EAST RUTHORFORD, N.J. — Recording your first NFL catch is special in its own right, but the time, place, and fashion in which Tanner McEvoy recorded his carried some extra special meaning.
McEvoy, the rookie wideout who originally signed with Seattle as an undrafted free agent following the 2016 draft, made his first big-League grab in the Seahawks' 27-17 Week 4 win over the New York Jets, corralling a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Russell Wilson to add to a second-quarter lead Seattle would not relinquish on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
"It really felt like it was in the air for 10 minutes," the 6-foot-6, 230-pound McEvoy recalled of his scoring play that saw him get well behind the Jets defense after a busted coverage. "It felt like a long time. I knew I was wide open just from how he threw it and how the defense was set up before the snap. It was just a lucky play for me to be in, honestly, and I'm just happy that my first catch was a touchdown in front of everyone."
That "everyone" McEvoy referred to included "a bunch of friends and family" that had made what McEvoy called "only about a 40-minute drive" from his hometown of Hillsdale, NJ, where he attended high school at Bergen Catholic.
"What a great thrill for his family and friends," said Seattle head coach Pete Carroll. "... They have a great school he played at here in high school. To get a chance to get your first ball at MetLife and it's a dog-gone touchdown, that's one of those things he'll never forget, and I hope his family was all there to see it and all that and they get to rejoice in that. That was marvelous."
As the fifth receiver on Seattle's roster playing behind Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Tyler Lockett, and Paul Richardson, McEvoy's opportunities have been limited thus far in 2016. But he made the most of his lone catch Sunday, something Baldwin and Seattle's receiving corps has continuously harped on as they operate in an offense that likes to spread the ball around to its multiple playmakers.
"Extremely special for him because he's worked so hard to get to this point," Baldwin said of McEvoy's score. "He came in, he really didn't know what role he was going to be placed in, but he owned his role today and he made the best of his opportunity.
"I'm so thankful for him that he got a touchdown."
Added McEvoy: "Just to be home and do that in front of everyone. That was something that was really special to me."
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Look through some action photos from Week 4 vs the New York Jets at MetLife Field.