Behind Enemy Lines: Seahawks/Chiefs, Vol. 2

In Part Two of our four-part game preview series, WarpaintIllustrated.com's Nick Athan asks Seahawks.NET's Scott Eklund five questions. Scott gives Nick the inside take on Maurice Morris, Jerramy Stevens, Deion Branch, and Mike Holmgren's future.

Nick Athan, WarpaintIllustrated.com: The last time Seneca Wallace played at Arrowhead Stadium, he nearly pulled of one of the biggest upsets in college football history. Does he have the talent to do that on Sunday against the Chiefs?

Scott Eklund, Seahawks.NET: Seattle has enough talent to play with anyone in the league. Wallace is a mobile quarterback who isn’t very big. The Seahawks’ offensive line is pretty good about opening passing lanes and head coach Mike Holmgren has a lot of rollouts and quick passes that should allow him to be successful.

That being said…he needs to feel the rush better than he did last week.

He has a lot of talent around him with Deion Branch, Darrell Jackson, Jerramy Stevens, Itula Mili, D.J. Hackett and Nate Burleson (if they ever throw to him again) and there is no reason he can’t be successful. It’s really all on him.


Nick Athan: With Shaun Alexander out again this week and the Chiefs for the most part shutting down the Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson last Sunday, how is Maurice Morris going to gain enough yards rushing to keep the Chiefs’ defense honest?

Scott Eklund: Morris hasn’t been able to gain enough yards to keep anyone busy. He’s much better as a change-of-pace back or being used as a third-down back rather than an every down guy. He’s a better pass-blocker than Alexander so that helps, but with the push the offensive line has been getting – or lack thereof – Morris just isn’t a guy who can create like Alexander seems to have a knack of doing.

Heck, Alexander even struggled before his injury, although it sounds like he was suffering from that before he actually was taken out of the lineup.


Nick Athan: Mike Holmgren has to be under the hot seat. If he does not get that elusive Super Bowl victory this season will he be back in 2007?

Scott Eklund: Holmgren is so far from the “hot seat” it isn’t even funny. Holmgren signed a two-year extension over the summer – through 2008 – so he wouldn’t be a “lame duck” head coach heading into the season. The Seahawks could lose every game from here on out and Holmgren wouldn’t lose his job. He has a great rapport with owner Paul Allen and GM Tim Ruskell and he’s brought this team to the brink of a championship.

The fear is he could leave before he is ever on the hot seat with Seattle.


Nick Athan: Deion Branch was the go-to-guy in New England for many years. How has he adjusted to playing alongside another gifted receiver like Darrell Jackson?

Scott Eklund: I think Branch has adjusted very well and it appears that Jackson, a player known to sulk at times, has been able to mesh with him as well. They play different positions in the offensive-scheme (one is the X receiver, the other is the Y) and Jackson is still getting his touches.

Branch is a true professional. His routes are great and the quarterbacks have a ton of faith in him. Wallace hit him on several passes and when he was in trouble.

I think he’s fitting in fine.


Nick Athan: What's happened to TE Jerramy Stevens? He showed such great promise but has yet to play this season due to injuries. He was expected to play last week against the Minnesota Vikings. What's his status for Sunday's contest?

Scott Eklund: Stevens got about 10 to 15 plays last week against the Vikings but never saw any passes thrown his way. He’s a pretty good run-blocker and Mili has been a sure-handed guy for the Seahawks. He’ll probably play more against Kansas City, especially in the red zone, if they ever get there.


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