Bye week at Seahawks started in a relaxed mood on Monday with Pete Carroll’s casual press conference. That was the tone of my column this morning. Pete was very relaxed and in a good mood. Why shouldn’t he be? He expects everybody to be healthy when they return on Monday.
The possible return to health of James Carpenter (concussion) raised the question of what will happen at left guard, the position John Moffitt has occupied since Carpenter’s injury. Carroll said that if Carpenter is back and is “right,” they’d like to see him in the starting lineup. The ripple effect then creates the question of whether it should be Moffitt or Paul McQuistan at right guard. Carroll had no reason to speculate on that hypothetical situation.
I think it’s fair to question the first part of that equation, whether Carpenter should replace Moffitt. After last winter’s knee surgery, Carpenter made a surprisingly quick recovery to return to the lineup in Week 4. I thought he’d been good in spots but was still limited enough that he had trouble getting to certain assignments that required him to get out and run. Especially in the Detroit game, he looked slow to get to blocks on a trap and a screen. In his place the past two weeks, Moffitt has looked quicker in those situations.
McQuistan can be credited for his durability and versatility, having started at left tackle, left guard and right guard the past two seasons. If it comes to McQuistan and Moffitt at right guard, I don’t think the decision is going to make a great deal of difference either way.
Seahawks.com’s Clare Farnsworth offers another look at the team as it heads into its bye week. Clare has a nice note that Marshawn Lynch is on pace for the third-best rushing season (1,608 yards) in Seahawks history behind Shaun Alexander’s ’05 (1,880) and ’04 season (1,696). To support the point, he cited a quote from Peter King at SI.com: “Marshawn Lynch, 27 carries for 124 yards. And we hardly noticed. We take his greatness for granted too much.”
Mike Sando’s NFC West blog at ESPN.com makes a great point about the Rams treatment of opposing quarterbacks. “The Rams sent 49ers quarterback Alex Smith to the sideline with a concussion Sunday. They previously picked off Seattle’s Russell Wilson three times and sacked Arizona’s Kevin Kolb nine times. The rough treatment largely explains why the Rams are 2-0-1 in the NFC West after going 0-6 in the division last season.”
After watching Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger leave the field in the Monday night game, and seeing the list of concussed quarterbacks across the league, it seems a tough time for quarterbacks everywhere, not just the NFC West.
Sando also does a good job explaining the mess the Niners-Rams tie makes of the division standings. The Seahawks folks in the press box on Sunday afternoon were paying close attention to the game, obviously, since a San Francisco loss would narrow the gap atop the division standings, with the Hawks benefiting from having their last three division games at home.
Also ESPN.com offers a link to an Associated Press story about Mike Holmgren trying to shoot down rumors of his interest in coaching at Dallas. I think Holmgren is trying to be political and not lust after a job currently occupied. Nowhere in the story does he say he wouldn’t take the job, only that he hasn’t been in any talks and wants to respect Jason Garrett’s position.
Danny O’Neil at the Seattle Times takes a look at the team’s status and momentum heading into the bye week.
SI.com brief on a couple high-profile officiating errors last week. I thought the call that nullified the Rams’ big pass to Amendola in overtime, for an alignment issue, was one that goes uncalled all the time. It also looked like the offensive pass interference call against Kansas City in the Monday loss to Pittsburgh had the Darrell Jackson-in-the-end-zone look to it. Not that any of the Seahawk fans out there are still bothered by that one.
Looking ahead to the Miami game a week from Sunday, there’s some controversy cooking with the Dolphins and running back Reggie Bush.