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Seahawks struggling to get Jimmy Graham involved

Jimmy Graham was targeted just twice in Seattle's Sunday night loss to Green Bay. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In the days leading up to Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks coaches made it clear that getting the ball to Jimmy Graham was going to be a priority.

But with the offense sputtering in the first half -- four punts on five possessions -- Graham was nowhere to be found.

"We had a bunch of calls," coach Pete Carroll said. "The ball just didn’t get there. We’re going to have to develop our way because we love him to get the football. We probably called six different things that he could have had the ball in the first half, and it just didn’t go there for one reason or another. … We get it. We want him to have the football too. But we’re not going to change the game to get the guy passes. Jimmy knows that."

Graham finished with one catch for 11 yards on two targets. Per Pro Football Focus, he played 50 snaps and went out into pass routes 32 times.

"Obviously we want to get him the football," Russell Wilson said. "We have so many guys. … We’re looking for him for sure. I think I had one where it was play-action looking for him downfield, but they covered him -- double-team I think on that one. … It’s not one of those things that you try to force, but you want to find him. He’s a great, great football player. So we’ve got to try to find ways to get him the football.

"The play calls are good in terms of that and looking for him. It’s an opportunistic offense. We want to give the ball to everybody. There’s so many guys. … I thought Jimmy played a great game. I wish I could have gotten it to him a couple more times."

There seems to be some early-season confusion when it comes to feeding Graham. On one hand, Wilson and the coaches don't want to force the issue if other things are working on offense, as they were in the second half. On the other hand, to only give two looks to a tight end who has made a career of being a matchup problem seems like an odd strategy, especially considering what the Seahawks gave up to acquire him.

What's clear is that incorporating Graham into the offense is going to be a process. Through two games, 20 tight ends have more receiving yards than he does. At some point, the Seahawks have to figure out ways to get Graham the ball even if he might not appear to be open.

Given that the Seahawks have failed to score a first-half touchdown in either of their first two games, coming up with a way to get Graham involved early against the Bears in Week 3 should be a priority.