Seahawks Insider

Why the Seahawks ran the ball more against the Eagles

Post by News Tribune Staff on Dec. 4, 2007 at 3:25 pm with 44 Comments »
December 4, 2007 3:25 pm

Of the Seahawks’ plays on Sunday, 34 were passes and 29 were runs, more of the balance that Mike Holmgren used at the beginning of the season. This was Holmgren’s explanation about why it ended up that way:


"I think a little bit of both. It was because I had Shaun (Alexander) back and the weather, I’d say that was the reason. Now, honest to goodness, I do not go in with numbers in my mind, about how I want that to go. But over my history, if I have a back like Shaun, at the end of the game, when someone tells me what the numbers were, really I had no idea what those numbers are, in a close game. If we’re behind and I know I’m throwing it every time, then I might kind of have an idea. It was because of the weather and Shaun, that’s why it was different than the last two or three weeks."

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  1. Great. So now that we have shaun its back to run first pass second. Thats a recipe for failure. Ya Mike, Shaun has been such a great back this year, you just have to give him the ball more. Rediculous.

  2. Anniee882000 says:

    I just don’t understand this blind loyalty Holmgren shows to shaun. With the QB and receivers we have, we should be passing like crazy.

    And frankly if I were Mo, after the effort and results I’d gotten after the past few weeks, I’d be pissed to hear some of this stuff about how great it is to have Shaun back.

  3. I totally agree. Oh we have the great Shaun Alexander back, we must go back to running the ball now. If Im not mistaken, we went to the pass first philosophy before Shaun got hurt.

  4. Playoff run stuffer available, lets bring him back to the family.

    Sam Adams cut today by the Denver Broncos! Go Get him Ruskell!!!!

  5. star4343 says:

    Guys you know it had allot more to do with the weatehr than Sa. and for the record we won.

  6. ballgame says:

    We will get to see what the offensive really is going to look like this week, because the weather won’t be awful.

  7. I watched Sam Adams play a few weeks back and he seemed pretty explosive off the snap. Blew up a couple running plays. He wasn’t very effective pass rushing though.

  8. He was never good vs. the pass. You bring him in as a situational run stuffing DT. There’s a roster spot for him too, cut Babin or I think its Green, 2 guys not doing anything thus far for us.

  9. Chris de Lemos says:

    we don’t need Sam Adams.. Mebane and Bernard have been excellent.

  10. bobbyk03 says:

    it’s called quality depth

  11. navy_at_3 says:

    could it be because A both teams couldnt get the passing game established?

    both teams came out with passing plays first drive… and continued to pass despite the crappy weather and field conditions. No surpise to me that the running game was used alot more then recent weeks. No this had nothing to do with SA returning… but more to do with the weather.

  12. navy_at_3 says:

    btw, “29 were runs” and about 10 of those were in the last 10 mins trying to run the clock out (but failing really bad with about 6 yards total gained).

  13. We will not sign Sam Adams. We have had plenty opportunities to sign him and never have.

  14. VoodooF101 says:

    Sam Adams sounds good !!
    Think I’ll drink one now : )

  15. stumptownhawk says:

    Off the subject but anyone else watch he Baltimore game? McGahee reminded me of Curt Warner years ago. Just the way he ran – real quick and elusive. I can’t wait to see that game here –

    Sure be nice to have a solid guy like that in the backfield. SA I think is done, but can Mo be the answer?? Will be intesting to see. I think after what I have seen this year and most of last year Mo needs to get 20-25 carries a game and see what happens. Over a few games, too, not just one ’cause single game stats don’t matter.

  16. Surf Hawk says:

    Since when has a pass/run ratio of 34/29 been a run first offense? They passed more than they ran. They ran a lot when ahead to run out the clock. It was a good ratio.

    The real problematic ratio is the SA/Mo one. That should not have been 20/5, but 12/13, or to soothe SA’s ego, 13/12.

  17. Chris de Lemos ” When Ruskell comes out and says “We don’t need Sam Adams” is when I guess I’ll believe we don’t need Sam Adams. But in case you’ve missed the last 30 years of NFL football, in the playoffs you have to run the ball, you also have to be able to stop the team that will run the ball.

    Case in point. We didn’t stop Jackson to well, nor Westbrook, nor Jamal Lewis, nor Cedric Benson (ok in the 2nd half but still), so really your comments mean nothing to me…but thanks for the input.

