Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Slowing down Frank Gore

Post by Eric Williams on Oct. 17, 2012 at 10:06 am with 43 Comments »
October 17, 2012 10:06 am
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) face masks Seattle Seahawks cornerback Kelly Jennings (21) for a penalty in the second quarter of their NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

The focus of my story today is the Seattle Seahawks defense matching up against talented San Francisco running back Frank Gore. The University of Miami product has the most rushing yards against Seattle than any other team in the league, and has twice rushed for over 200 yards against the Seahawks.

Gore leads an San Francisco rushing offense that is tops in the league, averaging 176.8 yards a contest.

So how do the Seahawks bottle up Gore?

“You got to hit him hard and hit him early,” Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright said. “Let him know that it’s not going to be your day to get a bunch of running yards. We’re going to come out and set the tone, and make sure he doesn’t get rolling.”

John McGrath of The News Tribune writes that Mike Holmgren’s legacy in Seattle is not tarnished by his failing to turn things around in Cleveland as president of the Browns. Holmgren will retire at the end of the year, as a new ownership group decided to move in a different direction in Cleveland. McGrath: “When Holmgren declined an offer to take over the Hawks’ football operations almost three years ago, it produced consequences in two cities. In Cleveland, the Browns have sputtered and stalled and generally alienated the most loyal football fans in the land.
“In Seattle? By just saying no, the only coach ever to lead the Hawks to the Super Bowl provided them with a jump start on their quest to go to another Super Bowl.”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times echoes similar sentiments. O’Neil: “This isn’t to say Holmgren couldn’t have rebuilt Seattle. He is an incredible coach, a charismatic person, and bringing back the man most responsible for the most successful era in Seahawks football isn’t exactly going out on a limb.
“But the fact that he didn’t return cleared the way for the Seahawks to start over cleanly. To not just reboot the machine, but reprogram the entire franchise. Three years later, Seattle is seeing the results of that decision to start from scratch.”

Bucky Brooks of offers a pretty in-depth look at the impressive play of Seattle’s defense, including an explosive pass rush and what he calls the best secondary in the league. Brooks uses screen grabs to show how the Seahawks are getting consistent pressure up front and creating havoc in the back end of the defense.

Clare Farnsworth of details rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner’s obsession with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in his Tuesday practice report.

Matt Williamson of Scout Inc. says that Wagner is legit in his rookie scouting report. You must be an ESPN Insider to view this. Williamson: “By no means is Wagner freeloading here. He has fantastic range and explosive movement skills without sacrificing leverage or power at the point of attack. He has developed into an astute blitzer to go along with very good skills as a coverage player and run-stuffer. Wagner will only get better, particularly in coverage, as that can be a very difficult transition for rookie linebackers against tight ends, running backs and wideouts on crossing patterns.”

Larry Stone of The Seattle Times previews the heavyweight battle between Seattle and San Francisco on Thursday.

Matt Maiocco of reports that San Francisco offensive tackle Joe Staley, who left last week’s game against the New York Giants in the third quarter with a concussion, is symptom-free and hopes to play on Thursday.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News writes that San Francisco must figure out how to stop Russell Wilson.

ESPN’s Mike Sando writes that Wilson has five touchdowns on deep throws – passes travelling 20 yards or farther – which leads the league. But he says that Wilson could have trouble continuing that type of performance against San Francisco’s stingy pass defense.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman talks with the NFL Network in this video link.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle talks with San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who confirms the Niners were interested in defensive end Bruce Irvin.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 43
  1. HonHawksLSB says:

    John Schneider singing the praises of Russell Wilson on Sirius Nfl Radio. “He is the type of guy you want your kids to look up to.”

  2. HonHawksLSB says:

    Sschneider just compared the 49ers and Hawks D to the Ravens and Steelers.

