Seahawks Insider

Special teams on rise

Post by News Tribune Staff on Nov. 30, 2006 at 9:39 pm with 19 Comments »
November 30, 2006 9:39 pm

A few special-teams notes from a story I just finished writing: Josh Brown has made 15 of his last 16 FG tries. Nate Burleson’s 90-yard punt return changed the momentum against St. Louis. His 13.3-yard average ranks third in the NFL among players with at least seven returns. Craig Terrill has blocked two field-goal tries. Ryan Plackemeier has pumped up his net average from 36 yards in the first eight games to nearly 42 yards over the last three. Four of the last five opponents averaged less than 6.5 yards per punt return. Three of the last four opponents failed to top 21 yards per kick return. And with Burleson taking over on kick returns Monday night – he had a 45-yarder and a 25.8-yard average – that aspect of the game could be improving too. Denver ranks 31st in covering kicks. That is something to watch Sunday night.

Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. GK4Hawks says:

    I hope you gave big props to Scobey, his blocking on kickoff returns has been huge.

  2. dover5005 says:

    this is the only area that has been better then last year

    nate has been great and niko has filled kac’s place very well

    i would like to see more pressure on punts and pats and hell maybe even a trick play in there some where(does plackemeier have an arm or any speed)

    the hawks bring it on field goals and just stand around on PAT’s, whats up with that

  3. simonsureal says:

    As always, great stuff, Mike.

  4. mdmiller99 says:

    plackemeier have speed? You gotten a look at him?

    He might have an arm though…

  5. jzulaski says:

    I think Plack would be a hell of a blocker based on his size. Why not hike it to Josh and let Plack block for him while he passes it to a TE flaring out if you want a “trick play” during a FG attempt?

    Yeah right! Knowing Holmie, I seriously doubt he’d “take points off the board” with Josh being as automatic as he is lately.


  6. drmossguy says:

    I have another dumb question, but since you are used to my dumb questions I will go ahead and ask…

    Regarding that stat you wrote, Mike, about Denver’s kick coverage, is this the kind of information that the staff REALLY knows? Obviously we all assume they know everything we know times 10. If they do then how would they make an adjustment on special teams to perhaps exploit the situation?

    All that said, I am not convinced the coaches are aware of things that seem obvious or that you, for instance, report, Mike. For example on 1ST and 10 on the 10, when your running game is working, why not run? It seemed like a no brainer on monday night but then some dopey pass play kept getting dialed up.

    I just wonder what the coaches see vs what we hear about, and if they are so focused on how they do their plan because that’s what they’ve always done or if they do a little extra thinking to work on some special angles such as denver’s return coverage.

  7. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Whoa, isn’t Plack like 265 lbs? And that’s not Daryl Tapp 265, that’s Gangly Punter 265. Let’s not be running him around…

    Reminds me of Jared “The Hefty Lefty” Lorenzen: the only 300 lb QB I’ve ever seen. I think he’s still with the Giants, but when he was at Kentucky, they listed him at a GENEROUS 280. (The only QB to ever wear 96; he found it “slimming.” 11 just does not work on a man that size.)

  8. buddhabrad says:

    Plack has only three speeds, and one of them is “disappointment”.

  9. jzulaski says:

    For a punter, Plack is big. That’s why I thought he might be able to block some.

    It was mainly meant in jest. ;-)


  10. PapaHawk says:

    Gus the Mule = One Trick Pony. He aint running fast. Kudos to him on his snap handling. I suppose that he’ll boom a couple of punts in the Mile High City Sunday night.

  11. The first-and-goal from the 10 was Seattle’s first such situation of the season. They previously had three first-and-goals from the 9. Alexander ran for 1 yard against Detroit in that situation. Morris ran for five yards against Oakland in that situation. Stevens caught a 6-yard pass at home against the Rams in that situation. They had first-and-goal from the 8 against Oakland and Morris ran for 1 yard. … Yes, the coaches know where the opposing team ranks in various categories. Also, they have access to more detailed information (and scouting) that we get by looking at where a team ranks. Bob Casullo probably has a DVD with every kick return against the Broncos this season.

