For a game that entered the fourth quarter with a 5-3 score, the evening was more intriguing than anyone familiar with the history of final NFL preseason games had a right to expect.
Amid the predictable banana-peel moments Thursday night among third-stringers, two unpredicted elements loomed above the spasm-ball offered up the Seahawks and Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders: Starting CB Jeremy Lane failed to stand up and backup QB Trevone Boykin failed to stand out.
Neither had much impact on the outcome, a 23-21 Seattle win (box) after a wild fourth quarter that included touchdowns from an interception and a kickoff return.
But Lane and Boykin created at least some near-term drama for a team that had sneaked through training camp and exhibitions with a minimal amount of dyspepsia.
Lane sat on the visitors bench at the Oakland Coliseum as the rest of the Seahawks stood for the national anthem, joining San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick in the forefront of the national convulsion about the issue of oppression of minorities across the U.S.
Less significant socially, but important for many Seahawks fans, was the regression by Boykin, the undrafted free agent from Texas Christian who was as erratic Thursday as he was poised in the three previous games.
Before any criticism of Boykin sets in concrete, it must be said that he had pitiful help from the mostly second- and third-string linemen in front of him. Nevertheless, even the irrepressible Pete Carroll was dismayed, opening the question of whether the Seahawks in next 48 hours will be in the frenzy for a veteran backup to Russell Wilson.
“He had some problems tonight with some stuff,” Carroll said. “I’m not sure where it all came from. He’s not as sharp as he has been.
“This was a little bit like the wild bunch out there. The guys were having trouble getting lined up. I’m not quite sure where it all came from, but we struggled tonight just kind of administering the game for us.”
Regarding whether Boykin has made the team, Carroll said somewhat ominously, “We’ll find out.”
Boykin was seven of 15 for 72 yards, no TDs and no picks. But he gave the Raiders the game’s first two points in the second quarter with a safety after he was penalized for intentionally grounding the ball while throwing from the end zone. The play call was as bad as the execution, given the group’s inexperience.
Boykin escaped several jams with his Wilson-like elusiveness, finishing with 22 yards on seven carries. But the job is a whole lot more than scrambles. He mismanaged the final drive of the first half, including a good scramble that ended with him staying inbounds near the sideline, forcing use of a timeout with fifteen seconds left.
In the goofiness of the fourth quarter, Carroll decide to throttle back on the chance for mayhem.
“We ran the ball to simplify things,” he said. That, the Seahawks can do.
Especially Troymaine Pope.
In what appears increasingly like another preposterous find by GM John Schneider, the 5-foot-7 hummingbird from Jacksonville State in Alabama led the Seahawks with 52 yards in eight carries, including a five-yard run for a TD that put the Seahawks up 16-8 with 5:14 left. He also caught a pass for 13 yards and ran back three kickoffs for 107 yards, with a long of 60.
His play throughout camp forces a tough call upon the Seahawks coaches regarding running backs. Thomas Rawls, who saw his first game action since December, carrying twice for seven yards, is the unquestioned starter. Christine Michael is solid for the top backup.
If the Seahawks keep only two more backs, one seems likely to be C.J. Prosise, even though he had only four carries for five yards Thursday. He’s a third-round draftee who is a proven pass catcher and will serve as a third-down back. The final choice seems between Pope and Alex Collins, who looked strong with 40 yards in nine carries, including the game-clinching one-yard TD run with 1:15 left for a 23-14 lead.
Regarding Lane, the fifth-year cornerback who signed a four-year, $23 million contract with a $5 million signing bonus, he told reporters after the game that he did not tell his teammates about his plan, and was not acquainted with Kaepernick.
“I just like what he’s doing, and I’m standing behind him,” Lane said. “It’s something I plan on keep on doing, until I feel like justice is being served.”
Carroll walked a line between supporting his player while avoiding a judgment on the wisdom of the protest.
“It’s totally an individual decision, but these are very interesting issues that we’re dealing with right now,” Carroll said. “Our team has been working at it, and we’ve been in the process of communicating about a lot of stuff right now. I’m really proud of the progress we’re making in the conversation, and I look forward to continuing it with our guys.
“It’s really important to us to understand and to be smart about what we’re doing and how we handle our business. Like I’ve been telling you, we have a great group of guys that lead this team, and they’re going to help us as we move forward. I’m very much in support of them and how we handle it. The individuals in this program have always been very crucial to us. This is another time we support our guys.”
