Seahawks Insider

Final: Seahawks 27, Broncos 13

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 22, 2009 at 11:45 pm with 38 Comments »
August 22, 2009 11:47 pm

Well, a win is a win. But I don’t think Coach Mora was real happy with his team’s performance tonight.

The first-team defense looked like it was playing on skates, missing a lot of tackles at the line of scrimmage and just playing on its heels for most of the first half.

Kyle Orton (Yes, Kyle Orton), who threw three picks and looked awful against San Francisco last week, threw for 207 yards and a score against the Seahawks in the first half.

As lethargic as the first unit looked in the first half, the second unit defense played with more intensity in the second half, twice shutting down Denver’s first-unit offense and forcing a fumble that eventually turned into a Brandon Coutu 22-yard field goal.

“Our second unit came in and did a heck of a job,” Mora said. “We just have to be more focused, we just have to play with more enthusiasm, more energy, we have to tackle better, we have to bring our feet when we tackle.”

Offensively, Seattle’s first and line drive of the first half were solid, with both ending in touchdowns. In between, however, were some pretty rough spots. Sean Locklear struggled a bit filling in for Walter Jones, giving up two sacks, although I thought one of them was more a coverage sack than anything else. Overall, Hasselbeck was sacked three times, and also sacked for the first time since the Thanksgiving Day game when the Dallas Cowboys knocked him around like a piñata.

The Seahawks again struggled running the ball today, finishing with 72 yard on 23 carries for a 3.1 per carry average. Against San Diego the Seahawks finished with 92 yards on 33 carries for a 2.8 per carry average.

“I’m confident we’ll be able to run the football, but it’s a process,” Mora said. “This is all new for our guys, we have some new runners, new blockers, new scheme. But, I think it is something that will come.”

Nick Reed again played strong, finishing with 1.5 sacks, a tipped punt and a forced fumble. Will Herring had a solid game at linebacker, finishing with four tackles. And cornerback Kelly Jennings was solid today, forcing a fumble, breaking up a pass and finishing with three tackles.

Overall, I think the running game and the poor tackling are the main issues right now. The pass blocking is fixable, but they’ve got to be able to run the ball consistently, and the Seahawks aren’t doing that right now.

Also, after all the years with an undersized line Seattle might be too stout up front. The defensive line seems slower across the board and is not flowing to the ball well. You see the team rotating Baraka Atkins in with the first unit, and I think part of that was to try and get more speed on the field.

That’s all for now.

Game coverage
Leave a comment Comments → 38
  1. Justin Forsett looks fast enough to be an effective running back in this league. He showed a pop tonight, he broke tackles and looked good.

    Nick Reed is a stud. We need to find a roster spot for this guy.

    Craig Terrill led the team out of the tunnel tonight. Maybe he is a lock for a roster spot.

    The first quarter on defense reminded me of last year. It seemed like anyone who went out for a pass was open, it seemed like any play they ran worked. I still have nightmares from watching the 32nd ranked pass defense. They need to get this fixed, and they need to get this fixed now.

    I have been as critical of Deon Butler as anyone, tonight he looked good. The touchdown catch was a professional play; he made the play at the moment of truth. The crossing route Butler ran later was almost as impressive. He is showing signs of being a play maker.

    The defense looked like it played on dead legs. I like the roller skates analogy Eric made. This team is at the end of training camp, and these guys looked a little tired. Now that we gave up some plays, the defense players are a little more focused on getting better. I am still optimistic we can get this fixed.

  2. raymaines says:

    “And cornerback Kelly Jennings was solid today, forcing a fumble, breaking up a pass and finishing with three tackles.”

    Yes he did do all of that, but mostly he stood around very close to where a receiver (mostly #10, Jabar Gaffney) caught everything that was thrown at him.

    Kelly Jennings is so frustrating to me. He’s always in the exact right position, but never seems to be able to stop a completion. He seems to totally understand everything the offense is doing, but can’t do anything about it.

