It’s been a great preseason as far as these things go. The Seattle Seahawks have won some games, some undrafted guys made cool catches, the usual.
Another element that’s unfortunately too usual is the Seattle cornerback room not being remotely settled by Week 1. It’s not as bad as a couple years back when Sidney Jones and Artie Burns were the presumed starters by now, but it’s still a mess.
Riq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon have seen minimal action due to injuries all summer. Coby Bryant got (maybe?) moved to safety. Then the other two guys with significant starting time have taken turns confidently not winning the job.
What’s made it especially infuriating is how Jackson started as probably the premier defender in training camp, and progressively got worse until we’re at the point we are now.
See the difficulty in evaluating Jackson this summer:
Packers are completing just about every throw toward Mike Jackson now. That one across the middle with Jackson trailing, for 15 yards.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) August 26, 2023
Pete Carroll said CB Mike Jackson "had the best camp of anyone." pic.twitter.com/F8us4qPFk9— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) June 8, 2023
Plenty of highlights from the rookies (drafted and undrafted!), strong nights for Boye Mafe and Drew Lock, but a difficult one for Mike Jackson and (at times) the run defense— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) August 20, 2023
Winners and Losers from Seahawks 22, Cowboys 14https://t.co/0qy708Z62I
Meanwhile, Tre Brown, whom I personally would love to be as good as his four-game rookie stretch hinted, has had the only interesting interception of the preseason.
He outright lost the job last season (admittedly battling back from injury) but this year it feels that he’s proven to be the more reliable of the two.
Coaches then, have to decide if they believe the Mike Jackson from a full 2022 season plus the Mike Jackson from a month of training camp outweighs three weeks of Mike Jackson throw things at the preseason TV.
As to Witherspoon, he’ll have two weeks to ramp up as fast as they can, and see how good of shape he can be in by Week 1. We’re probably looking at nickel to start then, as a position more likely to play fewer snaps.
Pete Carroll on Devon Witherspoon (hamstring), who may practice next week: “He’s flying. He’s going. But, there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s the conditioning level he can maintain and hold up with the workload of practices. We’ve got to figure that out.”— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 26, 2023
A stark reminder of how quickly things turn in the NFL. Not five months ago, best guesses would have put Woolen and Witherspoon as day one starters on the outside, with Coby Bryant and somebody else competing for nickel, with incredibly competent depth pieces. I even said with five starters they should trade one.
Now, there’s guys that were essentially handed back their starting roles and done absolutely nothing to keep them, with question marks all along the rest of the room concerning health and trustability.
The encouraging aspect is we’ve been here before and Carroll has - with the exception of 2020 - usually managed to make it work. Plus, the ceilings of Woolen and Witherspoon, and the playmaking of Brown and Bryant, are exceptionally high. It may be a rough start, but I do wonder if these guys will be able to come together (sans Mike Jackson) and make a little noise in pass coverage this year.