The Seahawks were mostly just taking what the Dolphins were giving them in throwing as much as they did early in Sunday's game, said offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.
It was hard not to want to make a lot of the way the Seahawks came out passing in Sunday’s 12-10 win against Miami.
Seattle’s first five offensive plays were all passes, and seven of eight overall.
And it wasn’t until the ninth play that the Seahawks handed the ball to a tailback — Christine Michael.
Given the way the Seahawks ended last weekend, it was tempting to wonder if that start — and the fact that the Seahawks ended the game with a 43-32 pass-to-run ratio — didn’t indicate a further shift to a team more willing than ever to air it out.
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But to hear offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell tell it, it was nothing more than the Seahawks taking what Miami was giving.
Every play comes with a run-pass option, and Bevell said that the way the Dolphins were playing their coverage — giving a lot of space on the outside — compelled Russell Wilson to want to check into passes.
“(The way) they were lining up was giving us those throws,” Bevell said. “The throws that you get, you’re getting six to 10 or six to eight yards. You’re hoping runs average four to four and a half. If we take and we’re getting that, then we’ll continue to take.”
It was a similar play with a run-pass option that ended up winning the game for Seattle — the 2-yard TD from Wilson to Doug Baldwin with 31 seconds left.
The original play was a run, Wilson apparently getting ready to hand it off to Michael up the middle. But when Wilson saw the Dolphins covering Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse in tight man coverage with no safety help, he switched the play to a pass.
Bevell said he could see the play unfolding from the sidelines.
“I hope we taught him right,” he said of his initial reaction as the snap neared. “We do a lot of things, and in that last drive, it was a two-minute drive, there’s no-huddle calls. So there’s a tool box of calls that Russell can go to and in that situation there at the end, that was one of the calls that he had the green light to go to. Then he added one more thing on it, but it wasn’t something that was new. It was something that we do all the time, so to be able to put that on there, I think it’s great. Both from Russell and from the veteran guys, that they have enough of a role to understand the situation, understand when they can, when they can’t, and it was a really nice move.”
The play involved three players who have all been with Seattle now since at least 2012 — Wilson, Baldwin and Kearse — and took advantage of their experience in the league and working with each other.
“I don’t think four years ago he (Wilson) would have done that,” Bevell said. “I don’t think four years ago we would have had the reigns loose enough where he could do that, just trying to bring him along. Now, there’s really so much stuff that he does and can do that obviously helps us to be so much more successful and be able to take advantage of opportunities as we get them.”
Also a key was that the communication was so subtle that it appears not to have tipped off the Dolphins. It also didn’t alert the offensive linemen or Michael, who as can be seen on the replay all carried out the running play before Wilson pulled the ball and threw to Baldwin.
“Did you see it? It must have been pretty subtle then,” Bevell said. “No, I mean sometimes in football it’s that great rapport that players have and that’s something that they can only gain out here on the practice field and the thousands of reps that they can work together. Sometimes, it’s just a look, sometimes it’s a wink, sometimes it’s a nod, so many things. Just being able to be on the same page. Sometimes it’s signals and all those things. We’re not trying to broadcast to the whole world. You want them to be subtle enough where just our guys know what we’re doing.”