Seahawks Insider

Final: Seahawks 20, Chargers 14

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 15, 2009 at 11:41 pm with 45 Comments »
August 20, 2009 5:49 pm

First off, Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora said the team got through its first exhibition game without any major injuries, although he’ll know more after the team gets back to home and they get a chance to see if anything crops up tomorrow.

“Anything that happened was very minor,” Mora said. “We came out of it pretty good.”

Even though the starters weren’t out there, you could tell Mora wanted to win the game, pumping his fist and congratulating the defense after they kept the Chargers out of the end zone on the final drive of the night.

“I was really pleased with the way those young guys at the end of the game fought,” Mora said. “And I was happy with our fitness level; I think that showed up a little bit for us tonight.”

Mora again emphasized the importance of being in those late-game situations because of the learning that takes place there.

Mora said he was impressed with the way rookie quarterback Mike Teel played. Teel finished 7-of-15 for 75 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown pass to Mike Hass. He also seemed to play with poise and not get ruffled out on the field.

On the play of defensive end Nick Reed, who had a sack and an interception, Mora had this to say.

“We watched him in the Pac-10 for years. He’s a playmaker. It was good to see him show up. I had a feeling he would show up and make some plays.”

Listen to Mora talk about the game here.

[wpaudio url="" text=MP3: Mora postgame"]

I didn’t get too much from the locker room because I had to scramble to make deadline tonight, but I did get a chance to talk to Lofa Tatupu and Aaron Curry.

Tatupu said the he thought the defense played OK, but could have player better, especially against the pass.

“We would have liked to keep them out of the end zone the two times they got in,” Tatupu said. “They made some nice plays though. And production-wize I’m definitely not happy with the yards we gave up passing. And that goes on everybody, as far as coverage, the defensive line and linebackers.”

The Chargers finished with 384 yards passing, including four plays of 20 or more yards, as Seattle again struggled to keep receivers in front of them.

However, the defense did finish with four sacks and three turnovers, which led to 10 points.

Curry said things were happening fast for him out there, and that he needs to work on being patient out on the field.

“I just went out there today and played fast,” Curry said. “I got all of my thinking done before the ball was snapped. When the ball was snapped I just wanted to play fast and go hit someone.”

Here’s some quick thoughts on the game.

* Second year player Brandon Coutu handled all of the kicking duties tonight, making two efforts from 38-yards. Coutu placed his kickoffs on average at about the four yard line, with his last kick reaching the 1-yard line. Coutu worked with legendary NFL kicker Morten Anderson during the offseason on improving distance on his kicks, but that hasn’t translated to the field yet. Jon Ryan had the special teams play of the night, booting a 77-yard punt late in the game to turn field position.

*Seattle’s new zone blocking scheme has yet to get on track. The Seahawks finished with 92 yards on 33 carries for an average of 2.8 yards per carry.

*The offensive line didn’t give up a sack. Rookie Max Unger played both guard and center and seemed comfortable at both spots, as he attempts to earn a starting job on the line.

* The pass defense is still in a work in progress. The Seahawks finished last in the league in pass defense last season, and gave up a league-leading 59 plays of 20-yards or more. That disturbing trend continued on Saturday, with the Seahawks giving up four plays of 20-yards or more through the air. Cornerback Kevin Hobbs was twice victimized, and Kelly Jennings also was beat deep, although he did manage an interception.

* I thought Baraka Atkins had a good game rushing the passer. He had the strip that Derek Walker recovered, but Atkins also was in there a couple other times. Atkins finished two tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and a pass deflection. Michael Bennett, Cory Redding and Reed also had sacks on the day.

* No one really stood out in the competition for the last couple spots at receiver. Ben Obomanu made a couple plays, but also couldn’t come up with a catch that ultimately ended up in an intereception. Mike Hass made a nice play on the touchdown catch over the middle and looks like he could evolve into a nice, slot receiver.

Courtney Taylor made a couple catches on the scoring drive that Seneca Wallace led. Logan Payne forced a pass interference penalty and made a couple good tackles on special teams. Jordan Kent had one catch for eight yards, and made a good tackle on punt coverage. I don’t think anyone separated themselves tonight.

That’s all for now.

Game coverage
Leave a comment Comments → 45
  1. The pass defense is still in a work in progress. The Seahawks finished last in the league in pass defense last season, and gave up a league-leading 59 plays of 20-yards or more.

    The thing that concerns me about this, which I don’t remember anyone mentioning is that our new head coach was the secondary coach last. NOT a good sign, imo.

