Sleepless In Seattle Nuggets

From Seattle, Washington

Saturday was the classic day in the Pacific Northwest. Cloudy, foggy at times, cool temperatures, a light mist in the air. It’s what people think of when they consider Seattle and environs.

At least I did for about six or seven of my first trips here for football games. Then I was sent to Seattle on a story assignment in July and that’s when I found out why people live here. The sky was deep blue, the mountains were dazzling, the lakes and Puget Sound twinkled like diamonds. It was stunning in its beauty. There’s just too much of the crappy days for me; the overcast and rain would sink me.

The National Weather Service forecast for Sunday afternoon and it’s changed in the last few days: a 30 percent chance of showers before 10 a.m. Then, mostly sunny with a high near 40 degrees. Light south wind between 3 and 6 mph.

Given the practice time they got in this week, that type of forecast should be no problem for the Chiefs to handle.


Todd Haley tells his rookies many times as they come into the league that their surest way onto the active roster is to perform in the kicking game. Some listen, some don’t. One guy who took the words to heart is rookie WR Verran Tucker (above).

It was his work on special teams in practices that got him elevated to the active roster from the practice squad. And it was his work in the kicking game that earned him more chances to perform on offense.

And now he’s coming off his first NFL start, it came down last week against Arizona. The start is really not a big deal at his point of the season or the young man’s career. What is huge is the number of opportunities he’s getting both on offense and special teams.

“The easiest way for a young guy to get on the team is through special teams,” said offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. “Here’s a case where he showed improvement as a receiver, but his improvement on special teams was really what got him on the field first. I think that anyone, whether you’re a draft choice or an undrafted rookie free agent, you have a chance of playing on the team as long as you can show up on special teams.”

In five games on the active roster, Tucker has four tackles in the kicking game. Plus, he’s caught three passes, including one that went for 38 yards and another for a touchdown.

On a team in dire need of talented targets for QB Matt Cassel to throw too, Tucker has the opportunity in front of him to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.


GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll took over the Seahawks back in January. Since then, they’ve made 258 transactions involving the active roster and practice squad. No team in the league can match that. There hasn’t been a week of the season when they didn’t send somebody packing, or make a change in the locker room.

Take their practice squad. Back on September 5th, they named eight players to that squad after the final pre-season cut was completed. Right now, of those eight players only one is still on the practice squad – former Chiefs rookie OL Lemuel Jeanpierre. He’s been there since early September. The other seven players have been moved off and on the squad at various times. This year they’ve had 20 different players on the practice squad.

This week alone they moved TE Anthony McCoy (injured reserve), OL Allen Barbre (released) and LB E.J. Wilson (released) off the roster. They added DL Amon Gordon (street free agent), OT Will Robinson (claimed off practice squad) and DE Clifton Geathers (signed off Dolphins practice squad.)

“I think we are a more talented football team, absolutely,” said Schneider. “We’re bigger, we’re faster. Football is the ultimate team sport. How those guys come together now in terms of timeframe, I can’t answer that. But we’re clearly a more talented football team.”

As an example of how busy Seattle has been with its roster, last year the Chiefs were constantly adding and subtracting players. But they couldn’t match the sheer numbers of what the Seahawks have done. Last year, Pioli/Haley had 18 different players on the practice squad; eight eventually moved up to the active roster and six remain with the team, but only three are on the active roster – CB Jackie Bates, T Barry Richardson and S Ricky Price.


They are playing the championship game of the 2010 Canadian Football League season on Sunday night in Edmonton. It’s a re-match of last year’s game between the Montreal Alouettes and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The Alouettes won the title last year with a field goal. Montreal has won twice in the last 10 years. The Riders on the other hand have won two of the last four Grey Cups.

Chiefs LB Cory Greenwood was rooting for the Toronto Argonauts to reach the title game. That was the team that grabbed him at the top of the first round in this year’s CFL Draft. Greenwood instead, signed with the Chiefs where he made the 53-man roster and has continued to produce in the kicking game.

“I’m from Montreal so I guess I should be rooting for the Alouettes,” Greenwood said. “But Saskatchewan is a tough team. Those are tough people out there. There really isn’t much going on out there.

“I don’t know who wins but I’m sure it will be a good game. They both have a lot of talented players, like Anthony Calvillo (Montreal QB).”

3 Responses to “Sleepless In Seattle Nuggets”

  • November 27, 2010  - aPauled says:

    Gotta love Verran Tucker for the heart and effort that he has shown. He’s not the speed guy that we need at #2 WR, but I would like to see him establish himself for the #3-4 going into next year. Guys with less talent have made it big in this league.

  • November 27, 2010  - John says:

    Tucker ran a 4.4 40…pretty speedy to me. There is a youtube video of a collection of his catches and when the DB is up tight on him near the line he constantly is blowing by them and then making the catch in stride. Once Matt and he gets the timing down I think he will definitely be a great asset opposite of Bowe.

  • November 28, 2010  - Edward says:

    yea Tuck makin very good progress. I think apauled is underestimating Tucker’s speed. That’s what the coaches talk about was his speed and route running. Hopefully he can step up and become a solid #2 receiver.

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