Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Tight end depth a concern

Post by Eric Williams on July 23, 2013 at 8:31 am with 36 Comments »
July 23, 2013 8:31 am
Seattle Seahawks' Zach Miller (86) runs after a catch as Carolina Panthers' Sherrod Martin (23) defends during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Seattle Seahawks’ Zach Miller (86) runs after a catch as Carolina Panthers’ Sherrod Martin (23) defends during the first quarter of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

My story today focuses on the Seattle Seahawks’ lack of experienced depth at tight end, one of the key issues the team needs to resolve when training camp starts this week.

With Anthony McCoy suffering a torn Achilles tendon during offseason workouts in May, only starter Zach Miller has a catch in a regular-season game out of the six tight ends currently on the roster.

Miller showed in the second half of the season that he’s one of the most complete tight ends in the league, finishing with 34 catches for 385 yards and three TDs during the final eight games of the season, including playoffs. He also had seven catches of 20-or-more yards in 2012.

However, the Seahawks also need second-year pro Sean McGrath and rookie Luke Willson to develop into impact players in case Miller has injury issues.

Curtis Crabtree of Pro Football Talk writes that the Seahawks are No. 4 in that website’s power rankings.

ESPN’s Mike Sando has the details on San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh being taken to task for the attempted trade of cornerback Eric Wright, who was suspended four games last season for reportedly testing positive for Adderall.

Clare Farnsworth of talks with Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn about his experience serving as defensive coordinator at Florida, and how that will translate in his new gig.

Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times takes a look at how the Seahawks will improve the team’s pass rush for the upcoming season.

KJR’s Ian Furness talks with NFL analyst Hugh Millen one what he’ll be watching when training camp starts in this audio link. fantasy football writer Michael Fabiano lists Russell Wilson and Percy Harvin among his Top 10 breakout players for the upcoming season.

Jenny Ventras of MMQB has an interesting, photo-heavy travel log of Arizona Larry Fitzgerald’s exotic globe trotting during this offseason. It’s worth a look.

Tim Gayle, writing for USA Today, catches up with backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who says he returned to Seattle because he believes the Seahawks can win a Super Bowl.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 36
  1. Dukeshire says:

    And beyond the lack of experience at TE, depth is a real issue considering Miller’s history with concussions. Should he go down they’re in a tough spot.

    McGrath is someone that impressed me last preseason so I’ll be interested to see how he has developed. (And of course Willson’s athleticism makes him one of the more anticipated players in camp, albeit unknown, this year.)

  2. TE depth has been my #1 concern as well. I was disappointed when they gave up on Cameron Morrah, and then losing McCoy was a blow to the unit. I really wanted them to draft a TE with a high draft pick this year. I hope they don’t pay for their decision not to.

    Zach Miller has been healing plantar fasciitis. That usually seems to resolve, but if it keeps flaring up for him, the offense could lose a big piece.

    I have high high hopes for Luke Willson, one of the few college TEs I was hoping Seahawks would draft this year. Still – the guy struggled with injuries last year and he hasn’t shown he can stay healthy.

    I haven’t seen McGrath’s upside yet, I’ll look forward to watching. I did like what I saw out of Cooper Helfet in last year’s camp.

    The Giants’ Travis Beckum is out there as a FA still. A few others could be signed if they jump on it.

    If Miller keeps having foot issues, and there is any question about Willson being ready or 100% healthy, I honestly would go bring back Evan Moore. (I know I’ll probably get killed for that comment ;) But Moore is probably the receiving TE with the greatest upside who is out there on the market.

  3. yankinta says:

    Yes,, which is why I disagreed with GeorgiaHawk who wanted to keep only 2 TE on the roster…. I want us to keep all 3 TE. McGrath can step in nicely for 2 TE sets…and Luke Willson will be the Steal of this draft, that’s my bold prediction.

    Luke Willson will prove to the world that 49ers FO is not on the same level as Seahawks FO,, they moved up ahead of us to pick up Vance McDonald,, people thinking they got the best of us, cuz we were planning on picking up VM with our 2nd round pick… Not true at all… JS later revealed that Luke Willson was a player that he would have been unhappy if we came out of the draft without drafting him….

    49ers FO is just living off of the previous regime’s success… they haven’t done a lot other than getting lucky with KC, whom I consider top 15 QB, not top 5…

  4. banosser says:

    DB Harba style

  5. yank – Yes, lot of us have been looking for Willson to bea special player. Trouble is, that was true during his senior season at Rice as well, and he couldn’t get healthy.

    I agree that Harbaugh’s crew in SF has gotten too much credit after taking over a team that was already built. They haven’t added a lot to that aging team except Kaepernick and Aldon Smith. Of course, they didn’t have to. Their defense was built, and their great 2010 draft completed the team. All Harbaugh had to do was find and coach is QB, and I have to give him credit for being a great QB coach, even if he’s a jerk.