    If we all woke up tomorrow and realized he was only 4’11”, that would explain everything, but he’s almost 6 feet tall and I just don’t understand why he can’t at least make a good effort against receivers who are only 3″ taller. Three inches isn’t that much. Not every pass is thrown that accurately. It’s almost as if he’s out there to HELP the other guy catch the pass or something.

  3. Maybe he’s so in love with the game that he pauses to watch the pass ;)

  4. MadSweeney42 says:

    Forsett would’ve had a TD on one screen pass but the guy that Spencer had lined up downfield got through clean while Christy was pulling up lame and forced JF out of bounds. He looks very promising.

    The D looked like it was channeling the departed Peterson. Break through the line ready to disrupt the play, lunge, watch player X run past after a bad tackle.

  5. Bernie42 says:

    “Craig Terrill led the team out of the tunnel tonight. Maybe he is a lock for a roster spot.”

    Is this supposed to be surprising? If the defense had a “sixth man,” Craig Terrill would be it, in my opinion.

  6. seahawklovertoo says:

    First “D” unit may be tired or, just unmotivated with the preseason games. They know they are “in”….. The second needs to fight to stay with the team, so they are hustling…. and, there is Nick Reed !!! He has to be on the 53 spot roster. Just, he is way to much for the opposing third stringers. Mora has to start playing him in the first half next two games. That way we will know 100%
    where he should be at, and what he can do.
    First “D” unit should not play more than one (two possesions –max), it is only asking for trouble without anything to gain. When Curry comes back, Mora may want to pair him with Reed at LB spot just to see what happens,

  7. Seahawks lose C Spencer to leg injury

    SEATTLE — Seahawks starting center Chris Spencer has an injured leg and will have more tests to determine how long he will be out.

    Spencer hurt his left quadriceps muscle in the second quarter of Saturday night’s 27-13 preseason win over Denver. He was taken to the locker room on a motorized cart.

    Seahawks coach Jim Mora called the injury “the most serious” of assorted bumps and bruises. Mora said Spencer will have an MRI on Sunday.

    Seattle is already without nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones on its jumbled offensive line. The 35-year-old had his second knee surgery in eight months last week and is out indefinitely.

    Usual right tackle Sean Locklear is replacing Jones. He allowed two sacks and had a false-start penalty Saturday.

  8. The Max Unger era at C can begin a little early.

    Lock (please, Walt, come back healthy soon)

  9. seahawklovertoo says:

    I am not gonna panic. I am not gonna, panic….I am not gonna panic….
    SOMAONE GET LEVI JOHNSON RIGHT NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. seahawklovertoo says:


  11. Bernie from what I recall Bumpus saw absolutely 0 time at WR he came in on he last Denver. Punt of the day.

  12. Jesus… Sorry typing from my phone again… You all meant what I knew

  13. hawkdawg says:

    I’s Levi Jones. And Unger won’t play center, at least right away. He can play guard. Vallos can’t.

  14. I think it was last Feb when I posted that Wahle, W Jones and Spencer were all more likely to go on IR than play 16 games. I made several posts like that. I’m not looking for recognition or a medal. I just want to know one thing:

    If I could see it coming, why couldn’t Ruskell?

  15. Wishful thinking.

  16. Vallos Played guard last night for at least 1 possession in the 2nd half. Levi Jones won’t come her – not a “character guy” so I doubt we will ever contact him, but at this point in time we almost have to

    Jones – Sims -Vallos- Locklear – Willis ___Unger ready to fill in for he first injury!!

  17. azhawkman says:

    I know you all know this but Nick Reed is freakin amazing! For a guy who was “undersized” by so many NFL scouts, just shows his incredible determination to get to the guy with the ball. Even though our DL roster has a lot of personnel locked in, we’ve got to find a roster spot for him! Of course, we all said that around this time last year when Justin Forsett had over 200 all purpose yards vs. the Bears, only to watch the Colts steal him away when he got cut. TR had better not keep 2 kickers again and let Nick Reed go! Deon Butler is still a rookie but he showed that he can run an NFL route and get open. He brings a different dynamic to the WR position that the Hawks don’t have anywhere else and I like it. I also think Unger did an excellent job and should see lots of playing time with the way our line looks right now.

