2006 Seahawks Player Analysis: The TEs

With the Seahawks' 2006 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 future Hall-of-Famers to roleplayers on the bubble. We continue with the tight ends.

Jerramy Stevens
Ht/Wt: 6’7”/265 Yr: 5 Age: 26 Washington

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

FD

2005

SEA

16

11

45

554

12.3

35

5

7

0

31

CAREER

 

60

20

108

1227

11.4

35

11

15

0

67

Until his Super Bowl disaster, Stevens was the surprise of the 2005 season for a very productive Seahawks offense. He stayed out of trouble off the field and he ran precise routes and showed good hands between the lines. He also improved as a blocker, although the team rarely used him in this capacity. When he was in the game, it was to catch the ball, or, at the very least, to act as a decoy. Stevens, with his 6-7 frame, is an automatic mismatch for defensive backs, and in 2005 he turned into a redzone favorite of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Even in the Super Bowl, when he wasn’t dropping passes, the Steelers had no answer for him. At this point in his career, it seems that the only person who can defend Jerramy Stevens is, well…Jerramy Stevens.

2006 Outlook: With Stevens’ improved skills and natural athleticism, one would think he is a shoo-in for a starting spot this fall. However, the return of Itula Mili, a solid receiver and blocker in his own right, means that Stevens will be pushed for his spot. This offseason, Stevens has been hampered by a knee injury, but he’s expected to take part in most of camp, albeit probably in a limited role, and he should be 100% by the start of the regular season.


Itula Mili
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/258 Yr: 9 Age: 33 BYU

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

FD

2005

SEA

2

0

0

0

---

0

0

0

0

0

CAREER

 

104

40

154

1674

10.9

49

13

17

3

90

A serious intestinal blockage kept Mili out for all but a couple games in 2005 and some feared he would never play again. Mili, however, proved the doubters wrong by playing in two games during the regular season. When healthy, Mili is a versatile tight end with sure hands. He doesn’t have much speed, but he runs good routes, finds the holes in zones and is a solid blocker. Because of his health issues, Mili was out of shape heading into camp in 2005, but he’s been able to come back and participate in the Seahawks’ offseason program and should be raring to go when they report on July 27 th.

2006 Outlook: With Mili and Stevens, the Seahawks are in very good shape at this position. Both have excellent hands (save Stevens’ Super Bowl meltdown) and both are above-average blockers. Seattle uses more double-tight end sets than people realize and these two will cause trouble for linebackers and defensive backs as they try to determine which one is the primary target. Before Mili’s illness, QB Matt Hasselbeck had a lot of faith in his ability to get open and there is no reason to think that has changed now.


Keith Willis
Ht/Wt: 6’6”/285 Yr: 2 Age: 25 Virginia Tech

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

2003

VT

9

7

5

84

16.8

20

0

n/a

n/a

CAREER

 

39

23

15

311

20.8

31

2

n/a

n/a

Willis narrowly missed making the Cleveland Browns’ final roster in 2005 and has been a journeyman in his first two years out of Virginia Tech. Big and athletic, Willis just needs the chance to show his talents in order to make a final roster. He has good speed for a man of his dimensions and can block as well.

2006 Outlook: With the loss of Ryan Hannam during free agency, the third tight end position behind Stevens and Mili is wide open heading into training camp. If Willis can showcase his skills he has a chance to stick, but he’s got some good competition in Will Heller for that distinction.


Will Heller
Ht/Wt: 6’6”/265 Yr: 4 Age: 25 Georgia Tech

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

FD

2005

TAM

7

0

1

1

1.0

1

1

0

0

1

CAREER

 

26

3

15

114

7.6

22

3

1

0

8

Not known as a receiving threat, Heller earns his paycheck by being a quality blocking tight end. After completing his college career at Georgia Tech, Heller was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and then-assistant GM Tim Ruskell in 2003.

2006 Outlook: His stats will never be anything that jump off the page at you, but Heller does the dirty work in the trenches and it’s a good bet that he was brought in as a free agent to replace the departed Ryan Hannam. Ruskell likes to get players he knows intimately (i.e., Chuck Darby) and fans can expect Heller to be the front-runner for the open third tight end spot.


Brock Edwards
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/250 Yr: 1 Age: 24 Texas

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

 

2003

Texas

12

8

16

258

16.2

n/a

1

n/a

n/a

 

CAREER

 

47

16

32

422

13.2

n/a

4

n/a

n/a

 

Edwards was initially signed by San Diego out of college in 2004, but was unable to stick on the Chargers’ roster the past two seasons. Edwards has good hands and was known as a solid blocker while at the University of Texas.

2006 Outlook: It will be tough to make the final cut for the Seahawks with the talent ahead of him, but Edwards has good skills and, with a solid showing during the preseason, he could possibly end up on the practice squad.


Matt Henshaw
Ht/Wt: 6’4”/248 Yr: R Age: 22 Florida State

RECEIVING

Year

Team

G

GS

No

Yards

Avg

Lg

TD

20+

40+

 

2005

Florida State

13

7

21

177

8.4

26

0

n/a

n/a

 

CAREER

 

45

7

31

316

10.2

46

4

n/a

n/a

 

Henshaw came to Florida State as a quarterback, but because of a lack of depth at tight end, made the switch during his redshirt freshman season. Good hands and a nice frame make Henshaw an intriguing prospect. Because the Seminoles rarely, if ever, threw to their tight ends, it is unclear how well he is prepared for the pro game.

2006 Outlook: Unlikely to make the final roster, but there is a chance that he could stick as a practice squad player with a solid performance. He’s young, has good size and hands and teams are always looking for someone they can develop.


Mike Gomez
Ht/Wt: 6’6”/235 Yr: 2 Age: 24 Illinois

Gomez plays tight end, but can also long-snap. He played in NFL Europe in 2005, and almost made the Buffalo Bills’ roster, but missed the final cut. Good size and a quick snapping technique give him a chance.

2006 Outlook: Seattle has one of the best long-snappers in the league in Jean-Philippe Darche and it is very unlikely that Gomez unseats him. Teams need good long-snappers though, and Gomez has the talent to find a place somewhere in the league.


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