Offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates has become accustomed to adjusting his lineup on gamedays, considering the Seahawks have suffered critical injuries at nearly every offensive position this year.
Bates spoke to the media after practice Thursday regarding some of the changes he has had to make this season, and how recent injuries may affect the gameplan for Sunday.
Regarding the run game, not surprisingly, Bates’ goal is to get better every week. With the return of fullback Michael Robinson (pictured at right), the team can get back to basics. “He plays with a lot of intensity,” said Bates. “You can tell we really missed him and he did some special things, so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can do this week also, playing his former team.”
Robinson also gives the team the flexibility of returning to base personnel. “We’ve been in ‘Tiger’ and ‘Beaver’ for about six weeks now so it just gives us that option of going base. It makes the defense have to work on one more personnel group.”
Bates did see improvement last week against Carolina and stresses the importance of sticking to the run game in order to balance the offensive attack. “One thing about running the football is you get your yardage in the fourth quarter when you wear people down and that’s what we did,” said Bates. “The guys fought.”
Bates credits the offensive line and the fact that the same grouping will be starting for the third week in a row. “That helps big time,” said Bates. “Some of those guys communicate and work together, fight together and struggle together and win together – you can’t put a price tag on that. Just being back with the same group this week is extremely important and it’s going to be fun.”
“If you’re going to get hot and get a little momentum, this is the time to do it.”
Finally, in dealing with all the injuries to the wide receiving corp, Bates explained how “guys got to keep stepping up.”
“Last week Cameron (Morrah) stepped up and had a big game and it could be Golden (Tate) this week, it could be Ruvell (Martin) this week,” said Bates. “It’s the National Football League, we talk about it every week. There’s going to be injuries and we’ll just see who makes it this week. But I’ve been very impressed with guys saying, ‘Hey, it’s my opportunity.’ Ben Obomanu a couple weeks ago got a chance and ran with it. Now Cameron took it last week. So it’s going to be interesting to see who runs with it this week.”
So regardless who plays on Sundays, the game goes on.
“At the end of the day, it’s December,” said Bates. “We’ve been – you’re kind of working on your playbook for a long time so it’s not like you’re going to just change it totally.”