  3. Re-posting from last thread:

    Wow, McGrath’s article on Holmgrens exit in Cleveland is complete garbage, as per usual. He skewed facts to back up his own opinions and pretty much just says neener neener youre a weiner to Holmgren. He left out many relevant facts–including anything that would call into question his own opinion.

    That kind of “journalism” is one reason I have always hated Field Gulls, even though he isnt there anymore.

    While Shurmur is terrible, Holmgren has helped add many talented players to that team, and the Julio Jones trade was a total haul for them. No mention of that, nor any mention that in Seattle Holmgrens final couple years were deliberately sandbagged by Ruskell and his atrocious drafting and FA signings, not to mention his deliberate firing of so many Holmgren players, and his determination to only sign guys who didnt fit Holmgrens offense.

    To gloss over the disfunction caused by the Napolean Comlex dipspit Ruskell is unconscionable.

    McGrath states that Holmgren was offered full control of football operations by Seattle, which as far as I know is utterly untrue. They offered him a figurehead post where final say was still split, and the HC was the man; they also allready had thier coach picked and he wasnt gonna be able to get his own in there. Doesnt sound even close to “full control of football operations” to me.

    And in the three years since, Seattle has yet to post a 500 record. The jury is still out on the re-boot/re-build whatever you want to call it. How many Defense-first teams have won a SB the last 15 years? How many run-first offenses have won a SB? Only one team has won a SB with a ZBS blocking scheme since John Elway’s last. So I dont think we should be counting our successes just yet.

    Im fine with Holmgren being gone, but McGraths article is another example of lazy journalism. This newspaper, Mike Holmgren, and Seattle Seahawks fans deserve better.

  4. Meanwhile, Danny O’neils article offers a similar take, but without the innuendo and cherry-picked facts that support a biased opinion. His article offers better facts and is well-written and well-reasoned. And I told him so in a comment on his article.

    Even though I dont totally agree with his take.

    Good job, Mr. O’neil.

  5. Ewalters7354 says:

    Great links Big E! Oh how I would love for Joe Staley not to play.

  6. Hey Guess What?!

    Just like the old days at Field Gulls, where McGrath deleted every single comment that was critical of his opinion, or even stated a differing opinion, my comment this morning on his online piece has been deleted. So I put another one back.


    Though I disagreed with his opinion, and his cherry-picking of facts , I was civil, short and to the point. What gave him/them the right to delete my comment?! The fact that I said it was “another fine example of lazy journalism”?! Thats not a personal insult or name-calling, its fairly civil and its an opinion, which I should be allowed to post without fear of it being deleted! I did not say McGrath was a lazy journalist–that would be an insult and labeling–just that this was another example of that type of “journalism”, the kind full of hand-picked “facts” and strident unsupportable opinions, as well as factual inaccuracies.

    In my opinion, deleting my comment was incredibly unprofessional and truly pathetic. But its what I have come to expect from McGrath. And I dont care if it was him or someone else at the Trib, deleting my comment was inexcusable and unconscionable!

    The entire article, in my opinion, is of no better quality than the comments left on the blog, and I expect far more from a professional journalist. Dont you guys?!

  7. FleaFlicker says:

    Bucky Brooks article is awesome!!

    A few choice quotes:

    “The Seahawks have also taken on Carroll’s undeniable self-confidence. This is apparent in the chip that rests on the shoulder of each player at all times”

    “When I watched the Seahawks work against the talented receiving corps of the Packers, Cowboys and Patriots, I was amazed at how Browner and Sherman bullied their assigned receivers throughout each play. ”

    Legion of Boom!!!

  8. gonefishin69690 says:

    I read that article too flea….good stuff.

  9. sluggo42 says:

    Look at the picture up top of this thread, now tell me who isn’t on their team anymore. I would love to see Gore trying to give BB that business…

    I think that VDavis is going to be a key figure this game, because I don’t think Gore is. A run first team with Gore plays right into our strengths. This game will end up like the Giants game, even though SF will try to change it up a bit. But a leopard cannot change his spots. They might try a bit of play action early, but when nobody is open anyways, then they’re in trouble.

