Seahawks Insider

Notes from Thursday practice

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm with 22 Comments »
August 27, 2009 4:05 pm

Ryan Divish filled in for me today, and offers these notes from today’s practice.

It was an absolutely stunning day on Lake Washington at the VMAC. The temperatures were in the mid-80s and the players seemed to be energized by the weather.

It was so nice a coyote came out after practice and was wandering around the practice field, checking things out.

Practice was in shorts and shells.

A few notes …

We talked with Greg Knapp a little post practice here’s a few comments.

On the run …

“We’re right on track for this weekend. We’ve got plenty of time. In comparison to starting up this run scheme – both in Atlanta and Oakland – it will be six or seven games into the regular season before we are hitting on all cylinders. It takes time. So I’m not worried at all. I think we are right on target.”

ON Max Unger:

“He’s doing fine. We’ve primarily played him at the guard spot. He has played some center, which is what that position has to do. If you are going to play in this league and suit up on Sunday, you have to be able to play two positions either guard-tackle or guard-center. He’s been doing a fine job with an emphasis on playing guard.’

ON Steve Vallos …

“He’ll do well. He’s done a great job of taking command of the line scrimmage and making our protection calls and setting our tracks right on the running game. I feel confident he’ll perform well on Saturday night.

“He’s gotten a lot of reps this training camp with our ones. I’m feeling comfortable that he’s getting prepared in that case (starting). It’s nice to have this game and the next one to help him get ready.”

ON the all the responsibilities of the center

“He’s kind of our quarterback of the offensive line. He sets the tone with the pace of the huddle and getting in and out, the calls made in protections and certainly the direction of the run game. That center has to be a great communicator for us because he’ll set the tone of the rest of the group.”

* As expected Walter Jones, Marcus Trufant and Chris Spencer did not suit up. Also cornerback Travis Fisher (hamstring) was absent and offensive lineman Cory Withrow was absent – no word on his injury. Linebacker David Hawthorne (knee) was back and participating wearing a large brace to protect his sprained MCL.

* Edgerrin James and I have now taken the same amount of snaps for the Seahawks. He did suit up and did some light individual work, but during all team stuff he was relegated to being a spectator. I will say that he seemed very attentive and was conversing with several players after plays. He also stayed afterward and worked on running pass patterns out of the backfield and catching passes from Jeff Rowe. I forgot that Edge was a pretty decent receiver in his younger days with Indy. He looks very natural catching the ball. It’s not all awkward like when Shaun Alexander would try and catch.

* The first team offensive line was Sean Locklear (LT), Rob Sims (LG), Steve Vallos (C), Max Unger (RG), Ray Willis (RT). Also the recently acquired Brian De La Puente was working as the second-team center.

* TJ Houshmandzadeh was attempting to kick field goals like his former teammate Chad Ochocinco. However, Housh isn’t quite adept at kicking them as Ocho. I saw him make like 1 of 5.

* A lot of special teams work today. Deon Butler and Justin Forsett caught the bulk of the punts, but Ben Obamanu and Seneca Wallace also fielded a few of them. On kick-offs, Butler did not field kicks, it was Forsett and fellow running back Devin Moore. Ben Obamanu and Courtney Taylor also took kicks.

* The offense was relatively crisp especially in its red zone work. Hasselbeck seemed comfortable and connected on several passes. Forsett got plenty of looks when they were between 10 and 20 yards out, but Jones jumped in when they worked from 10 yards and in.

* They also worked some goal line. The “jumbo” package the defense will use featured Kerney, Mebane, Cole, Redding up front. During one of those plays, Aaron Curry bit badly on a play-action fake for an easy touchdown pass for the offense. The Hawks ran the play again immediately so Curry could see what his right responsibility was on the coverage.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. Dukeshire says:

    No Wilson on kick returns. Are they looking to move away from him or merely looking for someone to compliment him?

    As I was gone earlier this week: have there been any updates on Trufant’s anticipated return?

  2. Dukeshire: Wilson is still the guy and the team is looking to build depth there. Mora hinted we might see Trufant out on the field this week or next. However, Trufant has not been out on the field at practice this week. Looks like he could start the season on the PUP list.

  3. bird_spit says:

    We can always wish..

    This year Jennings has a break out year, making a mockery of all who have judged him.

    The OL of the Seahawks solidifies, and our QB remains healthy.

    Our safety play improves, and isnt beat on the long ball.

    Our 1st team defense recalls how to tackle.

    Our defensive front can actually pressure the QB with four players.

    Curry becomes a solid/dependable LB, and Lofa gets past his ’08 slump.

    Hill doesnt tok it up as much.


  4. bird_spit, all that is going to happen.

    Except for Jennings having a break-out year. He won’t because once Trufant is healthy again, Kelly will only be the dime back and won’t be on the field enough to be noticed much.

    Oh, and the OL cannot likely solidify this year since injuries are still causing shuffling of personnel. If everyone heals up by October, they can become a stable unit by late in the season.

    I’d say everything else you are wishing for is on track to happen.

  5. Duke, check the recent Mora interview podcast online at KJR.

    Mora said he is happy with Wilson on returns but wants to give Forsett some work this Saturday. He also said the return game was one of his top priorities to improve this year.

    He said the new rules change prohibiting a 4-man wedge gives the Seahawks something new to adjust to in practicing a 2-man wedge.

    These were the 4 top priorities Mora listed in need of improvement:
    1. Improve the return game.
    2. Run.
    3. Pressure the opponent’s passer earlier in the game.
    4. Play with the energy of a top defense.

