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Thursday in Hawkville: Seahawks defense just moving on after first loss

Posted Oct 10, 2013

There was a lot of handwringing after the Seahawks’ defense allowed the Colts to convert too many third-down plays and gave up a 73-yard TD pass. But none of it was coming from the Seahawks’ defense.

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Oct. 10, when the Seahawks continued to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: APPROACH

As in, how is the Seahawks’ defense approaching Sunday’s game against the Titans after last week’s atypical performance against the Colts in Indianapolis.

YOU DON'T SAY

“Wilson was a high school state champion. He made an otherwise horrid NC State team competitive. He won a conference title in his one year at Wisconsin. And he’s doing it again in Seattle. Coincidence? I don’t think so.”

ESPN.com Bengals reporter Coley Harvey on selecting Russell Wilson as the young QB he would build a franchise around in the latest issue of ESPN the Magazine

In that 34-28 loss, the Seahawks allowed the Colts to convert seven of their final nine third-down situations and also gave up six plays of more than 15 yards – including the longest TD pass allowed by a Seattle defense since 2007.

Back to the drawing board, right? Shred everything they’ve work on to this point, too? Not exactly.

“We just move on,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said before practice. “We didn’t play a very bad game. It’s not like we gave up 500 yards passing or 600 yards passing. We gave up some plays. We just correct the mistakes we made. We went over a couple plays we need to fix and we move right on. It’s no different than after a win. You correct the mistakes and you move on to the next game.”

Colts QB Andrew Luck passed for 229 yards on 16 completions, and 73 came on that long TD pass to T.Y. Hilton. On his other 15 completions, Luck averaged 10.4 yards.

After today’s practice, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn offered, “We tried not to change, in terms of the approach. I thought the guys did a good job last week during the week, so you can’t go back and say, ‘Well, our preparation wasn’t as strong.’ So really the approach hasn’t changed. We’re all aware there are some things that we’d like to play better on certain parts of it, and we will. But no change in the approach of how we go after it and our style and the way we play or anything like that.”

INJURY REPORT: WALTER THURMOND, MICHAEL BENNETT RETURN

The official report, as issued by the team:

STAT DU JOUR: 2K x 2

There have been seven 2,000-yard rushing performances in NFL history, and the Seahawks have been the season-finale opponent when two of those backs surpassed the 2K barrier – the Titans’ Chris Johnson in 2009 and the Broncos’ Terrell Davis in 1998. Here’s a closer look at those games:

Chris Johnson, Jan. 3, 2010, Seattle: 34 carries for 134 yards
Johnson entered the game with 1,872 yards, and then-Titans coach Jeff Fisher was determined to get Johnson over the 2,000-yard barrier. They did it, but it took 34 carries for Johnson to get 134 yards and push his season total to 2,006. He also scored twice in the Titans’ 17-13 victory. Johnson got 19 carries for 73 yards in the first half, then added 61 yards on 15 carries in the second half. He also had a 62-yard TD run in the fourth quarter nullified by a holding penalty. But he surpassed 2,000 on a 4-yard run four plays later. “Once I got word that he hit the 2,000 mark, I wanted to win the football game,” Fisher offered after all was said and run. The Titans did that on Johnson’s 1-yard TD run 4½ minutes left. Strong safety Deon Grant said, “I don’t like him to get it. Easy or not, I don’t like him to get it. But he did get it, so I take my hat off to him.”

Terrell Davis, Dec. 27, 1998, Denver: 29 carries for 178 yards
Davis entered the game with 1,830 yards, so it seemed a stretch that he would get the necessary 170 against a Seahawks defense that came into the game allowing an average of 120.3 rushing yards. Until Davis began to pound away. Twenty-nine carries and 178 yards later, Davis had become the fourth 2,000-yard rusher in league history. He carried 14 times for 82 yards in the first half, and then added 96 on 15 second-half carries. “We had a countdown going in the huddle,” Broncos QB John Elway said. “We were getting news from the sideline on how close he was.” Davis broke a 15-yarder midway through the fourth quarter to break the 2K barrier, and then called it an afternoon – and a 2,008-yard season. He had a pair of 10-yard runs and a 4-yarder just before going for 15. “I’m elated and relieved,” Davis said after the game at Mile High Stadium. Offered Seahawks linebacker Chad Brown, “Nothing is more frustrating for a defensive player than when the offense imposes their will on you. They wanted to run the ball. They did. That hurts.” Added cornerback Shawn Springs, “Today was just a slap in the face. Terrell rushed for 178 yards and it was embarrassing for our defense. I’m embarrassed.”

Did not practice
OT Breno Giacomini (knee)
TE Zach Miller (hamstring)
MLB Bobby Wagner (ankle)
RB Spencer Ware (ankle)

Limited participation
CB Jeremy Lane (hamstring)

Full participation
DL Michael Bennett (quadriceps)
RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related)
CB Walter Thurmond (knee)
C Max Unger (upper arm)

The improvement in the Seahawks’ injury situation was visible, as Thurmond and Bennett returned to practice after sitting out Wednesday; Miller did some running on a side field; and Wagner was off the crutches he was using Wednesday. Coach Pete Carroll said that the decision on whether Miller can play could go all the way to game day, and he hasn’t ruled out Wagner yet, either.

For the Titans:

Did not practice
LB Patrick Bailey (hamstring)
LB Zaviar Gooden (hamstring)
RB Shonn Greene (knee)
DT Sammie Lee Hill (ankle)
QB Jake Locker (hip, knee)
DE Derrick Morgan (shoulder)
OT David Stewart (ankle)
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (hamstring)

Limited in practice
CB Coty Sensabaugh (concussion)

Full participation
RB Jackie Battle (neck)
S Michael Griffin (foot)

OPPONENT WATCH: ALTERRAUN VERNER

Alterraun Verner, the Titans’ fourth-year cornerback from UCLA, already has a career-high four interceptions to share the league lead. He was AFC Defensive Player of the Week after he intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble in the Titans’ Week 4 win against the New York Jets.

With all that reward comes taking some risks, which Verner has been known to do.

“Obviously we need to know where he is,” Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “That’s important. And know what kind of routes we’re doing, know what our scheme is. Obviously we’re going to continue to bring it back to ourselves, but it’s just like our guys. We have great corners here and there are times they do take chances. You hope you have the right stuff called when they do.”

UP NEXT: “NO REPEAT FRIDAY”

The players will hold their final full practice before Sunday’s game on Friday.

After Sunday’s game comes the shortest week of the season to prepare as the Seahawks will play the Cardinals in Arizona next Thursday night. The Seahawks have done to Sunday-to-Thursday thing twice under Carroll and they’re 1-1 – beating the Eagles 31-14 in Seattle in 2011 and losing to the 49ers 13-6 in San Francisco last season. 

A segment on the Seahawks’ offense will be included in CBS’s “The NFL Today” on Sunday morning, which will include interviews with quarterback Russell Wilson, Max Unger and Carroll.