Julius Jones ran for one to start The Drive. The drive, the Seahawks first scoring drive of the season -- why did it work? Where did it falter? What can we learn about this team and this coaching staff by studying it?
The first play wasn't a mystery. Sean Locklear attempted a cut block and then rolled on his back like an upended beetle. His assignment, Clifton Ryan, closed the cutback lane and tackled Jones in the crease. Locklear slowed Ryan and stalled backside pursuit. He didn't stop Ryan and that stopped Jones.
The next play was a screen pass to Jones. That's when things got interesting.
Seattle's duplicates it previous formation but flips John Carlson to the left. St. Louis is in a 4-3, but in Spags fashion, the middle linebacker is challenging the left "A" gap.
Ray Willis and Sean Locklear allow the ends to cave the exterior pocket, but neither loses control of their defender. The interior line holds position until Justin Griffith can pass Max Unger's right shoulder. That's the signal to pull. Rob Sims throws a wicked push block on Clifton Ryan and uses that separation to run towards the left flat. Steve Vallos drops his double team with Unger and runs a more vertical route into the second level but towards the third. Will Witherspoon drops coverage from Carlson and attempts a tackle. Matt Hasselbeck retreats right and away from Locklear and targets Jones just as he clears the right defensive end.
Sims cut blocks Witherspoon and Jones is sprung to the second level. Vallos flattens his angle and drops O.J. Atogwe. Nate Burleson stands up Jonathan Wade. Jones runs behind the downed Sims, weaves behind Vallos and must only navigate James Laurinaitis and Wade to take a head of steam into the third level. Carlson moves up to block Laurinaitis, but can't control or even stagger him. Laurinaitis keeps Carlson out of his body, shades towards Jones and disengages to hit him head on and wrap. Jones lowers his shoulder and carries the play another two yards. It's a nine yard gained marked as eight.
Essential details: The offensive line is coordinated.
Steve Vallos executes impeccably.
Rob Sims shows power, quickness, agility and an ability to cut block in the open field.
Carlson's receiving presence draws Witherspoon and takes him out of position, but his blocking ends the play.