I returned from Kodiak this morning and had a chance to watch a replay of the game this evening.I think this is a great point. I don't think we're the power running team we once were, and I'd argue that means that we should line up in the I formation far less than we have in the past.
What I would like to see on offense is more I or Offset I formation and play action off of it. Focus on two or three running plays and work on excelling at them. Ever watch Indy run the stretch play ad naseum? Or the old Redskins with the counter-trey?
If you scroll down that link you get a short breakdown of personnel groupings that the Hawks ran in 06. It's quite possible that we simply aren't using the right personnel groupings based on the talent and experience on hand. What was a good fit in 05 or 06 may not be a good fit in 07. The Hawks ran Tiger (1RB, 2WR, 2TE) 4% of the snaps in 06. Wonder what it is this year?
I do not chart plays like the great Mike Sando, but we appear to have more success running out of spread formations recently. That success has not translated into more use of the Eagle (4WR) formation. This specific post from Sando illustrates cwu91's point even more. People focus on the loss of Hutch, but it was also Joe Jurevicous and Ryan Hannam that made that running attack purr.
We have neither great blocking WRs nor great blocking TEs anymore. Will Heller is not what Ryan Hannam was, especially near the goal line. So what do you do?
I'd like to see more single-back sets and split backs. I'd like to see significantly greater use of the screen as a way to supplement the running game (but with Weaver!!). I'd also like to see each our RBs tried in these different groupings/plays to see which performs the best in each case. Just because I am sick of hearing people boo Shaun for no valid reason does not mean I wouldn't want to see Weaver get more carries.
What do you guys think would improve the running game?