Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Do Seahawks lack a deep threat?

Post by Eric Williams on May 25, 2013 at 9:21 am with 58 Comments »
May 25, 2013 9:21 am
Seattle Seahawks new wide receiver Percy Harvin, left, stands with teammate Sidney Rice, Monday, May 20, 2013, during an Organized Team Activity workout in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Seahawks new wide receiver Percy Harvin, left, stands with teammate Sidney Rice, Monday, May 20, 2013, during an Organized Team Activity workout in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Andy Benoit of Football Outsiders discusses the biggest hole for each team in the NFC West following the completion of the draft and the bulk of free agency.

And while Benoit notes that it’s hard to find a weakness on Seattle’s talented roster, he lands on the lack of a true vertical threat as something the Seahawks could continue to improve on.

Benoit says that Sidney Rice still can find ways to get deep, but lacks the pure deep speed that he had earlier in his career before the injuries.

Benoit: “Yes, newly-acquired Percy Harvin has terrific speed. His acceleration is even better. But Harvin’s build and skill set are those of an underneath, move-oriented playmaker, not a pure nine-route blazer. Harvin probably could lift a safety on vertical patterns, but there’s a reason he was rarely used this way during his four years in Minnesota. The Seahawks brought him in to be a more dangerous version of Antwaan Randle-El, not another version of Randy Moss.”

ESPN’s Mike Sando notes that Marshawn Lynch was second in the league in rushing yards running against defenses with eight or more in the box.

Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated debates who will have the better season in 2013 – Green Bay’s Randall Cobb or Seattle’s Percy Harvin?

Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle discusses what the loss of Anthony McCoy means for Seattle in this audio link.

Adam Schein writing for says that even with Michael Crabtree likely done for the year San Francisco still is the best team in the league.

Chase Stuart of Football Perspective takes an interesting look at wide receivers through the history of the game, analyzing their receiving yards compared to the rest of the team. Don Hutson tops the list at 49.1 percent. Steve Largent is 34th on the list at 31.6 percent, and Joey Galloway is 36th on the list at 31.5 percent.

Mike Silver of Yahoo Sports writes about the lovefest in the desert between quarterback Carson Palmer and new head coach Bruce Arians. It’s a good read, but let’s see if these two are still singing Kumbaya in November.

Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports takes a closer look at active players who are locks or on the cusp of making it to Canton after their playing careers are over.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 58
  1. I agree with Andy Benoit that Seattle lacks a true vertical threat, but really, who cares? The 9 or go is only one route and we can run it just fine with Sidney or Golden. Whats more important for your WR group is to be able to recognize and separate from coverage and find spots to sit down in zone coverage. This is where or WRs shine, so I like our group.

  2. Singularitarian says:

    I think we have the best recieveing cops in the nfl, or at least in the same catagory with Atlanta and Denver. While true we don’t have a true pure deep threat, we have 3 guys who can beat you deep (Rice, Harvin and Tate). I remember Rice getting behind NE’s D for the game winning td and he sure looked like a deep threat to me. As much as I like Russle Wilson my main knock on him is that he doesn’t see Rice deep quite often. I thought Rice still was a decent deep threat just over looked and in the wrong system to put up eye popping numbers. He was very frustrated on several occassions to the tune of throwing a crybaby tempertantrum. While he over reacted I understand his frustration

  3. ChrisHolmes says:

    “I agree with Andy Benoit that Seattle lacks a true vertical threat, but really, who cares? The 9 or go is only one route and we can run it just fine with Sidney or Golden.”

    I’m glad you said that, because it’s so true.

    Rice made a few deep catches last year. He’s capable. That’s all you really need.

    How many deep shots does a team take per game anyway? Two? Four? It’s not a high percentage play, whether it’s a 9 or a post or whatever.

    We have receivers can can beat guys deep. They’re not Randy Moss, but they can do it, and do it well enough to make defenses respect the passing game.

    To me, it’s not an issue. If I’m a DC facing Seattle, I’m far more worried about the fact that now every skill position on the field is capable of beating you on every play. We’re going to be lining up with 3WR and empty sets, and putting Rice, Tate, pH, Lynch and Miller on the field all at the same time.

