Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Okung on the rebound

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 13, 2012 at 7:07 am with 69 Comments »
August 13, 2012 7:07 am
Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung. (AP file photo)

The Seattle Seahawks were off yesterday and today, and will resume practice on Tuesday in preparation for this week’s contest at Denver.

In my story today, Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung has quietly went about his business during training camp this year after returning from a torn pectoral injury that forced him to miss the final four games of 2011.

Okung was back to his dominant self in about a quarter’s worth of work against Tennessee over the weekend, and says he’s pleased to be back on the field with his teammates.

“I’ve really rebounded from the injury last year, and I’m really glad to be back out there,” Okung said about his play against Tennessee. “But as an offensive line we just had one thing in mind, and that was to come out here and start the season off right. … We went out there, we wanted to run the ball and we did a fair job. But we’ve got a lot of stuff to work on.”

Clare Farnsworth of writes that rookie defensive lineman Greg Scruggs made the most of his opportunities.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times predicts that rookie Russell Wilson will get the start this week at Denver.

Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated, who visited Seahawks’ camp last week, writes that Seattle’s defense, not the QB battle, deserves your attention.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated names Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and quarterbacks coach Carl Smith his coaches of the week for getting Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson ready to play so quickly.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 69
  1. sluggo42 says:

    Very glad to see this. The stiff “D”, along with the nasty running game, makes Flynns job all that much easier. Can’t wait for all the starters with the “skill positions” to return.
    This will be a better year than the critic see coming…

  2. chuck_easton says:


    Can you inquire as to the severity of Zack Miller’s concussion? It did appear minor and mostly precautionary that he was removed from the field, but is there an estimate as to how long he might be out?

    I fully expect he will miss the next couple of pre-season games as a precaution, but does it look like he will be good to go come regular season?

    As always, thank you for your excellent reporting and information you provide us.

  3. iHateHarbaugh says:

    Side note, the Cards & Rams could have the worst offensive lines in the NFL… jeez. #12thMan

  4. Dukeshire says:

    Seeing Okung strong, active, and quick was one of the best things I saw all game. Very pleased.

  5. bird_spit says:

    Yeah, if the preseason game 1 is any indication, this division has two teams that look ready, and two teams that also ran. Rams looked pathetic, cards look like they need a QB. 49ers look like they have all of the team put together, and barring injury, will be a force in division/conference. Hawks, my biased opinion, are a year or two away from having a full team capable of matching up with the leagues elite. If the hawks have a magical injury free year, they can go far.

  6. bird_spit says:

    Meant to write, my biased, and unqualified opinion..

  7. RDPoulsbo says:

    If the o-line can run block like they did on Saturday, Lynch is going to have a huge season.

    The defense really will be the headliner this season. It will be interesting to see if they get to Manning this Saturday. He has always been one of the hardest QBs to sack in the league.

  8. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Just playing the Rams twice could help our D get into the top 5.

  9. banosser says:

    Did Irvin play..? I didn’t hear his name mentioned.. and I haven’t read any analysis of his play..


  10. My favorite play of the game: Seeing Okung enter a preseason game with two healthy ankles, shut down the opponent, and trot off the field on two healthy ankles. First time we’ve ever seen that. A good omen for the season.

  11. Soggybuc says:

    Trotter mentioned watching the D working on blitz packages and making them into jailbreaks.
    my guess is we are gonna meager effort in pass rushing and blitzing until week 1 in AZ. and then we are going to see why Pete wanted young fast hard hitters.

  12. Hammajamma says:

    What’s the view on Barron? Looked, well, okay. I like his long arms, but I’m not sure how he graded on blocking ability. Lack of depth at RT may get him a roster spot, but another false start penalty in his first game? Can they not scope that part of his brain?

  13. GeorgiaHawk says:

    It would be Barron if they did Hammajamma.