And as far as football, Carroll thinks the Seahawks, who have to cut the roster to 53 by 1 p.m. Saturday, have it going on.
I’m excited,” he said. “With our leadership and depth, we give ourselves a good chance have a nice season.”
With a couple of distractions thrown in.
My family and I don’t get the argument that these young men (Lane, Kaepernick, et al) are trying to make, and do not agree with the way they are going about it. The fact that they are multi-millionares playing a kid’s game is proof of opportunities that are rendered to any race that was formerly considered minorities BY this country and it’s constitution. We are white, but see no color, and fully respect and value others for their race, heritage and rights.
Our opinion, in short
*Find a more appropriate method of communicating your message
*We don’t agree that the problem they see actually still exists, but are willing to listen
*By choosing a method that is offensive and inappropriate, they take away from the focus on the issues that they could actually be getting
– It’s not at all appropriate to compromise the respect that should be given during the National Anthem. This is a line that should not be crossed, ever. In their actions, they are offensive to us, and should be to all proud American citizens.
– Their method of gaining attention is also unnecessary – the microphone is continually present in front of them, and in these days of social media and the hunger for new news, their message has many other acceptable avenues.
It got your attention, didn’t it? That’s the purpose of all dramatic protest — to make comfortable people like you and me uncomfortable. Otherwise, we don’t care enough to even complain.
I’m afraid to say you lost me when you claim to see no color. Do you understand what an insult that is to people of color?
thanks for the catch. Sorry, didn’t see that interpretation. I see no difference in color – we are all the same, is what I meant by “I see no color”.
Actually, we aren’t really the same. Many differences abound, and to pretend to ignore differences because it sounds better diminishes the value of the differences.
What many non-whites are seeking is equality. not sameness. Big difference.
Lesson that I learned = Don’t submit incomplete or poorly worded thoughts, especially for sensitive and politically charged subjects.
I agree with all that you’ve said. We are not all the same. That’s what is so cool about our world, and our country. I was referring to the same with regard to equal rights. I value & appreciate ethnic, cultural and other differences.
My issue was that Kap et al crossed a line that I feel is sacred, instead of being a bit more creative and using their media access opportunity and feather in their concerns there . In going the “easy way” to get attention, makes me wonder if Kap figures his status in the limelight of a starter is wanning, as starters certainly get more air time (now he’s the backup – gee, who coulda guessed).
I’m impressed with how little freaking out the team has done over it.
I don’t see where anything rises to freak grade.
When Boykin stayed inbounds at the end of the half after the scramble, which you mention, and after the first half of his play, he’s just not ready for prime time.
He is, after all, a rookie who was not in a pro-style O in college, and it appears he has the physical part to be an NFL QB, yet not running out of bounds with a few seconds left in the half? That is learned in high school, so it makes one wonder about the guy’s grey matter.
I say keep him, give him reps in practice against the one’s throughout the season, insert him when (hopefully) there is a blow out and check back at the end of the season.
The mistakes in judgment are scary for a team built to win now. They simply can’t afford training wheels at their level of expectations.
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What do you know? On a team with arguably the biggest collection of trash in the NFL, and that is saying something, we get something doing the National Anthem-thing. You know, slavery or not, does Lane want to argue that he would be better off today in Africa? Absolute lack of gratitude.
Lack of gratitude? Sounds like a lack of education on your part. Africans were torn from their families, sold into slavery, lost their heritage due to us (read: white people).
Sold to the Euro slave traders by the African chieftains, so who do you blame more? Also, the slave trade to the Middle east from Africa was MUCH larger. The US slave trade est @ 500,000 vs 5 MILLION to Brazil and another 5 MILLION to the Caribbean. Don’t hear much complaining about those countries, for some odd reason. So if there is a complaint, which there should be as it is a lousy part of US history, there should be complaints about ALL the African slave trade.
In addition, let’s not forget, slavery was illegal in ALL states after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, yet was outlawed in most northern states decades prior.
Coolguy, America claims the higher moral ground, yet slavery and genocide were the pillars upon which our economic might was built. There is no relativity when it comes to slavery. We as a nation must own it.
The economy of the SOUTH was built on slavery, NOT the north and that was an agriculture economy, many times smaller than the industrial economy of the North.
My grandparents were 20th century immigrants and most of the immigrants to the US were post-Civil war. The number of slaveholders, of the 31 million US population in 1860 (start of the civil war) were very few.
