October 1976

Patera's advice: Hawks be patient
The Spokesman-Review

Patience, says Jack Patera, will be a key for the Seattle Seahawks when they face the defense-minded Detroit Lions in their National Football League game Sunday in the Kingdome.

"They're 2-4 and I think the reason they've been beaten probably is because of the big plays that have been made against them," said Patera, the Seahawks' coach.

"They're the kind of defense that puts a lot of pressure on an offense. They bring a lot of people, linebackers and defensive backs, at you and maybe it's one of those things you have to be patient with and sooner or later you end up with a big play," Patera continued.

"If we can get something going with our running game, sit back and be patient, I think we can come up with big plays."

Establishing a solid ground game has proven a difficult job for the expansion Seahawks. And it doesn't appear it will be any easier against Detroit, which leads the NFL in over-all defense and pass defense. Seattle, 1-5, is averaging only 93 yards a game rushing. Ralph Nelson leads the team with 138 yards.

The "big plays", Patera concedes, likely will come via the pass, Seattle's strong point. First year quarterback Jim Zorn has completed 93 of 200 passes for 1192 yards and six touchdowns. His favorite receiver is rookie Steve Largent, whose 26 catches ties him with two others for the National Football Conference lead.

"The thing that concerns us more than the pass defense is the fact that our running game has not been too productive," said Patera. "The opportunity to score on them will come if we can establish the run and still get our receivers open."

Detroit, which will be playing its third game under new head Coach Tommy Hudspeth following Rick Forzano's departure, is coming off a 20-7 loss to Washington.

"Our biggest problem will come with their running backs (Dexter Bussey and Horace King)," Patera said. "It makes it difficult when our defensive backs are making most of the tackles and they have to cover the passing game as well."

Remain optimistic

Bussey leads the Lions' ground game with 353 yards. King has rushed for 286 yards and is Detroit's leading receiver with 19 receptions for 161 yards. The Lions have two able quarterbacks in Greg Landry and Joe Reed.

Despite their 2-4 record, Detroit is talking about winning its final eight games and earning a playoff berth.

"It's going to be tough," Hudspeth said. "They'll have to get themselves ready to play eight games in a row. They've got to buckle up and get it together."

Patera has downplayed the significance of any momentum the Seahawks gained from their first regular season victory at Tampa Bay last week.

"It prevents us from having to explain away another loss," he said. "As far as the momentum, I don't think you can say that about one win. It's much more pleasant to win and hopefully the more you win the more the players enjoy it and pretty soon they find out there's nothing like winning.

"Hopefully we can put together a team that gets that attitude and we never lose it again."

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