Seahawks DK Metcalf needs to repeat one thing and never do another beginning Week 2

Seattle's mercurial receiver can help his team like few others but hurt them unlike few others as well.
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It is difficult to dislike Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf. He is effervescent off the field and explosive on the field. But not all that on-field explosiveness stays with DK Metcalf after he has the football in his hands.

Since Metcalf entered the league in 2019, he has drawn more 15-yard penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct, taunting or unnecessary roughness than any other player in the league. He got another flag for taunting in the fourth quarter of Week 1 when the game was slipping away for the Seahawks. Did Metcalf lose the game for Seattle? No, but the penalty put quarterback Geno Smith in a position to have to drop back and pass twice and he was sacked each time.

After the game, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said that he had a one-on-one discussion with Metcalf about toning down his angry on-field outbursts and that Metcalf needs to "elevate above" putting himself in a position to get those kinds of penalties. Carroll having a discussion with Metcalf is great, but that discussion should have happened about seven 15-yard penalties ago.

Seahawks need less DK Metcalf in one way and more DK in another way

There's likely a thin line between DK Metcalf playing with the exuberance he does and crossing that line into anger. During Metcalf's rookie season of 2019, he was actually able to draw penalties on the other team and fewer on him. Maybe he is still trying to work that angle, but other players on other teams and the referees seem to have caught on to Metcalf's act. Now Metcalf gets a flag thrown in his direction much more than the opposing player, and the opposing player and team, just like what happened against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 1, seems to know they can bait Metcalf into overreacting.

So how to get Metcalf to learn to be calm in moments of high stress is something Pete Carroll is going to have to figure out. Otherwise, as great as DK Metcalf is, he is going to continue hurting his team with penalties. But there is something else that the Seahawks need more of from Metcalf.

In 2022, Metcalf was seventh in red zone targets in the NFL. But he only caught 41 percent of those targets. This was nearly 10 percent lower than any other player in the top 10. In 2021, however, Metcalf had fewer red zone targets but caught 62.5 percent of those targets. In 2020, Metcalf caught 55.6 percent of red zone targets.

Assuming Metcalf can get back to catching the same kind of percentage he did in the red zone that he did in 2020, he is going to score a lot of touchdowns. In Week 1 against the Rams, Metcalf caught his one red zone target after putting a Doug Baldwin-esque move on the Rams cornerback. Metcalf managed to lose his man within five yards and was completely wide open near the back corner of the end zone.

The key is Metcalf making repeatable moves each week. He has the size, speed, and can develop even better footwork where he averages nearly a touchdown a game. The Seahawks need this from him, especially based on what we saw in Week 1. Let's hope in Week 2, Metcalf channels his on-field anger into the rage of running great routes and scoring three touchdowns.

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