Seahawks Insider

Seahawks’ defense says it needs to “clean up little things”; Pete Carroll’s so-so assessment of Terrelle Pryor’s exhibition finale

Post by Gregg Bell / The News Tribune on Aug. 29, 2014 at 9:22 am with 82 Comments »
August 29, 2014 9:22 am

The Seahawks arrived back to team headquarters in Renton in the middle of the night following the kind of wild, 41-31 loss at Oakland in the exhibition finale. That game proved this:

*The starting offense — particularly Russell Wilson and the passing game — couldn’t be flying higher entering Thursday’s opener against Green Bay. Eleven scores in 13 preseason drives, the empty trips between the very first drive at Denver Aug. 7 when the offensive line was missing three starters and Wilson was just running to stay upright, and last week against Chicago when Steven Hauschka had a 53-yard field goal clang off an upright. And that’s with Marshawn Lynch getting just three carries in ione exhibition game all month.

*The defense wasn’t getting home on the pass rush, but is still missing DE Michael Bennett (hamstring) and DT Tony McDaniel (sore knee) plus pass rusher Bruce Irvin (offseason hip surgery). The linebackers were flying around impatiently last night and the Raiders took advantage with patient, cut-back runs that stung.

“We just have to be patient, clean up the little things,” middle linebacker Bobby Wagner said in the cramped, visitor’s baseball clubhouse last night (75 dudes in a baseball clubhouse plus staff with football equipment strewn about is a unique sight, by the way — love my old workplace, the trusty Oakland Coliseum).

Wagner looked great running sideline to sideline after missing three weeks with a hamstring injury this month. He said he feels fully healthy and ready for the Packers.

DE O’Brien Schofield finally got slowed down after seven quarterback hits in the first three exhibitions — but he was still far better overall this month than Benson Mayowa was at the weak-side, pass-rush DE spot. I think Schofield wins a roster spot at Mayowa’s expense. DT Jordan Hill made a late push one of the final roster spots with 12 tackles; the third-round pick last year from Penn State said afterward that he had a bad first half but played more to his capabilities after halftime.

Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr made one of the better throws I’ve seen against CB Richard Sherman, a third-down, back-shoulder throw to which Sherman reacted but couldn’t get to on an Oakland first down during its 12-play touchdown drive early in the first quarter. Sherman also batted down a deep ball on the drive. After Denver and San Diego just didn’t throw his way to start the preseason, Chicago and Oakland had success throwing in front of him, stop routes, short outs and back-shoulder throws. That may be the recipe the Packers and Chargers try in the first two regular-season games. A reloaded pass rush would help Seattle against some of those throws.

–Here’s my game story from late last night for today’s News Tribune, a rush job after a three-plus-hour game.

–Here is the Seattle Times’ story. Bob Condotta and I were the only print writers covering the Seahawks who were there last night.

–Here is what a guy who knows Terrelle Pryor better than I do, my pal and former Raiders beat-writer colleague Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group, thought about Pryor giving Pete Carroll something to consider between now and final cuts tomorrow afternoon.

Carroll was noticeably blah when I asked him “What impressed you about Terrelle Pryor’s performance?” It admittedly was a leading question, yet he didn’t go far at all down the praise route. No specifics, either.

“He made some plays,” Carroll said. “He battled really hard to give us a chance.”

OK, then.

It was as non-effusive as he’s been all month about Pryor. And that was after he went 11 for 17 with a touchdown on a well-engineered, 2-minute drill at the end of the first half. Peculiar, I thought. Really not sure whether the Seahawks keep three quarterbacks, but I still am leaning toward Pryor making the team based on Carroll’s love for athletic ability and faith in being able to harness every player’s best traits to help the team.

–Paul Richardson is something — something far more than just a speed burner. His leaping catch at the sideline while keeping his toes inbounds on a lean was veteran, Pro Bowl-like. It extended the drive that ended with Pryor’s look-off-the-safety TD pass to Phil Bates.

