We, the Field Gulls collective, are extremely fortunate to have writers in Danny and Thomas, who are tenacious and gifted analysts. I've perused the other sights in SBN's NFL network and I can assure you that Seahawks fans are very lucky to have these guys. That I get to share a platform with them is something I'm very grateful for, and we're lucky to have you, too.
As a writer, all you really want is an involved readership (and groupies) and this site sets the standard for involvement. Field Gulls generates an incredible amount of reader-interaction, from Fan Posts and Fan Shots to comments that would serve as top-quality articles on a lot of other sites, and is a paragon of knowledgeable football fan-hood. You guys are the best.*
*Except Scruffy Lefty. That guy is the worst. Honestly. Stop it, Scruffy. Just stop it.
None of that has anything to do with this article. or it has everything to do with this article. Either way, I'm here to pass along a few things I noticed while watching the Seahawks play the Chargers last week. There's no formula to this, and just as there will be an arbitrary number of observations in this article, there will also be an arbitrary number of these articles because a.) I might do this every week or I might get tired of it after Week 9, 2.) I might think this is stupid when I read it tomorrow, and D.) who are we to describe arbitrary in this post-modern world, anyway?
If I don't address something you're interested in, ask me about it in the comments section.
*ESPN's dramatic, gristly-voiced opening montage got me way more excited than it should have.
*Before the game started, Suzy Kolber's overly-teased hair interviewed (Com)Pete Carroll about a few things, most notably his offer to let a member of the 12th Man choose the first play via Twitter. "I hope John's right," says Carroll. I hope so too, for your sake John. So much hangs in the balance.
*Lots has been said about the new kick-off rule, and none of it is positive. I won't spend a lot of time on this because my opinion is the same as everyone else's. The Seahawks, it could be said, will be hurt more by this rule change than most teams. We all saw first-hand how valuable an elite return game can be, and fans of Seattle, Chicago, and Cleveland will be especially short-changed as the ball is increasingly kept out of the hands of their teams' dynamic play-makers in one of the highest-leverage situations the game of football has to offer.
*The new rules may not be the only things keeping kickoffs out of Leon Washington's hands, however. Golden Tate ends up as the lead return man on both kicks and punts and I'm very okay with this, especially if it correlates with an increased role in the offense for Washington. The first kick, of course, was a touchback.
*The first play from scrimmage is a Marshawn Lynch run behind Seattle's rookie right side of the offensive line. It goes for two yards. Guess John just wasn't cut out to be an offensive coordinator.
*Tarvaris Jackson seems to throw with the nose of the ball pointed slightly upwards, which is a strange thing. I'm usually a proponent of "as long as it gets where it's supposed to go", but a ball that stays nose-up too long will start to float if thrown a long ways.
*When Jackson is shown standing between Sidney Rice and Mike Williams, he looks like a Harlem rendition of Bastion passing between the two statues of the Southern Oracle. Which would make Tyler Polumbus "Falcor," I suppose. (These "Neverending Story" references doing anything for ya? Anyone?)
*Based on the smallest possible sample size, San Diego's first team offense is still really really good.
*Aaron Curry has one play where he shows the instinct that led Tim Ruskell to
over-draft him 4th overall two years ago. He explodes off the end and sprints down the line to meet the ball-carrier behind the line. Unfortunately, Curry doesn't wrap up, choosing to instead slam his chest against the runner and bounces off. He always seems to just be a couple degrees away from being good.
*If the NFL were a petting zoo, I would hold Mike Tolbert longer than the attendants allowed.
*It's become very en vogue to bash Kelly Jennings these days, and I'm not immune to it myself, but don't use that deep completion to Vincent Jackson as an example of why he's not good enough. He was clearly playing Jackson as though he had help over the top, and getting beat by a perfect throw from a Pro-Bowler to another Pro-Bowler when one thinks they've got safety-help is not an indictment of one's cover abilities -- getting beat by #2 WRs all season is.
*KJ Wright looks natural. He is around the ball a lot, seems very aware of the space around him. And he's huge. This whole team is becoming huge.
*The Russell Okung injury was troubling, especially as it was generally a non-contact injury. However, it doesn't sound like it's going to be too bad and given that he's not even wearing a boot in practice this week, I'm not going to stress about it too much. At the time, however, I found myself watching him get carted off with a lump in my throat.
*I'm hearing a lot of people call Okung injury-prone. I've always thought that "injury prone" was one of the most damning, and usually unwarranted reputations that a player could get. To call Okung that is just short-sighted. A quick review shows that he started 47 injury-free games at Oklahoma St, has so far played in 10 of 16 NFL games, and is currently slated to miss a couple of weeks of pre-season. I'm not saying that he's going to be ultra-sturdy, just saying it's way too early to slap him the the IP-tag. The NFL sample size showing him to be "unhealthy" is still way smaller than the previous sample showing him to be dependable.
