I’m headed to Indianapolis in a few minutes. Dave Boling is covering practice today, and I’ll post the injury report as soon as it’s released.
Here’s our weekly look at some interesting questions piling up over the past, few days.
Jkeola asks:Eric- On the Bears challenge at the end of the first half, the views available did not appear to offer any conclusive views to show the ball and knee/leg. In my opinion the call on the field should have stood due to inconclusive evidence. Do the officials have other views available to them that TV audiences don’t? I just thought this was a critical point in game that gave the Bears renewed life.
Williams: Seahawks head coach Jim Mora said replays officials do have views that the coaching staff and the fans do not have. Based on the replays that w were shown, it was hard to understand why that play was overturned after replay review. Further, KJR’s Hugh Millen reported on the air on Thursday that a source within the league told him that the league acknowledged it had made a mistake on the Forte fumble in evaluating the play.
Also, Millen said that a league source told him that the NFL acknowledged that the officials missed a false start by tackle Chris Williams on Chicago’s go-ahead score by wide receiver Devin Hester on his 36-yard catch from Jay Cutler. Apparently, Williams was covered by tight end Greg Olson, so officials were screened out and didn’t see him move. You can check out the play here. So that’s potentially 14 points off the board in a game where Seattle is playing short handed.
I asked a league spokesperson about the issue, but he declined to comment, stating conversations between the league and teams are considered confidential.
The Forte play particularly hurt Seattle, because they could have went into halftime up 13-0 instead of 13-7, which would have created more urgency for Chicago’s offense in the second half. As it happened, Chicago went into halftime up 13-7. The Bears then took the lead early in the second half, with receiver Johnny Knox scoring on a 7-yard catch and run after T.J. Houshmandzadeh fumbled on Seattle’s opening drive of the second half.
Variable 575 asks: Eric, I know we aren’t at a good point to start talking about quarterback Mike Teel as there are many other worthwhile topics. However, with what you’ve seen so far (that we haven’t) is the team quietly excited about Teel and his future with the franchise or is Teel just another David Greene from a few years ago.
Williams: I think the coaching staff likes Mike Teel’s potential. That’s why they were willing to select him in the sixth round. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he has good size. They see some similarities between Teel and Matt Hasselbeck in terms of his ability to read defenses, make quick decisions and accurately deliver the ball. He’s got decent, but not overpowering arm strength from regularly watching him during practice over the course of off-season workouts and training camp.
But I think he proved that he could be a contributor during exhibition play. He finished 20-of-41 for 241 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, for an 81.1 passer rating. Those aren’t overwhelming numbers. You would like to see the completion percentage higher, but he showed good poise in leading Seattle to a touchdown drive late in the game against the Chargers in a contest Seattle ultimately won.
We’ll see him get some more playing time next preseason. But I think Wallace gives Seattle the best chance to win games now. Maybe if the losses continue to pile up later in the season we’ll see Teel in a regular-season game situation. Is he David Greene? It doesn’t look that way now, but it’s early in the evaluating process for Seattle.
Vichawkfan asks: This question has probably already been addressed, but who are the strength and conditioning coaches? I know we haven’t fired any for the past few years. I’m also aware the preseason talk in this regard sounded positive….as in, we weren’t as tired as the other team in the 2nd half. But c’mon…..groins, hamstrings, backs (Matt’s injury is non-related to conditioning IMO)….but seems to me the “nicks” and strains mean something we’re not doing well. Maybe the sea-level air has something to do with it…..I’m at a loss.
Williams: I think the injury issues can be attributed to a lot of different factors. Part of is age, with players over 30 like Matt Hasselbeck, Patrick Kerney, Mike Wahle and Walter Jones suffering season-ending injuries last season. Older players tend to suffer more injuries toward the end of their career than younger players because of the wear and tear their bodies go through from playing games.
I don’t think the overall age of the team is an issue. If you look at the average player age, the Seahawks have the eighth oldest roster in the league.
Another segment of the injury woes are players who seem to get injured every year like Chris Spencer, Leroy Hill, Deion Branch and Sean Locklear.
And still another element is the violent nature of the game and just the luck of the draw, and Seattle seems to be going through a bad stretch right now.
Seattle’s strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark has been with the team since Seattle’s Super Bowl run in 2005. Darren Krein, the assistant strength and conditioning coach, has been with the team since 2001.
And the team’s physician staff is one of the best in the business.
Here’s what Mora had to say when asked about the issue.
“It’s been our issue for the last year, I guess,” he said. “But, I think there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I think we’re coming out of it. I really do. I think we’re coming out of it. So that’s how I’m looking at it.
“But like I said, just to reiterate, our strength and conditioning staff is outstanding. Our trainers and medical staff are outstanding. This is a violent game. Sometimes things happen, and sometimes they come in bunches. Really, what you have to do is weather the storm and get guys back and we’re doing that. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
JKEOLA asks: Eric- I have noted the Seahawks are diligent in continuing to work-out potential, free-agent players to keep their lists up to date should a need arise. I assume they are just as diligent scanning Practice Squad players as well. A few names in the corner ranks that were interesting were Mike Mickens, Don Carey and Cary Harris. Realizing that signing a player off of another teams practice squad requires that player be placed on the active roster, do the Seahawks see this as a viable option in building quality depth on their roster?
Williams: I think they do see it as a possible option. Brandon Frye is an example of that. They saw a diamond in the rough in terms of his athleticism and his fit in the type of blocking scheme that they run, and the put him on the active roster when Miami cut him. So far, Frye has been a valuable addition with all the injuries on the offensive line.
The problem with doing that now is the Seahawks do not have a roster spot available because none of their injured players are on the season-ending injured list. So they have to kind of limp along for a couple weeks until some of these players with nagging injuries begin to get healthy and return to action.
Seattle will actually have to release another player to make room for Marcus Trufant once he’s eligible to come off the PUP list. So I don’t think the injuries are as dramatic as last season, but they certainly are having an effect on how the team shapes the roster each week.