Steve Spagnuolo the Wacky Blitzer and Three Plays Before Paydirt

Sometimes a wacky blitz is just that: wacky. Clancy Pendergast has his moments. Steve Spagnuolo fell in love with the corner blitz. It never once worked. He responded to Seattle's four wide outs and running back with a corner blitz from a 4-3. That sounds plain stupid.

Seattle was in a four wide formation, but the only positional wide receivers were T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Nate Burleson. On the left was Justin Griffith wide and John Carlson in the slot. Housh was almost aligned at left tight end, but was off the line and standing. Coaches match position for position and not position for formation, but I am not sure that is always the right choice. It wasn't the right choice to blitz the left corner, because Burleson quick-curled and Hasselbeck found him wide-open for 13. Leonard Little hit him late and another 15 was tacked on.

Corner blitz, drop the end in coverage, watch it fail, watch the end commit a personal foul, and move on. That's the life of a rookie coach. Seattle then ran a stretch right. Ray Willis couldn't control tackle Gary Gibson, and Gibson slowed Jones enough that when he broke Gibson's tackle, the defense had regrouped and plugged the middle. James Laurinaitis tackled Jones after four.

The next blitz worked. Seattle had the misfortune of running play-action. The line held at first, but play-action is slow, and by the time Hasselbeck had set, the sixth and final blitzer, David Vobora, was wending through the line and into the backfield. Vobora hit Hasselbeck as he threw and the ball sailed high over John Carlson. Julius Jones could have blocked Vobora but didn't see him. That is not an inexcusable error, but is an error. Jones was not blocking anyone.

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