–Many people wanting to sound alarms about Percy Harvin missing three straight days including last night’s game to tend to what the Seahawks say is a “personal matter.” Consider this: The team allowed him to be away Tuesday and Wednesday, meaning he wasn’t with the team for its Wednesday afternoon flight. The Seahawks are off from practice today and Saturday. It would have stuck in Harvin’s craw to have to fly on his own to Oakland for a game he was going to play maybe for snaps, if at all, only to be off again for the next two days. So he didn’t come, one of 10 Seahawks who didn’t.

When asked about Harvin after last night’s game Carroll said only that his star WR stayed back and that “we had a lot of guys stay back.”

If Harvin isn’t at practice Sunday, the first full prep day for Green Bay, then it becomes more of an issue. On my end, when a team says a guy has a personal matter I usually give that some latitude for a couple days and not press — especially in the preseason. If he’s not there Sunday, the question is definitely inbounds then.

–The coaching staff and personnel executives led by general manager John Schneider are now huddling to determine the final, 53-man roster. Seattle must trim 22 players off its roster before 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Boarding this flight back to Seattle now.


Leave a comment Comments → 82
  1. BigShermyWorm says:

    Great post, Greg. You’re doing an excellent job. I feel like I’m getting real insight.

  2. I’m hoping Bennett and McDaniel will be ready come next Thursday. Greg, do you get the sense both of those guys will be ready to go for the Packers?

  3. seahawksteven777 says:

    Carr was pretty impressive, I’ll admit that. However, we were without Maxwell, Lane, and Simon so our depth in the secondary kind of got exposed a bit with the injuries there. Ultimately, we’ll be fine. Just got to be healthy for next week.

    I just hope the pass rush shows up next week. We will need it against Rodgers.

  4. Hubrismh says:

    OMG, Percy is hurt!

    Sound the alarms!

  5. Hubrismh says:

    I wonder if anyone is actually going to be out against he Packers…

  6. bird_spit says:

    Packers vs Hawks plus the 12s
    17 – 31

  7. BigShermyWorm says:

    And Derek Carr was very impressive. He made some excellent throws. He also had not much pass rush in his face and was facing some lower tier Hawks, but he dropped some dimes. I think the pathetic Raiders may have something. EWilliams is smiling.

  8. Hubrismh says:

    Ya, I wish we had a decent back up at the QB slot..

  9. djbargelt says:

    Until Gregg mentioned it above, I haven’t seen any comments here about Paul Richardson’a amazing sideline catch. The man defied gravity and some law of physics with his ability to leap, heading out of bounds and at at full speed, yet managed to plant both feet on the tip of his toes before going out of bounds. This kid is gonna be a clutch player for us once he gets past his rookie year leaning curve. The play got lost in that ugly game, but man, what that catch showed was real veteran savvy, as Gregg pointed out.

  10. Ya that Richardson catch was legit. Very Baldwin-esk. They must practice and preach that catch, because Sidney, Baldwin, Tate all have made numerous of those catches for us. Encouraging to see the rook make it as well. I really want to see Norwood in action…I thought he’d be better than Prich out of the gates. I hope we get to find out.

  11. We are more loaded at WR than ever before! Some of our “pedestrian receivers” are going to walk there way onto other teams’ rosters.

  12. jboard, remember when Sherman did that? I’d never seen a defender pull that off before. I used to think of that as Largent signature move.

  13. RDPoulsbo says:

    Thanks for the info Gregg.

    I wouldn’t worry about Harvin too much. It’s a personal matter, not an injury and no one has seen him pop up on the police blotter, so he’ll be back when needed.

    That pass by Carr for the 1st down on Sherman was indeed impressive. Not many QBs or WRs can make that connection. Consider that if the timing wasn’t just right or the WR doesn’t locate the ball at the last second, it would have been an easy pick 6. It was a huge risk that just happened to turn out well for Oakland, so I wouldn’t bank on that throw if I were another team.

    Overpursuit was an issue and should be easily cleaned up, but the run D has been concerning all preseason. The division is loaded with lots of run heavy teams, so they need that front 7 to get on top of that quickly.

  14. Zorn would run to the side line and through the ball as he went out of bounds. Largent would catch it leaning over the side line and the ball flight was completely out of bounds but it counted!

