2005 Seahawks Player Analysis: WR/TE

With the Seahawks' 2005 training camp just a few days away, Seahawks.NET will take a player-by-player look at the current roster over the next week. Everyone will be profiled, from the stars to the role-players on the bubble. We continue our series with the wide receivers and tight ends.

Wide Receivers

Darrell Jackson
Age:
26  HT: 6-0  WT: 201 Yr: 6 Florida

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

16

16

87

1199

13.8

56

7

16

2

CAREER

77

70

340

5007

14.7

80

34

75

17

2004 was Jackson's finest season, as he caught 87 balls for 1,199 yards and 7 touchdowns. He enjoyed five 100-yard games in 2004, and the season-high (135) against Minnesota in Week 14 was especially notable in that Jackson had heard of his father’s passing only hours before the game. Jackson doesn’t have elite size and speed, and he isn’t consistent, as solid as his stats have been – he dropped 11 balls in 2004, and there are days when he doesn’t resemble a top-level receiver at all. Seattle is rebuilding the passing game around reliability at the expense of a breakaway threat, at least in the short term. While that may increase the amount of defensive focus on Jackson as the pointman, the overall versatility of the offense will mitigate that somewhat. The team is relying heavily on Jackson to graduate to the #1 receiver status his talent promises. For this to happen, he needs to improve his focus and further refine his technique. Elite receivers are defined by their reliability in the clutch, not by the occasional big play.

2005 Outlook: Jackson made some off-season waves when he refused to report to the team’s minicamps due to a dispute over compensation. This was related to promises that Seattle's previous administration had made to him when he signed a six-year, $25 million contract in March of 2004. Jackson reportedly feels that he is not compensated as he deserves to be - a claim the Seahawks could easily counter by virtue of the fact that Jackson has some fine points in his game that still need work. This drama was the last thing the Seahawks needed, but the odds of Jackson holding out are slim to none. Jackson will be Seattle's top wideout in 2005 again, and there’s no reason to expect a downturn in productivity.


Bobby Engram
Age: 32  HT: 5-10  WT: 188  YR: 10 Penn State
 

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

13

7

36

499

13.9

60

2

6

1

CAREER

122

70

413

4986

12.1

79

25

54

8

Was it appropriate that Seattle's 2004 season ended with a dropped pass in the end zone in the wild-card game against the Rams? Absolutely. Was it appropriate that Engram was the one to drop that catch? Absolutely NOT. The recipient of an undeserved pair of goat horns after that play, and the Seahawks’ uber-reliable slot receiver in his four seasons with Seattle, Engram will be asked to step outside in 2005 to a wideout position he hasn’t occupied consistently since his Chicago days. During his time in the slot as the Seahawks’ third receiver, Engram became noted for making the tough catch, especially on third down, and especially when his teammates wouldn’t or couldn’t. If his replacement in the slot is Jurevicius, the team is in good shape – but Joe J. can’t do it any better. Few could.

2005 Outlook: Engram’s position shift could be a mixed bag for the team. He’s not really big enough to break through a press at the line in a three-receiver set, and he’s not going to outrun most DBs. While he could be very productive if the playcalls put him in sort of an “outside slot” role, this could be a case in which the Seahawks pay a price for not preparing sooner for Koren Robinson’s inevitable flameout. This much we know: Whatever Engram is asked to do, he’ll take on to the best of his abilities, with maximum reliability and minimal B.S.


Joe Jurevicius
Age: 30  HT: 6-5  WT: 230 YR: 7 Penn State
 

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Tampa Bay

10

3

27

333

12.3

42

2

5

1

CAREER

88

22

178

2316

13.0

71

13

27

6

The good news with Jurevicius is that he provides an imposing presence in the slot, and caught everything thrown his way during the team’s recent minicamps. The bad news? He’s only played in 15 games with 39 catches over the last two seasons, due to various injuries. His best days in Tampa Bay were marked by incredible catches in crucial games during the Bucs’ 2002 Super Bowl run, which seems to be his predominant asset – not unlike former Broncos WR (and fellow New York Giants castoff) Ed McCaffrey, Jurevicius is a man who is driven by his intangibles.

2005 Outlook: If Jurevicius can stay healthy this year, his size and savvy will provide the Seahawks with some interesting matchups over the middle, and he is seasoned enough to make up for any technical deficiencies. He won’t break your ankles with his elusiveness or route-running skills, but he does have a knack for getting open underneath and he’s an extremely determined player. From an attitude perspective, he’s everything the Seahawks need – especially at his position.


