Seahawks Insider

Friday practice report: Starting RB up in the air

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm with 42 Comments »
December 11, 2009 4:25 pm

Seahawks head coach Jim Mora said everyone listed on the injury report is probable except for D.D. Lewis (knee), who is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision.

Mora did not give a clear answer as to who will start the game at running back between Julius Jones and Justin Forsett, saying it depends on which personnel group is being used on the first play of the game.

“We have certain things that we do with certain guys, so it’ll just depend on how we put that together,” Mora said. “You’ll see them, absolutely. I know what your question is: Are we going to see more of Justin [Forsett]? And the answer is yes, absolutely.”

I talked to Forsett for a few minutes in the locker room and he said he feels fine and is ready to go on Sunday. He also said Houston’s front seven is pretty solid, led by Mario Williams, so he expects a physical game on Sunday.

“They’re pretty good,” Forsett said. “All of them are athletic. Mario is big, and he’s got a long reach, so those arms, you’ve got to be aware of them when you’re running. You’ve got to make sure you get you’re pad level down so he won’t reach out and grab you.”

As far as game balls go, Ray Willis got the game ball for offense, Jordan Babineaux go the defensive ball and John Ryan got the game ball for special teams.

And, of course, Friday’s would not be complete without a few words of wisdom from T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Asked about Tiger Woods’ transgressions being played out in the media nationally, Houshmandzadeh, who his married with two children, had this to say.

“If you’re going to mess with somebody, mess with somebody famous,” he said. “They’re going to keep it a secret like you’re going to keep it a secret.”

Houshmandzadeh also talked about what keeps players motivated during seasons where their teams are struggling. And surprisingly it wasn’t the money. He said it’s just fun to play, and you only have a short amount of time to be out there in your playing career.

“It’s fun to play,” he said. “Football is fun because I can remember my rookie year, dude, like it was yesterday. I wasn’t playing, but I can remember everything about it, and now I’m in my ninth year and it goes so fast.

“And so you’ve got to have fun while you’re playing.”

Houshmandzadeh also believes it’s important for Seattle to finish strong, saying it will be a building block for next season, pointing to the fact that his former team, the Cincinnati Bengals, finished 4-11-1 last year, but won their last three games, and now they sit at 9-3 and atop the AFC North.

Notes from practice
Leave a comment Comments → 42
  1. Hawkfan1951 says:

    If Coach Mora is depending on which “personnel group” will start on Sunday, does that mean the coaches have yet to script the first 15 or so plays? Wouldn’t they already have that in the game plan they’ve been practicing?

    J. Jones will start. He makes more money than J. Forsett! Course at this stage of the season (5-7), letting the best players on the field would be smart.


  2. Hawkfan1951: They do script the first 15 plays, but it also depends on field position. If Seattle is backed up on its first possession, they may go with a different personnel group than if they’re on the 20-yard line. But you’re right. Mora has named the starter at running back in the past.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    I think who is in on the first snap maters less than who gets more touches throughout the game. It is hard for me to believe that Forsett hasn’t earned the lions share of work and IMO should be the feature back in this offense, moving forward. I think they have to recognize that as well.

    I really have no idea what Housh meant about the messing with someone famous stuff, but I like what he had to say about playing football because it’s fun and having fun while you play. In the end, my impression is that he’s a down to earth guy.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Eric – Important questions; Is Ryan ready for tomorrow? Have you cut him loose to go to Missoula for the game? And if not, will he be in any condition tomorrow, after what I know will be an evening chock full of preparation, to enjoy the game? (Actually, if he goes to the game, his likely to find himself in worse condition. lol)

  5. StevenMunn says:

    Ray Willis? Are you serious? A game ball? Give it to Deon Butler or Hasselbeck or somebody more deserving. Jeez.

  6. I like seeing Wilis get a game ball. He’s been knocking the crap out of people the past couple of weeks. Fans give all the credit to the running backs, but without those linemen giving it up every play there would be no rushing yards. Unger has been starting to look less like a rookie and more like a good OG the past couple of weeks too.

    I think our whole O line is getting it together and we are going to run the ball on Texas. Doesn’t matter who the RB is. They’re both about equal and whoever is in there will get the job done.

  7. twocolorcrayon says:

    In what ways is Forsett not better than Julius Jones?

  8. For one, JForce has much better visioin than JJ. Compare how each player approaches the LOS. You’ll notice that JForce finds the hole a lot more often than JJ, who has a tendency to run up the back of offensive lineman where there is nowhere to run.

