I rounded up a few questions asked during the past week and do my best to answer them here.
DisplacedSeahawkFan asks: On a side note, has there been/will there be any talk about defensive schemes for this game, i.e., are we going to see something new? Or are we still going to run our base 4-3 and nickel defenses? I understand the need to keep Arizona guessing, but has anything at all been said?
Williams: As you know, football coaches play it close to the vest in terms of divulging what kind of schemes they will employ heading into a game with a particular scheme.
Unlike Peyton Manning, who teams usually don’t blitz because he makes you pay with long touchdowns, (although I know others disagree, I hear you Dukeshire), I think the thought process around the league is when you face Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner you want get pressure on him and force him into some bad decisions, like you would most other quarterbacks.
Now that has changed somewhat in the past year or so with the development of receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. The more a team blitzes, the more likely they will have one-on-one coverage on the outside, and as we’ve seen in the past, we know what Boldin and Fitzgerald can do with man-to-man coverage.
A possible scenario for Seattle might be to run a little more of the stacked 3-3 set they’ve employed from time-to-time defensively, which I broke down into more detail earlier this year.
The 3-3 is a defensive scheme teams use in obvious passing situations to disguise the blitzes a little more along with masking what guys are going to drop back in coverage.
I don’t think they’ll go exclusively to a 3-3 look because they’ll get gashed in the running game, and Hawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley already said this week that it’s important that Seattle gets pressure from its front four, as they did against Jacksonville. But they could use a bit more of the 3-3 this week, along with the 4-3 nickel and 4-3 base schemes, depending on down and distance.
Princeaden asks: Has there been any word as to how Walter’s knee feeling? I hope he’s gonna be ok. My gut tells me otherwise.
Williams: Jones has continued to work both on his conditioning and his rehabilitation in order to get back on the field after the bye week. As head coach Jim Mora said a few weeks ago, they’re going to evaluate where Jones is at during the bye week and ultimately Jones and the team will come to a decision as to whether or not he will play this season.
But we see Jones every day in the locker room and at the facility going through is regular routine, so there is some expectation that he may return this season We’ll see what happens in a week.
The move to pick up Damion McIntosh this week gives Seattle a little flexibility at offensive tackle should Jones not return this season and wind up on IR.
Mb23oly asks: Eric…or anyone else? Do we know who will be starting at left guard? I haven’t heard anything on Wrotto and seem to remember hearing Sims is already ruled out. What is the update there? Any idea when Sims will be ready to go again? I thought he was playing very consistently at LG until he went down.
Williams: Steve Vallos went in for Mansfield Wrotto at left guard when he suffered an ankle injury and did a decent job against Jacksonville. Wrotto’s still nursing the ankle, so both have seen time at left guard this week.
Rob Sims is still recovering from a left ankle injury and will not be back until after the bye week. Sims had probably been the Seahawks best lineman up front until he suffered the ankle injury against Indianapolis. Seattle will start its fourth different starting lineup this season along the offensive line this week, with Kyle Williams getting the nod at offensive tackle, so communication up front will be important against Darnell Dockett and the rest of Arizona’s defensive front.