View Full Version : Chiefs 30 FAs in 30 Days: John Carlson

02-18-2012, 08:52 AM

30 FAs in 30 Days: John Carlson
By Josh Looney

NAME: John Carlson


COLLEGE: Notre Dame

GP/GS: 47/38

AGE/EXPEREINCE: 27/4 seasons

BACKGROUND: An early second-round pick of the Seahawks in 2008, John Carlson hit the scene quickly in Seattle.

Though Seattle struggled offensively, Carlson became the first rookie to lead the Seahawks in receptions (55), receiving yards (627) and receiving touchdowns (5) since Pro Football Hall of Famer Steve Largent did so in 1976.

As an aside, it was Chiefs quarterbacks coach Jim Zorn who hooked up with Largent for a team-high 54 receptions for 705 yards with four TDs in ’76.

Carlson was equally as productive in his second NFL season, finishing third on the Seahawks with 51 catches for 574 yards and adding seven TDs. However, the past two seasons have been a struggle.

Though he paced Seattle’s tight ends once more in 2010, Carlson finished with a career-low 31 catches for 318 yards with a TD. He missed all of 2011 after a torn labrum required season-ending shoulder surgery last August.

"My shoulder is repaired," Carlson told the Seattle Times in January. "I feel really good right now. I'm almost to the four-month mark. I'm not ready to play football yet, but it's coming along."

AVAILABILITY: Seattle signed former Raiders Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller to a five-year, $34 million contract ($17 million guaranteed) last off-season, so the Seahawks already have a lot of money invested into the tight end position. How Miller’s contract impacts the team’s efforts to re-sign Carlson is unclear at the moment.

Statistically, Miller was a high-paid disappointment last season, catching just 25 passes for 233 yards. But he was solid in the run game and was often forced to stay on the line as an extra blocker because of Seattle’s struggling offensive line.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll envisions an offense with Miller and Carlson serving as dual receiving threats at the tight end position.

“Our image of having Zach and John going at it – you saw how many extra tight ends we used,” Carroll said last month. “We thought it could really enhance John’s game having Zach here, so we’re hoping we can get that done and get him back with us.”

Injury issues could potentially make Carlson a bargain on the open market – if Seattle lets him get away.

COACHING CONNECTIONS: Chiefs tight ends coach Bernie Parmalee was Carlson’s position coach at Notre Dame for Carlson’s junior and senior seasons.

After catching just 13 passes over his first three seasons at Notre Dame, Carlson turned in a stellar senior campaign for the Irish. Under Parmalee’s guidance, Carlson caught 47 passes for 634 yards with four TDs as a senior to become one of the nation’s top tight end prospects.

Carlson was the second tight end off the board in the 2008 NFL Draft, selected eight slots behind Jets first-round pick Dustin Keller.

"His experience helps us so much because he knows what we're going through as players," Carlson said of his experience playing for Parmalee. "He doesn't see things just as a coach but he sees things through a player's perspective."

Carlson also worked with Chiefs strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark in Seattle from 2008-09.

WHY HE FITS: With Tony Moekai on the mend from season-ending ACL surgery, the Chiefs could be in the market to add another pass-catching tight end. Carlson provides starting experience and could offer the Chiefs a nice pairing with Moeaki.

The tight end position struggled after Moeaki went down and the Chiefs will want to have a better contingency plan heading into 2012. Veterans Leonard Pope and Anthony Becht are set to hit unrestricted free agency, while third-year pro Jake O’Connell returns.

Also, the Chiefs recently moved offensive tackle Steve Manerito tight end. Maneri could be an asset to the position group if the team were to add a pass-catcher beside Moeaki. Maneri, who was a tight end in college, often lined up as a pass-eligible tackle in heavy sets last season.

02-18-2012, 08:59 AM
Bring him in.