Thursday, November 10, 2011

Props for Seahawks O-line, Running Game

The insightful Ben Muth of Football Outsiders has some praise for the Seahawks offensive line. At least, I think it's praise for the Seahawks O-line. I can't be sure. It's been so long since I've seen it, I've forgotten what it looks like.

Additionally, a member of the NWSportsTalk forum recently broke down our running plays against the Cowboys specifically and pointed out some encouraging trends - better zone-blocking coordination, more decisiveness from Lynch, less negative plays, consistent yardage instead of one big run boosting an otherwise bland YPC.

In the wake of what could be a breakthrough performance for this line against Dallas - which is something O-line coach Tom Cable apparently insisted upon, to the point of affecting the game plan - some national recognition for this line is in order. Two rookies, two sophomores, and a 30-year-old all thrown into the same system without a full offseason is not a recipe for success, but Cable has made strides with this line.

Russell Okung's slow start has given way to steadiness and a decent stonewalling of DeMarcus Ware. Robert Gallery, though now jumped upon for one bad play where he was tossed about like a rag doll, contributed heavily to Marshawn Lynch's strong day and gets some technical kudos from Muth for his usage of his hands and feet. Max Unger, while still possessing some lingering strength issues, has shown definite improvement from his awful rookis year - at the very least, he's no longer living in his own backfield. Muth's criticisms of him seem related to his decision-making. John Moffitt is developing. James Carpenter - well, he's a rookie. Seattle is continuing to keep our tight ends home to help block, which would normally be considered a hamstring to our passing game. But with Tarvaris Jackson needing every extra pocket second he can get in order to overthrow people, the current TE policy evens out.

I find it interesting that almost our entire offensive line seems assembled for the run. Unger is much better at moving around and landing blocks than he is holding back the tide on the line. Moffitt comes from a powerhouse running game at Wisconsin. Carpenter, also mainly a road-grader specimen. It means that Carroll isn't kidding when he says he's determined to make the run game a prominent feature of this offense. But if Unger was able to develop from an entirely overmatched rookie to a solid sophomore, Carpenter could pull it off as well.

Enjoy the link. We could use every ounce of positive development news we can get.


  1. Our interior line is run oriented to the extreme.

    Okung I'd probably rate as pass pro oriented with above average run blocking.

    Carpenter was "50/50" in college, but so far as a pro he seems to be struggling much more with the pass protection aspect. At the very least, he's had a handful of brilliant run blocks this year, and in pass protection he's struggled mightily in all but perhaps one game.

  2. I've said this before, this line will kick ass against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Run on O, stop the run on D, works in college. Good news, but we'll see if it pans out strategically, as Carroll is a bit of a mad genius with this.