Photo credit: Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
If anything has been proven about the Seattle Seahawks throughout the first thirteen weeks of the season it’s that they’re a scrappy bunch. Pete Carroll’s squad is 7-5 and are siting in the fifth playoff spot. Dallas is behind them at number six and it’s been such an impressive year for Carroll considering all the question marks he faced this past off-season (a lot of players left). However his formula hasn’t changed at all he still puts most of his focus on the defensive side of the ball. Seattle isn’t loaded with talented defenders like the Los Angeles Rams are but the Seahawks have surrendered less points (259) than anyone else in the NFC West. It’s because Carroll gets more out of his players and he does a great job of playing to their strengths. While Wade Phillips likes to blitz and take chances which often leaves the Rams vulnerable. Carroll loves to play coverage and use a bend but don’t break philosophy. The result is less touchdowns being surrendered and it’s one of the main reasons Seattle has been a contender every year that Pete Carroll has been there. When you’ve run that system for so many years the players on your roster start to play more instinctively. Everyone knows their assignment and what’s expected of them. For the linebackers that usually involves dropping to their hook zones and it becomes effortless after doing it in practice everyday. Then the corners and safeties have to flourish in cover 2 and cover 3 schemes. Everything is basically a zone concept and most NFL defensive coordinators prefer man to man coverage. Tony Dungy used a very similar approach during his time with the Buccaneers and Colts. Lovie Smith also had a similar style of play with the Chicago Bears. The bottom line is it works and Seattle resembles the team they did back in 2011. Remember they ended up winning a Super Bowl shortly after that in 2014.
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Seattle is clawing and scratching their way towards a playoff birth.