One of the most intriguing aspects of Sunday’s game is how the Seahawks will handle the Eagles’ pace of play.
Here’s one measure of how quickly Philly gets off snaps, from FootballOutsiders.com, showing that the Eagles run a play every 21.99 seconds, almost four-and-a-half seconds faster than anyone else in the NFL.
The Seahawks, though, say they are well-equipped to deal with it for a couple of different reasons.
One is that the Seattle defense, at its core and at its best, is fairly basic. Seattle coaches and players do not take it as a criticism when people say that what they do is fairly simple, In fact, they sort of revel in it and the idea that opponents might now what they do but can’t beat it.
What Seattle players also say is simple are their defensive calls.
“We are fast, just like those guys,” said Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright. “And I believe our calls are really simple. We use one word for most of of our calls and we go from there. So the communication is good. We don’t have to do a lot of talking to be on the same page.”
That will be big Sunday against the Eagles, who feast on having their up-tempo offense cause confusion and misalignment in the opposing defense (even at the pro level, players simply being in the right spot at the snap can be a big deal).
Wright said that Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn told the team earlier this week that the calls will come in even more quickly.
“He told us he is going to get the calls in fast so we can just play and not have to worry about anything,” Wright said. “So we will come out here no-huddle in practice so we can be ready for the game.”
The job of making adjustments on calls on the field falls largely onto middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, who professed confidence this week that it won’t be an issue.
“We communicate well,” Wagner said. “We are always talking well and we practice against it (no-huddle) all season so it’s not a big deal. Just got to go out there and make your calls a little faster than you normally do. But I don’t think it’s that much.
“They go the no-huddle the first 15 plays and then after that it’s first down, second down no-budde. But if you are stopping them and making the plays you are supposed to make they are going to have to slow down plays to get the plays in they want to get int to get the first downs.”
Wagner noted that communication for a defense is actually easier on the road, with home crowds getting loud only when the other team has the ball.
“When we play (at home) I can’t hear nothing,” Wagner said. “But when we lay on the road I can communicate every single thing. So I think it’s easier for me to communicate on the road than at home.”
The quick pace of the Eagles’ offense also often means opposing defenses can’t sub as much and have to go more often with base sets.
But the Seahawks say that is fine, too.
“We’ve got talent across the board,” Wagner said. “Teams try to look for matchups against us and they are not going to find many, or any if that, because we have talent across the board.”