Earlier in the week we looked at five offensive plays from the Seattle Seahawks’ disappointing 27-11 defeat against the Chicago Bears in Week 2 of the preseason. In this article we are going to highlight six plays from the defensive and special teams sides of the ball.
This play has both a major positive and negative. The negative is Bryant gets beaten clean off the line of scrimmage. His feet are flat and despite being in a press position he doesn’t get a hand on Isaiah Coulter, giving him a free release. A good throw that’s not under thrown would have resulted in an easy touchdown, but Nathan Peterman hung the ball up and gave Bryant a chance to still make a play.
Now on the positive side: despite getting beaten off of the line Bryant is still able to recover and make a play on the ball. This isn’t a situation where you would want him to get his head around, as on such a quick pass it would likely slow him down and take him out of the play since he is not in phase. Bryant does not panic and does exactly what he’s supposed to do and what is highlighted by Louis Riddick in that he plays the eyes and the hands of the receiver.
#Seahawks rookie Tariq Woolen is an athletic freak!!! Love seeing the physicality from the CB position!— Ben Eby (@TheBenEby) August 19, 2022
4.26 40 + 42 inch vert at 6’4 too?! Sky is the limit. #CHIvsSEA #NFL #ELITEseekers pic.twitter.com/7MTnpXZ7jF
This is certainly an unconventional tackle but is nonetheless still a really good play by rookie Tariq Woolen. Woolen is working across the field with his man, although when he sees the pass, he comes off of him and changes directions to put himself in a position to make a tackle on Nsimba Webster. Rather than trying to put himself in a foot race for the pylon, Woolen does a good job of immediately running at Webster and initiating the tackle.
Because of where he was on the field, he wasn’t able to go for a tackle around the waist and risk having the receiver fight through it or reach the football out to cross the goal line. He instead goes high to wrap him up and force him away from the end zone. Whilst it is certainly an unorthodox tackle seeing Woolen make open field tackles such as this has to excite every Seahawks fan.
Cody Barton/Joel Dublanko
Justin Fields was 5-of-7 for 39 yards on the Bears’ opening drive, including this crisp rollout and completion to Cole Kmet. Ten plays, 52 yards and an opening field goal for the starting offense. pic.twitter.com/oGEur61NEs— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) August 19, 2022
This play is shown to highlight the lack of eye discipline by both linebackers on the play. Rather than staying true to their assignments off of the snap in man coverage both Barton and Dublanko step up and flow with the play action fake. This takes the two of them away from their assignments putting both in a foot race to get to their man coverage assignment. Dublanko doesn’t come close to recovering on the play as there is nearly four yards of separation between him and Cole Kmet at the point of the catch. Despite it being the second week of preseason, it is concerning to see this type of lack of eye discipline from the duo. Dublanko is unlikely to make the team, but Barton is supposed to be a starter alongside Jordyn Brooks.
Normally these articles are going to be kept to just the offensive and defensive side of the ball. However, I wanted to highlight these two special teams plays because of how poor they are.
Special teams are all about effort, angles, and open field tackling, none of which are present on these two plays. On the kickoff return there are three different Seahawks who are on the ground at the same time. In addition to that there’s a missed open field tackle all of which combine to result in a 58-yard return.
On the punt we see more of the same. Whilst no Seahawks end up on the turf, there are multiple players who take poor angles (including the since waived Joel Iyiegbuniwe) as well as their being a few missed tackles on the play. Winning the field position battle is going to be imperative for this team if they want to have any chance of making noise in the division. With special teams plays such as these two it does become difficult to envision them winning that battle on a regular basis.
look at this series, Justin Fields under heat nonstop pic.twitter.com/Awaexcqyfz— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 19, 2022
My favorite part of this video is it shows the different variations of blitzes that the Seahawks are going to throw at teams this upcoming season. On the second play, Cody Barton blitzed and used a quick swim move to beat the running back, which forced Justin Fields to get rid of the ball quickly.
On the third play Justin Coleman gets shot out of a cannon on a cat blitz, which helps collapse the pocket on Fields. On the next play Tariq Woolen comes on a blitz and hurries Fields into a throwaway. Seeing Seattle get creative with their blitzes is a very encouraging sight, as it should take some of the pressure off of what is a younger front four. It also could be speculated that Jamal Adams will be used more frequently in these blitzes, which might help him unlock his 2020 form when he led the team in sacks with 9.5.