NFL Nation: Draft Watch 2011 schemes themes

Draft Watch: AFC South

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:01
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: Schemes and themes.

Houston Texans

The Texans have the biggest schematic change in the division as they become a 3-4 defense under new coordinator Wade Phillips. They are talking like they are fine at defensive tackle with Shaun Cody and Earl Mitchell, but no matter the spin they could definitely use an upgrade there. Still, they are better off at that spot than outside linebacker, where there aren’t bodies. The Texans need a couple of guys who are athletic and durable enough to rush the passer effectively. Connor Barwin is recovering from injury and being converted from defensive end. If they don’t get a good rush from the guys who wind up in those slots, Mario Williams will work yet again with insufficient help.

Indianapolis Colts

Athleticism trumps all at a lot of spots for the Colts. So whenever they address the offensive line, don’t look for a lumbering, mauler type. Those players will come in as better pass-protectors than run-blockers. Although Indianapolis would be wise to try to add some size, it’ll have to come in the form of linemen who move well. The same holds true for defensive tackle, a spot where they can upgrade and take some pressure off other areas. A strong safety who can thump will also have to be smart to be of aid in the back end and it would be a huge bonus if he can also run well. With Reggie Wayne beginning to get up there, there may be a premium on a threatening receiver who understands the sorts of precise and reliable routes Peyton Manning needs.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Jack Del Rio is talking about simplifying the defense, which needs a rush end to complete the line, a couple of playmaking linebackers and help at safety. I think the Jaguars have enough flexibility that they can tailor what they do to the talents of the guys they find for those spots. It’s a bad year for safeties in the draft, and indications are the team will draft one and find a veteran. As a well-rounded rookie may be tough to find, the Jaguars need one who’s especially good as a pass defender or a run stuffer and then work around that talent. A reliable deep threat who can alter coverage would allow offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to open things up, which would be smart evolution.

Tennessee Titans

New coach Mike Munchak concedes the Titans won’t be able to change much schematically given the labor impasse and considering the strengths of the best players the team already has. That gives the Titans a certain freedom to simply draft good players at spots where the team should replenish or upgrade. There will be some subtle changes -- like a move to play the defensive ends over the tight end or tackle instead of super wide. That calls for more rugged players at the spot who can be more effective bottling up the run, so we may see a guy who fits that bill brought in to join Derrick Morgan and William Hayes.

Draft Watch: NFC North

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:00
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Chicago Bears

As they look for offensive linemen, particularly tackles and even tight ends, the Bears need to make sure those players are quick enough to handle most one-one-one situations that come their way. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz's scheme emphasizes the number of players in pass routes and relatively rarely gives offensive linemen help against the pass rush. Running backs need to have receiving ability, and wide receivers need to have precise route-running skills. Defensively, the Bears' "Tampa-2" scheme puts a premium on active interior linemen who might be on the small side but can use quickness and technique to overpower opponents. Cornerbacks on the bigger side are also sought after so they can be physical with receivers of the line.

Detroit Lions

The Lions are continuing to transition from a former emphasis on smaller defensive players to ones with size. Their starting defensive tackles, for example, now weight 320 (Corey Williams) and 307 pounds (Ndamukong Suh), respectively. Backup Sammie Lee Hill is listed at 329 pounds. That philosophy will no doubt guide their search for outside linebackers and perhaps cornerbacks as well. Lions coach Jim Schwartz likes linebackers who can play multiple positions. Offensively, the Lions run a multiple scheme that puts an emphasis on pass-catching tight ends and multi-purpose running backs.

Green Bay Packers

As a 3-4 team, the Packers have to take special care that their outside linebackers are big enough to play on the line of scrimmage and their defensive ends are stout enough to play inside the tackle. For a 3-4 linebacker, pass rush takes precedent over coverage skills. Many 3-4 NFL linebackers played defensive end in a 4-3 at some point during their college careers. Offensively, the Packers like to zone block, and they look for offensive linemen who can play multiple positions and flip between both sides of the line. If you have trouble catching the ball, you're not going to get on the field much at any skill position -- including tight end and fullback -- in Packers coach Mike McCarthy's system.