  14. A questions in my head always during preseason games is just how much of the offense and defense we are really seeing, and how much will change on opening day. Practices become private after next week, so much can be kept under wraps. The offense was very vanilla with Flynn in, and we didn’t see any D line stunts which they are already practicing at the VMAC. We weren’t watching opening day schemes.

    What I did see was improved depth and maturity on both O and D lines. Check. Improved depth at QB, and accuracy in our starting QB. Check and Check. Also a group of very fast young linebackers. Check. Its sometimes hard to remember, but we were missing all those things last preseason.

    What happened to Cameron Morrah? Is he injured?

  15. bird_spit says:

    Yeah..Barron has all of the physical qualities, but has obviously none of the finesse of the position. How will he do in the noise of an opponents stadium? It really is to bad for him and the hawks, but I wish him gone before season start.

  16. RDPoulsbo says:

    Barron graded out with 2 false starts in the same series. I still can’t believe he’s made it to the 1st preseason game. I really hope he doesn’t make the roster.

    Irvin did ok though he didn’t make the stat sheet. To be fair, Tennessee used mostly 3 step drops and he was going against one of the top LTs in the AFC in Roos so there wasn’t much chance of getting to the QB to begin with. It was notable that Clemons was playing at the LDE spot and rushing the passer from the strong side with Bryant on the weak side during early downs. It it will be interesting to see if they continue with that look.

  17. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Just a little over two years and we have have the makings of a very talented team. Amazing!

    Just think what may have happened if they let Mora coach out his contract. Ouch!

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Also Tennessee has a very good o-line with a future HOFer, and a HOFer as head coach. They protected Hasselbeck very well last year, and their better this year.
    I don’t think we have to be a leader in sacks to have a top defense with the way our secondary plays.
    More sacks will be great, however more pressures might be just as good with our secondary having a better chance for the int.

    I have a feeling though that this defense is going to be almost scary good.

  19. Looking at the second qtr offense, I felt the OL was struggling a bit. Flynn got sacked, pocket seemed to collapse. That was 2nd string OL, yes? I haven’t looked back on the game yet to verify…

  20. IB, they began substituting O lineman in the second qtr. Sweezy was in early at RG, later at LG, which is probably where they want him to be if he makes the roster. its not like Sweezy is dominating or anything yet, but he’s been playing G for about 3 weeks! so I am amazed that he was ready to play 3 quarters.

    I have to admit when they drafted Sweezy I thought it was a total reach to turn him into a G. I thought it was a wasted pick. Wow was that was completely wrong. He’s one to watch as a possible future pulling guard. I continue to have a major mancrush on Tom Cable.

  21. Georgia said:
    “I have a feeling though that this defense is going to be almost scary good.”

    Totally agree, also, the offense, though vanilla sat, I believe will also hold it’s own… I felt both QB’s proved their worth Sat… That situation looks like it will continue to get better when we add back in some key recr’s….

  22. Thx Stevos… that’s what I was hoping… Yup, Cable is a mjr asset for us… Sure hope we don’t lose him anytime soon….

  23. Dukeshire says:

    banosser – Irvin did play but was rather ineffective. But, that’s just one preseason game, long way to go.

    IBGoofy – I agree the second quarter O-line didn’t offer near as much protection. That said, of the three sacks Flynn took, only one was on the line, IMO. The other two, the ball really could have been thrown away.

  24. Soggybuc says:

    In a game like Sat. the one’s two’s are not only going to play basic schemes but they are also not even going at full game speed. only purpose to the first 2 games is to get the rust knocked off.
    even in game 3 they are going to hold back a bit and save everything the can for the 16 that count.
    the only reason the coaches even work up a game plan is to practice working up a game plan.

  25. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Soggy- I agree about them playing basic schemes, however I think they are going at full speed.
    Jobs on the line, money on the line. Carroll won’t hesitate to replace a player that’s not going full speed, imo.

    From Lutui-

    Lutui: “Rookies, first-year guys, he puts them in. I’ve never seen that on any level. That pushes the older guys. Everybody is not comfortable. Everybody is not complacent. It doesn’t matter if you have a new contract. Everybody is on an edge. You know have to better yourself, and that is good to see.”

