RENTON – Looking for a pass-rushing specialist to pair with Chris Clemons, the Seattle Seahawks appear to have found their man in Raheem Brock.
Playing about half of the defensive snaps, mostly in passing situations, the 32-year-old, nine-year veteran has three sacks and seven quarterback hurries in six games and is tied for second on the team in sacks with safety Lawyer Milloy.
Clemons leads the Seahawks with 51/2 sacks.
Fellow defensive end Red Bryant has been a force in stopping the run on early downs, helping the Seahawks hold opponents to 77.5 yards a game on the ground, second in the league. But the 320-pound run stuffer usually gives way to Brock in obvious passing situations, and the Temple product has made the most of his chances.
“They’ve been coming up with great game plans throughout the week and calling good plays during the game,” Brock said. “And we’re just going out and executing like we’re supposed to. So everybody’s on the same page, and we’re just out there having fun.”
Brock took a circuitous route to Seattle. After two Super Bowl appearances and eight years in Indianapolis, he asked for his release from the Colts because he was looking for more pass-rushing opportunities and didn’t think they would come behind Pro Bowl players Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
And so Brock signed with Tennessee in the offseason, only to find the Titans stacked with defensive ends.
The Titans released Brock during final cuts in September. He quickly was gobbled up by the Seahawks, who were looking for a backup for Clemons at the Leo position, the team’s pass-rushing specialist.
With 104 career starts and 311/2 sacks, Brock fit the bill, serving as another example of the ability of general manager John Schneider and the rest of his personnel department to find players with unique skills to fill specific roles for Seattle.
“It’s similar to what I was doing in Indy, so I’ve just had to get comfortable with the defense and being able to understand the defense, and trying not to confuse the plays with what I’ve been doing for the last eight years in Indy,” Brock said.
“But it’s basically the same things I was doing in Indy, trying to get to the quarterback and trying to make plays.”
At 6-foot-4 and 274 pounds, Brock gives Seattle’s defense another versatile defender who can play defensive end, defensive tackle and even a little linebacker.
“I knew (defensive line coach) Danny Quinn was really fired up about the chance to get him and brought it to our attention, so we went after him,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s been a real good addition, a real active pass rusher, very mobile guy, good attitude about loving the pass rush and bringing it. He brings quite an array of moves and things that he demonstrates and helps the young guys learn. I think he’s been a great addition for us.”
Brock even tried out a bit of acting late in the game in Seattle’s win over Arizona last week, doing his best Vlade Divac impersonation and flopping when Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson pushed him after an incomplete pass. Brock was flagged for 15 yards on the play for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting, giving Arizona a first down.
“He pushed me, so I did a flop,” Brock said, chuckling. “I’ve been working on my acting, but obviously it’s not that good yet.”
The Raiders made a trade for receiver Mike Williams in 2007 after his career fizzled in Detroit, hoping to bring out the talent he showed while at USC.
But Williams was cut after only seven games because of issues with his weight, as he reportedly ballooned to 270 pounds.
Now returning with Seattle three years later, Williams has kept his weight under control and leads Seattle with 32 receptions for 348 yards and one touchdown.
Williams said a lot has changed since his time in Oakland, and that he looks forward to going against his former team.
“I’m not the person I was back then, physically and mentally,” Williams said about his short time in Oakland. “But just with that place the fans are into it. They’ve won some good games and the games they’ve lost in my opinion they’ve beat themselves more so than got outplayed. So it’s going to be a good test going back into the Bay Area.”
Carroll said earlier this week that he was hopeful defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (calf) and cornerback Kelly Jennings (hamstring) would practice Thursday, as an indication to see if either could play Sunday.
But both were spectators at practice Thursday, leaving some doubt whether they will be ready to go Sunday. And with Walter Thurmond (head) missing a second straight day of practice, the Seahawks are looking thin at cornerback, with Marcus Trufant, Roy Lewis, Nate Ness and Kennard Cox the team’s only healthy corners.
Also sitting out Thursday were offensive tackle Russell Okung (ankle), fullback Michael Robinson (hamstring), receiver Brandon Stokley (oblique) and linebacker Matt McCoy (hamstring).
Offensive guard Ben Hamilton and defensive end Clemons returned to practice after taking a maintenance day off Wednesday.
Seattle (4-2) at Oakland (3-4), 1:15 p.m., Ch. 13, 97.3-FM