Seahawks Insider Blog

Mora press conference: Coach mum on Ruskell rumor

First of all, my apologies for not posting any updates this morning. I was late getting to my flight and I didn’t have any time between plane changes to post anything, and I came right to the press conference this afternoon.

We’ll have the Monday Morning QB chat on Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

Seahawks head coach Jim Mora was asked if he had seen any of the reports stating that team general manager Tim Ruskell had been informed by team officials that he’s been asked to step down at the end of the year, and this is what he had to say:

“I haven’t seen those reports, I’m sorry,” Mora said. “We’re pretty involved with St. Louis Rams cleanup and San Francisco prep. We live in a cave. We’re cavemen”

Asked if he feels a sense of urgency for the team to finish strong, validating that the organization, with Ruskell and himself at the forefront, is headed in the right direction, Mora had this to say.

“Every week we want to create a sense of urgency to play our best, and that’s what we’re trying to do, show improvement on a week-to-week basis with everything that we do,” Mora said. “And sometimes that improvement is hidden a little bit, and you don’t see it.

“We want to win football games. We want to show improvement. That’s what we’re here for. So we’re excited about the opportunities we have in front of us.”

Team officials would not comment publicly on the report from Pro Football Weekly.

However, it's unlikely that Ruskell would be informed that he would not be back next year, as stated in the report, and still allowed to keep scouting and helping to make decisions for this team's future.

Further, for Ruskell not to come back, Seahawks owner Paul Allen would likely be heavily involved in that decision, and he currently is under going chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that he was recently diagnosed with.

Whether the report is accurate or not, ultimately the team will have to make a decision on Ruskell once the season ends in five weeks.

As far as injuries go, as reported on Sunday, Mora reiterated that defensive tackle Cory Redding has a concussion. “We’ll just have to see how he is later in the week,” Mora said. “But we’ll be careful in that regard.”

On running back Julius Jones not playing on Sunday, Mora said he was still experiencing tenderness to the touch with the bruised lung, and the medical staff, along with Jones, didn’t feel he could sustain the blows he would take as a runner.

“I don’t know where he’ll be this week right now,” Mora said. “Hopefully he’ll be ready to play, but I can’t say with any certainty that that will be the case.”

Mora said Jones likely will again practice this week and will be monitored by the team’s training staff

Asked if Jones was still the starter once he is fully healthy, Mora said yes – with a caveat.

“If he’s fully healthy and he’s had a full week of practice and everybody feels comfortable that he can bear the brunt of the workload that he would need to handle to be effective then he would start,” Mora said. “But, that being said, Justin has earned the right to carry the ball, off of what he did at Arizona, and what he did this week. So we’re going to make sure he gets touches.”

Mora again praised kicker Olindo Mare, saying his ability to consistently kick the ball in the end zone helped in terms of field position for the defense.

“His kickoff really help us defensively,” Mora said. “They make the field long.”

Mora also talked about the Seahawks playing more man-to-man coverage this week, allowing the team to send linebackers Aaron Curry and Leroy Hill on blitzes more, and said to expect more of that in the coming weeks.

“Going into last week, we just felt like regardless of who we were playing, we needed to more, tight man-to-man coverage,” Mora said. “And we felt like we needed to bring Aaron Curry a little bit more in a rushing-type of role. We needed to bring Leroy more in a rushing-type of role.”

Mora went on to say specifically to Curry, sometimes when the team puts him on a straight-course as a rusher it helps him get involved in the game early.

As far as the Matt Hasselbeck bootleg play, Mora said in Atlanta with Michael Vick, Greg Knapp used to tag plays as 18 Force QB, meaning the quarterback has the option to pull the ball out and keep it himself if he sees that the backside contain is not staying at home on the zone stretch play. And that’s what Hasselbeck did on a 19-yard gain against the Rams.

As far as game balls, Justin Forsett of course got the offensive game ball, Jordan Babineaux got the defensive game ball, and D.D. Lewis got the special teams game ball.

Mora said that Babineaux has been making steady improvement from earlier in the year.