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Friday practice report: Roy Lewis could start at corner, Pitts will dress

Post by Ryan Divish on Oct. 29, 2010 at 1:29 pm with 32 Comments »
October 29, 2010 2:32 pm

It was pretty typical Friday practice for the Seahawks. There was some music playing. Mike Williams caught passes, Charlie Whitehurst threw some incompletions, Ken Norton yelled a lot and the Seahawks worked in shorts and shells.

Perhaps the biggest concern is the status at right corner back position where normal starter Kelly Jennings has been out with a hamstring issue and his backup Walter Thurmond has missed practices after taking a shot to the head in last week’s win over Arizona.

Neither practiced on Friday, but Jennings did work out after practice, trying to get his hamstring in shape.

Head coach Pete Carroll wouldn’t rule either out for Sunday. Then again Carroll wouldn’t rule out anyone for Saturday, including Brandon Mebane (calf), Brandon Stokley (oblique) and Russell Okung (ankle), despite none of them practicing either.

“We’re going to hang on to the bitter end to find out,” Carroll said.

If Jennings and Thurmond can’t go, which appears likely, Carroll said Roy Lewis would start at corner in their place. The former Husky has been solid as the nickel back all season. But he has played more than Nate Ness or Kennard Cox this season.

Lewis said if he were to start, he’d still slide back inside in the nickel package with Nate Ness taking over at the corner.

“As far as I’m concerned, I’ve got to concentrate on playing first through third down on defense,” Lewis said. “It’s a different mentality. Since the season, I’ve been mainly inside. I’ve become a third down expert. Now, it’s a whole different dynamic. The vision changes, the technique changes and the mental game changes.”

The other news is that offensive lineman Chester Pitts had what Carroll called “by far his best week” of practice.

“I would love to see him play in this game,” Carroll said. “It’s about time Chester plays now. He’s going to dress in this game. We are looking forward to getting him. He deserves it by the way he works. He’s finally feeling really confident about what’s going on.”

Ben Hamilton will still start at guard on Sunday, Carroll said.

General Seahawks
Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. CaliSeahawker says:

    What exactly is implied when you mention ‘Charlie Whitehurst’ throwing incompletions as part of a typical practice? Is he the Derek Anderson 2?

    I freaking hope not. If the case, it’s by far worse than the bogus Josh Wilson trade for a bag of potato chips.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    Well, let’s hope either Jennings or Thurmond can go. Both down makes an already inexperienced secondary that much more so. Although I do like the way Lewis has progressed. Still…

    That’s good news about Pitts but where does Carroll see him fitting in? If Hamilton is at guard (left, I presume) and say Okung doesn’t go, I hope he’s talking about RT, replacing Lock. I can’t imagine they’d throw him in at LT with Polumbus healthy and having played well there, for his first action. In any case, I’d prefer guard than tackle, that’s for sure, but that would only leave Andrews to sit. Ambiguous.

  3. I’d love to see Pitts come in to play either G position, Stacy Andrews moved to his natural position at RT, and Sean Lockhold moved to the bench.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    That’s a scenario I hadn’t thought of. That does sound right and so obvious. Everyone at their best position; Polumbus, Hamilton, Spencer, Pitts, Andrews.

  5. That’s what I’m hoping for eventually, Duke, (with Okung at LT of course) but I think the line may be in transition for awhile.

    Ryan’s post above is about injuries on defense, but I have a bad feeling about the offense we are taking into this game in Oakland. I do believe that anyone can win this game, but that situation generally favors the home team. For the Seahawks to win, they will need to win the turnover battle, and run the ball.

    Trouble is, I still think Okung is the key to our run game. If no Okung, I think we can only win through turnovers.

    The only game in which we fielded a decent offense was in Chicago, plus the first quarter of the Cardinals game. Those were the five quarters when Okung was starting, and he led blocks for the running game like no one else on our O line can.

    Stokley is also key. If Stokley is out, then we don’t have a good slot receiver. In that case, BMW will always be double-covered, and any of our other WRs can be easily covered by Asomugha with one hand behind his back.

