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Upon further review
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Upon further review – and a night to sleep on his comments – Jim Mora said that he was too harsh in his post-game assessment of kicker Olindo Mare after Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears.
Mare missed two field goals in the 26-19 setback, prompting the Seahawks coach to say – among other things – “If you’re a kicker in the National Football League, you should make those kicks. Bottom line. End of story. No excuses. … Not acceptable. Absolutely not acceptable.”
But Monday, when asked if he still harbored the same feelings, Mora said, “No, I don’t. I’m glad you asked that question. No, I don’t.”
Mora then elaborated, “I have very high, high expectations for Olindo and it’s because of the work he’s done in this league. He’s been an outstanding kicker and he’s done a lot of great things for us.
“I think I let the emotion of the game get to me in my answers about Olindo. One of the things that confirms my feelings for Olindo Mare is the way he came out when we were down 17-16 and popped one through to give us the lead there, after having missed two.”
Mare made four field goals during the game – from 46, 37, 39 and 46 yards. But the misses – both wide left – were from 43 and 34 yards.
He missed only three field goals in 27 attempts last season, his first with the Seahawks, and also had 22 touchbacks on his kickoffs to tie for second in the league.
This year, Mare is 5 of 7 on field goals and tied for the league lead with seven touchbacks.
“I feel strongly, we’re all paid, it’s our job as professionals to make plays, to make correct decisions,” Mora said. “At times, you maybe set the bar a little too high.
“His kickoffs were fabulous (Sunday). Would I like him to make those two kicks? Yeah. But I wouldn’t like him to make them anymore than he’d like to make them.”
“Just two terrible kicks,” Mare said after the game. “It kind of cost us the game, put the team in a bad spot and put the (pressure) on Seneca at the end to score a touchdown.”
That would be Seneca Wallace, who started at quarterback for an injured Matt Hasselbeck. Mare apologized to Wallace after the game, but the QB pointed to the team getting inside the Bears’ 30-yard line seven times and having only four field goals to show for it.
“That’s a really good defense, No. 1, so you’ve got to give them some credit,” Mora said when asked about the offense against the Bears. “Then, we were just a little bit off. Maybe the ball was thrown a little bit too high. Maybe the protection wasn’t as sound as it needed to be. Maybe we missed a block in protection. Maybe the route wasn’t as crisp.
“We didn’t make the great catch or the great run that you need to make at this level. So it wasn’t one thing in particular.”
Not even the two misses by Mare.
“When the question was directed at me and I answered it honestly, there probably was just a little too much enthusiasm,” Mora said. “Because I really have a lot of respect for Olindo Mare.
“Games are emotional, and you kick and you scratch and you fight to win them. You have to do a good job of gathering yourself before you say something you regret.”