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Originally published December 14, 2009 at 6:19 PM | Page modified December 14, 2009 at 9:12 PM

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Effort isn't the Seahawks' problem, coach Jim Mora says — just everything else

Seahawks coach Jim Mora says he has no complaints about his team's effort, but says execution is lacking.

Seattle Times staff reporter

RENTON — Twenty-four hours after Seattle's worst loss of the season, coach Jim Mora was still trying to put the defeat in perspective.

Put a little extra emphasis on the word "trying," because Mora's introductory remarks at his weekly news conference addressed his team's effort level in Sunday's 27-point loss to Houston.

"When you have a performance like you had [Sunday], people question effort," Mora said. "And it's kind of a buzz word that people throw out there."

But effort is not something Mora included among his team's faults. Not in the way it prepares during the week in terms of diligence at practice or attention to the game plan. Not in the performance on Sunday in terms of the effort level from snap to whistle.

"I don't see that as being a problem," Mora said. "Now, consistency of execution? Absolutely an issue with our football team right now. But effort? No."

That brings up a more uncomfortable reality because if there's no problem with effort, was the ineffectual performance Seattle rolled out on Sunday the result of a distinct lack of talent?

"This is our football team, and our responsibility is to try to get them to play as well as they can play," Mora said, "so if we don't play well, I'm going to look at effort. When I recognize that effort is up to the standard — and if it's not I'm going to make it sure it is — I'm going to look at execution.

"If I believe it's a talent deficiency, this is certainly not the time to talk about it."

Instead, Mora spent Monday taking a microscope to the warts exhibited in Seattle's seventh double-digit loss of the season.

"I felt all the way up until the very first snap of that game that we were very prepared and very locked into having an excellent game," Mora said.

That first offensive play wound up being the longest touchdown pass against the Seahawks in two years as Houston's Andre Johnson ran right past cornerback Marcus Trufant en route to a 64-yard scoring catch.

"Marcus was walking up into his coverage as the ball was snapped, which is absolute no man's land for a defensive back," Mora said. "Not where you want to be, especially against a guy like Andre."

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The Texans used a quick count, catching Seattle off guard and setting the tone for a game in which Seattle appeared flat-footed at every turn.

Mora was asked what was most disappointing about his defense, the pass coverage that allowed Matt Schaub to pass for 336 yards in the first half or the a pass rush that failed to get a sack for the first time all season?

"Keep going," Mora said, "and you'll be hitting them all. Seriously."

So while the effort wasn't a problem for Seattle, there was no shortage of flaws to pick at in the post-mortem examination of Seattle's cadaverous performance in Houston.

Notes

• Linebacker Aaron Curry suffered a hip pointer in the fourth quarter Sunday, but was walking without much of a limp Monday. "I believe there's a chance Aaron could be available," Mora said.

• Wide receiver Nate Burleson underwent a magnetic-resonance image (MRI) test on his injured ankle Monday, but Mora did not have the results to announce. His status for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay is uncertain.

• Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace tweaked his hamstring Sunday, but it's not known if the injury will affect his availability this week.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

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