O-line expert: Cable & Bevell were passive, predictable

Cable and CarrollTom Cable’s offensive line failed because it was passive and predictable and did not use the players’ skills as well as it should have, and the lack of creativity by Cable and Darrell Bevell made it easy for defenses to beat Seattle — according to some great analysis by former Seattle first-round tackle Ray Roberts on 710 ESPN.

Roberts confirmed what we have said for a long time: Cable’s zone scheme has not worked partly because the Seahawks have not incorporated enough pre-snap motion. There has been almost no misdirection to make defenses wonder what is coming.

“There’s no other thing for linebackers or defenders to read,” Roberts said of the running game. “They know exactly where it’s going and they can come right downhill and defend it.”

Kansas City, Minnesota, Atlanta and Houston all have a lot of motion, giving defenses more to digest before the ball is snapped, Roberts said. As we have mentioned, the Texans are a great example of how to run a zone offense. They “created chaos in the backfield” and defenses never knew whether they were going to run it or throw it or run a misdirection play, Roberts said.

The Seahawks rarely did any of that. “There was just no creativity in how they were putting the run game together,” Roberts said.

Roberts also said Cable “wasn’t maximizing” the ability of his linemen. He said Germain Ifedi was made to play passively when he is best-suited to an aggressive approach. He was in “retreating mode” on every pass play and was coached to take the same set in every pass pro, Roberts said; defenses knew where he would set up, which made it easier to beat him.

Cable even had a negative influence on Duane Brown, the star left tackle acquired at the trade deadline, Roberts said. Per the analyst, Brown actually got worse the longer he was with Cable because of a technique that required the linemen to watch two gaps, with an arm extended, as they retreated on pass plays. It left the tackles vulnerable to bull rushes and they had only one arm to block outside speed rushers.

“That technique has jacked up Duane Brown and I think that’s the technique that has really impacted Ifedi’s ability to get to the outside on the edge rusher because you have so much attention to the inside and then you’re trying to stop a dude with one arm. You can’t do that,” Roberts said.

Roberts also said what seemed obvious to most: There seemed to be a disconnect among Bevell, Cable and Russell Wilson in 2017.

“Sometimes the Seahawk offense seemed like it was a buffet line,” Roberts said. “‘Let me put some of this on my plate and see if it works.’”

Obviously, a two-headed coordinator is not a good idea — Pete Carroll was wrong on that from the beginning, way back in 2011.

So, to sum up Roberts’ excellent analysis: The new OC needs to be in complete control of the offense and needs to be much more creative in formations and plays, and the new OL coach needs to let his players be more aggressive as he coaches to their strengths and lets them use their natural skills more.

Now let’s see if that’s what Carroll comes up with in his hires for those positions.


One thought on “O-line expert: Cable & Bevell were passive, predictable”

  1. Roberts was most encouraging when he said that the Hawks already have the talent for an effective offensive line as long as it coach properly. Two seasons ago, he was not saying that.

    Re the two-headed coordinator, it had a successful three-year run (2012-2014) before it unraveled. The unraveling began when Sidney Rice couldn’t stay healthy after 2012 and continued through the decline of Marshawn Lynch and the departure of Russell Okung.

    I don’t know anything about coaching a football team, but I do know the basics of management. In my mind, a head coach has five primary responsibilities: offense, defense, special teams, strength & conditioning, and quality control. The coach will have particular expertise in one area — defense, in Pete Carroll’s case. To me, this means that the offensive coordinator must have the capacity to run an offense, regardless of whether his coaching staff has a supposed guru. Clearly, PC did not regard Darrell Bevell this way, and it should have been a red flag.

    Pete Carroll has boundless confidence that he can make anything work if he wants it that way. This is both a strength and a weakness. Hopefully, he has done some soul-searching and realizes that optimism and will aren’t always enough.


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