  18. neilchr says:

    Clare Farnsworth is reporting that the Hawks have waived FB Fred McCrary, placed Safety C.J. Wallace on IR and signed Josh Scobey.

    Hopefully Scobey will help shore up the coverage on special teams. Its been pretty weak this year.

  19. pabuwal says:

    The Seahawks inability to stop the long run has little to do with the DTs. They are playing great. The Safeties have to play like the last line against the run.

    Mo Morris is very effective in short doses. The Seahawks now have a thunder and ligntning combination. When Morris comes in, the opposing defense just isn’t ready for his speed. But he doesnt have the vision to be an every down runner. Speed is one of the last important attributes of RB, providing a RB at least has NFL caliber speed. In short does, MO can continue to rip off his large runs.

  20. Oldslow says:

    While Adams seems like he could help, it is somewhat chancy bringing in veterans, because their experience gives them leverage in the locker room, and if they have a negative attitude, or conflict with other vets, it can destroy a team. I am not implying that there is any problem with Adams, just that there are elements that are not necessarily privy to the general public.

  21. jcoleman says:

    Adams and Holmgren had a falling out, there is no way the Hawks sign him while Holmgren is here. The defense has been fine against the run DT wise, the only real problems we’ve had with stuffing the run is containment on the outsides, I’ve be impressed with Terril stepping up (don’t get me wrong, he’s no all-pro, but he’s been quality). Bernard and Mebane get all the cred, so I just wanted to make a shout out for Terril.

    Scobey’s back? Well, it’ll be good to see someone laying the wood on kickoffs besides Josh Brown, HA!

  22. halfemptyfilms says:

    Good to hear Scobey is back, he’s a fairly reliable short runback man and a hell of a tackler (if he can just WAIT until the ball is caught…). He does nothing to help our Dime package though, and thats the bigger concern, I would imagine.

    Regarding our rush defense, we’ve done a good job of shutting down some of the best backs in football this year. We do give up the big run from time to time, yes, but like someone said earlier, that’s the safety’s job to stop. The plays that has happened on we had complete misreads… the dline let a gap open but then the LBs and DBs weren’t where they needed to be. Still, we’re 14th against the rush, and MOST of those yards are on the big plays… better to give up a couple of big plays (and leave time on the clock) then give up 4-6 yards a rush…

    Remember: we’re 14th in rush defense, but #1 in 3-and-outs. :)

  23. lemonverbena says:

    with Scobey signed, McCrary cut and C.J. Wallace on IR, that would leave one roster spot open… right? bring Hobbs up from the practice squad, or do they have a street FA in mind for dime corner?

  24. berserker says:

    Adam blows…why else would Denver cut him?

  25. berserker says:

    I like the fact that we are running the ball, as long as it is Morris and Alexander splitting the rock.

  26. I was at the Jacksonville game 2 years ago…I can’t get that impression of Scobey fumbling away the kickoff out of the back of my mind. I hope he’s better than that by now.

  27. NEWJERSEYMIKE says:

    I think you will see Hobbs brought back up to the active roster to serve as the 4th corner.
    From what I remember Scobey was a demon on special teams. He wont be asked to touch the ball much so I dont think you have to worry about him fumbling. I they would use him the same way the used Wilson, as a gunner on punts and as the guy directly in front of Nate on kickoffs.

  28. wihawkfan says:

    How quickly everyone forgets that Shaun was MVP a few short years ago!

    I’m not going to make excuses for times when he didn’t run as hard as he has in past years. Plus, I’m a big Mo Morris fan and love the fact that he is a solid part of the offense now. However:

    1) Shaun has been playing through injury again this year.
    2) There has been a lot of change at offensive line this year.

    There are many times when people go through down years, especially after sustaining injuries. Ben Rothlesberger was a shadow of himself last year. However, he rediscovered himself this year.

    I don’t think Shaun will return to MVP level for the remainder of this year. However, he looked better against the Eagles and gives the Hawks another line of attack. I personally like the trio of Shaun, Mo and Weaver coming out of the backfield. I especially like the fact that Shaun ran downhill, Mo found cutback lanes and angles to exploit and Weaver knows how to pound the ball.

    I also love the way Mo can catch the ball out of the backfield.

