Seahawks Insider

Morning links: TE Willson looks the part

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:15 am with 46 Comments »
August 5, 2013 7:15 am
Seattle Seahawks' Luke Willson reaches for a pass at NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Seattle Seahawks’ Luke Willson reaches for a pass at NFL football training camp Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In my story today, fifth-round draft choice Luke Willson is making the transition from college to the NFL, and could be Seattle’s starting tight end when the team travels to San Diego to face the Chargers in the team’s exhibition opener.

With regular starter Zach Miller starting the season on the PUP list with a foot issue, Willson has taken the majority of the reps with the first unit in the last, few practices for Seattle.

The physical tools are there for Willson, but he’s trying to overcome the steep learning curve with the bigger NFL playbook.

“For me, the toughest part has been the mental part of it,” Willson said. “I mean, we’re up here, especially as rookies, until 8:30 (p.m.). We’ve got meetings and special teams stuff – things like that going.

“It’s not a bad thing, but you really have to be focused, because if you miss that little bit of crucial information, all of sudden it shows up on the field. So that’s kind of the big thing for me is mentally, I really have to be focused in.”

Clare Farnsworth of writes that Marshawn Lynch shifted into Beast Mode in Sunday’s practice.

More Farnsworth: A short profile on defensive end Mike Morgan.

Jim Moore of 710 ESPN Seattle writes that Red Bryant looks in better shape this year.

Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle says outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield is looking for a fresh start in Seattle.

Aaron Levine of Fox Q13 reports that Sidney Rice visited a Seahawks fan in Switzerland while there for his procedure.

David Rasbach of The Bellingham Herald writes that rookie tight end Andrei Lintz is living his dream of being in the NFL after recently being picked up by Seattle.

Jayson Jenks of The Seattle Times talks with Early Doucet, who’s looking for a fresh start with the Seahawks.

ESPN’s Mike Sando breaks down the main story lines for the 49ers in his Camp Confidential.

Jeff Fedotin of the National Football Post writes about the NFC’s return to dominance, including Seattle and San Francisco in the NFC West.

Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union profiles former Seahawks safety Ray Polk, who was claimed off waivers by Jacksonville after Seattle released him.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 46
  1. hawkfan777 says:


    We have waited and waited and we are finally going to get to see some Seahawks football (albeit pre-season). I’m psyched!

    Go Hawks!!

  2. yankinta says:

    xcman, you asked for my observation from last Thursday Practice,, I only stayed there for 2 hours and they only did the 7 on 7 for about 40 min while I was there. I was looking for Stephen Williams to do well but he didn’t make any catches,, Kearse on the other hand stood out, made a few nice catches. I think Kearse and Stephen Williams will battle for PH’s Roster Spot….

    I also noticed Jordan Hill during D-Line Drills,, he looked really good. I think he will make some noise once the season starts,, A lot of people are overlooking him. Jaye Howard and Clinton McDonald looked very good too. I think that Jessie Williams will have a hard time making Roster, which is a shame because I was cheering for him. Hopefully he’ll clear waiver and make it to PS and get healthy this season.,, If we can keep him and if he can come back healthy then it was still worth a 5th round pick. I still think he’s late 1st round talent as a DT…

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Good article on Willson Eric.

    It will be fun to see how the rookies do in San Diego.

  4. yankinta says:

    I really like the pickup of O’Brien Schofield. I think he will be a very nice pickup (A Steal),, I like everything I hear about him and his potential. I definitely noticed how he was playing well for the Cardinals before he got hurt last year…. I thought he was playing as well as Daryl Washington, if not better…. He will definitely make the Roster….

  5. Dukeshire says:

    yak- Thats interesting about Williams and Hill since Willis is behind McDonald at 3-tech and Hill is the third NT. Curious, thats all.

    The only thing about Willson I know of from vamp is that he seems to get lit up regularly.

  6. CDHawkFan says:

    Thinking back to last years weaknesses (getting to the QB and stopping the run at times), it seems we have really stocked up in both areas this year. We all bitched and moaned, it seems PC and JS agreed. I don’t think we will have to sign a guy from off the street in the playoffs again.

    Looking forward to seeing all the rookies on Thursday, mostly Bailey and Bowie if he is healthy. Hopefully these guys will be the R Wilson/R Sherman’s of 2014/2015/2016 (cheap, starters, and the envy of other teams).

