TNT’s Gregg Bell details Seahawks’ preseason-opening win, rookie Marquise Blair’s impressive debut

TNT’s Gregg Bell details Seahawks’ preseason-opening win, rookie Marquise Blair’s impressive debut


Hi again, Greg Bell of the News Tribune
back inside Century Link field in Seattle for a Seahawk game for the first
time in about eight and half months. What did we learn tonight in
the 22-14 preseason win for the Seahawks over Denver? Easy for the linemen for anyone to see
that Paxton Lynch outplayed Juno Smith. The two quarterbacks who play tonight
while Russell Wilson watched and did not play a preseason opener for
the first time in eight years. Lynch 11-15 passing 154 yards. Both Seattle touchdowns came
with Lynch in the second half. 13 of their 18 first downs
291 of their 303 yards. Juno Smith was three of nine passing,
one drop. Two just past DK Metcalfe’s hands. Metcalfre beat Denver corner
backs on both sides twice, but Smith’s throws were just past him. It’s not inconceivable that if
Russell Wilson was throwing those passes, as he has all training camp,
to DK Metcalfe, Metcalfe would have had two touchdowns
in his Seahawks debut tonight. But let’s go beyond that
because let’s face it, if we’re talking about how Paxton Lynch
played come November, or December. That means Russell Wilson’s hurt and
not playing for the first time in his career in
the Seahawks season is in disarray. Let’s talk about Marquis Blair. That’s who I had my eye on most
tonight through the binoculars. The rookie second-round
pick safety from Utah. He did more than he was even advertising,
more than he did preseason practices. The first time kinda practices of
training camp, he was a strong safety. And that’s what he was drafted in
the second round by the Seahawks for. Josh Schneider, the GM,
called him a silent assassin. Well, tonight, In the second quarter, when
he was playing every down with the Sean shed they were alternating almost
play by play, free safety and strong safety depending on
the formation down and distance. I asked Blair after the game in the locker
room, how new that was for him he said, well, I played it at Utah. I played free safety quite a bit. But it was different from what
he’d been doing this summer, this month in practices. Pete Carroll said that Blair was
coached scrambling a little bit how they were alternating him back and
forth. It was interesting to me that a rookie in
his NFL debut, the Seahawks think enough of him that they can alternate him with
a veteran from one position to the next. Of course that’s how they would
like all their safeties to play. But to do that to Blaire
on his first night out told me that they spent quite a bit for
him and he performed very well. Pete Carroll said that we quote love how
he played tonight: aggressive, hitting. So aggressive,
the Broncos took advantage of it. In the second quarter, Blaire came flying
in, it wasn’t supposed to be a blitz. Came flying in on the edge of
rookie quarterback Drew Lock, forced an incomplete pass. Couple of plays later,
the Broncos had their slot receiver, Williams, Nick Williams in
motion towards the quarterback. Shed adjusted Blaire towards
the line of scrimmage, having picked up the motion
man receiver he did. And when Williams fake liked he
was blocking down on defensive end Rasheen Greene, Blaire ignored him. He said okay my pass responsibilities
are done, my guy’s blocking. I’m going after the quarterback free and
untouched again. Well he did that he went in after
the quarterback free and untouched. Williams the receiver released off
his fake block on the defensive end. Drew Lock just popped a little
pass over the top of Blaire. It went for 24 yards. It was Denver’s biggest
play of the first half. It set up a second field goal for
the Broncos, made it 6-3 for Denver. So Blaire learned a lesson. He got exploited for
his over aggressiveness. He wasn’t supposed to be blitzing. The sign man was Williams and he left
his man and they burned him for it. So that’s the kind of things
that he has to learn now. The NFL teams could exploit
a young kids aggressiveness. But Carroll said he loved what he got from
Blaire, that he’s going to be a player and he’s going to be a factor that
people are gonna have to notice. To me Blaire did nothing tonight to
suggest that he will not have a chance to be the starter and strong safety that
will move Bradley McDougal to free safety. Now again Lano Smith did not play tonight. He is also in the mix for
a starting strong safety. He’s at the crack hip that ended
his season prematurely last year. Back to practicing fully. I expect he’ll play August 18th in
the second preseason game at Minnesota. Shalom Milani started at strong safety. The veteran back up last year and special
team is also a factor in this race. But they would not have
drafted Marquis Blaire as highly as they did their first of
the two picks in the second round. Higher than even DK Metcalf. If they didn’t think he has
the potential to play at safety, and what we saw tonight and
how personal and aggressive he was. I thought it was a very strong debut for
the marquee player. The only downer tonight injury wise,
George Fan. Bad luck again in a preseason game. A badly sprained ankle. Pete Karo used the word legit sprain and
when he says legit that’s usually Karo speak for he’s gonna be out for
a long time. We’ll see what that does at tight end
because of course, Fant was a barking tight end in running situations for
the NFL’s top rushing offense last year. Juno Smith is going to have a cyst removed
from his knee Pete Karo said after the game. They think he may be able to be back in 10
days for that preseason game at Minnesota. I wouldn’t count on that. It might be Russell Wilson and
Paxton Lynch and a third quarterback. Carol didn’t roll out the fact that we
may need to need to sign a third arm to reduce the wear on Wilson and
Lynch here for next week or 10 days. All my coverage is online
at the News Tribune.com. I’ll have a story tomorrow For
the Saturday papers online. Some are more in depth about
marquee player’s impressive evening in the Seahawks preseason opener. And on Twitter at GVL,
Seattle post game videos, the game stories all you would
ever want in need there. Thanks for watching. Have a great weekend.

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