  9. J-Force has a month to prove the Seahawks don’t need to draft a RB too early in the draft. What I’ve seen so far is very encouraging, but I’m excited for more…

  10. snydro22 says:

    I can’t wait for the next update to Tiger Woods 2010 on PS3.. An inside source tells me that if you can beat Tiger in the Tiger Challenge, you get to take a 3 iron to his face and steal his cocktail waitress.. Awesome!

    Of course Mora has named a starter in the past.. Didn’t he say something along the lines of, “Julius Jones is still our starter” about two weeks ago?

    Mora is lame. I’m trying really hard to convince myself that he is the man for the job, but it’s not working.. He is lucky Knapp is so terrible and takes most of the heat.. On that same note, however, he needs to stop sticking up for Knapp and just let the bus run him over..

  11. wabubba67 says:

    Yeah, it must be Knapp’s fault that he has had no consistent offensive line to work with, an often hurt QB, an overpaid veteran RB (along with a RB with marginal natural talent who is trying to earn his keep in this league), and a TE that has difficulty blocking…with all of that, this offense ought to be a smooth running machine!

    I have actually been somewhat impressed by Knapp’s creativeness in trying to overcome these problems (though there have been some very questionable play calls at times)…and look forward to a time when he has a decent offensive line to work with.

  12. variable575 says:

    Dukeshire-Is your reference to Missoula concerning the Football semis? My EWU Eagles would’ve made it a little further if they had a defense half as good as their offense!

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Yeah, they play App. St. today. Ryan is a Montana alum as he’s mentioned a time or twelve, so I figure he’s rather excited today.

    “In what ways is Forsett not better than Julius Jones?” This is a trick question.

  14. The only thing Julius has on J-Force is probably pass protection. Neither are overly good at it (and I heard all these rumors when we signed Jones that he was supposedly pretty good at this).

  15. seahawklovertoo says:

    Duke & BobbyK , please start thinking and writing.

  16. Has anyone heard the story of A Boy Named Suh?!

  17. Once or twice:)

  18. Dukeshire says:

    seahawklovertoo – If I’m asked to be apart of that, I will post my “What needs to be done” that you were asking about. I have many ideas, in addition. So I’m ready and thanks.

  19. seahawklovertoo says:

    Don’t let the mortals wait to long. No football today. you’re the only game in town.

  20. I realize we only have 3 high impact picks (thanks to the 3rd rounder being late and used Butler, along with the first overall pick in the 5th round this past year, along with our 7th rounder).

    Free agency will fill some holes and add some holes (assuming we lose some of our key FAs). Pretending FA doesn’t fill or create any holes (which they will), here’s the positions you could legitimately make an argument for us to take (starting in no particular order and on offense).

    QB – What if Matt’s back reverts back to ’09? It would be nice to have the future QB already on the roster. I don’t like the idea of taking a QB in the first round, because that just seems to open the door for Matt to leave too early even if he stays healthy and it’s too much pressure to keep a 1st rounder on the bench for 3-4 years. But this is the 1 position you need stability at and I don’t see that stability with our back-up free agent to be, nor do we know enough about Teel to hand over the keys to the franchise if something happens to Matt. It would be wise to get our future replacement sooner, rather than later.

    RB – I think a lot of us like J-Force. Can we pay Jones over $3 million next year to be a back-up? I don’t think so. However, what kind of depth will we have if there’s nobody behind our smallish little RB that we all like? Do we honestly think Rankin is a legitimate 2nd string RB? I don’t. Not on a “real” team. It would be nice to add a RB into the mix. With the way teams are relying on 2 RBs these days, it makes no sense to go into ’10 with one guy we like and nothing else. Where would the position be if Forsett missed significant time? This is an area that needs to be addressed whether it’s a bruiser like Gerhart in the 2nd round, or Spiller with the Denver pick.

    WR – TJ is getting old and he’s not a burner. Burleson is entering a contract year. It’s possible that our WRs for ’11 will be Butler and who? We all know Branch is as good as gone and that’s not really a loss anyways. I, for one, am not comfortable with Butler and a scrub leading the way in ’11. We talk about playmakers and our lack of them so let me bring up Golden Tate in the 2nd round. I know it’s not a need now, but it could be a need very soon. Rookie WRs don’t normally come into the NFL and excel right away so even if Tate if forced into action in ’11 at least he’ll have had a year of NFL experience.

    TE – Hey, we’re actually set at a position!

