Tight end Jimmy Graham caught only one pass in the Seahawks’ loss to the Packers on Sunday, with only one other pass thrown to him. So what’s the problem?
RENTON — Tight end Jimmy Graham very well might be frustrated by the start of his Seahawks career, Pete Carroll said Monday. Seattle’s coach wouldn’t expect anything else.
“I think he is (frustrated),’’ Carroll said. “I think he’s a competitor. He wants the ball. He wants to help us win, I don’t think there’s any question about that. I feel that, too.’’
The task now is to figure out how to integrate Graham better into the Seattle offense, which also would likely go a long way toward helping solve some of the Seahawks’ other offensive woes that have contributed to a surprising 0-2 start.
Graham had just one reception for 11 yards, on just two passes thrown to him in the 27-17 defeat Sunday at Green Bay. His only catch came midway through the third quarter. The other pass thrown his way came in the first quarter.
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“We were trying to go to him on four of the first five passes,’’ Carroll said. “We really have had an intent, just like you would think, that we want him to be a big part of the offense.’’
Carroll said that several factors played into the lack of passes thrown Graham’s way.
One example was a play where Graham was the primary receiver. But at the snap, quarterback Russell Wilson noticed the Packers were misaligned, leaving another receiver uncovered, so Wilson went in that direction instead.
“It’s just the way it’s worked out,’’ Carroll said. “I’m not panicked by that at all. It maybe sounds like some other people are really worried about it, but we are working on it and it’s going to get worked out.’’
The Seahawks acquired Graham via trade from New Orleans in March, sending center Max Unger and a first-round draft choice to the Saints (while also getting a fourth-rounder in return).
The Seahawks hope Graham — whose 355 receptions since 2011 are the fifth-most in the NFL over that span — will become a player opposing defenses have to key on, freeing up others. It hasn’t happened so far.
“I don’t think we have forced that yet,’’ Carroll said. “We have seen defenses basically work to take care of the running game.’’
Indeed, the Packers seemed intent on containing Marshawn Lynch, who was held to 41 yards on 15 carries, a lower rushing total than all but two games last season.
The Seahawks adjusted at halftime by throwing more and encouraging Wilson to run more.
Seattle had a pass-to-run ratio of 20-11 in the second half and Wilson had 65 yards on eight carries in the second half to finish with 78 on 10 carries for the game.
But Graham remained uninvolved other than his lone reception, which came during the touchdown drive that put Seattle ahead 17-13 midway through the third quarter.
One missed opportunity involving Graham came with 7:24 left in the game.
From the Seattle 29, Graham — lined up as a tight end with his hand down — broke behind the Green Bay defense.
Wilson appeared to initially look his way, but was then flushed from the pocket and decided not to throw, running for a 13-yard gain instead.
On the next play, Wilson’s screen pass intended for Lynch was picked off, essentially deciding the game.
“Unfortunately, on the drive where we turned the ball over, we didn’t get that shot,’’ Carroll said.
Carroll, though, also said it’s “not unusual’’ to need time to figure out the best way to utilize players, comparing it to the seemingly annual way the team juggles its defensive-line rotation early in the season before settling on the right mix of players.
“We thought maybe we were a little bit further ahead than that,’’ Carroll said. “We’ve got work to do yet.’’
Graham didn’t speak to the media after the game and an NFL.com report surmised Graham might be frustrated with his role in the Seattle offense compared to his time in New Orleans.
Graham said last Thursday, though, he isn’t worrying about how he is used by the Seahawks.
“That’s the past,’’ he said. “I don’t concern myself with it. … My philosophy is if he throws it, I catch it. That’s about it, man.’’
Carroll said that while Graham might be frustrated by the results so far, it’s only because he wants the team to start winning.
“He has worked hard,’’ Carroll said. “He’s great about it. He wants to do everything he can to help us. I don’t have any doubt about that.’’