  26. Eric –
    (or Duke or RD)
    What do you make of them flipping the DEs a couple times (that I noticed) on Saturday? Red on the weak side and Clem lined up on the TE?? Do you suppose they are just experimenting and putting stuff on film for the coaches to watch? Or is this an alignment we will see?

  27. NYHawkFan says:

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but I didn’t think our secondary was all that dominant. Yes, first play on D resulted in an interception, which was great (head’s play up by Browner, but still a fluke play). And yes Sherman added a second interception later on (hope he keeps it up). From what I could tell, however, there didn’t seem to be much press coverage. (Too early in the season for that?) At one point, Locker completed 5 passes in a row; 8 Titan receivers had pass completions over 10 yards, one was for 39 yards. Maybe I’m wrong, but with all the talk about how great the Hawk secondary played, I was expecting some lock down coverage. True, first preseason game, so maybe I’m just excited and expecting too much.

  28. bbnate420 says:

    Wasn’t one of the 3 sacks Flynn took on that fumbled snap? Still his fault, but understandable. I only remember seeing one that I thought he should’ve thrown the ball away, not that I have a perfect memory.

    Knock on wood with Okung. I think he’s been branded injury-prone a little prematurely, but I can’t help but be a little anxious about his health.

    Good article by Danny. I hadn’t seen the quote about Pete explaining the Flynn Int. Can’t wait to hear the QB rotation for the week. Hope it’s only Wilson and Flynn again.

  29. Dukeshire says:

    Stevo – I’ve commented on that several times. Red at RDE in nickel and weak side in base a few times (even had Red at RDE when they were in an under front!) was really interesting. My guess is that we *won’t* see that in the regular season. Pure guess here, but perhaps they’d like to see what Clem can do at LDE / strong side as a way to gauge whether they can play Irvin at weak-side and still keep Clem on the field. It will be something I’ll have my eyes on Saturday, I can tell you that. I can also tell you that Red matched up on LTs once the regular season begins, will make me furious. But, I’ll wait to see it before I let that happen. lol

  30. RDPoulsbo says:

    Stevos: Just speculating here, but I think we could see more of this in the regular season. RTs are not used to speed rushers like LTs are. Having Clemons over there could help the pass rush on early downs. Getting Clemons used to rushing from that side even on passing downs means Irvin comes in at RDE. This lets Irvin use his speed without worrying about chip blocks from the TE. Irvin still doesn’t have a whole lot of moves once he’s engaged, so they are purely relying on his speed to beat LTs right now. We’ll have to see how well that works in the next few preseason games. Tennessee is hard to get a pass rush on in the first place, especially with less than a half to make any judgements.

    It also means they are satisfied enough with their run D on that side to be putting a smaller guy like Clemons at LDE. Offenses should be better at running the ball to that side because they have an extra blocker with the TE. Can’t really question that judging by the results on Saturday. You can also see it as a vote of confidence in Hill being able to clean up at Sam.

  31. RDPoulsbo says:

    LOL…somewhat of a difference of opinion Duke. I think they want both Clem and Irvin on the field on passing downs, so they’re going to need figure that out. If one is watching from the sidelines on passing downs, I’ll be furious about that because that’s exactly why I first questioned the Irvin pick to begin with and then Clem’s contract extension after picking Irvin.

    It’s not a conventional look, but it’s been done by Seattle before with Wistrom at LDE when he was the primary pass rusher on the team.

  32. ljarllrajl says:

    I’m excited about the O-line. Sweezy really caught my eye. He was all over the place getting into guys faces…literally knocking them out of the league. lol

    Hugh Millen just made a comment on the radio about how Rishaw Johnson caught his eye. He caught my eye too when I seen him explode to the second level on a play in the 3rd quarter. I had to go look up who #63 was then watched him on his snaps.

    I just like our overall depth on the line.

