For the second straight day Matt Hasselbeck practiced, and appears on pace to play on Sunday against Jacksonville.
Hasselbeck (rib) was listed as a limited participant in practice today, along with LB Lofa Tatupu (hamstring). After splitting time taking snaps with Seneca Wallace with the first unit, Hasselbeck took the majority of the snaps on Thursday and remains questionable for Sunday.
There were some concerns as to how Hasselbeck’s rib injury would respond after practice on Wednesday, but he appeared to loosen up OK after the early stages of practice.
LB Leroy Hill (groin), OT Walter Jones (knee), OT Sean Locklear (ankle) and OG Rob Sims (ankle) are listed as out.
DE Patrick Kerney (groin) did not participate in practice. And CB Josh Wilson (ankle) and FB Justin Griffith (knee) were full participants in practice.
For Jacksonville, S Sean Considine (groin), LB Adam Seward (groin), CB Scott Starks (hip), TE Ernest Wilford (knee) did not participate in practice.
LB Clint Ingram (ankle) and OG Maurice Williams (knee) were limited participants. And DT Derek Landri (wrist) and OT Tra Thomas participated fully in practice.
We talked to Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley about the team’s defense heading into the Jacksonville game. He said the defense recommitted itself to creating turnovers and big plays on defense after not getting it done in that area in the first four games, with only four turnovers created so far this season.
As far as the Jags, even though they threw the ball well against Tennessee, Bradley says containing Jacksonville offensively still starts with running back Maurice Jones-Drew.
“He’s so strong, and we faced a back like that in Frank Gore,” Bradley said. “And the same challenge is set in that he kind of leads their train. I know they didn’t run the ball much with him the last game because of a game plan kind change, but we know in order to be successful he’s the first guy we need to do well against.”
Similar to Gore, Jones-Drew has the ability to break big plays, so Bradley said it will be important that the defense rallies to the ball
“Our big emphasis is it’s going to take 11 hats,” Bradley said. “You know, we’ve got to get everybody to the ball with a guy like that, because he’s broke so many tackles. He’s a powerful runner, and a lot of times one guy can’t bring him down, so it’s going to take all 11. And our emphasis is that 11 hats have to be on the ball carrier.”
Bradley said the return of cornerback Josh Wilson is important to the team’s defense, not only because of his ability to make plays, but just the energy and enthusiasm he plays with on Sundays.
“He’s an emotional guy who plays with a lot of energy, and we need that on the field,” Bradley said. “When a guy makes a big play, everybody get excited for him. And we felt like last week that kind of slipped a little bit, too, and that’s what we’re all about.”
Speaking of energy, the coaches seemed even more upbeat then they usual during practice, with head coach Jim Mora and others on the coaching staff joking with players during drills.
It makes sense. The Seahawks could be putting too much pressure on themselves heading into Sunday’s game at 1-3, so the coaching staff might be trying to relax them a little bit so they play loose.
Also, the monotony of the daily grind tends to start setting in around this time, with the Seahawks going at it for almost three months now, so breaking up the routine a little bit helps keep the players’ focus.