DANNY ONEIL

O’Neil: What we learned from the Seahawks’ 3rd preseason game

Aug 27, 2018, 12:06 PM | Updated: Aug 28, 2018, 12:22 pm
Seattle Seahawks, Seahawks, David Moore...
WR David Moore is entering his second season with the Seahawks. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks still have a few days before settling on a 53-man roster, but some of the answers are becoming clearer.

Hawks-Vikings reaction: Rost’s takeaways | Brock & Salk’s observations

Unfortunately, so is a problem, and we start our weekly list of what we learned by pointing out what has been Seattle’s most obvious deficiency this month:

Three things we learned

1. The Seahawks must scheme their way to a pass rush.

Pass rush was a concern after Seattle lost Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Well, the preseason has done nothing to allay that fear. In fact, Seattle’s willingness to blitz linebackers and even a cornerback in the third preseason game shows that the coaches know they’re going to have to coach something up. The absence of any sort of pressure has been the common thread running through the opponent’s opening possessions in each of the first three preseason games, and Seattle’s inability to apply pressure has correlated almost perfectly with an inability to get off the field. The Colts drove 12 plays to score a field goal on the first drive of Seattle’s preseason opener, the Chargers went 70 yards in nine plays for a touchdown to begin the second game and then the Vikings had a 15-play procession that ended in a missed field goal.

2. David Moore is making this team.

Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are absolutely rock-solid certain to be on this team. Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown should be considered completely secure as well, and given what David Moore has done he should be as well. Moore was on the receiving end of two of the four longest completions in Seattle’s first two preseason games, and all he did on Friday in Minnesota was score on a 36-yard touchdown catch. Throw in the fact that his special-teams ability earned him a promotion to the active roster and Moore is now very firmly ahead of Amara Darboh in the pecking order at wide receiver. That doesn’t mean Darboh won’t make this team, but he’s not going to make it ahead of Moore.

3. Alex McGough isn’t ready to be Seattle’s backup quarterback. Yet.

The seventh-round pick has showed some real promise. His arm is more than adequate, and his ability to throw accurately while on the move is a reason that Seattle should absolutely consider keeping him – as a developmental prospect. He’s not ready to be this team’s backup, though. His willingness to take chances with the ball – throwing across his body or into the middle of the field – isn’t just worrisome, but a dealbreaker for him being the backup. The best-case scenario for a backup quarterback in today’s NFL is someone who can go .500. While McGough has the talent to win some games for this team in the future, the very real chance that he could lose games due to inexperience in the interim is too big a risk to begin a season with him second on the depth chart.

O’Neil: Hawks’ run game moves forward but pass rush still concern

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