By Brady Henderson
It’s natural to wonder whether the addition of wide receiver Percy Harvin signals a shift in offensive philosophy for the Seahawks, who attempted the most rushes and fewest passes of any NFL team last season.
“This is not a change at all,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll says of the team’s run-first approach on offense. (AP)
Coach Pete Carroll was asked that question when he joined “Brock and Salk” on Wednesday.
“No, it doesn’t at all. We’re gonna do exactly what we wanna do with continuing to send the message about how physical we are, how we attack with the running game and fit off that,” he said. “What I hope happens when we throw it and catch it we just make more yards, we have more spacing. I’m expecting Golden [Tate] to have a huge year, Doug [Baldwin] to have a huge year and Sidney [Rice] to fit in together.
“This is not a change at all.”
The Seahawks have prided themselves on their physical, run-first attack. For all the success that quarterback Russell Wilson had during his sensational rookie season, it was still Marshawn Lynch’s violent running style that embodied the aggressive mentality of their offense. That remained the case as the Seahawks successfully incorporated read-option plays into their offense later in the season.
Lynch was the league’s third-leading rusher, finishing the regular season with 1,590 yards.
The Seahawks’ 405 passing attempts were the fewest in the NFL by a wide margin. They ran the ball a league-high 536 times. It’s safe to assume that at least some of their reliance on the run was due to a desire to take pressure off their rookie quarterback. If that’s the case, it’s also safe to assume they won’t feel as compelled to do so in Wilson’s second season.
So while the gap between their rushing and passing attempts may not be as wide in 2013, it won’t necessarily reflect an offensive transformation.
Harvin has 683 rushing yards over four seasons. While he racked up some of those yards with backwards-traveling screen passes, he also took handoffs while lined up in the backfield.
“He doesn’t only catch the football, but he runs with the ball with such ferocity,” Carroll said. “He’s a very physical, aggressive football player and I can’t wait to bring his competitive spirit and attitude to the group.”
As for Harvin’s role as a receiver, Carroll suggested that he wasn’t necessarily acquired to be the focal point of the Seahawks’ passing game.
“He’s here to be one of the fellas. He’s gonna complement a terrific receiving crew,” Carroll said. “Everybody’s gonna contribute in their ways, and they’re not going to worry about who’s getting it but just how many points we can score and how many games we can win, and hopefully everybody will understand that it will be how we fit these guys together that will make this happen, not just one guy showing up.”