Friday, December 6, 2013

Roman on Seattle D, "the beauty of what they do is it’s pretty simple and it’s pretty consistent."

While reading through Greg Roman's press conference from yesterday, his responses regarding the Seattle defense caught my attention.  When asked if he finds himself drawing up some things just because of Seattle or thinking of a different personnel lineup because of what they do his response was, "And with Seattle, the beauty of what they do is it’s pretty simple and it’s pretty consistent. So, as far as drawing up new plays, maybe a few. Maybe a few.”

 The follow up questions was about how well Seattle had played in the second half of games and if there were noticeable adjustmentsWell, I think looking at both sides of the ball, I just think they’re just playing at a high level. They’re doing a nice job and they really don’t change a whole lot on defense, which is probably pretty smart on their part. But no, I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of adjustments. They’re pretty much a play-it kind of defense and they do a really good job of doing what they do.”
This got me thinking, "how simple and consistent are they" so I went back and looked at the film of the game from week 2, and what I found was that Roman's words were very true.  On base downs such as 1st and 10 the Seahawks lined up with the same front every time (shown below).  The linebackers would shift around slightly depending on the 49ers formation, but those movements were minor for the most part.
 The only time the Seahawks would adjust out of the above front was when the 49ers would go into their diamond formation.  As shown below, when this would happen Seattle would adjust their front to a 3-5-3 look by sliding the man to head up on the center and the safety stepping inside over the tackle.  The picture below is an example of this.  The 49ers motioned into the set and the Seahawks are adjusting into it which is why the picture is just after the ball has been snapped.

If they are so simple why have are they so good?  The answer to that is also simple.  By limiting the number of things they need to do the Seahawks defense can play extremely fast.  This also partially explains why they are able to fit different guys into their scheme seamlessly.  Being so basic allows the coaches to maximize practice reps and drills to get them prepared week in and week out.  And don't forget those guys are pretty good over there.  

Can the 49ers take advantage of this simplicity after two straight losses up in Seattle?  They've been closer than the scores would make it seem.


  1. Jack if the idea is to keep the defense simple so they can go play and not have to think as much to allow them to be faster then I would assume that misdirection, play-action and screens if run properly should be effective. Also and to a more obvious point if the offensive line can consistently execute their assignment then a more sophisticated offense should be able to pick apart a basic defense.

  2. Pete Carroll had a great quote after the first game earlier this year. I paraphrase, but what he said was that the 49ers tried every concept in their scheme and couldn't move the ball. He was jacked up about that. I guess this means that their basic approach could handle all of the variety that the 49ers O threw at them. It'll be interesting to see what happens this Sunday. I agree that the first game was much closer than it appeared (much like the Colts game). The 49ers O just could not contribute in those games. Let's see if it's grown.