Archive for August, 2010
Earlier in the day the rumors started swirling in that an unnamed player had been traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a reported fifth-or-fourth-round selection in 2011 NFL Draft. Reports were that that unnamed player was former first-round pick CB Kelly Jennings, but when the trade was made official it turned out to be former second-round CB Josh Wilson from Maryland.
In his three-seasons with the Seahawks Wilson has started 23 of 28 games and in 2009 had two interceptions- both of them returned for touchdowns. In 2008 he finished with four picks and had a career high in tackles with 76. He also forced three fumbles for the Seahawks defense. Now he carries that baggage to Baltimore where he attended high school in Maryland.
As for the Seahawks they’ve parted with their most likely starting cornerback come opening day. Now they turn to former first-round pick Kelly Jennings who hasn’t lived up to his first-round expectations since being selected by the Seahawks in 2006. In his four-years in the NFL Jennings has only one pick.
“This is an opportunity for us that came along to us because of our depth,” Carroll said. “And our situation at the cornerback position that we’re very happy with, with the play of Tru and Kelly Jennings, Walter Thurmond and Roy Lewis. … Josh is a great kid and we love him and all of that. But this is a team that really came after him, and it happened very quickly.”
Thurmond has looked well in preseason, but the Seahawks must feel now with the trading of Wilson that Thurmond is making progress quicker than expected and could be starting in the near future. The coaching staff has seen Thurmond quite a bit in preseason action where he’s played some of the most downs and then in training camp.
In other Seahawks moves:
-Seahawks traded an undisclosed 2011 draft pick to the Detroit Lions for OT Tyler Polumbus. Polumbus was let go by the Denver Broncos last week and had been claimed by the Houston Texans, Seahawks and Lions. Lions were awarded him and in the long run traded him to Seattle. In two-years in the NFL he’s appeared in 31 games- starting eight of them.
-LB Leroy Hill also accepted a pay cut from the $6 million he was due in 2010 to $2.125 and also has voided the remaining four-years left on his contract.
-Seahawks signed DE James Wyche formerly of the Texans. Wyche was a seventh-round selection by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Syracuse. He’s played for the Jaguars, St. Louis Rams and Texans.
The Seahawks complete their cut from 80 to 75 players a day before the manditory roster reduction. There were no big supprises in the cuts today. Ricky Foley, as we discussed earlier and Jonathan Lewis #96 who broke his hand on saturday while playing the Vikings we among those cut as were;
It is being reported by the Canadian Press that LB/LEO Ricky Foley has been released by the Seattle Seahawks. He is one of those players that you can not help but root for. He came to the Seahawks via the CFL, where he led the league with 12 sacks last year.
He battled injuries the entire preseason with his hip and leg that hampered his speed. He stated that he learned quickly that sitting out and resting injuries was not the way to make the team, so he opted to play through the pain, but for a smaller speed guy having a bum wheel was too much to over come. He will have a chance to heal up now and hopefully get another shot at the NFL.
As Kickoff drew closer the worries grew that Matt Hasselbeck would not be walking for much longer. My first thought after the Seahawks won the kickoff was ‘I guess the time is now, will it be Pat Williams landing on him separating his shoulder or Jared Allen shooting off the edge knocking replacement Left Tackle Mansfield Wrotto on his keester and continuing to hit Matt in his back and ending his season’. The Seahawks came out throwing the ball quickly and handing it off to Leon Washington, who got his first Seahawks start today. Apparently Pete Carroll was having the same nightmares as the 12th man were this week. The offensive line Handled the Vikings rush in the first quarter and Matt hasn’t even been touched. Good news, lets hope it continues. The play calling has been extremely passive but with the situation I think Jeremy Bates recognizes that he must do everything in his ability to call plays that are going to get Hasselbeck out of this preseason game alive.
Who would have thought that the Seahawks defensive line would be the first to get pressure? Not only that but they sacked Vikings QB Brett Favre and caused him to fumble the ball on a play where Chris Clemons came in and jarred the ball lose on the sack. Colin Cole came up with the fumble recovery but unfortunately it would lead to no points after a failed FG attempt. The linebackers are continuing to have issues in the passing game. They are having trouble getting deep enough to cover their zones and Favre is having no trouble getting the ball to his receivers who are finding a ten yard band of turf where the Seahawks defense is not defending.
