Seattle coach Pete Carroll called the team's 19-17 loss to Indianapolis in the Seahawks' first preseason game of the season, "valuable," and generally appeared to be pleased with Thursday's outing while talking to reporters on Saturday following practice in Renton, Wash.
Carroll spoke positively regarding the play of rookies, linebacker Shaquem Griffin, running back Rashaad Penny, tight end Will Dissly, defensive end Rasheem Green and cornerback Tre Flowers and praised the team's overall effort.
But the most important positive element from Thursday night had to be the play of the starting offensive line.
"The first group did a real nice job on offense," Carroll told reporters. "We got to see our guys come off of the ball a little bit and protect the quarterback."
Preseason game performances should never be overblown, but those should be sweet words for Seattle fans after how poorly the offensive line played last season.
The line allowed running back Chris Carson, seeing his first action since fracturing his leg last year against the Colts, to gain 26 yards on four carries.
“They felt strong," Carroll said of the line. "They gave Russ (Wilson) a lot of nice spacing. Pocket was very solid. He moved because he didn’t find the receivers where he needed to find them, open, so he moved to make them open and he did it. It just felt better."
The tight end position helped the offense line function well even without veteran and projected starter Ed Dickson, who remains on the active/non-football injury list and did not play. That meant more opportunities for Vannett and Dissly. Both, according to Carroll, played well.
'Diss (Will Dissly) did a really nice job," Carroll said. "He did exactly what we hoped he would have looked like in his first time out. He’s going to get better and understand things more and be more aggressive. But, he already showed the big body, and he showed the ability to hold the line of scrimmage. Go to the big play pass that Russ hits to (Tyler) Lockett, he does a great job blocking the defensive end on the other side and just locks him out. That’s a real positive, that’s a real plus for us.”
Better offensive line play. A rookie tight end that looks like a keeper as a quality run blocker. Seattle couldn't have asked for much more in its first outing.
Key players will play more in the second preseason game, Saturday at San Diego (7 p.m.).