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Kearse: Seahawks’ size at receiver is no shortcoming


Those who regularly follow the Seahawks have probably heard and perhaps subscribe to the belief that Seattle’s offense needs a big wide receiver to be at is most effective.

“We might not have big receivers but we have receivers that play big,” Jermaine Kearse tells 710 ESPN Seattle. (AP)

After all, the Seahawks had success with Mike Williams in 2010 and to a lesser extent Sidney Rice for parts of the last three seasons. Seattle has tried to find that type of receiver in the draft, spending fourth-round picks on Kris Durham in 2011 and Chris Harper two years later.

In that regard, it could have been considered a surprise that neither of the two receivers Seattle drafted last month fit that big-bodied description.

Just not to Jermaine Kearse, who joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” on Monday and touched on the perception that size is a shortcoming with Seattle’s receiver corps.

“The thing is, we might not have big receivers but we have receivers that play big,” he said.

Especially Kearse, and therein lies a possible reason why the Seahawks didn’t draft one of those towering targets they supposedly like so much.

If the NFL had its own version of slugging percentage, Kearse would have been among the league leaders last year as six of the 29 passes he caught during the regular season and playoffs produced touchdowns.

More telling was how four of those scores all looked alike. Remember the touchdowns Kearse scored in Week 1 at Carolina, Week 5 at Indianapolis, Week 10 at Atlanta and the NFC title game against San Francisco? If they seem to blend into your memory it’s probably because they were all so very similar, each covering at least 28 yards with Kearse out-leaping a defender to win a jump ball right around the goal line. And then there was Kearse’ 23-yard touchdown in the Super Bowl, which he scored after breaking four tackles en route to the end zone.

When discussing the merits of big receivers, it’s plays exactly like those that Kearse made in his second NFL season that come to mind.

“Everybody wants a big receiver,” Kearse said. “We’ve got two guys that are like 6-2.”

Actually, four of the 12 receivers on Seattle’s roster are 6-feet-2 or taller, a list that includes Rice (6-4, 202), Ricardo Lockette (6-2, 211), Kevin Norwood (6-2, 199) and Chris Matthews (6-5, 218). And that’s not counting Phil Bates (6-1, 220) nor Kearse, who’s listed at 6-1 and 209 pounds but says he’s almost an inch taller than that.

Aside from Kearse, none of those aforementioned receivers are guaranteed to make the team out of training camp. Rice is coming off reconstructive knee surgery and isn’t expected to begin practicing until training camp, Lockette has been with three different teams in two years and neither Norwood, Matthews nor Bates have taken a regular-season NFL snap. The three who could be considered locks – Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and Paul Richardson – are 6 feet or shorter and weigh less than 190 pounds.

But while the Seahawks don’t have a big-bodied target who’s a mainstay in their receiver rotation, they have in Kearse someone who has shown an ability to play like one.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.