When the Seahawks signed Marcel Reece before Week 14, there was little reason to believe he’d be a difference-maker down the stretch. Seattle had drifted away from runs that involved the fullback, and the team didn’t add Reece until Will Tukuafu suffered a concussion.
During the regular season, Rawls ran the ball 109 times, and only seven of those carries (for 5 yards) came out of the I-formation with a fullback.
But this past Saturday was a different story.
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“That was the plan going in — to get [Reece] a little more involved now that he¡¯s been here a couple weeks,” said Tom Cable, assistant head coach/offensive line coach. “Just normal ball for us. If you think about it, we looked more like we¡¯ve always looked.”
Here, the Seahawks were in 11 personnel (one running back, one TE), and the Lions had two deep safeties. This is a major difference from what Seattle will see in the divisional round. The Falcons are a single-high safety team, which gives them an extra defender to play the run.
Seahawks coaches talk often about how the run game is not just about the offensive line. Tight ends and wide receivers have to do their parts as well. On this particular play, the tight end is often asked to help block an edge defender.
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This was not a shotgun run in which Russell Wilson was reading the edge defender. And the scheme allowed Willson to get a favorable matchup.
“This covers everything so the tight end doesn¡¯t squeeze down from the right,” Mudd said. “If you had him squeezing down from the right, this would be full zone. And the tight end would stay out there. They can¡¯t read the defensive end that¡¯s outside the right tackle because the quarterback¡¯s underneath center. So they just man-blocked that side, put the tight end in on the offside ¡®backer and then took the center, left guard, left tackle and committed them to the defensive tackle, the defensive end and that ¡®backer (No. 54).”