NFL Nation: Jeron Johnson

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have said repeatedly that they want to keep this Super Bowl-winning team together as much as possible.

They took a few steps toward proving it on Friday with their three restricted free agents.

Seattle re-signed back-up safety Jeron Johnson and back-up offensive linemen Lemuel Jeanpierre to one-year deals. The team also tagged receiver Doug Baldwin with a second-round tender, proving they plan to do all they can to keep him.

The Seahawks will get a second-round pick if Baldwin leaves (assuming Seattle doesn't match the offer) or pay him $2.2 million if he doesn't get a higher offer. It's still a bargain considering how much Baldwin contributed in 2013.

He caught 50 passes in the regular season, including five touchdown catches, and had 13 receptions in the three playoff games. But Baldwin also was Russell Wilson's go-to guy in key third-down situations, consistently making the tough catch to keep drives alive.

Some people might incorrectly read into Baldwin's tender tag that the Seahawks don't intend to re-sign free-agent receiver Golden Tate. Seattle released receiver Sidney Rice, freeing up over $7 million in cap space, with the thought of using some of that money to keep Tate.

Seattle also released defensive end Red Bryant to free up cap money to try to re-sign defensive lineman Michael Bennett, who will be one of the most sought-after free agents this year. It won't be easy. Bennett could command as much as $8 million a year over four or five years.

More moves could be on the way with the possible release of defensive end Chris Clemons and tight end Zach Miller, who could be asked to restructure his contract.

But the point is the Seahawks aren't just sitting back and hoping for the best. Tough decisions remain, but as always, Schneider and Carroll are being proactive with moves to try to keep as much of the Super-Bowl squad together as they can.
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks guard J.R. Sweezy and defensive lineman Michael Bennett returned to full practice participation Thursday after sitting out Wednesday. Sweezy was listed with an elbow issue and Bennett was ill.

Running back Marshawn Lynch did not practice for the second consecutive day and is listed with a knee injury, but he played the entire game Monday night at St. Louis. It will be a surprise if he doesn't play Sunday against Tampa Bay.

The wait for Percy Harvin's debut continues. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed that receiver Harvin will not play Sunday.

"Percy won't play this week," Carroll said on Sirius Radio. "He's getting close, but not close enough."

Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane did not practice Thursday, but it was not injury related.

Also missing practice were fullback Derrick Coleman and safety Jeron Johnson (both with hamstring injuries) and offensive tackle Breno Giacomini, who had arthroscopic knee surgery Sept. 30.
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Pro Bowl right tackle Russell Okung can return to practice Friday.

Okung is on injured reserve and isn't eligible to play until the Nov. 17 home game against Minnesota, but his recovery from a torn ligament in a big toe is going well.

Offensive tackle Breno Giacomini, who had arthroscopic knee surgery Sept. 30, is also getting closer to returning and might be back in two weeks.

Carroll also said receiver Percy Harvin did not practice and his return remains day to day. The Seahawks have two more weeks to activate Harvin off the physically unable to perform list, but his return this weekend appears unlikely since the Seahawks activated receiver Ricardo Lockette off the practice squad Wednesday.

Running back Marshawn Lynch, guard J.R. Sweezy and defensive end Michael Bennett did not practice Wednesday, but it was a short workout because of the game Monday night. Lynch was listed on the injury report as having a knee injury, and Sweezy was listed with an elbow injury. Bennett missed practice because of an illness. All three players finished the game Monday at St. Louis.

Fullback Derrick Coleman and safety Jeron Johnson, who are both suffering from hamstring injuries, did not practice Wednesday. Neither played at St. Louis.

Upon Further Review: Colts Week 5

October, 7, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- A review of three topics from the Indianapolis Colts34-28 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

[+] EnlargeTrent Richardson
Thomas J. Russo/USA TODAY SportsColts RB Trent Richardson finished Sunday's game against Seattle with 56 yards on 18 carries.
DPOY: You should have Colts linebacker Robert Mathis on your defensive player of the year list if you didn't have him on there before. Mathis has made any thoughts about him not being able to be a force without former teammate Dwight Freeney vanish. Mathis leads the league in sacks with 9.5 after picking up two Sunday. He also became the 30th player in league history to reach 100 career sacks when he recorded a strip sack on the final play of the first half. “I can appreciate it and never take it for granted because it is a big milestone,” Mathis said. “Appreciate it and I’m very blessed.”

