Jim Mora Jr has already accomplished something Mike Holmgren never did by leading the team to an undefeated pre-season. In fact, Chuck Knox never did it either. And, perhaps, most stunning is that Tom Flores never did it. While it is certainly preferable to go undefeated in the pre-season that to lose ’em all, time has proven how meaningless pre-season results are (see the Lions undefeated pre-season last year). The bench strength the Hawks put on display is very meaningful. This very well could turn into Ruskell’s signature draft class, and it might be a guy like Mike Teel that clinches it. Curry, Unger, Reed, Teel, Butler, Bennett (undrafted) all look to have bright futures. Unlike previous Ruskell draft classes, a number of these guys are not only solid, but have high ceilings. Whatever their future holds, it certainly made this a fun pre-season to watch.
SUMMARY Tonight was the Aaron Curry, Michael Bennett, Nick Reed, Mike Teel show. Sprinkle in a little Ben Obamanu, Deon Butler and Derek Walker, and you get a 31-21 blowout that was made much closer by two very late Raiders TDs. For the third straight game, the Seahawks featured not one, but two QBs, with QB ratings over 100. The offense looked surprisingly confident considering it was made up of second, third and fourth-string guys.
The defense came out aggressively. The second unit has displayed that all pre-season long. I certainly hope we see that from our starter comes Week 1. I have a hard time believing that Craig Terrill is more disruptive than Michael Bennett right now, and I question whether Darryl Tapp is more dangerous than Nick Reed. Neither Terrill or Tapp have ever displayed the consistent playmaking ability that these two have, pre-season or otherwise.
Most importantly, the Hawks exit the pre-season without any more major injuries than they entered with. Whether it is better fitness or just plain luck, it’s a relief.
FAVORITE MOMENT – Curry Coming Free It was nice to finally see some flashes of significant talent from Curry. Seeing him close the gap on the QB in a heartbeat and make a play on the ball was a welcome sight.
HELPED HIMSELF THE MOST- Ben Obamanu Not only did Obamanu look great as a WR, but he has looked more comfortable fielding punts than any other player they’ve put back there. This guy fits the Seahawks mold of quiet, confident and good. As much as Courtney Taylor has showed up in pre-season so far, I wouldn’t be surprised if Obamanu edges him out as the fifth WR.
BIGGEST SURPRISE – Mike Teel Matt Hasselbeck was not this productive in his first pre-season with the Seahawks, let alone his rookie year. Yes, he was called Mr. September back in Green Bay, so he certainly made his pre-season mark, but Teel exhibits some arm strength and chutzpah that you don’t often see in rookie QBs. I am bullish on his potential to develop into a meaningful part of this frachise’s future.
BIGGEST IMPACT – Aaron Curry The guy came to play tonight. I have certainly been on the doubters list until now because I was not even seeing speed in his game. Forget making plays, I just wanted to see the raw physical skills that could translate to impact. Tonight, we got the plays and the display of raw talent. That is a very, very good thing for this team.
BIGGEST RELIEF – No major injuries I’ve injuries happen late in the pre-season too many times, from Marcus Tubbs to Trent Dilfer. Happy to see we don’t have to worry about that…until the season starts.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT – Lawrence Jackson It bothers me that this guy will be taking someone else’s roster spot. He’s made no more than a couple meaningful plays in the pre-season and there is a real chance we lose a player like Bennett or Reed if we decide to go with 9 d-lineman on the roster. If we go with 10, just to keep him, we lose a player like Courtney Taylor, Ben Obamanu, Lance Laury, or another player who has proven they are more valuable. He’s a bust. Let’s move on.