    I’m looking forward to the “are ya feelin me” moments again this week. Like when BB totalled Welker, or when KJ broke Gronk in two. THose moments when the other team starts to question what they previously might have thought about us. When they momentarily wonder how much that hit really does hurt, and whether or not they need to lay back down for a minute to be sure…
    We need to give Davis and Gore a few of those moments… We are not the team they played last year, nor are we the team that played the first 4 weeks of the season. I don’t think the 9ers really understand whats coming into their stadium tomorrow night, and it’s not going to be pretty…


  10. Love the Wagner Article!!

  11. I predict that the NFC west will be wild for the rest of the year – Clearly all 4 teams are ready to rumble. and have it out for each other.

    I will not be surprised to see anything in any of the games this year

  12. MEhawkfan says:

    I think the D can handle Gore. He had something like 87 yards in the last meeting; I think they do better this time. Frank, meet Bobby…

    The O-line is what concerns me. Please, by all that is football-holy, do not let Giacomini get a penalty tomorrow night. I hope Unger and company step up big, open holes for Lynch and Turbin, and give Wilson the time he needs.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    The Niners have a fantastic secondary, I agree that throwing deep on them will be difficult. Let’s hope that Wilson will find success with a more shallow passing plan.

    Also, getting Lynch and Turbin 30/35 touches between them will help.

  14. STTBM: I believe you are referring to John Morgan, who used to run Field Gulls. John McGrath has been a columnist here at The New Tribune for at least 20 years, if not longer. And McGrath barely knows how to turn his computer on, let alone delete someone’s comments on an article online. Just wanted to focus your rant a little bit. Please continue.

  15. gonefishin69690 says:

    lol @Eric

  16. Oh daaaaaaaaamn.

  17. rramstad says:

    I’m blown away that Joe Staley might play Thursday after being taken out in the 2nd half on Sunday with a concussion. To me, that seems irresponsible at best, felonious at worst. I have no respect for Harbaugh.

  18. HawkyHann says:

    Really hoping Harbaughs dominance of PC ends tomorrow. Lets go for this, don’t be conservative. Outsmart them.

  19. MEhawkfan says:

    I’ll do it.

    For those of you who remember…


    –Roseanne Rosannadanna

  20. Carlsonkid says:

    Baldwin and Miller over the middle , pound with Lynch and Turbin ( why do I have a feeling Turbin could have a big game? ) , and the defense needs to shut down Gore and make Alex Smith beat you through the air ( something Romo , Rogers , Newton and Brady couldn’t do ) .

    I can’t stand Harbaugh , any chance to rub it in his face is a great thing . GO HAWKS !

  21. There is one very key word to stopping Frank Gore – Mebane. Fact: Frank Gore has never rushed for 100 yards or more against a Seahawks front that included Brandon Mebane.

  22. HawkyHann says:

    Hoping they don’t go right after Trufant. He’s getting completely owned this year. Its sad to watch

  23. The tin foil hat is on TIGHT today, huh STTBM! That MSM is always deleting your comments! Also, lol Eric.

    I’m very curious to see if Wilson can move the chains with a shorter passing game against the 49ers, and I’m not very confident he can. I’m AM very confident in the defense being able to contain everyone but Davis. Those are the keys in my opinion with both running games likely held in check; Wilson in the short passing game and Davis getting open on the seam.

  24. SeaThemHawks says:

    How the Seahawks can beat the 49ers in week 7

    The Seahawks are coming off a big win with strong performances from offense,defense, as well as special team. They are going to need to repeat that model if they hope to win Thursday,
    Seattle’s defense is becoming one of the most feared in the league, from the trenches to the backfield the Seahawks are confident that they can match up with anyone.

