Seahawks film room: TE Ed Dickson gets loose
Seattle tight end Ed Dickson, acquired in the offseason, made his debut with the Seahawks last Sunday at Detroit during a 28-14 win. Dickson caught two passes for 54 yards including a 12-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. This post takes a closer look at Dickson's 42-yard reception in the third quarter when the Seahawks used its strong running game to set up a play-action pass to Dickson that worked to perfection.
The manipulation begins
A) Seattle, already up 21-7 in the third quarter, is in a three-receiver set at its own 35-yards line with WR Jaron Brown far right outside of TE Ed Dickson. WRs Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett are at the top of the frame.
Detroit is in man coverage with a single high safety, Quandre Diggs. CB Darius Slay is covering Brown. LB Devon Kennard is responsible for Dickson.
Before the snap, Brown goes in motion and Slay follows.
Lions ignore the passing threat
B) Brown ends his motion between Dickson and right tackle Germain Ifedi as if the receiver is hiding between the two.
Kennard and Slay appear content to play tight man coverage on Brown and Dickson knowing they have safety help in the middle.
If the Lions were in zone coverage, Slay would have remained outside of the tight end. But he is clearly in man coverage and assigned to Brown so he ends up inside of Kennard, who is over Dickson. At this moment the Lions are at Seattle’s mercy.
Play action fake
C) The play begins with QB Russell Wilson play faking to RB Chris Carson who will jab left then end up to the right.
On the right of the frame, Dickson engages with Kennard and Brown blocks safety Glover Quinn who is clearly in the box to offer run support.
Slay remains fixated on Brown but is also peeking into the backfield. Notice that Diggs is directly on the hash mark that the ball sat on and where Wilson is conducting his play fake.
Lions caught peeking
D) The play fake ends. We see right away that the Lions have lost discipline in coverage and it's about to cost them.
Dickson held his block just long enough to convince Kennard that it was a run, then released into a route. What's truly perplexing is that Slay, who was covering Brown, doesn't at the very least make sure the tight end is covered. Instead, he begins to charge in to make a play on Carson, who of course does not have the ball.
Wilson immediately locates the safety, Diggs, and stares him down. Diggs is frozen on the hash tag looking at Wilson knowing that the Seahawks have two receivers runnng patterns to his right but forgets about Brown and Dickson to his left.
E) Once Kennard and Slay realize it's a pass play, it's too late. Wilson is set and ready to throw. Diggs has turned to his right to face Baldwin and Lockett. Diggs didn't even need a hard look from Wilson to his left in order to draw the safety's attention that way.
Dickson is now starting to streak downfield while Kennard and Slay are still moving forward.
F) Wilson sets to throw to a wide open Dickson who at this point is only a half yard beyond the original line of scrimmage.
Kennard still moves forward clearly ignoring the fact that he was Dickson's responsiblity.
Diggs realizes the error of his ways and sees Wilson set to throw to his left where his target, Dickson, is uncovered.
Off and running
G) Here, Dickson has the ball and is flying down field. Diggs takes the proper angle to cut off Dickson while linebackers Kennard and Slay give chase from well behind the play. At this moment, Kennard must know that he is going to get ripped to shreds during defensive film session.
As for Dickson, he said that when he saw Diggs in pursuit he considered cutting back and trying to score. In the end, however, Dickson decided to simply get as many yards as he could.
No path to end zone
H) Seattle coach Pete Carroll quipped after the game that he thought Dickson would show some "shake and bake" and score, but must have left that part of his game back in Eugene.
Good one coach.
But Dickson likely would not have scored anyway. As you can see, several defenders are in pursuit and likely would have caught Dickson had he cut back on Diggs. Plus, this was Dickson's first action since last season. Best to play it safe.
I) Dickson wisely chose to issue a stiff arm to Diggs in order to scratch out as many yards as possible. He makes contact with Diggs at the Detroit 29 before ultimately going down at the 24.
All told, it's a huge play for the Seahawks that Dickson said was set up by the team's running game, which rambled for 176 yards on the day.
Dickson, who appeared in just 20 plays, is considered to be an excellent run blocker. Expect Seattle to work in more play-action passes to him this season.
" “He looked really good," Carroll said. "He didn’t play a lot of plays, we were able to keep his play numbers really in check a little bit so that we could get him started."