    I think our line can protect Hasselbeck, but I doubt our WRs can get open against Oakland’s DBs, so Hass may be throwing the ball away or taking sacks. We will need to run the ball well to change that. Unfortunately, I have no faith in Tyler Polumbus, Ben Hamilton, or Sean Locklear as run blockers.

    These Seahawks won three games through a combination of Special Teams, D, and opponents’ turnovers. They beat Chicago by bringing all that plus a ball-control offense featuring Okung and Lynch. To beat Oakland without Okung, they will need turnovers at the least.

  6. CaliSeahawker, I was being mildly sarcastic. I will say this about Whitehurst’s completion percentage in practice. It’s somewhat better than David Greene or Mike Teel. Somewhat.

  7. bird_spit says:

    Stevos, I couldn’t agree more regarding our offense. At the same time, I feel we are ready to see some defensive points to be put on the board.

    I also feel that it is time for Carlson to find his game. BMW, Butler and the sleeper Carlson can be a potent combination.

    One comment on Carlson… Watch his run blocking, he is pretty good at cutting down the second level. Lynche and Little Big Man will have to carry the load on Sunday.

    Also, I think we might see some surprise actives. Some of those doubtful will be playing. I do assume the coaches are reserving some of those dinged players for the Giants game, but if it is close in OAK, maybe we see some of these guys in limited capacity.

  8. In the last Monday Morning I asked Eric about that lineup ( Polumbus (Okung), Hamilton, Spencer, Pitts, Andrews. ) And he said he was pretty sure they believed Locklear was the guy, but this organization has made it clear that you need to perform (comPETE if you will) to be a starter, and on paper that would be a pretty good O-line and I would not mind seeing that.

  9. Yet the idiots who know nothing will complain about Matt and clamor for him to be benched.

    Do you know what I heard three times today? Joe Webb SHOULD start over Favre or Jackson on Sunday. Joe Webb! How many of you have ever heard of Joe Webb?

    Joe Webb, for those of you don’t know, is the Vikings 3rd string QB and R 6th round pick. He has athletic skills and a good arm (didn’t Akili Smith?). But many of the IDIOTS where I’m from are convinced that’s who should start on Sunday (even if Favre is mostly healthy). derrr…

    Matt may not be what he used to be, but the coaches must know (more than us) that Whitehurst isn’t ready either. Yet the nighthawk whining about QBs will persist (I can use his name because I know he won’t read this — he isn’t happy unless the Seahawks are losing and we can all complain… lol).

  10. I’d write about the Wilson “trade” but I think it’s pretty obvious at this point except to someone who thinks Charlie Whitehurst is better than Matt Hasselbeck or Joe Webb is better than Favre.

  11. I sure hope Roy Lewis is better than Josh Wilson.

    As for Carlson, I can’t believe some people blame his drops on Hass. I’d like to know how well he’s catching Whitehurst passes.

  12. Seahawks2620 says:

    I haven’t heard much about Ness. The Dolphins fans and media seemed to speak rather highly of him. I know he is 6’1, about 200 lbs. He seems rather big, but does he play big? Speed?

  13. Yikes, their back-up receivers against our back-up DB’s – it’s like a college all-star game. I guess Thurmond got a concussion then?

    Should be an interesting game.

  14. Roy Lewis is fine. He’s turning into a solid player. But don’t expect him to be as good for us as Wilson was (the’re both basically the same age). If he does get that good, he’ll probably get shipped off for a 5th round pick anyways. And I doubt anyone will offer a 4th/5th round pick for him this off-season, so, no, he won’t be another Wilson. (I know he’s more prototypical for what Mr. Happy wants… I’m just feeling a bit edgy after happy hour)

    Good thing Pitts is dressing this week. It’s, what, week 7 or 8? Good thing we took him off the PUP so he’d be ready for the first 6 games. lol

  15. Palerydr says:

    Seahawks win by controlling the ball with the run game and play action pass. If we score early and often we take the Oakland run game out and if they are forced to pass in catch up I really like our chances. Course this is all fantasy land stuff these are the Hawks and of course they will give us all heart palpatations before it’s over.

