Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck looked good throwing the ball today, and said he feels the best he’s felt in awhile after today’s practice.
“Way better than last week,” Hasselbeck said. “Way better than the last, five weeks really. So it’s the best it’s been.”
Hasselbeck said the thing he believes will determine Sunday’s game against Arizona is who performs better on third down.
Seattle, of course, struggled offensively on third down in the first game against Arizona, going 0-of-11 on third downs. The Seahawks did face seven third downs of 3-and-10 or longer against the Cardinals.
The Seahawks are 23rd overall (38 percent) offensively in converting third downs, and the Cardinals are second overall in the league defensively in allowing third down conversions (33 percent).
“It’s going to be a challenge,” Hasselbeck said. “But the best thing offensively we can do for our team is win on third down.”
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley talked today after practice about defending the Cardinals better than his defense did the first time around in Seattle, with getting consistent pressure on Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner being one of the keys.
On watching Warner on film, Bradley had this to say.
“It looks so easy to him on tape,” Bradley said. “You know, he comes back, he’s sees the coverage and he knows where to go. And that’s why he gets rid of it so quick. So we’ve got to do a good job of disguising, and when we are playing man coverage then we’ve got to lock onto the receivers and hold up.”
Bradley said Seattle facing a big receiver like Calvin Johnson last week should help in the preparation of dealing with Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Bradley went onto say that in order to contain Fitzgerald defensively, Seattle will have to do a good job of disrupting his route at the line of scrimmage to allow time for the safety to get over the top of the coverage. And then there may be times when the Seahawks double him, but the overriding strategy appears to be constantly changing the approach and showing different looks.
Bradley also said the team cannot be so focused on Fitzgerald that they forget about Arizona’s other talented receivers Anquan Bolden and Steve Breaston.
As far as blitzing Warner, Bradley said Warner’s completion percentage actually goes up when teams blitz because he’s so good of getting rid of the ball quickly, so it appears the key for Seattle will be mixing up the blitzes and getting pressure from just the front four.
Here’s the injury report.
For Seattle, Hasselbeck, OT Sean Locklear and CB Ken Lucas all fully participated in practice today.
And WR Mike Hass also was on the practice field, so he cleared waivers and was added to the practice squad.
For Arizona, LB Gerald Hayes (back), T Mike Gandy (pelvis), LB Chike Okeafor (back), WR Sean Morey (head) and DE Kenny Iwebema (knee) did not practice.
WR Steve Breaston (knee) and TE Ben Patrick were limited participants in practice.
And WR Anquan Boldin (ankle), CB Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie (finger) and G Reggie Wellls (thumb) were full participants in practice.