    OT – Lock is not a very good LT. That’s simply a fact. Anyone who watches him on a play-by-play basis can see this for themselves. However, he’s decent at RT. Willis is decent at RT. If we could take the run blocking ability of Willis and put it into someone with the RT pass blocking of Lock then we’d probably have a Pro Bowl RT. Instead, we have 2 guys at that position who are average to above average. Left tackle, however, is a mess and must be addressed with one of our 1st rounders. Willis is going to be a FA after next season and you really can’t count on too many more years out of him anways with his arthritic knee situation.

    OG – If Lock moving to RT allows Willis to play RG for a year, I guess RG is okay for a year. It could be better, but it could be worse. If Sims is at LG, that’s not really a good thing, but it could be worse. Either way, we’re not overly good at this position and a pick for the future may be nice (so we could actually control the LOS up the gut). I like Mike Johnson, the LG from Alabama, in the 2nd round.

    C – With Max Unger as the starter, and Steve Vallos as the back-up, this is a position I am quite comfortable with.

    DE – If we can’t get anyone who can put consistent pressure on the QB it’s really going to be a long decade. Simply put, we must find someone who can pressure the QB. Lawrence Jackson will be an okay DE next season, but he’s certainly not going to be mentioned with the best. Other than that we’re left with some guys who could be good role players, but not someone you can rely on to get constant pressure when you need it most. It would be very nice to draft an elite pass rushing DE (who can hold his own in the running game).

    DT – This isn’t exactly a glaring weakness but there isn’t a lot of depth either. Mebane makes this unit respectable. Cole isn’t bad, although his production for what he makes isn’t something to be overly happy about. Still, he’s okay for us. Bryant/Terrill aren’t exactly good depth. If anything happened to Mebane, this position would, all of a sudden, become terrible. This isn’t an area of need (with respect to using a 1st or 2nd round pick on).

    However, the Portland Trailblazers didn’t need Michael Jordan either because they already had a shooting guard. We know how that worked out. I want Suh and would do almost anything to get him. He’s rare and some lucky team is going to be extremely happy with him. A guy like him makes average DEs look good because QBs can’t step up in the pocket with him (and Mebane) coming up the gut. If we got him and kept our same DEs… they would perform at a much higher level. Great players have a knack of making those around them better and Suh is this type of elite and special talent.

    Another thing you should all know about Suh. The Nebraska defensive philosophy is for the DTs to gobble up blockers. They are not featured. They are supposed to be the grunts who do the dirty work. So, Suh does all of this and because he’s unblockable he still makes crazy plays all the time. Can you imagine if he came to the Seahawks and played the featured Warren Sapp role?

    LB – we all know this is an area of strength so there’s no need to beat a dead horse.

    S – Grant isn’t getting any younger. He’s not a great player. But he could be “good enough” for ’10 if the DL adds some talent (and the OL improves so the D won’t be on the field so much and will also be able to play with the lead more often… which puts the D in a much more position to be successful). Babs has improved a bit at FS but he’s certainly not a guy I’m excited about. This is a position that needs an infusion of youth. Depending on who is available, I think this is a need with one of the early picks.

    CB – I believe Tru will be okay with a training camp under his belt and an improved pass rush (and offense…). I like Wilson/Jennings. And, no, I don’t think Jennings was a good 1st rounder. But take that out of the equation and he’s an okay player that I have no problem with as our #3 CB.

    That means I have listed need as: QB, RB, WR, LT, OG, DE, and FS. But with 7 positions listed and only 3 picks… what to do… assuming there were no trade down scenarios…

    1. ?
    1. ?
    2. ?

  21. The previous post was for everyone to chew on… but I wanted to make sure seahawklovertoo had something to do today:)

  22. Trade both #1s for Suh.
    Safety in the 2nd
    Trade Hill for another 2nd rounder…pick up an OG
    Holmgren snags a QB in the 4th round.
    FA Left Tackle
    Bring back Weaver
    FA WR
    Resign Burleson

  23. Dukeshire says:

    and resign Tapp, Obo, Sims, Redding.

    I’m down.

  24. seahawklovertoo says:

    BobbyK, thanks for Your time ,Trust me , I mean it . I know it is not easy to be a dad to a toddler, a husband, maybe help in the house and keep a blog from going stale.
    When i solicited Your opinion, the deal was that You (+Duke, BobbyAyala & Audible) be Mr.Allen (or,God) and make changes (or,not) with our FO, coaching
    and trainers as well the players ( trades and who gets cut) . That means naming names and precise trading up/down scenarios to pick whom? All that within the salary cap + 35% (when You give large up-front money, make sure You’ll get something of value instead of trowing it away to various bums). So, please go back to work.

