By Brady Henderson
Most tight ends wouldn’t prefer to be covered by Patrick Willis, perhaps the best linebacker in the NFL.
Then again, most tight ends aren’t as fast as Seahawks rookie Luke Willson.
“I’m here to be kind of a stretch-the-field tight end,” Willson told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Bob and Groz” on Monday, “and if you’re going to put a linebacker on me, I should be able to win that matchup.”
More coverage of the Seahawks’ Week-14 loss to San Francisco at Candlestick Park.
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Postgame interviews||• O’Neil: What We Learned||• O’Neil: Seahawks get an important reminder||• O’Neil: Should Seahawks have let 49ers score?||• ‘The Pete Carroll Show’: Wright to have surgery||• Henderson: Late-game lapse dooms Seahawks||• Henderson: Seahawks’ penalties loom large|
He did, first running by San Francisco’s All-Pro linebacker and then away from him en route to a 39-yard touchdown reception Sunday. That touchdown – the first of Willson’s pro career – came in the second quarter of Seattle’s 19-17 loss, and it followed a 29-yard reception he had earlier in the game.
On each play, Willson showed the speed that the Seahawks liked so much when they drafted him in the fifth round out of Rice even though he was coming off an underwhelming and injury-plagued senior season in which he caught all of nine passes in 11 games.
General manager John Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle back in May that the Seahawks “really, really would have been disappointed” had they not come away from the draft with Willson. Sunday’s game showed why.
“I think that’s one of the things that I can bring to the team is [the ability to] stretch the field out a little bit,” Willson said after the game, “and I was able to do that today.”