The Seattle Seahawks plan to turn up the heat defensively with more blitzing in the last five games of the year.
Coach Jim Mora said his defense played more man-to-man coverage against St. Louis last week and blitzed more, which resulted in four sacks against Rams quarterback Kyle Boller.
And Mora plans to keep the pressure up in Sunday’s game against San Francisco.
“Going into last week, we just felt like we needed to – regardless of who we were playing – play more tight man-to-man coverage,” Mora said. “We felt like we needed to bring Aaron Curry a little bit more in a rushing-type of role. We needed to bring Leroy (Hill) a little bit more in a rushing-type of a role.
“Specifically to Aaron Curry, because we’ve talked a lot about him lately being a rookie and where he is at this point in the season, and how he’s feeling. Sometimes, if you bring him, if you rush him, if you put him on a straight-line course, that is another thing that helps him play well and play fast and play with certainty. So we just felt like doing that would help us as a defense, and that involved playing more man-to-man so we could bring those guys.”
Part of the reason for the change in focus defensively is Seattle’s upcoming opponents. Seattle played more of a soft zone defensively earlier in the season because they faced veteran quarterbacks like Arizona’s Kurt Warner, Minnesota’s Brett Favre – experienced signal callers who made the Seahawks pay when they blitzed.
However, the Seahawks will face young quarterbacks in San Francisco’s Alex Smith, Tampa Bay rookie Josh Freeman and Tennessee’s Vince Young the rest of the way – the average experience of the quarterbacks Seattle will face the next five weeks is four years.
The improved play of safety Jordan Babineaux also contributed to Seattle’s success on Sunday. Babineaux had perhaps his best game of the season against the Rams, finishing with a team-high 13 tackles, an interception, a quarterback hurry and two passes defensed.
In his first season starting at safety, Babineaux leads the team in tackles with 78, and says after some early season struggles he feels more comfortable.
“I can honestly say that week to week I’ve taken what I’ve learned and the things that I might not have been so good on the week before and rolled them over, and tried to correct them as a player so I can take full advantage of the opportunity that I have playing full-time at the safety position,” Babineaux said. “So it’s definitely been a growing process.”
Mora said Babineaux’s improvement hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s becoming a better player,” Mora said. “We’re very happy with his progress because it’s been quiet, but it’s coming.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437