Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders provides some interesting analysis on NFL teams and their use of six offensive linemen sets – or jumbo packages where an offensive tackle replaces a tight end up front.
Teams traditionally use jumbo packages in short yardage or goal line situations to get an extra push up front in the run game. What’s interesting is Oakland – under head coach Tom Cable – used the most jumbo sets in the league last year, a little over 12 percent of the time, averaging a league-best 6.2 yards per play in that formation.
Predictably, the Seahawks, with pass-happy Jeremy Bates and no run game were toward the end of the list, using jumbo set .8 percent of the time.
So, will Seattle use more jumbo sets with Cable now the team’s offensive line coach? It’s possible, depending on how well the new offensive line comes together with rookies James Carpenter and John Moffitt up front, along with the Seahawks’ ability to play from ahead so they can focus on running the ball more.
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Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post picks Seattle cornerback Walter Thurmond as one of his second-year impact players for the upcoming season.
Gabriel: “Early in the 2009 college season, Thurmond looked like a sure first-round pick. He showed great cover skills to go along with excellent return skills. Then he tore up his knee near the end of the season and had to go through a long rehab. When he was drafted by Seattle he was not 100 percent and though he played the whole season he never looked like the athlete we saw at Oregon. With another offseason to rehab he should be back to top form. He has the tools to eventually be a No. 1 corner in the league.”
ESPN’s John Clayton writes that if – once a CBA is agreed to with an estimated salary cap of around $120 – the Seahawks would be $39 million under the cap with a payroll of about $83 million, giving them plenty of room to bring back Matt Hasselbeck and make free agent plays on players like Oakland offensive guard Robert Gallery.
Adam Rank of NFL.com includes Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck on his top six list of signal callers who deserve a Super Bowl ring.
Scout Inc.’s Matt Williamson takes a closer look at Seattle linebacker Aaron Curry, and wonders if he’ll ever justify his selection as a No. 4 overall pick.
With St. Louis and Chicago – the participants in this year’s Hall of Fame game – set to open camp three weeks from this Friday, Albert Breer of the NFL Network says this is a huge week for NFL labor negotiations.
Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post writes that the lockout has cut into the offseason “Me Time” of contract negotiations, and will create a condensed, frenzied month of activity before training camp begins.
Baltimore Ravens cornerback Dominque Foxworth ably fills in for Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback report. Foxworth says owners and players must work harder to get a deal done.
Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange has a wealth of interesting tidbits in this week’s tip sheet.