Red-zone offense, Fant vs. Ifedi among things to watch Friday when Seahawks face Vikings

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23: Offensive guard Germain Ifedi #76 of the Seattle Seahawks during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

RENTON, Wash. – The Seattle Seahawks have plenty to work on in Week 3 of the preseason: Everything from a settling on a right tackle to perfecting their hotel-check-in procedures.

As the team broke practice on Thursday at the VMAC and prepared to head out to Minnesota in advance of Friday night’s game against the Vikings, coach Pete Carroll gave an update on several players and talked about what he hopes to get out of the trip.

“Starting off the season on the road, this is an important trip for us,” Carroll said. “To get comfortable with the whole process and how we go through it – the meetings and the hotel and the whole thing. That’s important to me now, that we get one more shot at getting it right.

“We’ll still look at some guys, and try to see some guys that are gonna make a bid to make the club.”

Friday’s game kicks off at 5 p.m. on the official home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX. The Gameday pregame show begins at 4 p.m., with a postgame wrap-up to follow.

Carroll said the starters will get more playing time this week, with many playing into the second half. The coaches want to get a sense of where the players are mentally and conditioning-wise.

Carroll also said he wants to work on the offense’s performance in the red zone, particularly in light of mistakes like Chris Carson’s fumble on the Los Angeles Chargers’ 1-yard line last Saturday.

“I think the focus really is just red-zone touchdowns,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to get down and get in the end zone. We’re kicking the ball fine, but that’s not what we want to do down there.”

George Fant will be in the spotlight, as he looks to wrestle the starting right tackle job away from Germain Ifedi. Carroll said Fant will “get a good shot” against the Vikings.

“He’s anxious and excited to get comfortable and make a move,” Carroll said. “It’s going to take a little bit for him to really feel comfortable with all the things that are happening. The running game has not been an issue at all, just pass sets and the variety of thing that can happen he needs to work out. So, it’s gonna take a bit. But he’s a great guy to have out there competing for us.”

Carroll gave updates on several other players:

  • “Bradley (McDougald) will not go this week. He’s not playing.”
  • “Jacob Martin had limited plays last week. He’s gonna have a big role this week.”
  • “I think (D.J. Fluker’s) going … we’ll see how long he lasts. He just wants to play so bad, he’s playing. A lot of guys wouldn’t play. He’s made it through practice and his spirit is awesome – he wants to be out there. He’ll get some play time; we’ll see how much.”
  • “Neiko (Thorpe’s) got a chance, we’ve got to wait and see. The crack in is his wrist has gotta settle down so he can use it and stab with it and all that.”
  • “We’re going to see Dontae Johnson for a good dose of plays.”
  • “It’s a 4-to-6-week deal for J.D. (McKissic). We really miss him. He’s been such a spark-plug and done so many things that it’s unfortunate he’s gonna miss.”
  • “C.J. (Prosise) was very limited in his first game. He’s not so limited this time around. What I’m looking for, him just to play football. I know he’s a good ball player, I don’t have any question. So just go out there and battle and club away and hopefully make a couple plays in the running game or the passing game> This is just about consistency for him. Coming back and coming back and continuing to return to the playing field. We’re just excited to have him working and practicing with us because it’s been so erratic over the time he’s been with us. So he’s going to play quite a bit.”
  • “(J.R. Sweezy) is not ready to play in this game. He’s practiced this week some. Next week is really a big week for him to see if he can play in that fourth game. We’ll see how he does. He’s playing left guard and working at that making that transition. He’s gonna battle (Ethan Pocic) for his spot, and the other guys there.”
  • “(Byron Maxwell) won’t make it back (this week). He’s not quite there yet.”
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