Sunday, March 23, 2008

John Carlson Video

There seems to be some debate on the worthiness of John Carlson as a tight end for the Seahawks. NFL.COM has a video right here, in which Carlson explains his poor performance at the combine and what teams can expect from him at the next level.

Obviously a lot of us disagree, but let me explain my theory on why Carlson would fit better than say a Dustin Keller. In the WCO, the ideal tight end falls somewhere in between Carlson and Keller. A Hybrid of the two if you will. Let me explain. To continue....

Obviously in running plays the TE is on the line and expected to block either an end or linebacker. Keller will struggle with this because he is only 240 lbs. However, one of the most popular formations in Holmgren's WCO is Zebra. This is 3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE. In this formation, the TE is also lined up next to a tackle. Often the tight end is used to "stretch the seam" as it is called, which is essentially running up the middle of the field. In a Tampa two scheme this takes the MLB with him clearing up the middle for crossing receivers. In other defenses, often the safeties are responsible. By occupying them in the middle of the field it opens up the outside routes. If the safeties help outside often the TE can be hit for a big play. Think of the play right after the safety in the Dallas playoff game, where Hass hits Stevens for an 50 some yrd TD to put the Hawks ahead.

Keller will be far better at this aspect because he is faster and more atheletic. A glorified WR if you will. However, in order to be able to do this successfully, he has to get through the scrum at the line of scrimmage. This is why a hybrid of the two would be perfect. However, because of Carlson's size, while a few seconds slower, he often would get to the safeties equally as quick. Thus partially negating the speed difference. He is also clearly better as a blocker than Keller.

This also probably means, in my opinion, that the best TE for the Hawks, is USC's Fred Davis. However, if the team can't trade back, it is going to be a bit of reach to take him at 25. It doesn't appear he will make it to 55. So it is almost a pick your poison type of situation with the TE's.