Seahawks Insider

Burleson wins monthly NFC award

Post by News Tribune Staff on Dec. 7, 2006 at 8:50 am with 25 Comments »
December 7, 2006 8:50 am

Burleson Nate.JPGThe NFL has named Seattle return specialist Nate Burleson as its special-teams player of the month for the NFC in November (after reading Dave Boling’s column today, I’m sure). From the league release: “Burleson had 14 punt returns for 193 yards and an NFC-best 13.8-yard return average, including a 90-yard touchdown, and added five kick returns for 129 yards and a 25.8-yard return average during the month. In a divisional showdown against St. Louis on November 12, Burleson averaged 31.7 yards per punt return, including a 90-yard touchdown, the second-longest in franchise history and the lone punt-return touchdown in the NFC during November. In addition to his punt returns, Burleson returned five kickoffs for 129 yards (25.8 average), including a 45-yard return, in the Monday night contest against Green Bay in the snow. The Seahawks went 3-1 in the month and are in first place in the NFC West. In his fourth season from Nevada, this is Burleson’s first Player of the Month Award.”

Awards and honors
Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. airbags says:

    wow, he was worth the money after all…

    while “o” and “d” may be struggling to find rhythm, it’s good to see special teams picking up some of the slack.

  2. Oldslow says:

    Another boost for Nate’s confidence level, which I see as key to his playing well.

  3. By the money, of course, you mean $14.5M over four years, including $4M to sign (as opposed to the widely report and entirely misleading seven-year, $49M deal).

  4. HawkFromDay1 says:

    Yeah Mike, could you PLEASE relay that message to the guys who call the games (THEISMAN!!). It was such a lovely bit of business, but it looks worse than the Grant Wistrom deal if you only consider the 7 years and 49M. (I have a better chance of being named King of Castille than Nate has of seeing that 5th year money)

  5. optimistichawkfan says:

    Mike…I want to see more of Hackett but also think Burleson is looking more confident and Engram is a money player. How do you see the schemes changing to accommodate all of our talent at the receiver position?

  6. JimWilke says:

    After all the years of whining about our special teams it is nice to see them really making a contribution. Burleson, Brown and Plack are all way up among the league leaders and our coverage has been solid, too.

    Without the production we’ve seen out of special teams, the ‘Hawks would be in 3rd place in their division. Thanks, guys.

  7. I don’t see the schemes changing based on the proliferation of receivers. They can only go four-wide so much. With Alexander back, he is going to run from base personnel and three-wide personnel. It might get a little more interesting if Mack Strong is not available, but this is basically a three-wide team. Within that, there are two personnel groups. One has one back and a tight end. Burleson has been playing in this group. The other group has two backs. Hackett has been playing in that group. Engram is not going to be full strength right away, and maybe they limit his snaps for the duration. He would definitely take away snaps from Hackett in the two-back, three-wide. He would probably take snaps from Burleson in the four-wide and maybe even the one-back, three-wide (although they have been reluctant to take Burleson out of that, for confidence reasons … and he did produce a little Sunday night). Seattle is basically a three-wide team at this point. Engram will be part of that when he returns, at the expense of the other guys.

  8. lemonverbena says:

    at the very least, i assume we won’t see Hackett’s name on the inactive list for any non-injury reasons. he’s been the most consistent receiver on the team.

  9. mboivin says:

    Too many WR is a luxury. Hackett also does a good job on coverage units

  10. pabuwal says:

    2 Questions about Burleson –
    1). How is his thumb (didn’t see that in the article)?
    2). I notice he almost always heads to the sideline immediately after fielding a punt. Is this just something he does or does the blocking schemes call for him to do this?


    mboivin, I dont believe I have ever seen DJ on any coverage unit. Hackett does not play on any of the special teams,

  12. Cardinals seem to be a fairly popular upset pick this week. I think we are long overdue for an old-fashioned blow out.

  13. yeah, the ol’ poison-pill contract info wasn’t lost on me… funny, though, how most people miss it.

  14. I’m real happy to see Nate finally starting to have some real success here in Seattle. People have been giving him such a hard time and most people didn’t even know he had a serious hand injury.

    I think it’s great that he’s returning both kickoffs and punt returns. He has definitely picked up our special teams.

