The Seattle Seahawks concluded their version of the 2016 draft last weekend and this Friday they will hold a four day mini camp beginning this Thursday and ends this Sunday. It will be an orientation of sorts for the rookies. The mini camp will introduce the business end of the NFL to the rookies, physicals will be taken, nuts and bolts of the VMac in terms of weight rooms, film rooms and NFL and Seahawks conduct to name a few of the many items they be introduced to. So fair enough, the question of who did they draft and why will now be answered.
The Seahawks made 10 picks in the draft and the best way to describe the picks is they were surgical and proficient. In other words the team drafted for needs as well as the best player available. The team traded down from 26th to 31st with the Denver Broncos and used their first round pick no 31 overall on offensive line Germain Ifedi of Texas A & M. The 6-foot-5, 325 pound was a three year starter and is expected to compete for the starting right guard position.
The Seahawks continued their unpredictability on Draft day and traded up with the Chicago Bears and selected Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed at no.49 overall. The junior-college transfer to Alabama, recorded 56 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and one sack in 2015, a year he was named second-team All-SEC. In the third round the Seahawks selected Notre Dame running back CJ. Prosise with the No.90 overall pick. The Hawks picked TE Nick Vannett from Ohio State just four picks later at No. 94 overall and offensive guard Rees Odhiambo from Boise State was another 3rd round pick by the Hawks at No.97 overall.
The team took a respite and used its two fifth round picks on DT Quinton Jefferson of Maryland at No. 147 overall and RB Alex Collins, of Arkansas at No. 171 overall. The Seahawks went back to offensive line basics and picked up Center Joey Hunt from TCU in the sixth round and Wide Receiver Kenny Lawler from California was nabbed in round seven and no. 243 overall. Running back Zac Brooks from Clemson was the Hawks last pick in the seventh round and 247 overall.
So if you question is what does this all mean , the answers is, well complicated. While the NFL books says it takes three years to grade any drat class, the low hanging fruit regarding this drat is that the Seahawks went for need and depth. The team needed help at offensive line and Ifedi should fit the bill. DT Reed will help on the defensive line because the Hawks like to rotate the D line so late in the game, the players still have legs to get to the quarter back. The depth comes in the picks of running back Prosise and TE Vannett. While they will not be counted on to start they both will have opportunities to contribute right away.
As for the Seahawks feel about their draft picks, general manager John Schneider was excited about the picks, “It was just a phenomenal weekend for us,” general manager John Schneider said on 710 ESPN Monday morning. “We’re really excited to get these guys in the house.”
Seattle Sounders (3-4-1, 10 points) rookie Jordan Morris scored his third goal in as many games and the 88th minute strike gave the Seattle Sounders a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew SC (2-4-2, 8 points) and pushed the Rave Green’s consecutive home wins to three games.
Both sides started the match with clear intentions to score goals on the way to bagging the three points. Given each teams intent it was only fitting that the match was played at a fast and frenetic pace. In the first fifteen minutes the home side had the majority of ball possession but it was the visitors who created more shots on goal.
The Crew had two good chances before the half to take a the lead. The first chance came in the 31st minute when Seattle goal keeper Stephan Frei whiffed on a goal kick that went directly to Crew center forward Federico Higuaín who juked left to free himself from defender Chad Marshall only to kick the ball back to the scrambling Frei.
Ethan Finlay beat Seattle’s offside trap and had a wide open goal ten minutes later but his shot was wide right and the two sides went into the break deadlocked at zeros.
Seattle was the aggressor of the two teams coming out of the break and their determination and persistence was evident as they dominated play and had three good shots on goal in the first ten minutes of the second half.
Seattle continued its domination of the Crew for the rest of the half . Crew Coach Gregg Berhalter was bitterly disappointed at how his team responded to Seattle’s aggression.
“I think it was a game of two halves in terms of us controlling the first half and them controlling the second half. A little bit disappointed with our reaction out of the locker room for the second half, ” Berhalter said in the post game interview. ” I thought we lost our aggression. “
“You know, our pressing wasn’t good enough and it allowed them to take control of the game and after the first half of not scoring which I felt we had a couple of good opportunities to score a goal it was disappointing to end a game like that.”