  33. Could the NFL network get a new commercial or two? I am so tired of seeing replays of Victor Cruz and Tedd Ginn Jr. scoring on the Seahawks I could puke.

  34. Dukeshire says:

    RD – The problem I have (potentially) is that placing Red on the weak side and Clem on the strong is that it mitigates each of their strengths. The only benefit I can see in playing Red on the weak side is that the weakness of the under are runs to that side. Red at RDE goes a long way to lessening that. But again, it puts each player in positions counter to their strengths. As you may recall from Saturday, Johnson’s longest run, and only run of note, was to the strong side while Seattle was in an under and Red was on the weak side.

    Now, we agree Seattle is look for a way to get Irvin and Clem on the field at the same time. But that’s why I think Red at RDE is something we won’t see in the regular season. Those situations are where we are likely (hopefully) going to see Irvin, not Red.

  35. Dukeshire says:

    Carroll (Bradley) and Marshall have very different defensive philosophies, within the 4-3, so I’m not sure the Winstrom comparison is fair. Marshall also had success with Kearney there too, but again, different.

  36. Thanks, Duke and RD. Agree that Clem needs work on the strong side on third downs. Thats the alignment in the nickel D in practice that I’ve seen… but I’ll be shocked if we ever see Clem over the TE again on first down. That’s just begging the QB to audible power right and run over us.

    Its not like this D has to get cute with schemes to be good. The more I think about it, the more I think they likely were just putting a variety of things on film for coaching purposes. Thanks for chiming in.

  37. GeorgiaHawk says:

    ljarllrajl – I agree about the o-line. If Sweezy keeps progressing like he is, He will be the steal of the draft. And if the line stays healthy Lynch is going to have a huge year.
    Hopefully Carpitt will add to this down the road.
    One thing that kind of disturbs me about Carpenter though is his unwillingness to lose weight. It will only hamper his recovery,imo.

  38. GeorgiaHawk says:

    And also his chance to claim a starting position on the line.

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Win, not claim. last year he claimed.

  40. RDPoulsbo says:

    Looking back at the play again, Johnson’s 9 yard run was meant to go left, but he had nowhere to go. Red Bryant missed the tackle allowing him to bounce outside to the right. KJ Wright was out of position and kept flowing to the weakside where the play was going, leaving a huge gap. He actually jumps in front of Kam who would have made the play if Johnson continued to going left. Clemons does get owned by the RT though.

    I understand where you’re getting at Duke. I guess I don’t mind the look so much because they have 3 huge guys up front eating up blockers. It’s probably not going to be their base look, but if a team has a top LT like Tennessee, then I’d be fine with giving them the nod and attack them from the other side.

  41. I kinda hope Carp dosen’t come back this year because I feel he’ll struggle and the continuntiny of the OL will suffer because they’ll have to swap around and shuffle. I want one continuous line the whole year.

  42. Dukeshire says:

    RD – That’s sort of my point on that play: Both Clem and Jones got swallowed in the wash, allowing Johnson a very simple cutback (although at the time I thought it was a designed counter. I’ll have to rewatch). Red’s ability to anchor and seal an edge, doesn’t allow that to happen. In any case, let’s see what they do moving forward before getting (me…) too excited. lol

  43. piperfeltcher says:

    I like the idea of showing a lot of different looks on defence in the preseason as it will force teams to practice and be prepared for it. I also think they should not announce or tip there hand to who is the starting QB and force Ariz. to prepare for both Flynn and Wilson.

  44. jchawks08 says:

    LOL That’s a lot of analyzing of a play were a top 5 back made a move, saw he was going to take a loss, cut back and changed direction and outran a 350 pound DE to the corner, turned it upfield for a modest 9-11 yard gain. Sheesh.
    I thought the Hawks #1 D was nothing short of amazing. Get a consistent pass-rush and this becomes just an absolute nightmare for any team in the league. Wow, they’re good..
    Was impressed with Wilson. Dang he’s got some skill. I’m pretty sure most of us are more impressed than what we want to let on. I believe in Flynn too. I’m simply not stoked about the prospects of a rookie QB trying to lead this particular team. We want to win now. Not sure what the % of rookie QB’s leading teams to the playoffs but I know it ain’t good. That kid’s got a bright future though.

