Pre-season game one: San Diego

Remember Josh Portis-mania two years ago? Feels longer.

So here we go. Back at it for another year.

Pre-season in 2013 is satisfyingly uninteresting for me.

Yes — I know there are new rookies to look at and a handful of camp battles. But here’s the thing. Those camp battles are mainly for back-up spots.

Remember those days when everyone pined to see how Mike Teel looked? Just in case he was this magical franchise quarterback. We all waited with baited breath to see Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis.

How unnerving does that sound today?

There were times when we hoped a running back may prove to be a star, or a receiver might emerge to be something he most definitely wasn’t.

Terrell Owens was basically on trial last summer. Terrell. Owens. Remember that? Seems like a decade ago.

Thankfully, the 2013 Seahawks are pretty much set. For the most part we know who starts. Most of the intrigue will be on the defensive line and seeing how that plays out. They could do with finding some extra pass rushers given Bruce Irvin’s suspension and Chris Clemons’ injury. Plus you can never have enough pass rushers.

Aside from that it’s about sitting back and enjoying Christine Michael. And, well, that’s about it. Unless you’re really interested in backup offensive lineman. I guess it’ll be good to see how the tight ends are coming along. And Walter Thurmond. But it’s a distinct two chainsaws out of five on the grading scale.

(Watching Brady Quinn and Tarvaris Jackson could be fun. Or painful. Depending on your sense of humour.)

I’m not going to pontificate on the guy I know nothing about who apparently looked good in camp but who the heck knows whether he’s actually that good. You’ve all seen the names. And that’s really all they are for now, names. I guess that changes a little after tonight.

Ultimately this is how pre-season should be.

Fans of good teams see it as an endurance test. Mildly interesting. But at the end of the day you just want everyone to stay healthy and you want week one NOW. To launch a possible Super Bowl run.

Probably since Mike Holmgren’s departure, pre-season has been almost too interesting in Seattle. As the team collapsed and was then rebuilt, there’s been drama galore. Who will be the quarterback? Who will play receiver? Who is the cornerback? Who is the running back?

Now, it’s pretty much all in place. The Seahawks are ready. So let’s get on with the proper stuff.

I’d like to see Russell Wilson emerge in a Nike-backed bubble-wrap outfit tonight, with holes cut for the arms and legs. Apart from that the Seahawks can finish 0-4 in pre-season for all I care. Football is back. But it’ll be really back in a months time.

And I’m completely comfortable with how dull this pre-season could be compared to the hyper-dramatic quarterback competition of twelve months ago.

Thank you, Russell.


  1. PatrickH

    It’s good to watch football again after several months.

    Some concerns about the run defense. The Chargers RB was running rather effectively up the middle against the line of Mebane, Jesse Williams, and Red Bryant.

    Russell Wilson should have been sacked a couple of times. It’s amazing to see him escape at the last moment both times. On the other hand, I don’t know if the Chargers 1st string defense is really good or if the Seahawks receiver corp is bad without Sidney Rice. No one seemed to be able to get open.

    Tavaris Jackson seemed to be more decisive and didn’t hold the ball too long. He had two long TD pass to Stephen Williams.

    All the RBs who played (Michael, Mike Rob, Coleman, Ware) looked good out there. Jay Howard also played well making plays behind the LOS (although he did have a dumb roughing-the-passer penalty).

    • CHawk Talker Eric

      I agree, VERY nice to watch the ‘Hawks play again finally.

      CMichael impressed me with his 16 carries for 89yds and 5.5yd average. Actually, the running game in general looked pretty good, including SWare and DColeman.

      Hellooooo Stephen Williams (2 deep ball recs for 83yds). Also, I was pleasantly surprised by BQuinn who I thought looked fairly decent, but he was nothing compared to TJack going 8/9 for 123yds with 2TDs and looking very accurate, especially on the long throws!

      On defense, I thought Jaye Howard and JLotulelei both stood out. Lotulelei also looked good on special teams, as did WThurmond’s punt return.

      Also, rookies Ty Powell and Ben Mayowa made a couple of nice plays, and Kearse had some nice catches.

      The run defense was pretty disappointing, particularly against Fozzy Whittaker. Also the pass rush was effective only against Whitehurst (no surprise there), but there wasn’t much pressure on Rivers or Sorenson who were both able to pass effectively.

      • Carl

        Fozzy averaged less than 3 yards per carry, overall I was fairly impressed by our 2nd and 3rd string defensive lines.

  2. williambryan

    Howards “roughing the passer” penalty was a joke, he was trying to do a swim move and brushed the QB… referees, ugh… Not too concerned about the 1st team run d at this point but if something similar were to happen next week that would be interesting. The only thing that stood out to me in a negative way was that Thurmond did not seem to play well (at corner, he had the punt return obviously) with all the reports of him looking great I would expect him to play better next week.

  3. Turp

    Alvin Bailey is a stud. Probable starting RT next year. Loved his game tonight…blew guys up in the run game, erased anyone rushing off the edge. Fantastic.

  4. Michael

    Every once in a while I forget that Rob is British… Then he says things like, ” the proper stuff” and I remember, and it makes me laugh. Can’t wait for another great season Rob. SDB is my version of crack cocaine. And I don’t mean the weak ass stuff they’re pumping out now-a-days; I mean the proper stuff from the late 80’s.

