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Seattle Seahawks Pre-Season Game 2 – Thoughts and Observations

Russell Wilson (photo credit: Seattle Seahawks – Rod Mar)

Seattle Seahawks Pre-Season Game 2 – Thoughts and Observations

The Seahawks traveled to Denver for week 2 of the pre-season, and here are my observations:

Matt Flynn – It’s easy to look at the 6 for 13, 31 yards and scoff. But if you do that please add a completion for 46 yards and a TD, because it wasn’t Flynn’s fault T.O. dropped a gorgeous sure fire TD pass (too much butter on Terrell’s popcorn?). Owens was targeted 5 times by Flynn, none were completions, and I’ll leave it to the coaches to decide whose fault it was. My guess it was on T.O., since Flynn knows this offense like second nature. So if you add this all up, it’s hard for me to be down on Flynn when it was obvious Pete was trying to work T.O. into the passing game, maybe against the better wishes of Flynn. Overall I though Flynn looked fine, running the offense without problem. I think Flynn should start next week and start week 1 at Arizona.

Russell Wilson – Wilson, for the second week in a row, played outstanding. He made all the passes, and even scrambled 5 times for 33 yards, averaging 6.6 yards a rush. Add to this his 9.1 yard average per completion, and it’s easy to see Wilson has no trouble running an NFL offense, albeit against Denver’s second string defense. Wilson is supremely confident, and his leadership is apparent. The current debate is whether Wilson should play next week against Kansas City’s number one defense so we can see what he can do verses a solid defensive scheme. I understand the sentiment, and in a perfect world, yes, play him verses KC. But this is not a perfect world. Sept 9 is just around the corner, and Flynn needs all the reps he can get with the ones to build timing. I think the Hawks have a great problem on their hands, both Wilson and Flynn can play, and play well. It’s a far cry from Jackson and Whitehurst. Let’s hope Seahawks fans don’t forget that.

Marshawn Lynch – Lynch played a couple series and looked great. Beast Mode is back. 6 carries for 37 yards for a 6.2 YPC average. The offensive line opened up some nice holes. It is extremely clear the Seahawks love to run the ball. It’s their bread and butter. The ease at which they run left, or run right is fun to watch. The great thing about a solid running game is it translates. Road, away, good weather, bad weather, no matter, just hand off the ball, get chunks of yards and move the chains.

Special Teams – Steve Hauschka was automatic. The Hawks punt protection though? Horrible, two blocked punts by the Broncos. Gotta tighten that up.

Defense – Mixed bag here. The Hawks got very little pressure on Manning, which allowed him to dink and dunk the Hawks to death on a couple drives. The flip side of the coin though was the three turnovers forced. I think this could be the story of this defense all year. Big plays, turnovers, stopping the run, but giving up a few drives here and there. Overall I was pleased with the turnovers.

Breno Giacomini – The dude has a serious mean streak, which I love, but multiple personal foul penalties is just stupid. Those kinds of brain dead moves could cost this team a win in the regular season. I love his passion but he’s got to control it, because we all know defensive linemen across the league will try and bait him.

For the second straight week, I am very pleased with what I saw. The running game was powerful and consistent; the passing game was extremely conservative, but not terrible, while the defense made big plays. Areas to improve, again, are the pass rush which could be a major Achilles heel all year, and punt coverage. Expect the starters to play 3 quarters this week in KC. Much more can be concluded after the next game.

-Joe-

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Seattle Seahawks Pre-Season Game 1 – Thoughts and Observations

Richard Sherman (Seattle Seahawks – Rod Mar)

Here are my thoughts and observations from the first pre season game of the 2012 Seahawks season.

The uniforms are sharp, I love them. The blue is vastly better than the multiple blue tones they’ve had for more than a decade. The gray and green ascents really popped well on TV. I love the fact the Hawks really took a chance with the uniforms, it gives them a unique identity that fits well with the whole 12th Man motif.

