The Seahawks already had a strong group of tight ends and only added to the mix – as well as their deceptive options – by signing Pro Bowler Zach Miller and Dominique Byrd in free agency.
Discussing the depth, diverse talents and athleticism of the Seahawks’ tight ends with Gus Bradley starts with a couple of chicken-or-the-egg responses.
Which comes first? The shaking of the head, furrowed brow and widening of the eyes? Or the broad smile, oh-man body language and widening of the eyes?
As the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator, Bradley cringes at the thought of devising ways to contend with Zach Miller. And John Carlson. And Anthony McCoy. And Dominique Byrd. And, eventually, Cameron Morrah. Suffice it to say, Bradley is very happy he doesn’t have to do it – except in practice.
“They’re all so athletic,” Bradley said. “They have the ability to catch the ball. Good blockers. They can really create issues for you as a defense.
“Sometimes you can kind of forget about those tight ends, but you can’t forget about them on our team.”
The Seahawks already had a formidable trio in Carlson, Morrah and McCoy. They only added to the depth and diversity at the position by signing Miller in free agency last month and Byrd to a future contract in January.
How good is this group? “It’s a great group of tight ends. They’re definitely an athletic group; talented and guys who can make plays,” said Miller, who was voted to the AFC West Pro Bowl squad last season when he caught 60 passes for the Oakland Raiders.
Now he’s in Seattle, having followed former teammate Robert Gallery and former coach Tom Cable up the coast. The coaches will use Miller in tandem with Carlson to supply tough-to-defend options in both the passing and running game – once Carlson returns from the labrum injury he got while diving for a pass in practice on Aug. 13.
“Those guys will play together, in tandem,” coach Pete Carroll said. “They’ll be on opposite sides, and we’ll be moving them around for matchups and all kinds of stuff. It’ll be a great asset for us.”
With Miller and Carlson on the field at the same time, the Seahawks can show two-tight personnel in the huddle – leading the defense to believe it will be a running play – only to lineup in a four-receiver set once they break the huddle by slotting or even flanking the “blocker” with split end Mike Williams and flanker Sidney Rice.
“It makes it tough on a (defensive) play-caller, that’s for sure, just because they can line up outside or inside the receivers,” Bradley said. “They can determine whether you’re in man or zone coverage real quick and get to matchup they want.
via Depth, and diversity.