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Monday Round-Up: Seahawks' Pete Carroll, Kris Richard Among NFL's Most Creative Defensive Playcallers

A daily link round-up of what's "out there" about the Seattle Seahawks.


Good morning, 12s.

Here's a look at what's "out there" for today - Monday, May 23 - about your Seattle Seahawks:

Carroll, Richard Among "Most Creative" Playcallers

Last week, former NFL safety turned football analyst Matt Bowen named five of the most creative offensive playcallers in the NFL today and the Seahawks' Darrell Bevell was one of the ESPN Insider's picks for his unique use of quarterback Russell Wilson.

Now, Bowen is highlighting the defensive side of the football (Insider), and the duo of head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Kris Richard cap his list of coaches "who get the most out of their personnel using disguise, coverage and pressure" to produce results.

Here's what Bowen had to say about Carroll and Richard, who have been responsible for helping lead a unit that's ranked No. 1 in scoring defense each of the past four years:

The creativity in Seattle doesn't come from exotic fronts or coverage schemes. Instead, it comes from a roster formation that allows the Seahawks to maximize every position on the defensive side of the ball with a few minor adjustments to their standard Cover 3 scheme. And they shut opposing offenses down doing it.

That sounds basic, right? Sure it does. Cover 3? High school stuff. But it works with the Seahawks because they have targeted defenders with skill sets that fit perfectly into their defensive philosophy. Just look at Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett up front, Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright at linebacker, or the length, speed and physicality of Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas in the secondary. And the adjustments Richard and Carroll make to this base scheme cater to those players while allowing them to play at a lightning pace.

The Seahawks press their cornerbacks in Cover 3 (almost like a matchup man scheme), they play "3 Mable" to take away the inside seam versus 3x1 sets (carry No. 3 vertical) and they lean on "3 Buzz" (safety drops into the hook zone) to put Chancellor and Thomas in productive positions. Small adjustments, for sure. But with this collection of talent, the Seahawks can dictate the flow of the game.


The point here? Richard and Carroll use a basic scheme to get results. It's more about the technique, discipline and fundamentals on defense with the correct personnel. In my opinion, there is a sense of creativity in that. It's similar to what we saw in the mid-2000s with Lovie Smith's Bears (Cover 2). You don't have to be a mad scientist on defense to attack. Find players that fit. Believe in your scheme. And play fast.

Tweet Of The Day

Today's "Tweet of the Day" comes from Seahawks fields and grounds manager Sergio Pedroza, who on Sunday shared a photo of the freshly-painted fields at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center. The team begins the first of nine Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Monday.

More From Around The Web

Here at, digital media reporter John Boyle recaps a Seattle Town Hall talk on grit with head coach Pete Carroll and psychologist Angela Duckworth.

Bob Condotta at the Seattle Times shares five things to watch as the Seahawks begin OTAs this week.

Gregg Bell at the Tacoma News Tribune writes about what goes into the role Maurice Kelly holds with the Seahawks as the team's vice president of player engagement.

And Sheil Kapadia at catches up with Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who at an event for his foundation said he's feeling "defensive MVP-ish" with the way he's been training this offseason.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll joined psychologist Angela Duckworth at Seattle University on Thursday for a Seattle Town Hall talk about grit, and unlocking the secret to perseverance (Photos courtesy Chuck Kuo/Seattle University).

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