Seahawks head coach Jim Mora softened his stance on kicker Olindo Mare a day after blasting the 14-year veteran for missing two kicks in the team’s 25-19 loss to Chicago on Sunday.
“I have very high, high expectations for Olindo, and it’s because of the work that he’s done in this league,” Mora said. “He’s been an outstanding kicker, and he’s done a lot of great things for us. I think I let the emotion of the game get to me in my answers about Olindo.
“One of the things that confirmed my feelings for Olindo Mare is the way he came out, when we were down 16-7 and pop one through there to give us the lead. … I feel strongly that we’re all paid, and it’s our job as a professional to make plays or correct decisions as coaches. So sometimes you maybe set the bar too high sometimes.
“His kickoffs were fabulous yesterday. Would I have liked for him to make those two kicks? Yeah. But I wouldn’t like him to make them anymore than he’d like to make them.”
Mora went on to say that when he was asked about Mare’s performance he answered honestly, but perhaps with a bit too much enthusiasm. Mora said the Seahawks had a team meeting and discussed the issue.
Mora had said on Sunday that Mare’s performance was not acceptable.
“If you’re a kicker in the National Football League you should make those kicks – bottom line,” Mora said. “End of story. Period. No excuses. No wind, doesn’t matter. You’ve gotta makes those kicks.
“Especially in a game like this, where you’re kicking and fighting and scratching your tail off and you miss those kicks, it’s not acceptable. Not acceptable. Absolutely not acceptable.”
Mora said the team will not make a move at kicker this week, but will work out people as they do every Tuesday and look at possible adjustment to the roster, although the team remains hamstrung in terms of making roster moves because none of the injured players are on the injured reserve list.
On the injury front, Mora said offensive guard Rob Sims had an MRI which revealed that he suffered a strained oblique and will be questionable for Sunday.
Mora is uncertain is quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who suffered a fractured rib over a week ago at San Francisco, will return to action this week.
“It depends on how he feels, how he moves and the progress he makes in terms of recovering from the rib injury,” Mora said about Hasselbeck.
Mora said Hasselbeck probably will not practice on Wednesday.
Brandon Frye has a strained groin and will miss a day or two of practice, but the team is hopeful he can play on Sunday.
The team will play the wait-and-see game for at least another week with Walter Jones. Mora said Jones has not suffered a setback in his rehab, but that the team and Jones both want to make sure that Jones can play up to the high standard he has set for his play throughout his career.
Mora said that Lofa Tatupu, who missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury, ran today and looked good, and if things go well this week he should be back.
Justin Griffith missed last week with a sprained MCL and Mora said the team will see if he can do anything this week and evaluate him again on Friday.
Mora said Ken Lucas (groin) is much better today than he was last Monday, and that he should practice all week.
Mora said after reviewing the film he was encouraged by the team’s effort and the ability of the offense to move the ball in-between the 20s with mainstays like Matt Hasselbeck and Walter Jones.
Where the team struggled, Mora said, is making a few critical plays that would have pushed them over the top in terms of winning the game.
“We were just a little bit off,” Mora said. “Maybe the ball was thrown a little bit too high, or maybe the protection wasn’t as sound as it needed to be. Maybe we missed a block in protection, or maybe the route wasn’t as crisp, or we didn’t make the great catch or great run that you need to make to win at this level. So it wasn’t one thing in particular.”
Mora said center Chris Spencer played well, doing a good job of getting to the second level in run blocking and helping to make adjustments at the line of scrimmage in pass protection.
On the Matt Forte fumble near the goal line that was overturned by officials after the Bears challenged the ruling on the field, Mora had this to say.
“Every replay that I’ve seen in my eyes is inconclusive,” Mora said. “And the rule states if it’s inconclusive, then the ruling on the field stands. But I have not had all the views that the official making the call had. So he saw it differently than I did. And it was a big play in the game.”
Mora said that the Seahawks submitted the play as something the league should take a closer look at.