Seahawks Insider

Five keys for Hawks vs. Raiders

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 2, 2011 at 11:43 am with 22 Comments »
September 2, 2011 11:43 am

Protect the quarterback: Whether it’s Tarvaris Jackson, Charlie Whitehurst or Josh Portis, Seattle’s offensive line has to prove they can give the quarterback enough time to make the proper reads and push the ball down the field. Both James Carpenter and Breno Giacomini likely will see time with the first unit, so tonight’s game against Oakland could go a long way to determining who will be the starting right tackle next week against San Francisco.

Raiders reunion: Offensive line coach Tom Cable, guard Robert Gallery and tight end Zach Miller will be playing against their former team for the first time since moving on during the offseason, so that should serve as added motivation to look crisp in the opening quarter of this game.

A Golden opportunity: Expect second-year receiver Golden Tate to start and be targeted often tonight, as the Seattle Seahawks give him every opportunity to prove that the Notre Dame product can be a regular contributor for this team offensively. I expect we likely will see Tate on returns as well. With rookies Doug Baldwin, Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette playing well, Tate needs a strong performance to solidify his role as the No. 4 receiver on this team.

Safety dance:
Another good battle is emerging for the backup spots at safety, with Josh Pinkard, Atari Bigby, Jeron Johnson and Mark Legree all battling for a spot on the final roster backing up Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. I think special teams will play a major role on which of these players make the roster, so watch how each one performs on the coverage units, along with the defensive personnel rotations.

Who starts at corner: Now that Kelly Jennings has been traded, CFL product Brandon Browner has gotten most of the work at cornerback with the first unit. But don’t count out Walter Thurmond or rookie Richard Sherman. And Seattle’s other rookie, Byron Maxwell, continues to impress on special teams. Tonight should help sort out what kind of rotation Seattle would like to use there.

Other players to watch: QB Tarvaris Jackson, WR Doug Baldwin, TE Anthony McCoy, RB Justin Forsett, RB Thomas Clayton, LB David Vobora, LB Matt McCoy, LB Mike Morgan, DT Pep Levingston, DE A.J. Schable, FB Dorson Boyce, WR Chris Carter and DT Clinton McDonald.

Game coverage
Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. yellaman says:

    What is Maxwell’s position? I liked the effort he showed vs. the broncos. If I had to guess he might be a PS guy. Also, concerning WR group- if the team keeps 6 guys (Rice, BMW, Obo, Tate, Durham, & Baldwin) looks like the top guys

    Seconday usually keeps 9-10 guys – Tru, ET, Chancellor, Browner, Thurmond, Bigby (6) appear to be locks but who else makes it in this group? Pinkard, Johnson, Legree?

  2. Dukeshire says:

    I would say that Johnson and Baldwin have to most to gain by tonights game. I don’t think Tate’s status changes either way, regardless what he does.

    And Carpenter. He needs to establish himself as the starter, for good or ill. He can do that witha solid game.

  3. A solid performance by Carpenter would definitely make some people happier around here (me included).

  4. I wish one of the key players we had to watch tonight was Andre Gurode.
    When is he visiting the Seahawks? We neeed a pro bowl center and Unger is good a number of other positions so we win all round.

  5. Patience. A good OL doesn’t gel overnight. Let them play 16 games together, while improving each week this year, and then have fun watching them next season!

    Of all OL positions to switch now, Center would be the least ideal if we’re trying to build any continuity. Gurode could play Center and Unger could possibly transition to RT (as I don’t see an opening at Guard), but I certainly don’t see that as desireable at the moment. As disappointed as I have been in Carpenter, it’s certainly not the time to give up on him either. My goodness, he’s only been in a Seahawks uniform for a little over a couple of weeks.

  6. Soggybuc says:

    And you can not forget that he has always played at left tackle so expecting him to switch to right over night is not possible. had he been in OTA’s and getting coached up since the draft he would probably be much farther along
    Breno giacowhatever has been in the league a couple years now and all at right tackle (I presume) so by all means should be slightly ahead of a guy who has been in the league for a month.

  7. bird_spit says:

    My number one wish (assuming I have a magical genie) would be for Curry to have finally had that a-ha moment, and puts it altogether. Barring that, and assuming he is not playing, I hope that Chi called Pete and makes an offer to take AC for a 4th Rd pick in next years draft (and we find this out at game time). How cool would that be?

  8. LeePridemore says:

    Five Reasons the Seahawks Will Start the Season Four and One.

    1. It’s about the 2011 Seattle Seahawks, not their opponents or their schedule, not the media and their opinions or analysis.

    2. The Seahawks youth, athleticism and size is a radical and innovative combination.

    3. The Seahawks defense is good and going to get better. If Aaron Curry is a concern, then please, be perturbed.

    4. Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson is in the right place at the right time. The last quarterback kept his head above water while treading Holmgren, Mora, Knapp, Bates and Hurricane Katrina. Jackson will not be burdened with a rotating play list of guest D.J.’s mix tapes. He will play in a system tailored for his success by D. Bevell.

