Solari Has Seahawks in the Zone


Posted Jun 20, 2008


New Seahawks offensive line coach Mike Solari has been relatively quiet about the schematic changes he's bringing to a line that’s underperformed over the last two seasons. But offensive guard Rob Sims recently revealed that Solari has been attempting to implement a zone blocking scheme that should allow for the offensive front to be less exposed than it was last season.

"Last year, we did a lot of man-on-man stuff," Sims said. "This year, we're doing more zone stuff, and that's what (the players) wanted to do last year anyway.

"In the NFL, you're going against the best of the best. When you're man-on-man every single snap, you can get beat. It's one of those things where, if you've got five guys going man-on-man, they're more likely to get beat."

The Seahawks have been restricted in their mini-camps by what they can accomplish because left tackle Walter Jones and center Chris Spencer have been out the entire offseason recovering from surgeries, and Sims missed part of two OTAs to recover from knee surgery.

In their absence, right tackle Sean Locklear - signed to a lengthy contract in the offseason - slid to left tackle, veteran Chris Gray played center and third-year guard-tackle Ray Willis stepped in for Locklear on the right side.

Sims, moved from left to right when the team acquired Mike Wahle, was able to come back part of the final mini-camp and get in some work, which was important since Sims was the player who was targeted by Mike Holmgren last season as being responsible for the blocking breakdowns.

Initially, I thought they might not have that much trust in me," Sims said. "But I stuck in there, I grew up a lot and I think I showed them that I can play for a long time. I'm glad they're starting to trust me a lot more."

The Seahawks' line has been a problem since the loss of elite left guard Steve Hutchinson to the Vikings after the 2005 season, and the retirement of veteran center Robbie Tobeck in January of 2007. Formerly one of the team's strengths, the line must now be brought back up to league average or above if the team is to do any damage in the postseason.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Defensive tackle Rocky Bernard's domestic violence case will be dismissed if he complies with a judge's stipulations for a two-year period. Among the stipulations is Bernard must have no contact with the alleged victim, the ex-girlfriend of Bernard who claimed he punched her in the forehead with a closed fist.

--Middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu entered a not guilty plea to his charge of DUI. Though Tatupu issued a public apology after his arrest, his attorney said the plea allows Tatupu to keep his options open while the attorney and the prosecutor try to come to some sort of "positive resolution."

--Punter Ryan Plackemeier could miss part of training camp after he tore his pectoral muscle while lifting weights, requiring surgery. Most of his teammates were wondering why Plackemeier was lifting weights to begin with. Reggie Hodges is the only other punter currently on the roster.

--After the final day of the team's last mini-camp, coach Mike Holmgren told his players to step away from football for a while. "They've been going at it hard for a long time and I want them feeling fresh and emotionally to come in and get ready to have a great year," Holmgren said. Holmgren said he was going to his home in Santa Cruz, Calif. to sit on the beach, read and ride his Harley.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think we have a good football team. The last couple years we've come a couple plays, I think, short of perhaps going to the championship game which is good, but our goals are high. I believe we have the talent to do it." -- Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren on his expectations for the upcoming season.



Related Stories
Game Preview: Seahawks at Bills
 -by NorthwestFootball.net  Sep 5, 2008
Wahle Agrees to Terms With Seahawks
 -by NorthwestFootball.net  Feb 14, 2008
Seahawks Bitten by Injury Bug
 -by NorthwestFootball.net  Aug 4, 2008

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