  18. seahawklovertoo says:

    Picky,picky . If I can’t have Levi Johnson, I’ll have Levi Jones.
    At least I had the initials correct.

  19. Very disappointed in our running game so far. All this talk about how the zone blocking scheme would “turn our running game around”, suit our “one cut” runners, and “limit runs for a loss of yards” is sounding pretty hollow. While technically correct(we didn’t have a single run for a loss), what good is that when you average 3.1 yards a carry?

    For how large TJ Duckett is, he goes down pretty easily. It’s excusable to average 2.8 yards per carry as he did last season as the goal line back. However that’s the same average he had last night getting carries in typical running situations. Against San Diego he wasn’t much better, averaging 3 yards per carry.

    The new blocking scheme isn’t helping Forsett much either. Quite to the contrary, if he played this way last season, he wouldn’t find himself on a NFL team right now. With all our runners looking lethargic at best, it makes me wonder if this new scheme is really what our team needs…

    Locklear got abused last night, and Hasselbeck getting sacked 3 times in a preseason game is pretty inexcusable.

    Finally, find someone who can return punts and kickoffs. While surehanded, Forsett is not a good return guy. Deon Butler looks confused as a returner, and despite the idea of letting him learn “on the job”, I’m a believer that return ability is somewhat innate, and not something that one can pick up in 4 pre-season games. I’d hate to see Burleson get hurt on a return and would hold my breath every time he got hit, but as far as risk/reward goes, I’d be willing to throw him out there.

    Like Nick Reed and Michael Bennett a lot. Barring some sort of implosion in the last two games, Reed’s earned a spot. Bennett will have to continue to show more to make the squad.

    I’m hopeful that things will improve and the team will become more of a cohesive unit as they move forward, but I have many things I’m worried about right now.

  20. jasonfin1128 says:

    where is Lawrence Jackson? Has he just dropped off the earth? Too bad he will take up a roster spot that could be given to Reid or Adkins, both of which appear to be playing better.

  21. RichmondHawk says:

    You have to like the mix of players Ruskell has brought in on the d-line. You’d have to think that the 2nd line D of Reed-Bennett-Bryant-Atkins is probably one of the better combinations in the league. They certainly have impressed in the last two games.

  22. I am sorry – but after the game last night I feel like we are in for another LONG season.

    The DLine – got pressure on the first 3 plays and after that – stood straight up and did NOTHING – it was very frustrating to sit there and watch.

    The secondary – watched the guy catch the ball and then tried to tackle him – most of the time successfully but not always.

    the OLine – didn’t look good at all – and if Spencer and Simms (as much as we dont’ like them) injuries end up being anything at all we are toast – I like Wrotto for a spell but not for a full game

    What I missed – Burleson didn’t play – J.Jones – didn’t play ?????? I wanted to see them

    What I liked — Butler and Housh looked GREAT!!! The 2nd string D played well against Denver #1 and Great against the #2’s

    Unger, Vallos, and Wrotto all played multiple positons along the line – being prepared for different options I think is great.

    Based on Playing time: Hass, Payne, Bumpus – have no chance of making this team – they only got on the field on offense when Teel got in and None of them did anything special.

    Moore is going to struggle to make this team – looked indecisive and slow in this game!!

    IF we play like this all year we could be looking at 2 top 10 picks next season! (hopefully not too high so we can trade out of one of them and get more picks)

  23. The new blocking scheme isn’t helping Forsett much either. Quite to the contrary, if he played this way last season, he wouldn’t find himself on a NFL team right now. With all our runners looking lethargic at best, it makes me wonder if this new scheme is really what our team needs…

    I agree 100%

  24. My biggest concern right now is the OL. We have had a bad line for three years (this will be year #4). This bad line has had the benefit of arguably the best LT in the NFL during that time period and was still bad. Now that Walt is a bigtime question mark, who the hell are we to think it’s magically going to change because of some line coach (who coached our bad line last year) and OC are changing to a zone blocking scheme and we’re using a bad group of RBs to run behind them?

