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Seahawk Woes Continue to Pile Up : Seattle: They lose still more players to injuries, and the offense can't score a touchdown as the team's record falls to 1-9.

November 16, 1992|LONNIE WHITE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

In his nine seasons coaching the Raiders, it was easy for Tom Flores to live up to his nickname as the "Ice Man."

Being cool was his trademark when he led the Raiders into the playoffs five times and to two Super Bowl victories.

However, in his first season as Seattle's coach, Flores' demeanor has been tested more than ever before.

Instead of looking ahead to the playoffs, Flores is looking ahead to the draft.

With a 1-9 record after a 20-3 loss to the Raiders on Sunday, Seattle is tied with New England for the worst record in the NFL.

Losing has become a habit for the Seahawks, who have become the get-well remedy for opponents.

If a team needs a victory, play Seattle next. Five times the Seahawks have ended losing streaks for opponents, including the Raiders, who had lost two in a row before Seattle.

It has been a "what can happen next?" type of season for Flores.

In 10 games, Seattle has scored five touchdowns and has been outscored, 194-59. Against the Raiders, who have not been terrorizing opponents lately, the Seahawks could manage only 159 yards in offense in 57 plays.

"Every time that it seems to be getting any better, it only gets worse," Flores said. "The way things are going, I wouldn't stand too close to me."

Seattle is among the NFL leaders in the number of players on injured reserve. Going into Sunday's game, Seattle had 11 players out, including six starters, and four more players were injured against the Raiders.

Offensive tackle John Hunter will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury; quarterback Stan Gelbaugh is out for at least three weeks with a knee injury; wide receiver Louis Clark will miss a couple of weeks with a cracked rib and center Joe Tofflemire went down with a leg injury.

"So, what else is new?" Flores said when told about the Seahawks' new injuries.

After one play against the Raiders, trainer Jim Whitesel had his choice of two injured Seahawks stretched out on the field.

"It's like a battlefield out there," offensive tackle Ray Roberts said. "Sometimes, I think that I should start digging some fox holes.

"I can't explain why we have had so many injuries. It is like we have a dark cloud over the team. Every time you look, someone is hurt on the field. You just hope that you're not next."

Quarterback Kelly Stouffer knows all about Seattle's injury jinx. He had been on injured reserve for four weeks before being activated for Sunday.

Flores wanted to use Stouffer only for an emergency, but that came when Gelbaugh was hit by the Raiders' Greg Townsend late in the first half.

"I thought that I had a good chance to play, but not under these circumstances," Stouffer said. "But it was a difficult situation to be in."

Stouffer had to play behind a depleted offensive line. Nearly every time he had to pass, he was chased by Raider tacklers before he could even set up.

"When you look in the huddle at the offensive line, you knew it was bad," Stouffer said. "It was bad before we got here, but with the new injuries, it was even worse.

"It is to the point where we have so many holes right now, that it is going to take more than a quarterback to help matters."

Although Seattle does not play a team with worse than a .500 record in its last six games, there is reason for optimism. Several players, including wide receiver Brian Blades, are expected to return from the injured list.

But, for Flores, the pain is being felt now.

"It's frustrating because there are a lot of things that we need," he said. "I'm open for suggestions. I just don't have any false hope for us right now."

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