November 18, 2010 in Sports

2009 draftee Curry lives up to expectations

Tim Booth Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry could lose his starting spot.
(Full-size photo)

RENTON, Wash. – So that was the Aaron Curry everyone in Seattle was waiting for this season.

Because of low tackle and sack numbers, most don’t understand just how vital a role Curry was playing for the Seahawks defense before his breakout game last Sunday against Arizona.

“It’s a defense with a lot of parts and everyone must do their job. Just make the plays presented to you and sometimes you don’t really have the play. It will be like that,” Seattle linebacker Lofa Tatupu said. “Maybe in 70 snaps you don’t get one of those opportunities. It happens like that, especially with all the stuff that we are doing.”

Surprisingly quiet in his second NFL season, the former No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft finally enjoyed a day in the spotlight against the Cardinals. Curry had seven tackles, two sacks and forced a fumble in Seattle’s 36-18 win over the Cardinals that pushed Seattle a game ahead of St. Louis in the NFC West.

“I thought overall just one of his best games as an NFL player, from the standpoint of doing what he was asked but then also after the fact chasing the ball down,” Tatupu said. “(His) speed showed up.”

It was Curry’s biggest number of tackles in any game this season and he doubled his sack total, proving to be a constant headache for the Cardinals most of the afternoon.

It was the kind of chaos Curry was expected to cause from the moment he walked into Seahawks headquarters a year ago as Seattle’s highest draft pick in 12 years.

“I think it had a lot to do with (defensive coordinator Gus) Bradley having a key on what they wanted to do on offense, and making a lot of calls where I was able to just go out there and make the play that was intended for me to make,” Curry said. “I was definitely in the zone. I was confident and I was just feeling it that game.”

Curry might be viewed as enduring a sophomore slump, with 34 tackles and three sacks after nine weeks. But Curry is adjusting to a new role in Pete Carroll’s defense, different from what he was asked to try to accomplish during his first season in the league.

Instead of playing back a few yards as many linebackers do, Curry starts right at the line of scrimmage. His task is simple playing on the strongside – hold the edge and force everything back to the middle. That means trying to keep running plays from getting outside and to the edge.

It’s certainly not a glamorous role. But it’s a needed position for the hybrid style of defense Carroll wants to play.

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