Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Can Hawks get right vs. Cardinals?

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 21, 2011 at 8:10 am with 21 Comments »
September 21, 2011 8:10 am
Seattle Seahawks running back Justin Forsett (20) rushes against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. The Steelers won 24-0. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

My story today focuses on Seattle’s struggles offensively. The Seahawks are worst in the league in average total yards per game (191.5) and average rushing yards per game (47.5) and second-worst in scoring (8.5 points per contest).

However, they face NFC West division rival Arizona at CenturyLink Field on Sunday. The Cardinals are ranked No. 29 overall in total defense, giving up 466 yards a contest. And they’ve been shredded by Carolina rookie quarterback Cam Newton (422 yards, two touchdowns) and a journeyman, Washington’s Rex Grossman (291 yards, two touchdowns), in back-to-back weeks.

So Sunday offers an opportunity for Seattle’s offense to get going.

“It will be good to go back home,” Running back Justin Forsett said. “We’re excited about that. We play a good team, but I mean I’m ready to get back out there and try to get a ‘W.’

“Losing stinks, but I think the kind of guys we’ve got in this room are going to bounce back. We’re going to fight. We’ve been in this situation before, a lot of guys in this locker room. So we’re going to keep fighting.”

Dave Wyman of ESPN 710 Seattle says that anyone who blames Tarvaris Jackson for the Seahawks being 0-2 is amateurish.

Clare Farnsworth of offers this profile on Paul McQuistan, who’s slated to start at left guard for the Seahawks with Robert Gallery out.

More Farnsworth: He previews Seattle’s upcoming contest against the Cardinals.

Christian Caple of says that according to Pete Carroll, quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is not missing open receivers down field.

John Boyle of the Everett Herald writes that Carroll says it will take time for the offense to get better, but he’d like that to happen sooner rather than later.

ESPN’s Mike Sando has quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and cornerback Brandon Browner’s stock falling in his weekly stock watch of NFC West players.

More Sando: Arizona running back Beanie Wells has lived up to lofty expectations in this third season. Wells has 183 yards, two touchdowns and a 5.7-yard average. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Wells has averaged 6.9 yards per carry on 14 rushes up the middle. He’ll face a Seattle defense that has allowed only 2.5 yards per carry up the middle, fourth-best in the NFL. Overall

Clark Judge of CBS Sports counts Seattle as one of the leaders in the clubhouse in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Arizona Cardinals

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic writes that although the Cardinals’ defense is struggling, they are not in panic mode yet.

More Somers: He goes into more detail about Arizona’s struggles on defense.

Darren Urban of writes that receiver Larry Fitzgerald tied a franchise record for touchdown catches with 66th career touchdown reception against Washington, tying him with Roy Green.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. GeorgiaHawk says:

    A win over Arizona and a loss by the 49ers will put us in first place. Not bad for starting out 0-2!

  2. Watching replays, Robert Gallery looked weak in the first two games, and I was relieved in a way to find out he was favoring a groin pull.

    Paul McQuistan can’t be worse, right? However, I was a little shocked to learn that he hasn’t started a game since 2007. But he out-competed Gibson and Fanaika to make the 53, so he deserves his shot.

    Rob Sims, we hardly knew ya. Starting at LG in Detroit now and doing all the things we need in Seattle.

    If I were coach this week, my starting lineup would be
    because Polumbus has the quickness to handle the speed rushers and let the TE go run his routes. I’m really sick of watching our TEs stay in to block.

  3. For the third straight week, I come in finding myself scared of Brandon Browner more than anything else.

    With a bigger, slower WR like Fitzgerald as the matchup, I would have figured I wouldn’t be as scared of Browner. But Browner has the ball skills of Kelly Jennings without the elite speed. I can see a lot of a lot of tightly covered PI calls or Fitzgerald jumping over and around Browner for receptions with Browner looking clueless that the ball is even in the air.

  4. thursday says:

    i definitely don’t think t-jack is the only reason we’re 0-2….just one of them. i don’t think that charlie is the answer either. tbh, i’d like to see portis. i mean, we’re full of rookies and playing terribly, might as well get the youngest qb on our team out there too.

