2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Seahawks' impressive defense getting attention

    2013-09-19 18:22

(Eds: Adds details, quotes. Will stand. With AP Photos.)
By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - Expectations are so high in the Seattle Seahawks locker room that what's impressive to others is merely acceptable to them.

In two games, the Seahawks' swarming defense has surrendered only 10 points, shutting down Carolina and San Francisco. They've made Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick look confused, created game-changing turnovers and shown just how much fun it is making the game miserable for others.

And the Seahawks are putting on this defensive show missing at least three expected starters.

Impressive, right?

``I'm not really impressed,'' All-Pro safety Earl Thomas said. ``I expected that.''

On a team with offensive stars like Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch, Seattle's defense is deservedly getting praise for what they've done to start the season.

The numbers are only likely to get better facing woeful Jacksonville on Sunday, a matchup between the worst total offense in the NFL and the best total defense.

``Watching the defense is just, `Wow, how can you make the defense that much better?''' Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril said.

The Seahawks lead the league in fewest yards allowed and turnovers. Seattle also doesn't give up big plays, leading the NFL by allowing just two plays of 20-plus yards thus far.

They get especially tough in their half of the field. Of the 19 drives by Carolina and San Francisco, only three of them reached inside Seattle's 20. One resulted in the only touchdown the Seahawks have allowed - a 3-yard TD pass to Carolina's Steve Smith - one turned into a San Francisco field goal and the other ended with a deflected pass that landed in Thomas' hands for his first interception of the season.

According to STATS Inc., Baltimore and Kansas City are the only other teams that have allowed just three red zone drives.

``Just making sure you're on your keys,'' Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner said. ``Anybody out of position in the middle of the field, they gain a couple of yards. You do that in the red zone and they score a touchdown. We don't want anybody scoring touchdowns.''

While they were the best scoring defense in the NFL a season ago, Seattle is playing even more aggressively than before.

That might not seem possible considering the physicality they've become known for, especially on the outside. But new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is bringing more pressures and allowing his secondary to play more man defense. It was a move the Seahawks defensive backs lobbied for when Quinn first arrived.

That means All-Pro Richard Sherman and his fellow cornerbacks are typically isolated in one-on-one coverage on the outside. That's also led to Thomas inching closer to the line of scrimmage even if coach Pete Carroll has noted that maybe he should take a few steps back.

``We have a lot of talented players on the back end. We have a lot of talented players throughout this team. In the back end we felt there was a certain mentality about it,'' Sherman said. ``We had a phrase, `You man up, you stand up.' We wanted to hold everyone in the back end accountable every single play. We just preached that to (Quinn) that we think we can stand up against basically anybody. And if we can't, then fair enough, you can adjust the defense accordingly. But until then let us take a chance.''

The grabbing and clutching, that physical pressure the defense puts on receivers especially can border on illegal at times and has drawn the ire of opponents not used to that kind of physicality. Kaepernick insinuated as much earlier this week when he said he believes the Seahawks, ``Get away with a lot of things on defense.''

Sherman, of course, had a quick response.

``We got away with three picks, two fumbles, five turnovers. We got away with a 29-3 victory it looked like,'' he said. ``That's the way it looked to me.''

The reality for the rest of the league is Seattle's defense may only get better in the weeks to come. Defensive end Chris Clemons is expected to return in the next two weeks after a major knee injury suffered in January's playoff win over Washington. Cornerback Brandon Browner has missed the first two games with a hamstring injury and linebacker/defensive end Bruce Irvin will return from his four-game suspension after Seattle's game at Houston.

``It's going to be scary,'' Wagner said. ``Bruce is going to add another level. (Clemons) is going to add another level. Everybody is going to add another level to everything. ... Nobody's going to be able to get on the outside. You're not going to be able to throw the ball. You're not going to be able to run the ball. It's just going to be a great defense to be on.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

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Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

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