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Seahawks defense and offense have their moments in mock game
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The Seahawks’ mock game on Friday afternoon turned into a two-hour wet-ball drill.
But the rain that soaked the session at the team’s training camp did nothing to water down the performances on the practice field at Virginia Mason Athletic Center – or dampen the enthusiasm of the 2,575 fans who packed the berm adjacent to the field.
As for the weather, Wilson offered, “It’s good to throw the wet balls. I don’t mind playing in the rain, obviously, so to be able to play in the rain is something that we have to do throughout the season.”
The defense dominated the early action, as the No. 1 offense went three-and-out on its first three possessions – with rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill rejecting Wilson’s first third-down pass, All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas stopping All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch for no gain on the first play of the second series and strong safety Jeron Johnson tipping away a deep third-down pass intended for rookie tight end Luke Willson on third possession.
The fourth series? It lasted only two plays before middle linebacker Allen Bradford recovered a rare fumbled exchange between All-Pro center Max Unger and Wilson. And the No. 1 offense didn’t pick up its initial first down until the fifth possession when Wilson scrambled for one.
The defense doing a number of the offense should come as no surprise after last season, when the unit yielded the fewest points in the NFL and ranked a franchise-best No. 4 in average yards allowed. But the No. 1 unit on Friday included Johnson stepping in for Kam Chancellor, who sat out with sore foot; and Bradford subbing for Bobby Wagner, last year’s leading tackler who is out with a sore shoulder.
“We’ve been making it hard for the offense the whole camp,” Thomas said. “And that’s going to make everybody better.”
The offense did get on track eventually. Wilson’s run for a first down came during an eight-play, 65-yard drive that ended with his 14-yard touchdown pass to Willson – and also included a 21-yard completion to Bryan Walters.
“We appreciate the drive that they had on us, because we can learn from it and better ourselves,” Thomas said. “So it works hand in hand.”
The No. 2 offense, with Tarvaris Jackson at QB, produced a field goal on the previous series, but the possession started at the 8-yard line after Bradford’s fumble recovery.
On the series after the Wilson-to-Willson scoring pass, Brady Quinn led the No. 3 offense to another Steven Hauschka field goal – this one a 38-yarder. That drive included a 14-yard run by Lynch. Quinn also led a TD drive that featured his 30-yard scramble and ended with rookie running back Christine Michael diving into the end zone from the 1. And Quinn wasn’t done, as his 22-yard pass to wide receiver Phil Bates got Hauschka into position for a 45-yard field goal on the final possession.
“There are some things in there we always have to improve on,” Wilson said. “And that’s the great thing about practice. You get to improve; you get to continue to build getting ready for the preseason games.”
“So I think we’re doing a great job right now,” Wilson said. “There were some sloppy plays, but we made some great plays, too.”
For coach Pete Carroll, the mock game was a necessary exercise in give-and-take as he continues to prepare his fourth Seahawks team for its preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego next Thursday.
“The whole idea today was just to put them in situations and kind of test them,” Carroll said. “It’s two weeks in, and now it’s game week already. So it’s kind of fun the way it’s going.”