If it’s a Wednesday mid-morning, it means Seahawks head coach Jim Mora is speaking to the media. He didn’t bring the level of Tony Robbins as normal, but he really was never given a question to deliver a few comments of positivity and optimism.
That being said, it’s clear that Mora is upbeat following the win and also about finally getting a game at Qwest Field after three straight games on the road.
Here’ s some highlights from today’s press conference.
DL Cory Redding (concussion) will not practice today.
“He’s cleared up and feeling a lot better, but we’ll see where he’s at by the end of the week,” Mora said.
DL Lawrence Jackson has a groin strain and won’t practice today.
“We’ll give him one more day of rest and treatment, but we expect him to be available on Sunday,” Mora said.
LB DD Lewis sprained a knee and will not practice.
“We’ll see where he is for Sunday.”
RB Julius Jones will practice today, but Mora said nothing about playing Sunday other than that will see where he is later in the week.
Jones is still trying to find his way back into game shape. Yes, he hasn’t been out that long, but it doesn’t take long to get out of shape for professional athletes. Think about how long it took for you to get out of shape. Professional athletes are used to conditioning every day – well all of them but Pork Chop Womack. So Jones’ conditioning level isn’t close to where it was before the injury.
“The intensity of a game is different than practice, it’s different than being in the weight room or running extra sprints so that something that you certainly have to be aware of,” Mora said.
ON MATT HASSELBECK AND THE PASSING GAME
The Hawks had just 95 yards net passing last week. And on this blog we’ve had several readers complain about his lack of deep thows of a late.
Mora was asked to evaluate Matt’s season thus far, taking into account the injuries and the patchwork offensive line.
“I think he’s been a really good leader for us,” Mora said. “I think he showed toughness coming back from the ribs after just a couple of weeks. I think he’s hung in there tough under some trying circumstances for him. I think he’s been nothing but a positive. But we have to give him some help. When you run the ball you help your quarterback. When you protect you help your quarterback.”
That doesn’t really say much about Matt’s on-field play. But Mora kind of hinted toward the production not being where anyone expected it to be.
“I think if you ask him, he’d say, ‘I can probably do better’ because he’s a competitor,” Mora said.
Mora was then asked about the deep throws, or lack thereof. And whether or not it was a result of the rib and shoulder injuries that Matt has dealt with this season.
“I think he’s back,” Mora said. “I think for a few weeks it would be fair to say he didn’t really have his fastball because of the ribs, the shoulder and the compounding effects of those injuries. Last week in practice, there was a marked difference in how he threw the football. He had his zip back. He had downfield throws back and a little more hop in his step out there.”
But Mora also pointed to the offensive line issues hurting the Hawks ability to go down the field, using John Carlson’s diminished role as an example.
“It forces you to do different things,” Mora said. “We’ve had a lot of questions about John Carlson and his role in the offense. Sometimes we have to bring him in or have him chip before he goes out. So that hurts your ability to go downfield because it takes time for those routes to develop downfield. ”
Mora went on talk about a growing consistency on the offensive line. So perhaps we could see more shots down the field unlike last week.
“The downfield threats weren’t there,” he said. “Downfield threats start with making sure we give our quarterback enough time to throw it. And then, get the right coverage when the right play is called. There’s a lot of factors. We’d certainly like to stretch the field. Just like anything, you are going to call plays and if you get the right defense they work, and if you don’t, sometimes you have to go back to the huddle.”
ON JUSTIN FORSETT
There seems to be some debate about the role of Justin Forsett on the team. A fair amount of fans think he should be the starter. Some view him as the running back of the future. Some still don’t believe he’s an every down back. Some, like myself, believe he’s the best option in an otherwise mediocre rushing attack.
When asked if they should use these last five games to see what they truly have in Forsett in terms of his viability as an every down producer, Mora was kind of noncommittal.
“I understand your question and I understand that you can’t deny Justin has had a couple of really good games with Julius out,” he said. “I think you are right we certainly need to evaluate that position and find out exactly what he is, but I don’t think that means you just completely eliminate Julius Jones either. We still need to evaluate him as well. We’re going to try and continue to run the ball with whoever is running the ball well that day.”
ON THE PLAY OF MARCUS TRUFANT
Obviously Trufant hasn’t been great. He has like seven penalties in the last five games and he is amongst the league leaders in the pass interference calls despite playing in five games this season. But he also missed all of fall camp and the first six games of the season with the back injury.
“Some of those calls from my vantage point and in reflections in getting stuff back from the league maybe could have been called another way,” Mora said. “Regardless of that, what you see with corner backs typically when they get pass interference, defensive holding calls is that their technique is off a little bit and they’ve gotten in position where they have to grab. That’s kind of what you’ve seen with Tru.”
Trufant is staying after most practices to work on his technique and footwork.
“It’s tougher than any of us really think, especially at that position where you have to be so finely tuned because you are protecting such a valuable asset, which is the end zone,” Mora said. “It’s harder than we think. Sometimes we assume that because a guy’s been a good player and has the skill set that he’ll just step right in and be okay. I don’t that it’s always fair to the athlete. He was out a long, long time. But it’s coming for him.”
Mora said there are signs he’s getting back to his old self. And thought he played pretty well against the Rams.
“It’s been a little rough on him at times,” Mora said. “The slant they called the PI on him that’s hard to get on a guy about that. Shoot, he’s just fighting his butt to make a play and he’s there a half second too early. I didn’t see much difference in that one and the one with T.J. (Houshmandzadeh) down the middle.”