  2. chuck_easton says:

    One of the comments that continually came up in the sideline interviews was the players were all pleasantly suprised at how in shape they felt.

    A few commented that they could see they were in better physical condition than the Chargers players.

    I think this is why you didn’t see any injuries. Camp Mora has been tough. But it appears to be better than camp Holmgren for getting the players ready to actually play football.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Here’s a few thoughts from the game. (Remember, they’re worth what you paid for them.)

    – Starting D pass rush: I like the blitzes they ran early and often, but you’ve got to do one of 3 things with them; pressure the QB, collapse the pocket, convert into a sack. Simply put – didn’t happen.

    – Correy Redding looks legit.

    – Can we take Nick Reed’s motor, drive and football IQ and put them in Lawrence Jackson’s body? Jackson played last night the way he ended last year; total non-factor. Reed on the other hand is a straight up great football player. If he were only bigger…

    – Kevin Hobbs: Nice guy, comes from a great family, not a good corner back. Looked awful and likely cost him a job.

    – Devin Moore: Impressed. Shifty, quick, fast. Why does he have to be so small?? If he doesn’t make the team I’d be very surprised (albeit pleasantly) if he made it back to the practice squad.

    – Forsett: I like it. Keep it up.

    – Deon Butler: Looked totally lost returning kicks and in general.

    – Mike Teel: Looked relatively comfortable. Better arm than I thought. He did seem a bit rushed but stood tall under pressure. Impressed.

    – Coutu and Ryan: Can we cut both of these hacks, please? One guy can’t get the ball to the end zone if you had a gun to his head. The other can’t keep it out. I hate them both.

    A lot of things to be excited about but clearly it is early in camp. Many sloppy mistakes but overall I like the energy and cannot wait to see how things improve next week.

  4. OCHawkFan says:

    Dude, Ryan had a 77 yrd punt! He also set a Seahawks record for yrds per punt last year! And you want to cut him for whom?

  5. seahawklovertoo says:

    Our pass defence will surelly get better with time. Our O – Line will gel and be better ; run attack is what it is . We need a lot of help ( F. A. s or next draft) with our Secondary “D”.
    The reason I am posting are our WRs. It is a GREAT shame that some of this young man has to be cut !! How can one let Hass, Kent or Taylor go?
    Since I don’t know this, I need someone to explain it to me PLS. Can we put Branch( he is not coming back next year anyway) and Butler on injured list ? Will players on I L count against the final roster of 53? How many players total can a team carry into a season ( active, I L and practice squad ) ?
    This is the time when we will see what T R is made of : will he cut his high pick L .J. and keep Nick Reed etc.
    I am happy Billy McMullen found a job. I am sure any other of our WRs will do the same after we cut them, they are an awesome bunch.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Anyone. A 77 yard low scud was mildly impressive. Look, numbers in and of themselves do not paint an accurate picture. I would hope he had a high average last season. Seattle’s awful field position and weak offense provided him with opportunity after opportunity to sit back and boom it as hard as he wanted. I suspect he had one of, if not the worst fair catch percentages in the league. (I’ll have to see if I can substantiate that.) In addition I know he ranked near the league bottom for kicks inside the 20. He is terrible.

  7. I realize you shouldn’t place too much importance on one preseason game but if Reed, Greene and Moore keep playing like they did, how can you cut them? On the other hand, who do you cut to keep them?

    I read mostly negative scouting reports on Teel so his play was a pleasant surprise.

  8. Dukeshire says:

    L. Jackson is not getting cut, for good or ill. Not this year anyway. IR players do not count against the 53 man roster nor do the 8 practice squad players. There is no limit, to my knowledge, how many players can be placed on IR. But remember, once they are placed on the list, they are gone for the season.

  9. chuck_easton says:

    I’ll agree with you on Coutu. I think he pretty much gave the job to Mare last night. But as for Ryan he is the first punter in Seattle history to have a 50+ per punt average. He does need to work on keeping the kicks out of the endzone, but I like the fact that the team doesn’t have to worry about being backed up deep in their own end with a leg like that to punt them out of trouble.

  10. chuck_easton says:

    Branch didn’t play last night, at least I never saw him on the field. He will be on the final roster unless something happens in the next 3 weeks.

    If the team goes with 5 it’s T.J., Burleson as the starters, Branch #3, Obomanu #4, and Butler as the #5. If they keep six then I think the final spot is between Taylor and Kent right now.

    According to Payne, Bumpus, Hass all have PS eligibility left. So we’d only lose either Taylor or Kent.

