Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.
February 3, 2009 2:53 PM
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Seattle offensive coordinator Greg Knapp met with local reporters on Tuesday afternoon. His energy translated well, and he helped provide a broad-stroke sketch of what he hopes to do with Seattle's offense, which namely is blend the West Coast passing system utilized by Mike Holmgren and complement that with a running game that will rely upon the zone-blocking principles he first learned in 2004 when he became the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.
He said the goal for Seattle's offense will be balance. He wants an offense that capable of winning when the quarterback throws 30 passes one week and then have a running game capable of carrying 30 or 40 times the next week.
What kind of coach will he be?
"High energy," Knapp said. "I am pretty sarcastic so in the meetings I will keep the guys alive. I will not be the guy that stands up in the front of the room and says, "All right, here is such-and-such a play.' Yadda, yadda, yadda and all of a sudden the guys tune out.
"I am the guy that walks around and will pop quiz you."
As for this last season in Oakland, when Greg Knapp began calling offensive plays after Lane Kiffin's dismissal and then lost play-calling duties to interim coach Tom Cable.
Knapp: "It was the owner's decision. Probably the speculation that maybe I wasn't going to be there after this year ... That probably didn't help the case. I think the owner had it in his mind, 'OK, Greg may not be here next year, Tom you need to do this.' It was more that driven than anything else. But it's a variable I don't control. So as we teach our players as coaches, there's certain situations you control and certain ones you don't. Only worry about the ones you control and that one I couldn't."
He also discussed whether he expected to eventually be working for Jim Mora in Seattle.
Knapp: It was a hope, it was a wish for me it would happen that way, but no guarantees. I've learned in this business, all it takes is one day and things change dramatically from any wide amount of variables that are included. So I was hoping that it would play out this way because I loved working for Jim, I love working for the organization I've always admired from afar.
Knapp has shown a preference for using multiple backs.
Arizona Atlanta had multiple players rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons as Falcons coordinator [Editor's note: Thanks to ryan from seattle who pointed out the error re: Arizona. Apparently Danny O'Neil has spent a little too much time thinking about the Cardinals during their run to the Super Bowl]. He prefers to divvy up the load in his backfield.
Knapp: "I think it's important because this game has gotten so physical, the defense has gotten so strong and so fast, it's hard for one back to carry the load. I'm a big believer in having two if not three backs involved as the season goes on.
"Because I've had success whether it was in San Francisco with the man-blocking scheme, powers and counters and what have you, or even in the zone-blocking scheme, I believe you have to have more than one back in this day and age to get you to the playoffs."
The biggest transition Knapp discussed will the implementation of more of the zone-blocking principles that Knapp gained an appreciation for working with Alex Gibbs in Atlanta in 2004.
"We will probably influence what was here in place before with a little more zone run-blocking than there was before," Knapp said.
He said that Mike Solari, the offensive line coach, has coached the technique before, and used some of principles of the scheme in 2008, but Knapp indicated it will be more emphasized this season.
Some of that zone-blocking system entails a different type of running style. Less read-and-react, and more following a specific path.
"You're seeing a more decisive back running style," Knapp said. "We're going to emphasize, 'You're taking this path, take one cut, you're going downhill.' Or one cut, bounce it outside. A little less dance, a little more decisiveness."
Knapp said he doesn't forsee the need to overhaul the personnel along Seattle's line.
"We feel that the personnel that's here, we can be very efficient at it," Knapp said. "We're talking about the zone game because it's new here, but the balance is important. We've got to be able to do some man-blocking schemes."