Halfway there: What we learned from the first half of the Seahawks season

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images) /

Hats off to Seahawks OC Shane Waldron as he looks like an offensive mastermind

Sometimes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And Seattle has absolutely incorporated their fair share of concepts from the Shanahan offense both the 49ers and Rams have used to great effect in the last couple of years.

What’s pleasantly surprised me about Waldron, though, is how he’s incorporated the unique strengths of the Seahawks’ offensive personnel into the Shanahan strategy of stretching the field in both directions. Seattle doesn’t have a ton of receiver depth at the moment, certainly not the way the Rams do. They don’t have a fullback with a broad range of skills, like Kyle Juszczyk. And they don’t have a singular threat at tight end that creates mismatches regardless of where he lines up, like George Kittle.

What the Seahawks do have, however, is pretty good depth in the running back room. This group doesn’t end with Rashaad Penny and Ken Walker; Travis Homer and Deejay Dallas both bring unique traits to the offense, as well, and Waldron uses all of them to great effect, sometimes at the same time.

Waldron has also introduced a new wrinkle to the Shanahan offense that the NFL hasn’t seen with much regularity in the last few years — the full-house backfield. Prior to Kyle Shanahan finding his way to running an NFL offense, Ron Rivera and Jim Harbaugh each utilized full house backfields to make the most of their options QBs, Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick, respectively. Waldron has taken that idea a step further, however, and given Geno Smith extra chip blockers, flat routes to throw to with more potential lead blockers, potential read options and backside blockers for those options.

In short, Waldron has taken the Shanahan offense to the next level, adding more complexity and more options to the same concepts that make it so effective. Pete Carroll will need to have a backup plan ready for the offensive coordinator position because Waldron will certainly be getting long, hard looks for potential head coach openings around the league sooner rather than later.