Jimmy Graham not happy with lack of targets for good reason

Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham has seen a significant drop in targets since his move to Seattle.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

(AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Jimmy Graham not happy with lack of targets for good reason

You can’t call the Seattle Seahawks shy. Fresh off a Super Bowl defeat, they went about retooling their roster, specifically their offense. The big addition? Well, it was Jimmy Graham, of course, who was brought in to add playmaking and a huge red zone threat for Russell Wilson.

Two weeks in and 62 yards later, things haven’t gone exactly as planned, especially when you consider that the team not only gave up a prominent draft pick, but also had to hand-deliver their best offensive lineman, Max Unger, to the Saints. Now, if reports (courtesy of Mike Freeman) are to be believed, Graham is not happy with how things are panning out.

From his perspective, it’s easy to see why. He’s on the field plenty, missing just 11.9 percent of the Seahawks’ offensive snaps. Indeed, this represents an increase over his usage in New Orleans, where in 2014 he missed 31.8 percent of snaps. But the big difference is how often he is targeted, as the table shows.

Through Week 2 Routes run Targets Percent of routes targeted on
2014 (Saints) 71 23 32%
2015 (Seahawks) 77 10 13%

That’s almost twice as many routes needed to run at the moment to pick up the same number of targets, and in an offense that isn’t going to throw the ball as much as one led by Drew Brees. It’s an alarming drop, and one that will either be rectified in weeks to come, or lead to a bigger issue. You simply don’t give up as much as the Seahawks did for Graham to utilize the tight end that little.

On his best days, Graham is a difference-maker. As the Seahawks are using him right now, however, he’s just another guy.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Graham needs to be patient. The Seahawks have been to the SB in back to back seasons so they aren’t going to rewrite their offensive playbook just to accommodate him. He has to accept that he won’t have the same impact in Seattle as he did with the Saints simply because the Seahawks have more balance and can use a variety of weapons to accomplish their offensive goals. I guess we are about to learn whether Graham is a team player or a prima donna.

    • anon76returns

      Would you say the Seahawks have been accomplishing their offensive goals in the last two games?
      Max Unger was a big part of what allowed the Seahawks offense to run as they did. He’s gone, and the Seahawk offense does not appear to be compensating. They can’t run as well, and they’ve lost a couple of close games with some memorable, difference-making short yardage plays going away from Graham.

      • J D

        Unger was in no way a big part of what made their offense work. He missed 6 games last year and they went 6-0 and ran for more yards than when Unger was playing. Good player, but it’s the lack of chemistry on the line right now that’s the issue; new players, and guys who are playing new positions as well.

        • Blaze Gunn

          When you don’t know football or watch a team play your opinion will always be flawed and incorrect which is why alot of idiots think trading a always injured center was a bad move

          • anon76returns

            Watch who you call “alot” of idiots, Blaze. You might end up not looking quite as smart as you think.

          • Blaze Gunn

            I’m an idiot too but i’ll admit when i’m wrong when proven others will continue to deny

          • crosseyedlemon

            Maybe you should just follow the lead of Tony Montana and say “Me…I always tell the truth….even when I lie”

        • anon76returns

          You really want to argue this?

          OK, let’s start with how the C graded out. Including playoffs, Unger had a +10.3 grade on 562 snaps. His replacements, Lewis/Jeanpierre/Schilling, graded out at -17.0 on 711 snaps. Unger improved the play at C considerably when he was in.

          How did the whole OL do in pass blocking. Well, using PFF’s says that the Seahawk’s OL’s pass blocking efficiency was 81.5% with Unger, and 75.9% in the games Unger did not start. That’s the equivalent of going from the 8th best OL in the league to the 27th best OL.

          As a consequence, Wilson’s passer rating went from 101.2 in games Unger started, to 90.7 in games Unger didn’t play. That’s the equivalent of going from 5th in the league (just ahead of Brady) to 17th (just ahead of Cutler).

          The running game also suffered. Seattle’s RB’s (Lynch, Michel, and Turbin) rushed for 122.4 yards/game, and 5.2 yards/carry with Unger starting. In the games Unger missed the RBs’ production dropped to 108.9 yards/game, and 4.6 yards/carry.

          Finally, the Seahawks offensive scoring output (not counting fumble/INT/ST returns) went from 26.1 points/game (~8th in the league) to 20.5 points/game (~22nd in the league).

          Unger did miss a lot of time last year (10 games, not 6). But when he was on the field the Seattle offense was a vastly improved unit. When he was off the field they looked a lot more like they do now- it is much harder for them to run the ball outside of Wilson’s scrambles, and they are much less efficient in the passing game and in scoring points.

  • DLane

    The Seahawks aren’t going to rewrite their offensive playbook? Well when you give up that much and bring in a player like Jimmy Graham thats what you are supposed to do. If they did not intend to , they should have never made that move, with that said i think it will eventually gel it will just take some time. Russell also needs a little time to throw. The offensive line is terrible, two of the starters are former TEs. Thats a problem.

    • crosseyedlemon

      That’s what you are suppose to do? Sorry but you bring in players you think can thrive in the winning system you have developed. If the coach tosses the playbook that was successful, alters his system to fit Graham and Graham suffers a season ending injury then what? I’ll tell you what…the coach is run out of town on a rail and probably never coaches in the league again.