Finding a rhythm: Running back Trent Richardson had a brutal first half -- and that’s being polite -- when he ran for 2 yards on six carries. But things changed for him in the second half when he averaged 5.4 yards on his 12 carries. You had a feeling Richardson would have a better second half when he took off for 16 yards, his longest run of the season, on his first carry. His best run came when he went off the left tackle for a 10-yard gain on third-and-5 to keep a drive alive in the fourth quarter. Adam Vinatieri later made a 49-yard field goal to put the Colts up 34-28. Richardson is still working to find a rhythm, with his play in the second half being a step in the right direction. “Everything is starting to slow down for me,” he said. “At first, you know it was pretty fast, trying to learn. Now I’ve played three games. With that, I’m still a professional, so at the same time I got to be on my P’s and Q’s. I've got to know what’s going on.”

Special teams were special: It was a rough start on special teams. The normally reliable Pat McAfee shanked his first punt -- 34 yards -- giving the Seahawks the ball near midfield. Then the Seahawks overloaded the middle and ran a pick-and-roll (excuse the basketball terminology) on snapper Matt Overton, allowing Jermaine Kearse to block McAfee’s punt. Jeron Johnson couldn’t gather the ball before it went out of the back of the end zone, giving Seattle a safety. The Colts countered the Seahawks’ blocked punt when defensive lineman Lawrence Guy blocked Steven Hauschka’s 48-yard field goal attempt. Safety Delano Howell picked up the loose ball and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown, barely outrunning Seattle holder Jon Ryan. “He was kind of quick,” Howell said. “I wasn’t expecting that. Respect to him. I heard he was a wide receiver at one point.” Sunday marked the fourth time in team history that the Colts have returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown.

Locker Room Buzz: Seattle Seahawks

October, 6, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Observed in the locker room after the Seattle Seahawks' 34-28 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium:

Silence: A lot of quiet guys after suffering their first loss of the season: “I know we are 4-1, but I feel like we just lost the Super Bowl,” said wide receiver Golden Tate. “That’s how we are. We just don’t accept losing.”

Questioning the officiating: Plenty of players, along with coach Pete Carroll, felt some of the key calls of the game were controversial and went against them. The biggest was the safety call after a blocked punt when Jeron Johnson appeared to have the ball in his grasp for a touchdown as he slid out of the back of the end zone. “I was certain they would change it [on replay],” Johnson said. “I had the ball and I was still in. You could see it plain as day."

Frustration: The Seahawks kept bringing up how they couldn’t finish drives, settling for four field goals, and couldn’t convert on key third-down plays. Seattle was 2 for 12 on third down. “We were so close,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “We just couldn’t come up with the one big play when we needed it.”
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks defensive ends Chris Clemons and Cliff Avril returned to full participation at practice Thursday, but starting cornerback Brandon Browner still did not practice because of a hamstring injury.

Browner missed the opener last week against Carolina. The Seahawks could use his 6-foot-4 frame on Sunday night to help cover San Francisco 49ers veteran Anquan Boldin, one of the strongest wide receivers in the NFL. Boldin had 13 receptions for 208 yards in a season-opening victory over Green Bay.

It appears likely that Avril will play for the first time in Seahawks uniform. Avril came from Detroit as a free agent and was Seattle’s top offseason acquisition on defense, the man who coaches hoped could improve the team’s pass rush. But he missed the preseason with foot and hamstring injuries and did not play at Carolina.

Clemons, whose 11.5 sacks last season led the Seahawks, is recovering from offseason ACL surgery. His status for Sunday is unknown, but it’s clear he will return soon.

Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was a limited participant in practice Thursday after missing practice Wednesday with an ankle injury. Defensive tackle Tony McDaniel did not practice because of a groin injury. Backup safety Jeron Johnson has not practiced this week after injuring a hamstring in the season opener.
Four safeties from the NFC earned Pro Bowl honors last season.

All four played in the NFC West: Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor from Seattle, Dashon Goldson from San Francisco, and Adrian Wilson from Arizona.

On the surface, few positions appear stronger within the division. Beneath the surface, there isn't much depth -- at all.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee sized up the situation in San Francisco recently, noting that C.J. Spillman is the team's only backup safety with even one regular-season defensive snap on his resume.

