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Seahawks rookies Tariq Woolen and Coby Bryant continue to make impact plays

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The overall performance of this Seattle Seahawks defense has been wildly terrible and disappointing, but it’s not all been bad news!

Outside cornerback Tariq Woolen has drawn Richard Sherman comparisons dating back to his pre-draft scouting, and he’s on the verge of equaling Sherman’s rookie total for interceptions. Against the New Orleans Saints, he picked off Andy Dalton on a pass intended for Tre’Quan Smith. It’s Woolen’s third INT in as many weeks, and he leads all rookie corners in that department.

We haven’t seen ball skills from a Seahawks corner like this... really since Sherman! We’re just coming off a year where it took 16 weeks for any corner to get an INT. He’s not getting cheap picks — he’s undercutting routes, jumping routes, and using his former wide receiver background to make clean catches. Unlike Sherm, Woolen was a Day 1 starter and he’s been up to the challenge. Lest we forget that he also had a blocked field goal that resulted in a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers, so he’s had some form of involvement in a change of possession for four straight weeks.

Meanwhile, slot corner Coby Bryant has been picked on a bit more and notably gave up a long touchdown to Jerry Jeudy on opening night. Even against the Saints he allowed a touchdown to Chris Olave but it wasn’t without trying like hell to dislodge the ball — all the best to Olave who was concussed on the play. On the positive side, he recorded a sack off a blitz against the Atlanta Falcons, and in consecutive weeks he has forced a fumble that resulted in a turnover. The one against the Saints’ Alvin Kamara turned a potential Saints scoring drive into Tyler Lockett’s first touchdown, and who was there on the scoop? Tariq Woolen.

The 2022 season was predominantly going to center around the development of the younger players regardless of the win-loss column. If Charles Cross and Abe Lucas have been the offensive standouts, Woolen and Bryant are putting in work on the defensive side of the ball.