The Seattle Seahawks signed former New England Patriots tight end Ryan Izzo to the practice squad, per the NFL transaction wire. Izzo was one of three free agents the Seahawks hosted for a tryout on September 28, joining former Bengals cornerback Josh Shaw and ex-Washington corner Simeon Thomas.
Izzo spent the last two seasons with the Patriots and started 12 games last season posting 13 receptions for 199 yards. The Seahawks have depth at the position with Gerald Everett and Will Dissly leading the way, but the team continues to show an interest in free-agent tight ends.
Colby Parkinson has been sidelined with a foot injury and the tight end position is expected to have a strong long-term importance in Shane Waldron’s offense. The team also announced Everett has been placed on the COVID-19 list putting his status for Week 4 in doubt.
The Patriots traded Izzo to the Texans over the offseason, but the tight end was released in August as Houston finalized their 53-man roster. Izzo later signed with the Giants practice squad but was released weeks later.
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Belichick on Izzo: He Has ‘Given Us Some Good Play’
After struggling with injuries to start his NFL career, Izzo has been able to stay healthy in recent years. Last season, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick praised Izzo’s ability to turn around his health.
“Durability is more important than ability, and Ryan, I think, is a great example of that,” Belichick said in November 2020, per NESN.com. “The fact that he’s been out there has really given him a chance to improve, and he’s taken advantage of that and given us some good play at that position. Certainly, this has been his best year, but it?s also been his most durable year.”
Last October, Izzo also found himself in Belichick’s dog house after a fumble. NFL Films captured Belichick giving Izzo an earful on the sidelines after the costly turnover.
“Ryan, that’s our catch and tuck drill right there,” Belichick noted. “That’s our catch and tuck drill, right there. Put it away.”
Carroll Implied the Corners Need to be More Aggressive
Given the shaky play of the secondary to start the season, it is no surprise that the Seahawks are working out free agent corners. Seattle released three practice squad players and signed Robert Nkemdiche to the active roster opening up four spots prior to Izzo’s signing.
Shaw spent three seasons (2015-2017) with the Bengals including starting 12 games in 2016. The corner last took an NFL snap in 2018 when he had short stints with the Chiefs and Buccaneers. Thomas played 12 games for Washington in 2019 and was released by the team last September. As for the Seahawks secondary struggles, Seattle head coach Pete Carroll described the play of the team’s corners against the Vikings as “conservative.”
“The game turned out, we kept them in front of us,” Carroll noted, per Seahawks.com. “We a had lot of respect for the receivers, but that’s kind of how the game went. It felt like they threw the ball underneath us quite a bit. We didn’t do much to disrupt that. I thought they played a solid conservative game, but didn’t make any plays that could’ve changed it for us. We could’ve used a couple here and there. Unfortunately, we didn’t get anything from any of the guys on that side of the ball.”