A couple of things...
First off, I was screaming for Mike Teel as well. But one of the "problems" with Seneca will get fixed this week. Yes, it doesn't help us for that Chicago win we should have had, but I really want to see if he can be "the guy", even if it's just as our backup. Oh, that problem is Seneca thinking he can throw off his back foot. He's going to be told he needs to step into his throw or he's going to find himself on the sideline.
The second problem is a little different. Outside of the 1-yard TD against the 49ers and the 39-yard lucky break last Sunday he hasn't been able to put us into the endzone. Furthermore, he's only gotten us into the redzone twice in 6 quarters. Both of them didn't advance past the 15 yard line. In other words, he's not driving us down the field and when he does we end up with field goals.
Now Mike Teel has shown us that he takes on adversity and thrives. I think he's a great competitor and will eventually be our future. But he can't possibly have enough of the playbook down and most certainly hasn't had enough reps with the guys right now. I'm sure he's getting some as he's our #2 right now and needs to be game ready, but it's simply too early to pull Seneca. We need to be very careful to not "ruin" Teel the way Joey Harrington was ruined by being thrown into the game too early. Pointing to the success of Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and even Mark Sanchez isn't equal as they received immediate QB1 reps.
There were other issues I had with Sunday that are coaching staff and gameplan related that seemed worse to me. Gus Bradley didn't seem to even think for a second that Greg Olsen might break out for the play action on their first TD as Cory Redding was covering him. That might not be the matchup you want. Also, that reverse with Deion Branch was clearly meant to be a pass. Maybe I'm just used to Holmgren's style, but I don't think this is a team that should be running trick plays right now. We're having a tough enough time simply getting down the field and those usually work best when the defense is on its heels, not when we're shooting ourselves in the foot. And don't get me started on that final 4th down--I'm not sure why we thought we needed to throw the ball in *both* instances, especially when we were picking up yardage that way. Yes, the clock was running down but don't tell me that pass was designed to get out of bounds, because if it was it was very poorly executed. As a matter of fact, I hated the way the offense was called on that last series. We just aren't utilizing our assets correctly. Yeah, John Carlson was asked to help block for most of the game. But that simply opens him up for a "fall down and run a route" pattern.
Also, our defensive line couldn't get pressure on Cutler. If you're going to run a Tampa 2 you need to be able to generate pressure and while there were a couple of good hurries--one of which caused an interception--it wasn't nearly consistent enough. Our D-line coach (Dan Quinn I believe) needs to figure out a way to get more pressure with our guys.
Now for the good stuff: I didn't notice the center, which was a good thing. Last week, after throngs of people called Chris Spencer a bust and chanted Steve Vallos' name, Vallos quickly reminded us he's a backup. Chris Spencer looked a little rusty, but our running game was vastly improved. The Bears did manage to sack us three times (I think) and I'm not sure where those came from but with Frye on the left and Wrotto coming in for an injured (again) Sims I suspect it was on that side. This will get fixed when Walter Jones comes back.
Also, I think we witnessed the first time a screen has worked in Seattle...ever. It was about time.
The run defense was solid. Again, and I know you can't take away those plays, I believe outside the 2 long Frank Gore runs we've been very good against the run. For that matter, the D-line wasn't even responsible for one of those long runs (although Patrick Kerney was guilty on the second Gore break away). In obvious running plays Red Bryant is starting to look menacing. It's too bad he was injured last season because all that did was set him back a bit. He'll continue to get better. But we've faced three very good RBs to start the year and they've been contained well for the most part. Once the passing defense comes together--and that will happen when Leroy Hill and Lofa Tatupu get healthy, along with the addition of Marcus Trufant--we're going to be a tough defense.
I know you have to win with the players out there but I still look at these last two games and think we could have won them if we had our starters in place, in spite of some of the "iffy" play calling from our coordinators. Maybe they need to get some of the bugs out of their game and it will all start to click.