Sportress of Blogitude

Russell Wilson’s standard plan on zone-read play: ‘I want to feed the beast’

Russell Wilson put it pretty simply when he explained what his usual intention is whenever the Seattle Seahawks run the zone-read: Feed the ball to Marshawn Lynch.

“In terms of our zone read, I’m honestly trying to give the ball to Marshawn 99 percent of the time,” Wilson said, via ESPN. “That one percent, I’ll take if it’s just wide open for me. I want to feed the beast. I want to hand him the football.”

It’s a solid plan to say the least. While at times the zone-read has proven ineffective, sooner or later, the holes open up for Lynch or he creates holes of his own.

The Seahawks surprisingly did not run the zone-read very often early on in the NFC Championship Game. But once the offense began running it with regularity in the fourth quarter, the dams broke and the Seahawks run roughshod over the suddenly leaky Packers defense.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, through the first three quarters of the NFC title game, the Seahawks ran the zone-read only seven times, gaining a paltry 28 yards. In the fourth quarter alone, Seattle ran the play eight times and it was tremendously effective, gashing the Packers defense for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

What the Seahawks have planned as it relates to play-calling in Super Bowl XLIX obviously is unknown, but odds are the team will stick with the zone-read even if running it doesn’t churn up yards initially.

“It really helps us,” Wilson said. “If they get Marshawn, we try to mix it up and have great balance passing. I think it makes it very challenging for a defense to figure out who to stop.”

Even though Wilson will tuck the ball and run from time to time, he knows that the best way to get the defense on its heels is to unleash some “Beast Mode” upon them and stand back and marvel at the carnage unleashed when the beast is freed.

“The ultimate goal is to hand the ball off to the best running back in the National Football League,” Wilson said.

(photo credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)