    5. August Wilson is a Seahawks fan.

  9. Ewalters7354 says:

    People seem to point out every oline position other than center.To me Max Unger has looked good just at really nothing.Tom Cable said what burns him up is that they didn’t receive the right call for protection.That strictly falls on the QB and center.I sure wish we could have gotten Samson Satele.To me Max Unger is too soft.

    Not in any way saying Carpenter has looked good.He is to high in his stance in protection and that causes him to get bull rushed.

  10. IBGoofy says:

    My number one wish is that we have some offense tonight…. consistent…
    My bet, the cuts (& keeps) on the defensive side, are pretty well determined…. many decisions on the offense still to be made… Hard to make solid decisions if you don’t have a scheme that’s working in the first place….
    C’mon …… OFFENSE!!!!!!

  11. LeePridemore, you’re on crack dude.

  12. raymaines says:

    I see on the SandoBlog that AZ has Pork Chop Womack on IR. I really liked that guy, but he just can’t stay healthy.

  13. The bigest battle for the last O-Line position on the final roster will be between OG McQuistan and OG Fanaika!

  14. Why is it that guys like Jeff Otah (08), Michael Oher (09), Bryan Bulaga (10), Gabe Carimi (11), all played LT in college and transitioned well to RT right away in their rookie seasons? I realize it’s also way too early with Carimi, but all signs point to a very good player.

    Also, a guy drafted early in the 2nd in ’09, Eben Britton, switched from LT to RT in college that year before and dominated at his new RT spot without having to worry, it seems, about growing pains of learning a new position on the other side of the line.

    I just checked all of the drafts in the past 5 years and it seems that good college LTs make good/solid RTs their rookie seasons (if they turned out to be worth a damn). It doesn’t seem that any of the good college LTs needed one full year to finally become good on the other side of the line. Obviously, players improve from year to year in their early years, but my point is that they didn’t need a year to become an asset to their team.

    Then you get some top-5 picks like Levi Brown (07) and Jason Smith (09) and they move from LT to RT and are flat out disappointments. And they are still that way. Brown is okay, but for a 1st round pick he’s certainly not what the Cardinals hoped for.

    Now, one major saving grace for the Carpenter stuff is that all of the good college LTs above had the benefit of all of the OTAs and things of that nature. Carpenter has obviously not been afforded that luxury.

    I’m not saying that a guy who has yet to take a snap in a regular season game is a bust, but after some of the unscientific research I’ve done in the last half hour… I’m less willing to say something like “poor him must have a tough time learning a different side.” It’s a little more alarming than that.

    I sure as hell hope he has a good game tonight!

    With the Unger stuff… he still seems good in pass protection and not strong enough in run blocking. Still, I think he has all the makings of an above average Center with obvious strengths/weaknesses. I haven’t watched all of his plays, but it seems that way. And I’m glad it’s him and not Spencer who is our starting Center. Asking guys like him and Moffitt to kick butt right off the bat is a little much, but moving forward, I’m thinking those two are part of the solution in the long run, not the problem. They just need time together.

  15. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Even though it wasn’t possible I wish we drafted Alex Mack instead of Unger. Mack is like Steve Hutchinson except at center. A totally kick ass drive-blocker with freakish power and aggressiveness. Stands out in every Browns game I watch, even more than Joe Thomas sometimes.

  16. Dukeshire says:

    ACIB – Oh yeah? Well I wish they had drafted Bloodline instead of Curry… Oh wait, they could have.

  17. Skavage says:

    LOL Duke…you smarta$$… My wife is asking why I’m laughing so hard. That might be the comment of the year.

  18. Our offensive line will be fine, just fine… in 2012. See you at the game, fellas, one eye closed and the one watching Tavaris Jackson…

  19. pabuwal says:

    I am already picturing the comments section of this blog in a few years:

    * There will be a user named “JamesCarpenterIsaBust” who constantly compares Carpenter to Tony Mandarich and calls him the worst player in NFL History
    * BobbyK will be lamenting on how his boy Gabe Carimi has made multiple Pro Bowls and we could have been a contenda with Carimi instead of Carpenter
    * Duke will develop a BobbyK Hutch like obsession with his boy Moffitt as he quietly becomes one of the more dominating Guards in the NFL

  20. AaronCurryIsBUST says:
  21. For the record, pabs, I don’t think Carpenter is going to be a bust. I’m simply stating that there’s reason for concern at the moment for him and his play at RT but it’s not time to jump off the ledge. The beauty of drafting a LT is that if he doesn’t make it there… he can make it at RT… and if he can’t make it there, there’s always Guard… There’s no reason to think he won’t make a good LG, which means there’s no way he’d be a bust. Our current LG was a 1st round BUST at LT and sucked when they tinkered with him at RT, too. But he became a good, solid pro as a LG. There’s no reason to think/expect that Carpenter is going to be an OL bust. If Carimi becomes a good RT (looks that way) and Carpenter becomes a good RT or LG, who cares? I don’t. I just want a good OL.

    For the record, your post was funny!

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