September 8, 2012 in Sports

Hyped Seattle secondary ready for season debut

Tim Booth Associated Press
 

Thomas
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

RENTON, Wash. – Earl Thomas was expected to be great. That’s why the Seattle Seahawks spent a first-round pick in 2010 on the speedy safety.

Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner? They were all afterthoughts, bypassed by one team or another at some point in their careers because they didn’t fit a specific framework.

But the Seahawks took a gamble on each of the three and, along with Thomas, they have made Seattle’s secondary one of the best units in the NFL.

They’re young, fast, aggressive and confident. The recognition they have received for how well they played last season is something they accept, but realized it’s a burden they’ll need to live up to starting with Sunday’s opener at Arizona.

“With us, I just think we’re trying to be the best,” Thomas said. “We compete with each other. We hold each other accountable and when you do that the bar is set high. We’re going to play at a high level and we trust our preparation to go out there and ball.”

They’ve all found a home and success in Seattle because head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley have designed a scheme that fits entirely around the strengths of each.

Thomas has rare speed that makes up for a lack of bulk and allows him to cover huge amounts of real estate in the back end.

Because of Thomas’ speed, the Seahawks can have Browner and Sherman play aggressive press coverage on receivers, making it difficult for them to get off the line of scrimmage or run proper routes.

Browner is a mauler, which got him in trouble with penalties last season, but Seattle is willing to live with those for what he brings otherwise.

And when Seattle needs a thump from a defensive back, it comes from Chancellor, who at 6-foot-3, 232 pounds has the frame of a linebacker.

Notes

Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is listed as questionable for Sunday’s opener at Arizona after being a limited participant in practice most of the week. If he can’t go, rookie Robert Turbin would get the start at running back. … The team will be without wide receiver Golden Tate, who sprained his knee in the preseason finale against Oakland. Tate, defensive end Greg Scruggs and offensive lineman James Carpenter have all been ruled out for this week.

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