Minnesota Vikings

New Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave won't finalize their offensive scheme until they find out who their quarterback will be this season and moving forward. Musgrave plans to incorporate aspects of the team's West Coast scheme, but the Vikings won't be shopping for any particular body type or skill set. Vice president of player personnel Rick Spielman has hit big on a number of attempts to draft playmakers in recent years, from running back Adrian Peterson to receiver Sidney Rice to receiver Percy Harvin. Defensively, the Vikings will be looking for safeties who can cover the deep half of the field and for interior linemen who can stuff the run.

Draft Watch: NFC East

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:00
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Dallas Cowboys

Although Jerry Jones has been reluctant to use early draft picks on offensive linemen over the past six drafts, the Cowboys have a huge hole at right tackle. The interior of this line also could use an influx of young talent. Dallas loves big, mauling, heavy offensive linemen for its scheme. There isn’t a pure prototypical right tackle, per se, who matches up with Dallas’ formula for offensive linemen given where it selects in Round 1, but I contend that USC’s Tyron Smith might be too good to pass up.

Smith doesn’t fit the typical Dallas mold for linemen, but he has put on a lot of weight during the draft process and his upside is off the charts. The Cowboys obviously have a plethora of talent in the passing game, so adding a high-end athlete -- even for the right side -- would be hard to argue with. But if Dallas passes on the offensive line in the first frame, TCU’s Marcus Cannon, Miami’s Orlando Franklin, Florida’s Marcus Gilbert or Baylor’s Danny Watkins all could fit the mold as potential starting right tackles.

New York Giants

Like Dallas, the Giants have not been using their high draft picks on offensive linemen. Their team is traditionally built in the trenches, and it might be time to go back to that way of thinking on the offensive side of the ball. After a rash of injuries last season and a lot of shuffling, New York’s line now has a lot of options and a lot of pieces that can be fit in different spots among the five starting positions. But left tackle isn’t like any other position up front in that typical left tackles have long, athletic builds and are very light on their feet. These types of players usually do not transition well to right tackle or the inside from a power perspective. But a left tackle is the one puzzle piece that is now missing with the Giants’ line and could be their first-round pick.

Although they need to get stronger, Boston College’s Anthony Castonzo, Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod and Colorado’s Nate Solder leap out at me as players who should fit this mold on the left side. Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi is more “right tackleish” than Castonzo or Solder. He plays stronger and is more NFL-ready, but his tough-guy mentality would fit right in. Also, although he is not a left tackle prospect, Florida’s Mike Pouncey is New York’s type of lineman. He could be difficult to pass on. It seems like a safe bet that New York will have several options to address this need when it gets on the clock.

Philadelphia Eagles

Like the Giants and Cowboys, the Eagles like rugged offensive linemen. It is a rugged division. But their situation is a little different in that their most pressing need up front is at right tackle, which is quarterback Michael Vick’s blind side. Overall, I think that aspect of left-handed quarterbacks is slightly overblown because the right tackle generally faces lesser pass-rushers than the left tackle. But there is no question that the Eagles are a predominantly passing team. So in this case, finding a right tackle with exceptional pass-blocking skills is a must.

The interior of Philadelphia’s line could use some attention as well, but few superior edge pass protectors are also suited for duty at guard or center. The Eagles might have to add two players to truly fortify their offensive line. The Eagles also have not used many early draft picks lately to select offensive line help. But they did use picks to trade for Jason Peters.

Washington Redskins

Last year the Redskins made the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme. For an odd front to be run properly, an impactful nose tackle is simply a must. After putting far too much faith in the battered Maake Kemoeatu, Washington simply did not have that type of nose tackle. Needless to say, the position is now a problem area, and it could be argued that nose tackle is the very top need on this still-transitioning defense.