  5. I agree, Jackson is definitely part of the reason the team is 0-2 but certainly not the only or even primary reason.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    I don’t believe comparing Browner to Jennings is at all fair. I realize every struggling corner in Seattle gets that comparison, but in this case it’s particularly unreasonable; Jennings has 2 picks in 5+ NFL season. Browner had 12 in 4 CLF seasons. Of course it’s not the NFL, but it suggests that he does in fact have reasonable ball-skills and certainly miles ahead of Jennings in this regard. Neither Jennings nor Browner has “elite” speed (4.53 and 4.63 respectively) but Browner has the ability to press, something Jennings does not. Elite speed is not a necessity if you’re jamming them at the line. As I see it, Browner’s problem (aside from only 2 career NFL starts) is that he’s played too physically. Those PI calls have him now playing defensively. Cannot have success on Sundays playing like that. He’s struggling to find the balance between aggression and being out of phase with the receiver. Some may want to be “scared” of him or whatever else, but I however choose to see him as a player with a bright potential look forward to seeing him develop throughout the season. And if by season’s end he’s made no progress, well that’s all part of the learning and development of the league’s youngest team and Seattle can be free to move on from him. But for now, it’s week three.

  7. For an interesting look at how the NFCW teams are doing, see Sando’s ESPN blog:

    AZ’s Offense: 13th in points per game made (PPG) > SEA’s Defense: 24th in PPG allowed.
    SEA’s Offense: 31st in PPG made < AZ's Defense: 11th in PPG allowed.

    This game looks like a loss.

  8. klm, even you must realize that those stats mean crap.

    Arizona played against two of the NFL’s poorer defenses. Seattle played against two of the better front-sevens in the league. Throw out all the stats. They don’t mean anything.

  9. Jennings ran a 4.39 forty at the combine. I find it hard to believe he would have been projected as a 1st rounder at his size without elite speed. We rarely ever saw Jennings get outright beaten on a play when he was with the Seahawks.

    During the preseason and the regular season, when I have seen Browner in position to make a play, I haven’t seen him turn and play the ball very much. I’ve seen him with his back turned and then simply stick his arms up, hoping he can stop the pass, but that won’t cut it.

    He played very aggressively in the preseason. I was shocked he wasn’t called for penalties then, but it’s no surprise now. He should harass the WR at the line and not as the ball arrives. He knows he is slow and plays like it with the cushion he gives speed WRs at the snap.

    I don’t recall Jennings having anywhere near as bad as a game in the 5 years he was with Seattle as what we saw from Browner last week. His penalty yards alone are killers and that’s forgetting about how many completions he has allowed. He’s good for an easy 3rd down conversion whenever the other team chooses to pass the ball (fortunately Harbaugh kept running in the first game).

    How many teams have fewer penalty yards than Browner alone? Probably wouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

  10. Dave Wyman, amateurish. That is how I would assess the play of TJank thus far. But Jackson now has a home game against a poor defense Seahawks have handled in the past. This is his chance to get his footings. Should he come out in the first half and struggle Carroll better not hesitate to yank him.

    Lynch first couple years in Buffalo he gained over a thousand yards making the pro bowl once. Seeing him being blamed for the run game has me puzzled. Most times he is being hit behind the line of scrimage. Possible he gives the play away with some kind of TELL beforehand but not likely. QB needs to get some completions down field and back the D up. TJank is no threat,

  11. Dukeshire says:

    You saw a very different Jenning play than I did. Hell, be was beaten like a mule, this preseason (mostly because he squated on a route that he should have continued with). Jennings was replaced as the starter nearly every season here.

    I don’t disagree witht he penalties (but it’s hard to single him out when a veteran like Gallery is killing drives himself.). Re-read my post and you’ll note I said he’s played “too aggressively”. And the only reason he was giving cushon later in the game was due to the PIs and he began playing “scared”. You don’t have to like him and he may end up tanking badly. But the reasons for his struggles have little to nothing in common with why Jennings was a liability. And that’s my point.

  12. Jenning was beaten in that he allowed a very high percentage of completions on balls thrown his way, but I rarely ever saw him trailing the play. It was mainly him in position to make a play but unable to do so. In the end, its the same result.

  13. “Browner’s problem (aside from only 2 career NFL starts) is that he’s played too physically”

    He also doesn’t jam receivers at the line and especially Wallace last week. He’s going to struggle getting his hands on faster receivers. That may be an even bigger problem.

