Seahawks tape study: new starting RT J’Marcus Webb

A deep dive into the skills and talents of Seattle Seahawks right tackle J’Marcus Webb.

As the NFL Draft approaches, the Seattle Seahawks have pencilled in J’Marcus Webb as the starter at right tackle. Given his reputation for being a turnstile, that isn’t great news for Seahawks fans or for Russell Wilson.

The question remains: Just how accurate is that reputation? To get to the bottom of things, I dove into the game tape from throughout Webb’s career, though I focussed mostly on recent seasons.

Webb mostly played guard for the Raiders last season, and he wasn’t horrible in that role. He wasn’t good either; these things are obviously relative. For the purpose of this study, I only looked at the games in which he played right tackle.

The film in those games matched up very well to his time in both Chicago and Minnesota. In other words, it wasn’t pretty, but it also wasn’t completely terrible.

Let’s look at some examples:

 

The Bad

Lets get the bad parts over with, and there were a lot of bad plays. What jumps off the tape when watching Webb is a major lack of agility. He is very slow laterally, and it gets him in trouble, especially against speed rushers.

All of his bad plays are a direct result of that problem. When defenders he him going in one direction and then cut back the other way, he really struggles.

Ultimately, this leads to some comically bad plays, like this one where he ends up blocking with his butt.

And this one where to just waves his hands in the direction of the defender.

Keep in mind that all of the plays shown are just from one game. His game tape is littered with plays like these.

 

The Good

It is important to note that not every play from Webb is like the ones shown above. When he’s able to get in position and get his hands on the defender, it is very rare that he loses control.

Here is an example from the running game. When he gets moving forward, rather than laterally, good things happen.

Edit: This play doesn’t seem to show up in some browsers. If it isn’t there, click HERE to view it.

There is also some good plays in pass blocking, especially when he gets himself in position early. Then he is able to absorb the impact, instead of trying to direct the defender wide.

Edit: This play doesn’t seem to show up in some browsers. If it isn’t there, click HERE to view it.

 

It should be noted that the Raiders wisely gave Webb help from either a TE or a RB quite often. They limited the damage as best they could, especially early in the game where all these example plays came from.

Later on, when they were down and needed more offense, they left Webb by himself. The results were mixed, but not entirely bad.

 

Overall Impression

Webb wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected him to be, but that doesn’t mean he’s a good player. He’s slow and heavy footed. He changes direction about as fast as the Titanic, so agile players eat him alive.

The other side of the coin is that when he gets in position and latched on, he has the ability to drive the defender backwards. This is likely why the Seahawks thought he’d be an adequate bridge to a rookie replacement.

Unfortunately, the bad clearly outweighs the good here. On tape, Webb is surprisingly similar to the fat version of James Carpenter. This is a massive downgrade from Okung, and even a small downgrade from 2014 Justin Britt.

If the Seahawks end up needing Webb to log significant snaps all season, then they’re going to be in trouble. They must get a potential starter in the draft. That is the only option at this point.

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