Jerome Pathon
Age: 29  HT: 6-0 WT: 195  YR: 7 Washington
 

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

New Orleans

15

7

34

581

17.1

38

1

11

0

CAREER

91

62

259

3332

12.9

64

15

35

4

Stuck behind the Receivers of Doom in Indy, and behind Joe Horn and Donte’ Stallworth in New Orleans, Pathon has seemingly waited his entire career for a shot at a starring role. He’ll have an interesting time trying to make that happen in Seattle. His advantage? At this time, he’s the Seahawks’ only pure speed-burning vertical receiver, and that will insure some playing time. His disadvantages? He’s not going to unseat Engram with his history of drops and fumbles, he’s not eager to make the tough catch that marks the best slot receivers, and Darrell Jackson’s already got his own parking space. He also reportedly received a key to Mike Holmgren’s doghouse when he reported to a recent minicamp in less than tip-top shape – an incident that may have been overblown, but bears watching. You can bet that the Seahawks have absolutely no tolerance for shenanigans from their receivers anymore.

2005 Outlook: Where Pathon would be useful is as a fourth receiver, or a third in certain packages. Barring injury, his starting chances are iffy – pure speed isn’t enough. Given the Known Entity status of the rest of Seattle's top receivers, Pathon will have all eyes on him. What can he do? How much pressure could he take off the other receivers with his quickness? This will be a crucial training camp for Pathon – he signed a three-year deal with the Seahawks this offseason, and he’ll be auditioning for the definition of his future.


Jerheme Urban
Age: 24  HT: 6-3  WT: 212  YR: 3 Trinity (TX)

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

7

1

6

117

19.5

33

1

2

0

CAREER

7

1

6

117

19.5

33

1

2

0

"Every year, (Urban has) improved. From last year to now, he's improved more than any other player on the team, and I'm not just talking about wide receivers. I'm not going to go on record saying who should be the guy because the coaching staff may not agree. I've been through something similar myself in the past, so I don't want to do that to anybody else. But I do have a pretty good idea of who I think should be there." -- Matt Hasselbeck, 2005

Urban joined the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2003, spent the next year and a half bouncing on and off the practice squad, and broke through in late 2004 during Robinson’s “penalty phase”. An attentive overachiever, Urban peppered Jerry Rice with questions during the Master’s time with the Seahawks last season. That he was apparently the only Seattle receiver to do so tells you a lot about where the respective heads of this unit were last year. Urban is a tough player with good size and quickness (as opposed to pure speed) who will stretch to make the difficult catch.

2005 Outlook: Urban’s continued high performance in this year’s minicamps prompted the above quote from Hasselbeck, and Hasselbeck isn’t the only member of Urban’s cheering section. He’ll surely get the opportunity to prove himself on a higher level during training camp, and a leap up the depth chart is not out of the question.

In other words, buy the stock in Jerheme Urban now.


Alex Bannister
Age: 26 HT: 6-5  WT: 207 YR: 5 Eastern Kentucky
 

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

7

1

2

10

5.0

8

0

0

0

CAREER

55

4

9

121

13.4

31

1

2

0

Following a stellar 2003 season which ended with a Pro Bowl berth as a special teams monster, Bannister has suffered two major injuries in the last year which have limited his playing time and progress. He broke his right clavicle (collarbone) against the Carolina Panthers on October 31. The injury ended his season. During this June’s passing camp, Bannister broke the same bone again, putting him out of action through training camp. Estimates have him healthy and ready for action in time for the regular season.

2005 Outlook: As a receiver, Bannister is not likely to snag anything more than a role as a fourth or fifth option. However, his prowess on special teams will be crucial to a unit that was decimated in 2004 by poor coaching and defensive injuries that forced backups to start. Bannister’s injury was as big a factor as any – he led Seahawks with 18 special teams tackles in 2003 and is one of the best in the NFL at downing punts inside the 20. New ST coach Bob Casullo is likely to improve the special teams unit with his presence and acumen, but having Bannister back and ready for action would help a great deal. He’s worth a roster spot for that alone.


D.J. Hackett
Age: 23  HT: 6-2  WT: 199  YR: 2 Colorado
 

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

FD

2004

Seattle

0

0

0

0

---

0

0

0

0

0

CAREER

Seattle

0

0

0

0

---

0

0

0

0

0

Hackett, the Seahawks’ fifth-round pick in 2004, found himself shooting up draft boards prior to his selection due to his impressive natural ability. After a year primarily spent on the sidelines, and having suffered a hip injury last November, Hackett has made his presence known in offseason camps, showing good cuts and separation ability. Hackett is a possession receiver who has excellent strength for his size and good hands.

