Here’s Exhibit A for not reading much into NFL preseason stats.
In three games, the Seahawks had 117 passes compared to 74 runs, a 61-39% pass-to-run ratio.
That would be higher than any season in the Pete Carroll era other than his first year in 2010, which was Matt Hasselbeck’s final season.
It was a function, in part, of the Seahawks being behind much of the time in finishing 0-3 in the preseason. But there also appeared to be some design to it, wanting to test out the pass protection of the two rookie tackles as well as get reps for some of the young receivers.
It is undoubtedly not how the Seahawks will want to play in the regular season.
With Geno Smith as the quarterback, the template for offensive success in 2022 remains clear. The Seahawks want to replicate the running game success of the last half of last season, particularly the five-game stretch when Rashaad Penny had four games of 135 yards rushing or more, and be explosive but careful in the passing game.
If there was something the Seahawks did like in the winless preseason it was the success they had when they did rush it. They rushed for 370 yards in three games with an average of 5.0 per attempt.
The Seahawks will hope that the performances of at least two running backs in the preseason — DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer — foreshadow what they will see in the regular season. Dallas finished as their leading rusher in the preseason with 163 yards on 28 carries after gaining 75 on 13 against the Cowboys. Homer had 90 yards on 12 carries in the preseason.
“I thought we were pretty solid again,’’ Carroll said of the running game after the loss to the Cowboys. “We have our ways to go about it, and I think the commitment is there. The personality of the guys up front is there. The athleticism is there and our runners were ready to go. I thought Homer had a great preseason. DeeJay had a great preseason. Those guys — the best they’ve ever been with us.’’
Each showed well in the passing game. Dallas had seven receptions on eight targets for 78 yards, including a touchdown against the Steelers, while Homer had five receptions on six targets for 48 yards.
Both could figure into the Seahawks’ third-down back role, while also providing backup for Penny and rookie Ken Walker III, who entered the preseason expecting to be the backup to Penny.
Walker missed the last two preseason games after having hernia surgery. The team is optimistic he’ll be back for the regular-season opener against Denver.
But if he’s not — or at least, not ready for a significant workload right off the bat especially after missing two weeks of the preseason — then they can turn to Dallas and Homer, and maybe with a bit more confidence than in years past.
Homer is in his fourth season out of Miami and Dallas his third. Dallas averaged 3.7 yards per carry on 67 attempts in his first two seasons with no run longer than 15.
But Dallas said he’s dropped some weight this year from 228 to 220 and that “I feel faster, I feel stronger.’’
Instead of training elsewhere in the offseason, Dallas said he stayed in Seattle this year, working out at the team facility and at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance in Renton. He said he thinks remaining in Seattle made it easier to get in the shape he wanted.
“I’m just happy that I did that,’’ he said. “That I kind of took that chance and stayed here and got myself right.’’
Homer took a different approach, adding a little bit of weight, hoping to become a little more durable after battling nagging injuries that caused him to miss 10 games the past two seasons.
“He is buff now,’’ Carroll said of Homer. “He works hard at it. He’s got a fantastic regimen about it. He’s always been a strong guy; he’s the best he’s been right now. Interesting thing is that DeeJay Dallas kind of went the other way. He trimmed down a little bit from where he was and it seems like it’s made a bit of a difference, so both guys are going in the right direction for themselves, but not necessarily the same.”
They got more of an up-close look than they wanted at the fragile nature of football when their teammate and mutual good friend Chris Carson was forced to retire in July due to a neck injury.
“Chris was one of my favorite teammates of my whole career,’’ Dallas said. “We still talk. He’s still like my big brother. It sucks that he’s gone.’’
But the harsh reality of football is that with Carson gone, Dallas and Homer understood their roles could expand, even with the addition of Walker.
“The league is that way,’’ Dallas said. “It’s always that next-man-up mentality. Like, the NFL doesn’t stop. So whatever opportunity comes for me I’m going to take it and try to run with it.’’
If the preseason means anything, he appeared to show he’ll indeed be ready for his shot when he gets it.
Seahawks place Brown on PUP list, waive four
The Seahawks began making moves Sunday to cut their roster to 53 by Tuesday’s 1 p.m. deadline, placing cornerback Tre Brown on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and waiving tight end Cade Brewer, linebacker Aaron Donkor, cornerback Jameson Houston and running back Ronnie Rivers.
Brown had surgery to repair a knee injury last November, and Carroll said last week he would not be ready for the season. Going on the PUP list to start the season means he has to miss at least the first four games before he can return.
Brown started three games for the Seahawks last year as a rookie fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma, and he will be expected to compete for playing time once healthy.
The Seahawks had a roster exemption in camp for Donkor as part of the International Pathway Player program but did not have an exemption for him for the 53-man roster. If he clears waivers, as expected, he will return to the practice squad as an extra player, giving them 17 on the PS.
Brewer, Rivers and Houston had also been signed, or re-signed, over the last few weeks to add depth at positions hit with some injuries. If they clear waivers, they could be signed to the practice squad beginning Wednesday.