Curtis Allen’s mock game notes

This is a guest article by Curtis Allen…

The quarterback competition has been turned on its ear

If Drew Lock ends up winning the starting job, today is the day fans can point to in order to identify when it happened.

Lock was poised, confident and ran the offense well against both the #1 and #2 defenses. Three things immediately stood out to me about Lock.

First, he made good decisions and executed them effectively.

Much was made of his now-infamous opening day throw. I called it “the worst throw I’d ever seen a professional QB make.” Brock Huard called it “a throw that loses you football games.” Pete Carroll called it “as bad a throw as you can make. That’s an example of ‘we’re never doing that again.’” But he quickly added that Lock has not made a single ‘bonehead’ decision since that day.

Is that Pete with his trademark overly positive perspective? No. Lock had several chances today to make dangerous throws into tight windows and considered it but he wisely checked down and found a safer option to keep the offense on schedule and moving forward. Significant progress and something that will be critical for a team intending to focus on the run game.

Late in the first half, he had the offense in field goal range but had time for one more play. He rolled to his right but there was no really good opportunity. He wisely threw the ball out of the end zone instead of trying for the low-percentage play and the team took the field goal and went into the locker room.

At another point in the game, Uchenna Nwosu came completely free off the edge and was in Lock’s face immediately after the snap. Lock coolly sidearmed the ball around him and hit Colby Parkinson in stride for a nice gain. That was a play that a seriously good NFL quarterback makes.

He also made good decisions on when to take shots. At one point he slightly overthrew a streaking Bo Melton in the deep middle. The throw was not perfect but the decision making was sound. He had enough time and protection to take the deep shot and Melton clearly had a step on his man.

It really looks like he demonstrated a high positive response to the coaching since the opening of camp. Lock appears to have ascended closer to what Pete Carroll wants. Be a good steward of the football — be patient — but make the big throw when it is available to you.

Second, Lock used his legs.

It’s almost as if he listened to Brock Huard’s podcast this week. He said Lock would have to use his legs to elevate himself in the competition.

He most certainly did that today. He bought time in the pocket, rolled out to find receivers and also called his own number on run-pass option plays at least three or four times and gained decent yardage each time, converting at least one third down. He may have found an element to contribute that differentiates him from Geno Smith.

Third, he threw into the middle of the field effectively.

Lock found the tight ends down the seam, the wide receivers on slants and running backs on check downs. These are things that can really add a dimension to the offense that has been sorely missing.

Was Lock perfect today? No. Some of his throws lacked accuracy and his timing with his receivers was not always the best. His first handoff to Walker was fumbled (although to be fair, Pete blamed Walker). Also, a drive in the third quarter sputtered.

But overall, it was an impressive display. Lock made a statement today. He’s coming for the job.

What about Geno Smith?

He had a nice drive to open the game against the #2 defense. He found D.K. Metcalf a couple times, had a nice throw to Marquise Goodwin and audibled to Penny runs that appeared to be good choices a couple of times. He brought the offense down the field and Penny ran in for a touchdown at the goal line. Smith kept the offense on schedule and made the throws he needed to.

There wasn’t much to speak positively of after that drive though.

The next drive he could not muster much of anything.

Later, he had a throw that was completely perplexing. He scrambled to his left under pressure and lofted a ball down the sideline to Goodwin that there was simply no way he could get to, yet was in bounds and catchable. Tariq Woolen with his incredible length turned his body and nearly made an incredible diving interception. Why not just throw the ball away?

Coming out of the locker room after halftime, on the first offensive play Geno burned a timeout. The team was not ready to play.

Later they lined up for a ‘four-minute drill’. The simulation was the team had a lead with four minutes to play and the offense needed to burn the clock. After a short run, Geno threw a short checkdown ball the receiver had to fall to the ground to catch and then he got ‘sacked’ on third down. About 50 seconds burned off the clock.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a real horserace. If Lock continues at this pace, he will win the job and have preseason time to develop some chemistry with his receivers.

