Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys for Hawks vs. Raiders

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 30, 2012 at 9:18 am with 72 Comments »
August 30, 2012 9:18 am
Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman, left, is chased by Oakland Raiders' Jon Condo in the second half of a preseason NFL football game, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Good morning. I’ll be heading over to CenturyLink later this afternoon for the game tonight. I also will post my projected 53-man roster right after the game tonight, so look for that.

Here are five things to look for Seattle’s game tonight against Oakland.

Get ‘em in, get ‘em out: With Marshawn Lynch, Doug Baldwin and Jason Jones already nursing nagging injuries, Pete Carroll should play the starters on both sides of the ball for at least a series, and then let them watch the rest of the game from the sidelines. There’s no need to take a chance on having a player suffer a significant injury before next week’s Arizona game.

Looking for Flynn to spin it: After not being able to get out on the field last week because of a sore elbow, Matt Flynn was buried in an avalanche called Russellmania. Well, today is Flynn’s first chance to start digging out of the hole and remind folks why the Seahawks spent big money to bring him. I expect Flynn to play well tonight.

Clarity at the receiver position: Sidney Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Bralyon Edwards appear to be locks right now, so I’m interested to see who emerges to grab the last few spots in a battle I think includes Ben Obomanu, Deon Butler, Charly Martin, Ricardo Lockette and Kris Durham. Expect some big plays from the receiver group tonight.

Continued growth from J.R. Sweezy: Besides Russell Wilson, the seventh-round draft pick’s transition from defensive lineman to offensive lineman has been the story of camp. Another strong performance by Sweezy would go a long way in determining if he’s the team’s starting right guard for the season opener at Arizona.

Who emerges among young LBs? K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner and Leroy Hill appear to be locks on the roster. Other than that, I think guys like Mike Morgan, Heath Farwell, Malcolm Smith, Korey Toomer and Allen Bradford are fighting for those last, couple spots

Here’s my advance for today’s game, focusing on one of the players on the fringe in Charly Martin.

Clare Farnsworth of writes that offensive line coach Tom Cable has the run game clicking again this year.

710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard says a strong performance from Braylon Edwards is one of the things he’s looking for in tonight’s game in this video link.

Bill Swartz of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that Golden Tate has high expectations heading into his third season.

Gregg Rosenthal of ranks Russell Wilson in the bottom third of the league’s starting quarterbacks, in a group that includes Sam Bradford, Jake Locker, Alex Smith, Matt Cassel, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Christian Ponder and Mark Sanchez.

Daniel Jeremiah of outlines for reasons teams are playing rookie quarterbacks early – first round picks offer hope, head coaches are more involved in the draft process and on the hook for the picks, colleges are better preparing QBs for the pro game and you can still win with a rookie quarterback.

Chuck Klosterman of Grantland debates the merits of three rule changes he would like to see in the NFL – the elimination of offensive and defensive holding, reducing the points for field goals inside the red zone and the elimination of overtime in the regular season.

Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema says he’s not surprised Wilson won the starting QB job in Seattle. Bielema:

“I know they paid a lot of money to get Flynn and all that great stuff. But until you see what Russell Wilson does behind the scenes – you obviously see what he does on game days – even if he wasn’t going to be the starter, you’d better hope that if you were the starter, if you were Flynn or whoever, that you’d better not roll your ankle one day or have the flu or miss practice. … He is a relentless, relentless competitor, and he’s so contagious.”

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 72
  1. WhooHoo! Any day with a “5-keys” post from E is a good day. Its Game Day! Okay, its preseason, but I’m an addict.

    “clarity at the receiver position” – Yes. I’m really hoping that Braylon Edwards gets a chance to step up early, confirm that he will be our starting SE, and then sit.

    I think if Tate starts at SE on opening day that just leads to a lot of lost opportunities where Tate can’t get open downfield. I’m hoping for Braylon to revive his career this year like BMW did here a couple of years ago. I like Tate at PR, Slot or H-back where he is great taking a dump-off pass and running with the ball. But I want a real Split End! Let’s go, Braylon!