  7. yankinta says:

    Duke, I doubt the depth chart is already set in stone since we have not even played a preseason game yet. Those are just my observation,, we’ll see if they pan out but I won’t be surprised when they do. :)

    I think Willson will be asked to play the Joker TE, not blocking TE. This would mean less snaps initially but he should be able to catch on by mid season. I like what I’m hearing about Sean McGrath so I’m not worried about backup TE spot at all. I think it will be an upgrade from last season, if Miller can stay healthy,,

  8. dirtbiker_joey says:

    “I don’t think we will have to sign a guy from off the street in the playoffs again.”

    With the ever-present caveat of, “barring injuries,” a-la Steven Hauschka from last year. We were blessed to have so few injuries last season, Clemons and Carpenter being the obvious exceptions. Even Big Red’s nagging injury had an impact.

    With so many key guys on other competitive teams going down already (Crabtree and Culliver in SF, Bulaga in GB) it sticks in my mind as a nagging concern.

    Of course there’s nothing that can be done about it, so I guess I shouldn’t waste one second worrying about injuries; But I just can’t help it.

  9. dirtbiker_joey says:

    From Sando’s post on the 9ers: “Kaepernick often shows up for work before 6 in the morning.” Dude’s trying to outdo Wilson.

  10. CDHawkFan says:

    Joey, I was thinking more Patrick Chukwurah, DE signed when Clemons went down vs the Redskins. Yeah, Patrick who?

  11. yankinta says:

    dirtbiker_joey, I’m not worried about CK,, I will worry when he is able to show he can anticipate WR getting open and when he’s able to go thru is progression, if 1st and 2nd read/options aren’t open…. I doubt he will improve that much in the first 6 games this season,,

  12. tchristensen says:

    Seahawks just released pre-season depth chart. Jesse Williams is second string nose tackle and after Pete’s comments about his play in the mock game, I just can’t grasp why you think Jesse Williams won’t make the roster. It’s almost absurd.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    I said it was “interesting” and “curious”, nothing more. Set in stone? Those are your words.

  14. raymaines says:

    I like what PC said about Antoine Winfield: He “Takes away a lot of routes, so we can’t even throw it.”

    I don’t know enough about football to recognize that as the game unfolds on TV, but the coaches see it and I’m glad to hear about it. Cool!

  15. yankinta says:

    tchristensen and Duke,, I was just sharing my observation based on Thursday Practice that I went to…. Jesse Williams did not play as of Thursday. He returned on Friday… Someone asked me to share what I saw on Thursday. you don’t have to get bent out of shape,, relax….

    I really hope Jesse Williams will make it because he was on my wish list before the draft,,, we need him to fix that Run-D that was failing in the second half of last year,,,

  16. Dukeshire says:

    Yes, I understand that. Your observations are “interesting” to me compared to the initial depth chart. Why is this hard for you to understand?

  17. yankinta says:

    lol, ic ic…. well I didn’t pay attention to the initial depth chart at all, I have no idea what that looks like,, that maybe why…. I guess I’m totally buying into Pete’s True Competition during Camp, where even a third round, 5’10” QB could beat out a newly signed Free Agent QB,,, :)

    But I’m very happy that Jordan Hill, Jesse Williams, Jaye Howard and Clinton McDonald are all looking good so far. Because I was really disappointed with the DT play, last season,, especially the second half…

  18. chuck_easton says:


    The official depth chart is put out by the team. It is not constructed by media or people watching from the berm.

    It is a true reflection of where the team sees how each player stands in comparison to their competition.

    It is very telling. You may choose not to but stock in it, but as of August 4, 2013 this is how the FO sees the competition going.

    There are 5 more weeks before the final cuts but if a player is sitting at third or fourth string on today’s depth chart they had better pick up the tempo or they may not be here come September.

  19. chuck_easton says:

    This has been a bad year for TC injuries throughout the NFL.

    So far Seattle’s biggest loss is to a guy who never stepped foot on the field.

    Once pre-season games start the tempo at practice slows down a bit.

    If the Seahawks can get through this week relatively unscathed we might have some luck.

    I’m crossing my fingers.

