Huard: What’s the most encouraging thing about the Seahawks’ offense?
The Seattle Seahawks are getting familiar now in training camp with their new offense under Shane Waldron, the former Los Angeles Rams passing coordinator who jumped to Pete Carroll’s coaching staff this offseason to become a first-time NFL offensive coordinator.
As you might expect, that means a lot of attention is being paid to the offense as the Hawks get ready for the start of the season next month. So what’s jumping out nearly a week into camp?
Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard, co-host of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk Podcast and a football analyst for FOX Sports, was asked what he’s finding to be the most encouraging thing about the Seahawks’ offense so far, and surprisingly it had more to do with personnel than new concepts or wrinkles brought in by Waldron.
“Probably the tight end group,” Huard said on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant during his regular Tuesday appearance on the Blue 42 segment.
Huard acknowledged the timing of his answer was convenient since second-year tight end Colby Parkinson was a standout player in Monday’s practice, but he went on to explain that Seattle has a trio of players at the position whose combination of skills should really come in handy for quarterback Russell Wilson in Waldron’s offense, which is expected to rely a lot on tight ends.
“Just the overall strength and weaknesses of that room – you’ve got obviously superior length in Colby, you’ve got in Will Dissly an amazing blocker that I really hope can put a full season of incredible health together,” Huard said. “… And then in Gerald Everett, you do have a guy that does have a lot of time in this system and is going to hit the ground running and set the tone.”
Parkinson, a 2020 fourth-round pick out of Stanford, saw limited action as a rookie, making two receptions on two targets for 16 yards in six games after recovering from foot surgery. At 6 foot 7, he’s a big target that could make an impact in the passing game.
Dissly, meanwhile, had flashes of greatness his first two seasons, but after season-ending injuries before midseason each of those years, he didn’t make nearly the impact in 2020 that he had made in short bursts the previous two campaigns. Huard expects that to change in 2021.
“It’s been an awesome offseason for him. He’s in the best shape of his life, got experience under his belt – it’s time to not just be a good player in this league, it’s time to be an elite blocker that this system really demands and wants,” Huard said, adding that he thinks Dissly has the ability to be the kind of blocker star 49ers tight end George Kittle is for San Francisco. “… He’s not going to be the explosive guy, he’s not going to give you yards after catch, but as far as dominating an edge, that excites me for Will Dissly.”
Finally, the 27-year-old Everett, who Carroll said last month may be a breakout player this year, could play a big role in the new Seahawks offense as he followed Waldron up to Seattle as a signing in free agency. And with wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge, Seattle’s top draft pick, on the PUP list nursing a toe injury, Huard expects the tight end combination to be important in the passing game right out of the gate.
“I love the diversity of skill set in that room. With Eskridge’s injury, those tight ends aren’t just bystanders – they have to be difference-makers, and I like the skill sets within that room and the variety they bring to the table.”
You can hear Huard’s full comments in the third and final question of Tuesday’s Blue 42 in the podcast at this link or in the player below.
More on Seahawks training camp
• What Pete Carroll said that caught Jake Heaps off-guard
• Salk: New OC Waldron has “one of the hardest jobs in Seattle”
• Seahawks DE Aldon Smith on field for now, but uncertainty awaits
• Rost on Seahawks camp: Penny entering make-or-break season
• Clayton’s Observations: Wilson looks comfortable