2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Willson becoming valued contributor for Seahawks

By CURTIS CRABTREE - Associated Press
    2013-12-19 18:58

RENTON, Wash. (AP) - When Anthony McCoy was lost for the season in May after tearing an Achilles, the Seattle Seahawks were left with several questions at the tight end position.

While veteran Zach Miller was set as the starter, Seattle needed to find a complement to fill out their offensive attack. Fifth-round pick Luke Willson stepped up.

Willson has played in every game for Seattle this season and scored his first touchdown two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers. He has become a more trusted option for quarterback Russell Wilson as the season has progressed and has become a more competent blocker.

''Luke can play the whole position,'' coach Pete Carroll said. ''I mean he's been a fantastic draft pick for us, an incredible draft pick for us. I mean he could play so early and contribute in such a variety of ways, and he's really just getting started.''

McCoy caught 18 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns last season. He had improved as a run blocker and Seattle felt comfortable lining up in the backfield, split out wide or as an inline blocker. With McCoy injured, Willson had some big shoes to fill and not much time to get up to speed.

''I was still so new and so involved with trying to learn the offense that I really didn't have too many thoughts where I would be down the road. It was pretty overwhelming the amount of information you needed to take in,'' Willson said.

He tried to keep his head down and focused on what was in front of him instead of looking at the big picture of the role he needed to fill.

''It was like `I'm going to try and worry about the next play. Make sure I know what I'm doing,''' Willson said.

With Miller sidelined for much of the preseason due to injury, Willson and second-year player Sean McGrath had ample opportunity to impress the coaching staff. The mark left by Willson's play led Seattle to keep just two tight ends during final cutdowns in August.

''You didn't really know what you had,'' offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. ''We drafted him. We liked what we saw but you had to see how he was going to fit in protection wise, how he was going to fit in run blocking wise, how he was going to fit in catching the ball.

''He's been a huge part of what we do. That second tight end is really a big position for us, and he's really done a nice job.''

Willson said he felt things began to slow down after the first month of the season and have continued to improve throughout the year. With 18 NFL games under his belt, including preseason, Willson feels he's better at recognizing what opposing defenses are doing and what to expect to come his way.

Willson is just another contributor found in the latter stages of the draft paying big dividends for the Seahawks. Willson caught just nine passes during his senior season at Rice University. He was overshadowed by more highly touted teammate Vance McDonald, who was selected in the second round by the 49ers. But the Seahawks felt Willson's speed was a valuable asset and would be available later in the draft.

''We saw the talent,'' Carroll said. ''We saw the range of ability but it was really John Schneider's knack of understanding where he would get drafted that made him so valuable to us. At that spot that's as good a pick that you could make.''

Willson posted multiple catches in consecutive games for the first time this season the last two weeks For the year, Willson has caught 18 passes for 265 yards and one touchdown.

''I'm thrilled to be here and it's kind of exciting to be able to contribute,'' Willson said.

Notes: Seattle signed WR Bryan Walters from their practice squad to fill the roster spot vacated by the suspension of CB Brandon Browner. The team signed DT Michael Brooks to fill Walters' spot on the practice squad. ... RB Robert Turbin (groin), G J.R. Sweezy (concussion) and CB Jeremy Lane (ankle) were new additions to Seattle's injury report. Sweezy and Lane did not practice. Turbin was limited.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Michael SamSep 1 08:02p

The Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League owns the rights to free-agent DE Michael Sam (Rams). The team has reached out to him, but there is no word [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 04:22p

The Tennessee Titans signed free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal and released PK Travis Coons Monday, Sept. 1.

Clay HarborSep 1 02:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf) said it's not looking good for him to play Sunday, Sept. 7.

Odell Beckham Jr.Sep 1 12:32p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) is still not ready to play and may be around three weeks away from returning, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Wes WelkerSep 1 12:23p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker (concussion) is on the practice field Monday, Sept. 1, but has not been cleared for contact or to play at this point.

Rob GronkowskiSep 1 12:23p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) said he will be able to play Week 1.

Brandon DixonSep 1 12:02p

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed free-agent CB Brandon Dixon (Jets), SS Kimario McFadden (Falcons) and LB Carlos Fields (Raiders) to the practice squad.