For Seattle coach Sigi Schmid the most important thing was for his team to walk away with a win and continue the teams slow but steady progress up the standings.
“Three points are massive – it’s a big difference. You want to get wins at home, so we got another
win at home now. I think it was a good game from the standpoint of our character. I thought
defensively, with the exception of a few plays, we did a great job defensively, as well. Obviously
getting the three points is huge.”
Seattle is now 5-3-3 all-time against Crew SC, including a 2-2-2 record at CenturyLink Field. The Rave Green are 3-0-0 against Eastern Conference clubs this season, having previously won contests against the Montreal Impact and the Philadelphia Union.
Seattle Mariner (7-8) second baseman Robinson Cano pounced on the first-pitch fastball Cleveland Indian’s ( 6-7) closer Cody Allen served him in the top of the 10th inning to break a 7-7 tie that propelled the Mariners to a 10-7 win, and another road series win. The ever bewildering Marines have bagged road series wins against the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees and now the Indians for a combined 6-3 away record.
All good and well except the Mariners have a 1-5 home record. While the season is young and the rebuilt Mariners have played just two home series against the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers, the .170 team batting average at home leaves much to be desired when you compare it to the .255 road average. Fortunately for the road warrior Mariners, they have a three game series against the Los Angeles Angels that begins on Friday before they return home for a three game set against the Houston Astros.
As for the rubber match win over the Tribe, the Mariners showed grit and determination by believing in themselves after giving up a big lead and watching Cleveland’s Mike Napoli blast a two-run homer off Mariner reliever Joaquin Benoit to tie the game at 7-7 in the bottom of the eight inning
“It would have been a great game to win. We kept coming,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. after the game. “Obviously, Nap with a huge hit. It’s kind of fun to watch a guy that’s not playing, sit there for eight innings and be locked in, and then go do what he did. That’s pretty impressive.”
More impressive was Cano’s three run blast against Cleveland closer Allen when you consider Cano was 0 for 7 against Allen entering the game
“I’d never got a hit against him,” Cano told MLB.com after the game. “He’s one of the best closers in the game. This was the time where he gave me the one pitch over the plate.”
The Mariners’ bullpen had allowed just two runs in its last 24 innings prior to Napoli’s game-tying homer off Benoit. Seattle reliever Tony Zych (1-0) was credit with the win while Cleveland’s Cody Allen (0-1) was saddled with loss. Steve Cishek was credited with his third save of the season.
Oakland A’s(2-3) outfielder Chris Coghlan drilled a one-out homer off Seattle Mariners(2-2) closer Steve Cishek in the top of the ninth to give the visitors a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners and kill the home opening buzz for the home side. A raucous crowd of 47, 065 spectators-the largest to see a regular season game at Safeco Field was giddy and in partying mood as the M’s began the official Ken Griffey Jr. countdown to Cooperstown as part of the opening day festivities.
When said favored son Griffey, threw out the the ceremonial opening pitch, the capacity crowd was drunk with nostalgia and anticipation. Unfortunately for the M’s Cishek’s missed fast ball to Coghlan dashed the M’s hopes of winning a third a consecutive game, staying in first place in the American League West for a few more days. The blown save by Cishek was the first run allowed by the bullpen in 2016 and snapped a run of 11 consecutive innings before the fateful pitch.
“That was just a good piece of hitting on obviously way too good a pitch at that part of the game,” Cishek said after the game, “I was trying to elevate a little more and I didn’t get it up there, and he put a good swing on it. I felt great out there. I just didn’t execute that pitch.”
The Mariners bullpen a question mark going into the season. In 2015 the bullpen was ranked 12th in the AL with a 4.15 ERA. Only the Boston Redsox, Detroit Tigers and the A’s had worse bullpens. The outlook dimmed even more during spring training when the injury bug hit and Right-handers Ryan Cook and Evan Scribner were lost to strained lats and left hander Charle Furbush was shutdown because of tendinitis in his left bicep.
Furbush and Scribner were put on the 15-day DL and could be welcome reinforcement sooner than later if all goes well. Cook’s return will be much longer as he was out on the 60-day disable list. The Mariners moved Mike Montgomery and acquired Nick Vincent (1-0) from the Padres as part of the spring training bullpen revamp.