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Chuck, I agree with you to a certain degree with regards to the initial depth chart, however I also agree what Eric has to say about it in his previous thread. especially with regards to the players towards the back of the depth chart.-


    “First off, don’t read too much into where guys are listed on the depth this early in training camp. Things can change quickly, and the depth chart basically serves as a starting point to begin the preseason. There will be a lot of juggling by the time the final roster is set in a month.”

  21. sluggo42 says:

    Ya, +1 to that chuck, injuries have really hurt us in the last few years, but not as bad last year.

    Down here in SoCal the game is supposed to be on NFL channel starting at 8:00
    I want to see cristin mikals, the rook DT’s, carp, luuuuuke, kearse, Stephan Williams, baily, the backers, Thurmond, the oline, the d line, the QB’s, the rbz, the WRs, the DBS, the safety’s, and the kickers….

    That’s all…

  22. chuck_easton says:

    Yup, it’s an initial depth chart. But if I’m a player who thought I was safe to make the team ad I wake up to see my name further, fifth or sixth string, I’m going to go out and work a lot harder.

  23. Depth charts are kinda misleading anyways. Instead of WR1 and WR2 maybe it should say SE, FL and SL, and instead of just LCB & RCB maybe it should include Nickle CB, rather than leaving the reader to guess who might be where, especially since Nickle might end up being SEA’s base defense. Simple task for fans of the team, but takes alot more investigating to look at opposing teams depth charts.

    The thing I do like seeing is the relative lack of obvious performance potential drop off in SEA’s depth chart now than in the past…

  24. Am I wrong in thinking that one of the main purposes of the depth chart for the first pre-season game might be to observe new players, as opposed to watching those whose skills are well documented? Could it also not serve to showcase tradable talent?

  25. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I will take McPherson’s and Wilsons Analysis over Rangs at this stage on Willson. Epecially since Rang had only seen him twice at camp and one of those times Willson was playing injured.

    I think Willson can emerge as a dynamic backup. Time will tell.

    “He’s a sharp kid,” McPherson said. “He’s very vigilant in his studying, and just staying on top of everything mentally. He’s doing a great job out there. For a rookie, he’s been dynamite.

    ”Willson’s play also has caught the attention of quarterback Russell Wilson.
    “Luke looks great,” Wilson said. “He’s doing a great job at understanding where he needs to be at the right time. He has a great sense of looking for the ball, and he’s got unbelievable hands and a lot of speed.
    “Zach’s been a ton of help,” Willson said. “With him being out right now, he’s really been talking me through a lot of plays – what to think, and what to look for pre-snap. He’s been tremendous for me so far.”

    All the rookies( and new comers ) are playing behind at this stage simply because they are learning the play book.

  26. GeorgiaHawk says:

    All good points Chuck, klm008 and PHXHawk.

  27. sluggo42 says:

    I can’t wait to see Luke’s speed turn a normal play into a long gainer or a TD

  28. sluggo42 says:

    A-rod in deep cah-cah….

  29. Dukeshire says:

    Depth charts are designed around base sets, on both sides of the ball, that’s why you don’t see slot receivers, nickel corners, and the like. And any depth chart that comes out Aug 5 is simply a starting place, in general terms (aside from the most obvious positions: QB, RB, SS, FS, etc… at least in Seattle’s case).

  30. This depth chart doesnt mean jack. For one, Percy Harvin is listed. Dude’s out till late Nov at the earliest, so his listing is a moot point. For another, if you read that chart, you’d think Kearse was behind Bates and Williams, and by all accounts from those watching camp, and from his playing with the ones and two’s, he’s far ahead of those guys in reality. He’s getting time just behind Tate and Bladwin with Rice out. Williams has a chance to inch past him, but Kearse’s experience in our offense, his versatility (able to play all three WR spots, Special Teams Ace), coupled with Willimas lack of versatility and experience in our system, plus his injury (courtesy of Dipstick of the Week Winston Guy) and no special teams makes it unlikely.

    Williams is duking it out with the rest of the crowd at WR (Walters, Bates, et al) for the last spot while Harvin is out, but Kearse has pretty much made the team barring a total collapse on his part–or injury.

    Also, it doesnt take into account guys that play multiple positions or guys that come in for special packages, like DE/LB’s or DT’s that can play DE or visa versa, guys who come in on third down and are gonna make the team…

  31. No team is going to put out a completely accurate depth chart right now, especially a team like Seattle with talent to spare that they hope to sneak through waivers after preseason.