According to Profootballtalk.com Gregg Rosenthal he has received a tip from a tipster that the Cardinals are repordetly trying to trade QB and former first-round pick Matt Leinart.
It’s speculated the Cardinals could be trying to dangle the former Heisman Trophy winner to his former USC coach and new Seahawk Head Coach Pete Carroll. Since former Pro Bowl and NFL MVP Kurt Warner retired after the 2009 NFL season Leinart hasn’t looked well in pre-season action and could lose a chance to be the Cardinals Opening Day starter to former Cleveland Brown QB Derek Anderson.
However despite Leinart’s connection with Carroll a trade to Seattle appears unlikely. Sure they remain close, but the fact is that Seattle still has Matt Hasselbeck behind center whose proven he’s a better QB than Leinart and in the off-season they gave up draft picks for former Charger back-up Charlie Whitehurst. Carroll believes Whitehurst has the potential to be a starting quarterback someday in the NFL and it appears he wouldn’t want to give up more draft picks for another quarterback.
The second reason it doesn’t look to be truth that Seattle would be his landing spot is they’ve seen him in action and know he’s not NFL material. Along with Hasselbeck and Whitehurst they also have third-string QB JP Losman and that would mean they could end up cutting Leinart (which wouldn’t make sense if they gave up something for him).
Overall the speculation will always be there. Carroll wanting to reunite with his former Trojan QB Leinart, but Carroll understands that those reunions don’t always work out.
Just ask Lendale White.
After the Seahawks special teams gave the Packers good starting position to start the second half CB Roy Lewis played tight coverage on the wideout and was able to get the ball to pop up in the air, after it bounced off his helmet, and LB Tyjuan Hagler, who on the next GB possession would make a 3rd down tackle on the Packers QB to keep him from gaining first down yardage, came in and picked the ball off. Charlie Whitehurst took over the rains from Matt Hasselbeck on the Seahawks first possession of the quarter and the offense was unable to pick up a first down.
The next Seahawks possession the offense was able to move the ball down the field nicely until Charlie was sacked. This sack was not the offensive lines fault. It was a designed five step drop and on that play the QB needs to be able to plant his foot on the fifth step and deliver the ball. In this case he started scanning the field and the pocket collapsed around him leading to the sack. Charlie and the offense would not let the sack kill their drive and eventually use a page out of the Packers playbook calling a play action pass at the goal line and getting the entire GB defense going one way while Whitehurst and Ben Obamanu rolled out to the other for an easy TD pass and the Seahawks first lead of the game. After the PAT it was free pancakes for all in attendance.
Dexter Davis continues to impress, beating the LT to the outside using his speed to sack the quarterback and strip the ball. When he stripped the ball he stayed focused and jumped up and recovered the fumble. For all intents and purposes that was the end of the third quarter.
We some good play out of the younger guys this quarter and those who were unable to put themselves in position to make some plays need to start looking over their shoulders because the cuts are coming and those roster spots are filling up fast. At this point I would say Dexter Davis, barring a catastrophe for him over the next two games, has done enough to claim one of them.
Defensive End Nick Reed will miss the final two-weeks of the Pre-season joing OT Russell Okung in the injury list.
Reed had his knee scoped and will miss the experience he could have picked up in the final two pre-season games. He’s expected to make the 53-man roster where the Seahawks are weak at the end position.
In 16 games last year he picked up 17 tackles- one of them was a sack on top of his two fumble recoveries in which one of them he returned for a touchdown. With the subtraction of Lawrence Jackson Reed might end up starting opposite of Chris Clemons or even splitting time between Clemons and Red Bryant at the end position.
A minor knee scope isn’t a serious surgery unlike other major knee injuries. Reed isn’t expected to miss more than a couple of weeks of meaningful pre-season action. A major upgrade over the not so strong defensive line the Seahawks have. Last year at this time the former seventh-round selection out of Oregon was making an impact in pre-season as he earned his way onto the 53-man roster. He’s followed through in the first two pre-season games making impressive plays and getting to the quarterback when he’s been in the game.