In addition to the blown save, the Marines torrid late inning hitting came to an abrupt end. The M’s 3-4-5 hitters of Robinson Cano, Nelson and Kyle Seager went 1-12 and stranded five base runners. Starter pitcher Taijun Walker had a decent night, giving up seven hits, 2 earned runs, and striking out four batters in seven innings. A’s starter Eric Surkump allowed four hits over 4 2/3 innings in his first Major League appearance since 2013.
Left-hander Rich Hill will be on the mound for the A’s on Saturday for game two of the three game series while Right-hander Nathan Karns will do the same for the Mariners.
If hope springs eternal, a red hot hitting second baseman can only add to ones optimistic view of life. The combination of never quit until the last out and Seattle Second baseman Robinson Cano’s torrid hitting streak of a home run in the first three games of the Seattle Mariners season, finds the M’s with a series sweep of the defending American League West Champions Texas Rangers.
While no one is quiet ready to start talking about playoffs, I mean it’s three game in a 162 game season. Reason to believe sure, talk of best in the West , hmm not so much. The Mariners have plenty of reasons for optimism going into Friday nights 7:10 p.m. home opener against the Oakland A’s.
In addition to Cano’s hitting, the Mariners are scoring late inning runs when behind. Why is this important ? In 2015, the Mariners had just one win in which they entered the ninth inning trailing, according to Stats, Inc . Oddly enough that one win was against the Rangers, on April 19th at Safeco Field.
After losing Mondays season opener to the Rangers 2-3, the M’s won the second game 10-2 after giving up a a two run lead. The M’s scored two runs in the seventh inning to take a two run lead and scored six runs in the eight for the emphatic victory in which Nelson Cruz and Cano each tagged a home run.
In Wednesday’s rubber match between the AL West rivals, Cano continued his baseball bashing act by hitting two home runs and driving in five runs. One of the home runs capped a Seattle five-run ninth inning scoring barrage that capped a 9-5 victory and the three game series.
“It was a good series,” Cano told MLB.com after the game. “Not because of the way I ended up swinging the bat, but the way we ended up coming back, especially in that game, and be able to win the series. That was an exciting ninth inning, but I know we’re that kind of team. In Spring Training, we showed that if we are down by five or six runs, we can come back. We are a team that can compete with anyone.”
Taijuan Walker is scheduled to pitch Friday night when the M’s take on the Oakland A’s in the home opener for the Mariners. Eric Surkmap will be on the mound for the A’s
Clint Dempsey continued his goal scoring spree for club and country on Saturday night and helped the Seattle Sounders (1-3-0, 3 pts) break into the win column for the first time this season after three loses with a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact (2-2-0, 6 pts) The 79th minute header by Dempsey from an Andreas Ivanschitz corner brought a loud roar of relief and satisfaction from 39,705 fans who had finally seen the promised land .
“It feels good to be winning both club and country again and this was an important win for us and hopefully we can gain confidence from it, we got a clean sheet and that is big for us and so it was finally nice to get the three points.” Dempsey said after the game.
Dempsey scored a goal in Tuesday night’s USMNT 4-0 trashing of Guatemala in a CONCAF World Cup qualifying match. Dempsey’s goal in that game gave him 49 career goals for the USMNT good enough for second behind Landon Donovan’s all-time record of 57.
The lone goal by Dempsey in Saturday nights MLS contest was the lone bright spot in a game that was truly a dog fight where no one side could get their nose in front of the other. The lack of flow in the game was due to each side never stringing four or more consecutive passes together.
Every time Seattle tried to play the ball wide Montreal clogged the outlet pass to the Seattle player that was waiting for the ball. The result would be an intercepted by the visitors and resulting in a Montreal counter attack that was disrupted by a determined Seattle defense.
Montreal came into the game leading the MLS Eastern Conference and the loss to the Sounders was it’s second consecutive loss in as many games.
“If you take away the first 10 minutes if the game, I thought that we played well in stretches and yes having Didier Drogba playing would have helped but overall I thought we gave it a good effort.” Montreal coach Mauro Biello said after the game. Drogba has been given permission to skip games being played on artificial surface such as Century Link Field.
Despite the loss to the Sounders, the Impact find themselves in three tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution. The Sounders are still cellar dwellers of the MLS Western Conference.
