To whom it may concern: Seattle’s blind side

Dear Jeremy Bates,

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Take a TE and plant him right next to Wrotto the whole game. There’s no reason to give Jared Allen a free run at Hasselbeck for three quarters.


A faithful Seahawks fan

The concern is understandable. The Minnesota Vikings led the league with 48 sacks last season, and Seattle will start Mansfield Wrotto at left tackle and Mike Gibson at left guard.

On the other side sits the Vikings’ Jared Allen, who only had 4.5 sacks in a single game against the Packers last season after Green Bay lost its starting left tackle.

So could perhaps Seattle opt for discretion over valor when it comes to quarterback Matt Hasselbeck?

“Matt’s going to play into the second half,” coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s what the plan is … Everybody is getting ready to play three quarters of football as far as the starters go.”

We pause now for a moment of historical perspective, and not just on the uncertainty Seattle faces at left tackle after the ankle injury to starter Russell Okung and the knee surgery for backup Ray Willis.

There are concerns about the quarterback.

Two years ago, Seattle played its first exhibition game of the year in Minnesota. Hasselbeck was on the field for two series. He completed seven of eight passes he threw, but one throw was made while he was scrambling. Afterward he turned and reached toward his lower back.

He didn’t play in the remaining three exhibition games, beginning a season in which he eventually missed a career-high nine games because of an injury to a disk in his back.

Hasselbeck said the injury did not occur in the exhibition game at Minnesota, but rather in practice earlier.

Will Seattle be doing anything special to protect Hasselbeck?

“Their front is a very, very good group and so we have to do a number of things,” Carroll said. “This is a week we did delve into game-plan thoughts. Not fully, but enough to make a statement to the players how we would do things and so they would have to make adjustments that you make during normal game week. There are some things we’re doing this week to help out in the normal protection.”

But in the end, Seattle is putting a lot of faith in Wrotto, who was moved from guard to tackle under the new coaching staff.

“Manny has had a good week of practice,” offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates said. “It’s a great test for him, going against one of the best defensive ends in the game. It’s going to be fun to watch. It’s on turf. It’s going to be loud. He has had a great week of practice so I look forward to seeing him protect Matt’s blind side.