 1 guy).
Pete Carroll, right, jogging with L. Tatupu (Associated Press)
The defense was abysmal as well, allowing 24.4 points and 356.4 yards per game. The Seahawks couldn’t stop the pass, probably because they couldn’t figure out a way to rush the opposing quarterback.

Seattle isn’t that far removed from playoff runs from 2003-2007 and a Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2005 season. But it feels like forever ago, doesn’t it?

So, what will change? Obviously, Carroll, who was slightly better than a .500 coach in his previous dalliances in the NFL but who’s coming off so much success at USC, feels like the roster needed to be remade. But you have to question some of his moves.

He brought in former USC RB LenDale White briefly before the team released him, and I don’t understand the love – and the big contract – for career backup QB Charlie Whitehurst. I don’t like the fact WR Nate Burleson and the top-three pass rushers from last year are gone. In fact, I thought it was unfair Mora got the boot after one season.

That said, I liked the Seahawks 2010 draft class. Carroll found a starting LT in Russell Okung who can replace Walter Jones, a FS in Earl Thomas that has good speed and cover skills, and a quick threat in WR Golden Tate,

Sure, a huge roster turnover doesn’t usually mean a team is poised for a breakthrough season, and people around the league don’t seem to have high hopes for this year’s squad. Also consider the offensive system, which will rely on making formation shifts to confuse the defense, is going through a wholesale change. But get the new guys some seasoning, maybe get Whitehurst some playing time, maybe have second-day draft picks like TE Anthony McCoy and CB Walter Thurmond surprise some people, and maybe, the Seahawks can be a threat in the next few years. Maybe Carroll can replicate his success from USC in Seattle. Maybe.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.





Posted on: June 22, 2010 8:33 pm
 

Washington back at practice

For the first time since suffering a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula last year while playing for the Jets, requiring a metal rod to be inserted in his leg, Seahawks RB Leon Washington, was on the field in a helmet for practice today.

Coach Pete Carroll told reporters he thinks Washington is ahead of schedule, and though the team will continue to be careful with him, he could be ready to compete by the start of training camp.

Just practicing was heaven for Washington, he told the team’s official web site .

“It felt good,” Washington told seahawks.com. “All I can say is that it’s a blessing. This was a long time coming. I’ve been looking forward to this day since last October. I felt like a little kid playing Pop Warner football again.”

On Tuesday, Washington worked out in individual, non-contact drills, and he plans to practice again Wednesday.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Seahawks use Washington, who split carries with Thomas Jones last season. There was a question whether Washington’s career would be over after suffering the injury, and it doesn’t seem likely he’ll have the same ability as when he was a rushing, receiving and a Pro Bowl-caliber kick returning threat who made good use of his speed and quickness.

Plus, the Seahawks already have Julius Jones and Justin Forsett – neither of whom have rathad their leg bone break through their skin anytime recently – in the backfield. Then again, both were rather mediocre last year, and if Washington can retain much of his speed, he could make an impact.
 

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Posted on: June 14, 2010 6:12 pm
 

Marshawn Lynch to Seattle?

It would be a little weird for the Seahawks to dump LenDale White for character issues (failed drug test, iffy work ethic) only to sign Marshawn Lynch weeks later. But according to Jason La Canfora of NFL Network, they are “very interested” in doing exactly that.

Lynch is unhappy in Buffalo (he doesn’t like the town or organization) and the Bills aren’t thrilled with him either. Lynch’s off-field problems are a factor, but what many outsiders don’t realize is he’s not a valuable commodity on the field. Lynch struggles reading his blocks and defensive fronts, and he often shows a concerning lack of patience with the ball in his hand. He’s athletic and tough, but not drastically more than most running backs. Last season Fred Jackson was far and away Buffalo’s best runner.

Still, it may seem worthwhile for Seattle to give Lynch a shot, assuming they don’t surrender anything more than a fourth-round pick. After all, Lynch was a first-round pick only four years ago. Plus, Pete Carroll and his new regime don’t seem too high on Julius Jones. The seventh-year veteran has failed to rush for 700 yards in each of his first two seasons in Seattle.

That said, Jones’s style of play is a good fit in Seattle’s new zone-blocking scheme. Though not a quick direction-changer, Jones is a finesse-runner who can eat up ground when given initial space between the tackles. He’d be more likely to succeed with the scheme’s one-cut-and-go responsibilities than would Lynch. Either way, expect diminutive Justin Forsett to wind up being Seattle’s most dangerous running back in 2010.

---Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com