    Some of the guys Seattle wants to put on the PS wont get the preseason action everyone thinks they will–why showcase a guy for other teams you want to stash?! And I expect a couple young guys to get put on IR after week one as well, to keep them safe. Tharold Simon is one candidate. If they want him on IR now, they’d have to waive him first, and he wouldnt clear waivers.

  32. A-Rod is mentally ill like Ted Williams was. Williams got more self-absorbed and crazy as he aged, I expect the same from A-Rod. He’s getting his due…

  33. To be fair, Rang isnt watching Willson day in, day out. He’s only watched him a couple days so lacks a complete picture.

    I think he will contribute this year, but probably not too much to start with. It will depend on how he does in limited opportunities–he’s got the run the right route, and then hold onto the ball. No Morrah/McCoy-like drops or rigid route-running like Carlson.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    That’s been my point STTBM.
    Rang ( as a professional ) only makes himself look silly by even trying to make an analysis on players he has seen just a couple times in camp imo.

  35. ruminator1 says:

    i hesitate to comment on a baseball comment on a football site, but the comparison of Ted Williams to A-Rod is way way off the mark. What is your evidence that Williams was mentally ill during his last years? His 388 avg age 38? his 28 homers age 41? the great respect he earned from other players, especially black players since he was an early and consistent advocate? his work for the Jimmy Fund? he was a phenomenal hitter, in my opinion, the best ever. lifetime 344. the only evidence of his mentality slipping is in allowing himself to be influenced by his son when he was an old man. i don’t see A-Rod in any of this.
    sorry folks. i won’t continue this, but my boyhood hero….

  36. mocarob says:

    Sluggo, Thursdays game is on CBS in Los Angeles.

  37. ruminator–For one thing, a LENGTHY article that came out a few years ago in Sports Illustrated that went into great detail about Williams final years on this earth. He was obviously severely mentally ill, the manifestation of which was him basically being an entitled prick at all times. Very weird. A-rods behavior throughout his career is just as self-centered, bizarre, and odd…it echoes much that I have read/heard regarding Williams. Their careers and behavior have many parallels. I could go into more detail, but that probably wouldnt change your mind if you’ve already made it up.

    Unless the words printed were outright lies, and the stories totally bogus, the man was severely ill. Now, I hate to ruin anyone’s opinion of their boyhood hero; In my opinion, Williams behavior doesnt take away from his play onfield, but it is part of the picture and shouldnt be ignored.

    In my opinion, all leaders have feet of clay, so Im one of the rare few that doesnt expect my heroes to be perfect, and Im able to respect them for what they accomplished DESPITE their weaknesses, or maybe even because of them. That said, I do draw lines in the sand–I have no time for jerks like Rocky Bernard…

    Ty Cobb is in the HOF, and he was a vile man, both onfield and off. Lawrence Taylor is in the NFL HOF. Williams earned his spot, and Im sure you know more of his playing days than I. But you should read that article, its fascinating and sad and terrible, but worth reading.

  38. bbnate420 says:

    I really hope Willson can be a contributor this year. He should be able to come in and pressure the seams occasionally at least. If Willson and Miller are on the field at the same time, that probably means that Miller will be the one staying in to block if one does. That’s what I liked about having McCoy and Miller. Both could go out and both were very good blockers.

    Maybe they can see if A-Roid wants to come in and play tackling dummy? ;-) What a difference in the way he’s viewed in this town from 13 years ago. This is just anecdotal and doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but my uncle’s pilot said that A-Roid was one of the dumbest people he ever had to fly around. Said Ray Lewis was one of the nicest guys he ever met.

  39. bbnate420 says:

    I’m not sure what A-Roid’s behavior has to do with Williams’ when he was in his 80’s with dementia? Williams seems to have been a love him or hate him type of guy, even when he was young.

  40. My point really is that human beings are complicated, and our heroes are often far more flawed and complex than we can handle. I was fascinated by this article and others I found after because the “official” version of events regarding Williams is so sanitized as to be fake, as it is with many of our greatest heroes.

