With the Seattle Seahawks hiring Mike Solari as their offensive line coach, Brian Schottenheimer as their offensive coordinator, and Ken Norton Jr. as their defensive coordinator, I wanted to take a look at the possible schemes that these coaches could bring to Seattle. First on my list is Mike Solari.
Solari has bas been an offensive line coach for most of his coaching career starting in 1976. In the NFL, he’s worked with six different teams.
- Dallas Cowboys: 1987-1988
- Arizona Cardinals (then Phoenix Cardinals): 1989
- San Francisco 49ers: 1992-1996, 2010-2014
- Kansas City Chiefs: 1997-2007
- Seattle Seahawks: 2008-2009
- Green Bay Packers: 2015
- New York Giants: 2016-2017
Here are the rankings of the offensive lineman that he’s coached over the last decade pulled from FootballOutsiders.com.
As a comparison, here are the Seahawks’ offensive lineman over the last decade as well.
While these rankings aren’t exactly reassuring, I have to note that they are very dependent on scheme and personnel limitations. For example, the Giants used a three step, quick passing game for their last two seasons under Ben McAdoo to get the ball out early and limit potential pressure on Eli Manning. If you trust ProFootballFocus, the Giants’ average OL grade was a 53.0. The Seahawks, on the other hand, averaged a 55.0 across the board with Justin Britt and Duane Brown clearly elevating the average.
Seahawks’ Current Scheme
Over the past seven seasons that Darrell Bevell and Tom Cable have been coaching the team, Seattle has primarily run a zone blocking scheme.
As a refresher, the zone blocking scheme is based on the offensive lineman moving in one direction as a unit. Their goal is to create a horizontal crease in the offensive line in order for the running back to read and exploit the defense for yards. While it has worked in the past, it requires offensive lineman that can double team effectively and it also requires a running back that can correctly read and cut through the hole. In my opinion, Seattle has struggled with both of these aspects over the past two seasons.
Seahawks’ Potential Scheme under Solari
What’s interesting is that Solari has coached both man blocking principles, where each offensive lineman blocks a designated defender, and zone blocking principles over his career. In New York, the Giants used “one back power” the first play in this video below, and zone principles almost back-to-back. They also used outside zone and gap plays as well, but the power and inside zone were two of their favorites.
Some potential blocking schemes the #Seahawks might run based on Mike Solari's experience as OL coach. Most recently the #Giants use one back power and inside zone a fair bit. pic.twitter.com/jvIFDYO1M3— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) January 18, 2018
During his time with San Francisco under Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers ran more power and trap running plays with lead blockers.
In my opinion though, I can see the Seahawks running scheme looking more like the St. Louis Rams’ blocking scheme when Brian Schottenheimer was their offensive coordinator back in 2014. In that scheme, I saw a mixture of zone blocking principles with occasionally trap blocking as a change-up.
In my opinion though, I think the #Seahawks go back to Brian Schottenheimer's roots with the #Rams and go mostly zone blocking principles mixing in some trap blocking as change-up. pic.twitter.com/40w5BXDoUo— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) January 18, 2018
What do you think? Which of these schemes seem the most appealing to you if you had to choose one? Note: Based on current personnel, I would personally prefer 2014 Rams over the rest, but I will be very interested to see what they run in training camp.
What blocking scheme will Mike Solari help install?
This poll is closed
2017 New York Giants: Power/Inside Zone
2014 San Francisco 49ers: Power/Trap
2014 St. Louis Rams: Zone/Trap