Just now watching the game. Jubelale by my side.
Seattle ran a very nice looking blitz out of a 3-1-1-6 look. I notate it that way because the second level was Darryl Tapp and David Hawthorne. Both end up blitzing, but it seems obtuse to group a linebacker and defensive a lineman together.
The first thing I like is the personnel on the defensive line. Lawrence Jackson is playing strongside defensive end. Me!Bane! is playing nose. Patrick Kerney is playing weakside defensive end. This is a vision. John Marshall would stack his line strong to weak: Rocky Bernard - Craig Terrill - Patrick Kerney. Terrill. At nose. Terrill.
Gus Bradley proves a blitz of five can cause disruption, pressure, incompletes, sacks, interceptions and, oh yes, fumbles returned 70 yards to the end zone. Seattle forces pressure by isolating every lineman and awaiting for one to fail. Both ends edge rush. Mebane charges. Hawthorne stunts underneath attempting to draw the left guard.
In practice, this is where Tapp swoops into the left guard gap and destroys Mike Teel playing Kurt Warner.
Reggie Wells doesn't bite.
Now it looks like a failed blitz. By that I mean: the scheme itself is not working. It's up to the talent.
Seattle has a win at right tackle. Kerney is more than enough edge rusher to rush Levi Brown. Jackson does his job, but this is not a sure win, and he doesn't win. That puts an end on a guard and three on a guard. Mebane is good, but so is Deuce Lutui. Lutui wins this round. Wells wasn't surprised and is simply outsizing Tapp on the inside.
Then David Hawthorne separates from Lyle Sendlein and flying tackles Kurt Warner. Kerney has turned and traumatized Brown. Again. The two combine for a strip sack Tapp recovers.
It's good to see Kerney doing work.
The story here is Hawthorne.
Tim Ruskell knows linebackers. Look at TCU. Kicking ass again. Grabbing their star middle linebacker wasn't some blunder of luck. This is what Ruskell does. This is the skill that got him here.
Hawthorne gets to play out the season at the dot. I fully expect him to succeed. This will ignite a Hawthorne versus Lofa Tatupu debate. This debate will be laborious, irrational and tax my patience.
Seattle has committed big dollars to Leroy Hill. Did I say committed? Sorry baby, you better read the prenup. Seattle can get the hell out of Hill's contract very soon. Leroy Hill is a badass. He costs too much. Seattle's linebackers cost too much.
Hill played inside at Clemson. I see no reason Hawthorne can't make the transition. Beating a single block by an offensive lineman and Mexican-wrestling Kurt Warner is already more than we've seen from Hill in about 10 months.