2009 Season Retrospective: Sean Locklear

Sean Locklear

Highlights

Rams at Seahawks

Owens sealed the inside and Sean Locklear pulled out and engaged Will Witherspoon. The execution of the blocking was almost flawless, and give Locklear credit for engaging Witherspoon and walking him towards the sideline, but two things kept this play from popping. Owens couldn't hold the inside and Rams defensive end James Hall narrowed the hole. The other is again on Jones. He turned the corner but didn't hit the hole with much speed. I think maybe Jones hasn't become fully confident in the system and is still a little hesitant picking his rush lane. I don't think he's slow.

...

Sean Locklear has been Seattle's best cut blocker. A tackle must hit the deck from time to time in Knapp's offense. A good cut block can stop multiple defenders and neutralize backside pursuit. Stretch plays are simple, but sometimes slow and the more time a running back has to find his hole and bolt, the more effective they are. So, what does Seattle do when Walter Jones returns? Does he cut block? Can he cut block?

Seahawks at Cardinals

My notes start when Fox deigned to switch from its morning publicity stunt to an actual contest: Seattle's second offensive drive. Lock started with an okay mirror slide. He was slow shading blitzing linebackers but compensated by grounding them at their turn point. He was able to pancake the Cardinals linebackers with ease, but only after they pressured the edge.

Lock was at his best run blocking. He showed good power and ability to stand up and redirect his man. He also moved well enough if slower than usual.

Lowlights

Rams at Seahawks

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.

Seahawks at Texans

The Seahawks countered with no plan at all. Sean Locklear stood, protecting uncontested space as two defenders streaked off left end. Brian Cushing smashed Matt Hasselbeck before he could set. Moments like this inspire a "what the fuck?" reaction from fans. Beyond play calling, challenges and clock management, we most tangibly perceive the impact of coaches in the precision or sloppiness of the team. Seattle was playing rec football against a professional team. Whether Locklear was standing clueless because of poor discipline, poor coaching, zone blocking or a basic inability by the Seahawks to read and adjust to blitzes, the coaches, and especially Greg Knapp, own this failure.

49ers at Seahawks

Lock was badly beat around the end by Manny Lawson. Sims controlled his man and Spencer stood free in his center zone. Spencer turned that freedom into a crucial freeing block. He doubled Sims man and the two dominated him so completely that Sims was able to pull free and pick up Locklear's blown assignment. What looked like a sack turned into a fifteen yard completion.

Seahawks at Cardinals

You all hankering for some Sean Locklear love? Didn't think so. Locklear did not have a very good first quarter. He wasn't moving well and was routinely overpowered by Calais Campbell. Campbell is enjoying a sophomore surge, so I do not discount the level of competition, but routinely beat is no way to play left tackle.

Locklear looked a touch gimpy to me. The significance of the contest might have forced him into action a week too early.

...

His greatest weakness was handling Campbell's inside move. Locklear was twice beat to his inside shoulder.

Overall, in twelve snaps, I have Locklear down for: Three failed blocks, two good jumps off the snap, two knock down blocks, one turn, one missed assignment, one great cut block and a handful of mixed plays.

Outlook: I didn't spend a ton of time scouting Locklear last year. Sometimes a lot of simple ideas comprise the whole, and so bullet points are best.

  • Locklear is nearing the worst case scenario when it comes to high ankle sprains. The sprain weakens the ligaments and increases the chance of recurrence. Locklear has suffered recurrence. Do not look at his age and blindly assume he has years to burn. He might not. See: D.J. Hackett.
  • As I mention above, I do not think Locklear was at full strength for most of the 2009 season. Whether he could theoretically man left tackle or not is no longer relevant. He has not be healthy and is now replaced. That will cost Locklear millions.
  • A healthy Sean Locklear is a very good pass blocker and a great fit for a zone blocking system. He is an excellent cut blocker and that complements Russell Okung's power.
  • Lock is probably approaching his final days in Blue. That isn't to say he can not be a valuable player for someone, but his contract is relatively expensive for a right tackle and he has missed time because of injury or suspension three of the last four seasons. Locklear might have worn out his welcome in Seattle, is all.
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