  25. seahawklovertoo says:

    You Gents can post on the next thread (it only has two posts) b/c we need room to “tear You up” . LOL
    I really want to get Your (all of You) input about my wish/hope that Tampa might take players for their #1 pick if they have it. Is that possible? Mind You that Glazers are the cheapest NFL owners today.

  26. These are scenarios I would offer to Tampa for the #1:

    1. I’d offer Curry straight up for the #1 pick.
    Why they might do it?
    Curry could have gone #1 this past season. They would be saving a lot of money (as some bonus money would already have been paid). Although Curry hasn’t made us feel good, I think it’s safe to say he’s not going to be a bust either. You don’t want a bust with the #1 pick and this would ensure they don’t get it. But, again, reason #1 is they would save money.

    If they didn’t do that:
    2. If they did have some interest in Curry, I would offer Curry and our Denver #1 for their #1 and their #2. This way we still have 2 good picks.

    If they didn’t do that:
    3. Assuming there’s interest in Curry, I’d offer Curry and our Denver pick for their #1 and #3. We’d still have 2 good picks.

    If they didn’t do that:
    4. Assuming they have no interest in Curry, I’d offer both our #1 picks for their #1 and #2.

    If they didn’t do that:
    5. With no interest in Curry, I’d offer both of our #1 picks for their #1 and #3.

    If they didn’t do that:
    6. I’d offer both of our #1 picks this year for their #1 overall pick and 2nd round pick in 2011.

    If they didn’t do that:
    7. I’d keep trying to figure something out…

  27. That’s scenario #1, and II think we have a reasonable chance of having something like that go down, and here’s my reasoning:

    Eric said he gives Holmgren a 60% of getting the GM.

    If that happens, he will likely pass on QBs until the 4th round or later. He was the guy who gave Weaver his shot, and since Weaver is a FA, and probably humbled a little bit, I think he may be able to convince him to come back.

    Since Mora is a defensive minded coach, he’ll be in Holmgren’s year until April asking for Suh. And, like SL2 pointed out, Tampa has a cheap owner and the team has a lot of holes, so they may be tempted into trading with us, should they get the top pick.

    I think we have a better chance of signing high profile FAs with Holmgren at the helm.

    We’re strong at LB without Hill…who is often injured anyway. Teams will often overpay for FAs if there’s a strong need, so we maybe get a 2nd rounder for him.

    We obviously need help at safety and there will be a couple of good ones in the 2nd round.

    Holmgren is going to feel a sense of urgency to get our QB of the future, but history shows us he believes he can find that guy in later rounds.

    Our big FA acquisition will be a young stud LT. Who’s available?

    We should be able to sign a solid OG with our other 2nd rounder.

    We resign Burleson, Sims, Tapp, Obo, and Redding unless we can upgrade in FA.

    If most of these things transpire, I think we’re back in the playoffs next year. All of our young guys will have another year under their belts and under Mora’s system. And, that infuse of talent at key positions should translate into a few more wins next year.

  28. Hey bobby…are you part Chinese or part Jewish? I like how you laid out all of your fall-back scenarios.

    I may have been one of the first, if not the first, to suggest using Curry as trade-bait. However, since then I’ve had some 2nd thoughts about that because I think he’s going to turn out to be the only LB on the roster who we’ll be able to still count on for the next 4-10 years. Our other LBs are going to spend a lot of time hurt and on IR.

    That’s why I would prefer to keep what we have and find another way. Gotta tell you…getting the #1 this year and being able to keep our other two #1s is a really exciting thought.

    SUH, the top LT, and one of the top RBs would make me very happy. Snag an OG in the 2nd round, sign Jahri Evans in FA, and we’d have plenty to look forward to next year. Sign a FA safety, bring back Weaver…resign our FAs, as mentioned before. Just like that, we have a pass rush, we can run the ball again, and Matt will have more time to pass.

  29. seahawklovertoo says:

    Thanks to both of You. Anyone else?
    Audible, SL2 sounds like really used Saturn car. I like troll better than that. LOL

  30. seahawklovertoo says:

    Divish is in hog (or grizzly) heaven now, ha? Montana just scored a TD

  31. Dukeshire says:

    “Our big FA acquisition will be a young stud LT. Who’s available?” This is typically more BobbyK’s area but if they are looking to sign a young FA LT, then I’d like to see a play for Jared Gaither made. He’s in his 3rd season and is only 23. He’s scheduled to be a restricted FA at seasons end. He makes peanuts this year ($460,000) but will cost a fortune when he signs his next contract. Young LTs like him don’t hit the market often. 6’9″ 330 and has all the tools, they will not let him go easily.