The starting defense looked tremendous. The eleven that started will (Lord willing) be the eleven who start in Arizona on September 9th. Outside of the obvious pick six by Browner, I was immediately impressed with Red Bryant who just seemed to be everywhere, and that’s impressive for a guy who’s 6’4′ 330 lbs. He swatted a pass down and got in a few good licks, all the while giving the Titans o-linemen and earful. Jason Jones made his presence felt, getting decent pressure on the QB. Bruce Irvin was boom or bust, but when he boomed, it was fun to watch. The stunts the Hawks ran were successful and caused Hasselbeck to be flustered when he threw. No sacks were recorded but there was pressure. Baby steps. I liked what I saw from rookie Bobby Wagner, he looked comfortable and ok with being a leader in the linebacking corps. Only time will tell how he grows into the role. On a very good note, I was glad to see Marcus Trufant running with the second team and embracing the role, looking fresh and excited to play. I think it’s vital Tru hangs around, he’s a great leader and could be a very nice nickel back.

You can probably tell I love what the Hawks are doing on defense. This crew has all the makings to be a top five defense. Teams will simply not be able to run the ball, forcing them into the pass, which will play into the hands of an extremely aggressive and confident secondary. Will those guys make mistakes at times? You bet, but they don’t string them together, and recover quickly with big play ability. Pre season games are traditionally marked by defenses who are way ahead of offenses, and that was on display Saturday night. But even in light of that reality, the Hawks looked ready to rock. I only see upside with this crew. They are the foundation Pete and Co. are building upon.

On the offensive side of the ball, I literary had no idea what to expect. Unlike most folks, all I cared about seeing Saturday was the defense because, well, I love defense, so when the offense finally took the field, I just tried to keep an open mind. Matt Flynn had a very thin wide receiving corps running routes, and no Beast Mode behind him, so what conclusions can we draw? He had one terrible pass (the INT to the LB), and a bad sack, but over all he looked solid. He got the ball out and on time to the receivers. He seemed comfortable running the offense. His best play was the roll out completion to Zach Miller, (who then promptly got blown up and received a concussion, not good). I was pleased with what I saw. Regarding Russell Wilson, I was equally impressed. Being a rookie, you simply take the good with the bad and roll with it. His athletic ability was apparent from the start. Bevell rolled Wilson out A LOT, which I think was designed to ease Wilson into his first pro game. He ran a lot of roll outs at Wisconsin, so it was only natural to keep him in that comfort zone. His arm strength was solid. His speed was great. His worst play was the red zone INT, which to my eye looked like jitters and nerves. His best play could have been the TD pass to Edwards or the TD run, but for me I can’t really grade at this point. Just seeing him out there looking comfortable was enough.

I was impressed with the starting offensive line’s run blocking. Washington and Turbin (The Turbinator was putting on a gun show, I’m pretty certain he lifts weights…) had gaping holes to run through, and Flynn had time to pass. Good to see considering the plethora of injuries that unit has seen the past two years. Michael Robinson was dominant run blocking, no surprise there. I wish I could say the same for the second unit offensive line. The Hawks don’t have any depth up front, so if further injuries rear their ugly head, they could be in a world of hurt.

Overall, it was a great night of football. There is a lot to be excited about with this team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. If they can identify a clear starting QB and develop some semblance of an aggressive passing game before week 1, I like their chances to get off to a good start in the division and then make a playoff push. But if a passing game is not developed, the upside this team could achieve will be stunted. The next three weeks are vital.

-Joe-

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Draft Fun

I don’t have a whole lot of thoughts on the draft so far.  I like it when the Seahawks surprise everyone, just because it’s entertaining to hear everyone react.  Their picks seem fine, but I can’t say I’m overwhelmed one way or the other.  Maybe one of the other writers here will do an analysis later, but the Seahawks are probably my least favorite Seattle team (not that I don’t like them, they’re just much lower on my priorities), so I won’t probably write a ton about it.

That being said, the draft and its bloggers have given us at least two pieces of greatness:

First we have new Seahawk quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife.  Mostly his wife.  This is somewhere between scary and awesome, but I hope she’s a permanent fixture on Seahawk telecasts.

And here are first round reactions in GIFs.  So good.  This is my favorite thing I’ve seen on the internet all month.  Maybe all year.  Edit- I didn’t realize he’s gone through the third round.  Make sure you at least scroll down to the Bryan Anger pick at #70. Enjoy!

-Matthew

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