Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane is feeling comfortable in his skin.
And the result is more dominant play from the Cal product.
Mebane almost single-handedly kept Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson out of the end zone, knocking Pro Bowl tackle Bryant McKinnie into the backfield and tackling Peterson 2 yards short of the end zone on a fourth down, goal-line stand at the end of the first quarter.
“Basically they got two Pro Bowlers, a guard (Steve Hutchinson) and a tackle (McKinnie) on my side, so I was like ‘Hey, it’s coming over here,’ ” Mebane said after the 24-13 exhibition defeat to Minnesota on Saturday night.
“I think it was a good test for us, as far as like a team going for it on fourth down, especially against a good run team, or a good team period. So I think it was a good test for us to basically just show them how we play, too.”
Mebane finished with 1.5 sacks last year. Mebane lost some weight in 2009 to gain quickness and assume a bigger role in the pass rush.
But Mebane has gained some of the weight back, and said he’s back to playing like he did when he first joined Seattle four years ago.
“I’ve still got to improve on some things,” he said. “But right now, I feel pretty good about it. It’s kind of different than how we played last year. I like how we’re playing this year.”
So how is it different than last year?
“No offense to last year’s D-line, but I think this year’s D-line, we’re more together,” Mebane said. “It seems like we hang out more on the field and off the field. We have more camaraderie since I’ve been here as a whole, and I think that’s real key to having a great D-line.
“We’ve had great D-lines since I’ve been here, and I’ve learned a lot from the guys that have been here, but I think we have something special. We’ve just got to keep on feeding off each other.”
Another player who has contributed to the improvement of the defense line is defensive end Chris Clemons.
Acquired in a trade with Philadelphia in the offseason, the quick Clemons finished with two sacks against Minnesota, including one that resulted in a forced fumble against Brett Favre that defensive tackle Colin Cole recovered.
“It’s all about what they give you,” Clemons said. “That’s one of the things I look at before the game started, throughout the week. During the week, I’m just looking at how the tackle gets off the ball. … And when I see that in a game, I’m able to counter it and do something different.”
Marcus Trufant picked off his second pass of the exhibition season. … Golden Tate got his first big play as a Seahawk, a 41-yard reception from quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. … Mike Williams finished with three receptions for 54 yards, including a 42-yard reception. … Deion Branch had one reception for 42 yards. … Leon Washington finished with 16 yards on six carries in his first start. He also had a kick return for 23 yards. … Tight end Anthony McCoy suffered a sprained ankle and did not return. Defensive tackle Jonathan Lewis broke his thumb. … TE Chris Baker (hamstring), CB Josh Pinkard (knee), G Ben Hamilton (knee), LB Leroy Hill (knee), LB David Hawthorne (knee), T Chester Pitts (knee), T Ray Willis (knee), T Russell Okung (ankle), DT Kentwan Balmer (ankle) and DE Nick Reed (knee) were not available.