  12. skijake1 says:

    Hey Mike,

    If you surf on over to

    and scroll down to the guy’s “Sports Review,” and then scroll down further to his bit about the Seattle Seahawks, you’ll find that he’s singing your praises and calling the folks at SI morons for choosing the Seattle PI over TNT coverage of the Seahawks. He is right, does SI do any research whatsoever when they say things like that?


  13. PapaHawk says:

    It must be tough to scout the Hawks on first and goal from the 5-10 yard line. Here is why.

    1) They have only three rushing TD’s all year. So they are likely to try to pass it in.

    2) Shaun Alexander is now in the backfield, so they better stay at home, after all he scored 28 TD’s in 2005.

    3) They like to go to their 6’7″ TE and to their Flanker, Jackson.

    At this point its safe to say the Hawks have them where they want them, as long as they do not commit penalties. With Morris in there they didn’t have nearly as much threat of the run. Welcome back Shaun!

  14. Kudos to Casullo. I don’t hear anyone complaining about him now.

  15. PapaHawk: Did you see MoMo run against Oakland and St. Louis? We had running threat with him those games, once he got experience (and those 2 Ds are not too shabby, or at least used to be). Granted, he’s no Alexander, but he held his own in his last 2 starts, and I feel better with Shaun back there but he did a great job while he had to, considering the circumstances.

  16. re: special teams:

    “there is hope where fans once timed bathroom breaks.”

    priceless ;)

  17. drmossguy says:

    I guess my comment regarding the 1st and 10 at the 10 situation was based more or less on the game at hand–they appeared to be running pretty well, and from the humble persepective of an onlooker, the pass plays chnged the rhythm completely and really took the wind out for the time. I wasn’t comparing to other times in the season because 1) I dont believe Shaun was running healthy before he went out and 2) morris appears to present a different goal line presence than Shaun, and while effective between the 10s, I dont know if Mo is a goal line runner. I just dont know.

    Ultimately, thank you for the answer, but I still question how coaches make decisions. I could never claim to do any better, and do not imply this. I only believe they are human, with pride, and limitations…and maybe sometimes doing what they do over and over and over causes them to limit their ideas.

    I always appreciate you taking time to answer my rookie questions, Mike. I think you report very well and very often. I will have to tell my neighboor Plackemeir that he is now a topic of discussion on The Blog. He should get a laugh out of that.

    Guess you might say you finally know you are someone when you make it on Sando’s Blog.

  18. roddychops says:

    i’m with you, drmoss.

    the play-calling thought process is still a bit of a mystery to me as well. it’s a coach ‘personality’ thing, as well as a what-resources-the-team-has-at-the-time thing, it appears.

    holmgren’s personality appears to me as being sort of a contrarian: “this is what i’m supposed to do on 1st and goal at the ten, so i’ll fake ‘em out with the opposite.” especially with limited resources this year, that seemed to be the case more often than it was last year.

    when the coach has the proper resources (strong left side and MVP RB), he can be more inclined to say “i know they know what’s coming, but just try to stop me anyway.” but this year those scenarios are not the sure thing they were last year.

    my only feeling this year is that the contrarianism is even becoming predictable.

    there’s probably not a lot of stats to back me up, but i feel like i’ve seen the “it’s 3rd and seven, they expect pass, so i’ll run a fullback play-action draw! that’ll surprise ‘em!” play so many time i actually expect it rather than the standard pass.

    well, not very technical or studied of me, but my impressions anyway, fwiw.

  19. andelero says:

    My play-calling pet peeve that has endured throughout Holmgren’s tenure is actually of the opposite flavor–doing the predictable when the entire playbook is available.

    I grew up a Cowboys fan, and I loved the way Landry treated 2nd-and-1 with good field position (midfield or better). You might see him do anything in this situation, but he loved the play-action home run. Exciting, low-risk, high-reward.

    Not Holmgren. This scenario doesn’t come up in every game of course, but offering 10-1 it’s a basic run between the tackles will make you rich.

    Drives me crazy.

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