Seahawks Insider

Wednesday Mora press conference notes

Post by Ryan Divish on Dec. 2, 2009 at 10:50 am with 24 Comments »
December 2, 2009 12:27 pm

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.

INJURY UPDATES

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.”

Leave a comment Comments → 24
  1. IdahoHawk says:

    How many games does it take to evaluate Jones?
    Start Forsett for the rest of the year. I guess I dont understand Pro football?
    Start the men that give you the best chance of winning. (Forsett/Reed)

  2. “I think you are right we certainly need to evaluate that position and find out exactly what he is”

    Mora had all of last season, training camp, and over half the season this year to evaluate Forsett and Jones.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Mora’s answer to how they’ll use Forsett and Jones is perfect. No clear plan or direction, moving forward. They’ll just go with whoever is “running the ball well that day.” It’s that exact level of vague commitment and lack of direction that has left this team without any identity, on either side of the ball, what so ever. This team really reflects Mora’s ambivalence toward discipline and any semblance of a plan. Is there any doubt why a kid like Curry doesn’t seem to know his ass from deep center field on most plays? Who’s steering this ship anyway? If this was just coach speak, that would be one thing. But by judging the play on the field, it is sadly more than that. It is how Mora approaches his profession. I’m really beginning to believe he’s in over his head.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Audible – Bear in mind, they were just 2 weeks ago, trying to figure out which routes fit which receiver best, too. Goodness…

  5. I wonder when they’ll get around to evaluating the O and D Lines?

  6. Dukeshire says:

    October 2010

  7. That soon?

  8. Mora is Mr.Coach Speak. What do we really learn from his press conferences?

  9. IdahoHawk says:

    Ryan ask Mora what the weather is going to be like tomorrow.
    See if you get a straight Intelligent answer.

  10. Duke– Well said on the ‘team direction’ thoughts…good stuff.

    Yeah, in regards to the Jones/Forsett issue…well…all other issues as well…Mora just seems incredibly reactionary. How do you really evaluate a player in-game? They need to get considerable carries in consecutive games. We’ve seen a lot of Jones, and we know what he can do. We only get to see Forsett when he’s playing well.

    In the same sense (if hasselbeck really isnt hurt) they arent doing any deep throws because of the two or three times they tried them with Butler, it didnt work. Keep after it! Dont stop trying that just because it didnt work a few times. At this point, if it doesnt evaluate, build confidence, or build chemistry wtf is the point?

    ‘Least…thats one fellas opinion.

  11. FireRuskellNow says:

    Jones is a good player to have on the team, but it is so much more evident that Forsett is simply a more talented rusher. He needs at least a 50/50 split, if not the lion’s share of carries.

    I’m not liking Mora so far but you can’t really lay the blame on him yet since he’s inherited Ruskell’s mess of failure

  12. Dukeshire says:

    Actually, I don’t think he is. Coach speak is when Bill Belichick tell us that Brady’s shoulder is dinged up and he’s listed as questionable then throws for 350 yards on Sunday afternoon. Sadly, I fear that Mora is telling the truth about winging it on game day between Jones and Forsett.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    That was in refrence to pabuwal, not FRN.

  14. FireRuskellNow says:

    Also Deon Butler was such a stupid draft pick, any Penn State fan will tell you he isn’t nearly as fast as his timed 40 would suggest, and not a deep threat. Yet Ruskell drafted him to be one. He doesn’t even have returning skills, like other speedsters like Percy Harvin and Johnny Knox!!! And this idiot may be in charge of rebuilding our offense if Paul Allen is too busy to fire him!

  15. madpunter88 says:

    Do you guys really think he would come out and say, “We’re going with Forsett the rest of the year, Julius Jones is done and we’ll be cutting him in the offseason”?

    No, that is silly for numerous reasons. Let me attempt to provide some rationale as to why a coach would be relatively non-commital on the subject:
    1. It creates some doubt for opposing teams and causes them to have to plan for both;
    2. Maybe Forsett really can’t sustain his performance over the rest of the season and it is worth keeping two running backs motivated to perform as the feature back;
    3. There is no reason to trash Julius Jones this late in the season when there is no realistic shot of making the playoffs and you are still paying him;
    4. It sends a very bad message to the team for the coach to relegate a starter to the bench because of injury;

    But most importantly, Justin Forsett is doing quite well as he tries hard to prove himself in his role as the temporary starter…why not keep the motivation level high by making him continue to prove himself? It isn’t going to hurt anything to maintain the sense of competition. If you just annoint him starter for the future now it takes away some of the drive and also commits the team to him before it is really necessary to do so. What if the team (Ruskell or another GM) decides this offseason they want to target another back in the draft or free agency — but the coach has already said Forsett is his man? That creates confusion. That creates dissension.

    The only move right now is to keep it up in the air. That is the fair thing to do for a veteran. That is the only move for a team that will, we all hope, need to make a lot of changes in the off-season. Why lock yourself in now?

    That same sentiment goes for those who believe that Ruskell has already been told he will not be brought back? Why would a team do that? That makes no strategic sense. Ignoring for a moment the fact that a lame-duck GM who has already been told he will not return is essentially then free to start talking to other teams, why would the Seahawks lock themselves into a personnel move before they need to?