    Who are you going to focus on stopping?

    And we have RW pulling the trigger or taking off himself.


  4. freedom_X says:

    Having a recognized deep threat isn’t a mattter of catching a long pass. It’s putting fear into a defense that they might get burned deep, causing them to back a safety off or play DB’s 5+ yards back to give more of a cushion. That’s the tremendous effect a true deep thread has, even if they only catch a few of those in a season.

    Even if a player does manage some long catches, unless the defense is afraid of that person’s ability to go long (and catch the ball), then they aren’t a deep threat. However, if most of the other offensive elements are there, a speed merchant at WR is far from a necessity.

  5. Ewalters7354 says:

    Who needs a deep threat when you have a homerun threat?

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    How many times did Largent or Rice get deep without having 4.3 speed?

  7. GeorgiaHawk says:

    That’s Jerry Rice, however the same thing applies to Sidney.

  8. Seahawks22360 says:

    I think it almost benefits us not having that so called deep threat. A defense won’t expect those home run plays. Then BOOM! TD!

  9. I really waned them to add another split end to provide a deep threat this year, but after signing Harvin, and drafting a big blocking WR and a receiving TE, I think our receiving corps is good shape.

    I think Sid, Tate, and Percy are all fast enough to terrify DBs on a go route. The key is having enough receivers to make covering all the targets difficult. We have that now. When Harvin draws a safety down to cover him on a crossing route, Wilson knows somebody will end up single covered deep. That’s all he will need to see to take a shot deep down field. If everyone stays healthy, this offense will be scary.

  10. Dukeshire says:

    I agree with Georgia: elite speed is not required to take the top off a defense. Sid can absolutely get behind the secondary. The fact Wilson hasn’t connected with him often in those situations has more to do with very conservative game plans early in last season than it does with Rice’s ability to get loose.

  11. Yes. I’d hate to be a D coordinator preparing to play the Seahawks this season.

    now, no more injuries, please.

  12. sluggo42 says:

    I also think that RW has re-watched every route that Sidney ran last year to diagnose whether or not he missed opportunities at a long completion. I would imaging that six months of studying what he did, and didn’t do last year, have been imprinted into his brain. Next year, he will recognize the positions that he could have thrown to and this time he might take them. Also having a Harvin underneath will draw the safety’s attentions away for another split second. This years offense will be fun with a smarter RW leading the way, harvin in the WR mix, Christine and beast, an experienced and healthy o-line, miller and @Luuuuuuke go long.

    What is a deep threat anyways, a good 40 time? I see a few deep catches coming because of concern about the rest of the game…

  13. RDPoulsbo says:

    With the big bulls at RB, opposing safeties are forced to cheat up to the LoS. Add in a heavy dose of play action, problem solved. It’s football counter to the trend for heavy passing schemes, so pure burners aren’t necessary.

  14. Agreeing with other comments regarding deep threats, Russell Wilson and Sidney Rice,,,,,, RW not seeing SR open on several plays was early in the season, the offense was ‘dumbed down’ AND you can bet your mortgage AND children that RW HAS examined that film! Safeties have to sneak up to the line of scrimmage to contain “beast” Lynch, but they have to play back to protect against Rice, Harvin, Tate AND Baldwin, to say nothing of Zach Miller down the seams. The explosiveness, HUGE variety of options AND athleticism of the Seahawks offense will create DC headaches ALL season long. Of course this all hinges on RW continuing his growth and effectiveness at QB, but I’m willing to bet that is EXACTLY what’s gonna take place!

  15. Harvin ran a 4.3 in high school. A 4.4 at the combine.

    Rice ran a 4.5.

    Tate ran a 4.36.

    They’re all able to break free of coverage, and they’re straight line fast, which is apparently what was deemed lacking.

    They’re the second best corps of pass catchers in the nfl. Julio Jones is a monster and Roddy white is just plain nasty.

  16. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Agree RADEoN- and then add Tony Gonzalez to the mix and no wonder Ryan is putting up good numbers these days.

