Who Are Seahawks Best Bounce-Back Candidates For 2021?

The Seahawks had several players break out in a big way in 2020, helping lead to an NFC West title. However, a few notable players did not play up to their potential and could use a bounce-back year in 2021.
Author:
Publish date:

During an unprecedented 2020 season, the Seahawks enjoyed a 12-win season that culiminated with another NFC West crown coming to town. A few players had career years and even set franchise records, such as DK Metcalf breaking Steve Largent’s long-standing receiving yards record. Tyler Lockett also broke the franchise record with 100 catches in 2020.

On the other side, numerous players underperformed. Be it due to injury, lack of opportunity or just not executing when they were called upon, these three Seahawks will look to have bounce-back seasons in 2021.

Will Dissly

During his brief seasons in 2018 and 2019 before injuries cut them both short, Dissly showed flashes of a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end. In his rookie year, he was on pace for over 600 yards and eight touchdowns before suffering a torn patellar tendon after four games. In 2019, he was on an 11-touchdown pace before an Achilles injury abruptly ended his season.

Then, in 2020, with a fully healthy season in front of him, Dissly’s numbers were underwhelming. Some of it was outside of Dissly’s control, as Seattle signed former Pro Bowler Greg Olsen. Also, the aforementioned Metcalf and Lockett stole the spotlight in the passing game with their stellar seasons. Dissly fell by the wayside.

Despite playing a full slate of games, he managed just 251 receiving yards and two touchdowns- both of which were less than his six games he played in 2019. Now, Seattle has a new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron. While he was in Los Angeles, the Rams consistently had one of the best passing attacks in football and last season, two tight ends received at least 60 targets for the Rams (one being the newly signed Gerald Everett). Dissly has never seen more than 29 targets in a season. No one besides Metcalf and Lockett had more than 47 targets last year.

One would guess, with the tweaks in offensive philosophy that Waldron brings, Dissly will get a chance to redeem himself. Gone is Olsen and even with Everett on the squad, Seattle will likely utilize multiple tight ends, as did the Rams under Sean McVay. The former Washington standout's chances will come and he just needs to capitalize on them.

Rashaad Penny

Penny is a bounce-back candidate because, frankly, this is his last chance. The former 27th overall pick in 2018 has not come close to living up to his draft hype, with just 823 rushing yards in three seasons. His career high is 419 rushing yards, a number he reached in his rookie year and has not touched since.

In 2020, after working back from a brutal knee injury late in the season prior, he amounted just 34 rushing yards on 11 rushes. To put it bluntly, there really is nowhere for Penny to go but up. The cards are stacked against him yet again, with Chris Carson re-signing during the offseason and resuming his role as starter, leaving Penny to play the role of sidekick once again.

Still, Penny should get more chances to succeed with a healthy offseason and a different offensive scheme. Waldron’s offense may fit Penny’s skill set more than Brian Schottenheimer’s did with more single back and under center looks. He is the assumed No. 2 back after Carson in an offense that likes to use multiple backs. 

Either way, the expectation is Penny will not be part of Seattle’s future unless he truly has a bounce-back and even breakout season in 2021.

Rasheem Green

After leading the Seahawks with a meager 4.0 sacks in 2019, Green took a step back last year. The former USC standout's snaps were cut by about a third and his sacks cut in half. His pressure numbers were down across the board and he got lost in the shuffle in the middle of the season after Carlos Dunlap arrived via trade.

Fortunately, Green seemed to come alive late in the season last December. In Week 17 against the 49ers, he collected three tackles, two quarterback hits, a sack, and a fumble recovery. Was that a flash in the pan or a sign that he is turning a corner?

Early in camp, Green will need to show the coaches the latter is true. With the arrival of Kerry Hyder, the return of Carlos Dunlap, the emergence of L.J. Collier and the assumed health and development of Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson, spots will be tough to come by this fall. He is at risk of not only getting lost in the shuffle, but losing his roster spot altogether if he doesn't perform.

Green has the edge over some of his competitors given his experience in the system entering his fourth season. He has shown flashes of being a valuable asset along the trenches and his ability to line up at multiple spots along the defensive line will help his cause, but if he wants to stick around past training camp and the preseason, he will need to show more consistency.