October 16, 2013 in Sports

Cardinals will test Seahawks secondary

Carroll won’t hesitate to sub, just ask Browner
Tim Booth Associated Press
 

Thursday’s game

Hawks vs. Cards

Seattle (5-1, 2-1 road) at Arizona (3-3, 2-0 home), 5:25 p.m.  TV: NFL Network (Channel Nos.: Page C6)

RENTON, Wash. – For the second straight week, Brandon Browner was struggling.

After a rough game in Indianapolis, the Tennessee Titans were not shying away from going after the Seattle Seahawks cornerback.

Pete Carroll felt Browner needed a break. So for most of the second quarter last Sunday, Browner was a spectator on the sideline in the role of student.

Most teams don’t possess the depth in the secondary where a starter and former Pro Bowl selection can be given a break such as Browner was. But it’s another sign of the depth the Seahawks have built in a secondary that remains among the best in the NFL.

While cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas are the All-Pros of the group, there is other talent surrounding the pair that elevates the status of the group.

“We have tremendous depth and tremendous competition at these spots. We have not hesitated at all when guys have come off the bench to play,” Carroll said.

“We all know that, our players know that too, our guys are good. There’s no reason not to let those guys play.”

That depth could be even more important this week when the Seahawks make the quick turn on a short week and travel to Arizona on Thursday night, having to face a Cardinals offense that won’t be leery of challenging Seattle’s secondary.

While the Cardinals were routed 58-0 in their trip to Seattle last December, they have won six of the past seven played at home against the Seahawks.

“The coaching staff and the trainers are doing a great job of toning down practice and allowing us to get our legs back for Thursday,” Seattle CB Walter Thurmond said.

Thurmond was called upon to step in when Browner took a break against the Titans.

Tennessee was targeting Browner a week after the Colts had used formations to get favorable matchups with speedy T.Y. Hilton against Browner in coverage. The Titans used Kendall Hunter in the same position and he beat Browner twice in the first quarter.

That’s when Carroll made the switch. He inserted Thurmond while Browner watched.

It wasn’t a demotion, just a chance for Browner to refocus.

“I wanted to make sure that we got it clear to him what was going on, what was happening,” Carroll said.

Browner started the second half and Thurmond returned to his usual role of being the Seahawks’ nickel defensive back.

Notes

Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch did not participate in practice on Tuesday because of a hip injury. The team inadvertently announced Lynch missed practice with an ankle injury but corrected the mistake. Lynch’s hip kept him out of practice last Friday, but he played without limitations against the Titans on Sunday. … TE Zach Miller, who missed the past two games with a hamstring injury, was a full participant in practice.

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