Gallant: Several Seahawks defenders make the most of opportunity in preseason opener

Aug 14, 2021, 11:04 PM | Updated: Aug 15, 2021, 12:22 pm

Seahawks Alton Robinson...

Seahawks DE Alton Robinson made a number of plays on defense against the Raiders. (Getty)


We all wanted to see at least some of the Seahawks’ best players Saturday night in Las Vegas, or get some sense of what Seattle’s new offense under Shane Waldron might look like. Unfortunately, we didn’t get anything close to that.

Seahawks preseason opener: Recap story | Stacy Rost’s takeaways

No Russell Wilson. No Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf. No Chris Carson, no Gerald Everett, and none of the Hawks’ presumed starters on the offensive line.

It showed.

Seattle managed just 194 yards of total offense, averaging a meager 3.9 yards per attempt and finishing a woeful 4 for 13 on third down. Outside of quarterback Alex McGough’s lob to the flat to DeeJay Dallas – who tight-roped the sideline and shook a tackle for a 43-yard touchdown on fourth down – we barely saw the offense at all. They were on the field for just 19:37.

It was a good thing that Wilson didn’t play, though, especially with how Geno Smith got absolutely smashed on a blindside corner blitz. He’d eventually leave the game with a concussion. Rookie left tackle Stone Forsythe had a trial by fire in his first NFL appearance, and left it with a lot of burns. You could tell that he’s a sixth-round project, and that the Seahawks need to find a way to get Duane Brown back in the building by the start of the season.

The Seahawks spent a lot of time on the field defensively. Nathan Peterman – yes, THAT Nathan Peterman – kept the chains moving for Vegas, guiding the Raiders to 11 for 17 on third down. But with great possession time comes great experience, and several Seattle defenders made the most of it.

• We got our first glimpses of Darrell Taylor in a Seahawks uniform. He looked like a rookie out there but showed off his speed on the edge on a couple of pass rushes. He also drilled a Raiders receiver by the sideline in the red zone.

•  Did you know Alton Robinson went to Syracuse? I only found that out just before the game. Anyhoo, we literally saw him all over the field… both at defensive end and SAM linebacker. Shoot, we even saw him in coverage for some reason against Raiders receiver Zay Jones early in the first quarter. Robinson had a great rookie season and I’m really bullish on his ability to build off that this year. With the pressures he provided and solid run support, Saturday night was a great start for him.

• I thought Rasheem Green was the best Seahawks defender on the field Saturday night. He had a sack, deflected a pass that linebacker Jordyn Brooks nearly intercepted, and was regularly in the right place at the right time.

• Ugo Amadi was another player we saw all over the field in this game, not just doing what he does best – blitzing. He played both nickel cornerback and safety. Since Marquise Blair didn’t play, I’m assuming Amadi is in second place for the nickel competition.

• Ryan Neal also made the most of his chances on the field. He shined on Seattle’s first drive and had the lone takeaway of the game with an interception caused by an Alton Robinson pressure.

• We saw a lot of Tre Flowers and Akhello Witherspoon at cornerback. Neither made any impactful plays, but neither were toasted by Vegas receivers. Sometimes, being in the right spot coverage-wise still wasn’t able to prevent catches downfield. Whatever the case, D.J. Reed was missed in this game.

• I found it interesting that Cody Barton, who had a couple of sacks, checked into the game after Ben Burr-Kirven. Is he actually behind Burr-Kirven on the linebacker depth chart?

• I don’t think that Brian Mone is a significant drop off in talent from Jarran Reed at defensive tackle. He also had a sack and made his exceptionally large presence felt throughout the game.

The preseason is frustrating. It’s a football tease for fans. You see the uniforms but you don’t see your team’s best players. Hopefully the players above – and others – put some solid tape together that’ll earn them a roster spot in Seattle or elsewhere.

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