Seattle Seahawks

Norton looks at his Seahawks days to slow down Brady: 'I have a good feel'


Norton looks at his Seahawks days to slow down Brady: 'I have a good feel'

ALAMEDA – Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. has a good feel for Tom Brady. He faced New England’s legendary quarterback three times as Seattle’s linebackers coach, with some positive results. The Seahawks won two regular-season games and lost the Super Bowl at the last second.

He knows what worked then, and believes that should help prepare the Raiders defense for what’s coming Sunday in Mexico City.

“I played Brady a couple years ago in the Super Bowl with Seattle. We played very well against him,” Norton said Thursday afternoon. “I’ve had some success against him so I have a good feel for what can be done and what cannot be done. It’s just a matter of having the right emphasis and the ability to make the plays.

“Having a guy like (Brady) on the team who’s capable at any point of throwing a deep ball, capable at any point of getting it to the right players at the right time. He understands who is around him. He understands how to get the ball to the guys. He’s got a long resume of doing it well.”

Having success against Brady, however, is a relative term. He still produced against a loaded Seattle defense far better than this year’s Raiders unit. He will produce again Sunday, even if most goes right. Limitation, however, if key.

Norton believes certain things are essential when facing a Patriots team. Sure tackling. Impacting the quarterback.

The first is vital, something the Raiders have done well save a Week 9 win over Miami. The Raiders have to limit explosives and keep the ball in front of them, especially with the way Brady likes to play.

“The Patriots do a really good job of underneath coverage,” Norton said. “They have guys that catch and run really well. The backs, the tight ends, the matchups underneath, they catch and make people miss. They try to match up with your linebackers and safeties. They feel like their guys are pretty good. Tackling is something we’ve been really outstanding with all year but this last game against Miami we didn’t do so well and it kind of stands out, especially when it’s something we’ve taken a lot of pride in.

“I really feel like our emphasis and what we do well matches up well with that they try to do.”

There are some problem spots. One is limiting deep shots, something Brady has unleashed with startling efficiency. He’s 19-for47 for 410 yards and four touchdowns on passes of 20-plus yards, with speedsters Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett able to haul them in. The Raiders have proven vulnerable to track-star receivers. 

Impacting Brady is mandatory, but also difficult given his excellent pocket presence. He’s especially good at feeling pressure off the edge, where reigning defensive player of the year Khalil Mack typically lines up opposite Bruce Irvin.

Brady has proven vulnerable to interior pressure, which is why Mario Edwards Jr. will be an X-factor on passing downs. He has four sacks this season and needs to break free in the backfield to force difficult decisions or, at the very lest, disrupt New England’s timing.

Brady gets rid of the ball fast at times. Raiders rushers can’t get frustrated by that, especially Mack.

“If the quarterback is going to throw the ball in less than two seconds, it’s going to be tough to get there,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So when the quarterback is throwing the ball quick like that, we’ve got to tackle and have their punt team come out. They’ll get tired of punting or turning the ball over and they’ll sit and hold the ball a little bit and Khalil can get there. If they’re throwing the ball in two seconds or less, it’s going to be hard to get sacks.”

The Raiders only have 13 sacks this season, second worst in the NFL. Getting a few could swing a tight game. Norton’s Raiders believe they have a solid plan to mitigate somewhat the Patriots ferocious attack, that features versatile tight ends allowing them to do different things from one personnel package.

Don’t expect a shutout, or anything close. The Raiders understand that, but believe they can mitigate some damage.

“If you go back to the New England Patriots five, six, eight years ago they’re doing similar things,” Norton said. “They do what they do really well. They’re a fine-tuned machine. Everybody knows exactly what their role is. Guys know exactly what’s expected of them. Obviously the quarterback is the heart and soul and the one that makes that train run. Really, really good players that really understand what their role is and play well against leverage, run after catch, tough and they make plays.”

Staley to ref after Hoyer hit: 'What the hell was that?'


Staley to ref after Hoyer hit: 'What the hell was that?'

SEATTLE – Left tackle Joe Staley heard the whistle and did not move.

Seattle Seahawks pass-rusher Frank Clark did not hold back, and 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer paid the price.

Staley was upset that referee Bill Vinovich did not call Clark for unnecessary roughness after he delivered a brutal blind-side hit on Hoyer after sprinting past the stationary Staley at the snap of the ball. The 49ers had already called a timeout with the play clock winding down before a third-and-6 play from the 49ers’ 42-yard line in the third quarter.

“I stopped,” Staley said. “I heard the whistle for like five seconds, so I didn’t even get out of my stance. Then, I was freaking out because they kept going and killed the quarterback.

“So I told them, ‘What the hell is that? That’s unnecessary roughness.’ He’s like, ‘Oh, man, you can drop an atomic bomb in here and you can’t hear whistles.’ I heard it. Four guys heard it. It’s your job to hear it. You (granted) us a timeout. So it was heard and it was called. Whatever.”