  6. I really hope that someone steps up and performs well for kick returns. With trufant still out, we need Wilson to stay healthy. Losing Wilson would be a tremendous blow to our secondary and it’s depth.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo –

    Thanks, I’ll look into that. I’m glad to hear that Wilson is still the man, but with Tru on the shelf it wouldn’t surprise me to see them looking elsewhere to protect him. But as I said, I’m glad that’s not the case. Love Pistol and he’s quite capable.

    One thing about Bird’s list that doesn’t get mentioned often enough is their poor tackling. It extends beyond last year. As an example: despite Lofa’s pro bowl appearances in ’06 and ’07 I’ve felt his tackling technique has declined each year. Wrap up, son. (Peterson was simply awful one on one, but of course he’s gone now.) But point being, there have been far too many broken tackles, at an increasing rate, each of the last 3 years, IMO.

  8. I don’t care what anybody says, I appreciate the fact that Ruskell makes character important in determining if a player comes here or not. Now, not everyone he’s brought in or signed has been a perfect person or hasn’t gotten into trouble, but the reason I’m bringing this up is because of the latest Brandon Marshall incident. I’m so glad there are no morons like this on our team. Check out the latest from PFT on Marshall if you don’t know what I’m talking about. I aways had a bad impression of him, but what he’s doing now is just sickening.

  9. SeahawkFan12 says:

    BobbyK, I completely agree with you. Totally think the character thing matters; it is something that can solidify a locker room and be infectious to younger players as an example to follow. Also, character and heart go a LONG way in the post season when the pressure mounts.

    That said, it doesn’t hurt to have a little ‘bad ass” in you as well. Seahawks All Access had some nice sideline stuff of TJ talking big; I love the attitude and totally count on that carrying over into the season.

    Swagger should not be underestimated.

  10. nightwulf says:

    Forte or Carlson, which would you rather have (remember to take into account the likely lengths of their careers)

  11. I’ll take Carlson over Forte in a heartbeat. Remember before the draft last year and how we were all talking about how terrible our TE position was? Now it’s set for a decade (barring injury).

  12. Dukeshire says:

    In addition, 2006 Alexander was only 1 season removed from being the MVP and a huge contract. One can always look back and list names that a given team could have taken. But this list doesn’t take into account the reasons why the team decided to chose their picks, or pass, for good or ill.

  13. *Warning* Abstract HawksKD comment (the following just might be false)

    I think Ruskell is pulling some double agent shady NFL stuff. He has been in talks with Brandon Marshall. He has promised Brandon, and all of his talented pass catching skills, that we will sign him in 2010 for single handedly destroying the Denver Broncos season. Thus ensuring us a top 3 pick. He is to act as diva-ish as possible and bring the team to it’s knees. Then as he is signing with the hawks he will admit that all of the child like behavior was just a ploy to help his future team.

    Thanks Brandon see you next year.

  14. chuck_easton says:


    SHHHH…the league has all those nasty little tampering rules. We can’t let anyone know the truth! Nothing to see here. Move on.

    But I like the longterm thinking. Go Marshall and take the ponies down with you.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    “(the following just might be false)” – Indeed, Marshall will not be a Seahawk. Never mind his conduct, attitude and calling the organization out, his arrest record alone will keep Ruskell from pursuit.

    However: I disagree. It’s not Marshall who’s in Ruskell’s pocket, it’s McDaniels. First, jettison franchise QB. Check. Next, alienate fan base. Check. Finally, suspend temperamental yet talented star receiver. Done. All that’s left is to sit back and watch the team implode by late September. Perfect plan.

  16. LOL I just saw that Marshal was suspended. I was completely joking around. I would punch Ruskell in his spleen if that clown of an NFL football player ever put on a hawks uniform. He is the next generation TO. He will be a detriment to any team he touches.

    To get back on track, I love that Knapp and Solari are building a bunch of young Porkchops. I think the versatility built around our line will pay dividends in our future.

    BTW – Claire wrote a nice piece on about our linebacking depth. If there is one thing Ruskell and his staff know about it’s linebackers, that’s for sure.

  17. seahawklovertoo says:

    If Denver Donkeys’ pick turns out to be top 6 in the next draft and we trade it for two lower picks ( 1+1 or, 1+2) I , publicly swear : that I WILL BUY AND WEAR AN “DENVER DONKEYS” PATCH no matter how much I hate them.

  18. NickLicatasucks says:

    McDaniels may at some point be a good coach with a good team. But his strategy this year certainly makes me think he’s tearing it down before he can build it back up. 2009 Broncos = 2008 Chiefs. Napolean McDaniels IS following the Ruskell checklist. Thanks Napolean!

    LOL from KD, great stuff, and Dukeshire I’m with you. Marshall is the anti-Hawk. I cannot believe his behavior, purposely obviously dogging it in practice! He deserves suspension, no doubt. If he only knew how much he is lowering his own value. With the WR position in Dallas I wonder what Jerry Jones will give up to get Marshall. He already gave up too much to get Roy Williams (the WR).

  19. nightwulf says:

    Thank you for stating my point in the “look what RB’s we missed” debate…in the modern NFL, a stellar RB is one of the less important pieces in a championship puzzle…check it out for yourselves:)

  20. nighwulf – you realize my fantasy team is going to easily beat yours, right?


  21. BobbyK – Would you rather have Lawrence Jackson or Matt Forte? That was my point. Would Red Bryant or Tim Hightower contribute more to our team?

    What about Kelly Jennings and Darryl Tapp over LenDale White, and Maurice Jones-Drew?

    Of course Carlson was a good pick. Do you know how many pro bowl players Timmay has drafted since he came on in 2005? One.

    Do you know how many high functioning starters? Three (four if you include Mebane, but I don’t put him in the Carlson, LeRoy Hill, Tatupu class yet).

    The guy ignored a key position of need when there were clearly plenty of options in the draft for years. Fail.

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