How will new Seahawks OC Grubb need to adjust playbook for NFL?

Jun 11, 2024, 9:10 AM

Seattle Seahawks Ryan Grubb OTAs 2024...

Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb looks on during an OTA practice on June 3. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

There’s plenty of intrigue as to what the Seattle Seahawks’ offense will look like this fall under new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb.

Seahawks on Grubb’s new offense: ‘It’s completely different’

The 48-year-old Grubb is making the jump to the NFL after a wildly successful two-year stint as the offensive coordinator at UW, where he oversaw a high-flying Huskies attack that was one of the most prolific offenses in college football. Prior to that, he had success at Fresno State, Eastern Michigan and NAIA-level University of Sioux Falls.

As he adapts his scheme from college to the NFL, are there aspects from his playbook that he’ll have to scrap? Grubb was asked that question during a press conference last week.

“There’s always stuff that maybe you got away with in one league that you know you can’t in another,” Grubb said. “I mean, even Mountain West to Pac-12, all those type of things I think absolutely are applicable, and you’ve gotta find the things that are realistic.”

Huard’s take

During the Blue 88 segment of Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk on Monday, former NFL quarterback Brock Huard expanded on that topic.

Huard said one of the biggest differences Grubb will experience at the NFL level is the narrower hashmarks. The hash marks are 18 feet, 6 inches apart on an NFL field, as opposed to 40 feet apart in college. That means that when a ball is spotted one side of the hash marks, college offenses have more than 20 feet of additional space to work with on the opposite side of the field. College play-callers often try to use that extra space to their advantage.

“The hash marks (in college) create more space, more formational opportunity,” Huard said. “You can still do four-by-one (formations in the NFL). You can still motion a guy in to create that kind of platform, but you don’t get the space advantage that you do with the wider field in college. So there’s gonna be some of those things formationally that’ll just be toned down, simply because the game’s more in a phone booth.”

Huard said the other major difference for Grubb is that there will be less of a size and strength discrepancy at the line of scrimmage. This past season, the UW Huskies’ Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line had a considerable advantage up front in nearly every game they played. That certainly won’t be the case in the NFL, where there’s much less of a talent gap between opponents.

“You’re not moving men like you move them in high school and college or in the Mountain West to the Pac-12,” Huard said. “You’re just not. … It’s about inches (in the NFL). (Former NFL linebacker) Dave Wyman loves to talk about (how it’s) fighting for every blade of grass, fighting for every little inch of leverage – not feet, not yards, not blowing people off the ball.”

That being said, Huard is confident Grubb will successfully make the transition to the NFL. As Huard pointed out, he has a strong track record of adapting and finding success at every stop of his career, from the small-school NAIA ranks to a UW Huskies team that reached the College Football Playoff national championship game this past season.

“I think Ryan Grubb knows exactly what he’s getting into,” Huard said, “and I think he’ll adapt and adjust much like he has over the course of a two-decade career.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the audio player above. Tune in to Brock and Salk weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. or find the podcast on the Seattle Sports app.

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