When you simply look at numbers and stats, Anthony McCoy picking up an injury that probably has ended his season shouldn’t be all that worrying to the Seattle Seahawks. When you look at their love for the two-tight end formation, it might be a little bit more significant than just receptions, yards and touchdowns lost.
McCoy, entering his fourth NFL season, underwent and Achilles tendon surgery, meaning he’ll be out of business for about six months, which means almost the entire season. The Seahawks do have their number one tight end, Zach Miller, who also isn’t a consistently looked at target, and not much else to help them in their blocking schemes which overload the offensive line, helping Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch in the running game most of the time.
There is Luke Willson, a fifth round pick in this year’s draft, but with the arrival of Percy Harvin, there’s a chance the Seahawks have simply been planning on shifting into a more “old-fashioned” system, with three wider receiver sets, in any case.
The Seahawks used a two tight end set on 45% of their first and second downs last season, but operating a three wide receiver set through the read option isn’t something Russell Wilson doesn’t know how to do. The Seahawks had three wide receivers on the field for 32 of the 55 read-option plays they executed during the 2012 regular season and 13 of 23 during the playoffs.
McCoy getting injured just might have rushed their shift into a more wide receiver oriented scheme. The Seahawks added Chris Harper with their fourth round pick out of Kansas State, hoping to get a little bit more out of their passing game than what they did with just Golden Tate and Sidney Rice.
The addition of Percy Harvin already makes them a much more dangerous team, especially through the slot, but with Harper and the removal of McCoy and probably the 2-tight end sets for most of their players, the opportunity for their wide receivers, and for Russell Wilson as a thrower instead of a facilitator, to have a big 2013 season just got a little better.