That Tanner McEvoy scored the Seahawks' only touchdown on Sunday might seem unusual on the surface. After all, McEvoy is an undrafted rookie who usually sees the fourth or fifth most playing time among Seahawks receivers in any given game, not to mention the fact that he began his Seahawks career playing safety.
Then again, McEvoy making a big play shouldn't come as a surprise at this point considering the knack he has shown for capitalizing on limited opportunities this season.
"He's doing well," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "In his opportunities he's doing quite well. He has made the most of his plays. He's had very few really good shots, even when we gave him a chance to throw the ball, he did a nice job, so there's some playmaking there. He's an exciting young man coming up. He has an unusual body, he's really big over 6-5 and all that, so he's got some special qualities."
On a day where very little went well for the Seahawks, McEvoy was something of a bright spot, catching three passes for 41 yards, including a leaping grab for a 21-yard touchdown. McEvoy has only seven catches this season, but his first career catch was a 42-yard touchdown, and prior to a 5-yard catch Sunday to convert on third-and-2, every catch this season had gone for 10 or more yards. McEvoy also has a 41-yard pass completion on his résumé, hitting C.J. Prosise on a trick play against New Orleans.
"I'm just trying to make the most of the opportunities that I get," McEvoy said. "… You can only control what you can control, so that's what I'm trying to do, just take advantage of every opportunity that I get and just take it from there."
While McEvoy was upset with the result of Sunday's game, it was special for him to catch a touchdown pass at Lambeau Field. Despite being a New Jersey native, McEvoy grew up a Packers fan, in part because he was a fan of quarterback Brett Favre. And having played at the University of Wisconsin, he's well aware of the historical significance of the Packers and their stadium.
"It's very cool," said McEvoy, whose first touchdown game in his home state in Seattle's win over the Jets. "I had never been to a game there, so it was really an awesome experience. I grew up a Green Bay fan, loved Brett Favre, so scoring there was definitely something I won't forget."
McEvoy should only continue to improve as a receiver considering how little of his career was spent at that position in college. He started his career at Wisconsin as a quarterback before eventually moving to safety. He later went back to offense, serving as a wildcat quarterback, then moved to receiver before going back to safety. When the Seahawks signed him as an undrafted free agent, they first used him on defense in offseason workouts, then eventually switched him to receiver for training camp.
"It definitely helps," McEvoy said of having a full season at one position. "It's nice to finally say I have a full-time position, because I really haven't been able to say that for a few years now. I keep learning each week and I'm trying to learn from my mistakes, and try to take advantage each week of those reps."
Action photos from the Seahawks' Week 14 game against the Packers at Green Bay's Lambeau Field.