49ers Nate Clements is back with his Clements' Coverage column this year, taking turns each week with receiver Bryant Johnson in scouting out the upcoming opponent. Get Clements' take as he locks down his focus on the Seattle Seahawks.
We all know that Mike Holmgren is a west coast minded type of coach, so nothing has changed in terms of what Seattle's offensive scheme is going to be this Sunday.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is good at reading defenses and he runs things with a good tempo. If his first read is taken away, he knows where his next read is going to be. So, you really have to take those first couple of reads away from him and then try to get him rattled.
Losing Nate Burleson for the season hurt them because they did a lot of things with him on offense, and he was their punt returner. So, that's a hit for them.
Deion Branch is very quick and explosive, and he's a very good route runner. I don't know if he'll be up for this weekend or not coming off that injury.
They are thin at receiver, but you've got to expect the next guy to step up. Injuries are part of the game. I think Holmgren thinks his system works no matter who is in there as long as everything is on time and run right. So, I'm sure they have confidence in the guys who will step in.
I haven't seen too much on some of their other guys prior to this year, but that's the nature of this business. One of their receivers, Courtney Taylor, played last week and had a few catches. He has good size and good hands.
I do expect definitely to see Seneca Wallace out there as a receiver too. They are down in numbers. He knows the offense and he's athletic and versatile. It's not the first time he's played receiver, so I'm pretty sure they will rely on him.
My thing is, you've got to get after them up front. Their offensive line has always been the strong point of their offense. They've had a real good offensive line, anchored by Walter Jones, and you have to be ready for the challenge that they present. You've got to disrupt his rhythm and lock down the receivers so we give our guys time to get to him. We just need to throw off his timing, mess up his reads and try to be disruptive.
Shaun Alexander moved on this off-season, so we've got new backs to face. Maurice Morris was hurt last week and has been ruled out, so we'll probably see more of Julius Jones, and probably some of TJ Duckett. Jones is a quick back. If he sees a crease, he'll definitely hit it so you've got to close up the hole and get to him before he can really get going. Duckett is a veteran in this league and he's a big back. He can pound it. A guy like him you want to hit before he starts get going.
Tight end Marcus Pollard was part of their passing game, and it remains to be seen if they'll get that from their tight ends this year. You just never know. The next guy might be just as explosive, or even better. I'm pretty sure that they are going to look to get their tight ends involved in the passing game, so we just have to do our job and play our style of defense. We aren't going to overlook anyone.
We didn't get off the field on third down last week and we didn't create turnovers and that definitely hurt us in the game against Arizona. Plus penalties, that was another problem. We need to execute, get off the field and make big plays.
I think we just need to play consistent. I think that's the biggest key for us. Play consistent in all three phases and I think we will be fine.
Every week we focus on all three phases during practice, not because we made a good or bad play that weekend before, but we look at the film, make the corrections, apply them in practice and by the time game situations come, we should be prepared.
So, we know going up there that it is going to be loud for our offense. I'm very confident that our guys will be prepared. If we operate in all three phases and take the crowd out of it, we should be okay.
I saw some good things from our offense last week and I'm confident in what they can do. Our job is to get them the ball, that's what we have to do. That's about all I can say.
Nate has more to say though over on his own new website, lockdown22.com that you can check out byclicking here.