Tag:Sean Locklear
Posted on: October 27, 2011 11:39 am

Keep an Eye On: Week 8's finer points of analysis

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit

Giants vs. Dolphins
One of the more confounding issues with the Dolphins this season has been the decline of their pass-rush. After recording 39 sacks in 2010 (tied for 10th best in the NFL) Miami entered last week’s game against Denver with just eight. They wound up recording seven sacks in the game, but that was in part because of Tim Tebow’s inability to make quick reads or get the ball out.

The Giants’ reshuffled offensive line has been hit or miss in pass protection thus far (more “hit” than “miss”). At Arizona in Week 4, their brilliant protection practically won the game. But the next week it waffled against Seattle’s underrated D-line (Chris Clemons rather enjoyed facing left tackle Will Beatty).

The Dolphins have one of the game’s best all-around edge-rushers in Cameron Wake, the reigning AFC sack leader. His leverage and tenacity give him strength that’s much better than his size indicates. Wake has been oddly quiet in non-two minute situations this season, though he abused Denver’s somewhat lumbering right tackle, Orlando Franklin, last week.

Giants right tackle Kareem McKenzie is more polished than Franklin but has slower feet. He’ll need help. On the other side, Miami may have an under-the-radar pass-rushing talent in Jared Odrick, who somewhat resembles a thicker Jason Taylor.

Ravens vs. Cardinals
The Ravens offense owes everyone a good performance after ruining one of our 17 precious Monday night games. They should be able to get on track against a Cardinals defense that has struggled to generate a consistent pass-rush despite aggressive blitzes from new coordinator Ray Horton.

The intrigue is on the other side of the ball. Roughly two months after the trade and $20-million-plus investment in Kevin Kolb, some Cardinal fans are actually wondering if the 27-year-old quarterback should be benched. That’s the kind of ridiculous thinking that those who don’t actually contribute any skin in the game can get away with. Ken Whisenhunt knows that he’d never get another coaching job if he were to bench Kolb for John Skelton.

Kolb hasn’t been great, but he’s hardly the problem. Arizona’s “non-Fitzgerald” receivers have not been able to get open. General manager Rod Graves may deserve some heat for letting Steve Breaston get away this past offseason, though Graves’ logic was understandable at the time. Third-round rookie Andre Roberts showed intriguing potential as a speedy slasher last season.

Roberts looked like a future starter, and he cost a fraction of what Breaston would have cost. So Graves banked on him. Roberts has responded by failing to reach 40 yards receiving in every game this season. The good-looking prospect prior to Roberts, Early Doucet, has been equally ineffective.

Teams can sometimes get away with having only one quality wide receiver, but not if their offensive tackles stink. And there’s no denying that Levi Brown and Brandon Keith – two heavy-footed lumberers with inconsistent technique – stink.

So far Kolb has been awful when throwing off-balance. It’s doubtful he’ll get to be on balance much against a staunch Ravens D.

Bills vs. Redskins
Don’t pick the Redskins this week. It’s a matter of principle, if nothing else. No team should have expectations placed on it after making a change at quarterback and losing its top wide receiver, running back, tight end, left tackle and left guard in a two-week span. This will look like a preseason version of the Redskins. How will they cope?

It helps that Mike Shanahan’s system runs more fluidly with John Beck than it does with Rex Grossman. Beck is smoother reading the field and much better at play-action rollouts and bootlegs than Grossman. Accuracy is a bit of a concern, however. As for the other injuries and replacement ...

RB Tim Hightower (knee – out for season) had found his niche in this zone-run scheme, but he’ll be missed most in the passing game. Ryan Torain is a decent upright power-runner with a spring in his step, but he can’t stick pass-rushers the way Hightower could.

WR Santana Moss (hand – out 5-7 weeks) was Washington’s only creator on offense. He could generate his own space and turn an underneath catch into a 60-yard scamper. Either Niles Paul or Anthony Armstrong will replace him. Both have flashed at times, but neither is completely trustworthy. And, unlike with Moss, defenses won’t have to even ponder the possibility of double coverage.

TE Chris Cooley (finger, knee – out for season) was trending down and losing his role to Fred Davis prior to get hurting. Davis can fill Cooley’s receiving shoes. But the Redskins are now down a good in-line blocker in the run game. With Cooley and Davis, Washington had the benefit of balancing its formation with a viable pass-catching tight end on each side. This often compelled defenses to stay in basic front seven looks. New backup tight end Logan Paulsen won’t command that kind of respect.

LT Trent Williams (high ankle sprain – out 0-4 weeks) has missed most of the last two games. Pretty easy to identify the impact of his absence: backup Sean Locklear is experienced but much slower than Williams all-around.

LG Kory Lichtensteiger (knee – out for season) was one of the unheralded heroes for this team down the stretch last year and prior to going down in Week 6. Center Will Montgomery moved one spot to the left to fill Lichtensteiger’s void. Montgomery is interchangeable that way, but his replacement in the middle, Erik Cook, a seventh-round pick in ’10, was a noticeable downgrade coming off the bench. He had issues snapping the ball and was overwhelmed by defensive tackle Mike Peterson on a few plays. The Redskins can only hope those were Cook’s jitters working themselves out.

So who will win? Check our NFL expert picks for all Week 8 games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: May 4, 2011 9:31 am

NFC West draft truths revealed

Posted by Andy Benoit

One of the best things about the draft is that from it we can find out what teams really think about their current players. Excluding examples of teams filling obvious needs, here are some of the more revealing draft picks from 2011, with a quick blurb of what the team was really saying by making this pick.

