Advice for Hawks' O-line

Mark Schlereth gives the Seahawks five ways to stop the Steelers' 3-4 zone blitz.

Updated: February 2, 2006, 5:08 PM ET
By Mark Schlereth | ESPN Insider
This Super Bowl is going to hinge almost completely upon the Seattle Seahawks ability to stop the 3-4 zone blitz of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's not going to be an easy task for the Seahawks, as they didn't play particularly well in their first and only go-around this season against a defense that plays the 3-4. In that Week 7 game against the Dallas Cowboys they barely won 13-10 and were stymied offensively. This week, they face a defense that is known for its pure, unbridled aggression.

The Seahawks' offensive line definitely has the talent to defeat this aggressive 3-4 scheme, but it's going to be tough. As a former offensive lineman I feel I have to at least try to show them a couple ways to beat this defense. Here's my five pieces of advice:

1. Communicate

Great offensive lines communicate like an old married couple with a series of moans, clicks, looks, grunts and whistles. They are tied together and know exactly what they are supposed to do at all times. For instance, if I were walking up to the line of scrimmage with my center and tackle, and I saw someone in the secondary moving around, I just needed to casually glance at my guys and we immediately saw the same thing and knew what we were going to do. There was no need to talk or explain it, because it was all there. That's a result of having continuity, and unlike the other teams the Steelers faced in the playoffs this season, the Seahawks have it in spades. These guys have played together and know each other exceptionally well.
Former All-Pro guard Mark Schlereth joined ESPN in 2002 as an analyst for NFL 2Night, now NFL Live. He brings 12 years of NFL playing experience to the role. Schlereth has also filled in on numerous ESPN radio shows.