By Chris Cluff
Anthony McCoy, TE, #85
Hometown: Fresno, Calif.
Experience: 3 Years
Anthony McCoy had been so absent from the offense, it almost seemed as if coordinator Darrell Bevell thought, “Hey, if we’ve forgotten about him, that probably means everyone else has, too.”
That’s as good an explanation as any for how McCoy became the Seahawks’ first 100-yard receiver this season Sunday, when he caught three passes for 105 yards (and had a 15-yarder wiped out by penalty).
The No. 2 tight end also put together the Hawks’ longest pass play of the season when Russell Wilson found him wide open on a drag route. By the time he was done, McCoy had meandered his way 67 yards down to the 4-yard line.
“We had three guys coming across the field. Anthony did a good job of getting open, and I threw the ball right over the corner’s head, and he just kept going,” Wilson told reporters, per The News Tribune. “Sidney Rice made a great block downfield. If he stayed outside, he could have scored, possibly, but he made an unbelievable play.”
McCoy, who had caught just five passes in the previous eight games, nearly doubled his yardage for the season — he had 13 catches for 131 yards entering the game — and has already surpassed his drop-prone 2011 season (13 catches, 146 yards). He also has two touchdowns this season — one against Dallas and one in Miami.
A sixth-round pick in 2010 after playing for Pete Carroll at USC, McCoy had been very inconsistent over his first two seasons. The Seahawks gave him every chance to show he was past the drops in the preseason, and he seemed to show he had matured as a player.
“Well, the good thing was I had a lot of good veterans ahead of me,” he told reporters. “I had John Carlson and Chris Baker my rookie year, and the next year I had Zach Miller and Cameron Morrah. I got to learn a lot from the best in the league and I have grown a lot from my first year. I had a lot of mistakes, a lot of dropped balls, and it’s something I really harped on in the offseason, and I think I fixed it, for the most part.”
Wilson agreed: “He’s really, really improving every week, every game. As I throw to him more and more, we’re really clicking, so he’s doing a great job, and I’m really proud of him.”
Miller, the $6 million tight end who has been a disappointment only because the Seahawks have not used him, has 30 catches for 337 yards and two scores — meaning the tight end duo has 46 receptions, 573 yards and four touchdowns. That total doesn’t even approach the numbers put up by guys like Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. But the Seattle offense is just getting going behind Wilson, and McCoy has shown he is ready to help when they call his number.
“We’ve worked a lot — in terms of throwing together and working on our timing routes,” Wilson said. “He has so much speed and so much ability. He’s like a receiver in terms of the way he runs. He had a great night tonight; his ability to catch the football is a plus for us. All the tight ends, really, to be honest with you.
“We’ve really worked at it, in terms of getting there early for practice, throughout practice and at the end of practice — just getting a couple of extra balls here and there to help us come game day.”
Sunday, that’s exactly what McCoy did.
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Chris Cluff worked as a sports editor and writer for The Seattle Times for 11 years and has written two books on the Seattle Seahawks. Since leaving the Times, he has written about the Seahawks and Seattle sports for Bleacher Report and the blog he shares with a fellow sportswriter, outsidethepressbox.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com.