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Friday in Hawkville: The defense flaunts its aggressiveness
PLAYS OF THE DAY: DEFENSE DOMINATES TWO-MINUTE DRILL
Defense: Forget one play; the entire unit was on for an entire period. It happened during the two-minute drill, and here’s what happened as a result of the aggressive efforts:
Tarvaris Jackson threw two incompletions while directing the No. 2 offense against the No. 1 defense – with All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner providing blanket coverage on tight end Cooper Helfet on the second throw. Jackson was then “sacked” twice, with linebacker K.J. Wright getting to him on fourth down.
Brady Quinn, who quarterbacked the No. 3 offense, was 2 of 7 and also “sacked” once.
It wasn’t what the offense wasn’t doing. It was all the things the defense wasn’t allowing it to do.
“Today we just decided to lock guys up,” Wright said after practice. “We did straight man-to-man coverage. You know, ‘I got this guy. Don’t let your guy catch the ball.’ DQ (defensive coordinator Dan Quinn) tightened it up, and we came through today.”
That’s the plan under Quinn in his first season as the coordinator – to be more aggressive.
“We love it,” Wright said. “We like guys just communicating, and we love that man-to-man coverage.”
POSITION WATCH: CORNERBACKS
Any discussion of this position starts with Sherman and Brandon Browner. They’re not only the starters, Sherman was voted All-Pro last season and Browner played in the Pro Bowl after the 2011 season.
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“I want the ‘Legion of Boom’ to really mean something when it’s all said and done. Not just something we made up last year. I really want that to hold weight for years to come.” – Browner, referring to the nickname that has been adopted by the starting secondary that also includes All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas and Pro Bowl-caliber strong safety Kam Chancellor
But the discussion doesn’t stop there. That’s because the Seahawks have depth and then some at a position where they’ve struggled to find capable players in the past. There’s second-year corner Jeremy Lane, who had an interception in today’s 7-on-7 drill. There’s Walter Thurmond, a former fourth-round draft choice who has the skills to be a starter if he can just stay healthy. There’s Ron Parker, who has made impressive plays in each of the first two practices. There’s Byron Maxell, a third-year player who is getting work on the corner as well as at nickel back. Oh, and don’t forget about Antoine Winfield, a three-time Pro Bowl corner while with the Vikings who was added in free agency during the offseason; and Will Blackmon, who continues to impress the coaches after being signed in February.
“It’s good to have,” Browner said after practice when asked about the depth that has only gotten deeper at his position. “Anybody goes down, you’ve got guys to step up and play like nobody’s missing.”
Just as Browner did during training camp in 2011 when Thurmond was sidelined. Just as Sherman did later that season when he stepped in after Marcus Trufant and Thurmond were injured.
PLAYER WATCH: STEPHEN WILLIAMS
On a roster loaded with wide receivers, Williams is doing his best to make each of his reps count.
The third-year wide-out was signed to a future contract in January after playing in 13 games the past two seasons for the Cardinals. Thursday, the 6-foot-5 Williams went up and over Lane to grab a deep pass from Quinn. Today, he did the same to Parker in catching a pass from Wilson and also made nice catches along each sideline – although his best effort was nullified because it was ruled he came down out of bounds.
But each catch does count, as Williams is competing with a half dozen other receivers for what could be the final spot or two on the 53-man roster behind Rice, Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Percy Havin.
Fullback Michael Robinson and linebacker Heath Farwell, the special teams co-captains last season, sat out practice. So did the seven players who were placed on injury lists on Thursday – Harvin, running back Robert Turbin, tight end Zach Miller, defensive ends Chris Clemons and Greg Scruggs, linebacker Korey Toomer and cornerback Tharold Simon.
A weekend filled with football. The players will practice on Saturday and Sunday – starting at 10:15 a.m. – before getting their first off day on Monday. Both weekend practices are open to the public, but sold out.
Today’s practice attracted 2,650 fans, including the 2,500 who registered online and the VIP and ADA guests.