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  • 2010 NFL DRAFT RESULTS

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BREAKDOWN: Packers at Seahawks

Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks

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Midway into the exhibition season and already there’s concern about Seattle’s revamped defense.

The Seahawks surrendered three touchdowns on four possessions at the start of games against Tennessee quarterback Vince Young and Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The starters have just one sack, which is a painful reminder of last season when Seattle accumulated just two sacks in the final five games.

The retooled defensive line has failed to generate a consistent pass rush and too often last week the ends failed to contain Green Bay quarterbacks who escaped outside the pocket.

The linebackers, one of the best groups in the conference just two years ago, appear in disarray. Second-year pro Aaron Curry has just one tackle and is slow adjusting to new pass-rushing responsibilities, David Hawthorne is out with a hip injury and three-time Pro Bowler Lofa Tatupu, who missed 11 games last season due to injuries, hasn’t played because of a sore hamstring.

Marcus Trufant, who is playing like he did in 2007 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl, has been a pleasant surprise. Still, Kelly Jennings has yet to secure the other cornerback spot and rookie free safety Earl Thomas is prone to gaffes, such as the one that resulted in a 56-yard reception last week.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley acknowledged mistakes the first two exhibition games, but he sees improvement in a defense ranked 24th last season in yards allowed.

“Last week we had some busts,” he said. “Some coverage busts. Some alignment busts. We’re really stressing this week our communication on the field. That’s more important and once we get those things down, hopefully we’ll be more solid.

“It’s preseason and our focus is on us right now, like making sure our coverage principles and our pressure principles are all in place. It’s really a race for the next couple of weeks before that first (regular-season) game to improve in those areas.”

Next up: Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings.

“You know he’s back there,” rookie defensive end E.J. Wilson said. “You know he’s in the game and everything that he’s done in the game, but it doesn’t matter when the game starts. He’s a quarterback just like any other quarterback and it’s our job to get to him.”

Veteran strong safety Lawyer Milloy said facing the 40-year-old Favre, who holds every significant NFL passing record, is the perfect situation for the Seahawks.

“Obviously there’s things we have to correct,” Milloy said. “For me it’s stopping teams on the first drive. That’s just all attitude. It’s getting to some of these young guys, getting to some of these new players and making sure they know the defense needs to set the tone and be focused when we get out there.

“Because when we settle down, you see what we can do. But in this league, you’re not afforded the time to settle down. Minnesota is a perfect situation for us because with their quarterback and their running back (Adrian Peterson), that’s a good test for us.”

Notes

• Despite the absence of two starters on the left side of the offensive line, coach Pete Carroll said QB Matt Hasselbeck will play into the third quarter against a Minnesota defense that led the NFL in sacks last season. OT Mansfield Wrotto and G Mike Gibson are replacing rookie Russell Okung (high ankle sprain) and Ben Hamilton (sore knee).

• LB Will Herring will start in place of David Hawthorne (hip), who will not play.

• TE Cameron Morrah (flu) returned to practice after missing two days.

• On the final play of practice, DT Quinn Pitcock drew several oohs and ahhs from teammates when he dropped into coverage, deflected a Hasselbeck pass before making a diving interception.

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NFC West Team Breakdown: Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks helmet

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With only nine wins combined over the last two seasons the Seattle Seahawks went to work in the offseason, overhauling both the roster and the coaching staff.  With the NFC West wide open this year the Seahawks are hoping the changes have an immediate impact.