The 49ers can expect Goldson, an unsigned franchise player, to report at some point before the season. But San Francisco, like Seattle in particular among NFC West teams, lacks proven alternatives if injuries strike at safety. The drop from Pro Bowl talent to unknown backup can be a hard one.

It's a position to watch in the NFC West, for sure.

Arizona Cardinals

Starters: Wilson, Kerry Rhodes

Backups: Rashad Johnson (498 defensive snaps in 2011), James Sanders (462), Blake Gideon (0), Eddie Elder (0).

Comment: Rhodes missed nine games to injury last season. Johnson started in his place and played extensively during the Cardinals' late-season defensive revival. The experience Johnson gained should leave the Cardinals feeling better about the position. Sanders started six games for Atlanta last season. Arizona did not re-sign backups Hamza Abdullah or Sean Considine, who were special-teams contributors. Overall, the Cardinals feel very good about their depth in the secondary. Wilson's ability to play at a high level last season despite a torn biceps tendon improved the position's outlook. Wilson turns 33 in October, but appears to have quite a bit left.

Seattle Seahawks

Starters: Thomas, Chancellor

Backups: Chris Maragos (11 defensive snaps in 2011), Jeron Johnson (9), Winston Guy (0), DeShawn Shead (0).

Comment: Atari Bigby provided veteran depth last season. San Diego signed him as a potential starter in free agency. Maragos projects as a core special-teams player. The Seahawks were high enough on Jeron Johnson, an undrafted rookie in 2011, to keep him on the 53-man roster over a draft choice, Mark LeGree. Maragos projects as a core special-teams player. Guy and Shead have made positive impressions in practice recently. This is one position where Seattle could stand to develop or acquire quality depth in case Thomas or Chancellor suffers an injury. But with two of the NFL's best young safeties in the lineup, the team should be set at the position for years to come.

San Francisco 49ers

Starters: Goldson, Donte Whitner

Backups: C.J. Spillman (16 defensive snaps in 2011), Colin Jones (0), Ben Hannula (0), Trenton Robinson (0), Mark LeGree (0), Michael Thomas (0).

Comment: The 49ers did not re-sign veteran backups Reggie Smith and Madieu Williams. They did not use an early draft choice for a safety or target a veteran in free agency. Spillman, undrafted from Marshall in 2009, is getting plenty of reps this offseason while Goldson remains unsigned as the 49ers' franchise player. Spillman is already among the very best special-teams players in the division (he joined Seattle's Heath Farwell among non-positional specialists on our all-NFC West team for 2011). It's a bit early to know whether the 49ers could count on Spillman at safety if an injury forced their hand. But with eight safeties on the roster, the 49ers do have developmental options at the position.

St. Louis Rams

Starters: Quintin Mikell, Darian Stewart

Backups: Craig Dahl (486 defensive snaps in 2011), Matt Daniels (0).

Comment: Dahl started three games last season and 24 over the past three. He gives the Rams decent veteran depth behind Mikell and the emerging Stewart. Daniels is an undrafted free agent from Duke. He was eager to sign with the Rams when he learned they had only three other safeties under contract. Rookie third-round choice Trumaine Johnson has the size to play safety, but coach Jeff Fisher said the plan will be for Johnson to remain at cornerback. "(Moving to safety) may be something that happens later in his career, but right now he helps us as a corner," Fisher told reporters during the draft.
SEATTLE — The San Francisco 49ers will play it safe with Patrick Willis for at least another week.

The team listed its Pro Bowl linebacker as inactive against the Seattle Seahawks. That is no surprise after Willis practiced on only a limited basis while recovering from a hamstring injury. The team needs him for the playoffs.

Receiver Braylon Edwards, inactive for the 49ers against Pittsburgh last week, is active and starting.

Return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. is also inactive for the 49ers. Ginn scored twice on return touchdowns against Seattle in Week 1. He has helped the 49ers lead the NFL in average starting field position this season. His absence leaves the team less experienced and less dynamic in the return game.

For the Seahawks, receiver Doug Baldwin is active despite an ankle injury, consistent with what coach Pete Carroll said he expected. Baldwin injured the ankle in practice Wednesday. He's the best receiver on the active roster and a player the Seahawks rely upon during critical situations, including third down. Having him active was especially important with Sidney Rice and Mike Williams on injured reserve.

