With a little more than a week until the start of the regular season, the Seattle Seahawks made a timely discovery in their final preseason game Thursday night at CenturyLink Field:
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Hawks were playing an Oakland Raiders team that had accumulated only four sacks in their first three preseason games.
Still, it allowed starting Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson his first chances of the preseason to operate without imminent peril. Jackson led two good drives in the first period, completing five of seven passes for 88 yards. His one interception, though, came deep in Oakland territory to short-circuit an early drive.
Jackson had been dumped seven times in the first three games, but he went mostly untouched Friday.
“We worked hard all week trying to correct some things that had been wrong with communication,” left tackle Tyler Polumbus said.
Running back Leon Washington came up with one of the best plays of the game by staying alert and hustling down the field even though the pass wasn’t directed to him. In the second period, Raiders cornerback Joe Porter jumped in front of intended receiver Golden Tate and tipped a pass back toward the Seahawks’ line.
Washington sprinted up and caught it at his shoe-tops – la Franco Harris’ Immaculate Reception – and raced 32 yards with it.
Washington said that teammates on the sidelines started calling him “Franco.”
“It was just a hustle play, hustling for the ball,” Washington said. “I think Franco Harris took it all the way, and I didn’t score. But it goes to show, you hustle to the ball, and special things will happen.”
OKUNG WARMS UP
Even though he didn’t play in the game, an appearance by tackle Russell Okung during pregame warm-ups had to serve as a bright spot for the Seahawks.
Okung, a first-round draft pick last year, sprained his left ankle on the first series of the first preseason game and has been sidelined since.
Optimistic speculation held that he might be available for the opener, so his being suited and allowed to warm up had to be viewed as a good sign.
Okung took a few snaps with the backups during warm-ups, wearing visible braces on both ankles. He missed six games with injuries to his ankles during his rookie season.
With the performance of the offensive line being an issue in the first three preseason games, Okung’s return will be crucial for the Sept. 11 regular-season opener at San Francisco. In his absence, Polumbus started again at left tackle.
SOME NEW STARTERS PLAY AGAINST RAIDERS
With expected starters Sidney Rice and Mike Williams not dressing to nurse minor injuries, the Hawks started Golden Tate and Kris Durham at wide receiver.
Defensively, new starters included middle linebacker K.J. Wright, cornerback Brandon Browner and strong safety Atari Bigby.
Seahawk captains for the game included former Raiders Robert Gallery and Zach Miller (along with Mike Robinson). … Auburn boxer Greg “Mutt” Haugen, a former world title holder, raised the 12th Man flag. … Seahawks who did not suit up for the game: Deon Butler, Isaiah Stanback, Mike Williams, Sidney Rice, Marshawn Lynch, Kam Chancellor, Roy Lewis, David Hawthorne, Ben Obomanu, Cameron Morrah, John Carlson, Colin Cole and Pierre Allen.
Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 firstname.lastname@example.org