Pete Carroll returns to coach in the NFL for the first time since 1999 and while he put together one of the great college programs of the 2000’s he has his work cut out for him in Seattle.  A big first step toward getting back to the playoffs will be protecting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.  The veteran missed nine games in 2008 was healthier in ’09 but he still missed two games.  Hasselbeck was pressured way too much in ’09 and certainly the protection couldn’t be any worse than the final four games of 2009 when Hasselbeck was sacked 10 times and threw 10 interceptions.  To strengthen the line Seattle drafted tackle Russell Okung and signed guards Chester Pitts and Ben Hamilton.  Certainly the Seahawks don’t lack the weaponry with TJ Houshmandzadeh and tight end John Carlson.  The Seahawks also drafted flashy Golden Tate and are hoping to revive the career of Mike Williams.  Seattle’s once proud running game nearly washed out last year as the Seahawks ranked 26th in rushing and scored just seven touchdowns on the ground.  Looking to add a spark to the Julius Jones-Justin Forsett backfield tandem Seattle acquired Leon Washington in the offseason.

The next step in Seattle’s rebuilding project is to put more playmakers on the field.  Patrick Kerney led the team in sacks with a mere five however he retired in the offseason.  Deon Grant led the secondary with just three interceptions but in the offseason Grant signed with the Giants.  To help fix the secondary the Seahawks used one of two first round picks on safety Earl Thomas.  Seattle will need Thomas after routinely getting picked apart by opposing quarterbacks.  Much of the focus should be on Seattle’s linebackers.  MLB David Hawthorne led the team in tackles, registered four sacks and picked off three passes.  The Seahawks are also looking for more from 2009 first round pick Aaron Curry.  Not surprising, Seattle was much better defending the run.

Hasselbeck is now the dean of NFC West quarterbacks and the Seahawks need a full season from him.  The revamped offensive line should help keep Hasselbeck upright.  On defense the Seahawks need Thomas and Curry to jell quickly.  After two tours of duty in the NFL Carroll needs to prove he can be as successful in the pros as he was at USC.  It’s not far fetched to think the Seahawks can compete in the division if they stay healthy.This could be an eight or a nine win team which just might be enough to win the watered-down West.

Seahawks loss 27-24 Leon Washington: Impressive Seahawks Debut

Seattle Seahawks logo

Image via Wikipedia

Seattle –

The Seahawks still impressive despite the lost. Leon Washington was looking very good running the ball.

Still need Work:

1.) Offense:

Matt Hassellbeck

look good he throw the ball and saw some great agility from him. Matt was on the same page as T.J was and it exciting the preseason seeing sign that they could return to prominent.

Leon Washington

Washington (leg) had four carries for 19 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown run, in Saturday’s preseason game against Green Bay. He also added one reception for six yards.

Recommendation:
It was Washington’s first game since suffering a broken leg last season. He looked at full strength on his touchdown run and showed a nice burst of speed. While he may have a third-down and kick-return role initially, he’ll be a nice late-round flier if he continues to look healthy.

Russel Okung

Sixth overall draft choice Russell Okung of Oklahoma State left the Seahawks’ second preseason game with an ankle injury on Saturday night.
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Seattle’s left offensive tackle, expected to replace the retired All-Pro Walter Jones, limped off and into the locker room after his team’s opening drive against Green Bay.

The team announced his return was doubtful. Seattle’s starters were expecting to play through the first half.

Mansfield Wrotto, normally a guard, replaced Okung. Seattle is already without backup tackle Ray Willis for an indefinite time because he is facing knee surgery.

The Seahawks gave Okung a six-year contract earlier this month that guarantees him more than $29 million and has a maximum value of $58 million.

2.) Defense:

Look still shaky They need to come out and fire of the ball and if tonight was any showing of the secoundary on the first drive then we are in trouble.

Marcus Trufant is looking like when he played in 2007 and a pro bowl striping the ball from Packers receiver and then stopping a run in the back field.

The Rest of the Story

The Seahawks’ second exhibition on Saturday began in the same dreary manner as the first one.

Their offensive starters fizzled on the opening drive while the defense surrendered a long touchdown drive in the early minutes.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young dinked and dunked and picked apart Seattle’s secondary last week en route to a 79-yard scoring drive.

