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Originally published Sunday, August 30, 2009 at 6:59 PM

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Seahawks still have plenty of rough edges

It's tough to draw definitive conclusions about anything in the exhibition season, let alone when facing a team playing a quarterback who looked like the Chiefs' Tyler Thigpen did on Saturday night.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Any analysis of Seattle's defense in Kansas City on Saturday merits a footnote.

Quarterback Tyler Thigpen took most of the snaps for the Chiefs — not starter Matt Cassel, who was injured during Kansas City's first series — and Thigpen was sufficiently suspect to merit an asterisk be attached to any achievement by Seattle's defense.

• Seattle gave up only one third-down conversion in the first half, and that was by way of penalty.* (*Tyler Thigpen was opposing QB).

• The Seahawks defense didn't allow a touchdown as the Chiefs' only trip to the end zone came courtesy of an interception return.* (*Again, Thigpen was opposing QB).

It's tough to draw definitive conclusions about anything in the exhibition season, let alone when facing a team playing a quarterback who looked like Thigpen did. So while the Seahawks are 3-0 in exhibition games, there are still plenty of rough edges.

Three things we know

1. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is ready for the regular season. In the past two exhibition games, he completed 35 of his 48 pass attempts for 387 yards and four touchdowns.

2. Fullback Justin Griffith plays like the bushwhacking trailblazer the running game needs. Through one quarter Saturday, Julius Jones had carried five times for 15 yards behind starting fullback Owen Schmitt. Griffith entered in the second quarter, and Jones popped consecutive 8-yard runs, which isn't mind-blowing but certainly constituted improvement.

3. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is enmeshed in Seattle's passing game just fine, thank you. If there were any questions, they should have been answered when Hasselbeck completed three passes to Houshmandzadeh in a span of four plays for receptions that netted 35 yards and a touchdown.

Three things we don't know

1. Will Lawrence Jackson, Seattle's first-round pick in 2008, become an impact player? On Saturday he had more penalties (one, for jumping offside) than tackles (none).

2. Will Seahawks fans give cornerback Kelly Jennings the tip of the cap he deserves? Jennings' small frame has been a big target for both critics and opponents, and the Chiefs tried to post him up in the corner of the end zone against Dwayne Bowe, who has 3 inches and 40 pounds on Jennings. Well, Jennings made a solid play, breaking up the pass.


3. Why did it take three years to start getting the ball to Nate Burleson in space? On Saturday, Hasselbeck rifled a pass to Burleson in the flat, and any time Burleson gets the ball on the outside with room to move, that constitutes must-see TV.

Three things we're still trying to figure out

1. Who will kick for Seattle this season? Olindo Mare missed two field goals in the first half Saturday. Then Brandon Coutu went out and missed a 51-yard attempt in the third quarter that looked like it might not have been good from 40. The competition will go down to the final roster cuts.

2. Will Seattle break down and sign a veteran offensive tackle? Without Walter Jones, Seattle starts Sean Locklear and Ray Willis, with Kyle Williams the top reserve. Are the Seahawks satisfied with that stock of linemen to enter the season?

3. Is Chiefs running back Jackie Battle breathing comfortably this morning? He's the guy Aaron Curry turned into a manhole cover in the fourth quarter. Kansas City needed 8 yards. Battle netted 1 yard on a reception, then caught 240-some pounds of pain from Curry.


• Seattle waived four players Sunday: DT Kevin Brown, LB Shane Simmons, FB Dan Curran and TE John Tereshinski.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or

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