PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil. The Broncos’ pass-rushing tandem gave a demented meaning to “pressure off the edge.” They combined for 3½ sacks and six QB hits, and it seemed like twice that.
Their efforts made for a long evening for rookie right tackle James Carpenter, and stopped what the Seahawks were trying to do on several plays before they could even get started.
As Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of a Broncos’ defense that produced five sacks of Tarvaris Jackson, “They ran right through us.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: In a game dominated by the Broncos’ pass rush and decided by the special teams units, let’s go with the longest offensive play of the game – a 42-yard completion from Broncos QB Kyle Orton to Eddie Royal.
Defense: In his preseason debut – and on the Broncos’ sixth play of the game – defensive end Chris Clemons intercepted an Orton pass that was intended for Brandon Lloyd. Not on a pass that was tipped at the line, but one were Clemons was in coverage. And not on a zone blitz.
“It’s actually not a zone blitz,” Clemons explained. “It’s just a coverage that we have we put in to take away the No. 1 receiver. When I got there, he had just released the ball. So it was a matter of me just catching it.”
Special teams: There definitely were several that deserve recognition, starting with Steve Hauschka’s 51-yard field goal to win it as time expired and also including a 57-yarder by the Broncos’ Matt Prater and 53- and 52-yarders by the Seahawks’ Jeff Reed. But the nod goes to rookie Doug Baldwin, who returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown.
“After the first wave, the hole was enormous,” Baldwin said, giving ample credit to his blockers. “Then, I had to make one guy miss.”
The Seahawks got out of the game without any injuries of note, Carroll said. But they played without six injured starters: running back Marshawn Lynch (ankle), left tackle Russell Okung (ankle), tight end John Carlson (shoulder), middle linebacker David Hawthorne (knee), cornerback Kelly Jennings (hamstring) and strong safety Kam Chancellor (foot).
THIS ‘N THAT
Rookie defensive lineman Pep Levingston had two sacks.
Veteran cornerback Marcus Trufant had a sack – for 15 yards – among his game-high six tackles.
Jon Ryan got off kicks of 66- and 63-yarders while averaging 51.1 yards on seven punts.
Rookie Byron Maxwell had three coverage tackles on special teams and fellow rookie Jeron Johnson has two.
There were 19 penalties – 10 against the Seahawks for 67 yards and nine against the Broncos for 73.
The Seahawks averaged 1.4 yards on their 27 offensive plays in the first half, when they were outgained by the Broncos 204-39.
YOU DON’T SAY
“He’s been very, very effective in this preseason so far. There’s really been nothing that he’s been asked to do that he can’t do.” – Carroll on Baldwin, who had two receptions to go with his kickoff return for a TD
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 25:
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has the story on Mike Williams as the Seahawks’ leading receiver begins the second season of his return to the NFL. Just don’t call it a comeback. Offers O’Neil: “The story line isn’t nearly so simple for Williams’ second season as a Seahawk. The question is no longer whether he can reclaim his football career, but how far he can take it. He was the feel-good story of last season’s Seahawks. The former first-round pick who had spent two seasons unemployed only to rebound from that abyss to a starting job, 65 catches and a three-year extension. It was a tidy little tale of perseverance and determination that detailed the 30-some pounds he lost, mentioned his always impressive size at 6 feet 5 and praised his more professional approach to coaching. The result was a story that fit neatly into the traditional trilogy of an athlete’s rise, precipitous fall and ultimate redemption. Except the comeback wasn’t the conclusion to Williams’ story.”
Eric Williams at the News Tribune checks in with Doug Baldwin, the wide receiver from Stanford who has been the valedictorian of this year’s rookie free agent class by not only making the grade but exceeding expectations as receiver and kick retruner. Says Williams: “At 5-foot-10, 189 pounds, the Stanford graduate doesn’t have the prototypical size coach Pete Carroll looks for in a pass catcher. But what Baldwin does have is craftiness and the ability to get open in the middle of the field, similar to one of the best slot receivers ever to play for Seattle – Bobby Engram. ‘One (of) my strengths is my creativity in the slot,’ Baldwin said, ‘being able to be witty and creative matched up against a nickel corner or a (weakside) linebacker, so just being able to be creative in there, getting open and getting separation.’ ”
John Boyle of the Everett Herald profiles Jeron Johnson, another rookie free agent who has been impressive. Says Johnson, a safety from Boise State who admits to having a chip on his shoulder: “That chip has always been there, honestly. Coming out of high school I didn’t get recruited too much, and going to Boise State we had to play with a chip on our shoulder. So at Boise we played with a chip on our shoulder, and I’ve got to carry that over.”
