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NFL Pre Season Week One In the Books

It’s here (and it’s about time)! The pro football season officially got moving over the weekend with a full slate of preseason action. Even though the games don’t count in the standings, there is plenty happening on the field and on the sidelines that have relevance for the regular season – and for next week.

For instance, the Seahawks failed to cover against Tennessee, but they did get a win for new Coach Pete Carroll while rolling up 322 yards. Carroll had hinted all week that he wanted to win in preseason and QB Charlie Whitehurst threw for 214 yards. Carroll bolted from the edge of the field to the bench in the second quarter to congratulate the defense following a three-and-out stop in the second quarter. He had a hug for Whitehurst for his first TD throw. Who says preseason is meaningless? Not the emotional Carroll.

Of note is that Seattle’s pass defense was shaky, a problem last season, and pass pressure is still the biggest question mark on Seattle’s defense. With Saturday’s victory, Seattle now has won its past six exhibition games. Seattle was undefeated in exhibition games last season, which didn’t do much to prevent the Seahawks’ 5-11 belly flop in the regular season.

The Patriots got a win over the Saints after building up a 24-7 lead. The offense has new looks – not just with personnel, but with a slight change of strategy. Last season the Patriots relied heavily on wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker to carry the offense. QB Tom Brady went to the shotgun a lot, too. Sports Betting at the Sportsbook

What they showed in the preseason opener is that there appears to be a slight change in philosophy. Brady was far more under center than usual and they used 2 and even 3 tight ends at times. Part of that was that they drafted two potentially talented tight ends in Rob Grankowski and Aaron Hernandez, while adding veteran TE Alge Crumpler.

The Patriots were a weak red zone team last season and it’s clear they want to spread the football around more, possibly run more and use the tight ends in an attempt to bolster their red zone efficiency. In the preseason opener, they were 6 of 13 on third down and very strong in the red zone.

What team looked the worst? Let’s call it a tie with the Lions, Rams and Bills, three bottom feeders from last season. The Lions lost 23-7 at Pittsburgh, though there was room for optimism. Detroit outgained the Steelers and held Pittsburgh to 3.3 yards per rush. With the starting defensive line on the field, the Steelers offense gained 12 yards.

The Rams got flattened at home by the Vikings and the big story was not Sam Bradford but the St. Louis offensive line, which looks as bad as ever. Bradford’s NFL debut consisted of six completions in 13 attempts for 57 yards and a passer rating of 58.8. But the real story came in all the hits Bradford absorbed by the Minnesota pass rush. Bradford was sacked four times and hit at least three other times. “We had some issues up front,” Steve Spagnuolo said. So, what else is new?

The Buffalo Bills’ backfield took a major hit as running backs Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch were hurt early in the 42-17 preseason-opening loss to the Washington Redskins. Jackson is believed to have a broken left hand, while Lynch hobbled off with an injured ankle. Jackson’s injury is the most serious as head coach Chan Gailey said Jackson will miss the rest of the preseason. Gailey has been demanding a tough, physical game, and it’s taking a toll as they are loaded with injured players.

The final word of the weekend goes to the Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff, who punished receivers by sending them to the toilet. Kansas City coaches hauled a mobile outhouse onto the practice field and told pass catchers to go in, have a seat and close the door. The port-a-potty was used for a unique kind of pass-catching drill that players, suppressing a laugh, hailed as effective in developing some quick hand-eye coordination.

The Chiefs, you see, led the NFL in dropped passes a year ago. Assistant head coach Maurice Carthon, who introduced the Chiefs to the port-a-potty drill, stood about 10 feet away and shouted to another coach when to fling open the door. The second the door opened, Carthon fired the pass and it was on the player to hang on.”It teaches you hand-eye coordination,” rookie wide receiver Dexter McCluster said. So if they bounce the football to them would it be a one-hopper in the hopper? Just asking.

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The New Scheme Seattle Seahawks Defense!

What is LEO?
I’m starting to hear more and more about this scheme, and wondered if any of you run, coach or have seen anyone in high school and/or college using this alignment. I know West Virginia uses this defense.

This scheme is still relatively rare right now on the college level according to articles I’ve read.

Its strength lies in the flexibility to combat both ground-oriented and spread oriented teams with the following personell:

3 DLs, 3 LBs and 5 DBs

The general front is a 3-3 Stack. The three LBs line up directly over the DL, and that’s why it’s call a Stack. The nose tackle almost always lines up directly over the center except for a special front variation. The stack concept is from the old school, and mixed with the 5 DB deployment of the new. I guess you could call it the defensive equivalent to the Spread Option on offense…mixing past with present to form an innovative scheme.

Base alignment vs. the standard I formation:

Personally, I really like the scheme given the pressure you can apply on offenses with the disguise the stack gives you in addition to the added speed and playmaking ability of an extra defensive back. Extremely flexible and a break from the more traditional alignments on defense.

Two of the five DBs will be strong safeties (DB-LB hybrid types). In this scheme, they’re usually referred to as Rovers/Gators/Bandits. I think this really lends to the aggressive and deceptive qualities of the defense because the Rovers can be easily used as blitzers, and also in pass coverage.

It’s also fairly easy to morph from the 3-3-5 into another front without having to make personell changes.

Of course, you need a very active and effective DL to maximize the potential of any 3 DL front otherwise you open yourself up to problems in the ground game specifically. Those leaks can turn into cascades because you put too much pressure on the rest of the defense. Any good defense (run or pass) starts up front with strong DL play.

I’m a fan of attack oriented, physical defenses and that’s why this scheme appeals to me. 40 Canes is another favorite of mine; made famous by the Miami Hurricanes of course. 4-3 front with physical Cover 2 Man secondary coverage.

I could envision the 3-3-5 becoming part of the high school answer to defending the more wide open offenses we see each season. At the HS level, you can face everything from the Wing T to the various Spread forms so it’s obviously very important to employ a more flexible scheme on defense. It’s very tough to find a true DE, and I think that’s also a contributing factor to more teams moving to a 3 DL set up in addition to the need for more speed on the field to combat modern day talent

Patrick Clayton or Terrell Owens?

The Latest talk about Clayton from the Cowboys, and Terrell Owens from the Bills. Last night on NFL Total Access They had six teams that Terrell Owens would fit in. I think the Seattle Seahawks Should make a bid for Terrell Owens Think with  Houshmandzadeh, T.J. and Terrell Owens The Seattle Seahawks would dominate on offense this season this is just a hypothetical but wouldn’t it be nice please let me hear what you think?

Seattle ?

Could Seattle Sign Him ?