Dave Boling

Dave Boling: Seahawks ready; let the season begin

Seahawks defensive lineman Frank Clark closes in on Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin in the end zone Thursday. Clark forced a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Hill for a Seahawks touchdown.
Seahawks defensive lineman Frank Clark closes in on Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin in the end zone Thursday. Clark forced a fumble that was recovered by Jordan Hill for a Seahawks touchdown. Staff photographer

This turned into one of those Thursday night JV games in a hurry, but before the Seahawks scrubs whipped up on Oakland — by a score you don’t need to know — Seattle fans saw all they needed to assuage their preseason anxieties.

Not that there had been much question remaining after the first three exhibition games, but this one made it increasingly obvious that Seahawk rookies Frank Clark and Tyler Lockett are a couple of gems — big-time play-making stars of the future.

And that future starts Sept. 13 at St. Louis against the Rams.

Clark was unblockable and Lockett undefendable.

Granted, it’s problematic trying to draw conclusions against a Raiders team that looked like it’s trying to keep Oakland fans from lamenting their eventual move to Los Angeles.

Even against Oakland, though, this was a feel-good win for the Seahawks, a momentum builder.

Finally there was offense. Finally there was consistent blocking. And everybody they’re going to need when the season starts next week was fully ambulatory at the final horn.

It took only a few minutes of play to put to rest the primary concerns the Seahawks had in some unconvincing outings in the first three weeks of the preseason.

Quarterback Russell Wilson, behind solid protection, fired a 63-yard touchdown pass to Lockett on the first possession.

The starting offensive line has been determined by drawing straws every week, but the best five seem to have settled in at their positions and were more than effective enough against the Raiders.

The Rams will be another matter, of course, but every game the same five guys can play together is one in which they can inch closer to the type of cohesiveness that has been absent in the face of steady turnover.

The touchdown to Lockett was Wilson’s only attempt, allowing him to finish the game with a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

More impressively, the catch was Lockett’s third score in four exhibition games — all of more than 63 yards — one on a reception, one on a punt return and one on a kickoff return. Maybe they’ll give him a try in St. Louis on an end-around, to see if he can score rushing the ball, as well.

Clark may be the biggest surprise of the preseason for Seattle. As a second-round draft pick out of Michigan, he was kicked off the team in 2014 after being arrested for domestic violence which caused some teams to back away from him.

The Seahawks front office and staff felt confident they had researched his character enough to add him to the roster.

His play has more than lived up to his billing.

Clark has shown speed in the pass rush, and also the strength to bull rush effectively enough to collapse the pocket from the inside.

This guy is good in several roles. He’s going to be usable in packages even when the varsity is on the field next week.

Some of the other young Seahawks have looked good, too, including defenders Cassius Marsh, Jordan Hill and Kevin Pierre-Louis.

Clark and Hill collaborated on a touchdown in the second quarter, when Clark recorded a sack/fumble that Hill recovered in the end zone.

Maybe it was just an inconsequential exhibition game against a bad team, but it sure looked like fans could see a number of players who will be important factors in this team’s success over the next couple seasons.

Hill looks like he could turn into a Brandon Mebane; Clark could become the next Michael Bennett, and Marsh might be the next Cliff Avril.

And Lockett? Well, he may be like nobody they’ve ever had.

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440



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