But where the Redskins pick in the draft, there isn’t a good fit in terms of value for nose tackles. They could perhaps trade down and select Baylor’s Phil Taylor, who has excellent movement skills for such a massive nose tackle body type. Or maybe the Redskins move up a few spots from where they sit in Round 2 to nab Washington’s Stephen Paea, who is more of a penetrator inside but is very strong. Ole Miss’ Jerrell Powe could be an option a bit later in the draft. But overall, this draft doesn’t match up well with the Redskins’ need at nose tackle. Going the free-agent route might make more sense as a short-term fix.

Draft Watch: AFC North

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:00
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Baltimore Ravens

Two of Baltimore's needs involve players to fit a certain scheme. Defensively, the Ravens are searching for a versatile pass-rusher who can complement Pro Bowler Terrell Suggs and play in both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. Baltimore is one of the few teams that play a varying scheme. Suggs is the prototype, because he can put his hand in the dirt as a defensive end as well as stand up and rush the passer or drop into coverage. The Ravens have reportedly shown interest in several pass-rushers, including Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan and Georgia’s Justin Houston.

Offensively, the Ravens need a speedy deep threat at receiver to plug into offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's vertical passing game. Baltimore wants to run an attacking-style offense that puts more pressure on the defense. But the team struggled to stretch the field with mostly possession receivers last season. If the Ravens can find a burner who can make the same impact Mike Wallace did for the Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago, it could take Baltimore's offense to the next level. One option could be Maryland receiver Torrey Smith.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are one of two Ohio teams switching to a West Coast offense this season, and that will impact their draft strategy.

For starters, Cincinnati has to draft a quarterback to fit the system, which is based on timing and accuracy. Franchise quarterback Carson Palmer wants out and threatened to retire. In his mind, he's not coming back and the Bengals have to plan accordingly. Cincinnati has been linked to Auburn's Cam Newton the most. But don’t rule out Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett or other top quarterback prospects.

Depending on the future of veteran Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati may also be in the market for a receiver. All indications are that the Bengals want to go younger at the position, which would make Ochocinco, 33, trade bait this offseason. Georgia receiver A.J. Green could be a possibility for Cincinnati at No. 4 overall.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns are in a similar situation to Cincinnati. A new West Coast offense under rookie head coach Pat Shurmur will emphasize the passing game, and Cleveland has lots of questions at receiver.

It's hard to envision Cleveland throwing the ball at least 55 percent of the time to its current group of receivers. Brian Robiskie, Mohamed Massaquoi and Chansi Stuckey struggled to get open consistently and make plays last season for rookie quarterback Colt McCoy.

Green could be that impact receiver for the Browns. But they have bigger needs, such as defensive line. The Browns are also switching to a 4-3 defense and are short on defensive ends and tackles. Filling one of those positions would make the most sense with the No. 6 overall pick. Teams like the Steelers (Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders) have proved that quality receivers can be found after the first round.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh's biggest need is at cornerback. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau specializes in getting pressure from his front seven. So the players in the secondary need to be physical and sure tacklers. One possibility could be Texas cornerback Aaron Williams, who fits that description.

Also, the Steelers are always in the market for 3-4 defensive linemen and linebackers, even when it's not a huge need. So don't be surprised if Pittsburgh adds more players to its front seven to stockpile for a couple of years and learn the system.

Offensively, the Steelers need help at tackle and guard. Many in Steeler Nation would love to see Florida's Mike Pouncey join his twin brother, Maurkice. But that's probably not going to happen unless the Steelers move up from the No. 31 overall pick.

Draft Watch: NFC South

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:00
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Atlanta Falcons

It took general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith the better part of their first three offseasons to get the personnel they wanted to fit their offense and defense. In last year’s 13-3 season, it became obvious the Falcons are very well designed for their schemes. But the next step is to get this team deep into the postseason, and some more parts could come in this draft.

