Seahawks Insider

Sunday observations

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on Aug. 21, 2011 at 11:41 am with 46 Comments »
August 23, 2011 8:32 am

Some quickee thoughts after two preseason games (the skeleton of my Monday morning column in the Trib):

I think those of us who suffered from Acute Football Deficit Disorder over the spring and summer, are prone to over-analyzing preseason games, and will tend toward snap judgments. So I’m trying to take some deep breaths and remember the context.

After a win and a loss, the Seahawks first-team offense still hasn’t gotten the memo that the lockout has ended. However, if there was a league in which the second units competed, the Seahawks would be strong contenders.

Charlie Whitehurst has been the best quarterback. Or at least the best at passing against opponents’ backups. Props due: He’s playing decisively and with confidence, and the accuracy he lacked on some short routes in the past has been discovered. Starter Tarvaris Jackson has thrown only 26 passes, mostly in the face of lousy protection, and his one interception was a ball that should have been caught. He hasn’t generated any points, but it’s not a fair sample size to scrap the depth chart.

But it surely is cause for fair debate. What if we’re heading into the Sept. 11 opener and Charlie’s passer rating is still 93.1 and Tarvaris’ is still 45.0?

On the offensive line: We expected the rookies on the right side to need time to ripen. James Carpenter and John Moffitt have predictably mixed the good with the bad, but there’s an awful lot to like. And the injury of Russell Okung has set back the unit’s melding process. But I expected better of free-agent guard Robert Gallery, who has looked ineffective much of the time. He’s 31 and may need more time to play into shape. But it warrants watching.

Bottom line (if you will): This young unit was given a challenge on Saturday against Minnesota that was impossible to misinterpret. They had the ball with a first down on the Vikings’ 2.
If this team was going to be able to pound the ball the way coach Pete Carroll wanted, it was time to have all these high draft picks show what they could do.
Four running plays later, the Hawks gave the ball up at the 1. Consider that an embarrassing failure even if it is only early preseason.

Mike Williams went up high to beat double coverage against the Vikings in the kind of reception the Hawks are looking for out of him. Sidney Rice’s two catches thus far haven’t revealed much of his skills. Some of the young guys, especially rookie Doug Baldwin, has looked strong. But Golden Tate seems on the verge of playing himself into irrelevance. He had a drop and tipped a ball that was intercepted against the Vikings.

When the defensive line was at its best last year, it was because Red Bryant was an immovable bully in there. Coming off his knee surgery, he’s not yet returned to that kind of form. He needs to in the next three weeks.

David Hawthorne isn’t missing a beat filling in at middle linebacker for Lofa Tatupu. And rookies K.J. Wright and Malcolm Smith are gifted athletes who are learning fast. The surprise has to be the play of the formerly wayward Leroy Hill. Hill looks fit, squared away, and is making the kind of plays he used to, i.e: Closing on Adrian Peterson in the open field, wrapping him up and pushing him backward.

The size and athleticism of the young additions in the secondary is startling. I expected 6-foot-4 cornerback Brandon Browner to be physical, but couldn’t envision him being able to run stride-for-stride with receivers.

So, on the up-side for fans: Whew, they’ve got three weeks until they open the season for real.
On the down-side for fans: Yikes, they’ve only got three weeks until they open the season for real.

Leave a comment Comments → 46
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Dave, well said and I share your views.

    On an unrelated topic; this is really funny.

    http://www.onionsportsnetwork.com/articles/jesus-christ-claims-tim-tebow-not-ready-to-be-nfl,21167/

  2. At this point I don’t care if Whitehurst is doing it against 2nd team defense. Let’s not forget that he’s learning a new system without any OTAs or mini-camps. The other impressive thing thus far about his performance is that he’s throwing to guys that he doesn’t have a lot of familiarity with other than Durham.

  3. Is anyone else worried about the CHARLIE, CHARLIE chants that might welcome the Hawks in on the homeopener against the Cards? T. Joke wasn’t really givin a chance yesterday, but could’t they adjusted to some screens and more throws to the TE’s up the middle, quick slants or whatever to get the D to back off. If so, would that be on T. Joke to switch it up at the line or on the coaching staff. Allowing the D to keep bowling over our team over and over again doesn’t seem to be doing anything for their confidence. Also, it seems like T. Joke would realize that the OL would be getting over run every time and try to make some plays on his own?

