Dave Boling of the TNT details all of the juggling that is occurring on the offensive line this week, as the Seattle Seahawks once again deal with injuries up front.
The dominoes of doom started toppling in the first exhibition game when rookie first-round tackle Russell Okung suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain. He’s still out and could be another couple of weeks from returning. Veteran tackle Ray Willis was put on injured reserve with a knee injury before the season started. Then guard Ben Hamilton did not solidify his grasp on the guard position, opening the way for Gibson.
And last Sunday, right guard Max Unger suffered a toe injury that will require season-ending surgery.
All these symptoms of line weakness grew out of a couple of historic pathologies, dating back to the loss of guard Steve Hutchinson, the unwillingness to recognize the reality that Walter Jones could not play forever, and the flawed plan of succession of Sean Locklear as Jones’ heir at left tackle.
But those are the kinds of problems that Carroll and staff tried to address with the drafting of Okung. And much to their credit, the Seahawks pieced together a line last week – and schemed around some personnel weakness – and saw Matt Hasselbeck sacked only once against the San Francisco 49ers.
In my story today wide receiver Golden Tate has received a dose of humility by being placed on the inactive list for last week’s game. He looked much better in practice on Wednesday.
Greg Johns of Seattlepi.com talks to defensive end Raheem Brock about his role with the Hawks.
Rod Mar of Seahawks.com offers these pictures from Wednesday’s practice.
Brian McIntyre of Scout.com has an excellent breakdown of the Seahawks personnel groupings and player snap counts. Definitely worth a look.
Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders has an interesting look at the Seahawks use of multiple defensive fronts.
Seahawks owner Paul Allen says he’s cancer free in this video interview on the Portland Trail Blazers web site.
If you don’t read anything today you should read this, a guest column by Matt Bowen for the Chicago Tribune on the long-term affects of dealing with concussions and the tough decisions players make when they have the symptoms during their careers.
With Jake Delhomme not practicing because of a bum ankle, Seneca Wallace could get his first start for Cleveland.
Ex-Seahawk T.J. Houshmandzadeh returns to play in Cincinnati for the first time since leaving two years ago.
Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes that the Broncos need to execute better on first down.
Mike Klis of the Denver Post says that new addition running back Laurence Maroney could be part of the team’s long-term plans.
San Francisco 49ers
Yahoo Sports Jason Cole writes that the Niners’ communication issues are a growing concern.
Kevin Lynch of Niners Insider has a simple solution for San Francisco’s issue with getting play calls in quickly — have quarterback Alex Smith wear a wrist band with the plays coded by name and number. That’s old school, but whatever works.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that head coach Mike Singletary defended Smith on the radio on Tuesday.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic writes that the Cardinals are still looking to establish some rhythm in their passing game.
More Somers: Running back Beanie Wells is questionable with a knee bruise, and wide receiver Early Doucet may have sports hernia, which would put him out a few weeks.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that rookie quarterback Sam Bradford learned a lot in his first game.
WR Vincent Jackson in St. Louis? Reporters at the Post-Dispatch debate the possibility.