A bit of dull quarter with Seattle dominating possession and committed to killing the clock. I think I'll take that cue and take a half day. Head out to Oaks Park with my wife.
Here's what I saw.
- Josh Wilson played nickel throughout the game in what was no doubt an audition. Wilson plays a little loose and had some obvious lapses, including the aforementioned blown coverage and an illegal block on Justin Forsett's punt return. In the fourth quarter, Omare Lowe assumed Wilson's #2 corner spot. On the whole, Wilson's showing looked unrefined. He needs to make strides to win the position, but it's safe to say Seattle is giving him an in.
- Kevin Hobbs played...decent. To an extent, it is that Hobbs' screwups went unpunished that he ended up looking like the better corner. On the second to last play of the game, Hobbs looked pretty guilty of pass interference, but, with five seconds remaining in a preseason game with nothing on the line, you can see how leeway was given. I would say Hobbs played average to good and Wilson played average to poor.
- So new Kevin Calabro thought he was Lance Laury, Kevin Brown had two tips. The second set up the Howard Green interception.
- I think Seattle's new zone blocking scheme benefits Mansfield Wrotto. Assigned a zone, Wrotto made some good decisions, punishing a couple defenders and knowing when to disengage and take on another defender. He is, as one might guess, a bit feast or famine. And sometimes zone discipline causes problems of on its own.
- One such occasion was on the sixth play of Seattle's second drive of the 4th quarter. It's 3rd and 7 on the Minnesota 39. Seattle ran the Minnesota special, 3WR, TE, Rb. That looked to be the Vikings base offense on Friday, much like 3WR, I-backs was Seattle's base offense. To keep this concise, I'll simply say that Wrotto engages the Vikings left defensive tackle, chucks him offensive-left and then re-assumes his zone though he no longer has anyone to block. Meanwhile, the tackle is now the second player in Steve Vallos' zone, and after regaining his balance, gets by Vallos and pressures Charlie Frye, forcing him out of the pocket. I like the simplicity of zone blocking, but something's gone wrong when one player is (over)matched against two defenders and another is standing, unemployed.
- Very good game for Jason Babin. Babin is probably auditioning for another team, but his play might net Seattle something in a trade.
- Finally, could Forsett's secret weapon be Owen Schmitt's run blocking? Schmitt looks to be Seattle's best run blocking fullback and Forsett's runs clicked when Schmitt was in the game and sputtered when he wasn't. Ok, so it's premature but:
3 Runs without Schmitt:
Total Yards: -2
Percent of yards to first down: -13%
10 Runs with Schmitt:
Total Yards: 60
It's not just that Schmitt is a good lead blocker, it's that Forsett looks to have good chemistry with him. I'd like to see Schmitt get a shot with the first team, just to see if the effect translates.