Seattle Seahawks vs. San Diego Chargers: What Impressed/Distressed Me

Jason FliederContributor IAugust 18, 2009

SAN DIEGO - AUGUST 15: Wide receiver Malcom Floyd #80 of the San Diego Chargers jumps to make a catch against cornerback Kelly Jennings #21 of the Seattle Seahawks on August 15, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.    (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Well, two days later I finally got a chance to watch the Seahawks first game in full.  As expected, there was rust to be shaken off, as well as plays made.  Also as I expected, the offensive line garnered a little extra play time, while the rest of the offense played sparingly. 

On defense, we all got a chance to see the full depth and quality, or lack thereof, at each position.  Again, and obviously, it's just the first preseason game, but it did point out some areas that need attention, for better or worse.

What distressed me:

1.) Seattle's secondary.  True, Tru was out, so there's a little consolation offered, but all in all, with the exception of Deon Grant, the Seahawks secondary in full depth failed to make plays. 

Kelly Jennings (pictured) did record a pick, though it did little to make up for the rest of his showing, including in the second quarter when he allowed Malcom Floyd (on a 37 yard pass) to display the reason Jennings has been bumped to fourth on the depth chart, down from starting less than a year ago.

Pass play after pass play, Hobbs, Jennings, Russell and the group found themselves in position to make plays, but play after play, failed.

2.) Seattle's LB corps.  Probably being a bit nitpicky, but there is no reason, I feel, that this should even fall under consideration, so the fact that I had to question it at all, landed them here.  I do believe that this concern will lock itself up before the Rams come to town. 

The camp time missed by rookie Curry was relatively noticeable.  He missed a few assignments, had lapses in decisiveness, and overall just looked a bit slow.  Lofa Tatupu was Lofa.  He was all over the place, however there were times that it did become apparent why his play may suffer with a weak D-line showing. 

Hill was actually the biggest factor of the first two series' statistically, recording four tackles.  The main reason for this concern is thanks to Antonio Gates, who seemed to beat the coverage every time Rivers went to him, Although half of that responsibility probably should be shouldered by Brian Russell.

What Impressed me: 

1.) Seattle's backup receivers.  Obomanu recorded two catches for thirty one yards, including a 24 yard reception.  Courtney Taylor caught two for Eighteen yards, both in pretty hefty traffic.  Backup TE John Owens caught an impressive touchdown in the back of the endzone from the arm of Seneca Wallace.  Not Fitzgerald impressive, but for any TE, let alone a journeyman blocker, nice.

Mike Hass caught the other touchdown off of an eighteen yard pass from Mike Teel.  However, he also had a chance to get into prime position on a Teel downfield bomb, but failed to do so as Antoine Cason broke it up.

2.) Seattle's defensive line.  Anytime your team's first play of the season is a sack made by the man you traded away your pro-bowl LB for, is quite reassuring.  Colin Cole ate up space, as expected.  Brandon Mebane blew up the backfield consistently. 

Granted, the QB pressure from the starting unit was less than I'd have liked to see (as though I'd ever get to a point where I wouldn't want more) but against the run the line was stout, offering few reminders of last season. 

When you can hold LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles to a combined 21 yards on eight carries, you can't ask for much more.  The player of the game, however, was little Nick Reed, the rookie DE out of Oregon. 

The stat line was impressive enough, with two sacks and an interception, but the interception was the result of an incredible read on 3rd string QB Whitehurst, and the stat line fails to describe just how disruptive a force he was.  He was everywhere.


Other observations:

Well, at least he can take a hit

Deon Butler took the hardest hit of the game in the second quarter, a crushing hit from CB Steve Gregory when Wallace floated a pass short left to the rookie receiver.  He then jumped right up and ran to the bench as though unaffected.

Aside from that, Butler did not make a mark, recording two catches for seven yards, and, after being placed as a return man, failing to find lanes, and all in all, looking like a deer in headlights.

So far, so good

Hasselbeck went 3-5 for 27 yards.  The more important part was that he looked good.  His throws were crisp, and he looked swift on handoffs.

Jonesin' for a running game

Julius Jones was serviceable, as expected, picking up fifteen yards on four carries.  He did, however find a great lane around the left tackle, and he was hitting the hole with some conviction.  He looked like a man with a chip on his shoulder.

The problem came when he went out and the questionable depth behind him was put on display.  The other three running backs combined for 77 yards on 26 carries—an average of 2.96 yards per carry.


My preseason week two wish: 

Give DE Nick Reed a chance to start.  With Darryl Tapp in a contract year, and Patrick Kerney's health issues (he's also not getting any younger), why not give him a chance to work a series or two against Ryan Clady?