    The NFC is just loaded with talent. I would be very surprised to see an AFC team win a Super Bowl this season.

  17. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Now that Brett Favre’s lawsuit is settled, how much do you think he had to pay Chuck? I don’t mean pay to you. Unless, never mind.Lol.

    And do you think that the fact that he played for the Jets is more embarrassing than his texting shenanigans?

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “I’m the fastest alright!” However I’m still the dumbest”.

    So glad we don’t have this tool!

  19. bsinnitt says:

    The fact of the matter is if you have wideouts that can consistently catch the ball over their coverage then the free safety has to honor their routes regardless of their 40 time. Whether the ball goes 5 yards or 45 yards in the air is irrelevant if it ends up in the end zone. It’s 6 points either way. Can’t wait for us to stomp the 9ers in week 2. Break their will early in the season. Don’t sleep on the Rams boys. “Go Hawks!”

  20. bbnate420 says:

    Assuming everyone is healthy and we’re just talking about WRs, I’d say Denver has the best unit right now. Two young studs on the outside and one of the best slot receivers of all time. You could make a case for either Seattle or Atlanta at #2. Seattle is deeper IMO.

  21. princeaden says:

    I am wondering if Stephan Williams makes this team? And if so, who goes away? I remember clearly JS claiming “We got our Guy” when they signed him. Obviously, Harvin, Rice, Tate and Harper are going nowhere, but I’m not so sure about Baldwin. Yes, he is inexpensive, but is Williams better? This will be one of the very interesting developments in camp for me.

  22. sluggo42 says:

    Ya Prince,
    I’m wondering how the WR position is going to shake out too. Did Baldwin flourish simply because of such a weak situation 2 years ago, or is he going to be a slot monster?

  23. Macabrevity says:

    I myself am not worried about not having a guy who forces a safety into deep coverage just by his presence. We play it the other way, we have so many reasons you need to come up in the box that Rice, Harvin and Tate should all get plenty of one-on-one chances down the field. Isn’t that more exciting than having a decoy to open up our run game?

  24. chuck_easton says:


    I would guess high six figures and possibly seven.

    We will never know. Any agreement of this nature contains a confidentiality clase that states the victim will have to return the full settlement plus penalties if the amount is made known.

  25. Ewalters7354 says:

    Doug Baldwin and Stephen Williams are two totally different WRs.If Stephen Williams makes it, it’ll be because he beat out Chop Chop not DB.

  26. Lynch is still the key to the offense IMO, and he makes Rice and Tate good deep threats. Look how many more carries Lynch has running against 8 in the box, that is very telling. And I love watching how hard teams bite on the play fake given the need to gang tackle Lynch. Now with Harvin working the slot underneath, Tate and Rice should have plenty of opportunities. Not to mention Wilson and the experience he has gained. This offense is so dynamic, could be scary good. I am wondering if or how much trade value Turbin and Baldwin have.

  27. Ewalters7354 says:
  28. Dukeshire says:

    Huh? is right. Lynch must have his carries reduced this season, from last. That right there makes Turbin, and his ability to catch the ball, valuable here. Baldwin too has an important role as a possession receiver. No, those two are important elements to this offense, if not under valued. They each may not be focal points for DCs but have necessary roles here.

  29. chuck_easton says:

    Turbin is going nowhere. Michael is the heir apparent for Lynch right around 2015 when Lynch’s years and his contract catch up to him.

    Baldwin is in a fight with Harvin for time at slot. Ewalters is right. Williams isn’t a slot receiver. He’s going to be looked at to back up Rice and possibly Tate on the outside.

    Of those five you have 3 outside receivers for two positions and two slots for the one slot position.

    That is a good balance.

    Just comes down to how many WRs are active on game day.

    Same with RB. Just because Lynch Turbin and Michael may all be on the 53 doesn’t mean they are all three suited up on Sunday. 7 inactives every game day.

    This just gives the team the chance to plan specific schemes for each game.