  4. I’m on a Boycott Qwest against Diamond/Blue Diamond Parking in Seattle, they are Anti Seahawk, after tailgating for years in their lot all of a sudden no tailgating, of course we had already set up and some of us paid, so we had to pack up and find new place.
    So all of my Seahawk Friends pass it on Boycott Diamond/Blue Diamond Lots

    With that said, glad its preseason, we have a lot of work to do all over the field, some bright spots, O line needs to get in Synch I know Growing Pains and lockout.
    Sure wish they would extend the roster cuts a few days/week to give the rookies a fair shot

  5. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Surely you had an opinion on Aaron Curry whiffing on tackles, overrunning the edge on pass rush attempts, blowing coverage, and racking up more penalties? Or are you like every other media member who ignores him and fail to criticize his horrid play?

  6. Aaron Curry is still potentionally a bust, that dude really needs to get his contract restructured. On the flip, my boy Leroy is lookin sharp, I loved the way he attacked AP and drove his ass backwards. I can rock my jersey proudly again. Just hope he stays healthy.

  7. Solid article Dave. Yes, thank god there are three more weeks of practice before the opener.

    And Duke, thanks for the hilarious link.

  8. We have one of the youngest offenses in the league and timing is so important on that side of the ball that we should expect plenty of rust early on. It’s being built for the long run and that’s fine by me. I can handle the mediocrity now knowing that something special down the line is having its foundation put in place. I’m just worried about the driver of the offense.

  9. HawkyHann says:

    I’ve been laughing while reading MN Viking blogs today. They’ll are just slamming how bad this guy is. They should know.

    Curry vs TJax, academic decathalon. Just like in Billy Madison. Who do you think would win?

  10. The fat wrestler who comes to save the day.

  11. Well, only if he shoots both them in the ass.

  12. There was only one thing definitively demonstrated on Saturday. Brandon Coutu was cut, and Jeff Reed made our starting kicker.

    So much for preseason drama.

  13. Soggybuc says:

    If I’m remembering the numbers right CW is 18-20 and somewhere around 170 yards in the 3rd quarter. while his YPC are’nt super i’ll take that kind of dink and dunk chain moving any day
    Naming TJ starter seems to have lit a fire under his arse. but he is not just benefiting from playing against second stringers but also playing with a second unit line that looks way ahead of the starters.

  14. ChrisHolmes says:

    I’m with BobbyK. The most important position on the field is currently manned by the least capable person.

    I’ll get excited about this season IF Charlie is the starter (and that might be more of a “when” than an “if” given how things have progressed so far).

    The young OL doesn’t concern me; they’ll grow. And I love seeing Leroy Jenkins, er, I mean, Hill, return to form.

    I’m optimistic that our receiving corp will be able to make some plays; we just need a trigger man who is accurate and decisive to get them the ball.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    Boy, hasn’t Hill be a pleasant surprise? Active, aware and strong. I’m very happy two of the surest tacklers are at linebacker (Hawthorne and Hill) for this team. Haven’t seen that in a while.

  16. Yeah. The only thing worriesome about Hill is when he has his next injury to miss some time. But when healthy there’s no doubt he’s still a darn good player.

  17. nidhighe says:

    It doesn’t really matter who our starting QB is until the starting offensive line can consistently protect him. I think it’s delusional to think Whitehurst would play better than TJack under that kind of pressure.

    –Danielle

  18. Dukeshire says:

    Very true.

  19. SeahawkFan12 says:

    Yep. CW would crumble as much, perhaps more, than T Jax simply because he’s less mobile than T-Jax. Slam the QBs all you want; this is an O-line that needs some time together as a unit. Okung back, Gallery to step up, and the rookie right side to grow into their big shoes…all of that happens and the offense will look a whole lot different. Actually makes me happy for Hasselbeck that he’s not here to get pummeled (and shortly after, slammed by the “fans”).

  20. Soggybuc says:

    Thats it after every tackle Hill makes i’m going to jump up and scream.

    LeeeeeRoooooooyyyyyyyyyyy!

  21. Dukeshire says:

    Point of clarification; my “very true” was regarding Bobby’s comment. Although it’s true, it all begins up front for this offense.

  22. One of my favorite memories of this (unmemorable) game was after the game ended and all the players ran out on the field to shake hands.

    There was Steve Hutchinson, walking toward the Seahawks bench, looking around, staring blankly… not recognizing anyone. What a difference a few years makes.

