The Seattle Seahawks are one of the most recognizable teams in the NFL currently. The Seahawks have made the playoffs three times in the last three seasons, and been to the Super Bowl twice in the last two seasons.
As the 2015/2016 NFL season was approaching, many of the Pro Bowl players on the Seahawks roster were up for contract renewal. Surprisingly, the Seahawks managed to sign all of their Pro Bowl players and gained another Pro Bowl player via a trade with the New Orleans Saints.
Tight end Jimmy Graham was traded to the Seahawks in exchange for a first round draft pick and Pro Bowl center Max Unger. Unger was injured for majority of the 2014 season and the Seahawks still managed to make it to the Super Bowl and have one of the best-runs in the NFL.
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A tight end seemed on paper to the a great get for the Seahawks as their main tight end was injured for the 2014 season and back up tight ends like Luke Wilson were called upon often and did well with the Seahawks style of play.
The thought process going into the big trade may have been if the Seahawks were to get a amazing tight end like Jimmy Graham they could have a even greater passing game.So far however, this is not the case. It has only been two weeks but so far we have not seen Jimmy Graham shine like people thought he would.
Last season while on the Saints, Graham had 18 receptions for a total of 200 yards, and two touchdowns after the first two games. After the first two games this season, Graham has only had seven receptions for a total of 62 yards, and one touchdown.
Most of that was after the first game against the St. Louis Rams. After the game against the Green Bay Packers, Graham only had one reception for 11 yards. Back up tight end Luke Wilson had two receptions during that game for 36 yards.
Head coach for the Seahawks, Pete Carroll, discussed with ESPN radio, according to NFL.com, that many plays were called to target Graham but the ball just did not end up in his hands. “It's frustrating ... we have to find our way to get that done”. The Seahawks just cannot seem to find a rhythm with Graham so far. What is the issue?
Graham has been ranked in the top half of the NFL’s Top 100 Players list over the last two years and has been a Pro Bowl tight end three times. Did he just suddenly become a bust over night? Hopefully not. Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett is similar to Graham in style of play.
Bennett faced the Packers during week one and managed to receive the ball five times for 55 yards and one touchdown. The speculation on why Graham could not match these numbers is the way he is being played. Graham is being played as a blocking tight end more than he ever has before during his career with the Saints.
Graham had disagreements with the Saints as he saw himself more as a wide receiver as he would line up more in that position. Graham does have blocking experience and is good at it but it is not where he normally is on the field.
This could be the reason he is not being thrown the ball as much so far this season. Either way it may be getting to Graham as he refused to talk to the press after the loss to the Packers on Sunday.
The Seahawks do have an ability to gain more of a rhythm in the latter half of their seasons so hopefully we can see Graham use his 6’7” body to become the great red zone threat he is known to be.