Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Unger, Seahawks face challenge up front

Post by Eric Williams on Oct. 13, 2012 at 7:58 am with 52 Comments »
October 13, 2012 7:58 am
Seattle Seahawks' Max Unger (60) looks to block against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

In my story today, Seahawks center Max Unger returned to practice on Friday after sitting out most of the week nursing a sore hip. But the University of Oregon product, who’s probable for Sunday, said he’s ready to go, and will face a stiff test in New England defensive tackle Vince Wilfork.

The Patriots are holding teams to 82.2 rushing yards a contest, No. 8 in the league.

“It’s an NFL game,” Unger said about facing Wilfork. “Every player is the best player that you’ve ever played against. I think that’s the truth playing against defensive linemen in the NFL.”

Clare Farnsworth of profiles linebacker Heath Farwell, Seattle’s leader on special teams.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that the Seahawks will face a sizable task up front in dealing with New England’s defensive line.

ESPN’s Mike Sando likes the Seahawks over the Patriots 20-17.

Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston talks with Massachusetts native kicker Steven Hauschka.

All three analysts with NFL playbook pick the Patriots in this video link.

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post writes that Tom Brady vs. Seattle’s defense is one of his matchups to watch this week. Bowen: “No question the Seahawks have enough size and length in the secondary to match up vs. New England’s skill players, plus they can get home on the edge with DEs Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin. But they will have to make some plays on the ball and protect the middle of the field in the red zone to get this one.”

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald notes that New England tight end Aaron Hernandez did not practice on Friday, but did travel with the team to Seattle. Hernandez is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Clark Judge of CBS Sports lists the Patriots-Seahawks contest as one of the three games he’d like to see this week. Judge: “Yeah, the Seahawks’ record the past few years at home hasn’t been all that great, but that’s because the Seahawks haven’t been all that great. They’re better now because their defense is superb. They rush the passer. They defend the run. Their defensive backs are tall, physical and rangy. In short, they’re tough to solve. People tell me Brady and Co. will figure these guys out with their no-huddle, and maybe they’re right. But it’s never easy here, and don’t say you weren’t warned, Brady.”

Bill Simmons of picks Seattle over his favorite team, the Patriots. Simmons: “There’s some serious “Pete Carroll Revenge Game” potential here, as dopey as that sounds. And after torturing me for five weeks, wouldn’t it be fitting if my pick for the NFC’s Super Bowl QB (Russell Wilson) ended up torturing my favorite team? This game frightens the living hell out of me. I hate this game.”

Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports discusses the Seahawks game in the video below. Kirwan likes the Patriots, 24-17.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 52
  1. FleaFlicker says:

    Great links to start the day. Thanks, Eric. Timely article on Max Unger, as he may be the crucial link for us to keep a dominating ground game rolling.

    I am so excited/nervous for this game. Tickets are going for 3x face value on StubHub, but I ain’t selling mine!

    Also looking forward to the Sherman Show. Massively interesting feature on Richard over at Field Gulls. I’m not a football guru like Dukeshire, but I can appreciate the nuance and complexity when Danny Kelly breaks it down like this article. Whole new level of respect for the work ethic and football IQ of Richard S (as well as our whole secondary):

  2. Dukeshire says:

    That was a fun read, thanks for passing along.

    Unger is going to have his hands full with Wilfork. That huge load in the middle simply wears centers and guards out by the 4th quarter. From an offensive perspective, keeping him from collapsing or pushing the pocket, and keeping him engaged on runs will be key. The less we hear his name tomorrow, the better opportunities Wilson and Lynch will have.

  3. Duke,

    I can’t help but think that Carp could help Unger in this situation. Is that possible or will he always be assigned another guy?

  4. montanamike2 says:

    That’s a good link FleaFlicker. Richard Sherman is one of my favorite players, he has a good chance of making the pro-bowl this year. He’s already done some things this season!
    It’s funny that Simmons is still sticking with his man crush on Wilson, even against his favorite team. If Wilson starts lighting it up in the second half i don’t think he’ll make Superbowl MVP but it’ll look good on his credibility, Grudens as well. I think we’ve already seen enough from our crazy “reach” picks to say that PC/JS knows what they’re doing, even without Wilson turning out, the experts look like idiots.
    That said i sure hope we win tommorow, bring it on 12th man!

