Seahawks seek perfection
The Guinness Book of World Records representatives might show up with their decibel meters at CenturyLink Field again today, this time to see if fans can set a mark for longest sustained yawns.
The Seattle Seahawks’ vocal 12th Man doesn’t tend to take furloughs on game days, but if there’s a snoozer on the docket for this season, it’s today’s 1:25 p.m. meeting with the 0-2 Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars are not only winless, but nearly pointless as well, having scored 9 points on offense to rank as the NFL’s worst offensive team.
The Seahawks are the league’s top defensive unit, meanwhile, which caused oddsmakers to install Seattle as a 19-point favorite.
Coaches and players have been asked all week how the Seahawks will fight off a lapse in competitive fire when facing a heavy underdog seven days after so emphatically disposing of rival San Francisco in a 29-3 rout.
Whether it captures their true feelings or not, the Seahawks have at least coordinated their answers.
“What we did last week means nothing,” coach Pete Carroll said. “You’ve got to do it all over again and get cranked up … it’s a really, really significant game for us.”
Carroll said he’s tried to send the message of consistent performance from the day he arrived in Seattle: The best way to avoid emotional slumps is to be disciplined in preparation.
“It isn’t about who we’re playing, it’s about how we prepare,” he said. “We want to be our very best every time out.”
Last season was an example, as a few last-minute lapses spelled defeats and were critical as San Francisco ended up winning the division by a slender half-game margin.
Safety Kam Chancellor was surprised to hear that the Seahawks were so heavily favored. “Nobody cares about that, everybody is focusing on getting better every week,” Chancellor said. “We strive for perfection. There’s no such thing as being perfect, but there’s no harm in striving for it.”
As the Seahawks have limited Carolina and San Francisco to a total of 10 points, Chancellor was asked if the defense is offended when an opponent scores.
“Definitely,” he said. “We get offended even when they catch a pass. That’s how we are. We hold ourselves to high standards.”
The Seahawks have had mixed fortune on the injury front this week, as Pro Bowl tackle Russell Okung was ruled out for eight weeks with a torn ligament in his left big toe, but cornerback Brandon Browner (hamstring) and rush-end Chris Clemons (knee) are expected to be healthy enough to make their first appearances of the season.
Guard Paul McQuistan will shift into Okung’s spot at tackle, and James Carpenter will get the start at left guard.
Rookie running back Christine Michael is expected to see his first action of the season, as well.
The game carries some emotional overtones for the Seahawks, particularly on the defensive side, as the new Jaguars coach, Gus Bradley, previously served as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator.
“We obviously (have) to go out there and do our jobs effectively and hopefully shut them out, but it’s going to be tough because he’s such a great coach and such a great friend to a lot of the guys on this team,” All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman said of Bradley.
Bradley’s defense is rated in the league’s top 10, but the offensive issues have been compounded by injuries to quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hand) and running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Gabbert will be replaced by Chad Henne, and Jones-Drew’s return is doubtful.
Despite Seattle’s 2-0 start, Carroll this week stressed the need to get better offensive consistency.
“We hurt ourselves too much in the first couple games,” he said. “It’s the details and fine points of the execution and the discipline that it takes.”
And the goal against the heavy underdog Jaguars?
“We hope we can get out of there with a one-point win,” he said.