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Russell Wilson-Will Dissly connection helps Seahawks win ugly again – Seattle Seahawks Blog

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PITTSBURGH — After the Seattle Seahawks scuffled their way to a 21-20 season-opening win over the Cincinnati Bengals, wide receiver Tyler Lockett channeled coach Pete Carroll and wondered aloud how good they might be when they’re at their best.

They’ll have to wait at least another week to find out.

In the meantime, they’re 2-0 after a 28-26 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers that was at times every bit as unsightly as the first one.

It helped that the Steelers had their own set of issues, including an injury that sidelined Ben Roethlisberger for the second half.

Pivotal play: Chris Carson converted a fourth-and-1 run that allowed the Seahawks to kneel out their win. It was a gutsy call by Carroll from Pittsburgh’s 33-yard line, and it showed a lot of faith in Carson (15 carries, 61 yards) after two fumbles earlier in the game. The second came on a botched handoff that set up a Steelers touchdown. Another pivotal play was strong safety Lano Hill picking off a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter that preserved the Seahawks’ 21-19 lead. Hill, starting in place of Tedric Thompson, made amends for getting beat on a 45-yard flea-flicker. He might remain in the starting lineup even when Thompson returns from his hamstring injury.

Promising trend: Tight end Will Dissly caught touchdown passes of 14 and 12 yards, giving him four scores in six career games. The Seahawks have raved about how much Dissly crushed his rehab from the torn patellar tendon that ended his rookie season in Week 4 of last year, and it’s evident why. Dissly (along with cornerback Tre Flowers) was one of two players the Seahawks felt they had to have in the 2018 draft. They considered his blocking to be a perfect fit in their run-heavy offense. But he’s proving to be a complete tight end similar to Zach Miller, who played on the 2013 Super Bowl team.

Continuing to buy Tyler Lockett: We’re well past the point of Lockett breaking out — after all, he caught 10 touchdowns last season while nearly reaching 1,000 yards receiving — but his 10 receptions (for 79 yards) Sunday set a new career high. While you’re not going to see that type of volume every week in an offense that runs the ball as much as Seattle’s, he’s still the team’s No. 1 receiver now that Doug Baldwin is gone. Lockett’s two targets in the opener were more of a fluke than an indication of what his season will look like.

Troubling trend: The Seahawks trailed 10-7 at halftime despite nearly doubling the Steelers’ offensive output, 202-103 yards. Penalties were a big difference, as they often have been. Seattle committed seven accepted penalties in the first half and finished with 10 for 93 yards. Right tackle Germain Ifedi, who led the league in penalties in 2017, had three on Sunday, including one that was declined. Rookie receiver DK Metcalf, who committed two penalties that were declined last week, was flagged twice on the same play for offensive pass interference and a face mask at the end of the first half. That pushed Jason Myers‘ field goal attempt back to 58 yards, and he missed it.

QB breakdown: Wilson took four sacks in the first half. That was probably the reason Seattle went with more of a quick passing game in the second half. Wilson (29-of-35 for 300 yards) tossed his third touchdown pass to Metcalf on a perfectly placed deep ball from 28 yards out. Wilson’s legs (22 yards on six rushes) helped put the Steelers away at the end.

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Jets’ Joe Flacco says he won’t be ready for opener after surgery

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New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco, who agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract Friday, confirmed speculation he won’t be ready for the Sept. 13 season opener against the Buffalo Bills because of his recently repaired neck.

“I can’t speak to exactly when I’m going to be ready, but it will not be day one,” Flacco said Tuesday in an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio. “Obviously, we’ll get with the doctors and I have another checkup come August, so we’ll see where that goes.”

Flacco, 35, who underwent surgery in early April for a herniated disk, could be cleared for contact in early to mid-September, sources said last week. He said he feels “normal right now” — he’s throwing and working out — but he probably will be limited to light work in training camp.

The Jets were aware of Flacco’s timetable when they finalized the deal. They’re confident he will be healthy enough to serve as Sam Darnold‘s backup for much of the season. The football calendar is up in the air because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“First and foremost, I want to help the team in any way possible and also be a guy Sam can lean on, that he can learn from,” Flacco said in his first interview since being released by the Denver Broncos after only one season. “I would say those are the two most important things: Help out the guys on the team and help out Sam to do all they can.