  16. Dockett did get fined after all. From Sando’s blog:

    “Playing the Seattle Seahawks is turning into a costly enterprise for Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett. The Pro Bowl defender incurred a $15,000 fine from the league for diving into receiver Mike Williams’ back after Williams was already down following a fourth-quarter reception in Week 7. Officials flagged Dockett for the late hit. “

  17. bird_spit says:

    I’m not so sure all this love for Wilson on here is worth it.
    Yes Wilson was good, we all saw that. So did Baltimore, enough so that they traded a 5th rd pick, with an escalator clause. I for one thought Schnied and Pete finally got one back. Like they said, we want all of our hawks to be coveted by other teams. I think the bigger picture is they sent a message that they will deal the players.
    Wilson was great on Kick team..we have Washington, upgrade.
    Wilson was good CB in a Cover 2, we are running a cover 1 or cover 3. The CB is expected to man up, Wilson was better with zone.

    I for one think Wilson should have been converted to safety, but it looks like we are good there.

    Can we let the Wilson love fade? I hope so.. I for one have no problem giving PC and Schneid the keys to the game plan and personel changes.

    And if any one is a bust here, Charlie Whitehurst is sounding that way. I for one miss Seneca Wallace carrying the clipboard. With SW, you could count on a good PA game (unless he ran out of bounds).

  18. It’s a good thing the Raider WRs suck. If we’re going to have a week of crappy WR play, this is the week to have it.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    The concerns about the offense seem odd to me. Okung has played a game and just less than a half, yet they have 4 wins. It’s not as though the Raiders are a notorious pass rushing team. They have 16 sacks on the year (Seattle has given up 14) and they have one of the worst rush defenses in the league. If Okung is going to miss a game, which it looks like he is, this is a “good” one to miss.

    The question as I see it, is whether Balmer can maintain Mebane’s presence in their own rush defense, and how well a young secondary can respond to the speed of the Raiders offense. WRs aside, they have to account for their TE, Zach Miller also. I far more concerned about Seattle’s ability to stop the run coming off last weeks game, than I am their offense moving the ball and ultimately scoring points.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    …than I am their *own*offense moving the ball…

  21. I’m glad to hear your optimism about our offense, Duke, I just can’t share it until I see those O linemen prove themselves. Maybe against the Raiders they can, but what I saw last week is a Seahawks team that could not run the ball worth a darn after Okung left the game.

  22. freedom_X says:

    I don’t think Okung is that great a magic elixir for the ground game. He has great promise, but I also think some of it is just coincidence. Lynch would have had decent numbers in the 2nd half if not for holding penalties on Locklear.

    His absence will be felt more in pass protection.

    I’m not sure that Carlson’s drops are responsible for his disappointing effectiveness. From the stats here:

    Carlson’s not even in the 50 players in terms of drops. (Mike Williams and Deon Butler are on the list.)

    I’ve watched the plays and frankly Hasselbeck isn’t hitting any of the tight ends well. Against Chicago, he short-armed his 1st pass to a wide-open Carlson (pass fell at Carlson’s feet and Carlson had to dive down to try to get it) and against AZ, he totally missed a wide open Cameron Morrah who could have had a 20+ yard gain if he had hit him in stride, 15 yards if it had just been catchable by Morrah.

    In defense of Hasselbeck, Seattle is 8th in the league in passes dropped and only 23rd in receptions, so that’s a pretty bad ratio.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo – Maybe I’m rationalizing. Let’s hope we do see it Sunday. Bees Mo!

  24. Seahawks run game:
    All RBs/all rushes without Okung: 118 for 365 (3.1 avg)
    With Okung against Bears: 31 for 111 yds (3.6 avg)
    With Okung against Cardinals: 6 rushes for 61 yards (6.0 avg)
    Without Okung against Cards: 30 rushes for 83 yards (2.7 avg)

    that’s all I’m saying.

  25. Where did all the negativity come from this week? One would think the team was 2-4 and falling fast. Wilson is gone, forget it. There is decent talent to cover injuries, not like previous years.

