Seattle Seahawks need to get Gerald Everett more involved in passing game – quickly

Can Gerald Everett help boost the Seahawks’ playoff credentials? Using him more can certainly do no harm

The Seattle Seahawks offense has lost its panache and glamour and fun factor, and could do with an added injection of Gerald Everett. 

Offensive coordinator Shane Waldron landed in Seattle this past offseason teasing a West Coast playbook cultivated with the Los Angeles Rams and built on wily window-dressing, yards-after-catch-loving and snappy dink and dunk timing packages, a lot of which had promised room for substantial tight end production.

As much had been evident in 2020 when Tyler Higbee finished the season with 44 catches for 521 yards, 11.8 yards per catch and five touchdowns, while Everett followed with 41 receptions for 417 yards, 10.2 yards per catch and a score as strength-accentuating ploys in service to Jared Goff. It had the makings of a necessary complement to Russell Wilson’s rainbow-ball artistry and play-extending heroics, to the extent it might even ease the pressure on him to conjure the by-now-familiar drive-salvaging/icing magic.

It’s yet to really translate in Seattle as far as Everett’s role has been concerned, the 2017 second-round pick entering Monday night’s clash with Washington having made just 25 catches for 235 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps more concerningly, he has been only been targeted 29 times, including three times or fewer in five of his eight games and 3.6 times per game on the year.

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A slight increase in his usage amounted to 11 catches from 12 targets for 100 yards over the past two games, including eight for eight and 63 yards in the loss to Green Bay. In a spell when Seattle’s, still star-studded, passing game requires an extra edge, he can help.

“He’s been more obvious,” said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. “You see how physical he is and what an aggressive runner he is with the ball after the catch. He’s really a factor. Screams that we’ve got to keep going to him.”

Waldron alluded to a ‘heightened sense of urgency’ this week as Seattle cling on in an NFC West battle threatening to get away from them. Urgency seems applicable in regards to the case of Everett, who is deep into the one-year deal he signed in March.

The Seahawks might not only be running out of time to revive their season, but also to make use of a weapon that will undoubtedly attract attention come the beginning of 2022.

“We are getting to that point of the season there are not a lot of weeks left,” said Waldron. “We have to start clickin’, and start clickin’ fast.”

Highlights of the Los Angeles Rams up against the Green Bay Packers in week 12 of the NFL

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Highlights of the Los Angeles Rams up against the Green Bay Packers in week 12 of the NFL

Highlights of the Los Angeles Rams up against the Green Bay Packers in week 12 of the NFL

Despite his lack of involvement, Everett entered Week 12 with an 86.2 per cent catch rate and eight missed tackles from his 25 receptions, having also underlined his head-down ‘move those chains’ yards-after-catch physicality with a tight end-leading 0.3 broken tackles per reception.

“Every time he touches the football it’s something great,” said Wilson. He’s really spectacular.”

Granted, efforts to incorporate Everett and Will Dissly more frequently have occasionally been scuppered by hesitation on Wilson’s part or a collapsing pocket, but Seattle’s higgledy-piggledy use of their tight ends on simple quick-hitters in the flat or on shallow crossers seems avoidably in-keeping with their inconsistency on offense.

The team’s 32.4 per cent conversion rate on third down, ranked 31st in the NFL heading into Week 12, has been another contributing factor in Everett’s limited role, though one the Seahawks could amend by looking his way more often.

Incredibly, Freddie Swain has been targeted by Wilson on more occasions on third down (nine) than Everett and Tyler Lockett combined (six). Everett has meanwhile been targeted just four times in the red zone. They would be wise to address both.

“We haven’t converted,” Carroll said. “It’s one reason or another. Whether it’s the opportunity, the throw, the route, that’s what we’ve intended to do the whole time. I’m disappointed that I can’t tell you we’re getting it done. We work on it every week.

“That’s not the part we can change a whole lot. We’re already getting the reps and all. We need to execute better and hit it. Got to get Russ in the groove, and we’ve got to get those guys in the groove too so that we’re really counting on each other to come through when the time calls for it.”

The Seahawks have failed to post 300-plus total yards on offense since the Week Six loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and are currently ranked 25th in points per game and 30th in yards per game behind a Wilson still shaking off the finger injury that saw him miss three games.

“It’s a week-to-week basis, production wise, in this business,” Everett told reporters. “Our production hasn’t really matched up to our capabilities and our expectations.

“For me personally, it kind of rubs me the wrong way because I know of all the great guys that we have, the leaders on this team and what they are capable of doing, whether it be running back, quarterback, receivers, or o-line. Playing against the Seahawks for years and years since I’ve been in the league, I’ve never seen this type of production, so ironically, I’m on the team now and we have not got the return that we wanted or expected.”

Lockett leads the team with 717 receiving yards for three touchdowns, while DK Metcalf, who missed practice time through injury this week, has 637 yards for eight scores. The loss of star running back Chris Carson has been a blow, but this is not an offense that should be struggling as it has.

Rookie speedster D’Wayne Eskridge could help the cause as another defense-stretching run-after-catch weapon, but he has featured just twice so far this season having missed eight games through injury.

It’s now or never for Carroll, Wilson and co. this season as they visit Washington 3-7, bottom of their division, coming off back-to-back defeats and five losses in their last six outs.

Week 12 in the NFL concludes on Monday night when the Seattle Seahawks visit the Washington Football Team live on Sky Sports NFL from 1.15am.

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