Anyone who has been paying attention to the Seattle Seahawks offseason knows there are huge questions at receiver.
The sudden and needed departure of 2011's starting X (split end) Mike Williams, and the almost porcelain-like construction of starting Z (flanker) Sidney Rice have made the current two-way QB competition between Matt Flynn and Russell Wilson that much harder to gauge.
LOOK SQUIRREL! MOMENT: If you would have told me at the end of the 2011 season that the Seahawks could have a 12 personnel grouping (1 RB, 2 TE) with Marshawn Lynch, Kellen Winslow, Zach Miller, Braylon Edwards, Doug Baldwin, and T.O., I would have laughed at you for two reasons:
1. There just seems to be way too much "give me the ball" type ego on the field at one time without an undisputed franchise QB there to rein it in.
2. This isn't 2006.
OKAY I'M BACK..
1. Sign Kellen Winslow...Check!
2. Sign Antonio Bryant...Check!
3. Sign Braylon Edwards...Check!
4. Sign Terrell Owens...Check!
Will Sidney Rice ever become an impact player for Seattle?
Big names can be great, but the fact that they landed in Seattle tells me more about the gross lack of faith in the receiving depth chart than any splash these signings could be. Oh and I hate to be a bother, but there's this small issue with the quarterback position..Never mind, it's probably not that important.
I'll start with Mike Williams. When Pete Carroll decided to take a chance on Mike Williams, I wasn't shocked. After all, the USC ties existed and there was little to no risk involved with giving him a shot at the final 53.
When Williams flashed starter-quality play in 2010, it seemed as though Pete had made a brilliant move, thus negating the need to go after a blue-chip split end during the 2011 draft.
Besides, building the Seahawks defense and offensive line was the priority at that time. Problem was, Mike Williams turned right back into, well....Mike Williams. Predictably, this particular 2011 version was never able to recreate the play-making ability he enjoyed in his first season in Seattle.
Bye Bye Mike, hello gaping hole at the X receiver position.
Paging Kris Durham and Ricardo Lockette!.....If there was ever an opportunity to shine this was it. But unfortunately, the open competition has been more than they are seemingly ready for.
Camp practices for both have been marred by nagging injuries, inconsistencies, and overall marginal play forcing Pete Carroll and John Schneider to dig deep into the free agent pool to find fun, and 12th Man polarizing, reclamation projects.
In my opinion, the only non-starting Seahawks wide receiver who has looked like he is ready to take the next step in his development is Golden Tate.
Let's finish with Sidney Rice. Oh Sidney Rice..You tease us with your natural skills. Your speed, your fluidity and explosiveness in the stem of your routes. The quickness in and out of your breaks.
Oh, did we mention your hands? Just wonderful..But alas, for Seahawks fans, Sidney Rice has been like that pool party a desperate man stranded in the middle of the Sahara sees just on the horizon..It's a mirage.
So far that is the cruel and unusual truth. To date, P.R.J. (perpetual red jersey) can't stay on the field long enough to become the impact player Seattle hoped for.
According to Spotrac.com Seattle forked out a healthy 5 year, $41 million contract (which averages out to roughly $8 million a year). This is some pretty big money to a man who despite all the talent, has played in 15 regular season games in two years.
All this roster turmoil this late in the preseason makes me feel like the Seahawks receiving depth chart has become the island of misfit toys. Meanwhile, there is a full-on QB competition, lack of QB-receiver cohesiveness and trust, and a defense that looks ready to win playoff games now.
My biggest fear is we become what the 49ers were before Jim Harbaugh arrived, and waste all of this incredible defensive talent..
One can only hope Pete Carroll knows what he's doing with this skill group.