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Seahawks open competition for Curry’s starting spot

Thu., Sept. 22, 2011, 6:54 p.m.

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry could lose his starting spot.  (Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Aaron Curry could lose his starting spot. (Associated Press)

RENTON, Wash. – Former No. 4 overall pick linebacker Aaron Curry is now in a fight to keep his starting job with the Seattle Seahawks.

Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said following practice Thursday that it’s an open competition between Curry and rookie K.J. Wright for the starting outside linebacker spot.

Curry has struggled to find a role in the NFL after being the highest linebacker drafted since LaVar Arrington was the second overall pick in 2000.

Curry has just 51/2 sacks in three seasons and has been used in a number of different ways to see how best he can help Seattle’s defense.

“He’s good. He was professional,” Bradley said about Curry’s reaction to the news. “I’m sure he doesn’t like the situation, but he’s responded well. He goes out there and practices hard, and he’s been a true professional.”

The move to open up the competition is because of Curry’s continuing struggles and Wright’s impressive play through training camp and in the season opener at San Francisco, when Wright filled in at middle linebacker for injured starter David Hawthorne.

It’s also another step in Seattle potentially cutting ties with Curry in the future. Seattle had already restructured Curry’s contract, reportedly cutting two years off the original six-year deal he signed coming out of Wake Forest.

The 6-foot-2, 254-pound Curry garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews coming out of college and won the 2008 Butkus Award, given to the nation’s top linebacker.

The 6-foot-3, 246-pound Wright wasn’t as well-regarded. He played primarily strongside linebacker in college, but he impressed Seattle’s coaches by filling in for Hawthorne. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has made it a point to mention Wright’s progress.

“He’s been ahead of the curve for a rookie, particularly in the play-calling position that he’s in,” Carroll said in early September. “We didn’t know he was going to be that sharp.”

It became clear that Wright was going to find a place on the field.

“We just felt that we wanted to have more competition at that spot,” Bradley said. “So, we gave a chance there yesterday, we looked at him today, and we’ll evaluate it the whole week. As you know, the motto here is ‘competition,’ and we just felt that we needed to stress that position even more. He’s had quite a few reps at that spot, and we just need to get him caught up.”

Brock ships evidence to league

Seahawks defensive end Raheem Brock knew a fine was coming for a low hit on Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last Sunday.

He’s hoping some pictures will change the league’s opinion.

“I sent the photos, I sent everything. I mean, all they should need is the video. It’s as clear as day,” Brock said.

Brock indicated he was fined $15,000 for the hit on Roethlisberger and has already filed an appeal with the league.

The fine came as a result of Brock falling into Roethlisberger’s legs just as the quarterback released a pass for Heath Miller in the second quarter of the Steelers’ 24-0 victory.

Brock said he was tripped by Pittsburgh lineman Marcus Gilbert and couldn’t stop himself from falling into Roethlisberger.

“Fined by the NFL today for being “TRIPPED” by an o’lineman and fallin into the QB’s legs! Smh (shaking my head) if I only had super powers to stop mid air,” Brock wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

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