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Even more tape analysis of Ethan Pocic (and the Seahawks offense)!

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I have a lot of plays to cover today which means I’ll skip the sermonizing. In fact I’m putting the pulpit away for a very long time. One can only be so much of an asshole before they suffer an allergic reaction. But before I launch into the analysis, let me apologize for some sloppiness on my part. I’ll do better.

I’ve been rushing these out. Both because I don’t have time, exactly, and because I’m using this as a way to hone my writing after a long layoff. I’ve been cook, maid and tutor recently. Those avocations ended suddenly. Seeking to get back into shape, I’ve been thinking more in terms of miles than running form. But I better tighten up before I pull something.

Thank you for reading. In a world where something called SS Sniper Wolf (f-ckin’ SS?) can get millions of views, but Michael Lewis has to buy ad time to beg people to buy his audio book, I get it. The written word is dying. If you’re reading this even if only to tell me I’m an idiot, thank you. Reading anything anymore is a subtle act of rebellion.

Given the number of plays covered, I will concentrate on Pocic’s contributions. But sometime later this week, I’ll have a notes piece covering my general impressions of Seattle’s offense and its personnel.

(3:40) (Shotgun) R.Penny right end to SEA 29 for no gain (J.Thompson).

Despite being a little out of position, Jalen Thompson is able to lunge and ankle tackle Rashaad Penny for no gain. It looks like this play was designed for Penny to run to the left. Phil Haynes is hip tossed to the ground attempting to block Chandler Jones. Colby Parkinson matched against Markus Golden is likely an intentionally unfavorable matchup intended to slow backside pursuit. But Penny makes his choice and it’s not without merit. A back has to have vision. He certainly wasn’t getting anywhere running behind Haynes.

Ethan Pocic locks up Zach Allen until Penny renders that impossible. Pocic holds Allen but hides it well enough.

(3:01) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass deep right to T.Lockett to ARI 49 for 22 yards (B.Borders).

Duane Brown drops Jones. Damien Lewis endures a little bit of an adventure blocking Corey Peters. Russell Wilson remains calm in a good pocket.

Make no mistake, Haynes loses Allen. But having nothing else to do, Pocic picks up the assignment and stonewalls the pass rusher. All that time gives Tyler Lockett a chance to break off his route, run further up the field, and find a soft spot between the safety and corner. One just doesn’t see blocking like this in Seattle too often. Shame.

(2:34) (No Huddle, Shotgun) R.Penny up the middle to ARI 42 for 7 yards (J.Hicks; I.Simmons).

The no huddle creates the desired result. Corey Peters effort is lackluster to say the least. Lewis and Pocic envelop him.

A longer run may have been possible if Penny Hart blocked his defender.

(2:10) (No Huddle, Shotgun) R.Penny up the middle to ARI 34 for 8 yards (I.Simmons).

No huddle works again. Seattle runs pretty much the same play for the same result. This time Pocic is able to pull but his glancing block on Simmons doesn’t do much to spring Penny.

(2:00) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete short left to D.Metcalf.

Pocic and Brown both pull toward the left sideline. Wilson targets someone. Whom? Probably Metcalf. Gerald Everett blocks as if Seattle is running a wide receiver screen. DK Metcalf runs forward, turns in, and attempts to block. I think.

Prior to the play, Wilson calls out “Saturday. Saturday.” Which, given the popularity of wide receiver screens in college, is probably an audible. But the coverage seems well set to defend a screen pass and DK doesn’t seem to know what to do anyway.

(1:58) (Shotgun) R.Penny up the middle to ARI 30 for 4 yards (Z.Allen; J.Hicks).

Penny misreads his blocking and runs himself into a tackle attempting to go outside. Too bad too, because Lewis executes a nice pull block on Isaiah Simmons.

Pocic singles up on Peters, turns him, avoids committing a hold but does not sustain the block. Solid, consistent, workmanlike, unspectacular—I think we’re getting the idea here.