  2. Soggybuc says:

    Get em in and get em out.

  3. “But I want a real Split End!”

    Better consult Richard Sherman. He has split ends all the time!

    On a serious note, I agree with you, Stevos. Tate is valuable, but not as an SE.

  4. raymaines says:

    My last and final Pre Season wish list.

    Things I want to see and not see this week.

    As always, I’m not going to list “Injuries” because that’s just too obvious.

    What I want to see:

    1)Good QB decisions. I don’t care who the QB is or what level the competition might be, just make good decisions. Not every play has to work, but don’t do anything truly stupid.
    2) Josh Portis
    3) Receivers get separation.
    4) Breno head butt a ref.
    5) A close up, isolated, slow motion replay of Brandon Browner just molesting some poor Oakland receiver.

    What I don’t want to see:

    1) Seahawk week one starters
    2) Seahawk valuable contributors
    3) Carson Palmer standing up
    4) Winston Guy whiffing on a punt block
    5) Any other ST gaff

  5. I want Braylon to beat out Tate as well. Until he learns how to run better routes, Golden is just a novelty and above average punt returner. I really want Charly Martin and Butler to round out the group. Rockett and Durham to practice squad.

    Tate does make some spectacular plays with incredible leaping ability but right now I’d say he’s not much different than Dexter McCluster in KC.

    In my fantasy draft last night, I got the Hawks Defense, Turbin and Winslow late. Would’ve loved R Dub, but didn’t match up with my bye week QB starter (Romo).

    Tate will not be getting drafted any time soon, but I really genuinely hope that he does see Braylon as serious competition and learns to run better routes. By December, I see those two adding a lot to our group (if not sooner).

    GO HAWKS! (Hope no one, NO ONE gets hurt)

  6. Having Tate as a starter scares me. Might as well play 10 on 11.

    How could Edwards not be the starter? Unlike Mike Williams, Edwards has big time NFL talent.

  7. Thanks for the Charly Martin article, Eric.

    Battle between Martin and Obomanu is something to watch, and maybe one of them wins a spot tonight? They’re a bit similar – versatile, disciplined WRs who can are real gamers to play Special Teams. But Obo has indicated he’s not that interested in playing Teams anymore, and he’s getting a bit old for that job, I think. That’s a young man’s job and Obo has taken a lot of hits by this point in his career.

    Martin is younger than Obo and although I’ve been a big fan of Obomanu, I’m rooting for Martin to step up tonight and win the job.

  8. sluggo42 says:

    I do not want to see any starters tonite, even though I have $20 on Hawks.

    I really hate this game, praying for no injuries — hate the Raidahs deeply, hoping they have quit the endless dirty play.

    I totally dig the new Hawk cheerio uniforms…. hooo boy! we got us some hotties

  9. Sparky12 says:

    Can’t stand either Bay area teams- hate the 49ers and the Raiders. Raiders for the above average dirty play and the 49ers for the smugness. Once the starters are out, then let the kids romp on the Raiders parade.

  10. Re: Charly Martin –

    Eric is absolutely right about Charly Martin being RWilsons favorite target. It’s no just in preseason games but all throughout camp. I’ve written before about the chemistry I noticed between Flynn & Tate. Well the same goes for RWilson & Martin. There was an obvious connection between the two in practice as both were staples of the 2nd team. You can’t discount the chemistry between Reciever and QB.. Think about Hasselbeck and Bobby Engram, that was chemistry at its finest. Even to a lesser extent Darrell Jackson.

    An offensive attack hardly ever goes as planned. When the play breaks down each player needs to know what each other is doing and thinking so they can adapt. Baldwins severe lack of reps could be problematic to our entire first half of the season. Pete would be wise to keep Charly Martin around for Wilson’s security blanket.

