RENTON, Wash. – The statement Seahawks coach Jim Mora made after last week’s loss in Dallas echoed around his team this week.
That’s not because the coach repeated his message of accountability during his news conference Monday, and it wasn’t just when the team announced the release of three backup players Tuesday.
Mora’s words reverberated in the locker room because he didn’t say a whole lot to his team the day after last week’s debacle in Dallas.
“We didn’t do a lot of talking Monday,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said.
There’s not a whole lot left to say. This season has reached a tipping point. If the Seahawks don’t bounce back this week, there’s no telling where this swan dive down the NFL standings will end.
This is as healthy as Seattle is going to be this season, with all 53 players practicing Friday. The Seahawks are playing at home against Detroit, which has lost 29 of its last 32 games and has not won on the road since October 2007.
If not now, when? If not Detroit, who?
Top that off with the trump card of job security, which Mora played last Sunday.
“I am curious to see how they respond,” Mora said. “I’m always curious, you know? We’re building something here. Hopefully, we took a step this week.”
The Seahawks have had a motto similar to the one found on Ellis Island. Bring Seattle your tired, your poor, your huddled masses and watch the Seahawks whomp ’em.
The St. Louis Rams? No problem. Seattle shut them out 28-0 on opening weekend. The Jacksonville Jaguars, a struggling team with a 3-4 record, left Seattle with a stinging 41-0 loss and welts on their backside.
But when an opponent digs in its heels, Seattle has shown a tendency to lose its grip on the game.
The Seahawks have held the lead for fewer than four minutes the past two games and have trailed by double digits at halftime in each of their last three losses.
On Tuesday, Seattle didn’t overhaul the lineup, but it did announce the release of three veterans to create opportunities to evaluate young players.
Edgerrin James moved into 10th in NFL career rushing yards last Sunday on what turned out to be his final carry as a Seahawk. He was released Tuesday to open up opportunities for Louis Rankin, a former Washington Husky signed by Seattle after Oakland released him this season. Backup cornerback Travis Fisher and injured safety C.J. Wallace were also released.
“It was a shock,” receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said, “but this is a ‘what-are-you-doing?’ type of business, ‘how-are-you performing?’ type of business.
“If coach Mora’s team is not performing the way it should, he’s going to be out of a job, and it’s the same for us. You can’t fault anyone for what they do, because their livelihood is at stake.”
It didn’t take the release of three backups for the players in Seattle’s locker room to understand that.
“Those of us who have been around, you know that roster moves are going to happen after you start like we’ve started,” Hasselbeck said. “He (Mora) had said it plain out, that we’re going to make some changes, we’re going to do some evaluating, and he did. His words weren’t hollow.”
Now it’s time to see if one week later, those words are echoed in today’s performance as Seattle attempts to bounce back.
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