Seahawks feeling the pressure as first exhibition nears

As fresh as training camp feels for the Seahawks, the team’s first exhibition game is only a couple of days away.

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In fact, only one practice remains before a 5 p.m. road game against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday — exactly one week after free agents were allowed to start practicing with their new teams.

Everybody ready?

“It’s going to be hard,” said defensive tackle Alan Branch, “but it’s not like we’re the only team that’s doing it. Everybody’s going through the same situation as us. We’re not a step behind anybody.”

That doesn’t mean there isn’t much to be learned and refined.

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, despite having a familiarity with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell from shared time in Minnesota, has only completed four days’ worth of practice in Seattle. And the defense is adjusting to the departure of two veteran leaders, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and safety Lawyer Milloy.

But coach Pete Carroll doesn’t think motivation will be hard to come by Thursday, especially as kickoff nears.

“I know what’s going to happen — these guys are going to be clamoring to play,” Carroll said last week. “They want to play football.”

That experience could be particularly welcome to a young offensive line that features two rookies, guard John Moffitt and tackle James Carpenter.

Center Max Unger, who in his third year is the group’s second-most seasoned starter, said things are coming along sluggishly up front.

“We’re thinking a lot and it’s slowing us down,” said Unger, who previously played guard. “(Offensive line coach Tom) Cable has just put an emphasis on getting up to the ball, short cadence, don’t think, get off the ball. That’s kind of where we are right now.

“The mental stuff will come and we’re starting to figure it out, but it’s frustrating.”

Unger, who has been on the end of a couple of mishandled snaps, said repetitions are the only way to hone that final sharpness, especially after a late start to camp.

“There’s no catching that time up,” Unger said.


  1. Congrats Sea Hawks fans, you are now in possession of an ex Vikings wide receiver and a quarterback, in the person of Sydney Rice and Tarvaris Jackson. Rice had an excellent 2009 season with Bret Favre at quarterback. Most of 2010 was spent was spent recovering from and injured hip, and when he finally did come back he was spotty and unpredictable. His future success is yet to be determined. In previous seasons he has been average and injury prone. He needs a quality quarterback throwing to him for timing patterns and deep routes. T-Jack has never shown that he is up to those tasks!!! The only thing he has going for himself is that he was an ex team mate of Sydney Rice with the Vikings, and never showed enough knowledge of the west coast offense to inspire the kind of confidence that Pete Carroll is showing in him. That is the reason for Bret Favre in 2009 and 2010. Jackson also has been injury prone over the 5 years with the Vikings and does not like contact. He was referred to as "Turf-Toe Tarvaris" among the Vikings fan base. Good luck to the Sea Hawks, it appears that the only quality ex Viking you received was coach Carroll, and I hope for your sakes that he is not joined at the hip with T-Jack.