    One of the hallmarks of the NFL is you don’t make personnel moves until you have to. Things change quickly. Forsett could be injured and out for the rest of the season tomorrow. Then do you turn to the veteran you’ve already alienated by benching? Competition for positions is key. As long as you have the opportunity you maintain that competition because everyone benefits.

  16. tylakewalker says:

    Some good, insightful comments madpunter88. I don’t like listening to Mora’s press conference either but you are right. Anyone talking to the media should be careful of what they say and make guarded non-committal comments. With the exception of throwing Mare under the bus earlier in the year, Mora has shown good discipline in what he says to the media.

  17. Dukeshire says:

    For me. it’s not an either or situation. It’s not about giving all the carries to one guy or another, that’s another discussion. This is about a strategy to get the most out of this team and it’s players, not just for this season but for the future. It’s becoming clear to me that he doesn’t have one. They’re are just 5 games left and he’s still trying to define roles. Waiting until gameday to unfold before determining how to use you players is irresponsible, as best.

  18. Dukeshire says:

    If he was really to engage in some level of subterfuge with the media, then he’s better off saying Jones is the starter, period. But to openly admit you don’t have a direction is crazy. And make no mistake, I believe him when he says that. I don’t think he’s being coy by trying to ride the fence.

  19. Chargers LT Marcus McNeill will be a FA in 2010 as will WR Vincent Jackson, WR Malcolm Floyd , RB Darren Sproles and LB Shawne Merriman. The team only has the option to Franchise one player. Merriman it is rumored will be released because of consistant injuries. WR Vincent Jackson has been a league leader at the position and he and Gates are Rivers favorite targets.

    The Colts LT Charlie Johnson will become a FA 2010 with LT Tony Ugoh, previous starter, on the bench. Also include asv FA’s, S Antoine Bethea, CB’s Marlin Jackson & Tim Jennings, MLB Tim Jennings.

    These teams only have one Franchise tag. I could see us dealing for S Bethea or either of those indy LT’s. How ’bout the Chargers Marcus McNeil. Unlikely he’ll free up but they’ll be busy this offseason trying to sign those players.

  20. Wow did I come off in left field. Nothing like changing the subject! Not sure it’s time to get worked up over JJ and being the starter. He was injured, is a better option than Rankin and much better back than some give him credit for.
    At this time it has become evident that Forsett has won the starting position. I don’t need Mora to tell me so. When it comes time I’m sure will see a majority of the carries by the Force.

  21. Audible says:

    Excile,

    Nice work…you did your homework on that post. It’s one thing to list a bunch of FAs, it’s quite another to investigate further into the liklihood they’ll actually hit the market.

  22. Someone linked a Walterfooball FA list that made it easy. I had already been looking into Ugoh. What gets me is how far Merriman has fallen. Once the face of their franchise, only a couple years ago, and now they don’t plan to retain him.

  23. Even before his injury last year, Merriman was off the juice and wasn’t the same player. He even looks noticeably smaller than he did when he was the best defender in the game (just a few short years ago).

    I’m all for signing Marcus McNeill. He did have surgery on his neck this past off-season (but shows no signs of it this season) and there were back issues with him coming out of Auburn (prompted him to slide to later in the 2nd round). However, from what I know, this hasn’t been an issue for him in the NFL.

    I know it would cost a hell of a lot of money, but can you imagine an off-season of McNeill (LT), Mankins (LG), and Evans (RG)? Our OL would be solidified. Can you imagine that? An offensive line that doesn’t suck? And actually, gulp, VERY good! Our line would be so good that Willis would have to ride the pine and be quality depth at RT and G. I know it would cost a lot of money, but last time I looked, good things normally come with a hefty price tag.

    A solidified OL would give us the option to take 3 defensive players in the first two rounds. That would be pretty cool. Or we could take a playmaker like Spiller, in addition to two defenders. Or take our QB of the future.

    If there is one unit on the team that I have absolutely no problem overpaying for, it’s the OL. It’s not like overpaying for a group of LBs. Oh, wait… we’ve been doing that and what’s our record the past few years?

    Switching gears – can see some of what punter is saying about injury… for example, Mora didn’t commit to any one set line prior to the season and then things kept happening… remember when Walt was going to come back and we were wondering where Lock was going to go? It never happened.

    But at the same time, as Duke has said, I don’t feel that there is a set blueprint for how to proceed as an organization. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious vision. As has been stated before, what is our team identity? Well, we don’t have one, that’s why. It’d be nice to know who we are or at least have a goal of becoming. When Ruskell took over he came in with a vision of building a dominant defense. WTF? Where is it?

    For whoever our next GM is… I hope they have a blueprint for success and actually stick to the plan (and not some manufactured 2 year plan — that sounds like Stalin and his 5 year plans). I know there are always deviations from the original plan due to obvious changes or circumstances, but you get the idea. That’s what I want.

  24. I’m certain that Merriman wouldn’t generate any interest from the Hawks. Jackson? Again, the money invoved and past misfortune would limit interest.
    The LT position needs addressed as well as S. Bethea would fit nicely leaving all other draft choices. Or McNeil which would basicaly make the next GM look like a genius from the onset. But we have the best opportunity of landing Johnson or Ugoh of Indy. From here we likely have at least 2 #1’s. Use the first on the D line and the second on a specialty position. Cheap and productive. Unlike the millions TR spent on dinosaur receiver or super midget, past SB MVP. Hey U, Boulware took us to multiple playoffs as well as the SB.

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