    A great RB can make an average OL look better than it is. A bad RB can make any OL look worse than it is. Well, we have a bad OL blocking for RBs who aren’t very good themselves (although I do think our RBs would be fine behind a good line, but who wouldn’t?). Is this a good recipe?

    Reading Sando’s comments about Ray Willis earlier today made me even more skeptical. It’s August and he has a hurting knee. With Walt already out, and Willis never having played a full season (I do like him though — IF healthy) what are we going to do if we suffer another (probable) injury to our tackle position? Lock wasn’t exactly an ironman last year either (and was down right terrible last night at LT, and this is after he’s spent a majority of training camp already practicing at that very position). The tackle situation is scary at the moment and I came into this season thinking it would be a strength.

    Even though I’ve seen for myself in 2 pre-season games that hell has possibly frozen over and Sims is playing okay, could it be that the glowing reports are because our other guards are that bad? I have not been impressed with our overall guard play. Vallos, Wrotto, and Unger look like decent guys you’d be happy with as reserves for this season. Not guys you want anchoring your interior line. Unger looks fine in pass protection, but his run blocking doesn’t seem there at this time. Now, do I think Unger sucks? Hell no! I think he’s going to have a great career and is going to a couple of Pro Bowls before it’s all said and done. However, I am referring to Max Unger the rookie. He’s not where he’s going to be in a few years. Again, he’s a rookie. And for the ’09 season, what he’s going to become in ’11, ’12, etc. doesn’t do us much good for the here and NOW.

    And then there’s our Center position. I don’t think I need to say anything about Chris Spencer. He’s the anti-Cal Ripken. My personal hope is that Unger takes over and doesn’t look back. Some guys just seem to be injury prone (see Branch, Deion) and I think he’s one of them. I’ll let the film of his first 4 years in the league and both pre-season games speak for themself about him (granted, he rode the pine in ’05 although that seems to be his natural position).

    There’s so damn much good on this team that it makes me sick to think the OL can destroy the season. With a good OL our QB probably won’t die, our average RBs don’t have to be so good (or average, in our case), our great receivers will have time to get open, etc. With a good OL our defense won’t be on the field so much so they will be better rested and with a good OL our offense will score some points so our D can attack more since they will have leads.

    I know I’m subscribing to the “sky is falling” routine with my cynicism about the OL at the time, but I honestly think our D is okay (assuming they get more help from the O than they got last year). I know the first unit didn’t look stellar, but I think they are going to be okay. It’s just a hunch and I could easily be wrong, but I think that side of the ball is going to definitely pull its weight this year (even w/o Tru). If the OL can function adequately, I love our QB and receivers too. I think we can have a special season if the OL only can carry it’s weight. They don’t have to be great or a top 10 unit, they just can’t suck or be one of the top 10 worst units in the league either. All I know is that we need Walt back and even with him back in the fold (a big IF at this point) we still need some serious help, gelling, or whatever to get these guys playing okay.

  25. If Spencer misses significant time this year, it would mean Tim Ruskell somehow has managed a bust on all his 1st round draft picks from 2005-2008. That’s Matt Millen like and it’s nearly impossible for any team to have a winning record with so many blown 1st round draft picks.

    2005: Spencer
    2006: Jennings
    2007: Branch
    2008: Jackson

  26. @ pabuwal… thats just mean man. Millen like? I’m not saying it isn’t true, just that it’s mean. Good post though.

  27. seahawklovertoo says:

    Well, it is what it is. Injuries happen in football. What can we do now? Sandbag the season for
    highest pick in the next draft? I am sure other NFL
    teams will be fighting to trade up to #4 or higher .
    Next draft will be much higher quality.
    I was joking previously when I posted about getting Levi Jones. Coming off of injury himself and wanting to much money….I don’t think so !
    The only other option is wait and see what we can grab of the other teams PSs or waivers.
    If I was Ruskell, I’d make a deal with Baltimore for Oher.

