For our Seahawks story for today’s paper, I wrote a little bit defensive end Cliff Avril who was one of the free agents brought in during the off-season to shore up the pass rush.
As the story notes, Avril has done his job, with a team-high 7.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.
He’s also doing so playing about 20 percent fewer snaps or so than he typically did in Detroit as the Seahawks have implemented a pretty heavy rotation up front. And remember a month or so ago when that was something of a bone of contention, that the Seahawks played so many different players regularly? It’s hard to argue the results right now, nor the fact that everyone up front has stayed healthy to this point.
Avril, if you recall, missed the first game after also missing much of the off-season workouts and training camp with a couple different injuries. And he acknowledges that was a tough way to break in with a new team.
“I think it was more frustrating not being out there with my new teammates and showing them that I can play a little bit and what I am capable of doing and building that bond with those guys,” he said. “Because when we get out there on that football field, you’ve got to be able to rely and trust on the guy next to you and I couldn’t really do that because I was out, and that was the most frustrating part to me.”
In other news today. …
— Really interesting story here from USA Today on the 49ers’ hatred toward the Seahawks. It includes this quote from guard Alex Boone: “I don’t know anybody in here that likes anybody on the Seahawks. If you find one, you let me know.” The Seahawks largely spent the week downplaying the rivalry aspect of the game — not so the 49ers;
— Seahawks.com with a video playbook preview;
— Seahawks.com also talks to backup running back Robert Turbin;
— MyNorthwest.com says the game also indicate changing of the guard in the NFC West;
— SI.com with a few thoughts on Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn;
— NFL.com says San Francisco’s receivers are the key to the game;
— 49ers.com breaks down the top 10 storylines in the game;
— The San Jose Mercury News with more on the officiating crew scheduled to work the game;
— The Mercury News also looks at the coaching matchup;
— The 49ers have gotten good news on the health of left tackle Joe Staley, who is now expected to play Sunday;
— Here’s more on Staley from ESPN;
— 49er WR Michael Crabtree is looking forward to playing the Seahawks after missing the game in September;
— The San Francisco Chronicle notes the 49ers have a history of intense rivalries;
— The Chronicle also says the game is a clash of styles;
— SI.com analyzes all of the week 14 matchups.