    Will be very interesting to see how Kaepernick does this year. If Frank Gore and the running game struggle at all, and if the WR corps struggles, he could have too much on his plate. He could be an INT machine if he doesn’t have enough ball handlers to work with.

  6. GeorgiaHawk says:

    yankinta- I said if we can put McGrath on PS then I would keep two. Now if there’s that chance Willson flops we could be in trouble, or if a nagging injury hits one of them.

    That’s partly why I want to see bigger WRs make the team, (if they are any good) like Harper and Bates.

    Also, I’m sure that there will be more TE options are out there for the FO to explore if need be.

    I’m not to concerned right now with it because we have a lot of depth in the secondary to help get us a TE via trade.

  7. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Btw- Scary thing is that it sure don’t take long for a strength of a team, (see New England’s TEs) to become a weakness of a team in this league.

  8. yankinta says:

    Why do people think that Willson won’t be healthy this season?? it’s not like he has a history injuries,,, he’s very young and he was hurt only one time,,, 99% of the players come back strong after their first injury,,, If anything, Miller is more risky toward injuries than Willson.

  9. I am having a hard time seeing any kind of scenario in which this roster does not carry three TE’s. Bevell’s offense is too TE-centric to not carry as many TE’s as they can afford to. The battle at that position in camp will be very interesting with McCoy out of the picture. It’s a real opportunity for one of these guys like McGrath, or Helfet to shine.

    McGrath has shown marked improvement over the offseason and there is reason to believe that he could fill the void left by McCoy, and possibly even make him expendable.

    Guys like Helfet and Marshall are really more like big WR’s to me, fairly similar to Willson, and I am very intrigued by the possibilities they present within this offense. This is a pretty solid looking group of TE’s, IMO.

  10. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Is Dallas Clark still a free agent?

  11. I think Dallas Clark is still out there. He is 34 and might be done.

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Thanks Stevos. I heard in the past that he is a great locker room guy.

  13. Yankinta – If I recall correctly, Luke Willson had a few of injuries in college. I first heard about him in 2011 and he had an injury that season too, then a couple in 2012 I think. He was supposed to be Rice’s big time receiver coming into 2012 and I think a lot of NFL teams were watching his senior season and saw a guy that kept getting hurt.

  14. yankinta says:

    Sekolah, I totally agree but I think Eric’s point is valid because if we’re talking about experience, our TE group definitely lack it.

    My only request is no more Evan Moore,, if Wilson and McGrath do well this season, we won’t have to put up with McCoy anymore. He will be released next season.

    I’m still mad about him, since he’s the reason RW didn’t break the Rookie TD records. I can still see him making that catch within the 10 yard line and instead of going straight to the end zone to meet the CB, he decided to go sideways to make a move and got tackled from behind. That dude is SOFT!!! Even Golden Tate would have taken on a CB to get the TD!!!

  15. RDPoulsbo says:

    I’ve never been a fan of McCoy, but that injury really will hurt them this season. I know a lot of people are hoping Willson will be good, but it is asking a lot of a rookie at that position. Still, there are ways to cover up the depth issues here like using the FB more. If Ware makes the roster, he could handle some of the #2 responsibilites out of the backfield along with Mike Rob.

    They’re going to need to find ways to get Harvin on the field as it is, so spreading the field to open up running lanes for Lynch might be another way they handle it.

  16. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Interesting how Aaron Hernandez is still on the free agent list for TEs SandpointHawk. I thought they would have changed him over to the WR list by now.

  17. bbnate420 says:

    Harbarf is a giant bag of spit.

    Yanker, McCoy’s contract is up after the year, so there’s no need to release him. If you think he’s soft, then I don’t know what team you’re watching. You better pray that Willson can be half the blocker that McCoy was.

    Evan Moore? Really? Well, at least we know he will be ready to play if the team gets rocked with a flu outbreak as we know he certainly won’t catch anything! ;-)

    Georgia, just because Harper is 230+ lbs doesn’t mean he can play TE. And he still hasn’t made the team. I can’t imagine Bates trying to. I would think that they have 1 TE on the PS. Beckham could be a decent option if healthy.

  18. rramstad says:

    Wow a Dallas Clark sighting… on the one hand, it’s ridiculous and shows the issue if we’re even discussing Dallas Clark. On the other hand, call him now, ask him if he wants a ring… tell him you’ll send him a small downpayment — maybe a gift of $50k in beef? — if he agrees to sit on the couch waiting for the possibility of an emergency phone call from the Seahawks for a one year veteran minimum deal in the later part of the season to get us over the hump.