The buzz words coming out of Smith and Dimitroff are “explosiveness’’ and guys who “play with a sense of urgency." In other words, the Falcons have the all the basics and now they need to add some dynamics. They’re looking for guys who can step up, make big plays and change games. That means they’ll be looking for a strong pass-rusher, a little more speed at outside linebacker, a deep threat at wide receiver and a speedy running back to combine with the powerful Michael Turner.

Carolina Panthers

It’s coach Ron Rivera’s first draft, and you would think that last year’s 2-14 record would be a sign the Panthers simply need to add talent everywhere. But that’s not really the case. The talent on defense isn’t bad, and the scheme isn’t going to be all that different from what former coach John Fox ran.

Even on an offense that was dismal last year, there aren’t widespread needs. The thing that really has held this team back the last couple of years has been horrible quarterback play. Rivera and general manager Marty Hurney have come to realize a franchise quarterback is the one thing that separates this team from the rest of the NFC South. But is Hurney, who teamed with Fox in a confederacy of conservatism the last nine seasons, ready to step outside the box? All indications are that Hurney is seriously considering taking the plunge and drafting either Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert with the first overall pick.

New Orleans Saints

There was a really fine line between the 2009 Super Bowl team and the one that went 11-5 and lost in the first round of the playoffs last year. There hasn’t been a lot of roster turnover, and last year made it pretty obvious what the Saints need to cross back over that line.

Coach Sean Payton has been pretty blunt about improving the pass rush, and that could come with a defensive end or an outside linebacker -- or both -- early in the draft. Gregg Williams’ defense relies on creating turnovers, and the Saints have to create more pressure for the system to really work. Even with the re-signing of Pierre Thomas and the expected return of Reggie Bush, a lack of consistency in the running game last season means it’s very possible the Saints will look for another running back. Remember, Payton is an offensive coach and the rest of his offense is in pretty good shape.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It would be easy to point to the pass rush and say all the Buccaneers have to do is take a defensive end at No. 20 and this team automatically will be in the playoffs next season. The Bucs went 10-6 with virtually no pass rush last season, and defensive end is a glaring need.

But it’s not the only need, and the Bucs need to realize that they might have overachieved with the league’s youngest team last season. Some young players may have played way over their heads last season, and the Bucs need to continue to upgrade their overall talent level. The offense clicked last year because Josh Freeman carried it. But the defense hasn’t really hit the level coach Raheem Morris wants just yet. Besides help at defensive end, the Bucs could use more speed and athleticism at linebacker. This is a defense that needs to be much better in the front seven.

Draft Watch: AFC West

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:00
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Denver Broncos

Expect the Broncos to spend much of the draft addressing its defense. Denver was last in the NFL in total defense and points allowed in 2010. New head coach John Fox was selected to be the Broncos’ coach partly because of his experience in turning around defenses.

The first order of business for Fox and new defensive coordinator Dennis Allen was to change the defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front. The Broncos ran a 3-4 defense the past two years. So, Denver will likely concentrate on its draft for traditional 4-3 defensive linemen at both end and tackle. It will also likely look for traditional 4-3 linebackers, likely middle and strongside linebackers.

Offensively, Fox believes in a power attack that’s based on running the ball and controlling the clock. Expect Denver to look at big running backs and more help on the offensive line. A blocking tight end could also be part of the mix to replace the aging Daniel Graham, who was released earlier in the offseason.

Kansas City Chiefs

This is the third year of the Scott Pioli draft plan. Defensively, the Chiefs look for 3-4 front-seven players.

This is a good year for a 3-4 team in the draft. The Chiefs will likely look for pass-rushers and big defensive tackles early in the draft. It is an excellent draft for pass-rushers (both at defensive end and at linebacker) and stout defensive tackles.

