Photo Credit: Chris Graythen / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
The Seattle Seahawks were big winners this off-season landing a deal with the New Orleans Saints who sent arguably the best tight end in the game (outside Gronkowski) to the Hawks. With the acquisition Russell Wilson will have a superstar threat to throw to when things break down. Anyone who has been around the game of football knows that tight ends can be a quarterbacks best friend because the distance of throws to a tight end is relatively shorter than to a wide receiver. Making the pass to the tight end a much more high percentage play for success. Another thing that stands out when watching great tight ends is they have a bigger frame typically. Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzales, Jason Witten, Rob Gronkowski, and Kellen Winslow Sr. are all outstanding tight end’s in their own rights and all of them also come in around the 6’5 250 lbs range. Jimmy Graham has this same similar size, and he is exceptionally athletic despite that size. You could see that athleticism last year against the 49ers when he nearly stole the show completing a hail mary reception over Perrish Cox. The play would go on to eventually get over turned but it was scary to see how well Graham could elevate over defense backs. A position that is typically more athletic then tight ends.
The next thing that will be big for Graham is the system that he plays in. The Seahawks run many zone read concepts. Where Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch combine to really incorporate to plays in one. The run to Lynch and the quarterback keeper to Wilson. It will be interesting to see how the superstar tight end meshes into that whole process. With so much emphasize needed to be committed to the run, the middle of the field might be wide open where the linebackers just left from to fill the run. It seems to be an ideal situation for Graham and a betting man would bet on an up year from Jimmy Graham.
Projection: 12 touchdowns. Football players; Jimmy Graham.
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Photo credit: Scott Cunningham / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
Super Bowl XLIX was one of the better moments in Super Bowl history. After watching the Broncos get annihilated in last years Super Bowl it was good to get back to good competitive football. The action was back and forth most of the game and like many games in the National Football League it came down to the last possession. With a coach like Pete Carroll though you’re safe from a bad football decision with the game on the line, right? Wrong, the Seahawks would go on to do the unthinkable in the last thirty seconds of the game and decide to throw a pass from the half yard line. This pass was then picked off by Malcolm Butler and fans got to watch Tom Brady celebrate profusely on the sideline most likely wondering “why in the hell did they throw there?”
While Pete himself has came out and stood by the decision to go for it, and even Bellichick himself has come out to support the decision made by Carroll. The fact is it was flat out WRONG. We live in age of pro football where fundamentals have evaporated from the game. Could you imagine Vince Lombardi watching that play call from heaven? He most likely would have died again. It was unstomachable to watch that play, you had to feel for the Seahawks players whether you were rooting for them or not. To get all the way down to the half yard line and have the best running back in football and pass. That is completely unacceptable.
Now Pete Carroll is still a phenomenal football coach but he was clearly getting a little too aggressive down the stretch. Fake field goal pass against the Packers, going for it in the end of the first half of the Super Bowl (which led to Chris Matthew touchdown), and finally passing at the end of the game on the one yard line. Didn’t he realize his luck was bound to run out sooner or later? I mean heck even at USC he went for it on fourth down against Texas in the national championship (and while that didn’t work), still the football gods clearly were more than generous to Pete Carroll. Here at endzoneblog.com we love Pete he is a great coach and tremendous person, but shame on you for that call. You let your players down.
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Photo credit: Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
While watching Legarrette Blount run the ball two weeks ago against the Indianapolis Colts it was hard not to see the similarities in his and Marshawn Lynch’s running style. Both runners are primarily power runners who aren’t known for their break away speed but more so their bruiser style. Like Beast Mode the Patriots running back has the ability to go Blount mode, which he clearly went against the Colts scoring 4 touchdowns. While Brady can clearly get the job done through the air. Blount will be a good x-factor in the Super Bowl which Belichick will likely call on often. Don’t be surprised to seem him gash the unusually stout Seahawks defense for a touchdown or two.
On the opposite sideline you have arguably one of the best running backs in the league if not the best. Marshawn Lynch has consistently been the first option in the Seahawks offense and has been a big reason they’ve been contenders year in and year out. In particular this year Lynch had a career high in Rushing Touchdowns with 13. Always known for rumbling look for Beast Mode to excel on the big stage and have a big day for the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Last week with the game on the line Pete Carroll went to Lynch often and he will likely do the same Sunday. Lynch should get at least two touchdowns.
Look for both of these players to have a big impact for their team. The player that does will likely give their team that extra boost. Despite everyone saying this is a “passing league” the fundamentals of football still are in establishing the run. The team that does so will have the advantage.
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