October 19, 2013 in Sports

Seahawks ‘D’ has a reason to dance after 7 sack night

Bob Condotta Seattle Times
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle LB Malcolm Smith broke out a new move during the Hawks’ battering of Arizona QB Carson Palmer.
(Full-size photo)

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Despite a dominating win on the road that made them 6-1 for the first time in franchise history, the Seahawks knew after their 34-22 victory over Arizona that questions remained.

Namely, just what the heck was that little dance performed by linebacker Malcolm Smith following his sack of Arizona’s Carson Palmer in the fourth quarter, one of a season-high seven for the Seattle defense?

“It’s the Hawk Eyes,” Smith explained of a gyration that looked a little like the one John Travolta and Uma Thurman made famous in “Pulp Fiction.”

As he talked, fellow linebacker Bruce Irvin, seated at the next locker, interjected. “You know how the Legion of Boom is?” he said, referencing Seattle’s famed secondary corps. “We (the linebackers) are the Hawk Eyes. We see everything.’’

“We might need something better,’’ Smith countered, saying that maybe they should be “the Seahawk Eyes.’’

Illustrating the work that remains, Smith said the linebackers have been talking about creating a signature move for a little while and planned to unveil it against the Cardinals as a group, but that K.J. Wright simply forgot to do it when he got a sack earlier in the game.

The sacks were the second-most for the Seahawks since 2008 (Seattle had eight in a win last year over Green Bay), and the 30 rushing yards allowed a season low.

The offense, meanwhile, scored on five of its first eight possessions (and touchdowns on four) in a building in which the Seahawks had lost six of their previous seven games.

The only real complaints were some sloppiness and some faulty pass protection by a still-undermanned offensive line that helped lead to two Russell Wilson fumbles.

“It didn’t feel like they stopped us as much as it felt like we stopped ourselves a few too many times,’’ said coach Pete Carroll.

The real revelation at University of Phoenix Stadium might have been the depth of Seattle’s front seven.

The pass rush, in particular, was one of the biggest questions about the team in the offseason, one the Seahawks tried to address with the acquisitions of Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Tony McDaniel.

Thursday night, each got credit for one sack.

“The line of scrimmage was really solid,’’ Carroll said. “… It’s great to see the production of the pass rush; that’s getting better.’’

The linebacking corps also got in the act.

Smith (playing the weakside) led the Seahawks with eight tackles and had two for a loss, Wright (middle) had seven and Irvin (strong side) had four, with all three playing at least 75 percent of the snaps.

Now they get a little break before returning to practice next week to prepare for a game at St. Louis on Oct. 28.


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