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Discipline of Steel
02-18-2009, 01:48 PM
News: Aside from OLB Leroy Hill, Weaver is widely considered the free agent the Seahawks would most like to re-sign — in a perfect world. But Weaver’s agent, Harold Lewis, sees things going in a different direction for his client, who he believes has unique skills at this position.

“As far as him staying in Seattle, I’m sure Leonard would be very happy,” Lewis told PFW. “But just being a realist, I don’t see it.” The reality, according to Lewis, is that Weaver shapes up as a potentially hot commodity on the open market. “He’s more of a hybrid running back who can knock over anybody,” Lewis said. “When you look at the successful teams right now, you see two-back systems usually with one big running back. Leonard fits that mold, and there should be lots of interest in him.”

The long-term contract commitments the Seahawks have made to RBs Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett, who are being projected as the 1-2 punch in Seattle’s ground game under new coordinator Greg Knapp in 2009, are another factor that could send the powerful Weaver packing.

Notes: After leading Carson-Newman in receiving as a tight end, the 6-0, 242-pound Weaver was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Seahawks in 2005 and played in all 16 games, mostly on special teams. After spending the 2006 season on injured reserve with an ankle injury, Weaver was pressed into duty as the team’s starting fullback after longtime starter Mack Strong was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 9, 2007. In addition to steadily improving his primary role as a lead blocker for the Seattle running backs, Weaver flashed intriguing playmaking skills both as a rusher and a receiver in ’07, most notably on a 37-yard romp in a Sunday-night game against the Saints and a 17-yard TD run in the Seahawks’ wild-card victory over the Redskins.

Those skills were greatly enhanced in 2008, particularly in Week Eight at San Francisco, when Weaver became the first fullback since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to record two receiving touchdowns of 43-plus yards in a game. At the end of the season, Weaver was named a Pro Bowl alternate for the first time in his career.

Strengths: Weaver’s abilities as a blocker and a playmaker make him a versatile double-threat force to reckon with. His rare athleticism as a runner and receiver out of the backfield is God-given. But his blocking, which was a major knock against him initially, has improved significantly, due mostly to good old-fashioned hard work. At the end of the season, outgoing head coach Mike Holmgren told one team insider that Weaver had made himself into the best blocker on the team, and the sight of him opening holes with often punishing hits on opposing defenders has become a routine occurrence.

Weaver is uncommonly elusive, with rare footwork for a player at his position, and he has become a consistently effective check-down receiver with the ability to pick up yards after his catches. He also has growing potential as a short-yardage specialist.

Weaknesses: Weaver’s uniqueness could be his only weakness, in that he has excelled at a position that has diminished in importance at the pro level. While it appears he has all the makings of a respectable No. 2 running back, he is an unproven commodity in that particular role.

Risk factor: Moderate. It would appear the arrow is pointing up for Weaver, who is arguably the most intriguing free-agent offensive player available this offseason. There will be some suitors who might bring up his lost season due to injury in ’06. But there are likely to be a lot more suitors lining up to check out a talented, committed player who also earns extremely high marks as a model citizen off the field.

MeetJoeGreene
02-18-2009, 02:56 PM
... at the expense of Carey Davis????

in a heartbeat.

... at the expense of McHugh???

probably


.... at the expense of Russel???

not sure about that one.