Seattle Seahawks

Starter Marshawn Lynch’s quick exit lets Robert Turbin shine for Seahawks

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said before Friday night’s exhibition game that he wanted to see Terrelle Pryor improve his decision making and throwing accuracy.

After going 1-for-4 for 10 yards, Pryor will need another game to show the Seahawks he can do that.

But Seattle’s No. 3 quarterback acquired in an offseason trade from Oakland did remind the coaching staff about the kind of speed he possesses, when he scampered for a 44-yard run in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks’ 41-14 win against San Diego at CenturyLink Field.

The athleticism he showed on that run, after a juke step froze multiple Chargers near the line of scrimmage, is why he was the Raiders’ starting quarterback for parts of three seasons into 2013. Seattle then got him for a seventh-round draft choice.

“I kind of felt like I wasn’t in a rhythm,” Pryor said. “Sometimes it’s like that. You just have to go make a play for the team.”

Pryor played the final drive of the first half, the entire third quarter and the first drive of the fourth. He might have led Seattle to its fifth score in five drives before halftime if reserve tight end Cooper Helfet had been able to hold on to Pryor’s dart at the sidelines near the Chargers 30-yard line.

Pryor showed improvement Bevell sought from last week on that play, scrambling to his left away from pressure and instead of taking off running. Keeping his head upfield, he waited for Helfet to break free and then set his feet for a perfect throw that won’t show up in the box score.

Tarvaris Jackson, last season’s No. 2 quarterback who played two drives last week in Denver, did not play Friday. But Bevell and coach Pete Carroll knows what they have in the veteran.

The coaches saw again what they might have in Pryor.

LYNCH MAKES CAMEO

Marshawn Lynch, in his first start this preseason, was the opposite of newsworthy. In fact, he was about as quiet as can be.

Lynch, who was alleged to have committed assault and property damage on Monday before investigators cleared him of the accusations on Tuesday, was in for two plays against the San Diego Chargers in the Seahawks’ second preseason game on Friday night at CenturyLink Field. Then he exited to the sidelines, donned a ball cap and briefly fiddled around on the bench with what appeared to be a team-issued tablet device.

Lynch reported to camp a week late after a short contract holdout, then joined a dozen other veterans who didn’t make the trip to Denver for Seattle’s first exhibition game.

The focus quickly shifted to the backup running back competition between Robert Turbin and Christine Michael.

Turbin, who had four carries for only five yards against Denver, thrashed the Chargers’ defense with 12 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown — in just the first half. His longest carry, a 47-yard cutback to the left sideline, came in the first quarter.

Michael fumbled what would have been a nine-yard carry in the first quarter, but the Seahawks recovered the ball to retain possession on their opening scoring drive. It was his second fumble in eight carries. He finished with eight carries for 45 yards, but coach Pete Carroll has little patience for fumbles by his running backs — especially ones fighting for places on the roster.

FILL-IN JERON JOHNSON SHINES AGAIN

If Kam Chancellor wasn’t enough of a threat at strong safety, back-up Jeron Johnson showed the potential to be almost as dangerous.

Johnson is a fourth-year safety from Boise State. He started in place of Chancellor, the 2012 Pro Bowl selection, against the Chargers, blitzed from San Diego running back Danny Woodhead’s left and lifted him off his feet for a 3-yard loss.

The play ended the first quarter and drew a familiar roar from Seahawks fans. It was Johnson’s only tackle of the night. It was also one of the few times through two exhibition games that Seattle’s mostly base defense has blitzed.

SIMON FLASHES BALL-HAWKING SKILLS

Tharold Simon intercepted a Chargers pass and ran it 103 yards for what would have been a touchdown in the third quarter. But officials called an illegal-contact foul on the second-year cornerback from LSU — even though replays showed little, if any, contact on San Diego’s receiver by Simon.

Still, coaches will take note of Simon’s play and explosive return down the left sideline. It was timely, coming after he got himself ejected last week in Denver for slapping the facemask of a Bronco following a Denver touchdown.

INJURY BUG STILL BOTHERING STARTERS

Fifteen Seahawks sat out the game, but injured starters Chancellor, Russell Okung and Max Unger were in uniform and participated in pregame warmups.

Starting defensive end Michael Bennett was among those sitting out. That opened up ample opportunities for his backups. O’Brien Schofield, battling Benson Mayowa for a job as situational pass rusher, was especially active, with three quarterback hits on San Diego second-string quarterback Kellen Clemens in the first half.

Another backup defensive lineman, Greg Scruggs, had a sack on Clemens in the second quarter. Mayowa and Jordan Hill later teamed up for a sack in the third quarter.

EXTRA POINTS

Undrafted linebacker Brock Coyle from Montana, starting again in place of Bobby Wagner (hamstring), had one tackle and six assists through two and a half quarters. Fellow rookie linebacker Kevin-Pierre Louis had three tackles and two assists. ... the first responders of the Oso mudslide plus those at this summer’s wildfires across much of Eastern Washington raised the 12th Man Flag prior the game. Volunteers for those causes accepted donations outside the stadium prior to the game.

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