Seahawks Roster Analysis: Secondary

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This is the unit to be excited about, that can turn around the season and turn this team into a good-breaks contender. Seattle hasn't had a secondary with this kind of potential, well, ever. Kenny Easley and Dave Brown could ballhawk, but there wasn't one through five potential. No, this is a deep, well-rounded and exciting collection of mostly young talent. There will be some feast and some famine. This is an aggressive bunch that will jump routes, get beat and pick-six like you wouldn't believe. Facing a stronger schedule of signal callers, it might look green. Facing Sam Bradford, Matt Leinart, Alex Smith, Denver Quarterback, Jay Cutler, Jason Campbell, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Josh Freeman and Carolina Quarterback, it could lead the league in interceptions, return yards and return touchdowns.

No joke.

LCB

Starter: Marcus Trufant

In the mix: Walter Thurmond, Kelly Jennings

Tru couldn't flip his hips and run like classic Trufant and so he attempted a little veteran savvy, got called, got a reputation for pass interference and became one of the worst starting corners in football. That should be resolved. Trufant turns 30 this December. This is probably his last peak season. One good season could help Seattle trade him. Thurmond is the only player on roster that has LCB potential. Seattle should be searching for another corner in a season or two.

RCB

Starter: Josh Wilson

In the mix: Walter Thurmond, Kelly Jennings

Thurmond could overtake Wilson if he's healthy. He will not be a year removed from surgery until into the season and so I wouldn't anticipate that. Wilson will likely stick as a starter in the short term, with Thurmond or Jennings pushing him to nickel on passing downs. It's a good setup and one I believe Seattle will retain whether Wilson wins the starting position outright or becomes a fulltime nickelback. Pistol is an amazing nickelback.

Nickelback

Starter: Josh Wilson

In this mix: Walter Thurmond, Jordan Babineaux

Jennings is all cover and nothing else. He either needs to win a starting position or is likely in his last season in Seattle.

Dime Back

Starter: Walter Thurmond

In the mix: Jordan Babineaux, Roy Lewis, Kennard Cox, Marcus Brown, Marcus Udell, Chris Richards

I'm not going to guess which of the gaggle of defensive backs Seattle has brought in will win out, but the above five and Thurmond represent an interesting shift from emphasis on skill and performance to athleticism, size and potential.

I think Seattle will use the following combinations.

Base: Trufant, Wilson

Nickel: Trufant, Jennings, Wilson

Dime: Trufant, Jennings, Wilson, Thurmond

Thurmond could fight his way into the base formation and as the replacement for Wilson on nickel downs. His playing time will probably increase as the season progresses and Thurmond progresses from functionally healthy to full strength.

Free Safety

Starter: Earl Thomas

In the mix: Jordan Babineaux, Josh Pinkard

Thomas is a kid and though he's precocious, I expect some frustrating growing pains. I wouldn't count out Babineaux receiving a start after a particularly flammable showing from Thomas, but Earl is certainly the short term and long term answer for Seattle at free safety. Don't be surprised if he plays some nickel or dime in certain packages. Babs is the only safety on Seattle's roster with a specified position: "SS." He played free safety last season and I think that's where he'll land this season. Or dime back. Or cut.

Strong Safety

Potential starter: Lawyer Milloy, Kam Chancellor, Jordan Babineaux, Jamar Adams, Josh Pinkard

In the mix: Lawyer Milloy, Kam Chancellor, Jordan Babineaux, Jamar Adams, Josh Pinkard

Pinky was a corner before 2009, when Carroll shifted him to strong safety. He's listed as a corner on Seattle's roster, but we'll see. I like him best as a free safety. Milloy, Chance and Adams are brawny in-the-box players. This position will be won in preseason.

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