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Jordyn Brooks continuing to improve in his second season

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Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Second year player and first year starter Jordyn Brooks had a couple standout moments in the Seattle Seahawks Week 10 matchup with the Green Bay Packers. While the game was rarely pretty — and frequently unsightly — the defense as a whole didn’t look awful, which has been a trend in recent weeks. While the uptick in defensive performance after a horrifying beginning to the season can’t be attributed solely to one factor or player, Brooks has certainly been making an impact that coincides with the overall improvement.

2021 has been an up and down year for many players on Seattle’s roster, but especially for number 56. Consider this:

Brooks was destined for extra scrutiny ever since he became the presumptive starter following the departure of K.J. Wright. But the former Red Raider has been on a roller coaster of his own, for sure. While he is currently on pace to log well over one hundred tackles on the year, he has also had plenty of moments where his lack of experience is visibly apparent.

But this dichotomy isn’t entirely unexpected in a young player who is being asked to take on a significant role. Seeing Jordyn Brooks take some steps in the right direction is a great start, even if the consistency comes later. Below are a couple plays that stood out as examples of his growth in year two.

On third and one with the Packers approaching midfield, Brooks looks like he rediscovered his own college gametape and makes an excellent, instinctive play to bring down AJ Dillon for a short loss, which forced a punt. His combination of athleticism and power helped to endear him to Seattle during the draft process, and it is great to see him putting his physical tools to work while also refining his play recognition and reaction time.

On Green Bay’s first scoring drive of the afternoon, Brooks and Jamal Adams teamed up again to make another nice play. This screen pass to Marcedes Lewis looks Seattle-esque in its poor design and execution, but even so it still took a good effort from Adams and Brooks to blow this one up. Number 56 does a particularly nice job of reading the ball carrier and squaring him up to bring him down. These kinds of plays may not jump off the screen, but it is a huge part of what made KJ Wright such a successful player for so many years in Seattle; instincts, recognition, and execution. KJ was so good at attacking screens and the short outside passing game, and Brooks has struggled mightily to fill this void. But from the looks of it, he may be trending in the right direction.

While the work is far from over for Brooks, he is showing a lot of signs of positive improvement in his second campaign in Seattle. But as one of the few young playmakers on this defense, he still has a lot of room to grow. After a shaky beginning to the year, Jordyn is starting to look like a player who is finding his role and settling into it. And while Wagner remains the unquestioned leader as long as he is in the lineup, Seattle may be fortunate enough to have a young player on a rookie contract to round out the roster and provide insurance down the road. If his performance continues to trend in the right direction, he may break the Front Office’s streak and force them to pick up his fifth year option. While that is still a season and a half away at this point, the team has to be feeling a bit more optimistic about their long term prospects at the linebacker position after these last couple weeks.