This week, Pete Carroll added to the heap of praise J.R. Sweezy has received this season with the quote above. Compliments don't get much loftier than that, so I made a point to rewatch the game and focus in on Sweezy's play.
On the second play of the game, Sweezy displays the effort, toughness, and violence called out by Carroll. This play is just carnage, and speaks for itself.
Two plays later, Seattle calls a stretch play and Sweezy shows off what makes him special: his athleticism and movement skills.
New York's alignment on this play immediately makes Sweezy's job difficult, as the play is a stretch to Sweezy's right and the defensive tackle has lined up outside his right shoulder. Sweezy has to come all the way across the defender in order to be able to seal the outside run properly.
Sweezy is able to do it before Michael has taken the hand off.
Once he's established the block, Sweezy reaches his defender and turns him inside. This opens a huge lane for Michael.
Unfortunately, Michael isn't able to take advantage of the lane as there is an unblocked defender. He is, however, able to take the run all the way to the sideline before cutting up field for 9 yards.
Sweezy puts his athleticism on display numerous times a game. Here, Sweezy is responsible for blocking an end lined up 2 yards away on another outside run.
Again, Sweezy is able to pick up his assignment before the hand off is complete.
Sweezy isn't able to reach the defender and seal the outside, but he is able to ride his block all the way out to the numbers.
And, as always, he finishes his block with a little extra nasty.
Sweezy is also extremely effective on double teams, another area where his lateral agility comes in handy. It may not seem impressive, and it definitely is one of the easier assignments for a guard, but these blocks are critical to effective zone schemes.
Here you can see Sweezy work with Britt to double down the line.
The Seahawks offensive line swings the Giants defensive line open like a door. If not for a blown block by Larry Gilliam, Robert Turbin may have added yet another explosive rushing play to the Hawk's total.
And here again, you can see Sweezy and Britt team together (as well as Sweezy dishing out some more pain).
One last play before we move on to the bad. Unfortunately, I was out of this country last Sunday and was unable to watch the game. When I got back to Seattle I immediately checked the box score and was more than a little excited to see that Christine Michael had had a big day. But when I finally got the chance to watch Michael's big 45 yard run, I realized it was JR Sweezy and Max Unger who were the real stars of the play.
Here, Sweezy's assignment is lined up directly in front of him on an inside run. Sweezy's athleticism and agility won't be of much use in this situation.
Sweezy does a fantastic job of getting to the defender's inside shoulder and turning him away from the play. Sweezy is able to anchor and completely seal the inside, opening a huge lane for Michael.
And like many of Sweezy's blocks, he finishes by driving his man to the turf.
The Christine Michael run is a bit of an outlier, as Sweezy struggles a bit when covered and blocking his man one on one. Sweezy is susceptible to inside moves, such as this swim move on a run play:
And this spin move on a pass play:
Some of this can be cleaned up with technique, as Sweezy is prone to being a bit over-agressive and looking for a kill shot. Some it, though, is simply a matter of size and strength. Sweezy is more of a traditional zone blocking guard, and can struggle with bull rushes and situations where he's asked to block stronger linemen one on one.
Sweezy can also improve in his pass protection reads. Blocking assignments are set presnap and that's out of Sweezy's control, but there were a few occasions where it seemed like Sweezy could have demonstrated better awareness.
On this play, Sweezy is uncovered but has a linebacker across from him showing blitz.
In reality, the safety circled in red in the blitzer on this play while the linebacker drops into coverage.
Britt sees the blitzing safety and tries to pass the defensive end off the Sweezy, but Sweezy has stayed tight to Unger and isn't in position to pick him up.
A big part of the breakdown on this play was Britt doing an extremely poor job of slowing the end down before passing him off to Unger. Britt attempted to punch and redirect the end, but the end simply slapped his hands away. However Sweezy could have also positioned himself better to help the rookie right tackle, and in the end is left being worn like a cape on the way to a sack.
Sweezy had one truly ugly play in this game and it was another example of him not making the best decisions when left without a direct assignment in pass protection.
Hey, uh, Sweezy? Behind you, buddy.
Overall, Sweezy earned Carroll's comments after the game. Sweezy provided a handful of highlight plays, which can be hard for a guard to do, but also shows up down in and down out. As a run blocker he's a weapon, regardless of what he's being asked to do. He still has work to do with his pass protection, especially in working seamlessly with Britt, but he makes up for some of those shortcomings with his tenaciousness.