    No one wants to deal with the fact that JFK behaved like an animal and was a real jerk to plenty of people who didnt deserve it, including his wife. He saved the world from Nuclear War! The rest is not so important… Same white-washing treatment is done to the histories of many–from George Washington to Thomas Jefferson to JFK, MLK, and our sports stars who have shown themselves to be sometimes all too human, we either ignore or downplay their mistakes, or turn on them if the indiscretions are bad enough.

    I tend to take the middle ground; I dont necessarily revile those who show themselves to be seriously flawed, but neither do I put leaders/players up on pedestals. I can still respect what they do, even if I am disgusted by their behavior at times–but I do not revere them.

    But plenty of folks do revere sports stars, and plenty of folks cant handle their heroes flaws seeing the light of day. You can track down that article, or not, as you see fit. Peace.

  41. bbnate420 says:

    We’ve really fallen down the rabbit hole. I don’t know if Williams was a good guy or a DB, and I don’t really care. I’ve been aware for a long time that everyone has their issues. Nobody’s perfect. I do wonder why you think that this SI article is any more factual than the “official” version. It’s one subjective view versus another. I don’t think it’s a secret that many people disliked Williams either. Reporters really didn’t like him. So I think he got less white washing than others of his day, say Mickey Mantle for example.

  42. bbnate–One story about A-Rod in particular comes to mind. When he was playing for the Yankees, the FO guys (I cant remember which ones) found a problem in the paperwork, and called A-rod to let him know. It was late at night on like a Tuesday. He told them to come on up to his penthouse. When they got there–I think it was almost midnight–A-rod let them in; he was wearing a three-piece suit, with cuff links and the whole deal. He was alone.

    Late at night, middle of the week, hanging out by himself in a suit, everything PERFECT. The FO guys were all severely wierded out. They thought that beyond weird, even in NY. His perfectionism doesnt just border on insanity, it crosses the line.

    There are many accounts of Williams perfectionism engendering behavior just as odd.

    And of course, guys, this is my opinion, based on what Ive read and heard, never having met either person, nor having made it a point of study. But I am fascinated by what makes people, especially high achievers, tick, and so this kind of stuff catches my eye and bugs me.

    Again, not trying to paint Williams as the devil, as he was one of the first to accept integration in sport, and did other good things; but he was a flawed man with problems that from what I have read, were likely already manifesting themselves during his playing days, and only worsened in his retirement.

    Yeah, nate, I have been waiting since we first signed Miller to see two do-it-all TE’s line up for us at the same time. It was supposed to happen with Carlson and Miller, then McCoy and Miller, and now maybe we’ll see it with Miller and McGrath, at least in Goal-line situations….but it would be nice to have a Joker TE to strike fear into the hearts of lB’s and SS’s everywhere…I hope Willson can be that guy by midseason…

  43. Sorry nate, no more rabbit hole. YOu can read the article and make up your own mind about how much stock to put in it, or not. No worries. Back to FB.

    I wonder what the chances are of Seattle picking up a TE or trading for one before game one?

  44. sluggo42 says:

    Macorob-THANK YOU BRO,!!!!
    I didn’t see that. And would have missed it.

    Sorry for bringing up A-rod… I just hate the guy, and am glad to see kharma catching up to him…

  45. ruminator1 says:

    i promised not to extend the Williams issue on this football site. but it seems ludicrous to compare williams as a senile old man with A-Rod. Sportswriters hated him, took honors away (like the 56 hit streak of Dimagio came when he led AL in batting (406, hr and rbis). he was bitter about being called back in the Korean War. but in his last playing years he did not resemble A-Rod. he could be stubborn, but he was not a me first player. regardless, this is my last post here on this. if you want to carry it on contact me at i do not know the particular article you cite but i do not doubt he was losing his mind at the end (why else would you let your son have the power to decide that your head should be cut off and preserved in ice. but it is a huge insult to extend this back to his playing days. read the great writings on Williams. i considered him politically a cave man, and he wasn’t too great with his marriages. but as a ball player? nothing like A-Rod except that both were very talented.

  46. bbnate420 says:

    ruminator1, this thread has long been dead. I don’t think it matters at this point about posting something about baseball. Just my 2 cents.

    Although we don’t know for sure what Ted Williams took, it seems like a safe bet that he didn’t take anabolic steroids. A-Roid seems to have taken them for at least a significant portion of his career.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0