    So many teams are struggling with the running game. Seattle is 8-4 with a very inconsistent backfield so far. However, the upside for the remainder of the season is definitely there. I can make more of a case for improvement than for failure for the rest of the season.

    Shaun has to earn his #1 role back through hard work and heart, the same things which led him to an MVP and record setting season two years ago. I believe he will do that.

    If not, Mo and Weaver will continue to do great things for us.

    Either way, I love the balance on offense and the talent and intensity on defense and special teams.

    Mark

  29. Welcome back Scobey! The man is a stud. We wont need him to return kicks anymore, but he is one hell of a gunner–best we’ve ever had. Hope he sticks with the team.

    Sam Adams is and always was fat and lazy. And now he’s old to boot. The guy played D-Line like Moss played WR for the Raiders–takes plays off, didnt try if he wasnt getting the sack the qb call. For all his strength and talent, he only had a few good games a year. Holmy and him didnt see eye to eye, and he has played for several teams since, with his pro bowl days long behind him….this guy is a has been at best, at worst a never-was. THe Hawks need him like they need a hole in the head. He is not a run stuffer, he is just big, fat, and old.

    As for the griping about too many running plays, relax! Holmy knows what he’s doing, and in case you guys werent watching, the passing game was not very good last week. Without Hackett, this teams passing game is a shadow of itself. Using a two-back attack works for other teams, why not us? We cannot have Hass getting the crap beat out of himself week in week out, like in the Rams game. If the two-back attack works this week, cool–if it doesnt work in the first half, Holmy will adjust and we’ll go back to the pass-happy era of the last 4 weeks. Holmgren will adjust his play-calling based on what happens during each game. They still look to be passing more than running. Remember also how the Tards always seem to give our offensive line and Hass fits with there wierd defensive schemes? The two-back thing might work very well against them, and keep them from blitzing as much.

    That said, I really Hope Holmy hasnt begun to get tunnel vision/Knoxitis–going back to the run first mentality all older coaches seem to fall back on when they quit innovating….

  30. halfemptyfilms says:

    I’m with leshthomas here, I’ve been hoping for a two-back system in Seattle for awhile. Someone made the point that the average life of an NFL running back is about 4 years… why build your franchise around them? Who was the last superstar back in NE? Dallas has Barber and Jones, Pitt has Parker and Davenport, et cetera.

    Still, the Hawks are on a hot streak right now… remember, the teams that win in the playoffs are the teams that win the close games. I can’t wait to beat the 18-0 Pats in the SB42 :)

  31. PapaHawk says:

    News for Hawks fans that I retrieved from Danny O’Neil’s rival blog at the Seattle times:

    http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/seahawks/

    Hawks apparantly have released Fred McCrary and signed Josh Scobey to the active roster.

    You wanted a special teams gunner? Now we have one! This is great. Scobey is a difference maker on special teams coverage and a good enough teammate to be voted a captain last year. This also speaks volumes of Kirtman’s improvement playing the FB position— or McCrary’s lack of ability. Either way, I like this move and think it makes the team better. Still a bit concerned about the DB’s, especially at corner if one of our guys gets banged up. I just don’t trust Mike Green in coverage….at all.

  32. PapaHawk says:

    Hey people, guess what? The Hawks are now becoming un-predictable. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. What’s right with that? Everything. Okay, we aren’t completely un-predictable. I mean, you know if the Hawks are ahead and have the ball with less than 8 minutes left in the game, that the Hawks will run the ball. That is that. But the rest of the game you can’t game plan. They could throw it all over town, or they could still gash you with the run. Thunder? Or lightning? Okay, maybe not thunder…but certainly a threat. This is cool.

    Also, Sam Adams was so good against the run in Denver that they have a terrible run defense and he got cut. I’ll take my chances with our guys. Yeah, those guys who are good at stuffing the run when the game is on the line. Those guys who went up against two SUPERIOR backs in S.Jackson and B. Westbrook and denied them goal line access in tight games. Sure, they need to stop allowing the big run play to score, but our crew is SOLID when it matters most.

    sorry for the double-post. At least they’re about two subjects. Not trying to mimic Navy_at_3….

  33. freehawk says:

    Scobey is a great gunner! Good news

  34. oldslow- good point. Looking at his stats, he seems like he’s too far over the hill.

