No lack of effort from Seahawks, Mora says
RYAN DIVISH; The News Tribune
RENTON – Jim Mora understands why people – fans, media and anybody who has watched the Seattle Seahawks play for the past three games – are questioning the effort level of his team.
Heck, even the Seahawks coach would question it if he were in their shoes.
“Shoot, if I was sitting out there, I’d be asking it, too,” he said.
Consistent and loud questioning of a team’s or a player’s effort, or more specifically, lack of it, is not good for the morale of those in question. There is no greater sin in athletics than being accused of not trying.
And yet, after the Seahawks were drubbed in Houston (34-7) on Dec. 13, and followed that with an embarrassing 24-7 loss at home to Tampa Bay, which then had just one win, and most recently were crushed by Green Bay, 48-10, at Lambeau Field on Sunday, fans have flooded sports-talk radio and newspaper Web site comment sections with talk about players mailing it in or quitting on Mora.
“I absolutely understand it,” Mora said. “I think it’s very reasonable for people to question that. When you lose games by some of the scores we’ve lost, then certainly people question that.”
But Mora wouldn’t tolerate any talk of a lack of effort.
“Effort is not an issue,” he said. “People are always going to bring up the question of effort when you get beat bad. That is not an issue, not at all.”
When Mora was pressed about being able to see a lack of effort if there were any, he was emphatic.
“It sticks out to a coach,” Mora said. “Just let me be very clear, there is no lack of effort on this football team.”
Mora said he swears he would see it immediately. The first place he’d see it is during the week at practice and meetings. If a player is not giving effort, the first place it would surface is in preparation, Mora said.
“I see a good attitude in the locker room,” he said. “You don’t walk in there and see a morgue. Guys go out to practice and work hard. They still get together at night and watch film. Guys are on time.
“Judging by the way our guys prepare and practice and their attitude, you wouldn’t know they’re sitting in the position we’re in. That’s a credit to some of the leaders on the team.”
So, no matter how many people accuse his players of not putting forth effort, Mora will disagree, and disagree vehemently.
“All I can say is having first-hand knowledge of it, having been around the league for my entire life, being in the locker room and on the practice on the field every day and on the sidelines with them – effort is not an issue,” Mora said. “It’s just simply not an issue. And if it was – I’ve been honest with you guys all year – I’d tell you if it was. And it’s not. It’s just not. There are other issues, but effort is not one of them.”
The Seahawks suffered a few injuries in the Green Bay game that could force some lineup changes.
Starting running back Julius Jones aggravated a rib injury and also injured his foot. He’s questionable for Sunday.
Starting corner back Josh Wilson suffered a hip pointer on a fall to the hard ground. He is also questionable.
Two players who missed the game in Green Bay are also likely to missed the season-ending game Sunday against Tennessee. Wide receiver Nate Burleson, who has a high ankle sprain, will not play, while linebacker Aaron Curry, who missed the game with a hip pointer, is doubtful.
The toughest injury suffered against Green Bay was by wide receiver Mike Hass, who was signed to the active roster last week.
Hass dislocated shoulder on the opening kickoff but he came back and played later.
“He was given an opportunity and he was not going to let a dislocated shoulder take it away from him,” Mora said. “He went in and braced it up and continued to play.”
Hass was activated because of a nagging hamstring injury that has bothered Ben Obomanu.
“If Ben’s back up, then most likely Mike would be inactive, but he could play with that, although he will most likely need surgery on it in the offseason,” Mora said.
Ryan Divish: 253-597-8483