I refuse to be a part of any attachment to that dark period of US history, just as I refuse to be a part of the Indian wars, etc. As there were many Chinese immigrants to the West during the gold rush and the railroad era, are we blaming the Chinese also? No, because it’s not relevant. It’s way past time to close this chapter.
As one apparently experienced in trash, how do you measure it?
I had a horrible dream last night I saw Mark Sanchez in a seahawk uniform woke up in a cold sweat.
Are you sure that wasn’t Carson Palmer?
Is there talk about Palmer?
I’m disappointed that Lane has joined Kapernick’s stance. He has a right to his opinion but sitting during the anthem IMO is nothing more than flipping the bird at authority. Sports is a time when people can forget their troubles. Look at how people were at the SB victory parade. When politics and debates enter the equation is when I stop being a fan.
I hope Schneider and Carroll aren’t scrambling for a veteran QB. But Boykin sure looked like a practice squad player.
Politics and sports have ALWAYS intersected. You’re probably only complaining about it cause you don’t agree with Lane on it.
They have but they shouldn’t. Sports are to be an escapism but as Art noted politics have entered the equation in the past. Sometimes they do intersect and sometimes they don’t. Ultimately sports is a business and whether they do or not depends on the almighty dollar. I don’t agree with Lane in sitting on the bench during the anthem. On similar occasions the player would head to the locker room so their stance wouldn’t be a distraction to the team.
The M’s don’t take a seat when they’re in Toronto and listen to O Canada. MLB players who aren’t US citizens still stand for the anthem and take off their hat.
I think most teammates understand and respect what Lane did, even if they didn’t agree.
And as far as politics and sports, I don’t think “shouldn’t” is any more relevant than saying the opposing NBA center shouldn’t be a foot taller than the other team’s center.
Did you stop watching the Olympics in Mexico City or Munich, or Los Angeles or Moscow when politics intervened?
I understand the escapism, but sometimes real life can’t be resisted.
I was too young for Moscow and IMO Moscow and LA we’re practically a joke with so many countries not participating. Only watched basketball because then it was a preview of players coming to the NBA. I even went to watch the 1980 team that barnstormed across the US to play against NBA players. That team would have won gold. Sad that they didn’t have the chance.
Dear fellow white men, WAKE THE HELL UP! Your lack of basic awareness about the systematic discrimination against our fellow black men (and more) is astounding and must end. Unambiguously innocent Americans have been murdered by police. This article is a good place to start your education:
[It looks like the link doesn’t show up, search for “npr lock up hoodies”.]
Were our lack of concern to end, so too would the problem. Kaepernick is an imperfect vessel, as are we all. But his cause is real and it is just. We watch the NFL more than any show on television, more than real news or education programs. NFL players are mostly black men. What better vehicle to stage a peaceful protest to shake up the complacent knucklehead?
Lincoln said, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” The framing of the Constitution was not by black people and was not for black people (or women, for that matter). Do you understand that? I haven’t ever thought a policeman would discriminate against me. It’s never been a concern. Black families have to teach their children how to behave when around the police.
Take some time to get in contact with your privilege. See that the woman you share an office with probably isn’t taken as seriously as her skill warrants, probably isn’t being paid what her work is worth, and probably won’t be considered as seriously for promotion as you will be.
Maybe you specifically are a better employee. But how did you get there? I’m a successful software engineer. Does my success have nothing to do with the fact that my father was a successful Boeing engineer, we worked on computers since I could read and write, and I was intimately familiar with what my career would be before I entered high school?
Before the last few years I too thought that the civil rights movement had been largely successful and America was truly the land of the free. I have felt that celebrating sports was even a celebration of equality. Now we see how much more work there is to do. Break through any lingering, subconscious belief in the Just World Fallacy and join the cause of freedom for all. Why wouldn’t you?
Well said, dharmabruce. Sports has always been a platform for protest and change precisely because so many care, and so many need to be made uncomfortable in order to begin some understanding.
To white people who thought America was post-racial with the election of Obama: No. That was one change that did not influence the pervasiveness of racism, intentional and otherwise.
I say to understand racism, travel to OTHER countries. I observed overt, blatant racism in France, Tahiti (of all places), Japan. Way beyond anything I have seen in the US.
BTW, 2 of my best friends are Black, were both in my wedding and I grew up by the CD – I know their feelings on this intimately, so I do have a very good insight to what I write.
Another thing: Racism goes both ways – I have first hand seen many racist Blacks, so let’s be all encompassing when dogging Whites.
Muhammed Ali’s ex-wife says Kap should apologize – interesting article and perspective: