Found May 02, 2012 on Thoughts from the Dark Side:

TFDS has already posted a breakdown of what I saw of Greg Knapp's offense and playing calling.  Knapp has served the last two years as the QB coach of the Houston but before that served as the offensive coordinator in Seattle, his last year with that title.

You can read that breakdown here.

TFDS will be getting into some details on some of the plays that the Raiders may have in their playbook in subsequent posts.

Today we'll look at a play that Seattle ran against the Rams, week 1 of 2009.  It was run on Seattle's first possession.



The Seahawks came out in a strong run formation with a two TE set both to the right side of the line, creating an unbalanced line.  There was on in an X position (on the line) and there was a FB and RB in the backfield.  The QB was under Center.

To all indications this was going to be a run play and the defenders have to shift some coverage to that strong side because the two TEs and a lead blocker could do some damage in run blocking.

There were numerous examples of this formation used by Seattle and Knapp called a variety of plays from this set.  He called a variety of running plays including strong side (the TE side) sweeps, weakside runs (where the RG would pull and lead block) and some very effective naked bootlegs (where the line, FB and RBs fake a run to the strong side and the QB fakes a handoff then pulls it back and runs, unprotected, to the weak side where the WR will likely only have single coverage).

In this instance there was a pre-snap shift where the outside TE moved across the formation and split out wide.  I liked this play because this made it more difficult for the defense as they had to choose who was going to cover the TE quickly – did they want to use a LB or a CB?  Did they want to play against the run or the pass?

At the snap the QB moves into a drop.  He can either do a play action fake where he looks into the backfield as if he's handing off to the back or he can keep his eyes downfield to read the defense.  The outside TE on the left side of the field ran a go route straight ahead.  The WR now in the slot position ran a deep in route slanting towards the middle of endzone towards the end of the route to be more center.

The TE still on the line ran a post route and drew some coverage in his direction.  The FB and RB both paused a moment and then ran routes up and the out towards the sidelines to be outlet receivers as needed.

Aside from the pre-snap confusion, which I think is a plus, a strength of this particular call is that it has a lot of levels to it.  There is virtually no part of the field that the defense isn't forced to defend and that causes breakdowns in coverage for all but the most disciplined defense as long as the QB makes a good read and can make throws at all parts of the field.

For more Raiders news and analysis, follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews

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