Kelly Jennings still gets bested in short angular routes (especially to the sideline), but there is no doubt about his man coverage speed. The coverage on the aborted touchdown pass to Devin Hester late in the first half was really impressive. Jennings stayed with Hester step for step and had prime position. If he can get the stop-start worked out, Jennings could be every bit as good as he needs to be.
T.J. Duckett doesn’t look like a bruiser to me. Are they telling him to pick and wiggle in traffic as opposed to bulling forward? Why isn’t he hitting the hole with more power?
Julius Jones got me thinking: Is there anything funnier than a player who obviously holds and then pulls his hands away, throwing his arms up in the air with the “I didn’t do it, Mom!” look?
One thing I really love about Lofa Tatupu – watch him against a running back who tries to break it outside. If Tatupu has contain, he also has enough body control to stop his pursuit and eliminate the sideline as an option. I saw him do that a couple of times against Matt Forte, forcing Forte back inside where many Seahawks awaited him.
Charlie Frye looks decent when he’s not pressured, as long as he’s not going deep (people are going to call the first deep throw to Jordan Kent a good one, but watch how Kent had to adjust to the ball flight – he lost every bit of his speed advantage). I don’t like the decisions he makes under pressure at all. Seneca, you’re still a quarterback.
Speaking of Kent, while it’s hard to know how a lot of hard work is going to pay off until you see a kid grow in a game, I was very impressed with his ability to run simple routes and make plays in traffic. He’s not just a straight-line guy.
I love short running backs. I wanted the Seahawks to draft Darren Sproles as a return man and Maurice Jones-Drew as a change-of-pace back. Therefore, I’m thrilled that the Seahawks have their own Pocket Hercules in Justin Forsett. Short backs have a big advantage in that defenders get a late look at them behind blockers – it’s like the deliveries of certain pitchers, where you see the ball later than with others. Forsett has outstanding burst and surprising power. I don’t think there’s any question he’ll make the team, just how they’ll use him. Probably as a 90/10 return man/running back.
The Seahawks are really good in pass pressure with three-man fronts. The grounding call on Rex Grossman, where Julian Peterson did a loop stunt inside around Rocky Bernard and the Bears’ line got overwhelmed? Nice.
I think Jeb Putzier will have more catches, yards and touchdowns than John Carlson this year. Nothing to do with last night’s game, it’s just that the Seahawks took Carlson over more athletic tight ends because they need someone who can do things now, However, as Carlson proves that he’s still getting the nuances of this offense together, I think the team will turn more and more to Putzier.
Nice job by both kickers – Mare keeping Hester under wraps for a while and Coutu proving that he’s ready for prime time. But the Seahawks need real help with their coverage teams. Special teams is the one place I don’t really forgive preseason lapses, because there are so many players who are looking to find jobs on special teams. For the on-the-bubble guys, this isn’t an exhibition – it’s a job interview. And what’s up with Seattle and long snappers? It’s like the Mariners and third basemen through the Piniella era.
I think the fact that the Seahawks put Darryl Tapp at left end and Lawrence Jackson at right end in the first half said a lot about the supposed "position battle" between the two. Patrick Kerney will need reps off on the left side, and Tapp is more a pass rusher than the total defensive end that Lawrence Jackson is. Seattle's defensive line is more about who fits where and when, as opposed to who's "starting".
Doug Farrar is the Editor-in-Chief of Seahawks.NET. This season, you’ll also find his work at Football Outsiders, The Washington Post, and The New York Sun. Feel free to e-mail Doug here.