(1:52) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short middle to D.Metcalf ran ob at ARI 18 for 12 yards (J.Thompson). PENALTY on SEA-G.Everett, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at ARI 30 - No Play.

A solid pass block by Pocic picking up the stunting Markus Golden is wasted. Everett shows no finesse in shoulder blocking Simmons into Antonio Hamilton. Notable but irrelevant: Metcalf slows to put a move on no one. DeKaylin saved his sophomore slump for his third season. Fun fact: He’s half a year younger than Eskridge.

(1:45) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass short left to T.Lockett pushed ob at ARI 23 for 17 yards (A.Hamilton).

Wilson punishes the corner blitz. I flippin love that.

(1:40) (No Huddle, Shotgun) T.Homer left tackle pushed ob at ARI 19 for 4 yards (J.Thompson).

Arizona makes this run easy. Jones rushes wide. Leki Fotu attacks the left A gap. Leaving free safety Jalen Thompson to close from the third level to attack the B gap. Travis Homer outruns him but loses his lead attempting to turn the corner. Lockett barely touches Hamilton. Arizona makes this run easy but Seattle makes tackling Homer easy too.

Pocic blocks out Fotu. Lewis doubles briefly. He doesn’t release fast enough to slow Jordan Hicks but it doesn’t matter.

(1:34) (No Huddle, Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete short left to D.Metcalf.

Haynes gets stuck blocking Allen allowing Fotu to twist free but very late. It doesn’t much matter. Wilson throws an uncatchable pass to a completely covered and nearly out of bounds Metcalf. Homer running an out breaking route to the right had a step on Hicks. Otherwise everyone’s pretty much covered.

Typically Pocic works well with the right and left guards to pick up free pass rushers, but this is a little bit of a botch.

(1:30) (Shotgun) R.Wilson pass incomplete deep left to G.Everett.

Good blocking, great target, the pass is perfectly placed and timed, but Everett turns too quickly and badly slows locating the ball. This makes the pass look a tiny bit overthrown. It still manages to hit him in the hands. He drops it and whiffs attempting to snatch the ball after a favorable bounce.


ESPN released it annual analytics survey last October. I couldn’t help but notice that three people who responded to the survey listed “Pro Football Focus grades/WAR” as the “player-level metric in the public sphere” that “is most useful for player evaluation.”

NFL front offices aren’t exactly think tanks. I’m not surprised that someone was snookered by PFF’s self-evidently faulty methods. I just wish one such mark wasn’t very obviously the Seahawks. Everyone gets fooled. Everyone makes mistakes. Seattle has made the exact same mistake again and again.

Damn it, Pete. Do something. Because the “relentless pursuit of a competitive edge” sounds nice during a press conference, but Seattle’s roster is a laughing stock. Wilson has every right to force his way out. He wants the kind of talent Tom Brady found in Tampa Bay, and you’re giving him Gerald Everett and Dee Eskridge.

I shy from believing a perfectly good process is knowable, but if you’re baking from a recipe, and every damn cookie tastes like mud, you’ve got to change the recipe. The evidence of how Seattle got into this mess is just too obvious and striking to ignore.

L.J. Collier.

One PFF dude, ahem, analyst called Collier “the Frank Clark replacement.” THEY’RE NOTHING ALIKE! He literally says that “He’s your bigger base end, so basically, he is your Frank Clark replacement.” What!? Clark is a wiry, explosive outside pass rusher. Collier is an end/tackle tweener. Certain mistakes reveal that a person has no idea what they’re talking about. This is one of those mistakes. You can’t call yourself a zoologist if you can’t differentiate a gazelle from a rhino.

I could go on. Just put any of the many highly questionable free agent signings or draft picks Seattle has made recently into your search bar coupled with the letters PFF. It’s a horror show. The inherent unsoundness of their methods was obvious to me over 10 years ago. I never dreamed I’d live to see my favorite sports franchise on the brink of a many-year rebuild because it was fooled by such painfully obvious quackery.