Reporters here got an opportunity to talk to Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates about how the offensive installation is going.
As you can imagine, with so many new faces on the field, and with both projected starting receivers on the mend in T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch, it has been a slow process.
I asked Bates what was more important, getting as many reps as possible so that the team can evaluate players, or developing some cohesion with the starting unit, and this is what he had to say.
“A little of both,” Bates said. “I mean we’re putting in a whole playbook, so guys are having to go to meeting rooms and then taking it out on the field. And then we go back, we study the plays and get to know what the offense is about as far as the quarterbacks, receivers and what we’re looking for.
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“So the players have to understand what the coaches are looking for. And then the more times we do it – we’re going to do the playbook a couple, different times – hopefully we keep growing and getting better everyday. We also got to find out who can run what and what players are special at doing.
“I don’t think you can come and just say, ‘This is what we are.’ You’ve got to be flexible. You look at Matt’s past and you’ve got to run some plays that Matt feels comfortable with, and we’ll go from there.”
Hasselbeck echoed those comments when talking about trying to get on the same page with new players like receiver Golden Tate.
“It’s hard I think right now for the new people because we did this three days of installation in our last camp, so we got a jump on it with them,” Hasselbeck said. “Also we’ve been here working, so it’s probably hard for them. And right now we’ve got a lot of those guys in there with us.
“Our two, starting receivers are younger guys right now. But I think everyone is doing a good job battling through. I’m trying to do the best that I can so I can make it easier on them. I’m trying to step in the huddle and say it as clear as I possibly can, and put emphasis on the words that need emphasizing.”
Hasselbeck said recent addition, left guard Ben Hamilton, has been a help, both for rookie left tackle Russell Okung and in the run game because of his experience in the zone blocking scheme.
“He’s been a huge help stepping into that huddle with us,” Hasselbeck said. “When you step into the huddle you’ll call a play, and I’ll hear him kind of give a quiet reminder to the guys near him, or even at the line of scrimmage if the defense shifts or we go in motion. He’s just got the finer coaching points down. He’s got experience with these calls, with this offense and with this system.”
For his part, Okung said he’s not overwhelmed by the step up in competition, and focused on learning the playbook so he can play faster.
“The game is really fast and there are a lot of assignments, so my head is all over the place,” Okung said. “But Coach Gibbs is a great coach and I’m just taking everything I can from his head – taking everything day by day.”
Okung did look more comfortable out on the field today. Others that stood out today include receiver Mike Jones, who made a nice catch on a deep ball during team drills against cornerback Kennard Cox.
* Cornerback Kelly Jennings batted down two balls in pass coverage today, continuing his solid play from last year.
* Mike Williams and Deon Butler also made nice catches over the middle of the defense during 7-on-7 drills.
* Rookie defensive end E.J. Wilson has played some defensive end and some defensive tackle, while defensive tackle Red Bryant has saw some time at defensive end.
* Rookie safety Kam Chancellor made a nice play on a ball down the seam of the defense intended for Golden Tate.
* Matt Hasselbeck and John Carlson hooked up several times today for completions, showing the chemistry that has been developed over the past, two seasons.
* Lost in the shuffle of all of the running back talk has been the play of Quinton Ganther, who has looked good both running the ball and catching it out of the backfield.
* Ben Obomanu, who sat out of Friday’s practice, suited up today and participated in some drills, but sat out of team drills.
* The first-unit offensive line has been Okung, Hamilton, Spencer, Unger and Locklear, with Ray Willis working at left tackle with the second unit, along with Mike Gibson, Steve Vallos, Mansfield Wrotto and Joe Toledo along the second line.