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Kolby Smith

Denver has released Kolby Smith after signing LenDale White. Not very interesting news on its own, but Smith himself might have something to offer the Seahawks. He's a one-cut runner and big, but not known to be bruising. With apologies to the proponents of smashmouth football, bruising is not something that matters a ton to me. Nor does the resulting assessment of a player's toughness.

Scheme fit matters to me and Smith is the kind of back that finds his hole and explodes through it. Smith is also the kind of back that takes a while to get to the line and tends to bounce everything outside. In most schemes, the latter more than undermines the former, and in his three seasons, Smith has struggled to produce consistent positive contributions. In a zone blocking scheme, the hole is slower developing and a little more fluid. The key is to shoot it the second it opens, and Smith has that potential.

Running back is a funny position. There are some innate abilities and skills that are universal, but much of what makes a back valuable is how he interacts with the offensive line. Smith has struggled in power blocking schemes. He just doesn't stick his face in the fire and take what is given. He also doesn't have great moves. Instead, he has one remarkable ability and that's maximizing the holes he can reach.

Seattle is a bit thin at running back. It has two smaller backs with great potential: Justin Forsett and Leon Washington. It has Julius Jones, who fits a power-blocking scheme, but lacks the burst to explode through the hole. And it has Quinton Ganther and Ganther has rightly been identified as a hybrid fullback. Kolby Smith is worth bringing in and seeing if he can finally tap into some of his potential. It would only take another minor roster shuffle and it could do wonders, because if Jones doesn't cut it, Seattle will be forced to build a run game upon two backs that might be best suited for complementary duty.

Here's a couple looks at Smith.

Against the Raiders

Against the Chargers