If the Reed is ready come opening day the Seahawks should be able to use him to pressure San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith and hope that the strong play of Marcus Trufant and the improved secondary limits the pass, but remember the 49ers have a guy by the name of Frank Gore at running back.
While the 12th Man might be thinking “here we go again with the injuries” at least none of them appear to be too serious- minus Okung’s injury.
On the good side:
-OG Chester Pitts was activated from the PUP list meaning he passed his physical and should be ready to start practicing. Pete Carroll said it’s unlikely Pitts will play Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings.
I will also release my Top 10 Questions heading into the Regular Season by Friday along with working on a breakdown of a projected 53-man Roster. So Stay tuned.
The Seahawks continued to work the ball down the field reaching the red zone on a down and out by Mike Williams who came back to the ball and dove toward the sideline while staying in bounds. The play was challenged but was upheld. The next play would be a 10-yard TD run by Leon Washington. Sean Locklear made a huge hole by diving and cutting the defensive lineman down while Max Unger got to the second level and blocked the LB. By the time Leon made it to the safety he just had to keep his legs pumping and momentum took car of the rest.
Green Bay marched the ball down the field, once again using the play action pass to dismantle Seattle’s front 7, and kicked a field goal to retake the lead.
Cord Parks showed some nice return skills on the kickoff return. The Seahawks offense could not do anything with the ball and punt after a third and ten drop by John Carlson. Derrick Martin punched Kennard Cox picking up a 15 yard penalty and getting ejected from the game.
The Green Bay Packers LT got away with a false start but by the end of the play the RT wished it had been called. He was beat on an inside spin move by the speedy Seahawks DE Nick Reed.
Jordan Babineaux got his chance to redeem himself after the Seahawks drive stalled. On the punt he downed the ball inside the 1-yard line, you might remember that he knocked a punt into the end zone for a touchback last week. The Packers once again marched the ball all the way down the field, this time in a two-minute offense. The only thing that kept them from trying a field goal was a snap infraction that led to a 10 second run off of the game clock because anytime you have an offensive penalty in the final two minutes of the half while the clock is still moving there is an automatic 10 second run off.
To this point the game has not been as bad as it would seem. Yes, the Packers are moving the ball at will on the Seahawks defense but a lot of that has to do with the Seahawks linebackers getting sucked in on the play action pass. The coaching staff will no doubt be emphasizing that in practice for one thing and once the starters are able to get back on the field this should clean up a bit. John Carlson had a bad night dropping a couple balls that we would expect him to catch. The DE’s are also having trouble getting sucked in on the play action pass, again this will be coached in practice. Nick Reed got a sack in the second quarter but other then that there was almost no pressure on the opposing QB’s. The worst thing that happened in the first half was watching Russell Okung being carted off and learning that he will miss the rest of the preseason and possibly the season opener with an ankle sprain. The real risk here is that these types of injuries can linger in bigger players and this could be something he has to deal with all season. That is not good news for Matt Hasselbeck of the offense in general.
Speaking of Matt he had a much better game and showed the fans in Seattle that he still has a little left in his tank. His line gave him some time and he was able to read the defense and hit his receivers who seemed to have good timing with their QB. Mike Williams had a chance to work a lot in this first team offense and showed that he has the ability to be a big time receiver and can make some plays. He played well last saturday and after this weeks game you can pencil him in the final 53 man roster. Earl Thomas looked a lot better in his second game. He looked more comfortable out there and had a much better reaction time to the play letting his football in-stinks take over and not second guessing himself. After Russell got hurt Mansfield Wrotto came in the game and was solid at LT. Marcus Trufant is looking more aggressive and that is his game. In college he had an amazing ability to close on the ball and make big plays. After getting burned for big plays in the pros he hasn’t been as aggressive and we have a chance to see what he can do when asked to worry about making plays and not so much about preventing them. Leon Washington looked good in his first action since his injury last year. He hits the hole fast and precise and runs with more urgency then Forsett or Jones. Jordan Babineaux showed how valuable he is on special teams and its very possible that he will be able to focus on that part of his game this year because Lawyer Milloy is playing safety much better then he is. Cord Parks was exciting to see on that punt return and he needs to continue to show that to make the team.
