Sep 22, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Wilson (82) attempts to elude Jacksonville Jaguars safety Josh Evans (26) at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks defeated the Jaguars 45-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
With Zach Miller set to miss anywhere between two-to-six weeks, some people are concerned about how the Seattle Seahawks will fare without their starting tight end. However, Luke Willson isn’t one of them.
As reported by Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, last year’s fifth round draft pick has been waiting for his chance to start at tight end again. As part of his development, Miller added several pounds to become more of a valuable asset to the Seahawks, especially in the blocking game.
Certainly, the 24-year old seems ready for the Monday night game in Washington: “I’ve been thinking about it for a little while, being at home taking care of myself and mentally kind of getting ready.”
Aug 7, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson (82) on the sidelines during the third quarter of a preseason game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 21-16. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
In fairness to Willson, it’s not like he hasn’t been here before, having started seven games for the Seahawks as a rookie last season. As he told Condotta: ” I don’t really feel like I’m entering new territory.”
Willson had his moments during the 2013 campaign, which culminated with a Super Bowl ring. He finished with 20 catches for 272 yards and one touchdown. (By comparison, Miller, who started 12 games, had 33 catches for 387 yards and five touchdowns.)
However, despite only having one catch so far in 2014, Willson said it’s like “Night and day” when comparing this season to last: “Especially when it comes to recognizing defensive fronts and just being comfortable with technique, especially in the run game.
“I think from when I first got here I’ve made a lot of strides. For me, it’s one of those things where I’ve just got to run my feet after contact. I feel like I’ve really improved and I’ve done a pretty good job.”
One person who has complete faith in Willson’s abilities is his head coach Pete Carroll: “Luke can play the whole position. I mean he’s been a fantastic draft pick for us, an incredible draft pick for us. I mean he could play so early and contribute in such a variety of ways, and he’s really just getting started.”
Undoubtedly, this is the opportunity Willson has been looking for, to take over the starting tight end position on a more permanent basis. The next few weeks should indicate whether he’s ready or not.