  19. yankinta says:

    Well that’s kind of like when I said we gotta release Marcus Trufant earlier this Offseason…. That means, although they maybe free agents, we still fire them cuz they’ve become a huge weakness for our team. Meaning, please go away for good.

  20. yankinta says:

    Just read the NFL 25-and-under org rankings, on by Football Outsiders… Of course we’re ranked No.1 but I don’t get how 49ers are ranked No.2. they have like 2-3 decent players under 25… and that is IT!!!…. I guess the hype is still on for 49ers FO…. which should go away after this upcoming season.

    I copied and pasted the first part of the article….in case some people don’t have ESPN insider…..

    1. Seattle Seahawks
    Some teams can match Seattle’s depth and some can match its star power. But no team can match both. It starts with star quarterback Russell Wilson, who has Golden Tate out wide while Pro Bowl left tackle Russell Okung protects the standout signal-caller. This year’s draft added Christine Michael to Robert Turbin as a potential long-term replacement for Marshawn Lynch.

    But where the Seahawks really shine is on defense. Every level of the unit has at least one potential star player. Bruce Irvin was a divisive first-round pick on draft day, and isn’t much in run support yet, but it’s hard to turn your nose up at an eight-sack rookie season. Bobby Wagner is another of the new wave of speedy linebackers who can bring the pain without being 250 pounds, and K.J. Wright has been an exemplary outside linebacker early in his career. Most importantly, the Seahawks have a shutdown corner in Richard Sherman and possibly the best safety combo in the game in Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Teams that jump from 7-9 to 11-5 generally need a consolidation year before they’re set to become contenders for good — but the talent already in place in Seattle should keep any talk of regression a distant thought.

    2. San Francisco 49ers
    As was the case last season, only their NFC West brethren can match the level of elite young talent the 49ers possess. No team has a 1-2 punch as good and impactful as Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith, even if both have tiny blemishes on their overall résumés. Anthony Davis has blossomed from a raw, powerful tackle to a complete mauler in the run game and NaVorro Bowman is either the best or second-best middle linebacker in the league, depending on how you rate him against teammate Patrick Willis. Oh, and even though he’s injured, Michael Crabtree, who last year busted through with his first 1,000-yard season, still qualifies for this list.

    Beyond those guys, the 49ers have solid young supplementary backs like LaMichael James and Kendall Hunter. Cornerback Chris Culliver, despite his struggles in the playoffs, was a very valuable player over the past couple of seasons. Then you really pull back and begin to look at the depth. San Francisco managed all this production in the now despite basically redshirting its entire 2012 draft class. It had more picks than any team in the 2013 draft. Then the 49ers traded Alex Smith for two more high-round picks. The 49ers are “out-Belichicking” Bill Belichick, and as a result, their roster is downright scary.

  21. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Just the mention of Evan Moore should bring back a blogger from, the New Orleans area out of his man cave.

  22. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Yes Nate, Harper has a lot to prove just to make the team. However he does have similar size to Aaron Hernandez if he puts on about ten more pounds.
    Just stepping out on a limb with this one.

  23. bbnate420 says:

    Georgia, yeah but I heard Harper doesn’t have Hernandez’s killer instinct. ;-)

    Yanker, you can’t fire someone who is not on your team no matter how you try and spin it. You can not resign them. I’d certainly resign McCoy. He should come cheap. He was starting to realize his talent as a pass catcher and he is a way better blocker than Willson is ever likely to be. I can’t believe that they listed Chris “Sweet Stuff” Culliver as an asset for the Whiners.

  24. yankinta says:

    ummm, dude, I just did. lol

  25. SandpointHawk says:

    Yeah they forgot Mike Iupati also, 1st team all pro last year…

  26. I knew you guys would love me Evan Moore reference! lol.
    (just wait, he will soon be catching TDs for somebody)

  27. “Harbarf is a giant bag of spit.”

    Well that pretty much puts the capper on this thread!

  28. SandpointHawk says:

    My bad, Mike Iupati is 26 years old now…

  29. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Another Seahawks story in USA Today. It’s cool to find these even as training camp is just two days away.

  30. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Please no Moore. He just dropped three passes as I typed this.

  31. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Just found this and gotta tell ya I’ve got a lump in my throat.
    Treat yourself to this 37 minute video. If it doesn’t bring up emotions and get you excited about this season, I don’t know what will.
    Just an awesome video. We’ve come a long way in a few short years. Love this team!!

  32. MoSeahawk12 says:

    Episode Two of Rain City Redemption. 39 minutes.

  33. sluggo42 says:

    Haha, Evan Moore dropped another pass while I laughed Mohawks response

  34. Thanks Mo those were excellent links! I can’t wait for episode 3.

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