Perhaps the best play of practice came on toward the end when Jim Mora had offensive coordinator Greg Knapp line up against defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for a one-on-one pass play with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback.
Knapp ran some sort of route, it was too slow to be a fly pattern, but he got a step on Bradley and Hasselbeck tossed a perfect ball that Knapp hauled in on his fingertips and raced away from Bradley for a 45-yard touchdown. Practice erupted as all of the offensive players sprinted to the end zone to congratulate Knapp.
"It was fun," Hasselbeck said. "I gave it a little air. If Gus wanted to make a play on it, he could have. It was just great execution."
"It was tight coverage," Knapp said. "Just a great throw. I don't want to give away the secret, but there was a sight adjustment because of the coverage he was playing on me that you might see on youtube."
What does this moment mean toward the Seahawks season?
Not much, but this is still a game and there needs to be moments of fun. And it clearly lightened the mood for a little while in what has been a tense week.
Well, Hasselbeck kind of seemed miffed about media, fans and others saying this season is done.
"I know that there's a time in a season ... where a team can pull apart or pull together," he said. "After a performance like we had at home, I think people have definitely counted us out. I think there's a lot of negativity around our team. I've heard people that this season is over and we've got no chance. That's ridiculous. That's absolutely ridiculous. I think for us as a team, this an opportunity for us to pull together and prove people wrong."
Of course, Hasselbeck admitted that proving people wrong starts from within. The team and the players have to do it. Use whatever cliches like "bunkering in" and "circling the wagons" but the Seahawks need to find a way to do that. And Hasselbeck knows players can get the same negative attitude as some fans or media types.
"It's also an opportunity where you've seen teams int eh past point the finger at each other, maybe whisper or doubt the plan that the coaches have put forth. Mentally we have to rise above all that stuff. It would be easy for us to make excuses. But I think what's important is to block that stuff out and continue to work hard and just stay together, continue to be a team, continue to be the things we said in training camp were so important."
We're in this together. Be all in, everybody be all in. We can't have 10 guys rowing this way and one guy rowing that way. It doesn't work that way. We know it doesn't work. We've tried it that way in the past. I think everybody is buying in."
When asked if he was disappointed in some fans giving up, Hasselbeck was diplomatic.
"It's sports. That's sports. A team goes down 3-0 in a 7 game series and everyone is like, 'ah, it's over.' But it's not over. You're chances are worse and you've made it a lot harder on yourself, but it's not over. And that's what we've done to ourselves. We've made it a lot harder on ourselves. We've lost games at home that we could've won. And now we have to do something that we haven't been necessarily great at, we have to go on the road to win some games."
Of course, TJ Houshmandzadeh, who is never short on opinions about such things, also offered his thoughts.
“We’re human like everybody else. You kind of get discouraged here and there, some more than others. There’s a lot of games left. I think last year Buffalo was 4 or 5 and 1, or 4-2 – something like that. I know they were good early on, and they didn’t make the playoffs.
“Every game is different. Every week is different. You can win every game you play as long as you approach it like that and prepare like that. What you do now kind of shows you what’s going to happen in the future, so if we put that work in on Monday and next week, the future should be great on Sunday.
“And so every week is different. I’m very optimistic about the rest of the season. Very.”A few other notes from practice
- Offensive linemen Walter Jones, Rob Sims and Sean Locklear did not practice, but Sims do side work, including sprints and agility work. Also not participating were DE Patrick Kerney, CB Kelly Jennings, S CJ Wallace, and RB Edgerrin James is still gone for personal reasons.
- Marcus Trufant had a pick-off of Hasselbeck in the end zone.
- Hasselbeck and Deon Grant Butler connected on a pretty long pass on sideline go route.
- The O-line was LT (McIntonsh), LG (Vallos), C Spencer, RG (Unger), RT (Willis)
- Nick Reed gave McIntosh some problems during one on ones and a few team drills. Reed almost had a pick on a short swing pass from Seneca that easily would have been for a score.
- Also it appears that the Seahawks didn't sign Kyle Williams to the practice squad, instead they went and acquired guard Mike Gibson, most recently of the Eagles.
I'm leaving Renton now and I'll try and post some more of the Hasselbeck press conference, along with some quotes from Knapp about their problems on third down and much of a highly entertaining conversation with Housh where he made fun of reporters' clothing and also said he loves the Oregon Ducks uniforms and how he hopes the Hawks where the green jersey's again.