    I’ve been a huge proponent in keeping 5 Wideouts to maintain depth at others. However if Charly Martin is what RWilson needs to help him transition into an NFL QB, let’s not rob him of that.

    1. Rice
    2. Baldwin
    3. Tate
    4. Edwards
    5. Butler
    6. Martin (can Martin edge Obomanu with solid special teams play? I think so)

  11. ChrisHolmes says:

    I don’t think there’s any question that Edwards is our starting SE when the season opens. He’s shown his talent in pre-season games; he’s taller & bigger, more physical and gets open better than Tate. And when he is covered, he goes up and takes the ball from defenders, which you have to love. He’s the prototypical big/fast WR catching machine that PC loves to stick out wide in his offenses. I’m seriously hoping that the problems that plagued Braylon in his early years are over and done.

    Tate, on the other hand, has explosive potential, but it seems to be relegated to the practice field, which is too bad. My best friend growing up in high school was just like that in basketball; the kid made amazing plays in pickup games and practice. But once he was in a game he was never the same. I don’t know what it is with Tate… part of his problem, I think, is that he’s not cut out for flanker or split end position. I see him much more as a slot guy. I could see Tate having a career like Wes Welker – being that kind of receiver (if he continues learning route running better) – catching drag routes and turning them into big gains with his YAC. Because he is elusive and dangerous when you get the ball in his hands. But bubble screens aren’t a future for a receiver. Tate has to get into the open field more beyond the LOS.

    Anyway, I just hope our starters get out early and we’re injury-free. We’ve been plagued by injuries for so many years. It would be nice to have a season without so much injury turmoil.

    P.S. I love Russel Wilson. How could you not love this kid? First in, last out, smart, all the tools, accurate, hard-as-heck worker… Wow.

  12. Donn2390 says:

    I hate the Raiders, but their fans are worse. I was a Rams season ticket holder all the years they played in Anaheim. When the Raiders came to town, You didn’t even think of wearing anything that would idenify you as a Rams fan or you took you life in your hands. Raider fans would make the short drive from LA and get drunk and raise hell. There was always extra police protection when they came to town, but it was never enough. Be glad it’s too far for them to go to Seattle.
    I worked with a couple of Raider fans, and when they had a home game, you knew those guys wouldn’t show up for work on Monday. The whole city had a hangover…
    I’m still in So Calif, but became a Seahawk fan when Pete left my beloved Trojans so he could save the NW….

  13. Soggybuc says:

    I used to have a buddy that was a HUGE Raiders fan, during the AFC playoff’s the year the ravens won it all during the first half I took my daughters crayons and made a raven’s logo that i taped to my purple husky hat and then invaded their Raiders party, was a wonderful thing to watch them all sit and cry like babies after the Raven’s kicked their ass.

  14. “you’d better not roll your ankle one day or have the flu or miss practice”…with a sore elbow!

  15. I think one big question going into this season is what they do at safety?

    Chris Maragos – is solely Earl Thomas’ back up
    Jeron Johnson – is solely Kam Chancellor’s back up.
    Both perform these duties well and I would be comfortable with either taking over for a short period.

    However Winston guy seems to be a guy who holds a specialized role on this team as our only Bandit Safety. Winston is almost your prototypical Bandit guy. He played corner, linebacker, and safety in college. He did well on blitzing and making his way to the backfield when asked. We all know of Petes fascination with the Bandit grouping and he has seen some success. Winston also provides a thick physical body to help combat the ever so growing dual TE sets.

    Perhaps Seahawks keep 5 but that’s some shifting in the numbers game.

  16. “However if Charly Martin is what RWilson needs to help him transition into an NFL QB, let’s not rob him of that.”

    I think that has to be a huge factor in their decision at WR. I think Martin is in…and Obo is out. Wish they could trade Obo for a late round pick.