    Ryan is fired up right now, what a game for the Griz. Enjoy it Ryan.

  32. seahawklovertoo says:

    Duke, is that the tackle from the Ravens?

  33. I really like that guy too. But I’m almost 100% that he’s a restricted free agent. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure he’d end up costing two #1 picks to anyone who signs him.

  34. Nevermind. You already said “restricted.” Sorry. I didn’t see that.

  35. seahawklovertoo says:

    Ravens have him and another LT + the super rookie Oher. If we get Eric DaCosta for GM, Ozzie may let him take one of them as ‘parting gift” ? Wishful thinking? Naive? Dumb? Yeah, probably. Yet, I can dream too.

  36. Boobyk – Do you realize that if you trade Curry – his ENTIRE signing bonus counts against the cap next season – thats why you see very few trades in the NFL. That would mean it would cost us about 29 mil against the cap next year

    As far as the RB situation goes I would love to see a combo of Forsett and CJ Spiller in our backfield. I think they would be a very dynamic tag team!!!! but only if we could draft him in a “value” spot (i.e. he is clearly the BPA- at the pick)

  37. “I really like that guy too. But I’m almost 100% that he’s a restricted free agent. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure he’d end up costing two #1 picks to anyone who signs him.” BobbyK

    Burleson was a restricted free agent and cost the Hawks a 3rd round pick. The round he was originally drafted. Not to beat a dead horse but If creative enough I believe we could land a RFA for their original round drafted and feel inclined to do so.

    Restricted free agents – Any player with an expired contract who has completed three accrued seasons. If the restricted free agent is extended a qualifying offer (see below) and doesn’t sign a contract by the second Friday prior to the draft, his rights revert exclusively to his old club. If the restricted free agent accepts an offer sheet (see below) from a new club, his old club can match the offer and retain him because it has the “right of first refusal.” If the old club does not match the offer, it can possibly receive draft choice compensation depending on the level of its qualifying offer.

    Original draft round tender – $927,000
    Second round tender – $1.417 million
    First round tender – $2.017 million
    First and third round tender – $2.562 million

    Courtesy of Rob Brzezinski, copy cat of the Will Wolford ‘poison pill’.

  38. xcman – 2010 is the “uncapped” year. It doesn’t matter with respect to the Curry signing bonus. We could sign a free agent punter to a 1 year, $15 BILLION (or Trillion) contract and it wouldn’t matter (if you were paying the salary it would, but you get the idea).

    There are rules in place to prevent multi-year contracts from happening such as a 2 year deal for $20 billion where you can’t pay a certain percentage more for ’10 than ’11 (or vice versa). Basically, you can’t sign a free agent punter (or any position) to a two year deal for $20 billion and pay them $19 billion in ’10 and “only” $1 billion in ’11 (overexaggerating on the BILLION part). There are rules against buying a team in ’10 ONLY if you’re signing FAs to multi year deals.

    Basically, if Paul Allen wanted to buy a championship in ’10… he could. He could sign RB Sproles, WR Marshall, DE Seymour, etc. all to 1 year deals and give them all a 1 year guaranteed deal worth more than they would get in 3-4 years if they signed anywhere else.

    In 2010, all bets are off if you’re talking about the “cap” for that year and that year only.

  39. *** only sign FAs who aren’t franchised… and I can see Marshall/Seymour as getting the tag, but you get the idea… you can buy a team in ’10 if you have the money and are willing to spend it at a ridiculous pace.

  40. Dukeshire says:

    There is no guarantee that 2010 will remain uncapped. ’07 was scheduled to be uncapped as well but they got a deal done in time. Even still, there are some people who actually feel that owners will spend less money in an uncapped year. And the final 8 teams of this year (’09) will have to “lose” a FA of equal value to the ones they sign. (of course, this doesn’t effect the ‘Hawks.) Not to mention the “governors” that Bobby mentioned. What’s lost in this discussion is this, however; the Seahawks are not going to trade Aaron Curry. Allen is not going to eat $29 million. He’s a businessman first, in addition to the fact Curry simply won’t be traded no matter how hard Bobby shops him, lol.

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