Seahawks have plenty to do while they enjoy a week off
DAVE BOLING; Staff writer
RENTON – The Seahawks don’t have to play this Sunday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work this week.
They scored only a field goal in a 20-3 defeat to the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday, so the offense started the bye week early.
Monday afternoon, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll outlined the plan for the week, which includes giving some veterans a rest while allowing young players the opportunity to get repetitions with the first units.
He pointed out shortcomings with varying degrees of frustration and optimism, disappointment and rationalization. Taken in total, he came away with the assessment that although there are countless concerns, the Seahawks are nonetheless 2-2, at the top of the division, and have two weeks to dig up ways to improve.
“At this time, it might look like everything is bleak and lost because of a bad game,” Carroll said. “I don’t feel like that; I feel we can get better and improve and get going and be a factor in this division and do the things we want to do before the season is over.”
The team will practice today and Wednesday before the players get time off. Specific preparations for the Oct. 17 game at Chicago will start next week.
Carroll listed the goals for this week: To re-evaluate the schemes and personnel. To give backups more repetitions in practice so they can get an updated look at their readiness. To let banged-up players heal.
“We’ll take the opportunity to push (reserve) guys up in their play numbers,” he said. “There’s all kinds of guys who are going to get more turns with that first group. We’ll put them against the top guys to show us more and give us more information. I really believe this is an opportunity for those guys to show where they fit in and how they can contribute.”
He specifically mentioned rookie safety Kam Chancellor getting repetitions with the starting unit while veteran Lawyer Milloy gets a lighter work load.
Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, too, will get more snaps in place of starter Matt Hasselbeck. When Carroll was asked if that signaled a greater openness to replacing Hasselbeck as starter, the coach said: “We’re not doing that.”
He made a number of evaluations of the performance against the Rams:
• The lack of rushing success is “still probably the thing that bothers me the most,” he said. The Seahawks gained 2.7 yards per carry (64 yards total) against the Rams, a team that had given up 133 yards per game previously.
The problems were due to injuries and turnover in the offensive line, he said. “That’s still a work in progress.”
He stressed that rookie left tackle Russell Okung did not aggravate his ankle injury, but was taken out after 26 plays because it was getting sore and he could not be effective on it. He will practice today, Carroll said.
• Hasselbeck’s uninspiring performance (58.9 passer rating) was the result of a number of factors. “There was more pressure on the quarterback than we’ve had in other games, getting sacked four times,” Carroll said. “I wish we had done more things around him to help him and make it easier. It was still a hard game for him; I know he felt that way, also, when he came out of it. He can play better. We also need to contribute around him.”
• The defense gave up touchdowns on two third-and-10 plays “which were two busts on our part,” he said. And they surrendered nearly 100 yards on Rams’ screen passes.
• He stood by his decision to a fake field goal attempt late in the first half. “We really thought we had something; we studied it hard
and they changed. They did a nice job
they were very timely with their adjustment. We were trying to make some things happen and that was one of them.”
• He said the team came out of the game without serious injuries. Linebacker Dexter Davis suffered a first-degree hamstring strain, but Carroll said that he expected everybody to be available when the team goes to Chicago.
• Off the field, the NFL announced an immediate one-game suspension for linebacker Leroy Hill, who is on injured reserve and not likely to return to the team. Hill is being penalized one game check for violating league conduct rules.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org