  17. freedom_X says:

    I think too many people have written off Tate too soon. Some receivers take a while to come along. Roddy White is a good example. The guy everyone wants, Braylon Edwards, has also had a spotty career – 1 great season, 3 decent seasons, and the rest no better than Tate. He did nothing last year.

    If the Seattle staff starts Tate, then I’m confident he’s the best choice. If Edwards is the choice, that’s fine too. When it comes to picking the players to play on gameday, I haven’t had many gripes with what Carroll does.

  18. gonefishin69690 says:

    Everybody seems a little paranoid about injuries against the “Raiders”, and I guess what I would like to see is Oakland being paranoid about THEIR injuries when they play US!

  19. HawksKD, I’m with you. #14 seemed to be getting open and catching everything in practices I watched, but Special Teams is likely the key to him winning a job.

  20. freedom – Since I’ve dissed Tate here on this blog more than once, I now won’t be surprised if he goes out there and proves me wrong. Our players are good at proving me wrong. lol.

  21. tylerwyler says:

    Just rewatched game one of the preseason. When our QB1, RDub, is running that long TD in, he picks up a massive block near the end zone. It’s Charly Martin, clawing at the defender like a man possessed. I liked him plenty after game 3, but seeing that block on a broken down play makes me hope he’s a keeper. Team CHARLY!

  22. Macabrevity says:

    Does anybody here not love Charly Martin? That guy is gonna surprise some people this season.

  23. DreadHawks says:

    Count me amongst the Martin supporters. Love his attitude and play. Hope he makes the roster and don’t care who he bumps. I think he can be a big time contributer.

  24. surelyyoujest says:

    Keys to the game:

    1. Don’t get injured.
    2. Don’t get injured.
    3. Don’t get injured.
    4. Don’t get injured.
    5. Don’t get injured.

  25. I want to see Tate on the receiving end of some bubble plays for sure. Other than that, he should come in only when Rice or Edwards need a breather. I hope Martin makes the team. I think Edwards and Winslow will have some opportunities to break some big plays thei season and open some eyes. Go Hawks.

  26. Also, if we keep six, I rather see Butler than Obo. So I guess it would be Rice, Edwards, Baldwin, Tate, Martin, and Butler. We also got Winslow who’s basically a badass reciever as well.

  27. orbeavhawk says:

    …………and a “midget” will lead them! To The SB eventually!


  28. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I can see us keeping Rice, Edwards, Baldwin ,Tate and Martin. Then pick up another WR after the cuts.

  29. Soggybuc says:

    I wonder why we haven’t seen Tate lined up in the backfield on passing downs? seems like he could be a real threat as a pass catcher in that capacity.
    he would at least draw some attention from a defender leaving more room for other guys.
    Go with 11 personnel, Rice, Edwards, Baldwin, Winslow and Tate.

  30. Palerydr says:

    I wonder why we just don’t trade Tate as I feel he doesn’t have the work ethic or desire to be great.

  31. Dukeshire says:

    Is Malcom Smith actually healthy enough for the game? He’s got to find away to keep his legs healthy. I really believe he can be an impact player at Will for them, but he’s not going to be around much longer if he can’t stay on the field.

  32. Dukeshire says:

    Soggy – It doesn’t help Tare in that respect with 3 great pass catching RBs on the roster

  33. SandpointHawk says:

    Feel good read about Pete. But I enjoyed it, as if that means anything…

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I like our D-line unit, however I think our secondary is our best unit.

  35. princeaden says:

    Georgia, I was thinking along the same lines.

  36. rramstad says:

    Re: injuries, I’m sure some of the posters here remember (I do) an epic beatdown that the Raiders put on us, at Oakland, where they not only won on the scoreboard but our guys were really never the same that season after that game… it was absolutely pure and utter destruction, physical domination. Ouch.

    (I think it was 2001 September 30th, Raiders 38 Seahawks 14.)

