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Tariq Woolen’s other impressive play against the 49ers

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

In an alternate universe, Darrell Taylor stops Deebo Samuel in the backfield for a loss.

Of course, that didn’t happen. Samuel is one of the most elusive players in the NFL and he shook off Taylor’s tackle, juked out Jordyn Brooks and took off for 52 yards. The man to bring him down? Seattle Seahawks rookie Tariq Woolen, who started out on the opposite side of the field but turned on the jets to bring Deebo down.

Samuel is faster than his 4.48 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine suggests, but Woolen showcased his 4.26 speed and then some by running ahead of Samuel and then bringing him down. Uchenna Nwosu, Michael Jackson, and Josh Jones are making a mad dash to get to Deebo but Woolen’s close really pops out.

Of course, Woolen’s most impactful play that afternoon was the blocked field goal that Michael Jackson returned for Seattle’s only touchdown.

The blocked field goal was cool, but in the bigger picture it’s plays like the chasedown of Samuel that showcase his athletic gifts, hustle, tackling ability, and his overall potential to be a high-end starter in this league.

Woolen has also held up well in coverage. Yes, he’s been dinged for two pass interference calls but there have been more positives than negatives through his first couple of NFL games.

Of the positive storylines from the Seahawks’ 2022 start, Woolen’s play has been one of the real highlights. We can live with the penalties (not too many of them, mind you!) if there are more cool moments like this, combined with sound coverage skills where the real highlight is quarterbacks not bothering to throw his way.