Josh ScobeeSep 1 11:43a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson (hamstring), DT Sen'Derrick Marks (shoulder), PK Josh Scobee (quadriceps) and OT Zane Beadles (undisclosed) are practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Dontay MochSep 1 11:43a

The Tennessee Titans re-signed CB Ri'Shard Anderson and signed TE Orson Charles (Bengals) and DE Dontay Moch (Bengals) to the practice squad.

Larry DonnellSep 1 11:43a

New York Giants TE Larry Donnell is the starting tight end on the team's unofficial depth chart. TE Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson are second- and third-string, respectively.

Clay HarborSep 1 11:32a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Clay Harbor (calf), RB Storm Johnson (ankle) and OT Austin Pasztor (hand) are not practicing Monday, Sept. 1.

Cullen JenkinsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants DT Johnathan Hankins is the starting defensive tackle alongside DT Cullen Jenkins. DT Mike Patterson is the top backup.

Quintin DempsSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants SS Quintin Demps is the lead kick returner, while WR Preston Parker is the lead punt returner.

Geoff SchwartzSep 1 11:23a

New York Giants OG Weston Richburg is the starting left guard in place of OG Geoff Schwartz (toe).

Ben TateSep 1 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Ben Tate is expected to stay on the field on third downs, according to head coach Mike Pettine. This is good news for his PPR [ More ]

Charles BrownSep 1 10:43a

New York Giants OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and OT James Brewer (back) returned to practice Monday, Sept. 1.

Ahmad DixonSep 1 10:22a

The Dallas Cowboys released SS Ahmad Dixon.

Lonnie PryorSep 1 09:52a

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent FB Lonnie Pryor (Buccaneers) and OG D.J. Morrell (Rams) to the practice squad.

Tony HillsSep 1 09:32a

The Miami Dolphins signed free-agent LB David Hinds (Titans), TE Jacob Maxwell (Lions), CB Lowell Rose (Chargers) and WR Tommy Streeter (Buccaneers) to the practice squad. C Sam Brenner, [ More ]

Emil IgwenaguSep 1 03:53a

In addition to the previously announced signings of TE Michael Egnew and RB George Winn, the Detroit Lions inked OG Rodney Austin, FB Emil Igwenagu, S Nate Ness, WR [ More ]

Chase FordSep 1 03:42a

Nine players were signed to the Minnesota Vikings practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players joining the squad include RB Joe Banyard, WR Kain Colter, DT Isame Faciane, TE [ More ]

D.J. SmithSep 1 03:33a

The Carolina Panthers brought 10 players onto their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Players signed were CB Carrington Byndom, LB Adarius Glanton, WR Tavarres King, SS Robert Lester, [ More ]

Trevin WadeSep 1 03:22a

The New Orleans Saints signed six players to their practice squad on Sunday, Aug. 31. Signees include WR Brandon Coleman, CB Terrence Frederick, WR Seantavius Jones, OT Tavon Rooks, [ More ]

Champ BaileySep 1 02:52a

Although the New York Jets are in need of cornerbacks, they are unlikely to pursue free-agent CB Champ Bailey, who was cut by the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, [ More ]

Dee MillinerSep 1 01:02a

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls and FS Antonio Allen could start at cornerback Week 1 because of the injury to CB Dee Milliner (ankle).

Jeromey ClarySep 1 12:23a

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip) underwent hip surgery around a week ago, and his status for the 2014 season is uncertain, according to sources. Clary has [ More ]

Ryan SuccopSep 1 12:12a

Free-agent PK Ryan Succop (Chiefs) is receiving significant interest from the Tennessee Titans and could sign with them as early as Monday, Sept. 1, according to a source.

Kenjon BarnerSep 1 12:02a

Philadelphia Eagles RB Kenjon Barner (ankle) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Vincent BrownSep 1 12:02a

San Diego Chargers WR Vincent Brown (calf) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

DeMarcus Van DykeAug 31 11:52p

Kansas City Chiefs CB DeMarcus Van Dyke (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

Jake StoneburnerAug 31 11:32p

Green Bay Packers TE Jake Stoneburner (undisclosed) and OT Aaron Adams (knee) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after they were waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

M.D. JenningsAug 31 11:22p

Chicago Bears FS M.D. Jennings (undisclosed) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Sunday, Aug. 31, after he was waived/injured Saturday, Aug. 30.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group