Monday, August 17, 2009
Seahawks experiment with line combinations
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
RENTON, Wash. -- A few thought and observations from the Seahawks' afternoon practice Monday:
Those were a few of the highlights Monday.
- The Seahawks are experimenting with combinations on their offensive line. Sean Locklear is getting work at right guard. He could play there during the regular season depending on how the other positions shake out. Having Walter Jones back frees up Locklear.
- One potential line combination, left to right, could consist of Jones, Rob Sims, Spencer, Locklear and Ray Willis.
- Coaches gave starting center Chris Spencer a few plays off during team drills, allowing rookie Max Unger to get more experience.
- Running back Justin Forsett continues to impress. He is showing good ability as a receiver out of the backfield. Seattle targeted him in that role frequently Monday.
- Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp used the word "outstanding" -- for a rookie -- to describe how Unger played against the Chargers in the exhibition opener.
- Knapp saw good things from Owen Schmitt, but the fullback needs to work on finishing blocks. He also incorrectly reverted to cut blocking in a short-yardage situation. Overall, though, Knapp sounded encouraged.
- Fullback Justin Griffith stood up safety Brian Russell and lifted him off the ground while picking up the blitz during a blitz period.
- First-round choice Aaron Curry got seven plays at defensive end even though he had never participated in pass-rush drills against offensive linemen in camp, coach Jim Mora said. He will get more practice work in that capacity.
- A reporter suggested to Mora that Jones' back spasms might have bothered him at one point during practice. Mora said he did not know if that were the case.
- Receiver Nate Burleson continues to impress. His leaping grab of an across-the-field throw from Matt Hasselbeck drew applause from fans in attendance.
- Tight end John Carlson continues to show a strong feel for zones. The staff plans to facilitate that by motioning Carlson in an effort to free him from defenders. "When a tight end knows zone windows, places to sit down, it's very helpful to the quarterback, especially on third downs," Knapp said.
- Missed assignments against the Chargers' 3-4 defense hurt Seattle's running game, Knapp said. The angles are different against three-man fronts. The exhibition games are particularly valuable for the Seahawks' offensive linemen as they transition to a zone scheme because they don't follow through with cutback blocks in practice.