A recap of the day’s activities:
Explosive plays. That’s what coach Pete Carroll wants to see – needs to see – in the Seahawks’ post-bye game against the Bears in Chicago this week. That’s one of the aspects of the team’s overall game that he was stressing during today’s extra practice because of the bye.
It’s a needed element that was missing in the pre-bye loss to the Rams in St. Louis.
The Seahawks forced one turnover – an end-zone interception by rookie free safety Earl Thomas. The longest play by the offense was Matt Hasselbeck’s 36-yard pass to just-signed wide receiver Brandon Stokley. The biggest play from the special teams was Leon Washington’s 30-yard kickoff return.
In their two victories, the Seahawks forced seven turnovers – returning one interception for a touchdown; the offense generated three pass plays of at least 35 yards and runs of 28 and 32 yards; and Washington returned two kickoffs for 101- and 99-yard touchdowns.
“Last time out, we played a good solid football game without any explosive plays in any part of our offense or defense. It just didn’t happen. We created no bonuses at all,” Carroll said. “That has to come from within. It has to come from our energy. It has to come from our play-calling. It has to come from making things happen on special teams, in all ways.
“Now, we’ve got to get to the explosive part of all aspects of our game. If you compare it to the wins, that’s what shows up. And without that, it’s difficult to score.”
That’s why Carroll is focusing on that as his team prepare to play the 4-1 Bears – the first of four road games in the next six weeks for the Seahawks.
“I’m hoping that we’ll see production in special teams that makes a difference in the game, production on defensive that makes a difference and the same on offense,” he said. “We’re going to have to. It’s going to be very difficult.
“So that’s what we’re looking for.”
Wide receiver. With Deion Branch being given what Carroll called a personal day, it allowed offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates and receivers coach Kippy Brown to take longer looks at some of the younger/newer receivers on the roster – and in a variety of combinations.
Split end Mike Williams worked with either Deon Butler or Ben Obomanu at the flanker spot usually filled by Branch. The mixing and matching also included Stokley getting a lot of work in the slot in the three-receiver packages with Williams and Obomanu. Or, Williams and Butler. Or, Golden Tate and Butler.
It was all part of how Carroll wanted to approach this final “extra” practice the team got because of its bye over the weekend – or “Bonus Monday,” as Carroll labeled it.
“At the end of the practice we took a good segment to get the second group of guys on both sides of the football some dedicated work for a couple of reasons,” Carroll said. “Kind of a the culmination of what we did last week, to see them again on kind of a concentrated period of film just to see how far they’ve come so we can coach them up, help them and find out where they are and help themselves also make a pitch for playing time.”
The receivers already have played in the first four games, and made plays. While Branch has 13 receptions (one less that tight end John Carlson) for an 8.6-yard average, Williams has 11 for 12.5; Tate eight for 14.4; Butler eight for 10.4; Stokley four for 15.5 in his only game with the team; and Obomanu three for 12.0.
ON THE FIELD
The players practiced for 95 minutes on a breezy afternoon, which was beneficial because Sunday’s game will be played Chicago – aka The Windy City. Special teams coach Brian Schneider stressed that point to his returners as they were fielding kickoffs.
Cornerback Kelly Jennings had a pair of interceptions, while rookie cornerback Walter Thurmond picked off a pass that was deflected by Thomas. Another impressive play was turned in by defensive end Chris Clemons, who exploded into the backfield so quickly that he got to practice-squad running back Chris Henry just after he had taken the handoff to force a fumble.
ROSTER ROULETTE, PRACTICE-SQUAD EDITION
Speaking of Henry, he’s back – obviously. To clear a spot for Henry, who was on the practice for the first three weeks of the season, running back Javarris Williams was released.
The team does not have to issue an injury report until after Wednesday’s practice. But cornerback Marcus Trufant (ankle) and right tackle Sean Locklear (knee) sat out today, just as they did during the two practices last week.
Carroll said Trufant should return to practice on Wednesday, and that he hopes Locklear also will be able to. While Thurmond stepped in Trufant, Tyler Polumbus filled in for Locklear.
STAT DU JOUR
The Bears might be 4-1, but they have yet to score a point in the third quarter. The Seahawks, meanwhile, are scoreless in the first quarters of their first four games.
YOU DON’T SAY
“It was a good break. It’s amazing to go at the pace we go at, and then to just all of sudden stop. You don’t realize how tired you are until you stop. So the couple days were great for us to recover and to come back strong and everybody’s pumped up about getting going again.” – Carroll, on the coaches also getting some time off during the bye weekend