    That’s what I really like about Burleson. Djack and Branch are our two main receivers and due to his injury, confidence issues / dropped passes, Nate fell down the ladder and wasn’t taking very many snaps. But instead of pouting about it.

    He’s stayed professional and worked hard to get back into the mix. And now he’s leading the league (or would be if he had enough attempts) in Kick off returns (and possibly punt returns .. I know he’s one of the top)and he’s starting to catch passes again.

    Even if he stays behind Hackett and Engram on the WR list, he’ll still be an extremely productive player on Special Teams and he makes the Hawks stronger overall by leading a great special team (which has always been one of our weak points).

  15. MikeSpokane says:

    After starting slow, Nate Burleson has been doing great.
    Sad that, all things considered, my question is, “How long are we going to run the risk of getting him killed doing these returns?”

  16. A returner can win games for you (See St. Louis game). So you risk getting him killed as long as he can stand… Devin Hester has won 2 games for the Bears and Burleson won one for us directly. He has contributed greatly to the team in other games too though, with improved field position and excitement. He is probably catching the ball better now due to feeling involved in the game plan. I have been impressed with his effort level this season, and he’s still a young player (25), so he’ll get another shot at a starting WR spot eventually. Let’s not forget D-Jack has been fragile in the past (thank goodness for his health this year) so I’m sure we’ll need him to play a crucial role at WR some time over the next 4 years. He is showing a lot of toughness by fighting through the struggles at WR (demoted to 3rd, 4th or 5th – depending on the formation) and performing at a high level in the return game.

  17. You guys both bring up some good points. I’ve also read and though about him “getting killed” by being the main return man. However, there’s a couple of counter points to that. Is returning kickoffs / punts any more dangerous than leading a receiver blindly to the middle of the field for him to just be hammered (look at some of the hits Stevens has taken lately). I don’t think Nate has been hit anywhere near that hard since he became the focal point of the return game.

    Secondly, the Seahawks are obviously extremely deep at the WR position. So if you can make a move that clearly makes your special teams (and overall team) BETTER, you MUST make this move. And the fact that we have the depth at WR makes this a pretty easy decision to make.

    Nate’s clearly making the big plays for us and it’s great that he’s getting involved in the offense again. And he is very young still at 25. With DJack’s potential knee issues and Engram not getting any younger. There will definitely be room for Nate to eventually get back into the main WR corp.

  18. ElPerroGrandeDos says:

    Good thing we spent all that money on a special teams player …

  19. koolkris says:

    Speaking of special teams; what is with all the holding and blocking in the back penalties that we are getting on returns? Is it me or does it seem like we get one or two of those a game?

  20. SupaFreak says:

    Good thing you don’t really have a brain… or you might be dangerous.

    We didn’t spend that much money on him, as is clear, and he is ALSO in the game as a receiver, so as usual, you are just being negative at anything Ruskell or Holmgren do. You can crawl back under the bridge again now… troll.

  21. koolkris: There have been nine such penalties in 12 games, so not quite one every game. But they have come in bunches: three against Denver and two against Green Bay. Kevin Bentley is a repeat offender.

  22. Marinerman1979 says:

    14.5M over four years

    chump change.

  23. Yeah because it’s not like special teams players really do anything for you anyway right? I mean it’s not like Josh Brown has kicked 4 game winners this year or anything … oh wait.

  24. Am I missing something?

    Nate Burleson has been an absolute beast for us returning kicks. He’s singlehandedly made it fun to watch special teams play (not counting FGs, of course). I think it’s awesome he got the NFC special teamer of the month award. He deserved it.

    But what’s this notion that he’s starting to come on as a *wide receiver*? Indeed, why is our 3rd WR in 1-back, 1-TE sets (unless there is a blocking issue I’m not aware)? Let’s take a look at his recent stat line (receptions and yards):

    KC: 1 for 21 yds
    Oak: O for O
    Stl: 0 for O
    SF: 1 for 5
    GB: 3 for 17
    Den: 2 for 23

    That’s not exactly lighting the world on fire. And there’s absolutely no reason to have him stop returning kicks to preserve that type of production.

  25. drmossguy says:

    maybe not lighting the world on fire but making good, hard catches when they count. Still I don’t believe he can block at all.

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