Competition still ‘wide open’ for Seahawks’ right cornerback job

924 views 2 replies
Reply to Topic

Age: 2023
Total Posts: 0
Points: 10

One of the Seahawksmost competitive position battles is no closer to being settled after the teams offseason program.
That isnt because Jeremy Lane, Shaquill Griffin and Neiko Thorpe failed to distinguish themselves while vying for the starting cornerback job opposite Richard Sherman. The way Seattle practiced during organized team activities and minicamp pretty much made that impossible
After running afoul of the NFLs rules that prohibit excessive offseason contact for the third time last year, the Seahawks knew they were under the leagues microscope and that another violation could result in penalties even stiffer than what they received in September the forfeiture of a fifth-round pick as well as three docked OTAs and more fines. So they went out of their way to minimize contact during offseason practices this year, at times seemingly trying to avoid it altogether.
Carroll had some fun while calling it Seattles most compliantoffseason. But the altered approach meant a stricter adherence to what he referred to as OTA football, not real football.No position group seemed to be affected by that more than the cornerbacks. They werent jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage, jostling for position with them or contesting balls in the air.
That left Seattles coaching staff with less to evaluate, something Carroll mentioned as a qualifier while giving a glowing assessment of Griffin. The third-round pick from Central Florida has a chance to win the starting job at right cornerback thats been held for the last season and a half by DeShawn Shead, whos coming off knee surgery and likely wont be ready by Week 1.
Hes been really diligent. Hes real fast,Carroll said of Griffin. Technique-wise, its not hard for him to make it look right. Camp will be huge for him. None of the DBs were able to compete at the ball throughout this whole offseason, so we dont see any of that. We have no evaluation on those guys. They cant make a play on the ball unless its thrown right to them. So they have a lot to show still when they come back. The one-on-one work they get, the seven-on-seven against our best guys and all of that will show us a lot more. So its hard to make a full evaluation, but were looking at movement skills, guys learning, and their sense about their comfort and all.
Hes tuned in. He can be a big factor for us.
Lane has been Seattles nickelback for the past three seasons and figures to fill that role again in 2017. The question is whether hell also be the starter at right cornerback in Seattles base defense and then slide inside in passing situations. His experience in Seattles system would seem to give him the leg up over Griffin and Thorpe.
Carroll had a fairly tepid end-of-season review of they way Lane played in 2016, when he was on the field for more than 70 percent of Seattles defensive snaps but didnt make many impact plays. Carroll likes what hes seen from Lane this offseason.
Jeremy has really applied himself. He sees the opportunity. Hes really going for it,Carroll said. Across the board, everybodys evaluation of Jeremy across the entire program is that hes really focused, hes really Wes Horton Jersey tuned in, hes really ready to go for it. Hes physically as fit as hes been in a long time. Remember, he had a really difficult offseason a couple years back and its taken him almost a couple years to overcome all of that (the broken wrist and torn ACL in Super Bowl XLIX) and hes back to full form. But more than that, his focus is really on it to seize this opportunity.
We feel really good about that, and then theres guys nipping at his heels.
That includes Thorpe. Signed early last season after being released by Oakland, he was one of Seattles top special teams players in 2017 and also saw some time on defense while Shead was hurt. Thorpe has made two career starts since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2012.
He and Griffin took their turns at right cornerback with Seattles No. 1 defense during OTAs and minicamp. The Seahawks were in nickel for most of the team drills during those practices, with Lane playing inside.
For Griffin, how quickly he sees the field will depend largely on how quickly he picks up the Seahawksstep-kick technique, which has tended to take some time for young cornerbacks. Defensive coordinator Kris Richard said hes off to a strong start.
Hes got probably one of the best corner minds that weve had for a young guy around here,Richard said. Thats just in regards to leverage, positioning, the understanding of our coverages and where we need him to be. He has picked it up fairly quickly. Were going to be really excited to see him strap it up and get out there and actually be able to compete for the football while its in the air. Thats going to be the next phase, but his technique has been improving day after day, and he has real strength. He has strength in his hands, you can tell hes a powerful guy, and obviously his speed is there.
Griffin or Thorpe could still fill a significant role as the third cornerback if Lane wins the starting job. That would entail coming in when Seattles defense is in nickel and Lane moves inside. Considering the Seahawks were in nickel for more than two-thirds of their defensive snaps last season, that third corner is essentially Captain Munnerlyn Authentic Jersey another starter.
DeAndre Elliott, Pierre Desir and rookie Mike Tyson are three sleepers who could factor into the mix.
The competition is wide open,Richard said. These guys understand that.
Posted 21 Jun 2017

Reply to Topic