Seahawks Insider Blog

Seahawks gameday from sunny Kansas City: Block somebody

Quarterback Russell Wilson returns tonight to Arrowhead Stadium, where three years ago Monday he started for the first time in another exhibition game, this one as a rookie. That was the 2012 summer night he won the Seahawks’ starting job for good.
Quarterback Russell Wilson returns tonight to Arrowhead Stadium, where three years ago Monday he started for the first time in another exhibition game, this one as a rookie. That was the 2012 summer night he won the Seahawks’ starting job for good. AP

Good morning from sunny, warm (81 degrees) – but not nearly as hot and muggy as it can be here -- Kansas City. The Seahawks arrived last night for tonight’s second preseason game against the Chiefs. No lightning storms and downpours this week.

This morning in The News Tribune I wrote how polished rookie receiver and kick returner Tyler Lockett is, and why. He is a 22-year-old who plays, acts and talks like he’s 42. That’s by a design that began when he was 5 kicking around NFL locker rooms in which his dad, Kevin, worked for seven seasons.

It’s become apparent with how precise and smooth his route running and catching is that Lockett is going to do far more than return kicks and punts this first season for the Seahawks. He’s been their No. 3 receiver, often in the slot, with the first-team offense all month.

Here is my game advance information, with players and issues to watch tonight in the box at the bottom. Expect Seattle’s starters to play about one quarter, more than the approximately 10 and 13 plays the first-team offense and defense played, respectively, last week in the exhibition opener against Denver. And expect to see B.J. Daniels back at quarterback late in the game, after playing wide receiver and on special teams earlier.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

7 p.m. tonight, Arrowhead Stadium

Live game chat 6:15 p.m. on thenewstribune.com/sports/nfl/seattle-seahawks/seahawks-insider-blog/

TV:Channel 13 and NFL Network Radio: 710-AM, 97.3-FM

The series: The Seahawks are 5-0 in the preseason in a summer series that began in 2002, after Seattle left Kansas City’s AFC West division. The last exhibition-game meeting was also at Arrowhead Stadium, in August 2012. Russell Wilson completed 13 of 19 passes with two touchdowns in his first start as a rookie third-round draft choice. He’s been Seattle’s starter ever since.

SEATTLE’S KEYS

Block somebody: It’s not often an NFL teams swaps out 60 percent of its offensive line halfway through the preseason. That’s how bad Seattle was while allowing seven sacks by Denver in the preseason opener. This will be the first time Justin Britt has started at left guard, Drew Nowak has started at center and Garry Gilliam has started at right tackle. Unless this is worse than last week, that will likely be the lineup in the opener in three weeks.

Matters of safety: This is the 22nd day of Kam Chancellor’s holdout, and Seattle has been rotating first-team strong safeties in his absence. With free safety Earl Thomas also not playing while rehabilitating from February shoulder surgery, Friday’s starting safeties will be untested Dion Bailey and undrafted rookie Ronald Martin. No one truly believes Bailey and Martin will be the starters once the games get real, but – especially with Chancellor’s heels so dug in – who knows?

Health matters: Here’s the weekly notice that avoiding injuries is job one in these exhibitions. Seattle lost No. 2 quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to a high-ankle sprain in last week’s game. Top rookie Frank Clark played brilliantly despite an ankle that is still sore and will likely keep him out at Kansas City. The Seahawks need that hurting trend to stop there.

PRIME NUMBERS

SEATTLE

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year

79 Garry Gilliam RT 6-5 306 second

Former college TE making first start at RT to be faster than Justin Britt was there

5 B.J. Daniels WR/QB 5-11 217 third

Already making move at WR & on special teams, his QB experience is valuable with Jackson hurt

18 Kasen Williams WR 6-1 219 rookie

Outstanding early in camp, time is ticking on Husky’s longshot chance to make team

KANSAS CITY

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Year

50 Justin Houston OLB 6-3 258 fifth

SEA’s new starters on O-line get latest test by one of NFL’s most lethal pass rushers

29 Eric Berry S 6-0 211 sixth

One of NFL’s best stories, back playing as reserve after beating cancer (Hodgkin lymphoma)

22 Marcus Peters CB 6-0 197 rookie

KC lists its No. 1 draft pick from UW No. 2 on the depth chart. He expects to start

And here is all that coach Pete Carroll said yesterday back at team headquarters in Renton before the team flew here:

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Head Coach Pete Carroll

August 20, 2015

(On how the last few days looked) "We’ll wait and see. We need to play cleaner. The ball is on the ground a couple of times too many and that’s never fit in the framework of what we’re trying to get done, so we’ve got to take care of the football better and see how we play. There’s always areas to improve. The first guys got 10 plays, 13 plays so we didn’t see much of them, we’ll see more of them this week. It gives us a much better gauge about where we are moving forward. The young guys will still get a ton of work and we’re expecting those guys to play cleaner. They were a little bit rattled when they started out, but then they settled down. We like to see them start out poised and composed and playing like they’re capable."

(On what we need to see from offensive line) "We need to see them play well. See them work together. This is about them communicating really well. Talent-wise, we’re okay. We need to make sure this unit is coming together and so I’m anxious to see how they do. Things looked very good in practice."