    It all starts up front in Stopping Frank Gore, the work-horse of the niners backfield has looked good over-all this season, But the Seahawks run defense has looked better. Rookie Bobby Wagner has been looking like a huge upgrade at the MLB position they past few weeks and he will get his chances to show that he indeed is against frank gore. His speed and ability to track down runners in the backfield is something we were missing last year, and will be on display for sure on Thursday. If they can bottle up frank gore and force the niners to put the game in Alex Smiths hands the Seahawks chances of winning greatly increase. The Seahawks need to get to Alex early and often,the Seahawks only sack came in the fourth quarter last week, we need to get it going early and get in his head, he is not the most poised QB when pressured and is prone to following mistakes with more mistakes. Enter the Seahawks secondary. Richard Sherman is ON FIRE and is still getting more looks from opposing QB’s then Browner, look for him to capitalize if smith tries to pick on him, With SS Kam Chancellor possibly slowed by injuries the Seahawks will probably rotate him outwith Jeron Johnson a bit more then usual, JJ needs to be on his game this week and not let receivers get behind him, specifically in the red zone as he seems to show a lack of awareness in this area.

    On the other side of the ball we have Russell Wilson coming off a career came and Marshawn Lynch coming off his worst of the season, Though Marshawn is not to blame as he only received 16 carries as the Seahawks gave RW a little more slack on his leash. I expect to see more of lynch this week. The niners run defense is good but Ahmad Bradshaw showed that they can be beaten last week. Expect to see Darell Bevell give the niners a health dose of Beast Mode, opening up the niners defense for Wilson, who’s deep passing skills are better then anyone thought they were. now while the deep ball is fun to watch it’s not always going to work. The niners have more speed in there back field then the pats do. Russell Wilsons short to intermediate passing skills will need to improve, he needs to trust his reads and get rid of the ball, no double clutching.

    I see the hawks taking this one on the road 20-13

  25. gonefishin69690 says:

    Football outsiders has Seattle ranked #8 in the NFL. I believe we can and will win this one. The Seahawks are turning heads this year, and are improving every game. I’ll agree with SeaThemHawks on the final

  26. Eric, et al:

    I am man enough to admit I was wrong! I confused McGrath and Morgan, two different guys who have pissed me off for some of the same reasons. It was wrong for me to heap scorn on McGrath for things he didnt do, and I apologise.

    However, I stand by my criticism of McGrath’s article. In my opinion, it fails miserably to live up to the high standards the Trib supposedly sets for its journalism. And this isnt the first time, its just a case of this instance pissing me off so bad I had to comment.

    And regardless of who is to blame for the deleted comment, I still feel the censorship was wrong. I suppose McGrath could have complained and had it removed, but it doesnt really matter; I suppose blaming the guy for Morgans antics kind of damages my credibility (if I ever had any) on this blog!

    As y’all can see, nothing gets me going like unfair censorship!


  27. PugetHawk says:

    Glad to hear no mention of Unger’s hip injury that was an issue last week. I read a report earlier, and would re-post the link if I find it, that said they expected Staley to be out this week because of the nature of the injury and the short turn around. Guess Harbaugh isn’t too worried about it.

    Great fact about the Hawks never giving up 100 yards against the Niner’s when Mebane has been starting.

    The two defenses will contain the rushing attacks and this game will come down to special teams and the QB’s. Smith gets the edge but our special teams counters that. IMO. This game should be a real toss-up. Can’t believe the spread is 7.5 I wonder what it will be when they come up here.

  28. On the Niners, Im more worried about Vernon Davis than I am Gore. Seattle just needs to play hard, physical, and disciplined and we can deal with Gore. We managed him pretty well last year. But Davis is a monster, and even Chancellor isnt fast enough to cover him; what are we gonna do, stick Trufant or Wagner or Wright on him?! Only Wagner might be fast enough to run with him of those guys!

    Seattle will have to come up with something scheme-wise, because they really dont have anyone who can match up with Davis one-on-one. Dude’s a beast!