*I've said it before, but I'll be seriously disappointed if I ever find out that Jon Ryan isn't really two ginger kids stacked inside of a Seahawks uniform.
*Leon Washington got a lot of touches, in a lot of different circumstances. He received 1st and 2nd down carries, as well as being run between the guards on 3rd and short and catching a couple of swing passes out of the backfield. I see an increased role for Washington taking a bigger bite out of Justin Forsett's touches than Marshawn Lynch's. I'm totally down with Forsett, but I'm even more down with a full-strength Washington.
*Washington's second half touchdown came behind John Moffitt's big (presumably red) ass as he nimbly pulled from right to left in order to pave Leon's way. Moffitt looked good in this game. James Carpenter was less memorable, but not noticeably bad. Robert Gallery is monstrous. He doesn't seem especially fleet, but he is an ogre. Guard is a good fit for him. Polumbus actually played okay, although Darryl Gamble drank his milkshake a couple of times. Unger seemed astute, but I don't really know how to judge a center's performance and since I don't really know what astute means either, I figured that'd be a good adjective to use.
*I'm a big fan of the current ESPN Monday Night Football crew. Sure, Ron Jaworski has a little bit of "back in my day" in him and Jon Gruden says "now here's a guy" more than Jim Thome says "ya know", Mike Tirico is sensationally understated and most importantly, the three of them work extremely well together, without stepping on each other's toes. I find myself learning a lot without having to think about the announcers all the time; and I'm very critical of announcers. I hope ESPN keeps these guys together.
*I say that, of course, despite moments like Jaws saying "he is too legit to quit" when Tirico mentions Corey Liuget, forcing the other two to grimace as they fulfill ESPN's "always chuckle at your partner's jokes no matter how bad they are" clause.
*Mark LeGree looks capable at safety, albeit a bit hesitant. He was extremely instinctual in college, enough so that he actually lined up as a single-high safety in this game a couple of times. I just hope he doesn't lose that nose for the ball because he's too focused on not messing up.
*Brandon Browner wants to make this team (duh). I think he will. Dude is making 6'4" look like 6'6" when he's playing the ball, making it look like 5'11" when he's changing direction.
*Charlie Whitehurst looked good after a shaky start. Still kept things in the first and second level for the most part, but I'd rather he be efficient and not spectacular than turn the ball over trying to be something he's not. The downside to that, of course, is that those are typically characteristics of a back-up.
*Josh Portis is good at hitting wide open receivers. I know a lot of people have been talking about Portis as being very impressive, and he did look very good at times, but with the exception of a couple of completions, his extended plays against the third-string defense resulted in some very open targets. Still, you can only play the cards you're dealt and from that standpoint, Portis had a good showing.
*The Seahawks defense in the second half looked great. Not that that matters more than the tiniest amount, but good is always better than bad, so hey!
*There's no way those girls in the Zoosk commercial all imagine their friend having the exact same terrible date with that male model.
*As erstwhile follower BigEeezy09 mentioned, during a slow stretch in the third quarter, Jaworski insists that Norv Turner Never... Stops... Coaching! He should have said that Norv Turner Looks... Like... A... Turtle.
*Pete Carroll, on the other hand, "has beautiful skin," according to my adorably Polish girlfriend. "I mean, he has wrinkles," she says, "but they're perfect."
*Thomas Clayton, or "Tommy Gunz" as Mike Williams calls him, looked very good. He looks like a solid one-cut runner, a perfect fit for a zone-blocking scheme. That's why I hope whoever signs him after he gets cut runs a ZBS. I just don't see room for him on this roster.
*This Ramon Broadway chap that plays for the back-up Chargers is obnoxious. Was fun to watch Clayton stiff-arm Broadway's helmet right off his head.
*The third-string Seahawks end up thoroughly outplaying the third-string Chargers, continuing the Seattle run of dominance over the San Diego franchise. After holding off a last-minute surge from the reserve Chargers, the reserve Seahawks emerge victorious with a thrilling 24-17 win. They immediately become the odds-on favorite in Vegas to win the third-string Super Bowl.
*Joking aside, the Seahawks sidelines -- from coaches to starters to backups -- was legitimately thrilled to have won that game. That's pretty cool to see.
*Brandon Coutu was the starting kicker in this game. I'd like to think it's because he's a better kicker, but I'm going to assume it's because he's had more opportunity to familiarize himself with the playbook than Jeff Reed.
*If Brandon Coutu ends up winning the starting kicker job, Seahawks Fan Jacson will be thrilled. Seahawks Writer Jacson, however, will have lost his muse.
*A sideline interview reveals that Antonio Gates' voice does not fit your expectations of it based on his appearance. It's the Aaron Neville/Mike Tyson affliction.