Good morning. I arrived in Denver late last night, and I’ll be heading over to the stadium about 3 p.m. this afternoon.
The weather is expected to be pretty good here, about 80 degrees and sunny.
Here are five keys for the Seattle Seahawks as they head into the second preseason game, and the first on the road against the Denver Broncos.
Pressure Manning: Although Seattle’s defensive starters finished with two turnovers against Tennessee, they did not record a sack. Peyton Manning did not take a hit on his only series against Chicago last week. Manning is expected to play at least a quarter tonight. The 36-year-old quarterback says he wants to get hit to show that he’s fully recovered from neck surgery. The Seahawks should oblige.
Get Golden going: Third-year pro Golden Tate finished with just two receptions for 13 yards against Tennessee last week. If Tate is going to be Seattle’s starter at split end this year, he needs to be more involved in the offense. Maybe they can get him some easy catches on bubble screens or stop routes and let him create with his feet.
Throw it deep Flynn: Matt Flynn was efficient in his first outing as a Seahawk, finishing 11 of 13 for 71 yards and an interception. Flynn also was sacked twice. His longest completion was a 14-yard pass to Zach Miller. We know that Pete Carroll emphasizes taking care of the ball and limiting turnovers, but this offense also is designed to create some chunk plays. I believe Flynn has a good enough arm to stretch the defense, so if it’s there Matt, let it go and make something (good) happen.
T.O. show debuts: Tonight will be our first chance to see Terrell Owens playing in a game as a Seahawk. I’m excited to see how he’ll do, but I think we also have to temper our expectations a little bit. He’s still working himself into top game shape, and I don’t expect Owens to play a lot today. What I would like to see is some flash plays to remind folks that he’s still got it at 38-year-old.
Wrap-up: One of the few criticisms that Carroll had after the game was the poor tackling by his defense, especially by the second and third unit. That needs to change today. Players need to take better routes to the ball carrier, and wrap-up and get more defenders to the ball.
Here’s my preview of today’s contest. Cornerback Richard Sherman is looking forward to matching up against Manning today. Sherman: “Unless you can find a quarterback that can teleport the ball into a receiver’s hands, it’s all the same. They still throw interceptions. They still throw incompletions and good defenses can stop them.”
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that Marcus Trufant will work with the first defense at nickel tonight.
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times talks with Terrell Owens’ trainer down in Southern California, Travelle Gaines, about how much the talented receiver worked to get back to the league.
John Boyle of the Everett Herald checks in with rookie Bobby Wagner, who appears on track to start at middle linebacker for Seattle.
ESPN’s Mike Sando offers three things to watch in today’s Seahawks game.
ESPN’s Jeffri Chadiha asks how much baggage is too much when teams consider the risks and rewards of pursuing players like Terrell Owens. Some good info here on how Owens helped tutor younger players in Cincinnati.
Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes that keeping Peyton Manning clean is one of the priorities for the Broncos today.