Inactive for the 49ers: Willis, nose tackle Ian Williams, guard Mike Person, guard Daniel Kilgore, cornerback Tramaine Brock, Ginn and quarterback Scott Tolzien.

Inactive for Seattle: quarterback Josh Portis, safety Jeron Johnson, cornerback Kennard Cox, linebacker Malcolm Smith, guard Paul Fanaika, defensvie tackle Clinton McDonald and tackle Jarriel King.

MNF inactives: Rams without Fred Robbins

December, 12, 2011
SEATTLE -- The St. Louis Rams' inactive list could favor the Seattle Seahawks' run defense.

The Rams will be without veteran defensive tackle Fred Robbins, who was questionable on the injury report and did not practice during the week. Robbins' absence means more playing time for Darell Scott and Gary Gibson.

Also inactive for the Rams: quarterback A.J. Feeley, quarterback Tom Brandstater, running back Quinn Porter, fullback Brit Miller, linebacker Justin Cole and guard Kevin Hughes. Kellen Clemens will serve as the backup quarterback to Sam Bradford.

For Seattle, linebacker David Hawthorne is active. The Seahawks' inactive list features quarterback Josh Portis, safety Jeron Johnson, cornerback Kennard Cox, linebacker Adrian Moten, guard Mike Gibson, guard Paul Fanaika and defensive tackle Pep Levingston.

Seahawks' Hawthorne active despite knee

December, 1, 2011
SEATTLE -- The Seattle Seahawks will have middle linebacker David Hawthorne and cornerback Richard Sherman for their game against Philadelphia on Thursday night. Both players are active after missing practice time with injuries.

Inactive for Seattle: quarterback Josh Portis, safety Jeron Johnson, cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Adrian Moten, tackle Jarriel King, tackle Allen Barbre and defensive lineman Pep Levingston.

Inactive for Philadelphia: quarterback Michael Vick, receiver Jeremy Maclin, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, tackle King Dunlap, guard Julian Vandervelde, defensive end Phillip Hunt and the recently signed Greg Lloyd.

Seattle has five wide receivers active despite placing Sidney Rice on injured reserve. Deon Butler, who suffered a career-threatening leg injury at San Francisco last season, is active for the first time this season.

Hawthorne's mobility will be a subject of interest in this game. Knee problems have bothered him at times during the season, including last week. The shortened week of recovery time could work against him.

Seattle Seahawks cutdown analysis

September, 3, 2011
Surprise move: There really weren't any because the Seahawks had already parted with so many familiar names over the past couple seasons. Colin Cole was the most established player shown the door. He had been injured, his salary was $3.75 million and the team had re-signed Brandon Mebane with an eye toward moving Mebane to nose tackle. Those factors worked against Cole sticking around.

Receiver Isaiah Stanback, valued on special teams, landed on injured reserve along with defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson and tight end John Carlson. Rookie safety Mark LeGree, a fifth-round draft choice, was the Seahawks' only 2011 selection to miss the initial cut. Jeron Johnson, one of three undrafted rookies to earn roster spots, beat him out.

No-brainers: Golden Tate's status had drawn considerable attention in recent weeks, but the Seahawks never planned to release him. Tate came through with a strong performance in the final exhibition game, putting to rest questions about his status. Running back Justin Forsett wasn't in danger, either, even though Leon Washington could be moving past him on the depth chart behind starter Marshawn Lynch. With Washington and Forsett sticking around, there was no room for Thomas Clayton. Undrafted rookies Josh Portis (quarterback) and Doug Baldwin (receiver) had clearly done enough to earn spots initially. Both stuck.

What's next: The situation at fullback and tight end bears monitoring with Carlson landing on injured reserve, as expected. Dominique Byrd stuck as the third tight end for now. Assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable has valued h-back types in his offense and it's unclear whether the Seahawks' current personnel addresses that function adequately. Fullback Michael Robinson stuck on the roster as well. Seattle will have to wait six games before bringing back receiver Deon Butler, cornerback Roy Lewis and tight end Cameron Morrah. All are on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. The severity of left guard Robert Gallery's knee injury could influence how the team proceeds on the offensive line.

