Sorry for the lack of content today, folks. Eric Williams got permission from Clay Bennett to go on a much-needed vacation, and I have been traveling to San Diego for much of the day. Flew over the stadium coming in; I think I saw Justin Forsett warming up.
The Hawks had a closed walkthrough this morning and then flew to San Diego a little later. They at least had direct. As a reminder, I’ll be blogging from the game tomorrow night, but keep in mind that because it is a late start, most of the blog stuff will come in the first half.
Speaking of the game, here are a few things to watch for:
The Aforementioned Rookie: Loathe to anoint Forsett too early, Mike Holmgren has said he wants to see more consistency out of Forsett. This is the rookie’s chance to go 3-for-3 (4-for-4 if you count the scrimmage) and cement a spot on the roster.
The other running backs: Where has Julius Jones been? For all the talk about T.J Duckett, Jones has not shown a whole lot more. Plus he has a fumble after picking up a first down in the last game. Mo Morris was getting most of the carries in practice this week, making one wonder whether Jones will be given the opportunity to show anything close to what people were expecting when they signed him to a free agent contract. A few nice runs would certainly put a few minds at ease.
The wide receivers:Holmgren has said this week that he is going to force the ball to Courtney Taylor this week. You should have seen Taylor’s reaction when I asked him on Friday if he was not getting the ball because Charlie Frye was looking elsewhere or if he was not getting open. Here was his answer, which started out with a startled, “Wow.” “Well, one thing with me as a receiver, I always feel like I’m open,” he went on to say. “So, I’m never covered. Ever. There are different things that go on. You have a play that the quarterback has to do his progressions and all that stuff, but I feel like I was getting open, yeah." You do have to wonder if it is a good thing for Holmgren to tell his QB to throw the ball to a certain guy. But, he needs to get some touches if he is going to start in Buffalo.
Lawrence Jackson: It appears as if the rookie is on the verge of winning the starting spot, much to Darryl Tapp’s chagrin. But if he is able to show well against the Chargers, that may cinch it. Jackson said that because it is a Monday night game and most of his family has to work on Tuesday morning, he will not have a large contingent of folks coming down from LA to watch the game.
Charlie Frye: Oh yeah, the quarterback. He didn’t do so well against Chicago, though he said he started to feel better toward the end of the game, when he settled down. Let’s see if that carries over to this game, which certainly would give Mike Holmgren peace of mind. If he throws more interceptions, it could be an entertaining week at practice next week — for the one day they actually have practice.
Ryan Plackemeier: As I wrote about in today’s News Tribune, Plackemeier is punting again for the first time since undergoing surgery on his pectoral muscle. Not that I think there is much chance of Plack not making the roster, but a nice showing here could mean Reggie Hodges is part of Tuesday’s cutdown. Bruce DeHaven has said he thinks Plack looks stronger than he did all of last year — though that may have something to do with the fact that he has not punted in two or three months.
Olindo Mare: Brandon Coutu missed the last two days of practice with a sore groin. This could be a chance for Mare to put some distance between him and the rookie in what has been an extremely tight competition. Or, to look at the glass half empty, a chance to lose his job. But who wants to look at the glass half empty unless the glass is filled with NattyBo.