  11. chuck_easton says:

    It is being reported that the Saints kicker Hartley is going to be suspended for the first 4 games of the season.

    I think Seattle should consider contacting the Saints and see if they would be interested in a trade for Coutu. They might just wait until final cuts, but if they are prepared to give up something (even a late round draft pick) it’s better than just cutting him and not trying to get something for him.

  12. Dukeshire says:

    Only Seahawk to ever have a 50+ ave. (52.4) for one game? I do not believe that. But in any case, his net ave was 41.1. He averaged 45.6 last year, 7th longest in the league (net 37.9 15th). But again, I think that number is very misleading.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    I’m not sure they could get anything for him. Teams have to know the ‘Hawks aren’t keeping both this year. Besides, how bad does a team’s situation have to be to give a draft pick up for Coutu?

  14. Dukeshire says:

    “…it’s better than just cutting him and not trying to get something for him.” That is true, I suppose. No harm.

  15. Happy with what I saw from Teel. Not ready to call him the QB of the future yet, but saw more good than bad.

    Moore’s speed was impressive.

    Wasn’t mad about our OL, but not overly happy with it either. For now, it’s okay, but definitely needs improvement.

    Butler looked fine, but he did look lost on some stuff (mainly ST). Did a terrible job of judging kicks.

    If Elvis Dumervil (5’11, 260lbs) can get to the passer in Denver as an undersized guy, there’s no reason Reed can’t do well. He’s the player I was most impressed with considering what I expected coming in (not much).

    Very happy with Cole. He’ll probably only have about 2-3 sacks, but he’s going to be a rock that stuffs the run and makes plays. Was very impressed with his side-to-side movement too.

    Mebane is Mebane. I love that guy.

    I thought Kerney looked terrible 2 pre-seasons ago (the year he finished 2nd in the NFL in sacks) and then he cranked it up. He’ll be fine (it’s weird how some can look bad in pre-season and then turn the light on once the season starts).

    Hawthorne is a monster at the point of attack. As I watched the game, I couldn’t help but think of Levon Kirkland. He wasn’t much in pass defense, but that guy could fill in any hole and take on any blocker in the run game. Hawthorne isn’t as big but he has that power to stuff stuff inside. He’s going to be a great role player and kick butt on ST.

    Did Curry play last night? J/K I know he did.

    I didn’t notice Brian Russell last night. I think that’s a good thing.

    Grant looked fine, considering he was covering the best TE in the NFL.

    And Jennings simply seems too small to play effectively. How many times do we see him get thrown around or bounce off someone?

    I was NOT happy with our Special Teams. I was happy with Logan Payne on them though.

    Duke is right about Ryan’s numbers looking good last year b/c he could just kick it as far as he could and when he did try to get it inside the 20 — he sucked at it. That was a great kick at the end of the game though. He’ll probably be our kicker, but I think the best we can hope from him is that he’s average.

    Coutu can’t get a ball in the end zone to save his life, while Mare is a lock to get it there a few times per game. I think we’re morons if we let Mare go just to save a few bucks (or million) on the cap this year.

    Overall, I’m happy where we are but there’s certainly a long way to go. Like we knew it would, the OL needs more work and to get better. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, and I’m glad I’m saying this, but Sims didn’t look too bad. There was one running play that exemplifies the zone blocking scheme where he made a great block. He didn’t maul his man, but did a good job of simply turning his blocker around and the RB slid by LG on the run. It will be nice for everyone to get Walt in at LT so everyone can get back to playing where they are supposed to play.

  16. Ryan – punter

  17. chuck_easton says:

    Good recap Bobby!

    I’ll throw a few more out there. Let’s all make a sacrifice to whatever and however many football gods we pray to to get Trufant back on the field NOW!

    Hobbs can’t cover. Jennings looks like a highschooler trying to play on daddy’s team. Lucas had one bad play but looked adequate. The fact that we didn’t even see Josh Wilson was actually a good thing (same with Russell).

    I’m a former DB (high school only…too small even for Community College so I went to school on a baseball free ride) so I tend to watch the DB’s as closely as Bobby watches the OL.

  18. dirtyhawk says:

    After re-watching the game on my DVR I was really impressed with DT Michael Bennett. I was suprised to see Bennett as a DT considering he was a DE in college. He was consistantly pushing the pocket from the 3-technique DT position. Bennett was outstanding at anticipating the snap and looks to have some very good power moves for an undersized DT.

    Bennett and Nick Reed are going to be fun to watch this pre-season.

