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Tuesday cyber surfing: Okung OK; Martin out; O-line seeks improvement

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, September 11.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times writes that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was under constant pressure from Arizona’s defense last Sunday, “Wilson was sacked three times in the game, but that doesn’t give an indication as to how much pressure he faced nor how often he was hit. ‘He wasn’t as sharp,’ Carroll said of Wilson. ‘But it was because I really feel like he had so much pressure that he was dealing with. So he’ll do better. There’s things that he can do better. We need to help him more by playing cleaner up front.’ “

O’Neil also has his recap of Pete Carroll’s Monday press conference, including notes on injured left tackle Russell Okung and wide receiver Charly Martin, “A bruised knee isn’t a positive diagnosis. It’s just that it’s much less severe than the alternatives, which is why the Seahawks breathed a collective sigh of relief after tests confirmed that Russell Okung suffered a bruise in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game, not ligament damage. ‘He’s cleared,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We’ll see how he comes back Wednesday and Thursday, but we expect him to make it through the week and play.’ The injury to receiver Charly Martin was a little more severe as the receiver suffered a bruised lung after he fell hard trying to catch a ball in the end zone on Seattle’s second-to-last play of the game. Martin remained in Arizona after the game as he didn’t return with the team.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune details the good news surrounding Okung’s injury, and says that wide receiver Golden Tate, who sat out in Arizona with a sprained knee, could return this week and be ready to go against the Dallas Cowboys, “Carroll also expects to get receiver Golden Tate back this week. The Notre Dame product sat out against Arizona with a sprained knee. ‘He ran real well today,’ Carroll said about Tate. ‘We think he’s got a chance. I’m not sure if Wednesday will be a full day for him. It depends on how he handles all the change of direction stuff (Monday and today). But he feels like he’s going to go.’ “

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune writes that the Seahawks offensive line must do a better job of protecting Wilson, “Four of the five linemen up front are veterans, joined by rookie right guard J.R. Sweezy. They should be better. It is not surprising that the Cardinals’ talented defensive front beat them on occasion – physically – but they shouldn’t have fooled them as frequently as they did. Left tackle Russell Okung had three false starts to add to the problem. The young line went through growing pains last season, but Carroll thought that was in the past.”

John Boyle of the Everett Herald also comments on the need for offensive line improvement heading into Week 2 against the Cowboys, “The good news for Seattle is that they won’t face Dockett, one of the game’s best interior linemen, again until December. The bad news, however, is that the Cowboys present another dangerous, though different, challenge. The Cowboys finished with 42 sacks last season, tied for seventh most in the league. Dallas features one of the game’s best pass rushers in DeMarcus Ware, who had 19.5 sacks last season, and has had 11 or more in every season of his career since registering eight as a rookie in 2005. ‘We just have to get better and smarter and cleaner with our stuff,’ Carroll said. ‘There really wasn’t anything that we weren’t able to handle, we just didn’t handle it as well as we should have, and will. We’ll get better that’s just part of playing together. The things that we saw in preseason we were able to handle. This one just got a little bit more aggressive and we weren’t as effective as we needed to be.’ “

Boyle has a few more updates from Monday, “Doug Baldwin should also be OK, though he’ll need some dental work first. ‘He officially got his teeth knocked it,’ Carroll said. ‘It was a mess. He’s getting that work done tomorrow. I’m sure he wishes he could get it done today, because he’s kind of got the clean slate right now. It doesn’t look too good. But he’ll be OK I think for this week.’ Asked if the team might need to add a receiver because of the loss of Martin, Carroll said, ‘That’s a possibility. Yeah, we’re looking into all of that.’ Asked specifically if bringing TE Kellen Winslow back after cutting him prior to the season opener, Carroll said, ‘Everybody’s a possibility at this point.’ “

Tim Booth of the Associated Press writes that Carroll was left disappointed at several missed opportunities last Sunday in Arizona, “Of the 70 offensive plays the Seahawks ran on Sunday, 39 – including three successful field goals and one blocked kick – were run in Arizona’s half of the field. Four times, Seattle started drives on Arizona’s side, either the result of forced turnovers or stellar special teams play from returner Leon Washington. And yet all Seattle could do with that field position advantage was get three successful kicks from Steven Hauschka, one touchdown toss by Wilson and plenty of grumbling about the missed opportunities.”

Brady Henderson of mynorthwest.com has a look at the high number of penalties the Seahawks committed in last Sunday’s loss in Arizona, “The Seahawks were penalized 13 times for 90 yards in their loss to Arizona. There was variety to go along with volume: two for pass interference, three for holding, two for delay of game, three for false start and one apiece for offsides, intentional grounding and facemask. Two personal foul penalties called on Seattle weren’t assessed. ‘When you have 13 there’s enough of everything,’ Carroll said. ‘We didn’t get it done. But it’s an emphasis that will continue to be at the heart of what we’re doing because we just made it harder on ourselves and you don’t need to do that.’ “

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his notes from coach Carroll’s Monday press conference, and details what led to Okung’s bruised knee, “Carroll said that Okung was hit or kicked on his knee while trying to avoid a diving C Max Unger on a play during the team’s final possession of the game. He said that tests came back okay and that they expect him to make it through the week and be able to play Sunday.”

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com takes a look at the rough go several Seahawks had on the injury front in Week 1, and has a comment from Carroll on the play of Wilson, “Carroll felt Wilson did all right in his first game, given the conditions. ‘There’s things that he could’ve done cleaner at times,’ he said. ‘He missed on some throws that, an inch here or there, might’ve been a more catchable ball for a guy. Guys had to make great plays on a couple of balls. So he wasn’t as sharp, but it was because he had so much pressure that he was dealing with. He’ll do better.’ “

Mike Sando of ESPN.com brings us his “Silver linings” from the Seahawks 20-16 defeat at Arizona, “Seattle’s defensive front, led by Brandon Mebane, held Cardinals running backs Ryan Williams, Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling to 27 yards rushing combined and a long run covering nine yards. The Seahawks limited record-setting return specialist Patrick Peterson to a 9.3-yard average on four punt returns, with a long return covering 17 yards.”

Sando also has a breaks down whose stock is rising and falling in the NFC West,  and after Sunday at Arizona, Leon Washington finds himself on the list of those whose stock is on the up-and-up, “Leon Washington, Seahawks returner. Seattle might have scored only six points instead of 16 if Washington hadn’t done such a good job in the return game. His 83-yard kickoff return and 52-yard punt return set up the Seahawks for 10 points. Blocking helps, of course, but it takes a special returner to find and exploit openings in a coverage team. Washington hadn’t fared as well in the return game recently. This performance was encouraging for the Seahawks.”

Here at Seahawks.com we bring you coach Carroll’s Monday press conference in full, Ton Ventrella recaps “Tell the Truth Monday” in his Seahawks Daily, Clare Farnsworth recaps the activities surrounding Monday in Hawkville – with a focus on the injured Martin, and finally, Farnsworth digests the problem the Cardinals’ pass rush posed for the Seahawks last Sunday, “How does Carroll plan to address those [pass rush] issues moving forward, starting with Sunday’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field? ‘Fortunately, not everybody has (Dockett) on their team,’ he said with a smile. We’ll get better. That’s just part of playing together. The things that we saw in preseason, we were able to handle. This one just got a little more aggressive. It started early and we weren’t as effective as we need to be.’ “


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