The 49ers made plenty of their own mistakes in the 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, including Marquise Goodwin’s critical dropped pass for what would’ve been for a first down near the Seattle 10-yard line in the fourth quarter.

On the next play, the 49ers thought Richard Sherman got away with defensive holding against Pierre Garçon – a play after which coach Kyle Shanahan was seen arguing with the official near the play. Hoyer took a big hit from defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson after delivering the pass on that play, too.

The 49ers were held without a touchdown for the first two games of the regular season – the first time that has occurred in franchise history.

“I have to play a whole lot better,” Hoyer said. “I’m disappointed with myself.

“We felt good about coming into the season, and the first two games haven’t gone the way we’d like them to, especially the way I’d like them to go as far as with my personal play. I’ve got to look at the tape and figure out what I can do a whole lot better, and with this quick turnaround, we have to be ready for the Rams on Thursday night.”

Instant Analysis: 49ers put up fight, but fall to Seahawks once again

Instant Analysis: 49ers put up fight, but fall to Seahawks once again


SEATTLE – The 49ers have come to Seattle with better teams since the 2012 season, but Kyle Shanahan’s squad kept things interesting for a lot longer than some of those other units.

The 49ers’ young defense kept things close, putting the clamps on Russell Wilson and the struggling Seattle offense for most of Sunday before San Francisco’s upset bid fell short with a 12-9 loss at CenturyLink Field.

The 49ers – listed as a 14-point underdog against the Seahawks -- entered Sunday’s game with six consecutive losses in Seattle by an average deficit of 18 points. The Seahawks entered with seven consecutive victories over the 49ers, including a victory in the 2013 NFC Championship that propelled Pete Carroll’s team to its only Super Bowl victory.

In a game dominated by both defenses, the 49ers’ only offensive spark for most of the game came from running back Carlos Hyde.

Hyde rushed for 124 yards on 15 carries, including a career-long 61-yard burst in the second quarter that gave the 49ers some energy and enabled them to tie the game at halftime.

Since the end of the 2014 season, Hyde is the only running back to gain more than 100 yards against the Seahawks’ home stadium. Hyde has now done it in back-to-back appearances.

The 49ers rallied from a 6-0 deficit to take a 9-6 lead with 11:36 remaining in the fourth quarter. After a steady dose of Hyde, the 49ers sprinkled in undrafted rookie running back Matt Breida on the go-ahead drive. Breida had back-to-back runs of 11 and 13 yards to set up Robbie Gould’s third field goal of the game.

But the Seahawks came back to take a 12-9 lead on Wilson’s 9-yard touchdown pass to receiver Paul Richardson. Wilson, running for his life against the 49ers’ pass rush, singlehandedly took Seattle down the field with his ability to scramble for yards and buy time to make plays down the field. Blair Walsh missed the extra point.

The 49ers tied the game with Gould field goals of 40 and 37 yards late in the first half. Walsh gave Seattle a 6-0 lead with field goals of 25 and 27 yards in the first quarter. The latter field goal was set up by Bobby Wagner’s interception of a Brian Hoyer pass.

Hoyer and the passing game struggled throughout the game. Hoyer completed 15 of 27 passes for 99 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Seattle could not sustain much offense, either. Wilson completed 23 of 39 pass attempts for 198 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Neither the 49ers nor Seahawks scored a touchdown in opening-week losses. The 49ers fell to the Carolina Panthers 23-3, while Seattle opened with a 17-9 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

--Fifth-year veteran Eric Reid left the game three times with apparent issues with his left knee. He went down in the second quarter with a non-contact knee injury. Reid was approximately 30 yards away from the ball on a deep Wilson pass attempt when he sustained the injury. Reid sat out the remainder of the first half but returned to action at the start of the second half. He briefly left again after a big hit on tight end Jimmy Graham. After re-entering the game, Reid sustained another injury in the third quarter and exited the game for good.

--Outside pass rusher Aaron Lynch, who was not active for the 49ers’ first game of the season, recorded the team’s first sack of the season when he threw Wilson for a 1-yard loss in the first quarter. Tank Carradine and Arik Armstead also recorded sacks.

--Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas recorded two tackles for loss, as he made a major improvement in his second NFL game. He was credited with a “start” because the 49ers opened the game in their nickel defensive package.

--Ray-Ray Armstrong started in place of linebacker Reuben Foster, who is expected to miss approximately a month with a high ankle sprain. Armstrong was briefly benched for Brock Coyle in the first half after he blew a couple of assignments. Armstrong returned to his role in the 49ers’ base defense in the second half.

--Hyde had 102 yards rushing in the first half, becoming the first player since Adrian Peterson in 2012 to rush for 100 or more yards against the Seahawks in a half.