Seahawks' Knapp outlines philosophy

February, 3, 2009
2/03/09
6:09
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

RENTON, Wash. -- Greg Knapp, the Seahawks' new offensive coordinator, spent about 45 minutes explaining his background and philosophy in a session ending a few minutes ago.

Let's go right to the highlights:

  • As Matt Hasselbeck indicated during a recent conversation, Knapp's philosophy is to simplify terminology and concepts to help players learn them in less time;
  • Knapp expects to install more zone blocking concepts while maintaining enough man concepts to keep defenses guessing;
  • Knapp thinks zone schemes result in more decisive running and fewer running plays that lose yardage; he suspects few teams favor primarily zone-oriented schemes because most coaching trees are pass-oriented; that means the league features fewer coaches with strong zone backgrounds;
  • Knapp strongly prefers having multiple running backs share the load because he thinks the game has become too demanding for one player to carry the ball all the time; we might keep that in mind when figuring out how early the Seahawks might consider drafting a running back;
  • Knapp traces his philosophical roots to Mike Shanahan, Alex Gibbs and even Lane Kiffin; I'll outline what he took from each:
    • Shanahan: the play-action and keeper-action games;
    • Gibbs: zone blocking concept
    • Kiffin: simplified ways to teach motions and formations to receivers and backs in the passing game;
  • Knapp described his approach as high-energy and interactive, with some sarcasm mixed in to keep players thinking; he favors an even-keeled approach from game to game because the season is too long for wild emotional swings;
  • Knapp guaranteed offensive balance based on what he has seen from the Seahawks' personnel; he was not yet sure which personnel groups he might favor.
The Seahawks developed a highly advanced offensive language during 10 seasons under Mike Holmgren. Sometimes players needed years to become fully assimilated. Knapp is going to pare back the terminology in an effort to help players produce more quickly. Some of the veteran players will have to adjust.

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