Seattle Sounder FC forward Clint Dempsey and former USMNT captain has been called back to National Team duties for the teams upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala. Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann named 26 players to his roster to face los Chapines, beginning with a match at Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City on Friday, March 25 (7:00 p.m PT) before facing off at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus on Tuesday, March 29 (4:00 p.m. PT )
The National team roster is a blend of youth and experience. The roster has 18 players with previous experience in FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches and includes seven that have already appeared in two or more FIFA World Cup Qualifying cycles. Eight players could earn their first World Cup Qualifying cap in the matches vs. Guatemala.
“Our goal definitely for the two Guatemala fixtures is six points. We badly want to get the job done before the Copa America Centenario if possible,” said Jurgen Klinsmann. “We know it’s going to be very difficult, especially in Guatemala City, but it’s also going to be difficult in Columbus, and there we have a great crowd behind us. We tried to make sure there’s the right mix of players, and we are convinced that this roster is strong enough to get the job done.”
Dempsey is sixth all-time with 120 appearances and fifth with 107 starts for the USMNT, including appearances in each of the last three FIFA World Cups. His 48 career goals rank second all-time, just nine behind Landon Donovan for the USMNT record. Dempsey led the U.S. with nine goals in nine appearances in 2015, including Golden Boot honors at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where he netted seven goals.
The USMNT is 15-4-6 all-time against Guatemala and is currently enjoying a 21-match unbeaten streak – the team’s longest current run against any international opponent. The U.S. is 7-0-5 all-time in World Cup Qualifying games against los Chapines, and has never lost at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, going 7-0-3 all-time.
Pedro Morales converted a penalty kick in each half to give the visiting Vancouver Whitecaps a stunning 2-1victory over the Seattle Sounders Saturday night at Century Link Field in front of a capacity crowd of 40,012 fans. The win by the Whitecaps (1-2) snapped an 0-2 start to the season and left the Sounders winless after three MLS games.
“Not pleased with result, its a game I thought we controlled the majority of the game I am not sure about the PK’s.” Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid said after the game. “I have not seen the replays, I have seen guys trip themselves in the box I know it happens, it seems like right now we are not catching a break in any way shape or form, obviously it has to get better at the end of the day for us to win.”
Morales first spot kick conversion came in the 10th minute when Joevin Jones was whistled for a penalty against the Whitecaps Christian Bolaños inside the box. Awarded the gift, Morales wasted no time in right footing the ball to the bottom left corner for the 1-0 lead.
After some discombobulation due to the goal, the Sounders regained their focus, purpose and had some good looks at the goal but when the halftime whistle blew, the home side was still down a goal .
The Sounders started the second half as they finished the first half, on the front foot and determined to score. The Sounders did not have to wait long for their hard work to pay off.
The Rave Green tied the game in the 51st minute after Clint Dempsey and Andrea Ivanschitz traded roles, that being Demspey drew a foul just outside the Vancouver goal box and Ivanschitz left footed an exquisite shot past Whitecaps keeper David Ousted.
Once the score was leveled the two sides threw caution to the wind and went searching for the game winner. Vancouver’s Octavio Rivero 57th minuter header from the centre of the was saved Stephan Frei, and Jordan Morris’s right footed shot from the left side of the box was saved by Whitecaps keeper David Ousted.
The two sides stayed deadlocked until the 74th minute when Seattle’s Chad Marshall fouled Vancouver’s Blas Pérez in the penalty box and the Whitecaps were awarded their second penalty of the game. Pedro Morales took the spot kick and once again right footed the ball past Seattle keeper Stefan Frei for the game winner.
For Vancouver coach Carl Robinson the win against the Sounders was a hard earned team effort.
“It was a better performance. This game is a process and if you put the right performances in, the results will come.” Robinson said after the game. “I think we tripped ourselves up with mistakes in the first two games and we accepted that. Today was a team performance.”
The Sounders played without two starters, Erik Friberg (knee) was replaced by Cristian Roldan, and center back Brad Evans (shoulder) was replaced by veteran Zach Scott for the second straight game.
The Sounders will return to action at home against the Montreal Impact on April 2 after upcoming FIFA international date next weekend.