Carroll on Graham: ‘We want him to be a big part of the offense’

Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham after practice (Seahawks via Twitter)Pete Carroll is just as frustrated as everyone else that Jimmy Graham was invisible Sunday night, especially when the Seahawks planned to have the Pro Bowl tight end heavily involved from the beginning, and the coach promises Graham will be more involved going forward.

Graham caught one pass in the first half of the opener in St. Louis, but Russell Wilson went to him more in the second half and he finished with six catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. But in Green Bay he was thrown to just twice and caught one (for 11 yards).

“I’m disappointed because … we want him to be a big part of the offense,” Carroll said. “(Six) balls in the first game and a touchdown pass. (Six) balls is a pretty good day. This day it didn’t work out. We were trying to go to him four out of the first five passes.”

Asked why Wilson did not throw to Graham on those plays, Carroll said, “There’s all kinds of things that happen. We get flustered here or there, get pushed away from the route where it’s going. There’s all kinds of stuff that happens and it isn’t any one thing. If it was one thing, it’d be really easy. It’s a variety of things that happen in the route.”

Carroll offered one example: The Packers were misaligned on one play, so “Russell hustled up, thinking he would have a guy uncovered, and the defender ran right at the receiver he was going to, right at the end and surprised him. The ball was supposed to go to Jimmy on that one, and that’s just a case example of how things happen. Russell’s trying to take advantage of an uncovered guy, and he slipped and we didn’t get the conversion. That kind of stuff can happen.”

Carroll also said, “We want to win and we want to play really good football, and he’s part of that, and he will be. I thought that Jimmy would make the play. I was telling him on the sideline, ‘It’s going to be your finish here, you know, when we make the play to win the game.’ I just felt like he would get the ball there right down the stretch. Unfortunately in that (final) drive we turned the ball over, we didn’t get that shot.”

Carroll said it is natural for elements of either side of the ball to take time to develop.

“This is not unusual, if you think about it. … It takes us awhile to get it going. We thought we were a little bit further ahead than that. As we’ve seen in the first two games, we’ve got work to do yet. We’re not backing off at all. We’re ready to crank that up and make that a challenging part of our offense as well.”

Carroll said he is not concerned the Packers game will turn into a recurring theme.

“It’s just the way it’s worked out. I’m not panicked by that at all,” he said. “It sounds like some of the people are worried about it, but we’re working at it. It’s going to get worked out, and we just want him to be a factor and contribute just like he wants to, desperately. That’s what he’s here to do and we’re going to get that worked out. It just didn’t happen in this game for us. We certainly had a bunch of calls, a bunch of calls, where it could have happened. He was working hard, we’re working hard and it just didn’t come to.”

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