    Go ‘Hawks!

  5. Belgaron

    New Seahawks most likely to become stars based on limited sample:

    1. Christine Michael
    2. Benson Mayowa
    3. Stephen Williams
    4. Jesse Williams

    All with “first round talent”, all considered damaged goods for one reason or another, all guys who could force fans to buy their jerseys in droves if they are able to deliver like this throughout the season.

    • Sea-Town

      Jesse Williams is very slow off he snap. VERY SLOW!

      • James

        Jesse’s role is simply to tie up two OLs, hold the line, and stun the running game. He does that as well as anyone. He is a specialist, but a very valuable one.

      • Chris

        Yeah, wasn’t particularly impressed with Jesse, or Hill for that matter. Not sure what is up with this run-D anymore. It’s been a while since they’ve actually had a good game it seems.

        Lotuleilei stood out, although it seems like he’s as likely to run himself totally out of a play as he is to make one.

        I think Mayowa is getting over-rated a bit. He had some good effort sacks and plays when eventually over-powering 2nd stringers. I’m not seeing the speed or moves to take on 1st string NFL left tackles though.

  6. James

    “Always Compete” is going to wreak some roster havoc, based on the preseason thus far. Alvin Bailey is the 3rd best OL on the team and should be starting at OG or ROT. Chris Harper is well behind Kearse and Williams and his roster spot would be in real jeopardy without the Harvin injury. Walter Thurmond is looking really good at CB, but as the nickel, Antoine Winfield is clearly superior. The RB coach must have slept well last night, with two pro bowlers on the bench in Beast and Real Rob, and a very solid player returning in Turbin….Michael, Ware and Coleman can play in this league right now. Zach Miller better get well and stay well, for there is a huge drop off behind him. There is only so much RW can do if his WRs are not getting separation….Rice, Tate and Baldwin need to be on the field all the time.

  7. seaspunj

    Great to see the Seahawks start the new football season. Just from observation with the front four first group, it looks like if the LEO position doesn’t get very much pressure on the QB and it doesnt look like there’s much pressure from anywhere else. Hopefully Quin can bring more creativity in generating a pass rush and I also agree looks like we need more work on run stuffing with the front four.

    It’s preseason and as early as it gets but man it was great to see the secondary do their thing. Our back up secondary definitely looked solid and really I don’t know who gets cut because Simon didn’t even dress and its crazy to see how much depth they had.

    Kearse just looks different and more sure of himself versus last year and that translate onto the field with the QB. It was great to have Brock call the play just before the snap for Kearse TD. I hope JKearse sticks to make the team.

    Go Hawks

    • Turp

      It was pretty vanilla 4man pass rush, they didn’t bring the SAM backer on blitzes very much. I imagine they will bring the heat a lot more during the season with the personnel they have.

    • Barry

      I agree with your assessment of Kearse, Seaspunj. He is above ave when it comes to athletics for a WR and has solid size. I think he will only continue to improve as he becomes more comfortable and acclimated.

      • Michael

        I think Kearse compares favorably to DeAndre Hopkins from an athleticism standpoint. Roughly the same size too. Hopkins is probably better right now at getting open and has better hands, but those could be things that are fixable with good coaching.

  8. AlaskaHawk

    I enjoyed watching the second and third string players. There are a lot of UDFA that I hadn’t heard of. Williams and Bailey are two great finds.

    First string defense started like they finished last year. Stuff the first two downs, then give up the third down. It’s frustrating but they will figure it out by regular season. Maybe they shouldn’t switch personnel on third down passes?

    • Michael

      Oh god, please don’t make me watch Red Bryant trying to rush the passer… It’s so painful.

  9. Jake

    Man, I thorougly enjoyed watching our back-ups plan. I don’t really ever care how the starters do, except for the third preseason game. I love preseason because its when we get to get a glimpse at the future. I mean, who is going to own this preseason, who will we remember down the road.
    In 2010, we saw BMW come back from the ashes and look to be back to USC’s BMW. He was too, it was fun to see all year long.
    In 2011, we were treated to Brandon Browner and RIchard Sherman during the preseason. Browner in particular was a force as a CB during the preseason, the defense clicked with the physicallity at CB once Sherman joined the starting lineup.
    In 2012, it was the Russell Wilson show. He was amazing and it was a glimpse as to what he would become.
    In 2013, who will it be? Leaders in the clubhouse and things I want to find out:
    1. Is Byron Maxwell emerging as the next “COUS” to eventually supplant Browner and join ET, Kam, and Sherm in the pro-bowl?
    2. Can Christine Michael show consistency to go with the flashes of superstardom? Can he harness the talent and learn the system so that he can “just read it” like Lynch and eventually be the best RB in the league?
    3. Can Bradford supplant Farwell as a ST standout and upgrade the backup MLB spot? Or even push for a starting job at OLB?
    4. Is Alvin Bailey a stud or was week one an abberation? If he really is that bad-ass, will he take a starting spot? Always compete (Breno/Carp/McQ) right?
    5. Is Coleman actually Mike Rob’s replacement down the road, not Ware? If so, is he too good to try and hide on the PS this year? If so, can “down the road” be September, 2013? (FYI – I hope not, I love Mike Rob).

    I’m stoked for round 2 of this preseason.

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