Three things revisited: Seahawks-Raiders

September, 3, 2011
Looking back upon three things discussed here heading into the Seattle Seahawks' 20-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders in the preseason finale Friday night at CenturyLink Stadium:

1. Pass protection: The Seahawks made clear progress in this area against a Raiders defense that finished the preseason without a first-quarter sack. Right tackle James Carpenter played the first two series, then came back into the game to clear the way for a short scoring run. Carpenter played extensively in the second half as well. His power was apparent on the touchdown run, a play Carpenter punctuated by standing over his fallen opponent. A false-start penalty was the only glaring negative for Carpenter, who should gain confidence from this game. Backup Breno Giacomini also appeared to play well. I'd expect Carpenter to open the season as the starter and hit stride somewhere around midseason. Seattle can help him with a tight end or running back in protection as needed, particularly if left tackle Russell Okung returns from injury, as expected.

2. Golden opportunity: Second-year receiver Golden Tate needed and got a confidence boost with easily his best performance of the 2011 preseason. Tate caught five passes for 79 yards, including a 43-yarder from Tarvaris Jackson. He had a 34-yard kickoff return and a 43-yard punt return. The Seahawks wanted to get Tate going in this game with an eye toward speeding his development, which suffered from a coaching change and lockout. With Tate involved early, Jackson and the first-team offense moved the ball effectively. Tate did not appear at fault on the intercepted pass Jackson threw for him in the end zone on the Seahawks' opening drive.

3. Young defensive players: It's looking like first-year cornerback Brandon Browner, a 27-year-old prospect from the CFL, could be the best option at right cornerback heading into the regular season. Second-year corner Walter Thurmond has made strides physically since last season, but he's still shaking off rust after missing stretches due to an injury during camp. He even muffed a punt Friday night. Browner continues to cover well despite his 6-foot-4 frame. Thurmond is the better nickel option and would move inside on passing downs even if he were starting. Safety Mark LeGree, possibly battling fellow rookie Jeron Johnson for a roster spot, might have scored had he held onto a near-interception late in the game. Johnson showed up with a tackle for loss and pass breakup. Seattle could have at least three undrafted free agents earn spots on the initial 53-man roster (Johnson, receiver Doug Baldwin and quarterback Josh Portis).

Three things: Seahawks-Raiders

September, 2, 2011
Three things to watch for in the Seattle Seahawks' preseason home game against the Oakland Raiders at 10 p.m. ET:

1. Pass protection: The Seahawks want their offensive line to make strides in preparation for the regular-season opener at San Francisco. Starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has taken seven sacks and avoided several others. The pressure has played a role in his 3.8-yard average per attempt. The Raiders have only four sacks through three exhibition games, including zero in first quarters and only one in first halves. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging a healthy 7.9 yards per attempt against Oakland overall. The 49ers' Alex Smith, under siege against New Orleans and Houston this preseason, completed 8 of 13 passes for 136 yards with no sacks when facing the Raiders. The Seahawks will remain without starting left tackle Russell Okung, their best lineman. But they should still expect improvement in pass protection against this opponent. Right tackles James Carpenter and Breno Giacomini are in the spotlight for this game.

2. Golden opportunity: Lame cliched lead-in, I know, but at least it's an accurate one. Receiver Golden Tate should expect to play more reps than usual. Seattle is missing a few receivers to injury in this game. The team would like to accelerate Tate's development following a condensed offseason. Tate, chosen in the second round of the 2010 draft, has four receptions for 24 yards to this point in the exhibition season. He dropped a pass against Minnesota, leading to a turnover. Tate does not appear to be fighting for a roster spot, but neither has there been signs he's going to factor into the offense as much as coach Pete Carroll has said he expects.

3. Young defensive players. Wait, that covers pretty much everyone, come to think of it. Linebacker Malcolm Smith, linebacker K.J. Wright and free safety Mark LeGree are the youngest players on the Seahawks' defensive roster. Safety Jeron Johnson and cornerback Richard Sherman aren't far behind. I'll be attending this game and hope to get a better feel for the young depth on defense, to the extent that is possible in a fourth preseason game. Oh, and there are five Seattle defenders in their 30s: Raheem Brock, Junior Siavii, Colin Cole, Marcus Trufant and Jimmy Wilkerson. Only one, Trufant, starts.