Tariq Woolen’s star turn

Tariq Woolen played tremendously well today. With Sidney Jones sidelined with a potential concussion, Woolen got plugged into the right cornerback spot with the #1 defense and had several impressive moments.

Woolen had a couple pass breakups, consistently tight coverage and nearly got that interception off Geno Smith with a diving attempt. He had a dogged matchup with Marquise Goodwin and got the best of him more often than not.

He looked good, patiently waiting for receivers to make their break and then reacting, trusting his speed and his ability turn his hips and run. He also seemed to have a very solid grasp of when to hand off his man in zone coverage and get to his next assignment.

I’m not sure his development timeline should necessarily be advanced just yet, but he appears to my eyes to be further along than I reckoned he would be.

Game Notes

— Penalties, penalties, penalties. False starts, delays of game, holdings, defensive offsides. Procedural penalties abounded today. Jake Curhan got at least two false starts for jumping early. Let’s hope they get these things ironed out. Soon.

— Kenneth Walker again looked fantastic. After the fumbled exchange, Walker calmed down and ran with a burst you love to see. On one run, he got to the second level and completely juked an incoming Josh Jones and gained more yards. His touchdown run was a seamless effort that he made look easy with a quick cut to the outside:

— Dareke Young had several catches and looked comfortable in the offense.

— The edge rushers looked great today. Darrel Taylor, Boye Mafe, and Uchenna Nwosu all displayed burst off the line, power and bend. Pete Carroll’s comments yesterday about Boye Mafe being used primarily in pass rush packages are a welcome relief. In his post-draft comments, he had mentioned that Mafe had more of an aptitude for linebacker play whereas Tyreke Smith was more of a pass rusher. Thank goodness they’re focusing on Mafe as a pass rusher.

— Jacob Eason laid a claim for the Dumbest Throw of Preseason crown. Deep in his own territory, he took the snap, had a rusher in his face and from his own end zone he threw it to…I don’t know who. He just flipped the ball away but in the middle of the field, with no offensive player within 5 yards of the throw. A defender made a diving catch for an interception at the 3-yard line. Thankfully the play was nullified by a defensive penalty.


  1. GoHawksDani

    Way too early predictions new starter phases who could contribute big?
    I’m hoping a CB or EDGE can elevate on the D# and an OT or Walker can solidify themselves as starters for years to come

  2. Huggie Hawk

    Thanks for the write up. I’m ready to rock out with my Lock out 😎

  3. Mick

    This is really cool cha, thanks for taking the time to write things up. I’m really happy with the rookies so far, even if they don’t start, but Cross and Lucas will likely do, Walker could even beat Penny, Woolen and Bryant will be part of the rotation at CB, Smith and Mafe will get playing time at OLB and the Young and Melton have a shot at WR5 and WR6. And Lock should have priority over Geno at least for the Fant connection.

    I’d be curious how the OL performed, but it’s hard to evaluate in such a mock game.

  4. Henry Taylor

    Thanks Cha, definitely an encouraging read about Lock stepping up (I don’t want this to seem like I’m getting carried away because I still have very little optimism, but imagine if he’s actually good this year. The US open, amongst others, will have some real back peddling to do). Also read that Abe Lucas ran with the 1s again, which is great.

    The Woolen news is really interesting to me, the guy was always very unlikely to amount to anything given how raw he was, but for him to be impressing like he is so early is massively encouraging. It suggests he is taking to vastly superior coaching than he has at UTSA and if that’s true, with his physical tools, we could be onto something special.

    On that note, I thought this article, coming from an outsider rather than biased beat reporters was an incredibly encouraging read:

    “Add it up, and it looks like Pete Carroll and John Schneider could have a foundational class here.”

    • UkAlex6674

      Bit of a harsh assessment on Wollen to say he was hardly likely to amount to anything. Being ‘raw’ isn’t = doing nothing.

