Ed Thompson, ColtPower.com: On offense, have there been any surprises so far during camp?
Doug Farrar, Seahawks.net: Not really in schemes or philosophy - the Seahawks don't show a lot of advanced gameplanning in the preseason, and the change in philosophy to a more character-driven squad came last year with Team President Tim Ruskell's arrival. But when I was in Cheney this year, I kept trying to
watch the Hutchinson-less offensive line, and I kept getting distracted by the front seven.
ET: How about on defense?
DF: This appears to be the biggest difference, at least on first view - with the addition of linebacker Julian Peterson and the further maturation of second-year 'backers Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill. Seattle's front seven might be the best in the league if everyone can stay healthy. Running backs looking to take the play outside and fight for an extra yard or two will be unhappy with the results. Having watched Shaun Alexander (not a bad little back himself) try to do so, I can assure you that it isn't going to happen. Seattle was great against the run last year - this year, it could be scary.
ET: What did the Seahawks do well in their preseason opener against Dallas?
DF: Rookie punter Ryan Plackemeier had a good showing, as did young receiver Maurice Mann. For the most part, however, Seattle's opening loss to Dallas was an uninspired performance that would be cause for great concern had it occurred any later in the season.ET: What areas obviously needed some work after that game?
DF: The patchwork offensive line allowed six sacks, including two on backup Seneca Wallace in which the Dallas defenders came through virtually unimpeded. Wallace ran the offense decently considering the fact that he was running for his life most of the time. The defense played back in a vanilla Cover 2 shell, allowing Tony Romo to look like a low-rent Tom Brady. There were several missed tackles and some inexcusable penalties (two neutral zone infractions and two false starts by wide receivers). I'd say that on the surface, it looked horrific. Given the lack of planning Seattle did, the mental mistakes were the most disconcerting
aspect of the opening contest.
ET: Any word yet on how long the starters will stay in versus the Colts?
DF: Given the number of injuries the Seahawks are currently dealing with among their starters, and the fact that so many players are coming back early next week, I wouldn't expect to see the starters in for more than two series on either side. Above all, Mike Holmgren and his staff will be looking for better focus and concentration from all his players. I imagine that win or lose, the coach will consider this game a success if he can get his team out of Indy without any more injuries and with a reduced number of mental gaffes. Game three against the Chargers will be for more scheming and evaluation - this game will be for those on the bubble to show why they shouldn't be.