A recap of the day’s activities:
Tackling. In the Seahawks’ loss to the 49ers in San Francisco two weeks ago, the primary culprit in yielding 227 yards on six plays was poor tackling. Last week, when the defense held Falcons’ 1,200-yard rusher Michael Turner to a 3.3-yard average on 25 carries – and Atlanta to a season-low 266 total yards – the credit was given to improved tackling.
Funny how that works.
“It was an emphasis that we captured last week that helped us,” coach Pete Carroll said. “We really turned back the pages in some fundamental aspects of what you talk about in tackling and showed some old clips and tried to make a point, in particular in the open field.”
They then carried that over to the practice field.
“We just went back to the basics,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “We brought out the dummy pad and went back to that. I think it paid off.”
Carroll singled out rookie free safety Earl Thomas, who had six solo tackles in the game. He also pointed to the return of nose tackle Colin Cole, who had a team-high eight tackles in his second game back after missing five because of a high ankle sprain; and the move of Junior Siavii to the five-technique end spot.
“We just felt like we tackled better,” Bradley said. “Our explosive plays came down quite a bit.”
Against the 49ers, the Seahawks gave up six plays of 20-plus yards. Against the Falcons, it was one.
It’s a trend that needs to continue in Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers in Tampa, where the defense will face rookie LeGarrette Blount (777 yards, 4.7-yard average) and Carnell Williams (409 yards).
“Blount has that same kind of factor, in that he’ll run right through tackles,” Carroll said, comparing Blount’s style to that of Turner. “He’ll make you look like you’re not even trying if you don’t really have a dedicated effort in how to get him wrapped up and how to get him down.”
SIAVII GOES ON IR
Siavii was placed on injured reserve today because of the stinger he got against the Falcons. Siavii had started six of the past seven games – five at nose tackle when Cole was out with the sprained ankle and last week at end.
The move is not surprising after what Carroll had to say Wednesday: “This is a really sensitive issue here. We’ve got to make sure we take great care of him. He’s not well right now.”
Siavii, who was signed Sept. 6, was credited with 30 tackles – which ranks fourth among the team’s linemen behind end Chris Clemons (44), Cole (37) and Kentwan Balmer (33).
Linebacker Joe Pawelek was signed off the practice squad to fill Siavii’s spot on the 53-man roster.
ON THE FIELD
The Seahawks were rained not out, but in today – as the players worked in their indoor practice facility for 90 minutes on “Turnover Thursday.”
“We kind of had a sloppy practice yesterday, starting out,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “But I thought today was pretty good – I thought it was a really good practice. So it’s just a matter of keep improving and fixing your mistakes and doing what (the coaches) are asking you to do.”
For a look at practice, check out Rod Mar’s daily photo gallery.
The official report, as released by the team:
Did not practice
CB Marcus Trufant (back)
LB Will Herring (hamstring)
DE Chris Clemons (ankle)
MLB Lofa Tatupu (knee)
C Chris Spencer (shoulder)
Spencer, Tatupu and Clemons returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday. Herring took part in the special teams drills that preceded the full practice. Walter Thurmond and Balmer worked with the No. 1 defense for Trufant and Siavii.
For the Bucs:
Did not practice
WR Sammie Stroughter (hamstring)
OT James Lee (ankle)
TE Kellen Winslow (knee)
CB Myron Lewis (hip)
LB Dekoda Watson (ankle)
Winslow was back after sitting out Wednesday, while Lee sat out after being limited Wednesday.
STAT DU JOUR
The Seahawks have made a league-high 13 challenges this season, and had six on-the-field calls overturned because of it – which is tied for the most in the league with the Giants and Saints.
The challenge rundown for the entire league is available in this chart compiled by ESPN.com blogger Mike Sando.
YOU DON’T SAY
“Ronde Barber is probably the best nickel back ever. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame one day for being the nickel back.” – Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates, on the Buccaneers’ veteran cornerback