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Darrell Bevell’s play calling featured on ESPN

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks
Darrell Bevell discusses things with Pete Carroll before the Hawks Monday Night game against the Bills in Week 9 of the 2016 season.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Here on Field Gulls, commenters often discuss the playcalling of Darrell Bevell and debate whether it is predictable and whether or not Bevell should continue as the offensive coordinator of the Seattle Seahawks. In any case, Bevell’s playcalling was featured on ESPN Matchup with a breakdown of how the offense attacked using the same play call and same formation while facing two different style of defenses.

For background information in case not everyone reading this has perfect recall and instant recognition of the situation in which these plays were run (I don’t, though I do know people who have that ability - it’s impressive), the play against the Indianapolis Colts was a 1st & 10 with 13:05 to go in the third quarter on the opening possession of the second half. The play against the Houston Texans is a 2nd & 10 at their own 25 with 9:04 remaining in the game on the Seahawks first of two fourth quarter touchdown drives.

A couple of things that stick out in watching both these clips is the pass blocking of Luke Willson, or rather the lack thereof. Willson gets pushed around or pushed back on both of these plays, and that is something that is seen routinely in the film. He’s a threat as a receiver, is reportedly founder of Techno Thursdays and steps in wherever the team asks him, but when watching film his blocking jumps out, and not in a negative way.

Jumping forward to the play against the Texans, Russell Wilson is forced to get rid of the ball when he does to avoid being smashed, but if he had been able to hold it for just a moment longer, he might have been able to hit Paul Richardson streaking across the middle. Fans all know Richardson’s speed, and on that play he is covered by Kevin Johnson, who is not quite as fast as Richardson (Johnson ran a 4.52 forty at the combine) and was back on the field for the first time in five weeks since suffering an MCL sprain in week 3 against New England. Thus, Richardson might have had a chance to turn the corner on the play if Wilson had been afforded just a tiny bit more time.

The other item that jumps off the screen is that for all the complaining that the route concepts used by the Hawks are too basic, on each of these plays a receiver is wide open just as designed. This is in spite of there being only three receivers in the pattern, and in the play against the Colts, with Richardson and Lockett having cleared out the zone on that side of the field, even a dump off to the RB could have resulted in a good gain and first down.

In any case, these two short clips are a great example of the Seattle offense attacking the defense through the air, and now the team simply needs to make progress in the ground game, and hopefully fans will get a glimpse of a legitimate running game against Washington on Sunday.