  45. Soggybuc says:

    How nice is it to have an O line we don’t have fret and worry over? been awhile since that happened. If PA was smart he’d sweeten Tom’s deal and keep him working for his home team.

    Georgia what I’m saying is based on the 3 speeds of NFL ball preseason games are going to fall into the practice speed category for the proven guys.
    despite Pete’s competition mantra guys like Red, Bane, Earl and Kam are not fighting for a roster spot and playing time.
    now later in games when the the bubble cats are in you see some flying around full effort

  46. Dukeshire says:

    jchawks08 – Analyzing a scheme shift, not necessarily a play.

  47. jchawks08 says:

    Gotcha Duke.. Red damn near had him, regardless! He had hands on him for a split second.

  48. Dukeshire says:

    Also, I’m desperate to talk about actual football and scheme. I’ve been waiting all offseason to analyze it again. lol

  49. RDPoulsbo says:

    I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a counter because they pulled the RG. In the end though it’s just 1 play. They contained him pretty effectively on every other play.

    One thing I’d like to know though is are they lining up based on the package the offense brings in to find favorable matchups? If there’s no TE then move Clemons to the left, with TE then right. I can’t really find a pattern unless I spend more time rewatching the game.

  50. Dukeshire says:

    Those “patterns” in preseason are all but impossible simply because what teams are looking for (especially early in preseason) has little if anything to do with matchups. When gameplans are installed is where we’ll begin to see those type of adjustments.

    And you are right: Johnson’s run was clearly a cutback and not a counter.

  51. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Gotcha Soggy.

    Does anyone think the lack of penalties, (on our part,) had anything to do with the replacment Zebras or that it had more to do with better discipline.
    I think about 50-50.

  52. I watched some of Flynn’s throws again and, though they weren’t long, they were very precise. He made a couple of them look much easier than they actually were. I don’t think TJack would have completed so many. Yes, Flynn didn’t take any deep shots and held the ball too long once or twice, but overall, if it’s his job to lose, he didn’t lose it.

    Wilson, as Jchawk notes, is very impressive and could have a higher ceiling. But Flynn would take the Seahawks further this year, I believe. Hopefully one of them ends up being a franchise QB. No guarantees on that, unfortunately.

  53. Unless Flynn shows improvement over what I have seen in his 2 GB starts, 1 GB preseason game and the Seahawks preseason game, he will be the third and possibly final member of the Pete Carroll 7-9 QB club.

  54. Assuming he gets the starting job.

  55. trout_hound says:

    Maybe I am reading too much into this, but it appears that Braylon Edwards seems to prefer having a play-maker type quarterback over an efficient conservative one:

    “When he gets on the field, he doesn’t hold anything back,” Edwards said about Wilson. “He’s not nervous. He’s not scared to make his mistakes. And he’s not scared to go out there and actually have words of leadership. So I’m very impressed with him thus far.”

    Do you think that’s a comparison to Flynn? Did Flynn not have words of leadership in the huddle?

  56. Could be Sanchez and Alex Smith he’s referring to. I doubt he is referring to Matt Flynn.

  57. jchawks08 says:

    Pabuwal, you’re going to go to the grave with this Flynn stuff, eh? Stick to your guns buddy! hahahah

  58. Dukeshire says:

    Edwards may (likely) have been making a general statement about Wilson and not comparing him to another specific QB. It’s praise nevertheless.

  59. Duke – have you had a chance to re-watch Saturday’s game? It seemed that Wilson did a better job of staying in the pocket as the game went along but I haven’t had a chance to go back and re-watch it.

  60. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Where is BobbyK?

    I want your opinion on the game.

