Seahawks’ Will Dissly: TEs will ‘create a lot of problems’ for opposing defenses in new offense
When looking at the Seahawks’ offense, it’s easy to focus on the big-name stars like quarterback Russell Wilson, receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett as well as running back Chris Carson, but Seattle’s tight end room has the potential to be a very good unit in 2021.
One of the top tight ends on the roster is entering his fourth NFL season, and that’s Will Dissly.
Dissly, who played collegiately in Seattle at the University of Washington, played a full healthy season for the first time in his NFL career last year and now he faces a new challenge as he’ll be learning a new offense.
The young tight end joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake and Stacy on Thursday and shared some insight into the new offense, his health as well as how he’s been staying in shape this offseason.
Learning the Waldron offense
For Dissly’s first three NFL seasons, the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator was Brian Schottenheimer. In 2021, Seattle has a new play-caller in Shane Waldron, who comes to the Seahawks from the Los Angeles Rams, where he was tight ends coach for one year before being promoted to passing game coordinator.
Dissly has been learning the new offense this offseason and said it’s been “a lot of fun” and he’s excited to see it implemented in games.
“Shane’s a really smart guy, his offense is really systematic and it has a lot of answers,” Dissly said. “There’s going to be some uniqueness.”
And the coolest part in Dissly’s eyes is that “we’re going to get some tight ends on the field.”
“I think (new Seahawks tight end Gerald Everett) and I are a great compliment, and (2020 draft pick Colby Parkinson) and whoever else steps up, we’re going to create a lot of problems for defenses around the league,” Dissly said. “We have a tough division and I think Shane’s ready. He came prepared.”
Dissly told Jake and Stacy that Wilson has done a great job of picking up the offense and that the players on that side of the ball are energized because of what Waldron is bringing to the table.
“There’s a newness and a new sense of urgency and energy and we’re all excited to learn and get on the field and go operate a little bit,” he said. “There’s high expectations for our offense always with Russ leading the charge and with the crew that we have, I don’t see why we wouldn’t be just as dominant as we were last year.”
Finally fully healthy
Dissly shined at times in his first two NFL seasons, catching 31 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns in 10 games, but therein lies the issue – Dissly played only 10 games in 2018 and 2019 due to season-ending injuries. He tore his patellar tendon his rookie year in his fourth game and tore his Achilles in 2019 in the Seahawks’ sixth game of the year.
He played in all 16 games last year, though, and is excited to have a full offseason of working out rather than also focusing on rehab.
“It’s definitely been nice not having to teach myself how to walk for two years in a row, so I’ll take that as a win,” he said. ” … I’m feeling really good, I’m in really good shape. … Running routes is a lot easier. Getting off the line is a lot easier … It’s come a long way and I’m feeling really good about coming into this fourth year with the Hawks.”
Dissly has been working out with some big names this offseason, such as spending time with Wilson in California. He also worked out with some star tight ends in Nashville, Tenn.
“Going down to Nashville and getting with some tight ends and working with them, popping over to San Diego and getting a few sessions in with Russ has been awesome,” he said.
San Diego was also notable as a future Hall of Famer stopped by.
“Drew Brees happened to be there that morning,” Dissly said. I was gearing up to get ready, lacing my cleats and (Wilson) said, ‘Drew is going to be in today,’ and I said ‘Alright, cool.’ So, it was fun to meet him, he’s a great guy, I’m happy for his retirement.”
As far as working out with Wilson, Dissly liked what he saw from his quarterback.
“Russ is throwing the ball smooth,” he said. “It was nice to get a session in with him … and things were operating really smooth.”
And as for his time in Nashville, Dissly rubbed elbows with some of the very best tight ends in the NFL.
“(George) Kittle, Rob Tonyan, T.J. Hockenson, and just a bunch of crews, I could list some names,” Dissly said. “They’re actually getting together here at the end of June – Tight End U is what I think they’re calling it. A little seminar (retired Seahawks tight end) Greg Olsen, Kittle and (Travis) Kelce are putting it on. So, it’s a good place. We’re all cut from the same cloth, we’re all trading secrets. It was really fun. It was really, really good, I worked really hard and learned a lot from those guys and had a lot of fun doing it.”
Part of what Dissly was able to learn, he said, was how to better operate in Waldron’s offense. With the new system and scheme in place, Dissly is running different routes and whatnot than he has in the past, and he was able to pick those other tight ends’ brains about how to best operate.
“Those guys are all so smart and can verbalize it, so that was a cool thing just talking through those and running those routes and working on different ways to create space,” Dissly said.
Listen to the full interview at this link or in the player below.
Jake & Stacy