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Key Player for Week 2

  • Karma
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As I re-watched and analyzed the Packers game, I started think about how Seattle will approach this game and how Roman might plan to counter. Much has been written about Roman's decision to abandon the read option to take away the Packers' preparation point. If I am scouting that game for Seattle it is clear that I need to shut Boldin down and account for VD deep over the middle. I would also want to emulate the Packers' approach to the running game. The gap discipline necessary to stop the read option made it easier to lock down Gore and Hunter. With that in mind, here is my key player:

Vance McDonald - With only one catch McDonald didn't put his stamp on this game, but he did make an impression on me. Vance is the type of TE we haven't seen here since Eric Johnson. Davis and Walker were speed guys last year. They cleared space in the middle for slant passes to Crabtree or they took Linebackers away from running plays. McDonald can be the "post-up" TE that keeps the chains moving. On his one catch we saw him run his route, find space, and just sit. Davis has never been that great at that and Walker never had the size to be effective in this role. Seattle will most likely shade safety help to Boldin's side and double team Davis as soon as he gets 5 yards past the line of scrimmage. They are also going to leave their LBs in to commit to stopping the run. This is where McDonald can make his impact. He will most likely have a LB one-on-one or be accounted for with a zone scheme. I want to see him released into space and allowed to move around looking for holes. I think this will open up the rest of the field. McDonald has a huge frame, long arms, and moves "efficiently". You don't see him trying to juke or cut. He gets the ball and heads north in one easy motion. This should work well against a defense that will be overly aggressive.

Runner-Up: Kendall Hunter - Gore did a nice job of making the most of runs that looked doomed. He is essential to running and pass protection, but Hunter needs to get more touches in this game. Seattle's front four could be susceptible to a power running game and Hunter provides the best chance to stretch them out and hit some big plays. I want to see a big dose of offset I-formations with Hunter following Miller off-tackle with a pulling guard in front of them. This will give Hunter a few more steps to get up to speed and an option of lanes. We may have to establish the pass first, but it would go a loooong way in controlling the crowd if we smashed the ball down their throat to open the game. The OL did very well in pass protection this week, but Boone and Iupati need to get out and move some bodies.

Who is the key for you? Obviously Kaep, Boldin, and Davis will be vital to success, but who else do you see stepping up or what types of plays do you want to see?
I think Seattle is gonna blitz heavy, so I'd like to see some screens to Gore/Hunter. I'd also like to see the read option flea flicker
When I first saw the thread title I thought other than Kap it would be Vance and VD. Also I agree with the screen game assertion. We haven't done this much so it isn't on film. Now is the perfect time. Also I would love to see one to QP like we saw in preseason
Anyone who can come up with a play early that's big enough to take the crowd noise down a notch or two allowing the offense to hopefully gain some momentum or some type of rhythm.
I think it will be Quinton Patton.
Nice picks Karma! I think it's going to be definitely one of these players

VD
Boldin
QP
VM
Gore
Hunter
KW
Moore
Phil Dawson.
Tough call.

Agree on Vance.

Kyle was open on that play. A bit longer of a throw and it was a TD. Maybe since Boldin and VD will be double teamed and targeted KW or Patton will also get more touches.

Also Miller really impressed me yesterday as an overlooked weapon.
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Originally posted by socalniner:
I think Seattle is gonna blitz heavy, so I'd like to see some screens to Gore/Hunter. I'd also like to see the read option flea flicker

I agree on the screen passes. Seattle is going to be jacked up and I don't think they will be able to resist coming after Kaep if they think they have an opening. Mostly, I want to see Hunter, Williams, and possibly Patton get the ball in their hands with space to run.

I'm pretty sure you are kidding about the read-option flea-flicker, but that is the kind of trick play that has been disastrous in the past. Roman has a tendency to get "too cute" with his game plans and that leads to broken plays. The few planned runs for Kaep were pretty bad. I hope he keeps it simple and attacks Seattle's aggressive front seven.
Hunter would have been mine as well especially as a pass receiver and pass protector and runner, obviously.
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Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Tough call.

Agree on Vance.

Kyle was open on that play. A bit longer of a throw and it was a TD. Maybe since Boldin and VD will be double teamed and targeted KW or Patton will also get more touches.

Also Miller really impressed me yesterday as an overlooked weapon.

Miller has definitely been underutilized as a pass catcher. I think Kaep tends to try to fire the ball out wide if nothing is open rather than check down. I think his short passing game is an area he can improve upon. Miller has the same skill set as McDonald. They occupy a spot, turn up the field quickly, and they don't often get knocked back if they have two steps to get up to speed.
Originally posted by MSteitz468:
I think it will be Quinton Patton.

This.
Originally posted by SportsFan:
Originally posted by MSteitz468:
I think it will be Quinton Patton.

This.

I bet he gets 6 snaps lol.
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Originally posted by NCommand:
Hunter would have been mine as well especially as a pass receiver and pass protector and runner, obviously.

I really thought he would end up on the PUP. His quick recovery gives me real hope for Crabtree's return. Achilles' tears used to be an 18 month process to get back up to speed. If anything, Hunter looks faster now! No matter who has the ball, I think Roman's key to game planning will be SPACE. Seattle's secondary will not give up those 15+ yard passes. We need to get it out quickly to guys that can make some plays. Since Kaep took over we don't see too many short passes for YAC. Crabtree was brilliant in that role last year, but we need more plays to take advantage of our downfield blocking. If we can get Boone and/or Iupati out in front of Hunter or others, that would be beautiful!