Christian Caple of PI.com reviews what was one impressive practice on Wednesday by cornerback Walter Thurmond, who is returning from a high ankle sprain. Says Caple: “The extra sprints Walter Thurmond ran up the hill next to the Seahawks’ practice field on Wednesday were an indication of two things: That Thurmond needs the conditioning after missing most of training camp with a high ankle sprain. And that Thurmond’s ankle is finally healthy enough to run on.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com looks at the quarterbacks in the NFC West during the preseason, including the disparity between the numbers generated by Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst for the Seahawks. Says Sando: “Seattle has the closest thing to a quarterback competition in the division, but Jackson is the starter. Coming into camp, the team felt as though Jackson would benefit from stability and support. His career had hit bumps in Minnesota as the team continually courted Brett Favre. Jackson hadn’t shown much improvement. The Seahawks thought he had potential to grow as a quarterback in the right environment. They don’t want to jerk him around this early in the process even though Charlie Whitehurst has made strides. Jackson could use better pass protection as much as anything right now.”
Sando also has a rundown on the division’s first-round picks in the 2008 NFL Draft, and two have come through Seattle – Kentwan Balmer, who was released on Wednesday; and Lawrence Jackson, who was traded to the Lions last year.
At NFL.com, Bucky Brooks and Steve Wyche discuss the Seahawks’ chances of defending their title in the NFC West with Williams.
Here at Seahawks.com, we’ve got the story on Maurice Fountain and how he was able to make plays in Saturday night’s preseason game after flying to Seattle from Atlanta on Friday and rejoining the team on Saturday morning. Says Fountain: “I had committed to the Locos (of the Arena League), and I was supposed to be there today,” the aptly named Fountain said after Tuesday’s two-hour practice in full pads, as sweat was pouring from every pore. “Fortunately, Seattle called me Thursday night. So, it’s a dream come true. It was good to have a backup plan, but my ultimate goal was to come to Seattle.”
We’ve also got Wednesday’s practice covered in words, with even more details on Thurmond’s impressive afternoon; and video, as Tony Ventrella takes a look at the defense. And if you missed this video report on the players going go-kart racing, you need to check it out.
Good morning. Here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, Aug. 13:
Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has a review of the preseason opener against the Chargers and started with the obvious topic: The durability of left tackle Russell Okung, who sprained his left ankle on the first series of the game. Says O’Neil: “While there was no update Friday on his status, the fact the injury occurred in what coach Pete Carroll characterized as a non-contact play causes concern over whether Okung will stay healthy enough to be the cornerstone the team expects at left tackle.”
Eric Williams of the News Tribune looks back at how some of the younger players performed, especially when they stopped the Chargers on their final possession. Said veteran CB Marcus Trufant: “I think that was big for them to be down there in the red zone, on the goal line and then to come up with a stop. I think that’s real big for confidence and for teaching purposes. And they had a good showing. They came out on top.”
Mike Sando at ESPN.com revisits “three things” from the opener. One was the youth movement on defense. Says Sando: “The young linebackers and safeties were active. Strong safety Kam Chancellor was aggressive against the run, as advertised. He had a tackle for loss. Safety Mark LeGree got credit for no passes defensed on the stat sheet. I saw him play a role in a couple of incomplete passes, however. Jeron Johnson broke up two passes and had one tackle for loss. Another rookie, linebacker K.J. Wright, led the team in tackles with seven, including a couple after short gains. Officials flagged him for a horse-collar tackle. Pass-rusher Jameson Konz, a project as a former receiver and tight end, collected a sack.”
Nancy Gay of FoxSports.com was at training camp last week and has this overview of how coach Pete Carroll set about adding needed players in free agency after the lockout ended. Offers Gay: “Carroll, it seems, was crafting an interesting master plan to overcome the lockout-truncated NFL offseason. He would encourage his proven offensive coaching staff — (Darrell) Bevell from Minnesota and line coach Tom Cable, the former Raiders head coach — to bring in free agents they knew, players they trusted who could master their schemes quickly and assume leadership roles immediately.”
Here at Seahawks.com, Ben Malcolmson has his “From the Sidelines” look at the opener. Offers Malcolmson: “It all started in the same location about three hours earlier, when the players gathered together in the locker room just before taking the field. Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane had a simple set of inquiries for his teammates.’The question is — are we ready to play?’ Mebane yelled out to all the players encircling him.’Are we ready to hit them in the mouth?’ ”
We also have a closer look at Jeron Johnson, the rookie free agent from Boise State who had some big plays in the NFL debut: “In the 24-17 victory, Johnson had two tackles, including one for a loss, and also broke up two passes – the second coming into the end zone on a fourth-and-3 play with less than a minute to play and the Chargers at the Seahawks’ 5-yard line. Not a bad night’s work, especially when you consider it came in half-a-night – and the half the Seahawks dominated, outscoring the Chargers 24-7. ‘Coming in and having to wait for your number to be called, it was a little difficult at first,’ Johnson said in the locker room after the game. ‘But once I got in I had a ball.’ ”