By Brady Henderson
Sunday’s game against the Titans will mark the return on Max Unger, the Seahawks’ All-Pro center and the central nervous system of their offensive line.
Unger joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Wyman, Mike and More” on Wednesday to discuss his two-game absence, his pre-snap communication with the rest of the offensive line, areas where Seattle’s offense can improve and the rivalry between his Oregon Ducks and the Huskies.
The interview can be heard here. Highlights are below.
Good to go. Unger practiced without limitation Wednesday and is expected to play Sunday after missing the last two games with a triceps injury.
“Everything’s good now. I’m good to go,” he said of the injury, which originated against San Francisco in Week 2 and worsened the following week against Jacksonville.
Unger said watching the games from the sidelines wasn’t easy: “I’m so much more mellow [while playing], I guess, because you actually have an impact on the outcome of the game. It’s a lot harder to watch – a lot more stressful, I guess I should say – watching than being able to just go out and do your job.”
‘We’ve just got to smell blood’. Unger’s expected return should help an offense that has struggled to sustain and finish drives this season, especially during his two-game absence.
Seattle has converted 20 of its 65 third-down opportunities for a 30.8 percent conversion rate that ranks 27th in the NFL. The Seahawks have gone just 5 of 26 (19 percent) on third down over the last two weeks, and against Indianapolis they settled for five field-goal attempts.
“When we get down in there we’ve just got to smell blood,” Unger said. “We haven’t had quite the red-zone production we’ve needed these last couple games. We got in the zone a couple times against Indy, but it’s just something that we’ve really got to improve on – red zone and third downs.”
Oregon-Washington rivalry. Football fans throughout the Northwest will be watching closely as No. 16 Washington hosts second-ranked Oregon Saturday afternoon. So will Unger, who played at Oregon before he was drafted in the second round by Seattle in 2009.
Unger said there’s some sort of bet in the works with wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, the only Husky on Seattle’s roster. Unger and cornerback Walter Thurmond are the two Seahawks who played at Oregon.
Unger believes the Pac-12, not the SEC, is best football conference in the nation.
“I have this argument every day in the locker room,” he said.