The Seattle Seahawks injury report for today is exactly the same as Wednesday.
Defensive tackle Colin Cole (ankle), offensive guard Mike Gibson (ankle), tight end Anthony McCoy (knee), running back Michael Robinson (hamstring), wide receiver Brandon Stokley (calf), wide receiver Golden Tate (ankle) and linebacker Lofa Tatupu (knee) did not practice for a second straight day.
Matt Hasselbeck (left wrist) and offensive tackle Russell Okung (ankle) fully participated in practice for a second straight season. Both appeared to make it through practice okay and appear on track to play Sunday, although Okung continues to share reps with the first unit with Tyler Polumbus.
For New Orleans, safety Darren Sharper (hamstring), tight end Jeremy Shockey (rib) and running back Pierre Thomas (ankle) did not practice.
Running back Reggie Bush (leg), running back Chris Ivory (shoulder), safety Malcolm Jenkins (neck), offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb (knee) and cornerback Patrick Robinson (ankle) were limited participants in practice.
Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates talked to reporters after practice about facing an aggressive New Orleans defense led by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that is getting healthier.
“I have a lot of respect for Gregg,” Bates said. “I’ve known him for a long time, and really respect what he does defensively. And every year he does something different, so he’s ahead of the curve. And they’re playing really aggressive football right now and flying around the field.
“Every week is a challenge, and this is another challenge. Again, I have a lot of respect for him. You don’t know what you’re going to get. I faced him two years ago when he was at Jacksonville, and so it’s going to be fun.”
There’s been some questions about why Seattle does not run many screens this season, and here’s what Bates had to say when asked about what makes a team a good screen team.
“If you go look at the history of the old Green Bay teams and Philadelphia teams, the one thing that’s always mentioned is they did it everyday, especially during two-a-days and OTAs, they had 10-minute screen periods,” he said. “So I think it’s like anything, if you practice a skill set, no matter what it is in life, if you do it over and over, you get to that 10,000-hour rule that Coach Carroll always talks about and you become a master at it.”
Here’s what Bates had to say when asked why Seattle does not run more screens
“I think last year if you look at Seattle’s offense last year, screens were very big,” he said. ‘It was a major part of the offense. There’s been some things we’ve tried, and we’ve got to continue to try and get better. Obviously, there’s a lot of things right now and you’ve got to take baby steps, but screens are a big part of football. And a lot of teams – the New England Patriots if you study them, they’re running five or six screens a game. It’s definitely a weapon in the National Football League.”
Translation: The Seahawks are still trying to figure out how to get five guys up front to handle the zone blocking scheme in their base plays, and do not have the practice time to work on a specialized skill set like screens, which take a lot of practice time to get the timing down. Further, good screen teams usually have agile, nimble lineman who can get out and block smaller guys in space, and that doesn’t exactly fit guys like Tyler Polumbus, Russell Okung and Stacy Andrews.
Bates also addressed Seattle’s struggles in short yardage situations.
“We’ve got to get better,” Bates said. “Short yardage, you’ve got to get the first down. It’s not a mystery, you’ve got a yard and low pad level wins. You’ve got to have heart, and you’ve got to believe in getting one yard.”
Bates, along with Matt Hasselbeck earlier today, that John Carlson is playing a new position as the team’s Tiger, which is similar to an H-Back, kind of a hybrid between a fullback and a tight end. Carlson has been thrown into the role because Michael Robinson has been out with a hamstring injury for the last three weeks.
“He’s our Tiger,” Bates said. “We’re going to split him out and we’re going to have him in a three-point. He’s a very flexible player.”