Three things: Seahawks-Broncos

August, 27, 2011
Three things to watch for in the Seattle Seahawks' preseason road game against the Denver Broncos at 9 p.m. ET:

1. First-team offense TD: The Seahawks have yet to score a preseason touchdown on offense with Tarvaris Jackson at quarterback. Shaky pass protection, dropped passes by Golden Tate and a failure at the Minnesota goal line have not helped. The first-team offense did sustain a 15-play drive against the Raiders, an improvement from the preseason opener. I'm interested in seeing who Jackson targets on third down. His 17-yard pass to Mike Williams on third-and-5 against Minnesota stands as his lone pass for a third-down conversion. He threw incomplete to Justin Forsett, Zach Miller and Doug Baldwin on three others. A 6-yard completion to Forsett came up short. This is not a huge deal. We're only in preseason. But it's something to watch.

2. Backup running backs. Starter Marshawn Lynch will not play. He's resting a sore ankle. That could leave additional opportunities for Forsett and Leon Washington. Both appear worthy of getting playing time this season. Washington's surgically repaired leg is closer to full strength now than it was last season. Rules changes on kickoffs will diminish Washington's impact in that part of the game. It seems to me the Seahawks should make an effort to get more from him on offense.

3. Draft choice on bubble. After two drafts with Pete Carroll as head coach, the Seahawks have more players selected under him (17) than they have remaining from the combined draft classes of Jim Mora (four) and Mike Holmgren (eight). Most 2011 draft choices appear quite likely to earn roster spots this season. One player, fifth-round choice Mark LeGree, faces stiff competition. Rookie free agent Jeron Johnson has had a strong camp and has done more during preseason games. The Seahawks have quite a few young prospects in the secondary. Will any of them catch our attention with big plays in this game?

Observation deck: Seahawks-Chargers

August, 11, 2011
Observations from the Seattle Seahawks 24-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers in a preseason game Thursday night:

  • Losing left tackle Russell Okung to an ankle injury on the fifth offensive play ruined the night for Seattle. X-rays were negative, the team said, and it was not immediately clear how long Okung would be sidelined.
  • The Seahawks need Okung. Building up the offensive line has been Pete Carroll's top priority as the Seahawks' head coach. Carroll has sought highly acclaimed line coaches to lead the unit, going with Alex Gibbs and now Tom Cable. The team has used two first-round picks on tackles in Carroll's two seasons as coach, most recently taking a right tackle (James Carpenter) over a quarterback (Andy Dalton) in an effort to build from the inside out.
  • The offensive line struggled badly last season, so even modest success in an exhibition game counts for something. Carpenter had some rough moments in pass protection, but he helped clear the way for a third-and-1 conversion early. He played deep into the third quarter, as did right guard John Moffitt. The experience was valuable for both rookies.
  • Rookie linebacker K.J. Wright recognized a screen play quickly and tracked down the receiver for a decisive tackle. Two other Seattle rookie draft choices, linebacker Malcolm Smith and safety Mark LeGree, provided bit hits. Smith chased on his play and finished strong. LeGree broke up a pass with his hit. LeGree also secured Seattle's victory by breaking up a pass in the end zone on the Chargers' final play.
  • Two more rookie notes: Defensive end Pep Levingston batted down a pass on third-and-long, while undrafted free agent Jeron Johnson broke up a pass. Johnson also made a third-down tackle in the backfield off the left edge. And he combined with LeGree on the Chargers' final play.
  • Seattle’s quarterbacks were under siege early and didn’t have many opportunities to make big plays. Tarvaris Jackson moved effectively, as anticipated, and scrambled for a first down up the middle amid heavy traffic. But the offense had no rhythm. That was expected. Jackson and other players with new contracts began practicing only one week ago.
  • Backup Charlie Whitehurst gained momentum as the third quarter progressed. His strike to tight end Dominique Byrd for a 29-yard gain stood out. What did we learn about him Thursday night? Not much. Whitehurst has produced at times during past exhibition games (214 yards, 107.0 rating in the 2010 opener). He completed 14 of 20 passes for 115 yards in this one, with no touchdowns, interceptions or sacks. His rating was 84.4.
  • Third-string quarterback Josh Portis built upon the positive impression he made early in training camp. He showed a good feel for the game, moving away from pressure and finding tight end Anthony McCoy for a 6-yard touchdown. This performance should build confidence for Portis. Coaches and teammates were enthusiastic in their support for him following the touchdown pass.

Okung's status is the note that matters most stemming from this game. If Okung misses an extended period, the line will have a harder time against teams with strong right defensive ends (Seattle faces Justin Smith and the San Francisco 49ers on the road in Week 1). The team might also have to keep a tight end near the formation for blocking help.


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