  30. Chop Chop?

  31. Ewalters7354 says:

    Klm, Jermaine Kearse.That’s his name in the locker room.

  32. The key to our success is our OL – if we can actually get a TE into a route every now and again we will have sooo many more options. Our OL has not gelled the last few years until 6-8-10 games into the season. How about we actually play well at the START of the season and not have to rely on extra TE blocking – then the Defense just has to deal with more potential weapons.

    I would much rather they “choose” to keep a TE to block than be “FORCED” to keep a guy in to block so that RW doesn’t get killed

  33. BTW – Tuesday is the next day for a report for OTA’s correct? Can’t wait to see what Eric has to report at the end day.

  34. Singularitarian says:

    I know it sounds crazy, but I think it would be pretty cool to pick up Brandon Lloyd if we could get him for like 2 mill. I mean, there isn’t much size/deep threat behind Rice who’s not a lock to stay healthy. I think Lloyd is great. Maybe 1.5 mill and a contract that states that he can’t do any freestyle rapping while in Seattle. he’s a good route runner and a good deep threat.

  35. GeorgiaHawk says:

    “We’ve paid our dues”
    “Time after time ”
    “We’ve done our sentence”
    “But committed no crime”
    “And bad mistakes”
    “We’ve made a few”
    “We’ve had our share of sand kicked in our face”
    “But We’ve come through”

    “We will be the champions – my friends”
    “And we’ll keep on fighting – till the end”
    “We will be the champions”
    “We will be the champions”
    “No time for losers”
    “Cause we will be the champions – of the NFL”

  36. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Sorry, I forgot to post the source.

    “We Are the Champions” is a power ballad written by Freddie Mercury and recorded and performed by British rock band Queen for their 1977 album”

  37. sluggo42 says:

    Xcman raises an interesting point. The oline is going to be a huge factor, and how much the TE needs to stay in to block.

    My question is: can we force the issue so to speak, on how much of a rush they will create, buy opening up games with quick hitters to say harvin and Tate, and mayby a TE gash, and some beast smash mouths up the middle? In other words, make them pay instantly for trying to stack the box early on? Then the second they drop back to coverage, spring some beast again?

    Or in short, does a nasty offense put their defense on their heels, and can we do that at will.?

  38. I think our Offense has to be in control for most games this year – I am still a little worried about the defense – yes they are good but . . . . .

    Until RG3 got hurt – they weren’t showing much to slow them down.

    Detroit – Atl – Carolina, we gave up big plays at the end of the game when we needed to get stops.

    I would LOVE to be able to control the game offensively which will allow our defense to play to their strengths and create havoc on the other teams!

  39. If you take a pass that goes 20 yards in the air as a “deep pass,” then SEA is improving:

    ’08 Deep Passes: 42 Deep Targets, 12 Catchable, 8 Receptions, 4 Drops, 3 TDs, 7 int’s, 368 yds
    ’09 Deep Passes: 49 Deep Targets, 16 Catchable, 10 Receptions, 6 Drops, 2 TDs, 5 int’s, 324 yds
    ’10 Deep Passes: 66 Deep Targets, 25 Catchable, 24 Receptions, 1 Drop, 4 TDs, 5 int’s, 987 yds
    ’11 Deep Passes: 70 Deep Targets, 26 Catchable, 23 Receptions, 3 Drops, 4 TDs, 5 int’s, 824 yds
    ’12 Deep Passes: 55 Deep Targets, 24 Catchable, 21 Receptions, 3 Drops, 7 TDs (not counting TE Miller’s 2), 5 int’s, 949 yds

    In ’11, Rice had one drop and Obo the other two.
    In ’12, Rice had one drop, Kearse had the other two.

    Sidney Rice ran 2.59-20
    Golden Tate ran 2.50-20
    Doug Baldwin ran 2.53-20
    Percy Harvin ran 2.51-20
    Ricardo Lockette ran 2.48-20

    That’s kinda where I think xcman’s improved OL comes in. SF’s OL did not allow a sack when the QB was in the pocket for 2.5 secs or less. SEA’s OL allowed 3 sacks on RW when he was in the pocket for only 2.5 secs or less (186 drop-backs.) When RW was in the pocket for 2.6 secs or more (290 drop-backs,) he got sacked 30 times. That was improving in the 2nd half of the ’12 season. When the OL can protect long enough, and I think they will be able to, then any of Rice, Tate, Harvin, or Baldwin can get deep. So can Miller. How well can they catch?