  15. senior moment

  16. Yes blue, i remember Sherman do that as well. I remember thinking, what? what did he just do? Super impressive.

    As others have pointed out, my main concern going into the season is the run defense. Red and Clem are big losses on that front line and containing the edge could be an issue. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the hawks grab a big d-lineman from someones cuts or PS players. Because of that, with tongue in cheek, i think i’m more worried about Eddie Lacy than i am of Rogers come game one.

  17. chuck_easton says:

    Teams are starting to announce cuts.

    As always, we will likely hear about Seattle cuts via Twitter and/or statements from agents before the team makes anything official.

  18. yankinta says:

    jboard1,, I completely agree with you. If we don’t repeat this year, it will be because we couldn’t stop the run.

    I’ve been saying this since before the draft,, that our Run D really worried. This nightmare is almost coming true. I really hope it says a bad dream…

  19. BigShermyWorm says:

    That Richardson catch was really impressive. The kid will be a player. 95% guarantee.

  20. BigShermyWorm says:

    Yanker, if you spew enough crap, some of it must come true, right? More likely than not that they don’t repeat. I said 2013 was their year, you don’t see me yapping about that constantly.

  21. oldtallguy says:

    I would cut Ryan, what’s he done this preseason? Played very sparling at the end of a couple games.

  22. montanamike2 says:

    We didn’t have McDaniel and Bennett last night and most of our LB’s were out. I think we fare better in the real season games vs the run.

  23. montanamike2 says:

    I’m willing to bet that Pete and John have an eye toward the cuts coming this weekend.

  24. BigShermyWorm says:

    I wouldn’t try to extrapolate last night into the regular season. The 4th preseason game isn’t exactly the SB. Let’s just relax.

  25. yakimahawk says:

    Here is the first of my usual 4-6 posts for the year…

    Everyone, stop flipping out about the run defense last night, Tony McDaniel DNP,Michael Bennett DNP and Mebane was on the field like 3-4 snaps. And this is a younger, faster defense than last year. By mid-season will be better than last year barring injury. And I am ALWAYS 99% correct 50% of the time I think.

  26. MoSeahawk12 says:

    True that BigShermyWorm. Game four of preseason is about as poor a gauge as you can get for what the team will actually be. Let’s not for get the great teams of years past like the Lions that went 4-0 in preseason and rolled up tons of points only to go 0-16 regular season. Our team lost it’s second PRESEASON game in the past three years last night with most of the starters not on the field. The run D will be fine. Last night was about the two or three positions where backups were trying to get some additional game film for other opportunities on other teams. Those guys will not be starting here. Our team didn’t just wake up yesterday and forget how to play. PRESEASON game four, does NOT matter and shouldn’t lead to the season going south. Let’s see how they roll out next Thursday against the Pack. I’m certain, you’ll see a very different, strong team, taking it to another very good team but coming out on top.

  27. BigShermyWorm says:

    Strong post, Mo. Can’t wait for the 4th.

  28. bird_spit says:

    I dont know if run defense will matter if RW can just jog down the field and score. That 1:45 scoring drive was picture perfect. Would love to see that against the 1s of any team, but still.

  29. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Not sure how many were able to watch the game last night, but I did and one of the things I noticed was that Pryor’s passes had little zip on them. I know he has a big arm, but it seemed like every pass had too much tough and not enough velocity. Like his arm was sore or something. His TD pass hung in the air and was under thrown. If better D on that play the Raiders would have had a pick. He didn’t show me anything more last night. Taking a timeout right after the Raiders took a timeout looked bad as well.
    Richardson’s catch was awesome on the sideline. He’s lucky the DB let up on him on the long pass over the middle that Pryor overthrew. He was exposed and could have been drilled. With his frame that would not be good. Though Ware looked really solid as BJ has more spark than the other backups. Wags looked slow which I expected and he will round into form so I’m not worried.

  30. Dukeshire says:

    Pryor reminded me of a more athletic Matt Flynn, last night, with all the check downs. I just don’t see them keeping him. But I’ve been wrong before.

