INDIANAPOLIS — Most meaningful in what Will Dissly did in the 28-16 victory Sunday over the Colts was catch three passes for 37 yards.
It was more passes than Dissly caught in all but one game last season, and more yards receiving than he had in all but one game last season.
But what many might remember more of what Dissly did in this game was his stiff-arm of Colts linebacker Bobby Okereke in the third quarter.
“Oh, that was sweet,” Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson said. “He just kind of manhandled him.”
Dissly said it wasn’t the first time.
“I’ve done that once or twice,” he said. “I had one of those in high school (in Bozeman, Montana) and I might have had one in college. You’ll have to check the tape. It was good to get that one under my belt. It was a fun play for sure.”
As was the game itself, Dissly said.
And the combined contribution of Dissly and Gerald Everett showed Seattle’s tight ends might indeed be a significant factor in the offense this season after too often missing a year ago.
Along with Dissly’s three receptions, Everett added two catches for 20 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown, with the tight ends accounting for almost a third of Russell Wilson’s 18 completions on just five total targets. Four of their receptions sparked the scoring drive that ended with Everett’s touchdown to put Seattle up 14-3.
“We just played our game and took what the defense gave us,” Dissly said.
That was something Seattle struggled to do at the end of last season, though, when opponents sat back in two-deep zones daring the Seahawks to run or throw it underneath, particularly in the playoff defeat against the Rams when Seattle’s tight ends combined for just one catch for a yard on seven targets.
And getting the tight ends more involved was a reason for Seattle luring Shane Waldron away from the Rams to coordinate the offense in place of the fired Brian Schottenheimer.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said what the tight ends did Sunday just scratched the surface of what is in the offense.
Speaking specifically of Everett, Carroll said, “He’ll do a lot more. He’s got a lot of good stuff in him.”
L.J. Collier a surprise inactive
Seattle’s list of six inactive players for Sunday included one surprise — defensive end L.J. Collier, the team’s first-round draft choice in 2019, taken 29th overall.
Collier was listed as a starter on the depth chart this week and started all 16 games last season. In his place, Kerry Hyder got the start at the strongside defensive end spot.
“We had everybody healthy and it just worked out with the way we stacked it up this time around,” Carroll said of Collier being inactive. “That thing is always in question every week. So was part of the makeup for this game plan.”
Collier, who turned 26 Sunday, was inactive for five games as a rookie in 2019 when he battled injuries.
The other five inactives were QB Jake Luton, RB Alex Collins, OLs Stone Forsythe and Dakoda Shepley and CB Bless Austin.
Seattle rotates at nickel, center
Carroll said several times in training camp that the team could rotate players at positions where they felt they had good position battles and where multiple players deserved to play.
Carroll lived up to that as the Seahawks rotated Ugo Amadi and Marquise Blair at nickel and Ethan Pocic and Kyle Fuller at center. Seattle also had Cody Barton begin a series at weakside linebacker in the first half, though Jordyn Brooks came on to finish it off.
“Yeah, that was part of the plan going in,” Carroll said. “Cody deserved to be out there today. He had a fantastic preseason and all. You saw there were a lot of rotations today, a lot of things that were happening. Rotating the nickels also and so, those guys deserved to play so that’s what we’re working with.”