  5. Dukeshire says:

    rgbuckl – No, you are right. When Wilfork is lined up at 1 tech on the weak side, Carp will definitely work in tandem with Unger. And conversely, when he’s a 1 tech on the strong side, Unger will get help from McQuestian (or Moffitt or Sweezy, unlikely in both cases). That’s part of the beauty of ZBS: Unger will get at least help with chips. However, he’ll be taking the brunt of it. And then there’s going to be times when Wilfork lines up at 0 tech, right on Unger’s helmet, that’s all Unger. He needs a strong game tomorrow.

  6. Good link. Really like watching Sherman play.

    I have confidence in Max more than anyone else on our line and was really sweating that he wouldn’t be able to play tomorrow. glad he will be in the lineup.

    I don’t mean to keep harping on this but I wish Butler was still in the 53. I say this because he was dependable in the middle and made plays and was a good out for Russell. Now that our TEs are starting to really get involved in the offense we could start exploiting confusion in the middle of the field and get those first downs.

  7. montanamike2 says:

    I think we should have kept Butler too.

  8. Sparky12 says:

    Ok, I admit it – I’m developing a man crush on Dukeshire, lol! Seriously, nice breakdown Duke on the inside game needed by Unger. Hope his hip holds out. And heres hoping Irvin and Clemons can “introduce” themselves to Brady tomorrow!

  9. GooseRocks says:

    Jason Jones and the interior push is a big key, IMO. Pressure in Brady’s face will force him side-step right into our speed rushers. That happened quite a few times in the Packers game.

  10. confucious says:

    Awesome link Flick. Also timely as it will be important for the corners to interrupt timing routes in the short game sunday. If you look back to the rams and green bay second halfs you will find we got dinged on those short un-jammed slants. That and uncovered tight ends. Mostly in the hurry up offense.

  11. Unger is like Tobeck to a degree. He’s a smart technician. This match-up will be like SB XL, again to a degree, in that our good center is physically overmatched, even though he’s really good. There aren’t many interior guys who are difference makers like Casey Hampton or Vince Wilfork… It’s going to be a fun game within the game to watch to see how they deal with him…

  12. I am curious who PC and Bradley are going to start on the DL. Assuming NE is going to go no-huddle on us and prevent personnel substitutions, what is the defensive set you want in there for 8-10 or more consecutive snaps? It seems like we need the pressure of Irvin and/or Clem to get Brady out of his comfort zone but those guys are not really every-down linemen, right? Those of you who are up on defensive X/O’s got any insight into this?

  13. How come the weekends are so slow when you are looking forward to a game?

  14. Seahawks2620 says:

    I just finished re watching every game of the season. I am thoroughly impressed by Russell Wilson. He has made some bone headed mistakes, however his progression from game to game is so impressive. He still really needs to work on his “mental clock”, which will enable him to take his time and go through his different reads. Right now he is still missing a lot of very open wide receivers. His height is a factor every so often, but I think he just has to get comfortable in this league and will eventually settle down. I am very excited by the week to week growth that I have seen. A lot of people, whom I will not name, are hating on him because of his whole body of work. The guy is a rookie, and has gotten better eAch week.

  15. Weekends are about the only times I can come on here. They do seem slow at times.

    MontanaMike, glad I’m not the only Butler fan. Is Charly Martin on the active list this week or not.

  16. TomiPDX, I hated that they cut Butler too, but I don’t think he matters anymore now that Baldwin is back. The slot is well manned, and I don’t think Butler would get on the field unless Baldwin or Tate were injured.

    I agree Carpenter should help a lot against Wilfork a lot. No other Seahawks G has the mass and strength to stand up against a guy like Wilfork for 4 quarters. But we’ll miss Moffitt in this game a lot, I think. Unger will end up on his butt a few times and will need help.

    And yes – Dukeshire is the man around here if you want some extra analysis. Hey Duke – you should send your application over to NFL Network, I’m getting a little tired of Heath Evans.

  17. Stevos, hate to say it but I completely forgot about Baldwin…what’s that tell ya!!! Tells me he needs to get back into the picture BIG TIME and give Russell some confidence that he is a goto guy when he needs it the most.

