Kam, Earl, Mark Barron, and the 4-2-5 Defense

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  • Over the past few years, a lot of signs have pointed to Pete & John relying more and more on the nickel defense, and in fact it may be evolving almost in to a "base" defense. This is a trend league-wide, but as usual P&J seem to be ahead of the game. The big $$$ given to Kam underlines the fact that he is NOT easily replaced... big safeties are critical for teams that want to deploy 5 DBs at a time but still be able to control the running game. Look at the facts, and we may be seeing a preview of the dominant, cutting-edge defense of 2013.

    - The Seahawks are said to have been ready to draft safety Mark Barron in the 1st round last year, and have drafted a safety every year of the PC/JS regime

    - WLB is probably the most unsettled position on the team right now with Leroy Hill gone and no experienced incumbent

    - Earl Thomas comment last year about his ability and desire to play corner in the slot

    - We just signed Antoine Winfield, probably the best slot corner vs the run in the NFL

    - Kam Chancellor was just given a hefty extension

    - It's clearly a passing league now, and formations with 3+ receivers are becoming ever more commonplace, necessitating 5 or more DBs on the field more often than ever

    - Formations with multiple tight ends make it difficult to add more DBs since they can dominate in the run game against smaller DBs

    - Running QBs are becoming more prevalent, further necessitating nickel DBs who can play the run

    - Hurry-up offense make it difficult for a defense to make substitutions, make it important to have a nickel package that isn't totally outmatched when down-and-distance favor running plays


    If we are going to run more of this defense, Kam is the key to making it work. His LB size allows us to play 5DBs and still dominate against the run. In that light it makes sense why he's getting the $$$ he's getting.
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  • I'm interested to see how Winston Guy develops. He played alot in the Falcons game and I think with a year of seasoning he could be a valuable cog in our secondary.
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  • jlwaters1 wrote:I'm interested to see how Winston Guy develops. He played alot in the Falcons game and I think with a year of seasoning he could be a valuable cog in our secondary.



    I am too! It's such a nice feeling to have all that talent back there!!
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  • We will have to wait until July or so, but that's one of the reasons that I look forward to the Football Outsiders guide every year. As they chart every game, they will provide breakdowns for offensive and defensive formations, and I have a feeling this year that they may analyse the frequency of read option plays as well.

    That should give a better idea as to whether we are increasing our use of nickel looks. It would make some sense if we were, and going big nickel would make sense for teams playing a Kaepernick, RG3 or Russ Wilson.
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  • Good post. I definitely think we might see a league-wide trend of defenses having at least one bigger safety on the field for most defensive snaps. The trend toward two-TE sets already necessitates this, and the emergence of the read-option is only going to make this a bigger need for teams. PC is once again ahead of the curve, and I think players like Kam who can support the run defense, get through blocks and also drop back into coverage are going to be in high demand very soon.

    Saw this on Twitter the other day, and I could only smirk (people are looking at what the Seattle D is doing):

    Tony Pauline‏@TonyPauline17h
    I'm told a # of teams considering cornerback late in round one won't take a prospect at the position unless they are at least 6-feet tall..
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  • DavidSeven wrote:Tony Pauline‏@TonyPauline17h
    I'm told a # of teams considering cornerback late in round one won't take a prospect at the position unless they are at least 6-feet tall..


    *snicker* Everyone told us two tall corners wouldn't work, they couldn't stick with receivers, etc. when we started it. The polite ones said it was "unconventional", at best.

    Now, everyone's starting to follow us.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:
    DavidSeven wrote:Tony Pauline‏@TonyPauline17h
    I'm told a # of teams considering cornerback late in round one won't take a prospect at the position unless they are at least 6-feet tall..


    *snicker* Everyone told us two tall corners wouldn't work, they couldn't stick with receivers, etc. when we started it. The polite ones said it was "unconventional", at best.

    Now, everyone's starting to follow us.

    The NFL is nothing if not a copycat league.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:
    DavidSeven wrote:Tony Pauline‏@TonyPauline17h
    I'm told a # of teams considering cornerback late in round one won't take a prospect at the position unless they are at least 6-feet tall..