2005 Outlook: Hackett has always impressed when healthy, and with a strong training camp he’ll have a good chance at a place on the roster.


Taco Wallace
Age: 24  HT: 6-1 WT: 190  YR: 2 Kansas State

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

2

0

0

0

---

0

0

0

0

CAREER

3

0

0

0

---

0

0

0

0

2005 Outlook: Wallace has spent the last two years under development. He has shifted primarily between the inactive roster and the practice squad with a bit of playing time.

Wallace has intriguing speed and quickness through routes, but he’ll have an uphill battle to make a Seahawks team with a lot of mid-line talent.



 

Jason Willis
Age: 24  HT: 6-1 WT: 196  YR: 1 Oregon
 

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

1

0

0

0

---

0

0

0

0

CAREER

1

0

0

0

---

0

0

0

0

2005 Outlook: Signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2003 (spent 2003 on injured reserve), Willis saw a bit of action as a special teams gunner in the 2004 season finale against the Falcons and the wild-card playoff game against the Rams.

He will probably spend the beginning of the 2005 season on the bubble, hoping for a special teams position.





Tight Ends


Itula Mili
Age: 32 HT: 6-4 WT: 258 YR: 8 BYU

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

15

4

23

240

10.4

20

1

1

0

CAREER

102

40

154

1674

10.9

49

13

17

3

Mili has posted the best career numbers of any tight end in team history with 154 catches for 1,674 yards and 13 touchdowns. During the offseason, Mili signed a new four-year, $6 million agreement with the club. He responded to his newfound security by weighing in at 290 pounds when he arrived at 2005’s first minicamp, but has since shed most of the weight (his listed weight is from 2004). He is a very effective receiving option for Matt Hasselbeck and uses his big frame, soft hands and surprising agility to threaten the deep middle of defenses. Mili has improved immensely as a blocker, and he has been the Seahawks’ most complete tight end over the last few seasons.

2005 Outlook: For the fourth straight season, Mili will do his best to hold off the talented yet enigmatic Jerramy Stevens. Last season, he lost his job to Stevens in training camp, but regained it before being slowed by injuries and missing some time. From a talent standpoint, Mili and Stevens form one of the better tandems in the league.


Jerramy Stevens
Age: 25 HT: 6-7 WT: 265 YR: 4 Washington

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

16

5

31

349

11.3

32

3

5

0

CAREER

44

9

63

673

10.7

32

6

8

0

Like a lot of young and very talented players, Stevens has taken time to find his place in the NFL. He has struggled with consistency on the field and the law off the field, but it appears that he has, at the very least, worked out the off-field issues. Last year, he won the starting tight end job in training camp, but relinquished the spot to veteran Itula Mili soon thereafter. Stevens has excellent hands and is very athletic for a man of his dimensions. Where he struggles is with consistency in his routes and as a blocker. Close observers to the team say that he has dedicated himself to being the best player he can be, and during offseason workouts he has put in the time. Now it’s time to show it on the field.

2005 Outlook: At this point in his career, Stevens is not a fan favorite. His athleticism and abilitiy portends much better results than what he has produced, and with the team inking Mili to a multi-year deal, it shows that the Seahawks still aren’t sure what they have in the fourth-year pro from Washington. Stevens and Mili will battle in camp and the team is hoping Stevens lives up to his enormous potential. He has all the tools, he just needs to put it all together. He should win the starting spot in camp – should being the key word. And even if he gets the starting nod, it remains to be seen if he can keep it.


Ryan Hannam
Age: 25 HT: 6-2 WT: 250 YR: 4 Northern Iowa

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2004

Seattle

16

0

8

110

13.8

36

0

1

0

CAREER

36

0

9

126

14.0

36

1

1

0

With two studs ahead of him on the depth chart, Hannam is the lost man as far as fans are concerned. What isn’t lost on Hannam’s coaches is his ability to contribute on special teams and as a blocking tight end. Hannam excels as a run blocker and he has decent hands. He lacks good speed, but he makes up for that with good quickness and the ability to take good angles when blocking. His first career reception – that incidentally went for a touchdown – came against the Arizona Cardinals in 2002.

2005 Outlook: When he recovers from the arthroscopic knee surgery he underwent in May, Hannam will complete what is one of the deepest tight end units in the NFL. He won’t challenge for the starting spot or even as the primary backup, but he is invaluable in his other roles. He will continue to be a blue-collar player who does the dirty work so others can have the spotlight, but the coaches know just how much they need him. A healthy Ryan Hannam likely won’t be left off the final roster.


SeahawkFootball.com Top Stories