    If Duke became a commentator on the NFL network then we’d have to start dissin’ him too! Eric and Dave (and occasionally Sando) are the only media guys that get some slack! ;-)

  18. my Keys to the game? (sorry Eric)

    1. Defense has to force NE out of what they want to do more often than not

    2. Running game has to find a way to be productive

    3. Passing game has to make plays to keep drives alive

    4. Make things happen on ST – a place I believe we are better than NE

  19. FleaFlicker says:

    My keys to the game:

    1. Score more points than NE

    But seriously, biggest thing is preventing NE from opening up a huge lead. However we do that (controlling the clock, keeping Brady uncomfortable, not shooting ourselves in the foot with stupid penalties, etc.) is besides the point. Have to stay in this game the whole way. We aren’t built for comebacks.

  20. Dukeshire says:

    Lol! I take enough lumps around here (and rightly so in most cases), that I don’t need the scrutiny that comes with having such a large audience. Hell, I hammer most of those guys myself!

    Bobby – I don’t know if it’s because you’ve said it before, but I’ve thought about the Unger – Tobeck comparison too, and believe it’s valid. Leaders in every way at the most under-appreciated position on the line. Yes, very heady, tough as shoe leather, and find ways to control “superior” players with regularly.

    FleaFlicker – Agreed. In addition to several other things, Seattle need to play smart for 60 minutes. If Breno kills another drive on a 3rd down penality, Seattle will be in trouble. I really do think Seattle’s margin of error is that tight tomorrow.

  21. I realize that Cortez Kennedy making the Hall of Fame isn’t a good enough reason to change the cover photo (for at least a short period of time), but, gee, the uniform (on the TNT photo) was “so last year,” 2010, or 10+ years ago. Any chance of getting a good player with a new uniform on the cover who is a good role model and hasn’t been pulled over for booze in the last year or two? I’m not trying to overly disrespect Lynch, but at the same time, it is what it is (and when my little guy will be looking for “sports” role models, I won’t want him exposed to people who have “allegedy” broken the law either). Maybe a defensive huddle grouping or something, since that side of the ball is carrying the team this year? Or Wilson, since it seems hard to change the banner and he’s going to be the face of the franchise for 10+ years (so there won’t have to be anymore changing of the “logo” after this for a long time). Or perhaps, something where you can actually see Mebane, Big Red, ET, Sherman, etc. from afar? Maybe it’s nit-picky, and I apologize if that’s the case… If it is, maybe we should go to this instead:

  22. Dang… I left the door open to people taking that post out of context. I hate when that happens.

    Here comes the name calling and “stoopid” accusations (again, taken out of context)… so, see you tomorrow on the new post so I don’t have to deal with any of the dumb arguments that I never really meant in the first place…

  23. Good thing there is nobody here to go through the door!

  24. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    lmao bobby

  25. MEhawkfan says:

    My 2 cents… this has been a great thread so far, good information and comments from all posters. Other than that, I think all my ideas regarding the game have been covered by others. I’ll just say what I’d like to see most from the Hawks tomorrow is mistake-free football. If they can do that, I think they’ll be in it.

  26. montanamike2 says:

    I think the foundation of Unger is why we pay him top 5 dollars.

  27. Dukeshire says:

    Absolutely. But isn’t that the frustrating thing? Knowing that they’re talented enough to compete with any team in the league *if* they play sound, fundamental football… My biggest question / concern is, can they score enough points to win, regardless how well the defense plays?

    Man, a win tomorrow will have me booking a hotel in New Orleans directly after, just in case.

  28. Dukeshire says:

    I just clicked Bobby’s link. Lol. Efren Herrera! You know he was a pro bowler in ’77 with the Cowboys, prior to coming to Seattle? True story…

  29. MEhawkfan says:

    Agreed, knowing they can compete while at the same time watching them implode is maddening.

    You definitely have a legitimate concern, Dukeshire. I do hope the Hawks worked heavily on their inside the twenty game this past week because they’re going to need TD’s instead of 3’s.

  30. Bobby, if you ask me, we shouldn’t ask for Wilson’s picture on the banner here until he has really PROVED to us all that he is the future. We don’t need to put that curse on him! lol. And although I’m drinkin the Wilson koolaid as fast as i can, I’m willing to give him until the opening game of next year to truly “arrive” as our QB of the future.

    Maybe I’m too patient for the average fan. Or maybe I’m just old enough to know that everything takes a little longer than we think it should.

  31. Clemons

    — Quick — what do those players have in common?

    They are the ONLY players on our roster over 30 years old. Truf is the “old man” at only 31.

    — 28 — what’s this number?