The Chiefs believe bright, athletic players will flourish in Romeo Crennel’s defense. Last year’s draft was a good indication of that approach. The Chiefs had success by playing rookies on a defense that helped key an unexpected AFC West title. Offensively, the Chiefs will likely look for a backup for quarterback Matt Cassel. Coach Todd Haley is a quarterback specialist. He likes intelligent, tough quarterbacks. The Chiefs are working out quarterbacks this spring. The quarterback they are looking at, including TCU’s Andy Dalton, fit that mold.

Oakland Raiders

Now that Hue Jackson has been promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach, expect him to use the offense he fully wants. That will start on the offensive line.

Gone is former head coach Tom Cable, who was a proponent of the zone-blocking scheme. Jackson is a believer in the power-blocking scheme. Jackson said at the NFL combine in February that he wants to incorporate the power-scheme more into the offense.

The offensive line is one of Oakland’s greatest needs. Oakland will be looking at bigger, stronger offensive lineman. The zone-blocking scheme utilizes smaller, faster more athletic lineman. Jackson wants 300-pound tough guys.

Also, of course, expect the Raiders to look for speed. The Raiders value speed as much as any team in the NFL. They recently drafted the fastest man at the combine in the form of cornerback Stanford Routt and receiver Jacoby Ford. With cornerback a potential draft need, expect the Raiders to scour 40 times as part of their draft evaluation process.

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers’ defensive needs are based on their 3-4 system. That will come into play this year. The Chargers will look for pass-rushers at defensive end and at linebacker. The team will also look for 3-4 inside linebackers.

Drafting athletic players who can help right away on the special teams has been an emphasis for general manager A.J. Smith’s teams. Because of an exodus of talent and injuries, San Diego had perhaps the worst special teams in the NFL last season. Expect the Chargers to look at linebackers and defensive backs who have a chance to start down the line, but who can help on special teams immediately.

Expect San Diego to try to add to its stable of tall, fast receivers. That’s the basis of Norv Turner’s passing game. The Chargers don’t add many little guys to this crew.

Draft Watch: AFC East

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:00
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills went through a defensive overhaul last year under new head coach Chan Gailey and coordinator George Edwards. They morphed from Dick Jauron's 4-3 Tampa 2 scheme to a traditional 3-4 set. The Bills drafted accordingly, but as the season wore on and they failed to stop the run -- they ranked dead last in the league in rushing yards allowed per carry and per game -- they sunk back into a 4-3 mindset and frequently added another defender to the line. They've also hired Dave Wannstedt as assistant head coach and linebackers assistant. Wannstedt is a 4-3 devotee. All of this adds up to the Bills being interested in the best available defenders they can find, regardless of whether or not they fit into a preconceived scheme.

Miami Dolphins

Rightly or wrongly, the Dolphins' offensive identity the past three seasons has been the Wildcat. Those days would appear to be over. Offensive coordinator Dan Henning and quarterbacks coach David Lee (the man who introduced the Wildcat) are gone. Wildcat trigger man Ronnie Brown and speed-motion back Ricky Williams don't have contracts, and both could be on other teams. The one player the Dolphins drafted specifically to enhance the Wildcat, quarterback Pat White, was released after one season. Miami's new offensive identity has yet to be determined under new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Nobody can say for sure what he'll be looking for, but the run game must be strengthened. Head coach Tony Sparano said this week the Dolphins will remain a power rushing team. Brown and/or Williams will need to be replaced, and reliable interior linemen must be found.

New England Patriots

The Patriots are the NFL's most flexible club entering the draft. They own two picks in each of the first three rounds and in three of the top 33 slots. Bill Belichick can go any direction he chooses and certainly will have his staff working the phones for trade possibilities. The Patriots have a rich history of trading back to accumulate more picks, but they might be more open to trading up this year. They have decent youth on the roster, so when you consider the possibility of adding six more players drafted no later than the third round -- plus their picks in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds -- you have to wonder if there will be room for them all on the 53-man roster. The glut of picks also allows the Patriots to select the best available player and not fret about specific needs with any given pick.