“For me, personally, I want to play football. I’ve had some things happen, got injured and had to have surgery. I have to find my way back into the league. I want to play for years to come. I think these guys have given me a great opportunity and hope I can make the most of my situation and make the most of whatever my role ends up being.”

The former longtime Baltimore Ravens starter and Super Bowl MVP admitted he wavered on whether to continue playing. He said he was “changing my mind every other day” earlier in the offseason.

“My mind was just all over the place, even a couple of months into the offseason,” he said. “I was just kind of going crazy about the whole thing. The fact that I finally got [the surgery] done and put all that behind me, I can move forward now and look forward to football.”

Flacco, acknowledging he knows “nothing at this point” about coach Adam Gase’s offensive system, is participating in the virtual offseason program. He said he wouldn’t hesitate to participate in a minicamp amid coronavirus concerns.

“It’s tough to talk about this and not get political, but I want to get back to work,” he said. “I think everybody wants to get back to work. It would be very easy for me and a bunch of the guys that play to sit here and say, ‘Ah, we can quarantine until this and this and this.’

“… I could quarantine forever — I’ve been lucky, I’ve been fortunate — but I want to get back to work. I think we all do, man. We need this. We need to get back to work and get things going.”

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Saints DE Noah Spence tears ACL while training away from team

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New Orleans Saints defensive end Noah Spence suffered a torn ACL while training away from the team, a source confirmed, Tuesday.

Spence was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list since the injury did not occur as part of New Orleans’ offseason training program — which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. That means he can’t play for the Saints this year and won’t count against their 90-man roster. The NFL Network was the first to report the nature of Spence’s injury.

Situations like this could add another wrinkle to these unusual offseason circumstances. Teams aren’t required to pay salaries in the cases of “non-football” injuries. But they could decide to work out injury settlements or place players on injured reserve when rosters are trimmed in September and continue paying them.

Spence, 26, was scheduled to make $910,000 on a one-year deal if he made the Saints’ 53-man roster. He would have counted $750,000 against their salary cap as part of the veteran minimum salary benefit.

The fifth-year pro originally joined the Saints last December after being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins earlier in the 2019 season. He was a healthy inactive for all four games with New Orleans, including the playoffs. But he had a chance to earn a roster spot this year to provide depth behind starters Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport.

Spence (6-foot-2, 251 pounds) began his career as a second-round draft pick with the Buccaneers in 2016 and had a terrific rookie season with 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.

His production has tailed off since then, however, in part because of a nagging shoulder injury that limited him to six games in 2017. He had another sack and forced fumble with the Bucs in 2017 and one sack with the Redskins in 2019.

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Miami Dolphins to open drive-in theater at Hard Rock Stadium

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The Miami Dolphins will soon let fans drive their cars inside the stadium where football players typically play every weekend in the fall.

The Dolphins announced Tuesday that they are launching an outdoor drive-in theater inside Hard Rock Stadium that will be used to show marquee games in team history, classic movies, commencement ceremonies, concerts and more. They are also hosting an open-air theater which can host small groups for an intimate viewing experience in the complex plaza.

The Dolphins have mocked renderings of the drive-in venture, which they say can host up to 230 cars. They are promoting it as a family-friendly event that people can participate in amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Food and beverage can purchased through an online system and delivered to cars. Restrooms will also be made available for use. Fans can put their name on an email list via the stadium website to be notified when tickets are available.

“We’ve spent several weeks planning this to be able to provide people with a safe option to go out and enjoy movies, classic Dolphins content, concerts, and celebrate 2020 graduates,” said Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium vice chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel. “It’s a fundamental human need to physically experience and celebrate events and experiences together, and we’re trying to provide options for everyone where they can be safely socially distant and socially present at the same time.”

Hard Rock Stadium became the first public facility to earn the Global Biorisk Advisory Council’s STAR accreditation, the standard used for facilities to implement cleaning, disinfecting and infectious disease prevention work practices to control risks involved with infectious agents like the coronavirus.

Garfinkel and the Dolphins have been proactive and innovative in ways to function during the pandemic. They released mock-up plans earlier this month for what it could like to host approximately 15,000 fans in the stadium for NFL fans if the NFL and the government allows it in the fall. Owner Stephen Ross also said on CNBC Tuesday that there will “definitely” be a football season this fall and the plans as of now is to include having fans in the stands.

Hard Rock Stadium was the host for Super Bowl LIV. It also has hosted Miami Open tennis tournaments, several multiple large music festivals, college football championship games and international soccer games.

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