  35. I’m loving the emergence of a one two punch run attack, but I don’t think we’re going to see much of it this week against the Cards. With Adrian Wilson and Eric Green on IR they’ve got Oliver Celestin at Safety (remember him) and Samari Rolle at CB. Holmgren and Hasselbeck are licking their chops to attack that secondary (did anyone see what San Fran did to them…YAC…mincemeat). The Hawks were taking apart the Cards in the first game with YAC and this should be no different.

    I hope we see a lot of Shaun and Mo…in the 4th quarter with an insurmountable lead!

  36. The Tards may blitz like crazy, just like the Rams did. Then the two-back, run-half-the-time offense will appear, in an attempt to keep Hass from getting banged around. We should be able to beat the Tards with the pass or the two-back attack. Neilchr and Papa are right–now teams wont be able to game plan for us, and we’ll be able to adjust on the fly. The more weapons a team has, the better…

    PapaHawk–I havent seen Green get much playing time. He tore it up in pre-season last year, so much so that he was due to be our starting strong safety, but he got injured…this year he couldnt unseat Russell, but there is no shame in that, as Russell is very good. Green is a safety, and maybe thats why he is struggling as a dime back. Give it time. And we shouldnt need a dime package too much against Baltimore, carolina, or Arizona, as the Tards receiving corps is hurting and the others scare no one…

  37. martygivens says:

    qbania – “Case in point. We didn’t stop Jackson to well, nor Westbrook, nor Jamal Lewis, nor Cedric Benson (ok in the 2nd half but still), so really your comments mean nothing to me…but thanks for the input.”

    Jackson had one long run and then was pretty much shut down (he averaged 1.7 yards when you take away the 53 yarder). Westbrook was held under 100 and he’s a great back, Lewis had less yards than Mo (55), 20 rushes for 37 yards, and Benson had one long run for 43 and ended up with 89 (although I have no idea why he only got 10 more carries).

  38. eaglehawk says:

    You have to admit that SA ran hard for the first time since the Tampa Bay opener.
    I like that. He has fresh legs and it shows.
    His presence will bode well for the hawks down the stretch.

  39. PapaHawk says:

    Edgerrin and the Cards ran through the Hawks a bit down in Arizona. The Hawks have something to prove against them. Everyone seems to only remember the fumble in that game, but reality is that AZ moved the ball pretty well agains the Hawks, particularly on the ground. In fact, thinking about run defense, I think that is the worst we played all year. We actually held Pittsburgh down pretty well until late in that game. I think the offense and the heat had more to do with that than ability. I hope its cold and wet on Sunday so that the Cards have extra trouble flying!

  40. IIRC, it’s Antrel Rolle on the Cards. Samari is on the Ravens.

  41. nighthawk2 says:

    To hell with Alexander’s ego. Or anything else about him. Morris only got 5 carries, and he got 64 yards. And before anyone says “Well Morris got 60 yards on two carries” yeah, and Alexander got 57 yards on 5 carries, nothing else was more than 3 yards. Big deal. Alexander should never, eeeeeeeeeeeeeever be on the field again. We’re now going to be going away from what got us the 3 wins in a row so Leon won’t pout? Swell. Alexander must have incriminating photos of Holmgren, there’s no other reason anyone in their right mind would continue to play that waste of a roster spot.

  42. navy_at_3 says:

    simple, he probably wears a mental red shirt in practice and practices well when no one will dare touch him…

  43. Alexander’s return spells the demise of this team. Holmgren won’t put the team ahead of SA’s ego. We are doomed. Without Alexander in the lineup our offense has one goal… to move the ball and score points. Add Alexander to the mix and all of a sudden you have to worry about his touches and a bunch of other stuff that has nothing to do with winning games! We are better off without him. We still have the talent to go deep into the playoffs, but not if Satisfying Shaun’s ego reamains one of the teams priorties.

  44. QB_Sneak says:

    jj, dude, get a grip. Whoever said anyone was worried about a number of carries? Holmgren didn’t. Shaun didn’t. We’re running a 2-back offense, which a lot of teams are doing. But everyone seems to be on board with that.

    And I seem to recall we scored 28 points on the road, against a good defense, in bad weather. So what’s the problem again?

    So far, Shaun has said and done all the right things. It could be smoke, but he has been the consumate team player. When Mo scored, he was the first one congratulating him.

    The only people worried about anything other than winning are the moronic members of the “I hate Shauna Alexandria” fan club. And they meet every Tuesday down at the methadone clinic.

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