Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 10/24/14
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The Glory Hogs Yada Yada Percy Harvin‘s hurt yada yada. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, where was I? Ah yes, the Seattle Seahawks wide receivers that will be healthy from week 1 forward and their projected stats lines. They may not have the flashy big play ability of Harvin for the majority of the season (and potentially longer), but there are no shortage of stars in this receiving corps. While it was great to imagine what this offense could have done with four starting caliber receivers, I’m no less excited with the three that the Seahawks have been left with. Sidney Rice is healthy, Golden Tate‘s rapport with Russell Wilson can only be getting better and Doug Baldwin has no nagging injuries going into the preseason. That’s more than good enough for me. The Spread So, when evaluating the Seahawks receiving corps one has to keep their expectations guarded. Seattle is still a run first team, and for as long as Pete Carroll is running the show I expect it to stay that way. This is why Wilson’s yardage is nowhere near the level of some of his more heralded veteran peers. It’s also the same reason the Seahawks leading receiver, Sidney Rice, had a modest 748 yards last season. Darrell Bevell doesn’t like to call passing plays often, but oh how effective they are when he does call them. The quality-over-quantity methodology to Seattle’s air game is evidenced by Russell Wilson’s stellar 7.93 yards per attempt last season. Only three quarterbacks (RGIII, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton) finished ahead of Wilson in yards per attempt, and that’s some good company to keep. Barring a sophomore slump (knock on wood), there is no reason to expect anything less from Wilson this season. This approach to the passing game doesn’t lend itself well to absurdly high yardage (from the quarterback and receivers alike), but the silver lining is that high YPA generally has a direct correlation with Super Bowl winning teams. How to Use These Wideouts There has to be added emphasis upon where the receivers are lining up based on how the Seahawks do things. Since they are a run-first team, they will generally use heavier sets that either have two tight ends, or maybe one and a fullback etc. etc. when they are on first or second down. Whether Seattle puts Tate or Baldwin into Harvin’s slot will have a huge impact on their stats lines. While the starting two receivers can expect to be used on nearly every offensive snap, the slot receiver will be looking at limited action; seeing time generally on third down or obvious passing situations when the team is trailing. Does Doug Baldwin step up and take Harvin’s spot? (Photo: Google) It seems all but guaranteed that in Harvin’s absence that his former and current teammate, Sidney Rice, is still the top dog in the passing attack. After Rice though, things get a little murky. The obvious fill in as a starter seemed to be Golden Tate, but all reports out of training camp seem to indicate otherwise. From what I can gather, the Seahawks have been using Baldwin to the same effect that they had game-planned to use Harvin. This has me thinking the whole “replace Harvin” thing will be done by committee. Tate isn’t suited to the slot, and Baldwin’s versatility will lend itself well to lining up just about anywhere. The second starter at receiver could just as easily change from play to play based on what Darrell Bevell has in mind. Interesting, right? Another wrinkle in the Seahawks plan at receiver – and it’s worth mentioning it’s of the positive varitety – has been the emergence of Jermaine Kearse in training camp. Seriously, all accounts from training camp have been glowingly positive about Kearse — and not just because he’s a hometown kid who played at Washington. Surely even Pete Carroll’s most optimistic of outlooks didn’t have Kearse coming back to camp this charged. Great problem to have, really. What You’ve All Been Waiting For… My Seahawks Wide Receiver Predictions (minus Percy Harvin) Sidney Rice 47 receptions, 744 yards, 7 TDs Doug Baldwin 40 receptions, 663 yards, 4 TDs Golden Tate 34 receptions, 544 yards, 5 TDs Jermaine Kearse 17 receptions, 149 yards, 0 Tds Like em? Hate em? Give me your thoughts on my stats predictions for Seattle’s receiving corps in the comments section down below. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG PAGE IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!
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