    Don’t be holding out now.

  61. bird_spit says:

    no Bk here…but waiting for the victory lap from him.

    Flynn didnt have polish, but what was expected for a first preseason game? What we did see were some precise balls, some beautiful quick release tight spirals without staring at his intended target.

    I think Flynn wins this hands down. That said, he should never take for granted that the job is his, cause Wilson is right there studying and plotting the take over of the leader of this team. A year or two of maturing/seasoning, and Wilson will be something in this league.

    WHat does this say about Jackson? Wow, we dont pay 4M for a 3rd stringer.

  62. @pabuwal –

    I thought Flynn executed the plays he was given pretty well. Can’t hold conservative playcalling against him. And re the INT, we’ve seen plenty of good QB’s throw picks on that sort of LB-dropping-into-slant-coverage play (and we’ve now been told that it was at least in part the fault of the our RB); so I don’t ding him too much for the one play.

    I know Wilson kind of popped during his time on the field, but leaving impressions of him aside – what were your issues with Flynn’s performance?

  63. GeorgiaRay says:


    Saturday we saw more flat dumps and pseudo screens (up to and including first check downs) than we have since Mack Strong retired (maybe even since Tom Flores)….Guessing we won’t see that much over the first 8 weeks. O scaled way back and designed to put offensive management pressure on the QB’s, while checking whether the O line can continue where they left off relative run blocking

  64. Mike Munchak a HOF coach are you kidding me? He has a long way to go to be a HOF coach.

    Even with our schedule we better be better than 7-9 – if not PC will be on a hot seat – I don’t care what anyone says otherwise.

    I love what we saw out of Okung – still worried about our OL but It is looking better

    The crazy thing is we had better start hitting homeruns in our 1st and 2nd picks like we do with later round guys or there might be some shuffling (JS) at the top.

    Okung – good but injury prone – NOT who they wanted with the top pick – so glad Williams was gone

    Earl Thomas HOME RUN!!!!

    Golden Tate Gotta step up this year – did not look good as a #1 on Saturday

    Walter Thurmond – Gotta get on the field

    Carpenter, James – servicable at best at RT we can hope he will be a great LG – Still unproven

    Moffitt, John – Has looked ok but they are looking to move him to a new position as well


    Irvin – Still holding hope! I am hoping he will bring GREAT explosion to our DL

    Wagner – looks to be the real deal

    Wilson – talked about to death

    sooo anyway – just saying if we start hitting in the top 2 rounds like we do later OMG we will be great!.. If not – start trading all those #1’s away (Hello there is a certain Receiver we could trade for – hint hint)

  65. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – I haven’t yet. But as I said Saturday night, I’d expect him to become more comfortable in the pocket as he gets more comfortable and the game slows down for him (presuming it does). I’ll be interested to see if he continues to always bail out the back side and to the right. That’s my “concern” right now.

    Bobby is / was in upper Minn. and his internet is real spotty up there. He’ll be back soon.

  66. GeorgiaRay says:

    Sando has some interesting thoughts on the ‘Hawks to date, through camp/preseason game…

  67. bbnate420 says:

    Jesus xcman, keep your day job. You’d make a HORRIBLE personnel employee.

  68. ^^^ so where am I wrong on any of those assessments

  69. bbnate420 says:

    Sorry xcman, overstated it a little bit. I think you’re off base about Okung being, “injury prone”. He made it through 12 games last year fine with his ankles until Trent “I’m a little bitch” Cole bitch moved him and tore his pectoral muscle.

    Also, I think it’s too early to say that Carp only would’ve been a, “serviceable”, RT. I think he has a higher upside at G, less space to move in and lateral movement seems to be his biggest flaw at this point, but we didn’t see him enough at RT to make a definitive judgement on him there. I think he could’ve been a fairly good RT. We will probably never know now.

    Moffitt isn’t moving IMO. They just want to see if he can play backup center. It gives them more information. I could be wrong. We will know fairly shortly.

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