In today’s NFL, quarterbacks routinely look to leave the pocket. This typically stresses the defense because it forces the secondary to cover for longer, but it is often forgotten that once a quarterback leaves the pocket defensive backs can become as physical as they like with the receivers they are covering. As soon as the opposing quarterback leaves the pocket against the Seahawks, Sherman is always looking to knock his assignment to the ground.
This may seem like a cheap move to the uninformed, but it is the smartest way to stop receivers from making big plays against you. The quickness of thought to recognize the scenario and his understanding of the rules is something that not every player possesses, even at this level.
I know this isn't what the article and thread was about, but this quote at the end got me thinking about Chris Harper. Since Russell Wilson is so adept at buying time outside the pocket, could this be one of the reasons we wanted a physical WR?
I don't know if they thought of it specifically, but they didn't have to. Seattle wants to play physical on both sides of the ball. They want to intimidate. They give a lot of weight to a SPARQ type formula that calculates an athlete's athleticism from their weight and speed. They're trying to put as many players on the field at once who have the most weight plus speed they can find. Players with weight and speed can do a lot of things better, e.g., receivers with weight and speed are hard to push to the ground. They're also good at sealing off the defensive back. Also good at catching balls while being hit. Good at breaking tackles. Good at not fumbling. Good at blocking.
At some point, when you have enough weight and speed on the field, it's just too much. You reach a tipping point where big plays happen left and right, technical imperfections are masked by physicality, and everyone's making up for everyone else's mistakes with sheer athleticism. The margin of error for the opposition becomes small. And it's scary to opposing teams. And they just get overwhelmed the way SF was last season.
St. Louis is trying to counter on offense with mostly just speed. Fisher knows he can't compete with us on physicality. It's a smart play. It's one weakness that can be exploited if you round up the right personnel. We have trouble with speedy slot guys. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out. Unfortunately for them, they don't only play the Seahawks, so designing your team to exploit us won't get you all the glory. Besides, in the end, I think we'll beat them anyway. Weight and speed is too deadly a combo.