  37. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Jackson could make up to 3 mill this year. Not bad. I think I will watch him play tonight before the Seahawk game.

  38. Soggy – I was thinking about that as well – wondering if they would line up Tate at H-back, after seeing Turbin line up this way in practices. Tate could really excel in that role, I think, but there are advantages to using a RB like Turbin in that situation instead. Gives Bevell more options including a stronger blocker.

    We all seem to be good today at finding reasons to not have Tate on the field…. so now watch him blow open another big play for a TD tonight…

  39. Soggybuc says:

    We have seen it with Leon who is a good pass catcher but Tate does have some dynamic running ability. just another wrinkle to toss at a defense even if it’s only as a distraction.

  40. well, here’s a nice article:

    2nd best defense in the NFL? I’ll take that.

  41. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Can’t say enough about our rookies so far. Overall this is the best three year stretch of drafting by any Seahawk FO, imo.

  42. bbnate420 says:

    Surprised no one has mentioned it yet. Seems like Kenny Britt is only getting suspended for one game. That means it’s very unlikely that Lynch gets suspended IMO. Britt came into the league in 2009 and has already been arrested 8 times.

  43. bbnate420 says:

    Duke, John Schneider said when interviewed by Mitch Levy, “I think he’s going to focus on the LG spot.” Hardly a 100 % commitment to him playing LG, like I said. Nice try though. :-)

  44. hawkfan777 says:

    Funny thing. Today I saw a vehicle driving down the road with New York plates on it. It was loaded with Raiders stuff all over the back of it. Oddly enough it was also loaded with religious bumper stickers.

    Huge identity crisis going on within that person.

  45. “Huge identity crisis going on within that person.” LOL!

    I like Tate and I don’t care what the masses say/think. I’m mostly not going to try to please the bloggers by saying the right things (see Jackson hatred). I can like who I want to like and I like him (I think his head is screwed on a bit better, but it’s still not perfect… but I love the talent and OBTW – his route running isn’t suited for slot). At least he hasn’t been pulled over for a DUI lately; been released/not wanted by someone else; traded b/c he wasn’t wanted by his former club; habitually injured; etc.

  46. Dukeshire says:

    bbnate – Both Carroll and Schnieder’s comments read to me like they’re outing at guard. I’m genuinely confused what’s unclear about their comments. Especially Carroll’s.

  47. Dukeshire says:

    Outing? Moving him…

  48. Doesn’t understand that people want Wilson jerseys yesterday! I mean, come on, slave labor (in no way is this disrespecting the poor people we use for cheap labor in other parts of the world – in fact, I do find it sickening; but I’m part of the supply/demand problem, as evidenced by my “want”) is cheap and you can get what you want when you don’t have to pay a min. wage or anything like that. What’s the hold up? I want my Wilson jersey SOON!!!

  49. ruminator1 says:

    Is this game not televised in the seattle area?

  50. ChrisHolmes says:

    “and OBTW – his route running isn’t suited for slot”

    That might be true, but every other facet of him says Slot Receiver. At least to me. His quickness/burst, agility, hands, etc.

    It seems route running is his biggest downfall. I dunno what a guy has to do to bring that up either… That’s an “attention to detail” sort of thing. Some folks just don’t have that in them. I don’t think it makes a difference what spot he’s in – if his route running isn’t good he’s never going to excel in this league.

    Even Marshall Faulk worked on being a precise route runner so defenders couldn’t tell which route he was running when he came out of the backfield.

  51. ruminator1 says:

    Sorry, it is

  52. Bobbyk–I like Tate too. Then again, Ive supported him from the get-go–just like I did Curry. That one didnt work out too well LOL! Buuut…Tate is making some steps toward being a very good player for us. He’s not appearing ready to dominate as a starting SE, but then again, Ive always thought he was meant to be a FL who plays in the slot sometimes….

