Isaiah Stanback Brings Warm Feeling, Little Else To Seattle Seahawks

Derek StephensContributor IJune 3, 2010

CARROLLTON, TX - JUNE 16:  Wide receiver Isaiah Stanback #86 of the Dallas Cowboys during mini camp at Standridge Stadium on June 16, 2009 in Carrollton, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Seahawks added former UW quarterback Isaiah Stanback to the roster this week, claiming him off waivers from New England.  

A beloved Husky returns!


Stanback, who has seen limited playing time at wide receiver since coming into the league as a fourth-round selection of the Cowboys in the 2007 draft, adds some depth to the Hawks' current receiving corps, and I suppose there's an outside chance he could get a look or two at quarterback as well.

Either way, to say he's going to be fighting an uphill battle would be putting it very nicely.


With the emergence of a renewed Mike Williams, the reported improvement of Deon Butler, the appearance of a so far healthy Deion Branch, and the addition of playmaker Golden Tate, Stanback will essentially be competing for the No. 6 receiver spot with the likes of Ruvell Martin, Reggie Williams, Ben Obomanu, Michael Jones, Mike Hass, Sean Morey, and possibly Jameson Konz (currently slated as a tight end, but that could change), among others.

At first glance, Stanback would seemingly have one immediate advantage over the others in that he gives the Hawks another option at kick returner, and his multi-position versatility certainly makes him unique.

However, this isn't exactly the best year to bank on making it as a kick returner with a squad that includes guys like Leon Washington, Josh Wilson, Walter Thurmond III, and Golden Tate, all of whom could be considered more than capable for the role.

Stanback was temporarily converted back to quarterback by New England when they signed him to their practice squad last year, but by the time he was added to the active roster in Week 10, the Pats had him slated as a wide receiver again, and in fact he caught his first pass as a Patriot that same week against the Colts.

Although we'd all love to see a hometown boy come back and make a nice career for himself as a Hawk, Stanback's chances of making the team out of camp are pretty thin.

The depth at receiver is such that you have a number of guys who are simply more polished pass catchers with more NFL experience fighting the same battle as Stanback.

Considering Branch's injury risk and the current unpredictability of guys like Mike Williams and Deon Butler, the Hawks should be looking to fill the depth positions with more experienced, reliable receivers, rather than keeping guys around solely for their raw talent, versatility, or athleticism.

The latter should be considered a luxury enjoyed by coaches with solid veteran depth at a position, who can therefore afford to reserve a roster spot for a developmental project player who they consider to have a potentially high future value.

Simply put, the Seahawks don't have this luxury and cannot afford to take such a risk if they genuinely want to contend for a division title in 2010.

2008 was the perfect example of what happens when an already fragile receiving corps lacks depth.



All bad.

One injury or off-the-field mishap could render this receiving corps suddenly thin, and the last thing you want is a three-year veteran with a total of five receptions and 16 active games slotted as your No. 2 or No. 3 receiver three or four weeks into the season.


Cue tomatoes.

As for his chances at quarterback, the recent signing of J.P. Losman gives the Hawks three QBs with legitimate starting potential, making this year's group perhaps the deepest in Seattle for quite some time. So the door hasn't exactly been flung wide open there either.

All that said, Pete Carroll's "always compete" team-building philosophy is meant to foster an environment whereby every man has a legitimate shot to make the team, and while Stanback's chances are slim, he should be considered no exception.  

A chance is a chance, and with an opportunity to play the sport he loves in his hometown once again, Stanback will gladly take his.

For more Seattle Seahawks discussion and analysis with Derek Stephens, visit The Blue Bird Herd.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.