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Film study: Breaking down the success of Seahawks’ ‘Techno Thursday’

Oct 27, 2017, 11:28 AM | Updated: 1:45 pm
Seahawks flute...
Tanner McEvoy imitates a snake while four Seahawks teammates dance around him playing the air-flute. Seriously. That's what is going on. (Screen grab: @Seahawks)
(Screen grab: @Seahawks)

RENTON — Film study has taken on new meaning in today’s NFL. Everyone’s suddenly an expert on setting the edge and cloud coverage and route concepts.

With that in mind, it’s time to put a microscope on one sequence from the Seahawks practice on Thursday, which provides insight into just how the Seahawks have been able to maintain their success in a salary-capped era.


It starts with preparation. In this case, a prop that is planted in the middle of the practice field. A wardrobe box.

Notice how it’s just sitting there. Hiding in plain sight, the staging equivalent of a tackle eligible as nobody thinks it’s going to do anything.

At least not until the first few beats of “Flute” came on. The song itself is by Thomas Newson and the New World Sound, which was surprising only in that there is a common misconception that one group is responsible for producing all electronic music. Apparently that’s not the case.

What follows is an all-22 breakdown of what makes this moment work:

(0:01) — Jimmy Graham is an All-Pro. He makes $10 million this season. And here he was in the middle of a Thursday practice, triggered by the first few notes of a specific song to sprint from the receiving drill where he was catching passes to grab a cardboard box in one hand and carry it to where the other tight ends are.

(0:05) — Tanner McEvoy’s jersey says, “Macklemore.” And not with masking tape or anything, either. The equipment guys printed the name plate. Whether it’s the similarity of their last names or the melanin deficiency that McEvoy shares with Macklemore, it’s really funny.

(0:06) – Like any good backup, McEvoy is prepared to be called upon at any moment. He leaps into action by, well, leaping into the box only while Graham holds down the lower half to make sure he can get into it.

(0:08) – The tight ends get into formation and prance – that’s the only word for it – around the box while pretending to play the flute.

(0:10) — Eddie Lacy obviously hasn’t practiced. He knows what they’re doing, but he doesn’t have the crispness of steps that can only come with confidence. But he wants to be involved. He joins the formation, showing this is about more than just the tight ends. It’s about bringing everyone together.

(0:12) – McEvoy shows great discipline to the play call, keeping hands at his sides and wiggling ever so slightly to make it clear he’s a snake, entranced by the music being played around him.

(0:14) — K.J. Wright (50) can’t look away, but he betrays no sign of whether he’s entertained, annoyed or simply just confused.

(0:16) — Please note the specific flourish added by Nick Vannett (81). He’s waggling his head while air-fluting. Some old-school air-floutists might object to the showboating nature, but anyone watching the sheer joy of the performance can’t help but be moved be the emotion Vannett puts into the performance.

(0:18) – Special teams coach Brian Schneider looks to his left then back to his right, raising his arms as if to ask, “What the hell was that?”

That was awesome. That’s what that was coach Schneider. Unadulterated and uncut awesomeness.

The last move is my favorite. Vannett picks up the box and throws it. ‘Cuz we’re done here.

Danny and Gallant Show

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Film study: Breaking down the success of Seahawks’ ‘Techno Thursday’