  23. SteelBlueLime says:

    I thought some “in-game” adjustment would have been nice. How many times do we have to crash down the line, only to see the bootleg – (run or throw) extend Minnestota’s drive(s). I know that they don’t game plan in the pre-season but that had everything to do with falling behind by double-digits! Does anyone know how many times we even targeted a WR with Mr. Jackson in the game??? First and goal from the 2 – ooopps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good artticle Dave.
    Go Hawks!

  24. SandpointHawk says:

    First and go from the 2;West coast offense: 1st~ pass, 2nd~ run, 3rd~ pass, 4th~ Lord only knows….

    NFL circa 1970’s~ Run, Run, Run, Run….Thought I was having a flashback for a minute there….

  25. Isn’t it the coaches fault then for not changing the playcalling when the other team is putting constant pressure on you? Why didn’t they go to more of a quick passing game? They knew that Jackson was going against his former team. They must’ve known that the Vikings would be pumped up for the game. Didn’t they at least gameplan or scheme knowing that?

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Regarding the playcalling and in-game adjustments, it’s different in preseason. Quite frankly, it’s not about winning the game, it’s about situational football. Working on or exposing very specific things, as the 4 runs up the middle on the Viks goal line speaks to. So if I may, preseason playcalling and in-game adjustments are to be considered with half-measures, as it were.

  27. SandpointHawk says:

    * first and goal*
    And yet if they win all their preseason games they will be expected to win it all…

    Although we may indeed be putting more into preseason this year due to the lack OTA’s and the like~ the team does need to jell during the preseason.

    We have had no less time or no more time than any other team in the NFL to get ready for football.

    Back in the day this was the norm.

    Unless the player is coming off an injury they should have shown up to camp in football shape.

    As for Pete not caring if the team wins or not….

    Please?

    What are you smoking?

  28. Personally, I had no problem with the 4 running plays on 1st and Goal from the 2 yard line in a preseason game. I would have a problem with it if it would have been a regular season game, but not last night.

    comPete wants to instill an attitude that we can run the football and he challenged his young guys to do it on four consecutive plays. If we make it, that gives them a world of confidence against a GREAT Vikings starting defensive line. If not, then it means the coaches can hammer at them to improve even more (not that they wouldn’t continually strive to improve anyways).

    Nobody ever wants to admit they would have done something that failed, but I would have ran that darn ball four times in a row, too (in a preseason game).

    For the people who supported Jackson at first (or willing to give him a chance) and are now willing to throw him under the bus… If you thought he should have been given a shot two weeks ago, you should still be supportive. It’s too early to throw anyone under the bus. The Vikings have a great front four and the San Diego starters are good, too. Matt Hasselbeck, Charlie Whitehurst, or whoever, would have struggled with the pressure that Jackson was under last night (that’s not to say that Whitehurst hasn’t put him in position to comPete for the job though!). So, like I said, don’t be so quick to turn on him.

    I wasn’t supportive a few weeks ago and like was mentioned yesterday, I’m not going to root against him. He’s a Seahawk afterall. However, I just firmly believe that I have a very good educated observation why I think he’s never going to be a good starting NFL QB. I’d have no problem with him as a #2 though. If anything, to me, for what I expected from Jackson, he was a little better than I thought he would be last night (I guess that’s not really a compliment though).

    I don’t hate the guy and I have never heard a bad comment about him as a person or a teammate. That says something about his character (and that’s definitely a compliment to him). I think people mix whether or not a player is good or not with that person being a good or bad person, too. I have no reason to think Jackson is anything other than a good guy in his personal life, it’s simply my belief in his ability as our QB that I don’t like. That’s where my personal criticism stems from.

  29. What’s this about a bet I hear on Rice having a 16 yard per catch average after the first 8 games?

  30. Well reasoned post, BobbyK.

    I’m definitely on the side of wanting to see Jackson geting his chances to develop and succeed, and I think that takes multiple regular season games, maybe half a season, to play out. That said, I’m also not going to defend him without reason. Just root for him to improve for as long as seems reasonable.

    And as for 4 rushing plays in a row at the goal line? I agree, that is EXACTLY what preseason is for! Test it out. Get it on film. Work on it in practice. Preseason games are not about winning. They are about getting ready.

  31. BobbyAyala says:

    The more Tarvaris we have to stomach now, the better the quarterback of the future will be. It’s a difficult paradigm to stomach in the present, but our patience should pay off in the future.

