Rogers, special teams provide thrills

  • Sunday, October 15, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports


Herald Writers

KIRKLAND – In search of a spark for most of this season, the Seattle Seahawks turned to their little spark plug Sunday.

Five-foot-9 return man Charlie Rogers provided a lift with his finest special teams performance of the season in the Seahawks’ 37-24 loss to Indianapolis. Rogers averaged 33 yards on six kickoffs, including a 81-yarder to open the second half, on a day when Seattle’s special teams play ranked among the highlights of the day.

“Our special teams have not played very well in the past few weeks, so it was nice to come out here and help the team,” said Rogers, who entered the game with a 22.4 average on kickoff returns – not high enough to rank in the AFC’s top 10.

Rogers’ best return of the day could have gone for a touchdown, but Colts kickoff specialist Danny Kight stayed on his heels before pushing Rogers out of bounds at the Indianapolis 21.

Rogers wasn’t the only return man who had success. When Indianapolis kicked away from him, Mack Strong and Fabien Bownes each broke off returns of longer than 25 yards. Bownes later returned a kickoff to midfield after a razzle-dazzle play that saw Rogers hand him the ball, but the return was called back due to a questionable illegal block call on Jay Bellamy.

Other special teams highlights included Bownes’ recovery of an onside kick late in the game and Rian Lindell’s 51-yard field goal.

  • King James: The 219 yards posted by Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James broke a 29-year-old team record and represented the second-most ever allowed by a Seattle defense.

    The only other time a running back has run for that many yards against the Seahawks was when Bo Jackson of the Raiders broke out for 221 in 1987. The last time an opponent rushed for three touchdowns against Seattle was Kansas City’s Marcus Allen in 1993.

    Only four of James’ 38 attempts (two short of the team record) went for one yard or less, while his long was 26 yards, which marked the only gain of more than 15 yards. His up-the-gut, second-effort running was more consistent than anything.

    “I’ll let you know Monday when I see the film,” Seahawks cornerback Shawn Springs said. “I can’t tell you now. I really don’t know, to be honest with you.”

    The old team record for rushing yards in a game was held by Norm Bulaich with 198 in 1971.

    So why all the success?

    “I’ll let you know Monday when I see the film,” Seahawks cornerback Shawn Springs said. “I can’t tell you now. I really don’t know, to be honest with you.”

    The old team record for rushing yards in a game was held by Norm Bulaich, with 198.

  • You again: Jon Kitna saw his first action at quarterback for Seattle since being benched as starter after five games, and he kept Seattle’s final scoring drive alive while new starter Brock Huard collected himself after being shaken up.

    In three plays, Kitna completed two of three passes for 29 yards before Huard returned to finish the drive. Kitna also completed three more passes before losing a fumble on Seattle’s final possession, during which Huard was back on the bench with a knee injury.

    For the game Kitna completed five of six passes for 57 yards, and he looked pretty good doing it.

    “My job is to stay ready and be ready,” Kitna said. “If called upon to go in there and play a couple plays then I’ve got to be ready to go. That’s just part of being a teammate.”

    It may be his job, but he said it wasn’t easy to leave the field after getting back in and tasting success, however fleeting.

    “But that’s how it is when you’re a backup. That’s the role you have.”

  • Good start, Part 1: Rookie tackle Chris McIntosh made his first start for Seattle, replacing Todd Weiner at right tackle. As linemen should, the first-round draft choice did little to draw attention to himself save for a holding penalty in the fourth quarter.

    “It was nice to get in and play, obviously,” McIntosh said. “I can’t really comment on how I did until I have a chance to look at the film. I do know that I did some good things and I did make some errors. Basically, I’ve got to go in tomorrow and watch the films and try to improve from there.”

  • Good start, Part II: Kerry Joseph made his first start of the season in place of Reggie Tongue during Sunday’s game, and _like McIntosh – he felt good about his play.

    He led the team wit 12 tackles, including nine solo, but he also made mistakes while playing on a defense that allowed a season-high 499 yards of total offense.

    Joseph got burned on a 38-yard, play-action pass from Peyton Manning to Marvin Harrison on the Colts’ first drive, then was too deep on an 18-yard pass from Manning to tight end Ken Dilger over the middle.

    “I made some mistakes today, and I have to correct those,” Joseph admitted. “I know I can get better. I’ve just got to go to work next week and improve.”

    Tongue was benched following Seattle’s 26-3 loss to Carolina last week. He played in the dime defense Sunday and assisted on one tackle.

  • Quick slants: Karsten Bailey’s 1-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was his first NFL touchdown and was only the third catch of his career. … Seattle’s turnover ratio was minus-9 with Kitna at quarterback this season, while it’s even with Brock Huard behind center. … Reserve offensive lineman Frank Beede was among the inactives for Sunday’s game, along with Friday inactives Derrick Mayes (finger), Reggie Brown (stinger) and Matt LaBounty (family emergency). Among the inactives for Indianapolis were starting cornerback Tyrone Poole (finger), whose absence Huard said allowed the Seahawks offense to move the ball in the first half. … Rookie running back Shaun Alexander was on the field for 10 plays, including two in the same backfield as starter Ricky Watters, and had five carries for 20 yards. … The team announced 63,593 tickets distributed for the game, but the 68,000-seat stadium appeared to have less than 50,000 fans. … Tight end Christian Fauria played sparingly due to a pulled groin muscle, an injury that may keep him out of this Sunday’s game against Oakland. … The Seahawks allowed season-high 430 yards to Denver in 1999, but have surpassed that mark twice this year (476 vs. St. Louis; 499 vs. Indianapolis).

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