  31. bird_spit says:

    Seems odd there is no news on Aldon Smith’s discipline or did I miss something..

  32. Nope, still no word on Aldon. I am a bit amazed at this too. Can’t help but think Roger is going to let him off the hook.

  33. To my eye Pryor looked to be “aiming” his throws instead of letting it rip. Understandably gun-shy.

  34. montanamike2 says:

    I’m getting a little choked about this Aldon Smith thing, if he were a ‘Hawk he’d get the max like 2 months ago.

  35. Southendzone says:

    I’m concerned most right now about Bennett. I went to a practice almost 4 weeks ago and he wasn’t participating much, having his leg stretched by someone, jumped in line for 1 drill and totally half-assed it.

    Now he misses 2 or 3 more preseason games, and our line looks fairly weak.

    I think he is at risk of not playing, or being not near 100% this Thursday.

    There’s been almost zero talk about it, I feel the team is trying to keep it on the super down low.

    or I’m just paranoid….

  36. doubledink says:

    I think we should get used to the idea that the defense most likely hit its zenith last year. They are still incredibly good, but that light burned pretty bright in ’13.

    Overall, the team is probably better than last year’s team though. The offense should take a significant step forward for ’14.

  37. doubledink says:

    South, you, paranoid? not this week at least. :)

  38. Hubrismh says:

    Listen and learn from Mr 98%

    Like I told you last post, the offense is going to score. A lot.

    That means other teams can’t run the ball as much, so they be playing into our strenGths. No worries, we gunna take the ball, and we gunna score.

    A lot…
    You feelin me now?

  39. Hammajamma says:

    I thought Daniels ran the offense better than Pryor, which might be why PC offered such faint praise. He’d rather protect Pryor by putting him on the roster, but would rather have Daniels in the game.

  40. Southendzone says:

    Only way TP makes the team now is if all this time he and the team have been lying about using him in other roles.

    Inside the VMAC, when no one is watching they’ve installed a bunch of packages for him.

    I don’t believe this happened, and feel strongly he doesn’t make the team

  41. SaigonSun says:

    If Aldon Smith and Jim Irsay get away with just a slap on the wrist, I will start fire Roger Goodell campaign . I dislike that SOB so much, I might do it anyway.

  42. Southendzone says:

    Also Smith suspended 9 games. That’s a severe hit.

  43. Ya just heard 9 games for Aldon. Wow, too bad he is back before they play the hawks

  44. OshkoshOz says:

    Have it on rock solid authority that the Packers front seven will employ the late defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur’s “Elephant Package” Thursday night vs. Seattle. The Elephant Package front seven plays to Green Bay’s depth and strength at linebacker. Depending on the down and distance, there are one or two down linemen and five linebackers on the field, plus the defensive backs. Fan of an NFC North division rival here. Go ‘Hawks!

  45. MoSeahawk12 says:

    No Bowman, no Aldon for the first half season plus. 9ers D gonna have issues for awhile.
    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving team. Although I do think Bowman is a total stud player and I never wish for injury to any player. Aldon will have lots of free time.

  46. OshkoshOz says:

    Packers asked the team beat writers to keep the “Elephant Package” (see two posts above) out of their training camp stories. McCarthy wants to beat Carroll in the worst way.

  47. montanamike2 says:

    I knew as soon as i brought it up something would come out, 1.25 million to not play?

  48. GeorgiaHawk says:


    From last thread.-Your prize is a new username.


  49. doubledink says:

    the first day of the regular season and the opposing team fans start showing up. lol

    World Champions draw it out.

  50. PLUHawkFan says:

    Wow 49’rs Fans are going bonkers! They are calling for Goodells head, saying he overreacted on smith because of the Ray Rice goof up.

    Trying hard to be objective on this, I honestly believe the 9 games is about right. Could have been a full season. 4games for the Drug Policy stuff 5 Games for personal conduct. Even though charges were eventually dropped I think what really hurt him was the Airport Incident.

    I know fans are Homer’s when it comes to teams players. But Seriously? I do give him “some credit” for seeking treatment supposedly voluntarily, although it really wasn’t. Team pushed him hard enough that he went in. (thats only semi voluntary). But again what I think really killed him was his latest incident in the Airport. If he had kept his nose clean since last October when Goodell said he would consider the voluntary treatment in announcing his punishment. This would have been much lighter punishment.

    Yes I’m a Seahawk fan, but I’m a Human Being first, and I do this type of work for a living (Dealing with Drug and Alcohol abuse). IMHO Smith should feel lucky this wasn’t worse. For 49’rs fans to call this excessive kind of boggles my mind….

  51. doubledink says:

    I was expecting 6 games for Smith

  52. Dukeshire says:

    OshkoshOz – The “elephant” package is basically Clay Matthews. He was the so-called elephant at USC and now that the Packers have Peppers at strong side end, they are freed up to move Matthews around a bit more, as Carroll did at USC. This ought to come as no surprise to Carroll as he knows that specific defense (and Matthews)inside and out.

  53. doubledink says:

    They are saying due to negotiation by the union there will be no appeal in trade for him having team access throughout the suspension.

  54. Re: Smith

    Ray Rice is a moron for doing what he did. In fact, if some of us would have seen him doing that in person I’m pretty sure we would have liked to have beaten him silly. With that being said, it was a first offense for him and that factored into the light decision/suspension that he received.

    Smith has a documented history of getting in trouble. If this would have been an isolated incident (or first time offense), you know full well that he wouldn’t have gotten 9 games.

    However, if Rice had a troubled past like a guy such as Mike Vick, then you know full well that he would have gotten a much more severe suspension.

    I have no problem with them putting a policy in place where if you’re caught like Rice was (pretending to be tough with a lady) that you’re going to get a much bigger fine/suspension. There’s no place for that anywhere, not just in the NFL.

  55. Of course the league wants Aldon back for both Seahawks match ups. Whatevs…. I hope they’re 1-8 when seattle plays them…gosh I despise the 49ers…

  56. chuck_easton says:

    So, any of you young’uns tied into social media picking up any news, vibes, gossip, regarding players?

    I fully expect Seattle will be one of the final teams to turn in their official cut list. It’s the PC/JS way.

  57. SandpointHawk says:

    The waiting is the hardest part….

  58. RDPoulsbo says:

    Early cuts are usually vets so they can get some praise while their kicked to the curb like Green-Ellis. Nothing from Seattle yet, but here’s’s cut’s tracker:

  59. doubledink says:

    everyone on here seems to be missing the real story of training camp and the reason we should all be jumping off of a cliff.

    The curse of on-the-road-losing has returned!
    Here I go, AHHHH!

  60. PLUHawkFan says:


    You should be *Smacked for even mentioning that “OLD” curse. Don’t you dare bring it back up again!!!! *Smile

    Seahawks proved last year that the road woes are a thing of the past. Rest of the country has enough “reasons” to downplay the Hawks. RW is just ok QB, LOB cheats, We artificially pump noise into stadium. Let’s not give them any more ammo PLEASE! That’s the one downplay I haven’t heard in awhile, and I don’t want to hear it ever again.

    Again *Smacksuupsidethehead LOL


  61. PLUHawkFan says:


    Question for the rest of the blog. I was thinking about our punting game last night, and how much things seem to have changed in the last few years. I remember in the past punters really focused on punting to a specific spot on the sidelines in an attempt to pin offenses back.

    That seems to be a lost art, (Unless I’m missing something) Also, I remember “hang time” being a big thing. Something that hardly seems to get mentioned anymore. (Despite players being bigger, faster and stronger then in the past).

    It seems to me now that punters just kick as deep as they can and they totally rely on rest of the special teams to make plays?

    Am I missing something? Interested to hear others thoughts on this.


  62. PLUHawkFan says:

    I realize he was a freak, but boy imagine if we had Ray Guy in todays NFL…..

  63. RDPoulsbo says:

    I’m guessing Earl Thomas would disagree with you about hang time. The lack of it meant no punt coverage and why he was able to break a big return.

    I actually think there’s a trend in the league to ask punters to kick higher and shorter to prevent returns. It limits the need to put a lot of emphasis on coverage in practice if they can get down and force fair catches.

    As for the placement kicks to the coffin corner, I think it was Eric Williams who explained that punt blocking has made directional kicking obsolete by overloading the side of the punting foot so if they try it, it’s a sure block. Punters now counter when they are close in by kicking the nose of the ball, helping it to fall dead with little bounce. So it’s basically an evolution of the game that has changed how punters get ball placement inside the 20.

  64. doubledink says:

    John Ryan changed his kicking style from long punts to high punts and ended up with our ridiculously low returns allowed last year.

  65. PLUHawkFan says:

    Ok, maybe I haven’t noticed because “hang time” is something that isn’t mentioned or timed anymore on tv at least. Who knows, I was just curious. I just remember in the past how much emphasis was placed on things like hang time and placement, but I don’t hear much on it anymore. *shrug

    Thanks for responding guys.


  66. Dukeshire says:

    He’s simply developed into a good punter, I certainly don’t think he intentionally changed his style. When he came from GB he either booted low scuds or shanked the ball. His improvement has been remarkable.

  67. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Pryor cut. Experiment over. Not a big surprise.

  68. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Rams are rumored to be looking after he clears waivers and becomes a free agent.

  69. sluggo42 says:

    Duh on Pryor
    I hope St. Louis picks him up hhahaha

  70. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    I see Pryor was cut as I kind of knew he would all along.

    My roster prediction without knowing anything else.

    QB(2) – Russell and TJack
    RB(4) – Beast, Turbin, Michael, Coleman
    WR(6) – Harvin, Baldwn, Kearse, Richardson, Lockette, Walters..I think Norowdd goes to IR
    TE (3) – Miller, Willson, Helfet
    OL (9) – Okung, Carp, Unger, Sweey, Britt, Bailey, Winston, Lem, Schilling

    DL(10)-MeBane, McDaniel, Avril, Bennett, K.Williams, Scruggs, J.Hill, Schofield, Marsh, Mayowa
    LB(7)- Wagner, KJ, Malcolm, Morgan, Irvin, Coyle, Pierre-Louis
    DB (9)- Sherm, Max, Kam, Earl, Lane, Simon, JJ, Shead, Adams

    Specials(3) – Ryan, Haush, Gresham

  71. bird_spit says:

    I predicted Pryor being cut..

    I am still perfect with my 98% prediction rate. But I learned Yanks straits of taking both sides, and speaking with forked tongue. I will take time out from the blog all weekend as self initiated punishment. Have a good weekend 12’s…go hawks.

  72. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Make sure you stare at Andrew Luck posters all weekend as well bird_spit…it’s really the only true way to cleanse one self.

  73. Dukeshire says:

    I really wasn’t sure what they’d do with Pryor until last night. It was clear after that game he was done.

  74. Hubrismh says:

    Please bird spit,
    Page back for eons, and you will see I’ve been calling the bad experiment of Pryor over for a loooong time, perhaps even before you were born. Don’t try to pre-claim my prediction smh…

    And I see you’re also copying my 98%. Smh…

  75. GeorgaaHawk says:

    Pryor got cut.
    And I’m so mad, I just farted at my TV.

  76. PLUHawkFan says:

    You know we’ve been blessed with not having many trolls…. they seem to be coming out of the woodwork now. Time to dig out my Troll (_!_) kicking stick!!

    Who is my 1st victim? *Looks above…….

  77. SaigonSun’s post should be deleted. It’s profane, misogynistic, off topic and pathetic.

    TNT, wake up.

  78. juliusvrooder says:

    Hey Saigon, I am a big man too, and as such, I am aware of how my actions impact others in disproportionate ways. Since you haven’t learned that, you deserve the time you spent if for no other reason than just for posting that misogynistic knuckle-dragging drivel. You got arrested because you failed to manage yourself like a man should in that situation. Until you learn to mange yourself as a man should in this situation, please stop posting.

  79. sluggo42 says:

    Whoa Nellie!

    Time out!

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