Thursday cyber surfing: Run ‘D’ seeks improvement; Okung voted Seahawks Man of the Year

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, November 29

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune revisits his assessment of the Seahawks defense – a unit that has suffered a couple late-game setbacks, “Perhaps the most relevant numbers are these: Last year, the Seahawks held opponents to 3.8 yards per rush. This season, the average is 4.6. The inability to stop the run changes almost everything about how the defensive scheme can operate. ‘The (defense against) the running game has not been as effective consistently,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We’ve found our way into making enough errors on runs that we’ve allowed for explosive plays.’ A couple of explanations. As it turns out, defensive end Red Bryant, the most stout component in the run-stop plan, has been playing with a foot injury that might cause him to miss Sunday’s game. Bryant has been solid in most games this season, but his overall impact is not what it was last season when he blocked three field goals and a PAT, and had two interceptions in addition to being an immovable object at the line of scrimmage. Another issue against the rush on occasion is when linebackers fail to fill the correct gaps. For as many plays as young linebackers like Bobby Wagner and Wright make, they’ve also failed to get off blocks on plays that turned into big runs by opponents. Wright and Hill appeared to be out of position or just physically out-run on certain pass coverages against Miami, and veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant has also looked a step slow at times.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps a Wednesday media session with Darrell Bevell, in which the Seahawks offensive coordinator addressed some of the club’s decisions on offense, “Bevell did say that he likes how Wilson is moving within the pocket, and feels like he’s developed a better pocket presence over the course of the season. ‘I think Russ just gets better each and every time he’s out there,’ Bevell said. ‘He grows with situations. It usually only has to happen once to him, and he learns from it. And the next time you see him make an improvement on it. He’s leaving the pocket with merit. For example, when the free safety (against Miami) ran right through the gap, he flipped out to his left side and threw it down to Sid –what a great play. But then there’s been other times when we’ve said – just sit there. You don’t have to go anywhere. Your guy might not be open, but there’s still a pocket there, and the guys are working it, so work the pocket. And he’s been able to do that.”

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the Seahawks and Bears injury reports from yesterday available here.

Bill Swartz of 710Sports.com has a look at Sunday’s matchup between the Seahawks corners and Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, “The Bears make no secret they want to throw the ball to the 28-year-old Marshall. He’s already been targeted more than 120 times in 11 games. Marshall hopes the Seahawks play their normal man-press coverage on him Sunday. ‘I love one on-one-coverage, so if they’re going to do that then it’s going to be fun out there,’ he said. ‘This is what the NFL is about, man-on-man. If they are going to stick to their plan, that one-on-one coverage, then I have a ton of respect for that.’ Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is anxious to face Marshall in single coverage as well. ‘It’s one of those classic battles of a big corner against a big receiver,’ Sherman said. ‘He has a classic ‘dead leg’, where he kind of stutters, comes up, and then he gets going again. It’s a game within a game to figure out all the tricks he has. The way Cutler looks for him, it’s going to be a lot of fun.’ “

Bob Stelton and former Seahawks linebacker Dave Wyman of 710Sports.com discuss the errors the Seahawks run defense is committing in this short video.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has a look at NFC West injury situations, including a few notes on the Seahawks, “Defensive end Red Bryant (foot) and linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. Bryant’s injury situation was newly revealed. It could explain some of the Seahawks’ troubles in run defense recently. He hasn’t been as active or effective as in the past. The Seahawks otherwise appear quite healthy. Running back Marshawn Lynch (back) and defensive end Greg Scruggs (oblique) were limited. Lynch appears on the injury report regularly and plays in the games anyway. Seattle welcomed back guard James Carpenter from a concussion last week. He has played in 15 of 27 games since Seattle made him a first-round draft choice in 2011.”

Sando also has his updated “MVP Watch“, where Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has dropped four spots to No. 9 out of 10 on his list, “The Seahawks had a hard time getting Lynch established against Miami and that played a leading role in the team’s inability to drive for the go-ahead field goal late in the game. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson’s continuing emergence should give this run-oriented team greater flexibility. Will Lynch get going against the Bears at Soldier Field in Week 13? The Dolphins ended his streak of four consecutive 100-yard games.”

Left tackle Russell Okung announced on Twitter yesterday that he was voted the 2012 Seahawks Man of the Year, which is the award given annually to the player who represents stellar performance both on the field and in the community. Each player who has won has a photo hanging in one of the hallways at VMAC.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his “Wednesday in Hawkville” with a focus on defensive end Red Bryant, who sat out yesterday’s practice, but said he is optimistic that he’ll be ready for the weekend road matchup in Chicago, ” ‘You know me,’ Bryant said. ‘I’m going to find a way to be out there.’ “

Farnsworth also highlights the play of the Bears’ Brandon Marshall, who the Seahawks will meet this Sunday, “The numbers Marshall is producing after being reunited with quarterback Jay Cutler and QB coach Jeremy Bates are impressive: 81 catches for 1,017 yards and eight touchdowns. But they’re staggering when you consider that 42 percent of the Bears’ completed passes, 46 percent of their 2,203 passing yards and 57 percent of their TD catches have come from Marshall. And he also leads the league with 27 third-down receptions. But perhaps the most off-the-charts stat is that in the Bears’ 8-3 start Marshall has been targeted 124 times, or 38 percent of their pass attempts. Not surprisingly, the teams that have been able to limit Marshall are the teams that have beaten the Bears. He had two catches for 24 yards, on five targets, in a Week 2 loss to the Green Bay Packers. He had two catches for 21 yards, on four targets, in a Week 11 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.”

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily“, talking with coach Carroll, linebacker Bobby Wagner, and wide receiver Golden Tate as the team looks forward to their matchup with the Chicago Bears.

We have coach Carroll’s full Wednesday press conference available here, and you can watch and listen to coach Bevell here.

Lastly, team photographer Rod Mar has a look at “Competition Wednesday” in photos here.


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