Friday, August 8, 2008
Vallos among young Hawks to impress
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Seahawks and Vikings have finished playing their preseason opener at the Metrodome. Watching on TV makes for tough viewing downfield, but the ability to rewind can help in other situations. I'll use our "players to watch" pregame post as a point of reference for what happened in the game.
Seattle's first-team defense had some problems in this game. That group will be fine. I was more interested in seeing how the offense performed, and how certain individuals performed. With that in mind, here are a few quick thoughts on players:
All in all, this was a better showing than Seattle typically puts forth in a preseason opener (though T.J. Duckett did have problems holding onto the ball). Vallos' performance at center had to make the coaches feel better about line depth.
- Owen Schmitt: The rookie fullback showed he can catch the ball and get upfield. I also saw him clear out Vikings linebacker David Herron on Justin Forsett's 15-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
- Lawrence Jackson: The rookie defensive end was active and got pressure on the quarterback.
- Jordan Kent: His first-quarter touchdown pass made this outing a success. The young receivers stepped up in this game for the most part.
- Kyle Williams: I didn't watch him. Steve Vallos was the star of the line tonight. He wasn't even a center when camp opened. But with Chris Spencer and Chris Gray unavailable, Vallos started at center, played extensively and looked very good. Give credit to Vallos and give credit to the new line coaches. This could be a good sign for Seattle.
- Jason Babin: The Texans' former first-round choice finished with one sack and one fumble recovery. He was clearly having fun. Warren Moon, providing color commentary on the broadcast, said he thinks Babin is a much better fit for Seattle's scheme than he was for the defense Houston ran.
- David Hawthorne: The undrafted rookie made big hits and forced a fumble. He could be a find for the Seahawks. They let backup middle linebacker Niko Koutouvides go in free agency. Hawthorne looked like an upgrade tonight.
- C.J. Wallace: I wanted to see how Wallace might fend off Jamar Adams for a roster spot, but Adams was the one making plays tonight. He showed range and appeared physical, forcing a fumble.
- Charlie Frye: He wasn't bad, but starter Matt Hasselbeck and No. 2 quarterback Seneca Wallace set the standard in this game. Wallace completed 15 of 20 passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns.
- Howard Green: Very, very active on the Seahawks' defensive line. The defensive tackle had two sacks, one forced fumble and an interception. He played hungry.
I'd like to be watching the 49ers' game tonight, but it's not available here until Saturday night on replay.