  26. Football Outsiders currently ranks team defenses thru wk 7. DVOAs take into account the strength of the offenses faced by these defenses. In the 1st table, overall, this week OAK ranks 26th. Last week they ranked 29th (good game vs DEN). OAK’s pass D ranks 26th and run D ranks 23rd.

    In the 2nd table, look at OAK’s pass D (26th overall) against specific receivers. Against opponent’s #1 WR OAK ranks 32nd allowing 55 yds/G. Can it be? Is that Namdi? Guess QBs aren’t throwing to the guy NA covers unless they’re open, and NA’s always in single coverage(?) He can be beat(?) Vs #2 WRs OAK ranks 15th, allowing 42.8 yds/G, much better. Vs “Other WR”, OAK ranks 6th, allowing only 35.4 yds/G. That’s coverage the likes of what Tru gives us. I wouldn’t throw to Brandon unless he’s wide open. Vs TEs is another area of opportunity. J.Carlson had better bring his best gloves with him to catch with. He’s got the opportunity to show his stuff vs OAK. OAK yields 50.8 yds/G defending TEs as receivers, ranking 28th. Vs RBs receiving, OAK allows 37.3 yds/G and is ranked 17th. OAK gets .035 ints/drive and ranks 31st. SEA has gathered in .083 ints/drive, so far, ranking them 18th.

    Vs OAKs offense, D.McFadden is the best receiving RB, and is also the 7th best at running with the ball. OAK’s M.Bush ranks 22nd. For comparison, Forsett ranks 28th and Lynch ranks 34th. What’s interesting here is that last week (before the AZ game) Hawks D ranked 9th overall, then after the AZ game (sans Mebane) that dropped to 11th. Mebane healthy and playing would be a good thing.

  27. I think a healthy Okung is better at stopping opponents pass rush.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    Stevos – I hear you but two thing I’m stuck on; 1. 6 rushes with Okung is not much of a sample size, vs the Cards. And I have to point out that Lynch had 38 yards called back thanks to Lock’s hold.

    2. Lynch has only played 2 games, so the overall rush numbers without Okung may not be relevant now. I’m not discounting them entirely, but I’ll need to see more with Lynch.

    And understand, I’m in no way trying to devalue Okung’s importance to this offense. They are better with him, clearly and significantly. But for this week, I believe they’ll be able to move on the ground without him. If this were the Giants game, it would be a whole different story.

  29. Dukeshire says:

    kim008 – I’m confused by something if you could clarify. You say that McFadden is the best receiving RB but he ranks 14th in receptions with 18. (McCoy is first with 38 and Gore is second with 37). But for rushing he’s second in yards per game (8th in rushing yards total). My question is how are you / football outsiders measuring him as the best receiving RB and 7th best runner?

  30. GriffinNW says:

    Is anyone having trouble posting comments on the mobile version of the site? I see the option to view comments, but I have to go to the full/normal site to post. Any help would be nice, thanks.


  31. Duke –
    The Football Outsiders (FO) stat I used ranks RBs in receiving by their DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) not their number of receptions. It’s a yards stat that’s adjusted based on the opposing teams ability to defend the pass vs RBs, so that those ranked RBs’ performances (in yards) are compared more apples to apples. PHI’s McCoy ranks 7th in DYAR. He’s been thrown to 44 times (caught 86% = 38) for 278 yds 0 TDs & a fumble. FO has another stat, DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average) that judges a player’s performance against the statistical average. McFadden ranks 3rd in that (NE’s D.Woodhead & DEN’s K.Moreno are 1 & 2), but McCoy ranks 23rd. FO multiplies the RBs yards by their DVOAs to get what they call an effective yards stat. For being thrown to 25 times McFadden has 271 effective yards for 25 targets, while McCoy has 295 effective yards on 44 targets. McCoy has been thrown to more, but McFadden is more dangerous.

  32. Dukeshire says:

    Thank you and that makes sense. I’m familiar with DVOA and DVAR of course, but I have to really focus to get myself through any in depth statistical analysis (sadly). In the link you provided I didn’t see RB rankings (but of course I didn’t search either). In any case, I appreciate the clarification.

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