October 04, 2009
Opponent respect for Peyton Manning(notes) has grown to the extent that teams facing the future Hall-of-Famer now feel uncomfortable speaking in his presence! Well, at least the Seahawks will keep quiet when they face the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. Seattle head coach Jim Mora and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley have implemented a series of silent adjustments for their players, because of Manning's ability to discern changes to enemy defenses based on vocal calls. Instead of calling the defensive plays into the helmet of defensive captain Lofa Tatupu(notes), who would ordinarily call them out to everyone, Seattle's defensive staff will give the play to Tatupu, who will signal his teammates. According to Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune, the Seahawks' defenders will all wear cheat sheets on their wrists, giving them the signals that way.
"Peyton is a guy who will hear (signals) and he'll pick up on it," Mora told the media this week. "We don't want to give him a pre-snap read, and we certainly don't want to tell him, ‘Hey, Peyton, we're going to play this coverage.' We're going to try to be silent and nonverbal in our communication."
Mora said that the Seahawks will have a full arsenal of calls, but I wonder if the attempt to fool Manning will backfire on the Seahawks. They'll have enough to deal with just keeping the Colts' offense under wraps, much less deciphering their own signal flares and Morse codes and whatnot. Especially since no quarterback is better at keeping the pre-snap adjustments going to the verrrrrrry last millisecond -- I have a feeling the Seahawks will be spending too much time zigging as Peyton zags, leading to a Seahawks slaughter.
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