The Seahawks offense should be designed to get maximum use out of its tight ends. But Seattle’s TEs against the Steelers didn’t look good.
The Seahawks offense should look a lot like the Rams offense because offensive coordinator Shane Waldron is a product of the Sean McVay system. This means incorporating tight ends not only as good blockers but as important members of the passing attack.
Noah Fant, Colby Parkinson and Will Dissly shouldn’t be expected to lead the team in receptions but they do need to be very productive, especially Fant as he appears to have the best receiving skills of the group. This is why Fant was taken by the Broncos in the first round of the 2019 MFL draft.
With Russell Wilson behind center the last decade or so, Seattle didn’t actually use its tight ends as well as they should have. Wilson targeted his wide receivers a lot more because he liked to make splashy plays and many of Wilson’s throws were splashy and productive passes.
Seahawks tight ends dropped the ball -literally – in preseason game 1
But Wilson is gone and Seattle’s quarterbacks need to involve the tight ends more, especially on check downs.
But against the Steelers in the Seahawks first preseason game, Fant and Parkinson (Dissly didn’t play so as not to risk him to any kind of injury) didn’t look very trustworthy. Fant did have two catches but he was targeted three times and it was the one he didn’t catch that is concerning.
Fant is known for being more of a receiver than a blocker which means as a tight end who plays a lot he better be a great receiver. But on one first half throw by Geno Smith, after Smith rolled to his right and placed the ball perfectly near the sidelines for Fant, Fant caught the ball but didn’t get his second foot down.
Fant should have easily gotten his foot down, to be honest, so that kind of play, and a lack of coordination, maybe means the under-production Fant has had so far in his career might be as much his fault as the horrible offense he played in in Denver.
Parkinson, often hurt and has only been targeted 10 times in his career, dropped what would have been a touchdown pass. He was covered tightly but Smith put the ball exactly where it needed to be and Parkinson had two hands on the ball. It should have been six points but instead was a dropped pass.
For Seattle to have any kind of success in 2022, the tight end group is going to have to be very good and help take the pressure off of wideouts Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. We know Dissly can block so that won’t be an issue once he returns. But catching the ball? Fant and Parkinson, at least, have to be better moving forward.