This time Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers came out firing just as the Qwest Field fans were settling into their seats. Rodgers rolled right and spotted receiver Greg Jennings who raced behind the secondary and hauled in a 56-yard pass over rookie safety Earl Thomas.

Green Bay scored four plays later when Rodgers connected with fullback John Kuhn for a 1-yard score and the Packers earned a 27-24 exhibition victory Saturday night.

The Seahawks’ offense regained their footing on their second possession when quarterback Matt Hasselbeck capped a five-play, 49-yard drive with an 11-yard pass to Deion Branch in the end zone.

The drive was costly because prized rookie offensive tackle Russell Okung injured his ankle on the possession.

Still, the Seahawks coaching staff had to be pleased the first-string offense was able to score early. Midway through the second quarter at press time, Green Bay led 17-14.

In their first game under new coordinator Jeremy Bates, the Seahawks produced 321 yards in a 20-18 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Seattle won the game, but Tennessee won the battle between the first-team units as the Titans took the opening drive 79 yards for a touchdown before their starters went to the sideline for good.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks offensive starters stumbled out of the gate and managed just three points on three possessions.

“We have a long ways to improve,” Bates said. “We got to keep working, we got to keep grinding. We’re far from where we need to be.

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“We got to play together. We got to get 11 guys on the same page. We still got three weeks to work things out and figure out who we are.”

Bates talked about being a balanced team and improving a running attack that ranked 26th in the NFL last season.

He also said the offensive starters needed to set the tone and that responsibility rests with Hasselbeck.

The Seahawks’ first-string offense followed the lead of their three-time Pro Bowl quarterback

“I probably lacked a lot of enthusiasm and energy when I was out there, which that’s something that I have to bring to the table,” he said. “It’s something we’ve had here at practice, but we have to transfer that to a preseason game, even if it’s just a preseason game. You still have to bring all that stuff.” Against Green Bay, Hasselbeck connected on 4 of 5 passes for 48 yards and a touchdown on two drives.

Seattle’s first-string defense received a stern test Saturday night against a passing attack that ranked seventh in the NFL last season. Rodgers threw for 159 yards and a touchdown on 12-for-13 passing in a quarter against Cleveland last week.

Charlie Whitehurst: The Future Of The Seahawks?

While the Tennessee Titans were worried about their rookie Stafon Johnson, Seattle stood across the field and watched as their team barged through to a victory. The preseason games have provided a look at a lot of players and if the numbers are correct, NFL fans are anxious to see the actual season get underway. Fortunately for Seattle, the end result was rewarding. Charlie Whitehurst did everything that was expected of him on the field and managed to set a few records along the way.

This upcoming superstar quarterback threw for almost 215 yards and appeared to be thankful for the opportunity and the ability. Seattle’s quarterback indicated that this was far and away the best preseason game he had played in his five years in the NFL. The quarterback ended up in Seattle two seasons ago via a trade that gave him $8 million dollars. Charlie Whitehurst led the Seahawks to a 20-18 win in the preseason match against Tennessee and will now prepare for the next team on the ladder.

Two touchdown passes put the game out of reach for the Titans and first year coach Pete Carroll couldn’t have been any more excited. Seattle starter Matt Hasslebeck played before handing over the reigns to someone else for the rest of the game. The popularity surrounding the Seahawks quarterback and their back up should put their fans in an extremely happy place. Charlie Whitehurst has proven he is no shabby apple and folks better wake up and take note of his skills.

Camp Confidential: Seattle Seahawks

Elevated speakers pump out PG-13 lyrics and hip-hop beats all through Seattle Seahawks practice.

“I’m fresh, I’m fly, I’m always high,” boasts rapper Lloyd Banks of G-Unit fame, “got ya b—-es waving at me when I roll by.”

Later, it’s a song from Usher creating the visuals: “Honey got a booty like pow, pow, pow.”

