In 2012, the Seahawks added a dynamic player with unique traits and eventually found a way to take advantage of them: Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson lit up the league with the zone read option in the last few weeks of the season.
This year, the Hawks have another new player with stellar abilities, and they already know how to use him.
OK, so Percy Harvin isn’t really new — he was acquired last year — but a hip injury limited him to just a few plays all season so this is really the first time he has been healthy and used to full effect. He showed off his skills impressively in the season-opening 36-16 win over Green Bay.
Now everyone is talking about the Seahawks’ use of the jet sweep — i.e., “The Percy Harvin play.”
If the Seahawks don’t beat the San Diego Chargers on Sunday — perhaps handily — it will be a huge surprise. After all, how many advantages can one team have over another?
Shall we count the ways?
1 — The Seahawks saw the Chargers’ personnel in the preseason, during a 41-14 demolition, and we saw what happened the last time the Hawks played a preseason opponent during the season: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8 in the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks blew out the Broncos in the preseason last year, too, and they used that game to familiarize themselves with the Broncos’ personnel. (The Broncos have to really be looking forward to coming to Seattle next week.)
The Hawks did the same thing with the Chargers this preseason.
Byron Maxwell says he is just “earning my keep” as the cornerback who gets targeted most while playing opposite Richard Sherman.
In the season opener, Sherman was avoided by Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who instead threw it Maxwell’s way all game. He didn’t have too much more success as Maxwell shut down the big plays and ended up with an interception — making Rodgers and the Packers pay for picking on him all game.
But Maxwell is not offended by all of that action. He knows Sherman has proven himself as perhaps the best corner in the game, so it follows that teams will look Maxwell’s way more often.