CHICAGO - OCTOBER 17: Matt Forte #22 of the Chicago Bears is tackled and grabbed by the face mask by Marcus Trufant #23 of the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on October 17 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
With Nate's permission, I thought it made a ton of sense to put this retrospective up on the front page. Marcus Trufant is entering his tenth season in the NFL and re-signed with the Seahawks after briefly exploring other options in free agency. He's battled back issues the past couple of years and played in only four games in 2011, all at left cornerback (now occupied by Richard Sherman, presumably), making 23 tackles, 3 passes defensed, and one interception.
At one point in his career Trufant was a Pro-Bowl caliber cornerback but likely would be used sparingly going forward in a specific role, which is yet to be seen. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have mentioned that he'll compete for the nickel cornerback spot, but he'll face stiff competition there by incumbent starter Walter Thurmond, who is likely to start the year on the PUP, new draft pick Jeremy Lane (whom Gus Bradley recently mentioned will be playing nickel corner for the Hawks), Byron Maxwell, Ron Parker, Roy Lewis, and possibly Desean Shead and newcomer Donny Lisowski, of whom Seahawks coaches had high praise after this weekend's mini-camp.
What Trufant potentially brings to the table, apart from a veteran savvy and locker room presence among the team's very young group of defensive backs, is a strong ability to play off coverage and in the zone, something you'll notice below. He's strong against the run, rarely out of position, and has a lot of experience playing against and matching up with guys like Larry Fitzgerald, who the Seahawks will face twice this year, at least. Not sure that will be enough to guarantee him a roster spot, but it's an advantage he has over many of the rookies and second year players. He's got physical limitations and an injury history to worry about, and it will be pretty interesting to watch the battles developing for those precious roster spots as he tries to fend off the young bucks. In my mind, Marcus is certainly not a bad guy to have on your depth chart to play either outside or in the nickel spot, though his days of starting are probably behind him.
Check out the retrospective scouting video below, with big thanks to Nate for putting them together. They give you a great look at some of the skills and deficiencies Trufant brings the table.