2009 Season Retrospective: Owen Schmitt

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Owen Schmitt

2008

Highlights

Seahawks at 49ers

It's now third and one. Seattle shows a rare look, splitting two wide, tight end, running back, but with Owen Schmitt playing half back. He motions left from right tackle to behind the right "A" gap. Takeo Spikes does the Ted linebacker thing and powers into the pile. Schmitt does the Schmitt-faced thing and hits him in the hole. Schmitt helps push the pile forward and Jones coverts the first.

Jaguars at Seahawks

[Schmitt's] play was solid. He had one very good lead block, on the second play of Seattle's second drive, in which he moved into the hole, moved out Jaguars inside linebacker Russell Allen and doing so screened another Jaguar out of the play. Jones was slowed by end Derrick Harvey, but Allen was awarded the tackle. The attribution of a tackle seems almost arbitrary.

Schmitt didn't have any highlight worthy blocks, but his ability to square and power into his defender is impressive. He made an audible "pop" on his first block of the game, again against Allen.

Lowlights

Bears at Seahawks

3. Owen Schmitt dropped a pass.

2. Dick Stockton thought it was John Carlson.

1. Upon further review, all white people look alike.

Outlook: Schmitt is nearing the dangerous place in an athlete's career where they are as much mascot as player. That's no good. It's not good for Owen and it's not good for Seattle. And it's especially bad because Schmitt isn't aged but accomplished. Schmitt is Rob Johnson with a better image. Unlike Butterfingers, Schmitt still has a shot of being good.

Schmitt should have spent last season taking his lumps and learning his trade, but with Greg Knapp came Justin Griffith, and with Griffith came a sham preseason competition decided in Griffith's favor. So Schmitt spent much of the season playing special teams and seeing only occasional snaps. Schmitt seemed very much the same player at the end of the season as he was at the beginning: tough, quick, punishing and not ready for Sunday at fullback.

He needs work pass blocking and pass receiving. He needs to be targeted in traffic and show the same kind of poise facing imminent contact an NFL defenders as he does facing imminent bashing of his skull with a helmet. Schmitt has the potential to be a great run blocker, but he doesn't see holes particularly well, especially compared to Justin Griffith, and he needs experience to learn. Most important and most glaring, Schmitt needs to recognize a free pass rusher and prove he can hit and sustain.

Schmitt is just 25. He isn't expensive. He does enough on special teams to continue in a reduced role. But he hasn't grown much since being drafted and he hasn't won over any coach or proven he can play fullback at the NFL level. That is a bad mixture for a rough, not terribly athletic player. I think Schmitt has the will and fight to stick in the NFL, but where and doing what?

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