    *snicker* Everyone told us two tall corners wouldn't work, they couldn't stick with receivers, etc. when we started it. The polite ones said it was "unconventional", at best.

    Now, everyone's starting to follow us.


    No matter their size they still need to be able to cover, and it doesn't hurt that we have a safety in Thomas that allows them to play to their strengths. We got lucky with how he got our large corners. Not too many teams will get a starting corner from Canada and then draft one in the 5th round. Their success will probably make it harder to find overlooked corners line Browner and Sherman in the future though.
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  • razor150 wrote:No matter their size they still need to be able to cover. We got lucky with how he got our large corners, and it doesn't hurt that we have a safety in Thomas that allows them to play to their strengths. Not too many teams will get a starting corner from Canada and then draft one in the 5th round. Their success will probably make it harder to find overlooked corners line Browner and Sherman in the future though.


    Yes, they still need to be able to cover; but what in the WORLD is lucky about how we got Browner and Sherman? We picked up Sherman in the 5th round, when 31 other teams could have gotten him before us; and Browner was playing in the CFL, also where 31 other teams could have grabbed him at any time before us. I'm failing to see much luck in this. I mean, I doubt Papa Pete and Uncle John were expecting a second-year All Pro when they drafted Sherman, but Sherman's exactly the kind of guy we like to draft. Someone a bunch of teams overlook for one reason or another. In Sherman's case, I think it was primarily the lack of a big body of work, since he switched to DB halfway through college. That, and the fact that before Carroll, the image for the ideal CB was "the smaller and speedier, the better".
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:
    razor150 wrote:No matter their size they still need to be able to cover. We got lucky with how he got our large corners, and it doesn't hurt that we have a safety in Thomas that allows them to play to their strengths. Not too many teams will get a starting corner from Canada and then draft one in the 5th round. Their success will probably make it harder to find overlooked corners line Browner and Sherman in the future though.


    Yes, they still need to be able to cover; but what in the WORLD is lucky about how we got Browner and Sherman? We picked up Sherman in the 5th round, when 31 other teams could have gotten him before us; and Browner was playing in the CFL, also where 31 other teams could have grabbed him at any time before us. I'm failing to see much luck in this. I mean, I doubt Papa Pete and Uncle John were expecting a second-year All Pro when they drafted Sherman, but Sherman's exactly the kind of guy we like to draft. Someone a bunch of teams overlook for one reason or another. In Sherman's case, I think it was primarily the lack of a big body of work, since he switched to DB halfway through college. That, and the fact that before Carroll, the image for the ideal CB was "the smaller and speedier, the better".


    Luck might not be the best word for it, but I'd be damned if I can think of any better word to describe it. Saying it is luck isn't meant to diminish the work that was put into scouting and then developing them as players. Still, the Seahawks were hoping at most when they picked up Browner and Sherman was that they would be good enough to make the roster and provide good depth. They turned into starters with pro bowl credentials. Sure there is skill there, but a lot of luck too.
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  • Interesting. Winfield is excellent rushing the passer as well. I suspect to see many variants off of the base. The old Chicago 46 maybe seen as well at times I suspect
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  • They had an article about this on NFL.com about the the "big nickle" packages, and how more teams are going to need to go to this to counter the multiple TE sets that teams like NE and SF run.

    Ironic how that article by Kirwan mentioned 4 teams that had good Big Nickle squads and he didn't mention Seattle. We're pioneering things on the defensive side, and if we can get close to as creative on the offensive side, I honestly don't see how teams are going to be able to hang with us. We could break the record for points win differential.
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  • Bevell has shown he can be a genius as far as offensive schemes. It's his timing, lack of hurry up offense, 2 minute play calling, and downright agonizingly slow development of RW early in the season that annoys me about him.

    I sure hope that Quinn is up to the task of scheming a dominant, cutting edge defense for us.
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  • Hasn't TCU been using the 4-2-5 for years? It is a good defense against the pass if you have linebackers who can run. Hawthorne played in this defense but he was slightly under sized as a pro and had injuries that slowed him.

