No lie: Seahawks' offensive efficiency a must-improve

dave.boling@thenewstribune.comSeptember 20, 2013 

Seattle center Max Unger (60), blocking on a Marshawn Lynch (24) touchdown plunge against San Francisco on Sunday, says the Seahawks’ offense has struggled in the first two games, “and it’s on us to turn that around.”


RENTON — Coach Pete Carroll encourages his Seattle Seahawks to engage in honest and critical self-evaluation weekly on what he calls “Tell The Truth Monday.”

That process is going overtime this week, though, as the Seahawks on Thursday were still addressing their offensive inconsistencies in Sunday night’s 29-3 thrashing of rival San Francisco.

The meaningful news at practice came from the defense, with the return of cornerback Brandon Browner (hamstring) to extensive work, along with continued action by defensive end Chris Clemons, who is fighting back from his January knee surgery.

Still, the lingering concern from the big win over the 49ers was the need to improve their offensive efficiency.

“We really haven’t been very good,” said center Max Unger of the team’s offense. “It’s the penalties, the lack of red-zone production, inability to sustain drives, all that stuff, and it’s on us to turn that around.”

Although the Seahawks have captured the attention of a nation of football fans by going 2-0, they’re ranked in the bottom-third of the NFL in total offense and

passing offense. Their 19 penalties for 183 yards are the fourth-highest in the NFL.

“I think the biggest thing is we have to execute; we’ve got to not back ourselves up on offense,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “We’re moving the ball well, but we keep pulling ourselves back. If we eliminate that we’ll definitely do a great job the rest of the season.”

Nine of the Seahawks’ 10 penalties against San Francisco were called against the offense. Wilson, meanwhile completed just eight passes in 19 attempts for a rating of 63.9, his lowest since Week 7 his rookie season.

In the opener against Carolina, it was the rushing attack that sputtered, with back Marshawn Lynch held to 43 yards on 17 carries.

“We threw the ball well the first game, we ran the ball well the second game,” Wilson said. “Hopefully, we can put the two together and see what happens. If we can do that, it’ll be hard to beat us no matter who we play.”

Wilson said he missed some receivers for a few “mechanical” reasons, and his focus this week “is to make sure I get my depth and my drop and deliver an accurate ball ... all the things I know I can do.”

Asked if he was tempted to wag his finger at those committing penalties, Wilson said the offense is a collective effort and correcting shortcomings is a matter of focus and communication.

“We’re 2-0 now and we haven’t hit our stride yet,” he said.


 • Browner strained his hamstring the week before the Week 1 meeting against Carolina and has been replaced by Walter Thurmond in both games.

“It’s good to see him out there,” defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said of Browner. “I’m fired up to have Brandon out there working. He looks very strong ... that’s how hard he worked to come back from an injury. You wouldn’t expect anything different from BB.”

Quinn said the plan was to see how well Browner practiced Friday before making decisions on his readiness for the Jacksonville game.

 • One important figure contributing to the defense, linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr., was absent from Thursday’s practice following the Wednesday death of his father, former heavyweight champion Ken Norton Sr., at age 70 of heart failure.

 • Cornerback Richard Sherman, named NFC defensive player of the week for his performance against San Francisco, said it will be an interesting challenge to play a Jacksonville team coached by former Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

“Gus is such a great coach, such a fun guy to play for, it’s going to be tough,” Sherman said. “He was constant energy, always a positive guy no matter what happened in the game. From the beginning of the season to the end, he was upbeat and high energy every single day.”

While Bradley’s scheme at Jacksonville is very similar to the Seahawks’, he said that Quinn uses more aggressive man-to-man coverage schemes, while Bradley plays more two-deep zone.

The Seahawks announced Thursday they signed receiver Nicholas Edwards, a Foss High and Eastern Washington product, to the practice squad.


Seattle — Out: T Russell Okung (toe). Did not participate: RB Spencer Ware (ankle), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring), DT Jordan Hill (biceps), S Jeron Johnson (hamstring). Full participation: DE Chris Clemons (knee), T Breno Giacomini (knee), CB Brandon Browner (hamstring), G J.R. Sweezy (back). Jacksonville — Did not participate: CB Alan Ball (groin), CB Dwayne Gratz (ankle), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle), DT Roy Miller (knee). Limited: WR Stephen Burton (hip), QB Blaine Gabbert (right hand), G Uche Nwaneri (knee), G Will Rackley (knee), WR Ace Sanders (ribs), LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring), TE Marcedes Lewis (calf), WR Mike Brown (back), TE Allen Reisner (toe). Full participation: DE Jason Babin (non-injury related), C Brad Meester (non-injury).

Dave Boling: 253-597-8440 @DaveBoling

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