Arizona Cardinals

2nd round, Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
We’re not sure Beanie Wells can stay healthy. Or that Tim Hightower is really all that good.

San Francisco 49ers
C. Kaepernick (US Presswire)
2nd round, Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada

Remember when we said that Alex Smith is still our guy? Yeah – that was a lie.

4th round, Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
Glen Coffee screwed us last year.

Seattle Seahawks

1st round, James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
Sean Locklear is lazy and not worth signing.

St. Louis Rams

1st round, Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
Do you believe James Hall is as good as his 10.5 sacks last season suggest? Neither do we. Also, let’s face it, when we say Chris Long has a great motor (which he does), we’re also saying he’s not an elite athlete.

2nd round, Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin
When the offensive starters are announced over the loudspeaker during pregame, we get a little squeamish hearing the name “Billy Bajema” called. For one, the guy should never start for any team. Ever. And for two, the name Bajema just sounds, you know, sorta dirty.

3rd round, Austin Pettis, WR, Boise State
We’re worried about Danario Alexander’s knees.

Check back throughout the week for other division’s Draft Truths Revealed. To see all Draft Truths Revealed, click the “Draft Truths” tag.

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Posted on: September 10, 2010 9:06 pm

Locklear takes paycut to stay with Seahawks

Posted by Andy Benoit
S. Locklear (US Presswire)
After rumors swirled all week that offensive tackle Sean Locklear could be traded out of Seattle, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll told the Seattle Times "(Sean’s) with us and (I'm) happy and thrilled to have him with us. There's no issue about anything."

What Carroll said about Locklear being with the team is true, but now you have to wonder how happy the head coach really is about that. (Remember, Carroll essentially runs the Seahawks’ front office). Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports that Locklear has essentially agreed to a new contract in order to stay with the team. His previous deal was set to expire in 2012. His new deal will expire after this season. Here’s the kicker: this new deal will pay Locklear $3.25 million in 2010, instead of the originally-scheduled $5.4 million.

The Seahawks were razor-thin at offensive tackle before trading for Philadelphia’s Stacy Andrews a few days ago. They also decided that either longtime Texan Chester Pitts or third-year pro Tyler Polumbus can fill in for injured first-round rookie Russell Okung at left tackle. All this has made Locklear expendable.

The Seahawks seem to be overhauling their culture, too. They bit their lip and accepted over $6 million in 2010 sunk costs to get rid of T.J. Houshmandzadeh (an outspoken diva receiver). For Locklear, there have been off-field issues in the past, and some observers have questioned his enthusiasm for the game. The organization seems more than willing to part ways with the seventh-year pro, though apparently, they’ll wait until after the season.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 27, 2010 2:21 pm

Seahawks hurting at OT

Posted by Andy Benoit

Two major problems come about from Russell Okung’s high ankle sprain. One, the first-round rookie is losing invaluable developmental opportunities. Obviously, there’s a difference between learning one of the NFL’s toughest positions in practice and preseason games versus learning it on the fly in the regular season. R. Okung (US Presswire)

Secondly, the Seahawks are especially thin at offensive tackle. (Why do you think they invested so much in Okung in the first place?) The Seattle Times reports that 2007 fourth-round pick Mansfield Wrotto will start in Okung’s place. Wrotto is a utility backup who, in the past, has noticeably struggled as a spot starter.

Normally in this situation, the Seahawks would move Sean Locklear to left tackle and have Ray Willis fill in at right tackle. But Willis recently had arthroscopic knee surgery, putting his status for 2010 in question (he almost certainly won’t be available early in the season).

The Seahawks could move Locklear to the left side – they’ve done so several times before. But that would still leave them vulnerable on the right side. (By not moving Locklear, the Seahawks would be weak at left tackle but relatively strong at right tackle; by moving him, they’d be only average at left tackle and weak at right tackle.)

Needless to say, the ideal solution would be for Okung to just get healthy. But high ankle sprains rarely cooperate quickly with such wishes.

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Posted on: August 22, 2010 5:06 pm

Okung's ankle injury could keep him out a while

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Seattle rookie OT Russell Okung suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of Saturday night’s game that could keep him out for a while.

“It’s a legitimate ankle sprain,” coach Pete Carroll told reporters after the game. “We’ll see how it goes.”

From the Seattle Times :
Okung left the field in the first quarter and was replaced by Mansfield Wrotto, who finished the game at left tackle. Okung was not available in the locker room afterward. He underwent X-rays, which did not detect a fracture. He will have an MRI on Sunday. Carroll was asked if Okung suffered a high-ankle sprain.

Typically, recovery from a high-ankle sprain takes four to six weeks. Sometimes it is quicker. Seahawks cornerback Josh Wilson was back two weeks after suffering that type of injury last year. Sometimes it's longer, as was the case with tackle Sean Locklear, who missed about two months.
Without Okung in the lineup, Mansfield Wrotto and Joe Toledo would have a chance to take over the first-team reps. This, however, is a familiar situation for Seahawks fans. Last year, the team went through four LTs trying to find a replacement for the since-retired Walter Jones. If the first-round pick isn’t back for a while, that’s going to be a problem.

"It's pretty significant," Carroll said of Okung's injury. "Obviously we made it as big a priority as we could make it to get him. So we'll have to see how it goes.

"That's a big loss if he can't come back. We put a lot of time and effort into getting this guy right. He has done everything we could ask of him, and we'll see what it is. I don't know how long it's going to take."
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com