    Just watch a lot of Oklahoma, Arizona and USC football on Saturdays and your Sundays won’t seem nearly as dreary.

  32. nighthawk2 says:

    T-Joke. I like that, was starting to call him Jacksuck, but T-Joke fits with the childish nicknames so many here like to put on players.

    So Dave, let me get this straight. Jackson is playing against supposedly all first team defensive players, nary a substitute or first stringer being held out, therefore it’s understandable that he stinks on ice in every series he’s been in and has put no points on the board? But since Whitehurst is put in later in the 1st or 2nd quarter that he gets an asterik or at least of caveat like you put in, i.e. “Or at least the best at passing against opponents’ backups”? Did you or Carroll never see this bum play in Minnesota? He couldn’t make an accurate pass from the pocket there either, and with a superior offensive line, running backs and defense to what he has in Seattle. He supposedly was signed here because he knows Darrell Bevel’s offense but he can’t execute it.

    Let’s go over the stats for the Seattle QB’s from Saturday night’s pathetic match: T-Joke was 11 of 21 (not even 50%) for 75 yards and a pick six (granted Tate could have caught that pass but it wasn’t the most well thrown ball either) and 40.8 QB rating. Whitehurst was 14 of 19 for 97 yards and a TD (Seattle’s only score of the night) and a 102.3 QB rating. Josh Portis was 2 of 9 for 13 yards and a 39.6 QB rating. Gee, perhaps that’s a fluke, so let’s look at week one (on the road at San Diego). T-Joke was 3 of 5 for 13 yards; Whitehurst was 14 of 20 for 115 yards. Portis was 5 of 9 for 69 yards and a TD
    in garbage time (youand I have a different idea of when garbage time in a pre-season game is Dave, I think it’s the 4th quarter and you apparently think it’s mid-1st quarter or 2nd quarter). BTW, Portis was also the Seahawks leading rusher with 4 carries for 46 yards (20 more than kick returner Leon Washington rushed for and 21 more than last week’s surprise rushing star Thomas Clayton) for an 11.5 ypc average.

    And yet Jackson is still the starter, and still gets a pass and excuses made no matter how much he sucks. He’s supposed to know this offense inside out and yet he’s only attempted 26 passes, completed 14 of them for a whopping 88 yards, no scores, and an INT returned for a touchdown. There was a reason Minnesota didn’t want to re-sign him, and a reason they kept begging a 40 year old to get off his tractor in Mississippi and start ahead of him. I heard Warren Moon’s hype about “it’s his team now” and “he doesn’t have to look over his shoulder anymore”. If he’s not, he should be. I don’t know where Moon gets this stuff (actually I do, but it isn’t P.C. to talk about that) but didn’t Carroll say that Jackson is the starter until “Charlie learns the offense” and then the competition at QB begins? Looks ot me like Charlie has it down pretty good; which is more than can be said for Jackson who even has one of his old Minnesota receivers here.

    Which brings me to your discussion of player acquisitions this year. I like the re-signing of Raheem Brock, the signing of Zack Miller (although TE was not a position of need for us), signing Browner out of the CFL (I love that league), drafting O-line with our first two picks, Wright, Durham and the secondary picks. But Curry is a liability and we should trade his ass if we can find a sucker who’ll give us anything for him. If Tim Numbskull had traded down that year and taken an OT we wouldn’t have to deal with Okung’s glass ankles and probably be looking for a left tackle in next years draft. I’m glad Tatupu and Hasselbeck are gone. I am on the record as opposing the Gallery signing from the start, I think we should have pushed hard for and thrown some money at Carl Nicks, but Carroll is letting his assistants dictate his free agent signings, this year at least.

    And because he did, we have lousy starting quarterback who should be playing receiver or a Wildcat QB, another high priced free agent wide receiver (see Burleson/Branch/Houshmandzadeh) coming off microfracture hip surgery and a left guard that was a high draft pick as a tackle and was a bust there and has missed 14 of his last 32 regular season starts (nearly half). And we have a zero percent success rate with guys coming off microfracture hip surgery.

    Saturday’s game; well Seattle had 22 first downs to 18 for Minnesota, had the ball for 7 more minutes, ran 25 more plays and had half as many turnovers (1 to 2 for them), and yet had only 9 more total yards, only 1 more rushing yard, and twice as many penalities (10 for 84 yards to 5 for 46 yards, AT HOME).