  19. Bernie42 says:

    I haven’t seen many people mentioning Lofa and Leroy. They weren’t in for very long, but when they were, they showed why people keep referring to them as 2/3 of one of the stronger linebacking corps in the league. It would have been nice to see more out of Curry, but I think that will come as he settles down a bit. The good news is, he doesn’t have to carry the full load with the way his LB counterparts play.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    I thought Grant played well too. And yes, the less you hear a corner’s name called (o line falls into this category, as well) the better they are usually playing.

    Bennett was impressive. I’ll have to watch the game again, but I thought he played a bit of both end and and tackle on the left. Either way, you are correct, he was consistently disruptive.

  21. Bernie42 says:

    Oh, and one more thing about Curry. There was one play where he absolutely lit up one of the Chargers. It was early on in the first quarter. I can’t remember who it was he hit, but it was a solid collision at the line of scrimmage and it left the San Diego player on one knee in a daze for a few moments. I’m looking forward to seeing much more of that kind of hitting.

  22. Bernie42 says:

    Looks like Sando saw the Curry hit I was talking about, and has more details:

  23. All I know is I will take Ryan over Plackemier any day of the week. He is legit and can back teams up when we are close to our endzone.

    Teel was awsome and he will progress so we can use the two picks on OL and S next draft.

    Reed was a stud and can bulk up to be a good pass rusher. There are plenty small d lineman in the league, I am not making this comparison based on talent, but he is an inch taller than Dwight Freeney.

  24. I thought Cole and Redding performed like we signed them to, They had their moments and will progress by playing with each other.

  25. I would rather we draft Eric Berry over Mays. Mays is big and physical, but that is it IMO. Eric Berry is a true technician that can play both safety and corner.

    Those are me (3) thoughts for the day.

  26. seahawklovertoo says:

    I could not cut Reed,Kent,Hass or Moore.

  27. chuck_easton says:

    There’s no room for Moore on the team. PS is likely. Same for Hass.

    Kent is likely going to be fighting with Taylor for that 6th and final WR spot.

    I think Reed just made it difficult for the team to cut him, but that means the team keeps 10 DL and there has to be a give at some other position.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    I agree with that assessment. I would like to see Moore return some punts. He cannot look anymore disoriented that Butler. Of course it is very new to him.

  29. chuck_easton says:

    It’s a good news/bad news scenario at this point. It appears that the team has more talent than there are available positions. Whenever I sit down and play my “if I were the head coach/GM” game (yes, I have no life outside of work) instead of starting with all the guys I want to keep I start with how MANY I can keep at each position.

    So, as I see things:

    ST: 3 (1 kicker, 1 punter, 1 LS)
    DB: 8 (4 CB and 4 Safety)
    LB: 6
    DL: 10
    OL: 9
    WR: 6
    QB: 3
    TE: 3
    RB: 5

    That’s 53.

    Now try and fit all these HAVE TO MAKE THE TEAM guys into those numbers and you will see that somebody that is likely deserving is not going to be on the final roster.

  30. seahawklovertoo says:

    OK Gents, how many players can be placed on practice squad?

  31. seahawklovertoo says:

    Per Seahaks roster, we have 82 players listed. 53 are keepers. How many can we save/keep on PS and how many must be cut to comply with the NFL rules ?

  32. chuck_easton says:

    The team can carry 8 on the practice squad.

    But there are rules as to who is eligible. A player can only be on a team’s PS for a maximum of 2 years. If a player has played in 9 games the year before I(for any NFL team) he ineligible.

    So PS eligible players this year would be:

    Hass, Payne, Bumpus, Butler, Moore, Reed, Greene, Adams, Curry, Unger, Morrah, Teel, Bennett

    Players that are now ineligible but are “bubble” players: Jennings, Fisher, C.J. Wallace, Hobbs, Taylor, Kent, Obomanu the entire OL with the exception of Unger, Atkins, Newton.

    There are likely a few that I’m missing, but that are the ones I know for sure.

