John Schneider's connects with Green Bay strike again, except this time it isn't familiarity with an ex-Packer that plays a role in bringing a playmaker to Seattle. No, it's Pete Carroll that's familiar with the star this time. Carroll recruited Harvin to USC back in the day but Harvin decided to stay in the 'Dirty South' and play for Urban Meyer, down in the Swamp at Gainesville. Spurning Carroll and USC was ultimately the proper decision for Harvin, as he went on to win 2 National Championships alongside some dude named Tebow. Harvin gets to play with a fiery "dual"-threat (I say "dual" because is Tim Tebow really a dual threat QB, maybe, he was in college) QB yet again and an Offensive Coordinator who'll know how to get the most out of him. By the way, aren't we really glad we've kept Bevell now? Harvin's transition to a new offense should be painless because this new offense is an old one for him and he's also got old friend Sidney Rice alongside him to make the transition of life on the West Coast smoother. Harvin will soon be making prime time money like his buddy Sidney, but he's got one ability that Sidney Rice doesn't that will make him more money than Rice and it's an ability that John Schneider's probably valued pretty highly since he left Green Bay. Yards after catch.
Those Packers teams are legendary by today's NFL standards, and probably historically too (they're that good), at receivers racking up the yards after the catch. Making people miss and getting the most out of every catch is what makes the Packer receiving core so good. They've got a few guys that can stretch the field on you (Nelson, Jones) but they've also churned out guys like Driver, Jennings, Freeman, Brooks, and Sharpe over the years who all excelled at getting more yards after the catch than anybody else. They finished 4th in the league this season and they've always been nearly elite in this area.
So it makes sense that Schneider would treasure this since he's been around it and seen it's success for a long period of time. Enter Golden Tate, Percy Harvin, and to a lesser extent Doug Baldwin, as Seattle's version of all those great Green Bay teams. Baldwin was more of a vertical threat for Wilson this past season and only started to turn it on late. During his rookie season though, he was a revelation in the YAC department and especially at moving the chains on 3rd downs. Bobby Engram was never a guy that made a ton of defenders miss but you could always count on him for great hands, a quick cutback and a new set of downs. All of these guys have good hands too. We've seen Sidney Rice make a ton of excellent grabs especially.
I still think Pete Carroll's going to get his wish and find the 6'5", 210-230lb. guy who can go up and get it that he's clearly been looking for the past few years. He might already be on the roster if the hype around Stephen Williams pans out. I'd still expect them to add another guy to compete with Williams. I'm trying not to sleep on Jermaine Kearse though because he's a receiver that could thrive with Russell Wilson. He was a beast at UDub at breaking off his routes and getting open for an improvising Keith Price. Imagine what he could with Russell if he could cure his dropsies. He could be a real weapon and I think the Hawks see that too, even if he's a Husky. Hell, I could even see Phil Bates having a decent chance to impress.
That's why I don't think Tate or Baldwin will be getting cut/traded. In Tate and Harvin the Hawks now have two of the best YAC guys in the league and we all know John Schneider loves himself some YAC. Also, Baldwin's trade value is not what it was last year, so you'd be selling low on an affordable, young, and talented player. Doesn't seem like this front office's MO unless a bunch of other players step up and completely outplay Baldwin all throughout camp, which I doubt and don't want to see because it's Doug E. Fresh! If anybody's a goner, it's Obo. He had a good run. Way longer than I think anyone could have expected when he was drafted.
And of course, all these yards after contact means making life a little easier on Russell Wilson. Not that Russell would ever want life to be any easier. That'd be less of a challenge. I'm feeling like kearly's idea to throw $ down on Wilson for MVP now is a pretty damn enticing idea with Harvin in the fold. I thought that wouldn't be the case til the 2014 season but yesterday's (officially today's) trade probably accelerated the process. Damn, I gotta get myself to Vegas quick!