    Anyway, as for the origional post, I do think nickel is becoming a base defense but we still have to be prepared to stop the 49ers twice, Falcons, and Vikings more power running style. Especially since we may see those teams in the playoffs. Redskins run with some power too with Alfred Morris.
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  • jlwaters1 wrote:I'm interested to see how Winston Guy develops. He played alot in the Falcons game and I think with a year of seasoning he could be a valuable cog in our secondary.

    This.
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  • I do think Chancellor is "easy" to replace (in relative terms), but I agree with essentially everything else. Really since day one Pete Carroll has favored defensive packages with extra defensive backs (remember the 7 DB "bandit" packages in 2010)? In retrospect, Carroll's shocking use of extra DB packages was a blunt referendum on the LB corps he inherited. They didn't have anywhere close to the speed he wanted.

    Now, they've added Winfield to help ensure that Seattle always has five star-caliber DBs. Winfield will play almost exclusively in nickle situations and John Schneider said that he expects Winfield to see "50-70 percent" of the snaps next season. In other words, we are going to see a ton of nickle defense next year.

    And that's a very good thing, because Winfield, Browner, and Chancellor are like fast linebackers in run support (Sherman and Thomas are outstanding as well). The 2013 Seahawks might be the first NFL defense in history to get stronger in run support when switching to nickle packages. Teams across the league are running nickle more and more, but it usually comes at a steep cost in the run game. But in Seattle, it's the opposite.

    You might wonder how Seattle finished #1 in defense last season (and #4 in yards allowed) despite being horrific on 3rd downs and being mediocre in the pass rush. I think the reason, most likely, is because Seattle is so strong in their nickle packages- the weaknesses that you normally associate with that package does not apply to us. Having fast linebackers and 5 very good DBs gives Seattle perhaps the fastest back seven in the NFL.

    jlwaters1 wrote:I'm interested to see how Winston Guy develops. He played alot in the Falcons game and I think with a year of seasoning he could be a valuable cog in our secondary.


    I think his upside as a blitzer is the best on the entire team. Seattle has had some big leaps forward from players in years two and three before (Chancellor, Unger, Tate, etc.).
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  • kearly wrote:You might wonder how Seattle finished #1 in defense last season (and #4 in yards allowed) despite being horrific on 3rd downs and being mediocre in the pass rush. I think the reason, most likely, is because Seattle is so strong in their nickle packages- the weaknesses that you normally associate with that package does not apply to us. Having fast linebackers and 5 very good DBs gives Seattle perhaps the fastest back seven in the NFL.


    I'm also very proud of the fact that we're the only team with a great secondary that is great without pressuring the QB. That is incredibly rare. If we can manage to become very good, or great, at pressuring the QB on a regular basis...We would probably have a historically great secondary. Greatest ever. Most teams, if they can't pressure the QB, their secondary is mediocre at best, like what happened with the 49ers without Justin Smith. Not the Seahawks.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:
    Yes, they still need to be able to cover; but what in the WORLD is lucky about how we got Browner and Sherman? We picked up Sherman in the 5th round, when 31 other teams could have gotten him before us; and Browner was playing in the CFL, also where 31 other teams could have grabbed him at any time before us. I'm failing to see much luck in this. I mean, I doubt Papa Pete and Uncle John were expecting a second-year All Pro when they drafted Sherman, but Sherman's exactly the kind of guy we like to draft. Someone a bunch of teams overlook for one reason or another. In Sherman's case, I think it was primarily the lack of a big body of work, since he switched to DB halfway through college. That, and the fact that before Carroll, the image for the ideal CB was "the smaller and speedier, the better".

    You are exactly right on this one RD, it wasn't "LUCK" that Pete was counting on, when he started the process of finding players that would fit with his conceptual packages.
    AND, to elaborate a little farther on this PC scripting, didn't he just ask a player in the upcoming draft, if he'd given any consideration to changing his position from Receiver to Corner? (future replacement for Browner, maybe?)
    The only thing that can be considered "LUCKY" about picking players to fit scheme packages, is having the players that can digest your concepts without making too many errors in implementation to Petes' over all scheme, and that they stay healthy in the process.
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