Before the first snap one thing was for sure, at the end of the night we would know a lot more about this Seahawks team. Sure they handled the Titans in the first week but that had a lot to do with getting pressure on their QB’s. The Titans have had injuries along their offensive line so that was not a true test. This game against a very good football team would become a true test and would provide many teaching opportunities on both sides of the ball. The atmosphere in Qwest saturday was much closer to a regular season game and it was apparent the 12th man was up for the game.
The Seahawks won the coin toss and elected to receive. Josh Wilson took the kickoff out of the end zone and was only able to make it to the 15-yard line. The first play from scrimmage went no where because the line didn’t do a very good job of blocking at the point of attack. What happened was as Russell Okung was trying to get to the second level to block the linebacker Ben Hamilton was knocked down and fell on Okungs right Ankle taking him down as well. Justin Forsett tried to cut it back inside and was able to gain a yard. After getting no push on the next play while trying to run the ball the offensive line did a great job in pass protection giving Matt Hasselbeck all day to find Deion Branch who dropped the ball. Jon Ryan would boom the punt and Jordan Babineaux got down the field in a hurry to make the tackle.
The Packers went for it all on the first play of the drive with Aaron Rodgers airing one out, testing Rookie Safety Earl Thomas, to Greg Jennings. Earl was right there with Jennings but Aaron placed the ball perfectly in front of him for a nice reception. The bigger mistake was made up front with the front seven getting sucked in on the play fake so when Aaron rolled out he had no worries other then delivering the ball right where he wanted it. Red Bryan recognized that he wasn’t going to get to the QB on second down and put his hand up deflecting the ball and causing the incompletion. The next play the Packers would pick up the first down and follow that up with a TD pass from Aaron Rodgers to the fullback John Kuhn. On the play three Seahawks defenders; Marcus Trufant, Will Harring, and Earl Thomas were covering TE Andrew Quarless, Rookie out of Penn State, and left David Hawthorne to cover Kuhn from the middle linebacker position. Harring should have recognized the Fullback and dropped down to cover the route and let the safety and CB cover the TE.
Josh Wilson returned the Kickoff to the Packers 49 yard line giving the Seahawks great field position to start the next drive. Mansfield Wrotto was in to replace Russell Okung at LT who, after the first drive, was taken by cart to go get X-Rays taken of his ankle. The left side of the offensive line did a nice job recognizing the blitz and picking it up on second down allowing Matt Hasselbeck to find Mike Williams, who continues to make his bid for a roster spot and I think that he has earned it, working between level in the zone defense and picks up 17-yards.
The next play WR TJ Houshmandzadeh forced the defender to turn his hips and then he broke the route off into a curl giving himself plenty space to make a 15 yard reception. On 2nd and 4 the offensive line gave Matt, who rolled out of the pocket, almost 6 seconds to direct Deion Branch and throw the ball to him in the back of the end zone for a TD.
Marcus Trufant made an excellent play getting his hand in between the receivers hands on first down and knocking the ball away. On the play he stayed in the hip pocket of the receiver and matched him stride for stride down the field. The defense continues to show a weakness in the play action pass. With the lineman and the linebackers are not sticking to their responsibilities, this time Nick Reed failed to hold his corner and made it easy for Green Bay to pick up a first down on a quick shovel pass to the TE. On the next play we would finally get to see what Earl Thomas brings to the Seahawks when he came in and almost picked off the ball flying over Kelly Jennings to do so. Kelly fell on his elbow on the play but after getting it taped up he returned to the game. Pete Carroll called a timeout to make sure his defense was on the same page on 3 and 6 from the 12-yard line. What ended up happening is the Safety, Lawyer Milloy, and the LB, David Hawthorne, both covered the Slot Receiver while letting the TE split them on a streak to the end zone for another passing TD by Green Bay.
After getting the ball back Seattle tried a pitch to Justin Forsett that went for no gain. I took a picture of this play. Click on the picture to enlarge it and the caption explains why this team is having so much trouble running the ball.
That was pretty much the end of the first quarter. Tomorrow morning Part II will be posted. Have a good one
I would like to say congratulations to my home town Spokane Shock for becoming Arena Bowl Champions tonight. In a near perfect game they were in control almost the entire game as they beat the Tampa Bay Storm.