Jordan Simmons was basically an unknown

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Jordan Simmons was basically an unknown

par zhangzk » Ven 27 Sep 2019 à 6h54

RENTON , Wash. (AP) —when the Seattle Seahawks claimed him off waivers from the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 2.He’d barely played in college at USC due to injuries. His NFL tape was limited. But Seattle offensive line coach Mike Solari saw tools he could work with. Solari saw strength and footwork that created a good foundation, and knew the rest could be taught and developed.Solari has done a lot of teaching this year and it’s paying off. After several seasons of Seattle’s offensive line being a major problem, it’s become a solid position group that is clearly not the weakness it’s been in the past. And the line’s overall performance is part of the reason Seattle’s on the cusp of a postseason berth heading into Sunday’s game at San Francisco.“It’s the whole unit working together as one,” Solari said. “They’re just getting better. It’s exciting how they are coming along and come together functioning as one.”At times in previous seasons, Seattle couldn’t run the ball effectively. Other times, the Seahawks couldn’t adequately protect Russell Wilson. Too often it was a case of both happening in the same game.That has changed. Seattle is the No. 1 running team in the NFL. The Seahawks have the most carries and are the only team to reach the 2,000-yard mark — exactly — after 13 games. They’ve also done an adequate job of protecting Wilson outside of the first two weeks, when he was sacke play and carry their own,” coach Pete Carroll said. “They’re smart, they know what’s going on and it’s a credit to the job that Mike (Solari) has done with these guys but it’s a very positive outlook for this group for the coming years, too.”Simmons is a small part of Seattle’s success, but he speaks to the improvement of the entire unit. The two times Simmons has been thrust into starting this season — Week 10 against the Los Angeles Rams and last week against Minnesota — there was no fall off in the performance of the offensive line. It may just be coincidence but those two games Simmons has played were the two best running games by the Seahawks all season.The improvement in the run game has really highlighted how much better Seattle has been along the offensive line. The additions of D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy at the guard positions and a much better season by right tackle Germain Ifedi has led to the massive jump.A year ago, Seattle ranked 23rd in the league, averaging 101.8 yards per game. A huge chunk of those yards came from Wilson’s legs. This season, Seattle is averaging 153.8 yards per game. And in the two games Fluker missed du ted under previous offensive line coach Tom Cable.But there’s been a stronger commitment to staying with the run by offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, better options at running back with Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis, and some creative ideas about how to make a run-first offense function. A perfect example has been the use of tackle George Fant reporting eligible as a tight end for several games and getting another big body on the line — and last week catching his first pass.“It’s a group that’s worked so hard on and off the field. They do a great job in the classroom. They do a great job in being accountable to each other and they take pride in their work,” Solari said. “It doesn’t matter who is in there. They’re working as one and it’s a credit to them.” JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Nick Foles and John D ld like to think that our friendship would be strong no matt e-agent quarterback. Coach Doug Marrone brought DeFilippo aboard in January, two months before Foles hit the open market.“It wasn’t one of those things where I was standing on a table or recruiting or anything like that,” DeFilippo said. “But I was definitely involved in the process.”DeFilippo might have as much to prove as Foles, who has yet to start more than 11 games in any of his seven NFL seasons.Minnesota parted ways with DeFilippo in mid-December, reportedly for failing to commit to the ground game.“I’m kind of where my feet are at the present time,” DeFilippo said. “That’s how I have handled life. That’s how I’ve handled my journey in the NFL, both in my ups and downs. There have been a lot of both, and I think that’s the nature of the NFL in today’s world. I’m not going to sit here and do some of the things and handle some of the things here the way they were handled up there. That is just not how I operate.”The 41-year-old DeFilippo spent less than a year with the Vikings. Minnesota hired him after two seasons in Philadelphia, where he was praised for his work with Foles and with Flip, so I’m excited about that.”Jacksonville could benefit the most from the reunion.The Jags ranked 27th in yards and 31st in points in 2018. They blamed much of the drop-off on injuries, with receiver Marqise Lee, running back Leonard Fournette and a number of tight ends and offensive linemen missing significant time.Inconsistent quarterback Blake Bortles was unable to pick up the slack. Foles has shown more passing prowess as a backup, and Jacksonville gave him a four-year, $88 million contract to be the unchallenged starter.The Jaguars drafted Foles a little help by selecting right tackle Jawaan Taylor in the second round and tight end Josh Oliver in the third. But they’re counting on him — along with DeFilippo — to make the biggest difference on that side of the ball.“He’s been great for everybody,” DeFilippo said. “He’s been great for the coaches. He’s been great for the players. He’s been great for me.”
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