Granted, it was essentially backups against backups, but our backups kicked the SHIT out of their backups!
But before we get to that, I have to say SOMETHING about the second play from scrimmage for the Seahawks’ offense. Oh, you were worried about how the #1 offense had yet to score a touchdown? How about the first pass of the game, 63 yards, from Wilson to Lockett in one of the prettier throws & catches you’re going to see. Too bad it was wasted on a pre-season game, but I think we can all calm down a little bit about what we’ve witnessed the last four weeks.
Also, not for nothing, but the guys the Raiders had in uniform in this game were THE WORST. So, you know, don’t get too cocky about all the ass-kicking our third stringers put on ’em. I’m pretty sure I could’ve suited up and averaged 5.5 yards per carry on the ground.
So, with all of that mess out of the way, HOW ABOUT THAT FRANK CLARK??? He’s the fucking best. That was a spectacle the likes of which I haven’t seen in quite some time. On the edge, on the inside, line him up wherever, he is GOING to get through that line. He’s big, he’s mean, he’s got a keen sense of where the ball is and what it’s going to take to get to that ball. This is a REAL defensive force! He’s certainly the most impressive rookie I’ve seen in the Pete Carroll/John Schneider era (with Lockett not too far behind, if I’m being perfectly honest), and that’s really saying something, when you look at guys like Earl, Okung, Wagner, Wright, and of course, Russell Wilson.
This is a terrible thing to say, but I’m going to say it anyway: thank God for Ray Rice. If he didn’t do what he did – causing the uproar he did – the NFL landscape wouldn’t have been in such a hyper-aware state when it comes to domestic violence, thereby leading to many multiple teams passing on Frank Clark without a second thought (some even having him off their draft boards entirely). Without the Ray Rice woman-punching incident (and accompanying damning video footage), there’s no way in Hell Frank Clark falls to the second round. At the same time, thank God for the Seahawks being strong enough to make that pick, knowing that the details of the case pointed to something much less than our imaginations led us to believe, because Frank Clark is going to be a monster for us for quite a long time.
Beyond that, three fringe receivers really stood out: Kevin Smith, Kasen Williams, and B.J. Daniels. A lot of us thought – going in – that this would be the game that would separate one from the pack. Instead, it just made the pack that much bigger.
Smith had an underrated day compared to the other two, with 4 receptions and a few really nice returns. We all know Lockett is the primary special teams return man, but it’d be nice having Smith in reserve just in case. He strikes me as Doug Baldwin 2.0, and I don’t care what anyone says, I’m telling you right now you can’t have enough Doug Baldwins on your team!
Kasen Williams got some nice pub out of his two catches, one being a nifty diving grab at the back corner of the endzone. In my eyes, I think Smith and Williams both have tremendous value. But, I also believe the team can’t really afford to keep them both, and if I’m being honest, I have to put Smith just a slight notch ahead of Williams if I’m picking one over the other.
B.J. Daniels didn’t get a whole lot done in the receiving game – missing out on one potential explosive play due to the ball being severely underthrown – nor did he really do a whole helluva lot in the return game. But, speaking of returns, he made his RETURN to the quarterback position in the second half, leading the team for a couple of touchdown-scoring drives (including that TD throw to Kasen). I didn’t see a lot of evidence out of Daniels this pre-season that he’s a better receiver than either Smith or Williams, but he’s got athleticism for days, and I think his versatility (another special teams return candidate, as well as a receiver, someone you might be able to line up in the backfield, and of course as a quarterback) is off the charts and too good to pass up.
To be quite honest, I think we’re all looking for a reason for the team to dump Ricardo Lockette, and if it’s EVER going to happen, it’ll happen this weekend. Lockette has been a mainstay because he’s outstanding on special teams. But, I think guys like Daniels, Smith, and Williams have all proven they’re quite valuable on special teams in their own right. Truth be told, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be totally comfortable with Lockette on my team after what happened in the Super Bowl. Was it a great play by the defense? That’s what I’m told; but I can’t help shake the feeling that if Lockette made a stronger play for the ball, he might have gotten it (or at least caused an incompletion). Lockette’s got a lot to redeem in my mind, fair or unfair (of course, not as much as the coaching staff, but I’m going to leave that dead horse alone).
What I’m trying to say is, if I had my druthers, the wide receiving corps would look like this:
- Doug Baldwin
- Jermaine Kearse
- Tyler Lockett
- Chris Matthews
- B.J. Daniels
- Kevin Smith
- (with Kasen Williams as our 7th, if the team opts to go with 7)
In other areas, Thomas Rawls looked good, but again I’m going to refer you to the fact that the Raiders are fucking terrible, and he got most of his carries against their scrubbiest of scrubs. In no way shape or form should the Seahawks be thinking about keeping Rawls on the 53-man roster. They should have no problem sneaking him onto the practice squad, and if some other team snaps him up, then oh-fucking-well. Not really a big loss, if you ask me.
Mohammed Seisay looked pretty brutalized last night, but I can see why the team likes him. He needs to clean up some stuff in his game, but he’s got potential. Might not make a lick of difference, as he apparently suffered a pretty serious shoulder injury. Looks like an IR candidate with the potential to return to compete for a spot next year. Not too bad, if you ask me.
A lot of people are writing off Marcus Burley, but I like him, and I think I like him more than Blackmon. My prediction: Blackmon will be looking for employment elsewhere after the weekend.
Chris Matthews returned from injury, but didn’t do a whole lot. Still, I think he solidified his spot in the Super Bowl. If we don’t keep him, it’ll take about 30 seconds for another team to snatch him up.
OK, that’s it. Regular season starts on the 13th (which seems like it’s years away).