And this from another rapper, Akon: “I’m the boss, it only takes one call for a driver to hit you up and drop you off and that’s all. Guess what? I won’t be takin’ that fall. Homie, I got cake, that’s what I’m payin’ them for.”

Thirty-six-year-old safety Lawyer Milloy, the second-oldest player on the team behind kicker Olindo Mare, grooves on the sideline during a break for the first-team defense. His head coach and the Seahawks’ unofficial hype man, Pete Carroll, runs a spirited practice a few yards away. Afterward, I ask Milloy bluntly whether it’s credible for a 58-year-old white guy from Marin County to like G-Unit. Milloy laughs. He played for Carroll in New England more than a decade ago and he jumped at the chance to play for him again.

“The thing about a leader, the leader has to understand and know the people that he is leading,” Milloy explains. “[Carroll] is willing to step into our world a little bit and that’s the sign of a good leader, man — somebody that will get up there and rock to the music. He might not listen to the lyrics, but he can find the beat.”

In theory, anyway.

“I’m not saying he’s always on beat,” Milloy says, “but, you know, it’s just good to see that our leader is out in front. Everything he wants us to do, he’s leading by example.”

The big question upon Carroll’s hiring was whether his enthusiastic style would translate from USC to the NFL. Carroll isn’t running from his reputation as a rah-rah coach. He’s embracing it and winning over players, at least so far, with an approach to training camp that represents a 180-degree turn from the tough camp Jim Mora ran last summer. Mora’s own conditioning level was such that his resting heart rate was 41 and doctors couldn’t make a stress test tough enough to bring his rate to peak levels. If he could achieve such fitness, shouldn’t professional athletes half his age? The team worked harder during camp than anyone imagined. In retrospect, it’s possible the 2009 Seahawks never quit on Mora so much as they ran out of gas.

Carroll has given players full days without practice. Two-a-days ended after about a week. There have been no three-hour practices.

“Best training camp I’ve ever been involved with,” 10th-year receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. “We go harder than any training camp I’ve ever been in when we’re out there. Everything is fast, fast, fast. But he’s giving us ample rest and I’m not used to that. It’s very, very different, and I think it’s good because we took a conditioning test and everybody passed it very easily. That showed everybody was in shape. So now it’s just, work on your craft.”

NFL Preseason Preview – Tennessee (0-0) at Seattle (0-0)

The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans will begin 2010 on Saturday night the same way they ended 2009 – by playing each other at Qwest Field.

The teams will be back in uniform for the first time since the Titans prevailed by a 17-13 margin in a Jan. 3 battle that was the culmination of a disappointing season for both teams.
It was last year’s poor 5-11 campaign that prompted the Seahawks to fire head coach Jim Mora after just one year, bringing in legendary USC head coach Pete Carroll to take his place. Carroll, who went 33-31 in previous NFL stints with the Jets (1994) and Patriots (1997-99), presided over major offseason changes in the hopes of building Seattle back into an NFC West contender.

Read More At Seahawks Fans Blog

Hasselbeck calls Bill Leavy a “stand-up guy”

A day after apologizing for his mistakes officiating Super Bowl XL, Bill Leavy was still in Seattle on Saturday, working Seahawks practice with his crew.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times writes that some team officials commended Leavy for his honesty, while others had no comment.  It remains a touchy subject, but quarterback Matt Hasselbeck appreciated Leavy’s words.

“I think all of the officials we have in the NFL are stand-up guys and Leavy is no different,” Hasselbeck said.

Hasselbeck pointed out that he regrets some games and understands the human element in officiating. More importantly, he didn’t hold Leavy responsible for the final result.

“We lost the game,” Hasselbeck said.  “Like I said Bill Leavy like all of our officials is a stand-up guy. It’s a long time ago. We lost the game.”

Five years later, Hasselbeck admits how hard it has been to move on from that game.

“It was probably a good thing that we talked because like Seahawks fans, I myself have had to sort of get to the point where I could kind of get past everything.”