      • Henry Taylor

        Well I also said we could be onto something special with him. The point was that he was a dart throw on an athlete on day 3, more often than not those guys don’t amount to anything. (Still worth the risk though).

    • Rob Staton

      It certainly sounds very promising and they needed a foundational class. The signs are very promising. We spent so much time discussing the need to lay foundations rather than chase the bad QB’s in the draft. It’s a nice, positive thought to think they accomplished that.

    • Starhawk29

      Love how Breer mentions Lucas is a bit “nasty”, though he continues to propagate the air raid tackle nonsense in regards to big Abe.

  5. Big Mike

    Really appreciate this cha. I know it’s early and I know they’re very different physically, but I wonder if Woolen travels the same path to starting and then stardom as Sherm did.

    • Ashish

      Same thought both 5th rounder and Woolen will have to wait for his chance.

  6. Bankhawk

    Ah, Cha man-ye read my mind! I’ve been waiting around all day for just such as that.
    That was super-just what the Dr ordered!

  7. Blitzy the Clown

    What an excellent Sunday morning read. Thanks cha

    Progress of any kind is welcome and it sounds like things are progressing. I too am most relieved to hear that Mafe will focus mostly on pass rush with his hand in the dirt.

    And I can’t wait to see Penny and Walker carve up a defense.

    Only one week until the first preseason game!

  8. Gaux Hawks

    would be such an incredible season if we could stack up the L column, still churn out weekly articles like this, and tag (and possibly trade) big baby drew in 2023!

    thanks cha, onwards and upwards!!

    • Ashish

      Perfect L but lots of positive plays by new super stars in making.

      • Ben

        That’s honestly what I’m hoping for. A bunch of 20-24 losses where K9 has 12-15 touches for 60-90 yards with maybe a TD, Tariq shows improvement in coverage while Mafe and Taylor flash on the edges. Dareke Young does stuff with the ball in his hands, Lucas and Cross get snaps on the edges, and we draft a QB with the #4 overall pick while keeping the number 22 pick in our back pocket to take another BPA.

  9. James Cr.

    Thanks for a great write-up cha. Much appreciated.

  10. AlaskaHawk

    Great writeup Cha. Encouraging that the offense is improving their game. Quarterbacks are fascinating, but still way too early to know what the Seahawks have. It’s just fun to get the progress reports. So thanks again.

  11. cha

    Thanks everyone, and thanks again to Rob for posting these.

    One more I remembered – Coby Bryant had another great pass breakup. He has ball skills – a welcome sight as that has been in rare supply for Seahawks corners in recent years.

    • Ashish

      Thanks Cha for excellent write up. I feel like i watched the mock game. I wish PC looks for future and give chances to young players. I.e. Lock over Geno..

      • Big Mike

        And starts a guy like Coby

  12. Sea Mode

    Good stuff. I’m grateful.

  13. CaptainJack

    I can see woolen generating pre season hype, starting probably too early, getting torched several times due to inexperience and the fan base turning on him like they did to flowers.

    And that makes me sad.

    • Ben

      I think there’s less pressure on Woolen because there’s less pressure on the team. When Russ was here the goal was obviously to win a lot and win now. Right now, I don’t know if the fanbase really cares if we lose games because we know that we’re not that good a team. I’d be willing to bet that the response to Woolen getting torched might be “Oof…he’s gotta clean that up, but if he does: look out.”

  14. Sea Mode

    I think about half of this is Rob… 😉

    Thanks to glowing word-of-mouth and repeat customers, “Top Gun: Maverick” is pulling in audiences…

    • Rob Staton

      I am going to see it for a fifth time this week

      • PR Hawk

        Long time dedicated reader here. Yes, excellent movie and message. Nice to follow a blog that shares the same will power and fortitude needed to win football games. I see Critical drinker, anything goes, and PJW on YT.. all must listens. Think you have mentioned Sir Scruton as well. Big big fan of all and the blog. Want to say thanks for all the hard work. I enjoy it greatly.

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