Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thoughts on Seahawks' exhibition opener
By Mike Sando
Five thoughts after the Seattle Seahawks opened their exhibition season with a 20-18 victory against the Tennessee Titans:
- Charlie Whitehurst has to feel better about things after completing 14-of-22 passes for 214 yards, with two touchdowns, one interception and a 107.0 rating. Whitehurst hasn't pushed Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job, and this performance changes nothing on that front. But it was still a step forward.
- Rookie receiver Golden Tate has been a star in camp, but Mike Williams and Deon Butler were the more productive receivers. Williams' 51-yard touchdown reception from Whitehurst showcased his improved conditioning. Williams looked lean. The effort he showed in blocking for Justin Forsett earlier in the drive also stood out. It's easy to forget about veteran wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh when watching the youth-oriented Seahawks under Pete Carroll. I wonder where he'll fit heading into the regular season.
- Defensive end Red Bryant made a couple strong plays against Titans tackle Michael Roos. Fellow defensive linemen Kevin Vickerson, Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane also looked good in this game. The Seahawks had to like what they saw from their best pass-rusher, Chris Clemons, as well. Clemons lacks size by NFL standards, but he showed good power in getting to the quarterback. Clemons is eager to prove himself. Is this something he can sustain?
- First-round choice Russell Okung missed the beginning of camp, but it was tough to tell. I noticed him diving at defenders' legs in the Alex Gibbs zone tradition.
- Julius Jones remained the invisible man in the Seahawks' backfield. Forsett, Quinton Ganther and Louis Rankin each had runs covering at least 13 yards. Forsett had a 30-yard reception. Jones had five carries for 13 yards. He does most things pretty well, but rarely does Jones stand out. We'll have to wait at least another game before seeing Leon Washington in action. Washington might have more flair than any runner on the roster.
I'm hitting the road here shortly for the drive from St. Louis to Indianapolis. I'll check in from the San Francisco' 49ers exhibition opener against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. I've got some Rams notes left over from Saturday night as well. Will post those as time permits.