    Deep Pass Catch Rates:
    Sidney Rice 56.3% in ’12 w/RW, 39.1% in ’09 w/Favre
    Golden Tate 40.9% in ’12 w/RW
    Doug Baldwin 37.5% in ’12 w/RW
    Zach Miller 85.7% in ’12 w/RW
    Percy Harvin 20.0% in ’12 w/Ponder, 45.5% in ’09 w/Favre

    RW’s deep accuracy in ’12 was 48.4%, already better than Favre’s deep accuracy in ’09 of 48.2%. C.Kaepernick’s deep pass accuracy in ’12 was 60.6%.

  40. Sekolah says:

    “I know it sounds crazy, but I think it would be pretty cool to pick up Brandon Lloyd if we could get him for like 2 mill. I mean, there isn’t much size/deep threat behind Rice who’s not a lock to stay healthy.”

    Lloyd would be a misfit here, IMO. Brandon Lloyd has bounced around on several teams during his career as a pro. He revived his career in Denver, made himself something of a commodity based on his 2010 campaign after almost becoming forgotten. His health has been spotty throughout his career, and so has his consistency as a playmaker, so you’re not exactly getting an upgrade with him stepping in for Rice.

    Carroll likes tough guys. No, actually, he loves them. This extends to basically every position on the team. Lloyd does not strike me as a tough guy at all – not a great blocker, not really one to threaten the middle of the field much, definitely not someone who’s going to dip his shoulder for that goal line, or that extra yard. I honestly feel like Rice is a superior WR to Lloyd, definitely more versatile.

  41. chuck_easton says:


    Seattle is a run first team. They run to set up the pass.

    The type of offense you are describing is for a team that passes to set up the run.

    PC likes to run until the other team stops him. He will then use the pass once the D is up close to the line.

  42. chuck_easton says:

    Just a quick note to say have a safe Memorial Day to all my TNT family south of the border. Can’t really say ‘happy’ Memorial Day as it defeats the entire intention of this day.

    Canada does not have a Memorial Day perse. We do have Rememberance Day on November 11 which is a very solumn and time honoured day. Pretty much all business is closed and there is a moment of silence exactly at 11:11am. Why the US still calls that day Veteran’s day is puzzling.

    We did have last Monday off for Victoria Day long weekend to celbrate the long reign of Queen Victoria.

    Again. Be safe, no drinking and driving, and take some time to remember those men and women that have given their lives so that we all may live free.

  43. Dukeshire says:

    Well said, Chuck. And politics aside, those serving, men and women alike, have bigger ones than I can possibly imagine.

    And yes, don’t be stupid people; if you’re drinking, don’t drive.

    Cheers TNT family.

  44. SeventiesHawksFan says:

    This post gets to the principal reason I believe Stephan Willams will make the team over Kearse. He adds a dimension to the WR package that Kearse does not. And Kearse’s abilities are duplicated elsewhere on the roster in any number of players.

    Seems that JS/PC are assembling a team that will allow Bevell to dial up an play from the playbook for whatever game situation or mismatch they want to exploit. Harvin, Harper and Luke Willson are three other players who bring distinct playmaking abilities that were also not on the roster last year either.

    RW is being given every player necessary to be able to execute the entire playbook. Whatever route or play we wanna dial up, we’ve got the RIGHT players to run it.

    I don’t think they feel like they need an every down stretch the field receiver, just that they need a couple who can be put on the field when they need to. For our team those players would be Rice, Tate and possibly Williams.

    Since we’re very much a run and ball control possession oriented offense though, players like Harper (eventually), Miller, Harvin, Rice, Marshawn, Turbin and Baldwin are and will remain the more foundational players of the offense that will make it operate and just move the chains. A burner who gets down the field is gravy after that.

