Sunday, August 23, 2009
Observations from Seahawks' exhibition game
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
SEATTLE -- Thoughts and observations at halftime of the Seahawks' exhibition game against the Broncos on Saturday night:
I'll be watching the Chargers-Cardinals and Raiders-49ers games on NFL Network replays. Might also file more notes from this Broncos-Seahawks game, as warranted.
- Matt Hasselbeck survived his first hit. And a few more after that. Seattle's quarterback hadn't taken punishment since suffering back trouble last season. The Broncos hit him in the back more than once. Hasselbeck appeared to be OK and he finished the half with a 120.0 rating despite three sacks.
- Walter Jones is badly missed. The Broncos aren't the most dynamic pass rushing team around, but they're getting to Hasselbeck. Left tackle Sean Locklear, subbing for the injured Jones, has had significant problems so far. Kenny Peterson drove Locklear into Hasselbeck for one sack. Locklear has a penalty for a false start. He got away with holding on a screen pass. Elvis Dumervil also got pressure on Hasselbeck through Locklear.
- Deon Butler looks good. There has never been doubt about the rookie's status as one of the Seahawks' top four receivers this season. The team thinks the third-round choice from Penn State can provide a speed element that has been lacking on the outside. Butler showed that speed on the Seahawks' first drive, catching a 34-yard touchdown pass from Hasselbeck. Butler made another catch over the middle to convert on third down.
- Hasselbeck, 'Housh' warming up: Hasselbeck just missed connecting with T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the end zone on a long pass. He found Houshmandzadeh for a short touchdown pass right before halftime. Houshmandzadeh averaged only 8.2 yards per catch in the half, but his catches were important ones.
- Screen game revived. The Seahawks' long-lost screen game is showing signs of life. Hasselbeck found running back Justin Forsett for a 30-yard gain on a screen.
- Chris Spencer still is not durable. The Seahawks' center left the game after suffering an injury to his left quadriceps. No word yet on severity, but Spencer's health remains a big question mark. With Max Unger and Steve Vallos around, the Seahawks have other options at the position.
- Pass rush non-existent. Denver's Kyle Orton dropped back 23 times without taking a sack against the Seahawks' first-team defense. Patrick Kerney had no tackles and his name did not appear on the defensive stat sheet.