    And with all the scorn heaped on SMith, remember he bootlegged for that TD against Seattle and made them look stoopud! The guy beat us twice last year, he’s not garbage and Harbaugh, buttwhipe though he is, is a fine coach. Those Niners will be ready to rock and roll!

  29. FleaFlicker says:

    STTBM: got to take it in stride. We all get fired the hell up about the Seahawks. I commend you on stepping up to an erroneous comment. A little humility from everybody now and then is a good thing. All that antagonism the other week was really starting to dent my enthusiams for what has otherwise been a fantastic blog (thanks to E, Sando, Boling, Divish, and the regular fan commentators) for many years.

    Only 30 hours until kickoff…

  30. FleaFlicker says:


    I want spell check or editing features for Christmas.

  31. doubledink says:

    …please continue. Classic! LOL

  32. I want my brain to quit misfiring for Christmas…lol!

  33. “U Mad Bro?” is the quote of the year! I hope it goes viral like “Dont Taze me Bro!” did.

    PS. Eric, youre the best!

  34. mojjonation says:

    We play San Francisco twice every year and the best they can come up with is a picture of Gore stiff arming Kelly Jennings nearly four years ago. Good god. Maybe a picture of the rush that got Lynch over 100 yards against the Niners last season should be up there.

    Other than the 8 sacks against GB, we have 9 in the other 5 games. We have some hits and pressures, but not lot of sacks. While bottling up Gore will probably be done, planting Smith on his backside at least once a quarter may put sugarplum footsteps in the back of his head (Christmas reference baby). I know Kam can’t keep up with Davis, but I think he is possibly the best player to put on him. He’s as physical as Davis, and if Davis gets by him, ET can cut him in half.

    I’m really not scared of any of the Niners receviers at this point. We got beat bad underneath by NE, but SF does not have those kinds of weapons. We locked down the outside against Brady and Smith can’t read as quick as Tommy Boy. Moss will be in for a handful of plays, but after Sherm or BB beat him up a few times, he will park his old behind on the bench and refuse to go in. Crabtree is Crabtree. He will get the obligatory throws his way but can almost guarantee at least one big hit on him. This defense has absolutely hurt people (and gotten in some peoples heads…cough cough Steve Smith, Brady) since that Dallas game.

    Like most have been saying, a loss isn’t the end of the world, but it will hurt considerably. 0-3 in division is possible, but so is a win. With everyone in our yard in the second half of the season, things are looking up regardless of what happens tomorrow.

  35. I think the gore pic is great–it illustrates just what a beast that guy is. And reminds us how far we’ve come since we finally got rid of Jennings!

    I agree, while it wont be the end of the world if we lose, it will be bad indeed. O-3 in the division is NOT good…nor would only having a chance at splitting with the three other teams in our Division be a good thing…

    The only way we win this Division is to beat the Niners both games and split with the Rams and the Cards.

  36. orbeavhawk says:

    How did the Giants take awayy Vernon Davis?

  37. Ewalters7354 says:

    If I recall correctly Brandon Mebane(unless he was hurt) was apart of the hawks team that gave up 200yrds to Frank Gore.2009 I believe.That’s when Jerk Mora was the head coach.

  38. Mora wasnt the Head Coach; he was the Head Clown. ‘Nuff said.

  39. bird_spit says:

    Eric – love it when you correct these guys..and you did it with class. Regards..hell we all need correcting from time to time..please fellas hold the rocks in this glass house.

  40. wabubba67 says:

    Mebane has got to be an All-Pro this year…or at least make it to the Pro Bowl. (Don’t want to see his name mentioned in another video which would disappoint Hitler.)

  41. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    STTBM, i say you put wagner under thomas over the top and bring cam up into the box to help with the run. that’s just my opinion.

  42. eddiebeat says:

    Great article by brookS I read another article on a lesser known site that previews the game and gives you betting tips !! heres the link

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