    And yes, the run and play action game (as well as now the read option) are the primary schematic mechanisms to keep the safeties honest and playing closer to the LOS, which seems far more effective for burning a team deep than a 4.3 40 time.

  45. chuck_easton says:


    Very well reasoned. And I don’t think there are many that would disagree with you. Kearse does have that local boy fan favourite thing going, but if he and Williams are essentially the same WR package, I think Williams may have a little bit more.

    It is going to be one of the competitions to watch in camp this year. Likely only 5 WR’s will make the 53. The top four are pretty much set barring injury or trade. That 5th spot is going to be a dogfight.

    May the better (or the one that gives the team the better options) player win.

  46. SeventiesHawksFan says:


    I suspect we may keep six receivers this year. Rice, Baldwin, Tate and Harvin are obvious locks. as is Miller.

    I think Harper and Luke Wllson arent going to be chanced to the PS either. Both strike me as probable important part of our future plans for JS / PC.

    Harper seems something of a receiving complement to Lynch. Bruising, physical and able to shed your average 5′ 10″ DB with ease, especially once he’s more developed.

    Willson is the Joker TE of the future JS / PC tried to find in Winslow and Moore.

    Thinking through last year’s roster composition, Willson fills the Winslow / Moore roster spot. Harper probably has Kearse / Martin’s spot locked up.

    Christine Michael has Leon Washington’s spot.

    McCoy’s injury does not have a definitive replacement yet. But given the thin group at LB and bringing on Winfield who’s as good as any LB against the run in nickle and we are experimenting with our DE’s playing SAM, I suspect we run one fewer at that position. Which leaves room for a tall burner like Stephens to fill out the offensive weapons arsenal.

    This of course is all just conjecture and thinking out loud.

  47. sluggo42 says:

    I think my prediction of only 4 rooks making the cut is looking bad now, maybe 5.

    A safe Memorial Day to all, regardless of any spats to anyone…

    War hawks

  48. bbnate420 says:

    Chuck_Easton, Veteran’s/Remembrance Day used to be Armistice Day, for the armistice that was signed to end World War I, but was changed after World War II. It was changed to Veteran’s Day in the US and Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth. Veteran’s Day in the US honors all veterans, whether alive or deceased. Memorial Day is a US holiday only, I believe, that only honors those that died in service. It evolved from Decoration Day, which originated after the Civil War to commemorate those lost in that war. So, Veteran’s Day has a different meaning than Remembrance Day does in Canada.

    I hope everyone has an enjoyable/reflective Memorial Day. Remember to hydrate.

  49. Jusjamn says:

    klm008 – really enjoy your posts dude. Gives different perspective for sure. Thanks!

  50. You guys are missing the obvious: Rice is not much of a deep threat, he beats no one with speed. His combine time wasn’t fabulous to begin with, and he just isn’t as fast as he was during his one good year with Favre.

    He simply doesn’t have the speed to stretch defenses anymore, his hip injury cost him speed.

    Tate is our best deep threat, that’s one reason he plays SE; he’s faster than Rice. However, our best hope for a deep threat is the new guy Chris Harper. He’s terrifically physical and is faster than Rice was even before his injuries.

  51. If Harper plays at all well this year, Rice is as good as gone, unless he takes a huge paycut.

  52. bbnate420 says:

    Rice ran a 4.51 at the combine, good for someone his size. AJ Green ran a 4.50 and he gets deep. The 40 time doesn’t directly translate to football speed anyways. I don’t see that Rice has lost a significant amount of speed. He’s no Randy Moss, but he can reliably get deep if the defense has a running game to worry about. Tate is faster than Rice, both in his 40 time and on the field IMO. He has great speed, and his leaping ability and body control allow him to go and get the ball down the field despite his size.

    I think Rice’s death has been prematurely reported here. He may very well be asked to restructure or be released after 2013, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. They likely will have to choose between Rice and Tate.

  53. bbnate420 says:

    I should have said release, not death. Sorry if I offended any of the temporally-challenged people on here.

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