New York Jets

The Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game again and will draft 30th. Head coach Rex Ryan has playfully groused about the late position and the fact the Jets will have to rummage for the best player still on the board. The Jets drafted cornerback Kyle Wilson 29th last year and immediately named him the team's starting nickelback and punt returner. That didn't work out. Wilson started six games, made 19 tackles, defensed five passes and returned 15 punts. While that negative experience could entice the Jets to return to their usual ways and move up in the draft for a prospect they truly covet -- as they did with cornerback Darrelle Revis, linebacker David Harris and quarterback Mark Sanchez -- an inability to trade players until there's a new collective bargaining agreement might make that difficult.

Draft Watch: NFC West

March, 24, 2011
3/24/11
12:00
PM ET
NFC Draft Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Each Thursday leading up to the NFL draft (April 28-30), the ESPN.com NFL blog network will take a division-by-division look at key aspects of the draft. Today's topic: schemes and themes.

Arizona Cardinals

Theme: Amping up the pass rush. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton has already guaranteed that the Cardinals will blitz on their first play under his watch. Why would Horton say such a thing? He's looking to establish an aggressive, blitzing mindset similar to what the Pittsburgh Steelers have established under his mentor, Dick LeBeau. To do that, the Cardinals will need to upgrade their pass rush by targeting at least one outside linebacker in the draft -- perhaps even with the fifth overall choice. Von Miller from Texas A&M comes to mind as one option. The team also expects more from youngsters O'Brien Schofield and Will Davis, coach Ken Whisenhunt said from the NFL owners meeting. To ease the transition, Horton will adapt much of the terminology used under former coordinator Bill Davis. Both favor 3-4 schemes.

St. Louis Rams

Scheme: Away from the West Coast offense. Josh McDaniels' hiring as offensive coordinator signals a significant scheme change even though the team has held over most offensive assistants from last season. McDaniels traces his roots to New England. The Rams will be looking to upgrade at wide receiver, where injuries diminished a group that had question marks already. McDaniels' teams have drafted bigger receivers over the years. The diminutive Deion Branch stands out as an exception to the rule. Otherwise, McDaniels' New England and Denver teams have targeted receivers in the draft averaging taller than 6-foot-1. His Broncos drafted three receivers in his two years there. All three were at least 6 feet tall. Two weighed at least 220 pounds. Alabama's Julio Jones, a candidate for the Rams at No. 14 overall, fits the profile at 6-2 and 220.

San Francisco 49ers

Scheme: New coordinators proliferate. Jim Harbaugh turned over both coordinator positions, but the 49ers could still be looking for similar types of players. They are sticking with a 3-4 defense, so that helps. Trent Baalke ran the draft last year and will do so again as general manager this offseason. Even though Harbaugh has emphasized the switch to a West Coast scheme on offense, he wants to play an extremely physical brand of football, just like predecessor Mike Singletary. He wants tight ends and fullbacks to be the face of the offense. At quarterback, Harbaugh believes he can make imperfect quarterbacks play winning football. His former coach at Indianapolis, Lindy Infante, made a career of this. As a result, there's no directive to find a quarterback in the first round, even though the position is obviously one of great need.

Seattle Seahawks

Scheme: New offensive coordinator in place. Darrell Bevell's hiring away from the Minnesota Vikings indicated, on the surface, that the Seahawks might not value mobility as much from their quarterbacks. Coach Pete Carroll said otherwise over breakfast during the recent NFL owners meeting. He said Bevell and new assistant head coach/offensive line Tom Cable "totally believe in the moving of the quarterback as a complement to the running game and play-action passing game." That was likewise a point of emphasis under previous coordinator Jeremy Bates. Cable's hiring means the Seahawks will target bigger interior offensive linemen in the draft, a departure from how former offensive line coach Alex Gibbs approached the position. That brings the coaching and personnel mindsets into better alignment.

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