    Its the number of players on our roster with LESS than 3 years of pro football experience. More than half the roster.

    When people say “this defense is built to win Now, so the offense has to get ready to win right now” I really wonder what team they are watching. This defense is so young, and will be better next year, and will be So Much Better two years from now, they are going to Blow Our F’in Minds!

    And that should be just about the time Russell Wilson will be getting ready to enter his prime…

  32. GeorgiaHawk says:

    MEhawkfan- If we are mistake free this year we would be 16-0. If we can just cut down on them some ,(imo) we will be in the playoffs.

  33. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Stevos- Like bbnate420 said- we will be in much better position next year to do some damage.
    However I will be very pleased to see it happen a year earley.

  34. boisehawk says:

    I agree with the comments of being able to wait until next year for a final verdict on our ROOKIE quarterback. Don’t get me wrong, I still have hope for a ‘win now’ season, but realistically I keep telling myself to just enjoy the ride and the new found enthusiasm for this young team.

    Besides, I thought patience was the first required trait of a long time Seahawks fan.

  35. DanielleMND says:

    Defense or special teams needs to score some TDs tomorrow.

  36. bird_spit says:

    I’d like to see big red intercept Brady tomorrow. I hope big red gets to the QB..I’d like to see Brady pancaked in Seattle.

  37. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I hear you DanielleMND. If we can just play as physical as Arizona played them, we will be alright, IMO.

  38. AKSeahawk12 says:

    GeorgiaHawk- Belated, but I am sorry for your loss. Are you in Seattle area?

  39. GeorgiaHawk says:

    AKSeahawk12- No,however I am always at heart in the Seattle area. I am about 45-60 minutes north of Atlanta and I am clearly not a fan of the Falcons. Even though they appear they are doing well.

  40. AKSeahawk12 says:

    Damn I was going to invite you to the game, one of the guys backed out on me and I have one open. Been to Atlanta once in 1978 for training.

    Dukeshire- Are You able to go?

  41. Stevos,

    It’s not the age of the defense that concerns me, it has more to do with player retention down the road when/if they reach the free agent market. The Seahawks will not be able to afford to keep everyone and there most likely will be some painful defections/decisions. That’s the NFL though. The key will be to continue drafting “lights out”. That to me is where the urgency comes from with regards to the passing game catching up to the rest of the team. I feel that by playoff time next season we will have improved substantially on that side of the ball but if they can pull it together now, all the better.

  42. AKseahawk12- what a great gesture!!

    We may argue but when it comes down to it we do have one thing in common – the love for the Hawks!!

  43. AKSeahawk12 says:

    xcman- Thanks! Rain or Shine, good or bad I am here watching my team. You a Navy man? All I want right now is a Seahawk fan in this seat.

  44. What an outstanding blog today. Thanks everyone for the enjoyable and very insightful read! Great information! 3 soccer games and a volleyball match I love watching my daughters compete:-)it won’t be long now biggest game of the year tomorrow atleast until Thursday GO HAWKS

  45. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I didn’t expect us to be anymore than four and four after the first eight games, however if we can be six and two or five and three, we could do some serious damage in the second half of this season, imo.

  46. GeorgiaHawk says:

    AKSeahawk12- So thankfull for your offer. Perhaps next year. Thanks.

  47. no the xc is for cross country as in running :)

  48. MEhawkfan says:

    GeorgiaHawk–mistake-free for this game in particular. I don’t expect “mistake-free” football the entire season. Some games they obviously have gotten away with committing errors. However, I don’t think the Pats game will be one in which they will have that luxury.

  49. AKSeahawk12 says:

    GeorgiaHawk- Your welcome keep me in mind whenever you decide.

    xcman- had to guess, oh well! did some XC in high school way back when. You going to the game?

    I think Brady will need some big hip boots tomorrow, he has no idea what he is getting into.

    Go Seahawks!

  50. Missing the game tomorrow I have season tickets but sell half of them – can’t afford all of them with 2 girls in college.

    I actually coach HS xc now

  51. Ewalters7354 says:

    Personally I just wanna see this team compete with a big time team.Win or lose.

  52. AKSeahawk12 says:

    xcman- I hear you on financing college kids, it’s gotten out of hand. Just thought if you wanted to go I would offer it to you. This is going to be a big chess match tomorrow who makes the wrong move will dictate the tone of the rest of the game.

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