When something doesn't make sense but continues and continues to inflict pain, humans have a way of rationalizing. Seahawks have done that with their starting free safety. Accrediting him with George C. Patton-like leadership; the ability to dramatically influence plays he's never seen in. I'm not saying Brian Russell is Bad Uncle Robert. I'm saying the possibility Russell is benched is so life-changing, I deny it because it might not happen.
Jordan Babineaux is doing his part. Last Saturday wasn't a clinic, and Babineaux didn't produce any highlights, but he had two tackles, one in space that stopped a first down, and a pass defense. He made plays. He reminded Seahawks fans a safety makes plays. A safety should not be credited for the mystical power to improve those around him. He must improve his team by impacting the outcome of plays. Babineaux does that by charging from the third level and tackling in space. He does that by defending passes. Babineaux recorded as many in one preseason game as Russell had in 15 of his 16 games in 2008. Russell had one in Buffalo, two against St. Louis and zero in the remaining 13 games.
The requirements of a Cover 2 safety are the qualities of Jordan Babineaux. He works well in a zone and is good at reading the quarterback's eyes. He can make tackles in space and thus help cap long plays. He's a hitter than can force fumbles. He has five in only thirteen starts. Babineaux is good in run support and can cut off runs to the outside. He's opportunistic and has good hands. He's not a great player and very sub par as a corner, but the team needs out from under Russell and if Babs is the rebound, the safe house: run, Ruskell, run. Brian Russell can't find you here.