A few highlights of the weekly Seattle Times “The Blitz” live Seahawks chat with reporters Bob Condotta and Jayson Jenks.
Q: I am not concerned about our (offensive line) — they have a proven track record — the offense will be fine. Give me a reason to think we will get any pressure on (San Francisco quarterback) Colin (Kaepernick)? (Carolina quarterback) Cam (Newton) seemed to have all the time in the world. We need a sack to two to kill drives and did not get any.
Bob Condotta: For one, expect them to be more aggressive with their pressures. They didn’t want to do that last week against Newton because they thought he was a lot more dangerous with his feet than in the pocket. I think they were fine to play sort of passive and let him throw it from the pocket. But they’ll need to change things up against Kaepernick, even though he is obviously also a really good runner. Being aggressive defensively also works a lot better at home with a crowd like the 12th Man than it does on the road. They might also have Cliff Avril back, and thus a deeper corps of players with which to rush.
Q: Whose task will it be to cover (49ers receiver Anquan) Boldin?
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Jayson Jenks: The Seahawks don’t stick one corner on a receiver. They keep their guys stuck to a side, so it will be a rotation of Richard Sherman on one side and then whoever is on the other side (Brandon Browner if he’s healthy), depending on where Boldin lines up.
Q: What are your thoughts on (Seattle receiver Stephen) Williams? I think he’s a game changer.
Bob Condotta: He certainly has a specific skill — the ability to get deep — that they will try to take advantage of as often as they can. At the moment, I think he is still the No. 5 receiver, and as such, won’t get as many snaps or targets as the other guys. But I think he has done enough that they will want to continue to try to work him into the game plan and find favorable matchups for him.
Q: Kaepernick made some great throws but it appeared his WRs were always wide open. What is your assessment of that and will that change on Sunday?
Jayson Jenks: I think the biggest thing with this game is how the Seahawks handle Boldin and Vernon Davis. Most of Kaepernick’s throws went to those two guys, and while they were both open quite a bit, they also are two big, physical receivers who don’t need much room to make a catch. Outside of those two, Kaepernick’s targets are pretty suspect.
Q: Are the OL and DL bigger question marks than they ought to be for a Super Bowl contending franchise?
Bob Condotta: The DL’s question marks are largely injury-related at the moment. I think it’s better to assess that once everyone comes back. The OL, and particularly the guards, need to play better. This week will tell a lot.
Q: Who will be the surprise star for the Hawks against the Niners? And what’s the key to the game?
Jayson Jenks: My star of the game is Golden Tate. I think he’ll have a big day stretching San Francisco’s defense. And the key to the game is running the ball. Simple? Absolutely. But the Seahawks can’t run the ball against SF, they’re in trouble. The 49ers are too good up front to let them just key on getting after Russell Wilson.