  33. seahawklovertoo says:

    Thanks Chuck

  34. nightwulf says:

    8 players on the practice squad…
    I only caught the last half of the game, but here’s what I saw:
    OL. better than I feared, but not as good as I hoped…Barring injuries, we should be ok there, especially if Walt stays healthy…Unger is a definite keeper.
    WR: we’re going to be cutting someone (or several someones) who deserves a job in the NFL…this is a happy thing. BUtler to the PS would keep better WRs.
    RB: Moore looked REALLY shifty out there, even considering he was facing scrubs…He may take Forsett’s job away from him.
    QB: Teel was clearly nervous to start, but it seemed that the pick got his attention and settled him down considerably. After that, I thought he looked better than Hass when we first got him. Most encouraging.
    DL:WOW…Bennett and Reed looked like real studs out there…I want to see what they’ve got against first teamers. Very impressed.
    LB: Looked really good against the run, but who the hell was covering the middle of the field ? HUGE patch of green with nothing but SD receivers
    in it…That’s gotta get fixed, and fast!
    DB: I don’t recall seeing any DB’s out on the field, only a bunch of clowns in Seahawk unis…Hobbs made Etrick Pruitt look like a stud. Can we cut him today? Jennings had a nice pick, but otherwise showed no ball skills whatsoever…damned shame, because he can stick to a guy like glue.
    Coutu has one more game to show that he can kick off…then he’s unemployed…
    Ryan has a howitzer for a leg…unfortunately, that howitzer came without sights…but still, an improvement over plack…needs to get Ray Guy to teach him how to find the corners…
    ST coverage looked good
    ST returns, not so much…Butler looked like he had no idea what he was doing out there…of course, realistically speaking, he doesn’t, so hopefully that will improve with practice. It IS a bit of a challenge to catch a kick when you’ve got eleven screaming maniacs barreling towards you at full speed, bent on your destruction…Hopefully, it was a good learning experience.
    For a first pre season game, it looked pretty ok…we’ll have a clearer picture after next sunday.

  35. Dukeshire says:

    “Ryan has a howitzer for a leg…unfortunately, that howitzer came without sights…but still, an improvement over plack…needs to get Ray Guy to teach him how to find the corners…” Let’s not start this whole thing again. Yes, aside from direction and hang time he’s just fine, lol.

  36. Holmy usually kept 26 on offense, 24 on defense. If Mora keeps six at WR he will also keep 26 O, 24 D. In that case he will keep nine on D line, seven at LB and eight at DB.

    If Mora keeps 25/25 the extra D man will be on the line or secondary.

    I wonder if the Hawks could get anything in trade for a former first round pick CB from Hot Dog U? Travis Fisher still on the team after Sept 5?

  37. ST: 3 (1 kicker, 1 punter, 1 LS)
    DB: 8 (4 CB and 4 Safety)
    LB: 6
    DL: 10
    OL: 9
    WR: 6
    QB: 3
    TE: 3
    RB: 5
    That’s 53.

    They could go with 2 qb’s & 2 te’s. that would free up 2 spots.

    Put the 3rd qb on the practice squad becuz it wont matter much if we lose the top 2 qb’s anyway..

  38. IF the Hawks believe Mare can stay healthy for at least 3 more years, I agree, the job should be his. Other question is Ruskell willing to admit to the mistake?

  39. a player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons

  40. nor can players be allowed to spend more than two seasons on the same team’s squad unless that team’s active roster never dips below 53 players

  41. nightwulf says:

    Duke, not a fan of Ryan’s, I’d rather have a sharpshooter than a boomer…Plack was neither,,,

  42. If we think Teel is the QB of the future, we don’t want to risk him being on the PS.

    I don’t think Ruskell will admit mistake with his K situation. He signed Mare as a FA. He drafted Coutu late. Either way, the reason each K is in Seattle is b/c of him. I just think Mare gives us a better chance to win in ’09.

    If Ruskell doesn’t win in ’09, there’s a good chance he won’t be back, considering it’s his contract year too. It just makes sense to try winning now, especially with Matt and Walt not getting any younger. Many of the off-season moves seemed to get made with winning now a priority. With this being the case, I see keeping Mare as the smart move.

  43. DL 10

    DT Cole, Mebane, Bryant, Terrill, (Redding)
    DE Kerney, Redding, Atkins, LoJac, Tapp, Reed


  44. chuck_easton says:


    If they keep 10 DL those are the likely keepers. If they decided to go 9 DL and free up another roster spot to use at another position (6th RB or 7th WR) then the fight is between Atkins and Reed for that final spot.

    I sincerely hope Lawrence Jackson comes out of whatever funk he’s in and starts producing. The guy has size, talent, and looks the part. It just doesn’t seem to be between the ears to want it badly enough.

    It’s sad when you have a ‘small’ guy like Reed who has all the heart, fire, and desire in the world sitting behind someone like that who just doesn’t seem to care as long as he gets paid and has a job.

    I’m all for heading into the mad scientist lab. Let’s put Reed’s brain and heart in Jackson’s body.

  45. Moral action always has an effect on certain people or things, the consequences. ,

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