A recap of the day’s activities:
The pass rush. If it’s Tuesday, the coaches are working on the game plan for Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field.
For defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and his staff, that means finding a way to generate more pressure on the opposing QB – and this week, it’s Brett Favre.
Sunday, the Seahawks did not register a sack against Kurt Warner in their 31-20 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona.
“Oftentimes, people say, ‘Why didn’t you pressure a guy more?’ ” coach Jim Mora said. “Going into this game, we had clear facts that stated that when you pressure Kurt Warner, his completion percentage rises dramatically; and when you rush him with three, it’s low.”
So the Seahawks used a three-man rush 16 times Sunday and had what the coaches deemed 13 successful snaps. When the Seahawks brought four or more rushers, “He made us pay,” Mora said. Each of Warner’s two touchdown passes came against a five-man rush.
“He is so good at recognizing what you’re trying to do defensively in terms of bringing pressure, that he can really make you pay,” Mora said. “That’s years of experience.”
The Seahawks ran into the same problem when they faced the Colts’ Peyton Manning in Week 4, the only other time this season they have failed to produce a sack. Now comes Favre.
“We have to continue to find ways to try to win when we’re rushing four, and it’s been somewhat of a struggle for us lately,” Mora said.
The Seahawks have six sacks in their past four games, but three have come from middle linebacker David Hawthorne and one from free safety Jordan Babineaux. Defensive end Patrick Kerney is the only lineman with a sack (two).
It’s frustrating for Mora and the defensive staff because the defensive line was the most consistently productive unit on the team during training camp and the preseason.
“In the games that didn’t count, when we practiced in underwear,” Mora said. “So these regular-season games, they start to reveal some things.”
Brandon Mebane had 5½ sacks last year, which tied for third among defensive tackles in the NFC behind the Pro Bowl duo of the Vikings’ Kevin Williams (8½) and the Cowboys’ Jay Ratliff (7½). This year, despite moving to the three-technique spot, he has one. Defensive end Lawrence Jackson has four sacks, but only one in the past seven games. Defensive end Darryl Tapp has one sack after collecting 5½ last season.
Asked if the team has the personnel to get the job done with a four-man rush, Mora said, “Well, I think that it’s something we have to look hard at as we get through these last seven games, and maybe beyond: Are we doing the right things teaching-wise? Do we have the right people? What adjustments do we need to make?”
PRACTICE SQUAD SHUFFLE
Running back Xavier Omon has been signed to the practice squad. To clear a spot, running back Devin Moore was released.
Omon (5-11, 220) played at Northwest Missouri State and was a sixth-round draft choice by the Buffalo Bills in 2008. He appeared in the final two games of his rookie season and five games this season before being released last week.
STAT DU JOUR
On his fourth pass attempt this coming Sunday, Matt Hasselbeck will become the Seahawks’ all-time leader with 3,577 – one more than Ring of Honor QB Dave Krieg.
Hasselbeck has had 50-plus attempts in each of the past two games, after putting the ball up that much only three times in his first eight seasons with the team – and none since 2004.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Yes. From their reaction I got in the locker room (Sunday), I do. There’s hope. There was disappointment, but they were somewhat encouraged. I know that’s odd. We lost. It’s painful when you lose because you put so much work into it. But at the same time, I think there was the feeling that some of the stuff we’re doing, it’s working. It’s coming.” – Jim Mora, when asked if he thought the players still felt they could make the playoffs