A recap of the day’s activities:
The coaches are putting together the game plan for Sunday’s biggie against the NFC West-leading Cardinals in Arizona, and part of the discussion for offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and his staff is how much to use the Seahawks’ twist on the Wildcat that features backup QB Seneca Wallace.
It’s been a productive, if sparingly used, formation. The Seahawks ran it once in Sunday’s win over the Lions. QB Matt Hasselbeck gave the ball to Wallace on an end around, and Wallace then passed to wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh for a 15-yard completion on the drive to the Seahawks’ second touchdown.
Wallace also caught a pass (for 24 yards) from the SeneCat formation in the opener against the Rams. But the SeneCat wasn’t used in the next five games, in part because Hasselbeck missed 2½ games because of a fractured rib but also because of the lopsided nature of the win over the Jaguars and loss to the Cardinals. In two snaps against the Cowboys, Wallace handed off to Julius Jones, who ran for 7 yards; and then slipped on his pass route.
“Here’s the thing, we’re still laying the foundation for what we want to be,” coach Jim Mora said Monday when asked about the SeneCat. “We don’t want to get too gimmicky too fast.
“I think the Wildcat formation – or the SeneCat, whatever you want to call it around here – yeah, I think there’s a place for it. But I also think that when you do that, you take the ball of Matt’s hands. So you have to balance those things.”
It’s Wallace that sets the SeneCat apart from the other Wildcats, where the snap usually goes to a running back. Wallace is a QB who can run, catch and, obviously, pass.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Seahawks to sign Larry Johnson, the Pro Bowl running back who was released by the Chiefs on Monday.
Asked about the team signing a veteran back to help jumpstart a running game that is averaging 84.5 yards a game, Mora said, “Right now? No. Julius has now had two pretty good weeks in a row, and we kind of like what Louis (Rankin) has to offer. We just have to find out for sure. Justin Forsett played better yesterday. Justin Griffith is a guy that can carry the ball. He hasn’t a lot in his career. But no, right now we’re going to stick with what we’ve got and just try to get better as a football team.”
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks’ running game has generated only one “explosive play” in the past three games – Forsett’s 14-yarder against the Lions on Sunday.
“Explosive plays,” by Knapp’s definition, are run plays of 12-plus yards and pass plays of 16-plus yards.
The passing game, meanwhile, produced 10 “explosive plays” against the Cardinals (three), Cowboys (five) and Lions (two). Two of those involved Jones – a 31-yarder on a screen pass against the Cowboys and a 49-yarder off another short pass against the Lions.
For the third consecutive game, and fifth time this season, Dick Stockton and Charles Davis will handle the broadcast chores for the Seahawks’ game against the Cardinals.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Anytime I see them in the airport or anywhere, really, I go to them and say thank you. Because they don’t get enough credit for what they’re doing. So I tell them thank you for doing something a lot of people won’t do – they’re fighting for our country and going out there and risking their lives. So I show them some love and try to let them know they’re the most important people on that field.” – strong safety Deon Grant, with a Veterans’ Day Eve explanation on why he makes it a point to shake hands with military personnel before games and wherever he sees them