    Roddy White and that white dude in GB so many bloggers wanted us to draft and many other WR’s took until their third year in the NFL to “get it”–I dont see why we should expect Tate–a guy who’s only played the WR postion for 4 years–to “get it” any faster.

    I think he’s gonna do better than most people think this year–he’s closer to starting than y’all think, dont be fooled by his paltry preseason catches. Heck, I think our leading recievers have like 4 or 5 catches…Regular season will be different.

    However, I think Tate will make slow steady progress, and NEXT year I fully expect him to rip it up, if he ever does. The guy is so athletic, its amazing what happens when he gets the ball in his hands and a little room to maneuver!

  53. Dukeshire says:

    Th white guy…Jordy Nelson. Lol

  54. HeinieHunter says:

    No injuries please! As a Hawk fan from the old AFC West and the “Raider Busters” days…… II want to see the Hawks stomp the “Scum Sucking Raiders” and their evil spawn into the turf! (Old habits die hard!)

  55. anybody watching the Green Bay – K.C. game?

    Backup QB Graham Harrell just led the team down the field with crisp passes looking a lot like Matt Flynn. The Quarterback Factory in Green Bay lives on.

  56. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I think we should trade Wilson for Palmer, And perhaps throw in Thomas.
    What do you think?

  57. Tate is a huge playmaker. With his legs. The trouble with starting him at split end is he doesn’t often get good separation from coverage. Any average NFL CB can own Tate. Get him the ball at the LOS or on a punt return, however, and he can make things happen.

    Not trying to diss the guy, that’s just what his skill set is. Heck, maybe I’ll go steal a donut in his honor.

  58. Drinking early today, Georgia? lol.

  59. raymaines says:

    Filters Bobby, filters! You need some filters. The whole middle part of your post really didn’t need to be there.

    “Doesn’t understand that people want Wilson jerseys yesterday! I mean, come on. What’s the hold up? I want my Wilson jersey SOON!!!”

    would have been a great post.

  60. GeorgiaHawk says:


    “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin.

  61. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Hasselbeck is in the game! Just thought you all would want to know. Lol.

  62. WiscCory says:

    Duke, what’s with your Malcom Smith love affair.

    The Chiefs are marching all over the Packers (but can’t score). It was interesting to see Manning throw his 2 TDs last week. And…the Titans having success in the preseason. I know we can’t really read anything into the preseason, however I truly think the Hawks D is something special in the making. Seeing these teams that the Hawks have beaten this preseason have success against others just makes me ooze with anticipation for the Cardinals in week 1.

    Speaking of which….a couple nights ago, Schefter said on ESPN that the Cardinals have no motivation to name a starting QB at this point. Rationale was it would make it harder for the Seahawks to gameplan for next week. My question is whether Kolb and Skelton are really that much different. I think the Hawks would gameplan the same regardless of which of those 2 will be starting. Just shows you that Schefty, Morton, and even Clayton are just blowing smoke most of the time. I think any of us could do what they do.

  63. mindnbrad says:

    Is this game sold out? (I have NFL Preseason Live and I want to know if I have to wait until after the game is over, or 24 hours after the game is over.) Thanks.

  64. I’m sorry. I thought you had to run especially crisp routes from the slot. My bad.

  65. Hey, Duke, Happy Birthday!!! You’re catching up to me!!!

  66. Its the Duke’s birthday? I feel like we should be dumping virtual gatorade on him or something!

  67. yes, slot WRs need to run crisp routes. That’s why Butler and Baldwin are so good, and Tate is, well…

    mmm… donuts.. d’OH!

  68. Speaking of QB Factories, how about the one Andy Reid runs? Don’t trade with that guy either.

  69. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Happy Birthday Dukeshire! Drinks on Me!

  70. HawkfaninMT says:

    Can someone please post the link to where we can watch the game streamed online?

  71. HawkfaninMT says:

    While I appreciate it Georgia, I am cheap single dad that works at a school…

    There was a free stream site posted for the other games if I remember correctly

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