It’s no surprise the Seattle offense looks like two
turtles in a three-legged race — slower than usual,
confused, clumsy and very green. And we expect it to
remain that way for the first few games of the season.
A year ago, the Seahawks returned four starters on the offensive line — their offense was clicking in the preseason and kept on rolling in the season opener against the Packers.
This clearly is not 2014, though. Oft-injured Max Unger and James Carpenter are gone and the Hawks are working in new starters at three line positions. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson has not looked sharp in his preseason action. He has underthrown and overthrown and failed to find receivers when he has had time.
The No. 1 offense has not scored all preseason. And, for the second straight week, Wilson correctly took blame for the offense not moving as well as it should: “Ultimately we have to finish drives. That’s on me.” But he also said he is not concerned it will carry over into the season.
We disagree. And Pete Carroll is getting a bit anxious, too.
“It still isn’t like we like it. In general, the whole offense doesn’t feel as smooth as we need to,” Carroll said. “We’re all a little bit frustrated with it. But I’m not worried about it in the long haul.”
Nor should he be. It’s just a matter of when they will figure it out.
The linemen should get it going at some point in the first month, but expect the struggles to continue for the next few weeks as Justin Britt gets comfortable at left guard, Drew Nowak learns center and Garry Gilliam gets the hang of right tackle.
“We need more time. We’re not ready yet,” Carroll said. “They’re just going to get a lot better. They’re just going to improve. … (But) it needs to hurry. We’ve only got a couple of weeks before we play.”
THE ‘FREE MAN’ PROBLEM STILL EXISTS
The Seahawks continue to have scheme problems. A misdirection passing play was destroyed when three Chargers failed to bite and chased Wilson for an 18-yard loss.
A zone read play was blown up when two defenders arrived in the backfield before the handoff. One was on top of Robert Turbin, so Wilson kept it, but he was tackled for a loss by safety Jimmy Wilson.
Granted, this is preseason, where teams do little to no game-planning, but this has been a problem for the past two years. OC Darrell Bevell really needs to work on limiting the times when the Seahawks seem outnumbered on offense.
Alvin Bailey had some trouble while filling in at left tackle but wasn’t as bad as he first seemed. He had a really bad false start, gave up a sack and failed to sustain some run blocks. But he generally held up well in pass protection. He has had a very disappointing camp, losing the LG job, but the Hawks need him to pick it up as their sixth man.
Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are in midseason form, both playing incredibly well. They started the game with three combined tackles for loss, and Wright lived up to his promise to stick to tight ends in coverage.
Following their lead, Brock Coyle and Mike Morgan were all over the place in the second half. Seattle has a strong linebacker crew.
New CB Cary Williams did not look good. He was beaten several times. The Hawks have good depth at corner; so, if he struggles early in the season, Carroll won’t hesitate to replace him.
In his first action, Tharold Simon looked pretty good against San Diego’s backups. He likely has a spot on the team, but still unlikely he will push Williams for the starting spot.
Chargers WR Stevie Johnson made Steve Terrell and Will Blackmon look foolish on a couple of receptions. He stiff-armed Terrell to the ground and faked Blackmon inside-out.
Strong special teams figure to help make up for lack of offense early in the season.
The Chargers apparently were mad at Frank Clark on a sack of Philip Rivers.
Marshawn Lynch hilariously seemed to taunt a San Diego defender who could not get Jimmy Graham down.
After his 54-yard kick return, Kevin Smith smacked Jermaine Kearse in the head a bit too hard. Tweeted Kearse: “Damn, bro, LOL, hit me like I stole money from you. #huskies”