(On the adjustments) "They’ve looked very solid. I think very quickly the transition took place. Garry [Gilliam]’s been working on both sides for some time as a swing guy. For Justin [Britt] to move over there, it’s a little bit of an adjustment for him. But, he just turned to it immediately, so I think we’re in really good shape. We’ll get better, we’re going to continue to improve as we move through this. It’s a good group we’re going against, they’ll check us out early so it’s a good start to gauge where we are."

(On Earl Thomas) "He’s getting a lot more work than he had. It’s all in the process to try to get him ready for the opener, in hopes that he’ll be ready to go that week. We’ll see. It’s worked out fine, he’s taken to it. Earl is the kind of guy that you have to put the governor on. He’s going to go full speed and we’re concerned about that. He did a great job handling it, we’ll increase his reps next week quite a bit."

(On Earl’s shoulder) "He’s healed. We’re just making sure that he has all of the time to gain all of the strength that he can just to protect him. He’s healed and he can do everything right now."

(On Frank [Clark] and Tyler [Lockett]’s expectations) "I think that’s pretty normal, they think this is just the way it’s going to be and it may be, it may not. We’ll find out. I’m anxious to see how that goes."

(On if Frank [Clark] is going to play) "We’ll have to wait and see. We don’t know anything right now. We can’t tell."

(On if [Richard] Sherman is going to play) "We just throw names out. Wait and see. He practiced, made it through the week."

(On if Jake Waters is prepared) "It’s going to be pretty challenging for Jake [Waters] to get in there. He hasn’t had a lot of turns yet."

(On if B.J. [Daniels] will be third QB) "We might. Wait and see."

(On if anyone who didn’t play last week will play this week) "Hopefully he [Kevin Pierre-Louis]’s playing, he practiced."

(On seeing what Kevin Pierre-Louis can bring) "Yeah, he’s had a lot of chances in practice. I have no thought that he’s going to do anything but play well. He knows what he’s doing, he’s playing fast and that’s why I think he’s going to be fine. Everybody’s got to get out there, get his tackle made for the first time."

(On two rookie running backs) "See how comfortable they are, see how creative they are. What is their style? Thomas [Rawls] had a real clear style in college, he was very physical and ran at guys really well, so I’d like to see where that shows up. Both those guys did nice jobs. Both got a little excited with their opportunities, didn’t make the most of them yet, they have had a lot of work, they’re ready to play and they will play significantly."

(On Tyler Lockett’s route running) "Well, I would think this is what we hoped he would be like. We saw it on film and all of our guys that evaluated him said he’s a very good route runner, in and out of his breaks as well as you could expect anybody to get it done. So we just needed to see it, but that’s really the evaluation, he was a complete player. Very quickly he’s shown us that he’s very comfortable with what we’re asking him to do. He is a gifted route runner, he’s just so darn quick at getting in and out, and he’s a good release guy too, so there’s really no ceiling on him. We’re just going to keep going, he’s going to play a lot this week, and I’m anxious to see how he fits in."

(On Dion Bailey and Ronald Martin Jr.) "Both of those guys are going to play a lot, Bailey and Martin, are both going to play quite a bit. I’m anxious to see how they do. I really have liked everything those guys have done in practice. They’ve been very sharp and very on point. Bailey tackled really well last week, I thought Buck [Ronald Martin Jr.] had a couple nice plays as well, so we’ll just let these guys go and we’ll see what happens. We just need more turns with them."

(On Steven Terrell) "Well he’s going with the first group for the most part, so he’s been real solid. He’s been a good practice player for us and he did fine in the game."

(On the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense) "They came out throwing the ball a little bit in the opener last week. But Andy [Reed] is going to mix it, he’s an extraordinary coach. I don’t think he’s going to go out of balance in any direction. They have a very accomplished football team, they’re really good, so this is a good test for us."

(On if he talks to all his players about life outside of football) "Yeah, for the most part we try to. We try to have a good exit, get together if we can and talk about it. In the college days you know you’re raising those guys up, and now Kris [Richard] was already there at SC [USC], so that was a little bit different, but you get a relationship with these guys and you just learn about them and you kind of have a sense for where they’re going. It helps me when a guy wants to be a coach, I always tell them when they say yeah I’m thinking about coaching, well thankfully you told me, so I’ll talk to them in a different manner, and let them know what’s going on and give them some insights where I wouldn’t do that with other guys, so that’s kind of always been the way."

(On the idea that Kris Richard’s answer did not surprise him) "Well, no I think you’re right, good."

(On Jesse Williams playing) "Yes, he’s playing. As far as I know he’s playing, I’m counting on him."

(On new QB Jake Waters) "He hasn’t had much of a chance. He’s just kind of getting a lot of drill work right now just trying to catch us up, and in the effort to get R.J. [Archer] ready to play a lot too he’s had a lot of turns so we haven’t been able to get Jake much work yet."

(On DT Ahtyba Rubin) "I’m glad you brought him up. He has been really solid, he’s going to be a real good addition to us. He’s very physical at the point of attack, he plays with great leverage, he’s a really good technician, he’s always in the right spots. He understands the schemes and things and he plays real smart football. He also has a knack, if you guys keep watching him, he chases the football. He will go, and that’s a big body rumbling to make a hit. Sometime he’s going to make a big play for us on the perimeter that will surprise people because he has the good makeup and the mentality to really get after it. So he’s shown it in practice a number of times and every once in a while you’re going to see him come roaring out of the stack and he’ll make a big hit for us."

(On any Kam Chancellor update) "No, we just keep working at it. We just keep working to keep the communication lines open."

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