  14. Wallace is arguably the fastest receiver in the NFL, tough for a “1st year” CB to cover who I consider a top WR in the game. I think Browner will pan out just fine.

    Personally, and this may be widely disagreed with here… but I love watching physical corners at work, and I think the NFL is going soft, check out some of the PI calls we’ve seen over the years. (alongside some of the roughing the kicker/passer, leading with your helmet etc.) I’m all for player safety, but honest to god it won’t be long before they’re out there wearing flags. WR and CB should have to battle every down, it’s absurd to watch a player have to tiptoe and be afraid of a sketchy PI call because that’s what the game has turned into.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    Playing off coverage stipulates that as a corner you stay in phase with the receiver, either having inside or outside leverage and drive down on the ball. The plays are generally in front of you (despite this Jennings still had but 2 picks). That’s reason #1 Jennings was rarely trailing the receivers (and when he was, it was a major problem). When you play press-man, you want to mirror the release and stay on the receiver’s hip-side of the route. Essentially playing a trail technique. Very difficult to spin your head around while the ball’s in the air. (Although as we saw last week from Browner, there are times when you have to and Browner’s learning.)

    So you can argue the end-result is the same all you want, positive yardage for the offense, when the corner fails to make a play. But here again, the comparison between Jennings and Browner simply don’t have merit (IMO).

    Audible – I thought he did a nice job of jamming at the line last week, at least early, until they pulled him back. Total guess-work here but I think Browner may be “panicing” a bit. Trying so hard to stay with the receiver be physical that he begins to grab and hit them rather than staying calm and getting back into the receiver’s hip. Maybe he’s simply overmatched too, time will tell. I just know that I haven’t seen enough to write him off just yet.

  16. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Dave Wyman is such a blowhard. He should be ashamed for writing such a horrible article.

  17. “During the preseason and the regular season, when I have seen Browner in position to make a play, I haven’t seen him turn and play the ball very much. I’ve seen him with his back turned and then simply stick his arms up, hoping he can stop the pass, but that won’t cut it.”

    Yeah, he’s obviously a more aggressive corner, but doesn’t seem to have that feel the good ones do for avoiding the PI calls. And you’re right, I’ve come to worry about any long ball thrown his way for that reason.

    He’s also new/unknown, and never getting the benefit of the doubt. I saw some replays of Revis coverage (i think it was against dez bryant) the other week, and he’s got his hands all over him all the way through the route, clearly the kind of thing that gets the ‘contact after 5 yards’ call whenever a ref feels like making the call. But he was consistently getting away with it – sure makes it easier to keep the guy in check.

  18. Duke, I’m with you on browner. I think he has the ability to be a better than average NFL corner, he just needs to iron the wrinkles out. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing him level someone across the line a few times.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    Me too. I’m excited to see how he’s playing a month or two from now. It’s such a balancing act; the physical vs. passive coverage.

  20. freedom_X says:

    My comparison between Browner and Jennings is a performance based one. It’s more a reaction against the statements that Jennings was/is one of the worst corners ever, and that “anybody” could play better than he, and why Jennings continued to hold the starting job.

    As this season has shown, yes, you can find worse performances than the incumbents (be it the O-line, DB, or whereever.) I would have to say the Browner/Pittsburgh matchup was the worst beating I have seen a Seattle CB take in 10 years, maybe longer. If Tarvaris Jackson had such a easy read, he wouldn’t be getting so much heat – “if WR is covered 1-1 by Brandon Browner, then throw to WR.” It seemed like that was the only read Rothlisberger was making, in a very literal sense.

    I cannot remember a single Jennings performance where he was beaten that methodically and completely (and I’ve seen plenty of plays made against Jennings.)

    The real point though I have, though, is that I do not believe either Browner or Jennings were/are as bad as the common perception makes them out to be. Browner has a lot to learn, and what he was asked to in the Pittsburgh game was far from his strengths. Even so, Seattle can’t afford Browner to have many more games like that one to learn the business.

    Equating receptions against a player as == bad coverage is one of the most annoying misconceptions I see. As Carroll himself said, safety help was expected on several of the plays Browner gave up. Only the most elite CB’s can consistently operate without help from another DB.

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