Seattle 27 Tennessee 17
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer
August 12, 2012
Well, training camp has come and gone. The first round battle between quarterbacks went to Matt Hasselbeck. The running game was looking sharp with Chris Johnson looking like the C.J. of old. Kenny Britt was out and Kendal Wright signed late. Wright looked good in the time he put in and appeared to catch on fast. The offensive and defensive lines saw some changes by addition and subtraction. All in all, it was a good camp that had much needed energy and effort.
Last night Hasselbeck was back in Seattle where he made some good memories and played for a title. On this day, I am thinking he would have stayed in Tennessee if he knew he was going to stink up the place. He was an ineffective 5-9 for just 45 yards passing. His first pass was to Nate Washington. The problem was that the ball did not land in his hands. Instead, it deflected off his hands and into the hands of Brandon Browner, who then ran 23 yards for a touchdown. A bit later, Hasselbeck went long to Damian Williams, only to get picked off again.
In came Jake Locker for his turn at bat. He directed a nice drive that went for 80 yards on 11 plays. That drive stalled and ended in a field goal. He had some nice throws and showed his mobility and the advantages if it. He built a little chemistry connecting with Wright a few times too. In round two of the battle for the QB spot, I would say Locker just moved ahead.
The running game is supposed to get drastically better than last year. Chris Johnson has been looking sharp and focused all offseason. He has been decisive in hitting his holes and put in a lot of work in camp. His night was about the same as his starting quarterback. He dropped two passes and finished with 8 yards rushing. One of his carries was a nice nine-yarder. That was sandwiched around four more runs that netted him minus one yard. So it is safe to say that it was not a stellar opening act for C.J. The actual star of the backfield was little known Darius Reynaud. He turned the third quarter into his own show when he took a handoff and ran off from 21 yards out for a touchdown. About three minutes later he took a punt at the 15-yard line and took it back to the house. It was an electric run from a young kid trying to make the team. Guess his chances of that have just improved.
Wright did have a nice game to start things off. He caught those three passes, for 47 yards, from Locker and showed some moves. He was also lost at times as he continues to learn the system. Marc Mariani is trying to make sure he keeps a spot in the rotation and made the most of his chance. He had a nice 39-yard catch and finished with two catches for 52 yards. I like his grit and toughness. He hustles every play and plays like it’s the last game of his career.
The defense had its moments, like getting two picks, with one coming in the end zone. Still, they allowed the Seahawks to move the ball as their quarterbacks had great days. Matt Flynn got the start and went 11-13 for 71 yards and his backup Russell Wilson was better. Wilson would finish 12-16 for 80 yards and a touchdown, but he played like he been there for years. He was in control of the offense and chipped in three carries for 59 yards. In the fourth quarter, with the game still close, he took off from 32 yards out and ran all the way for a touchdown to seal the game.
It was just the first preseason game where you are evaluating talent. We don’t want to make too much of this guy or that guy. Some players only play for a minute and others trying to get a spot play more. It is still a work in progress but there were a few stars on this night. Linebacker Colin McCarthy had an interception, five tackles and manned his position well. Reynaud, of course, had a big game. Karl Klug and Zach Clayton each recorded a sack too.