Message For Mora: Put It On The Seahawks, Not The Kicker

Rob StatonCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Jim Mora of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during the game against the Chicago Bears on September 27, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. The Bears defeated the Seahawks 25-19. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Jim Mora winced his way through Week Three, occasionally pausing to curse his field-goal kicker.

Afterwards, he called out the same man, Olindo Mare, to pin the blame firmly at his door as the Seahawks floundered to 1-2, losing 25-19 to Chicago.

"We're not gonna fight our a** off and have a field-goal kicker go out and lose a game."

Indeed this wasn't one of Mare's finer moments in a fourteen-year career.

But was it necessary to call out a man who, in all honesty, was only needed due to Seattle inability to put touchdowns on the board?

Aside from a fortunate score on their first drive—Julius Jones running through two missed tackles having taken a screen pass—the Seahawks barely troubled Chicago's end zone.

One of Seattle's key components on offense, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, gifted the Bears excellent field position with a key fumble which eventually led to a Chicago touchdown.

That's seven points, compared to the six Mare missed.

Make no mistake, this was a team defeat; it was arguably something of a classless act on Mora's behalf to be so forthright in singling one man out minutes after the game.

Perhaps it's understandable.

Expectations were high coming into 2009, despite last year's 4-12 campaign. Those expectations were only enhanced with Seattle's 28-0 walk over in week one against the Rams.

Since then it's been the same old story for Seattle, almost an extension of the 2008 season.

A laundry list of injuries to key starters and two more defeats

Mora will have been desperate to start his new job as Head Coach with a bang. He now stares at the very real prospect of a 1-3 start.

It's a catch-22 situation.

With so many starters missing, it's perhaps best to temper expectations.

Had the like of Matt Hasselbeck, Walter Jones, Marcus Trufant, Lofa Tatupu, and Leroy Hill been on the field Sunday, it could have been a different game.

At the same time, with the season barely under way, it's difficult to accept defeats when a strangle hold of the division is at stake.

In fact, Mora's reaction to Mare's misses and defeat was reminiscent to that probably expressed by a lot of the Seahawks fans.

Frustration, off the cuff remarks in the aftermath of disappointment

Had he been holding a remote control, he probably would have launched it at the nearest television.

The difference being, most of the 12th man didn't have a cluster of microphones pointing in their direction. 

The thoughts of those fans won't necessarily ring in a players head throughout the week.

Mare will not be cut.

So what kind of mind frame will he be in should he be asked to kick a long field-goal by his critical coach against Indianapolis next week?

Some will respond better than others, but Mora's playing a dangerous game by being so frank. You only need to isolate the wrong guy for things to go wrong, quickly.

Mare had a bad game, but were his errors any worse than Seneca Wallace's foolish interception from his own end zone or Houshmandzadeh's fumble?

How about the calamitous double-play for Chicago's game winning touchdown and two point conversion where the same two defensive backs ran into each other in successive plays?

They weren't called out this time.

This defeat was on the team, a team that is lacking almost an entire squad of starters.

If there's strength in numbers at a time of adversity, Mora may be best served rallying the troops rather than calling them out.


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