Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts on 3 under contract players

I wanted to share some thoughts on 3 Seahawks under contract for 2011:

Golden Tate, WR: Tate showed promise in during the 2010 preseason, but was active only 11 games due to injury and inconsistent play. He has the physical tools as a strong, inside receiver that consistently gains yards after catch, 125 of his 227 receiving yards were of this nature, on all areas of the field; he had a knack for making extra effort plays in the red zone, such as week 3 against San Diego.  However, raw route running and an inability to finish the catch downfield. Week 8 in Oakland sums up Tate’s season; often lined up against Nnamdi Asumghoa, Tate was physical, generally impressive releasing off the line of scrimmage, but was constantly out of position to make the catch downfield, often a half step out of bounds; 7 targets, 2 catches, 0/4 finishing downfield throws along the sideline, ultimately finishing the game on an injured ankle that would keep him out three weeks. He displayed his talent, but he ultimately showed it wasn’t enough to earn him playing time in 2010.  
2011 outlook: Tate needs to ignore the CBA uncertainty and spend the offseason preparing like a professional; no more donut incidents. Deon Butler’s health is questionable for 2011 and, though he doesn’t have the same speed, Tate will have the opportunity to assume part of the downfield role.  Tate is talented enough to assume a version of the Percy Harvin package Bevell used in Minnesota; Harvin had 75 touches his rookie season. Tate had 93 catches and 25 carries, with a 7.4 per carry average and 2 touchdowns, his senior season at Notre Dame. Tate is more physical, less speed, but also showed in college he was a capable downfield threat, which Harvin has become in the NFL. 46-plus offensive touches for Tate in 2011, double his 2010 regular season total, would result in a more explosive offense in 2011.

Justin Forsett, RB: He started the 2010 season as the primary back, getting 20+ touches in weeks 3 and 4. After the acquisition of Marshawn Lynch, Forsett had only 1 game with 10+ carries and 10+ touches in 4 of 14 games; by contrast, Lynch had 6 games of 17+ touches, 3 games of 20+ carries.   
An underrated, tough inside runner and good receiver out of the backfield, Forsett has proven since his days here at Cal he is a capable 15+ touch back, with over 300 carries his senior season. Good vision, acceleration, a relentless motor and a compact, sturdy frame make him difficult to tackle. He was more durable than Lynch in college, concerns that have continued in Lynch’s pro career. 
2011 Outlook: In 2009, Forsett had 5 games of 4+ catches, but only 1 such game in 2010. New Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell utilized Chester Taylor as the primary receiving back in Minnesota from 2007-2009, but his carries reduced as Adrian Peterson flourished.  Pete Carroll has preached balance as a primary goal for the offense; 12-15 touches a game for Forsett in 2011 should bring balance to the offensive play calling and create a more versatile rushing attack; the screen game could become a primary part of this offense, a welcome change to many Seahawks fans.  

Brandon Browner: Signed by the Seahawks to a futures contract on January 21. A 3 -Time CFL Allstar at Defensive Back, listed at 6’3, 210 with the Calgary Stampeders. Coming out of Oregon State (Note: then listed at 6’4, 220) he was raw, but a potential ball hawking safety that could be physical in run support and press coverage; he refined his game into one of the CFL’s elite Cornerbacks. A Calgary teammate called Browner “a perfect fit out there in Seattle with Pete Carroll,” due to man-press coverage being further implemented and the need for physical corners in run support. This is among the organization’s most savvy offseason signings, one that exemplifies the scope of Schneider’s personnel pool this off-season. Browner’s size, and initial projection as a safety coming out of college, means he could be very versatile for this defense, stealing a roster spot from a more experienced Seahawks Secondary member.

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