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is only one reason to start T-Joke over Whitehurst-the guy who won the Rams game in week 17 to get us into the playoffs, and that is to tank the season and draft Andrew Luck.

  33. nighthawk2 says:

    And I have a big problem with running 4 times in a row on 1st and goal from the 2. And especially on 4th down with the scatback (Forsett) instead of your bulldozer (Lynch) in the game. Isn’t that part of the reason they traded for Lynch? If not him, why not Clayton or Taua (another acquisition I like), or even Robinson. I question not only Carroll’s FA signings and depth chart assignments but his play calling as well. Pre-season or not it was a stupid series in your home opener when you’re trailing. If they can’t punch the ball in 3 times in a row, what makes anyone think they’re going to do it on 4th down with a small back running it? I saw all I needed to on the first two or three downs, and was yelling “throw it”. Then I remembered who was in at QB and yelled “run a bootleg”.

  34. I’d gladly sign Carl Nicks next off-season at the expense of Gallery being one and done. That dude is good and young.

    Always enjoy the nighthawk rants, whether I agree with them or not.

  35. BobbyAyala says:

    that is one angry football fan.

  36. BobbyAyala says:

    #Whitehurst4Prez

    #StartTheSavior

    #TouchdownJesus

    #HairyAndTheEnd-zone-dersons

  37. BobbyAyala says:

    #WhiteFirst

    #CharlesInCharge

  38. By the way, did you guys see Hasselbeck’s new hair piece?

    http://www.fieldgulls.com/2011/8/20/2374278/hasselbeck-has-hair

  39. williambryan says:

    I was at the game and it took everything in me not to start a “charlie, charlie” chant. I want to give T jack time but I think we need to see one game with CW against the other teams 1’s and Tjack agaisnt the other teams 2’s and see if things change. I doubt they will. Ponder played against our starting D some and if given hypothetical choice between tjack and ponder I would pick Ponder also. Another thing I noticed is the playcalling. I wonder what Bevell would say if asked if he approaches playcalling differently for each QB? because Tjack just does not seem comfortable. And although the 2nd team line might be doing better than the 1st team, CW is still getting knocked around pretty good but he is also leading the team to points…

  40. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    #CutAaronCurry

  41. Ewalters7354 says:

    My whole beef with Tjack is his ball placement and decision making.He has the ability to scramble and all but I just have never seen enough from him that justifies him being able to get the job done.I want him to do good and be solid but I believe we have seen exactly what we needed from his days in Minn.

  42. He’s never going to be overly accurate, that’s for sure.

  43. BobbyAyala, first, hashtags are lame. 2nd, #WhiteFirst? are you really THAT racist? You want the white guy FIRST over the black guy? wow dude.

  44. chuck_easton says:

    As for what went on on Saturday, I’m not pulling the ripcord or pushing the panic button YET but my hand is moving closer to both.

    Tom Cable needs to have some tough love sessions with those rookie OL and he needs to remind Gallery that he was brought in to teach the kids the right way to play the line, not how to slide through pre-season and expect to turn it on come September.

    TJack is not doing anything to win over fans. I never thought I’d see a time when the collective ‘we’ were screaming to make Clipboard Jesus the starter.

    Why the (profanity deleted to protect delicate readers) is Jennings still starting? Keep him on the team for veteran leadership…OK, but don’t let the guy see the field. Start Browner if Thurmond isn’t ready. Speaking of which when WILL Thurmond be ready?

    Tate can’t outplay an undrafted rookie (Baldwin) and he is in danger of being passed up on the depth chart by Durham. Right now Tate is at best our 6th receiver and he’s fighting to stay that high. But where is Obo? Once he’s back Tate can go to ST’s and see how he likes being a ‘playmaker’ there.

    Does anyone have a spare brain laying around that they can donate to the Curry ‘get a clue, dude’ fund? He won’t take a paycut, but given his continued idiot behavior on the field I wouldn’t mind seeing the team eat the salary and cut the guy today.

    Three more weeks to fix the above issues. Aside from that everything is just hunky dorie…

  45. SandpointHawk says:

    I thought that was a just play on words, (hurst and first), however it could indeed have a double meaning.

  46. BobbyAyala says:

    Haha. Radeon. Yeah, it meant the play the white guy.

    #Moron

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