Offseason Playbook: Seahawks

A look at Seattle's philosophy, team needs and a key free-agent move

Originally Published: March 1, 2013
By Gary Horton and Field Yates | ESPN Insider

Russell WilsonDaniel Shirey/USA TODAY SportsThe Seattle Seahawks are set at quarterback with Russell Wilson. Where do they need help?

In a new offseason series, Insider takes an in-depth look at NFL teams before free agency begins March 12. What is each team's philosophy on offense and defense, biggest needs and one player who could make for an ideal signing in free agency?

Team philosophies

Offense -- This may be the most physical team in the NFL, and its power run game is a perfect example of that aggressive mindset. The offensive line is big and physical with well-defined zone blocking schemes, and the Seahawks are adept at getting to the second level and finishing blocks. In previous seasons the Marshawn Lynch run game was mostly between the tackles, but in 2012 they ran some wider stretch plays, with quarterback Russell Wilson doing a nice job of using the bootleg off the stretch/play-action look and rolls to the backside, as defenses overpursued the stretch and left Wilson with a lot of room to run.

The Seahawks will use two tight ends liberally to make their run game even more physical, and they will show two-back power sets with fullback Michael Robinson leading the way for Lynch. The passing game is basically a West Coast scheme with a lot of three-wide receiver looks, and Wilson will take more vertical shots than you might think -- especially off play-action and down the seams. They like to use the screen game, they are run-heavy in the red zone and Wilson is very good at the pump fake as his receivers make double moves.


To see the rest of the file on the philosophy and offseason needs for the Seattle Seahawks, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.