Whether the level of anticipation was warranted or not, the hype surrounding tight end Evan Moore when he arrived in Seattle was a little much for a guy who wasn't even a starter in his previous stop with the Cleveland Browns. In 33 games for the Browns, Moore racked up 62 catches, 804 yards receiving and five touchdowns. Additionally, he averaged almost 13 (12.9) yards per reception.
However, that same player that existed in Cleveland did not exist in Seattle. Head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell were hoping that Moore would play that sub-package "joker" role at tight end. Because we all know he wasn't signed to block as a former wide receiver at Stanford.
But in limited opportunities as a "joker," Moore failed to live up to the coaching staff's expectations. Through 14 games this season he logged 104 snaps on offense and played absolutely zero special teams. This is nothing new considering he didn't play special teams for the Browns, which is one the reasons that led to him ultimately getting cut.
General manager John Schneider and Coach Carroll must have felt the same way according to Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times:
#Seahawks expected to release TE Evan Moore on Tuesday.— Danny O'Neil (@dannyoneil) December 18, 2012
His one-catch, six-yard stat line for the season wasn't enough to justify keeping him on the roster any longer. For Moore, it has never been about talent, size or speed. It has always been about his inability to stay healthy or his inconsistent play. The latter proved to be the reasoning behind what did him in this time around.
When given opportunities to show off his talent this year, No. 82 never seemed eager to capitalize. His route running was awful and at times he had a definite case of the dropsies. Case in point, the 49ers game Week 7.
The play above was the first play of the second quarter—it was a designed nine route for Moore. He was matched up against cornerback Chris Culliver down the right sideline. Moore initially showed his great speed by getting behind Culliver's coverage, but when it came time to catch the ball he simply lost focus and bobbled it before it hit the ground.
If he would have snagged that ball, it would of went down as a 10-yard gain that would have put the Seahawks that much closer to scoring range in a game where they desperately needed it. Luckily enough, Wilson hit Ben Obomanu on the same exact pass pattern the very next play for 36 yards.
During the Seahawks Week 14 thrashing of the Arizona Cardinals, the same problem plagued Moore. Seattle was up big, so the fourth quarter drop and offensive pass interference call didn't hurt them, but I guarantee the coaches took notice of his poor execution on the play.
Matt Flynn was in under center, as well as many of the other backups, yet that doesn't make Moore's blatant drop anymore acceptable. He's lucky that it didn't go down in the stat book as an official drop due to the penalty, however the pass interference penalty does go down in the stat book.
On 104 snaps, Moore manged to get flagged three times total. One was on an offensive pass interference penalty and the other two were false start penalties. When your playing time is as scarce as Moore's was it's important to capitalize on limited chances and play penalty-free football.
To put his penalty numbers in perspective, he was the sixth most penalized player on Seattle's offense. Every other wide receiver and tight end had been penalized either exactly the same amount as Moore or slightly less.
TE Evan Moore has been released & TE Sean McGrath has been signed from the practice squad to fill the 53-man roster.— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 18, 2012
To replace the four-year pro, Seattle signed practice squad tight end Sean McGrath. McGrath is an undrafted rookie out of Henderson State and will contribute immediately on special teams. He averaged 59.6 yards receiving per game and 11.9 yards per reception in college.
As the team's third tight end, look for him to be active this Sunday night against San Francisco. Due to injury, the Seahawks are ultra-thin on talent at wide receiver, so another tight end may be called upon.