  28. chuck_easton says:

    Why would Baltimore make a deal for Oher?

    Again, the armchair GM’s around here think you can just pick up the phone and other teams will do what you want. When they don’t get done you then blame our GM for not listening to you.

    There are still 3 weeks until the regular season starts. I’m sure things will be worked out by then one way or another.

  29. Oher is an important cog in Baltimore’s success this season as their LT. They also have legitimate Super Bowl aspirations, and they aren’t just going to give him away for our scraps or probably even both of our #1s next year. He’s a R who is proving in camp that he was worth being picked in the top 4 but Baltimore doesn’t have to pay him a top R salary. I wouldn’t trade him under almost any circumstances if I were Ozzie Newsome.

  30. For whatever reason, the second player Ruskell drafts always turns out better than the first player he drafts, every draft.

    05 Spencer-Tatupu

    06 Jennings-Tapp

    07 Wilson-Mebane

    08 Jackson-Carlson

    09 Curry-Unger?

  31. variable575 says:

    Let’s talk safety. We have a free safety who is slowing down and can’t seem to make the “big hit” when he attempts it. I think we have a potentially dominant free safety. Josh Wilson! Look how he does when covering a zone like in a nickel or dime package. The guy has the speed, the nose, and propensity to be in the right position to make a play. Forget ideal height and weight for free safety, I would bet Josh Wilson to have 5+ interceptions at the position. Anyone else?

  32. seahawklovertoo says:

    I always liked Oher (my pre-draft posts can prove that)so, I would try to trade for him. I am sure that Ravens love him too. One thing I know is it doesn’t cast much to make the call and talk to Newsome; maybe a deal can be made. There is price for everything in this world and everything can be bought and sold.
    Mr.Easton, I am sure the owner of the 7-11 you work in doesn’t let you know this things; so, you can’t understand what this “armchair GM” is talking about. Trust me, miracles happen in life. (One day you might get to manage that 7-11…)
    I don’t know if Oher will start this year but, my thinking is, if they don’t let him go, than we can trade for his back-up. Ravens always seem to have solid OL and great defence. WRs is what they need and good WRs are what we got.
    Any LT on Baltimore roster is probably better than Levi Jones and Ozzie might want to make a deal.
    If for no other reason besides making friends with the Seahawk organization. To understand this statement look into NE Patriots organization.

  33. chuck_easton says:


    Actually I’m a lawyer that does contracts for a living. Careful to jump to assumptions as they tend to make an, well you know the saying.

    Oher is NOT going anywhere. The Ravens have him penciled in as their LT of the future.

    I know, using your logic we should also go out and get Sanchez from the Jets. I’m sure they’d let him go. And while we’re at it lets go get Coffee from the 9rs. They’d just LOVE to make us a deal if we pay enough.

    Get serious or don’t bother bringing anything to the table. Come up with a solution that might actually be WORABLE…look it up.

  34. chuck_easton says:

    sorry WORKABLE

  35. twocolorcrayon says:

    oceanic, not Unger… Reed. ;)

  36. seahawklovertoo says:

    Wow, Mr. Easton,at least you are not claiming to be an used car salesman. An ambulance chaser is lesser profession than 7-11 clerk.
    Since you’re constantly posting, biz is not that good,ha?
    Anyway, try your smart a** suggestions , insults and
    comments with someone else, will you?

  37. ’07 Branch was acquired sending the 1st round pick to NE. Wilson was drafted 55th overall (2nd rd), while Mebane was selected 85th overall (3rd Rd). It’s too bad that 1st round players can’t shed some of their pressure from the fans and let them feel more free to just perform up to their abilities, whatever they be. To heck with our expectations, just go out and maximize their fun at playing and getting the most they can out of the game for the love of the game, not worry about pleasing us or the coaches.

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