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Five Observations from Seattle's Opening Scoring Drive

This happens every year. Every year I am determined to say this in fewer words. The preseason matters. It matters because it's essential practice, a laboratory for new plays and a chance to see young players prove themselves. The outcomes, largely, do not matter.

5. Matt Hasselbeck started four plays under center and four plays in shotgun. Seattle passed six times and ran twice. Both runs were out of an I formation.

The Broncos were in a 3-4 for five plays. The other formations they used were 3-3, 4-2 and a 4-3 under. They blitzed six from a 3-3 on the first play, blitzed five from a 4-3 under on the second play and did not blitz again.

4. Sean Locklear looked very confused. He is making the most dramatic transition of any player on Seattle's roster, learning a new position and a new scheme. He was fine on Seattle's first play despite Denver's blitz, but struggled from the second play on.

It wasn't that Elvis Dumervil was out-muscling Locklear, though Lock clearly struggled against Dumervil's bull rush, it was Locklear wasn't sure who to block until he was walked deep into the pocket. It meant when Dumervil engaged and began shoving Locklear, he didn't have to push Locklear far to back him into Hasselbeck.

Locklear was nearly beat by Dumervil on the second play. He didn't block Andra Davis on the third play and Davis used backside pursuit to tackle T.J. Duckett after a gain of only two. Dumervil got steps on Locklear on Seattle's fifth play. Locklear was looking straight ahead and right, but not at Dumervil despite shading Dumervil. Dumervil was very deep into the pocket before Lock even touched him, and from that point his progress wasn't very significant. Just looking at the two though, Locklear looked like he was having his ass handed to him. He attempted to block Dumervil and Kenny Peterson on Seattle's seventh play. For a second he did. Dumervil disengaged Lock and tackled Duckett after a gain of four.

It's not good to be beat in any fashion. If Locklear's confusion persists it will be as debilitating as any other weakness, but given his experience at left tackle and Seattle's transitioning blocking scheme, struggles can be expected. So can growth.

3. Hasselbeck's rainbow to Deon Butler traveled ~44 yards in the air.

2. T.J. Houshmandzadeh showed some grown-man route running against Renaldo Hill. He ran straight up, threw up his right arm unbalancing and separating from Hill and then cut left. Hill was blanketing Houshmandzadeh before the cut. He was beat and trailing after Housh cut left.

1. Hasselbeck can't afford to be indecisive and he can't afford to be wrong. He was indecisive in the second play, double clutching the ball and lucky John Carlson had a very soft spot in the zone. He was just wrong in the first play. Warren Moon called it confusion, but I think it was a bad pass. Houshmandzadeh was open on a dig route. Given his position and momentum, he could not possibly have broken towards the sideline, but that's where Hasselbeck threw it. In the split second world of the NFL, I figure Hasselbeck knew he had made the wrong pass halfway through his motion.