Although new to the roster, the Seattle Seahawks need their new cornerback to be the name on the rise for the 12th Man defense
Offense wins games, defense wins championships. If that’s the case, there’s a reason why the the Seattle Seahawks are still looking for its first Lombardi Trophy since 2013.
Russell Wilson and the offense might have faltered in 2020, but they still finished in the top half with rushing and passing. As for the defense? The secondary is far from the Legion of Boom anymore in the Emerald City.
Seattle’s pass defense allowed an average of 285 yards per game through the air, 31st in the league. They also allowed 23 touchdowns on the season when defending the pass. Heck, one look at Jared Goff on Wild Card weekend showed they needed to upgrade.
The Seahawks are banking on new players to step up and contribute right away. The biggest name who will need to show he belongs in the NFL still? Former San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon.
Seahawks: Witherspoon’s inconsistencies could cost a starting role
Signing a one-year, $4 million deal with the NFC West rival, Witherspoon is hoping a change of scenery will be enough to have him looking like the prospect coming out of Colorado. During his four years in the bay, the 6-foot-3 defensive back showed he was physical and a willing open-field tackler.
Then again, for every good play came a bad rep that showed on tape.
During the 2019 season, Witherspoon started in eight games. Against the Minnesota Vikings, Kyle Shanahan pulled him from the outside for the remainder of the game after allowing a touchdown to Stefon Diggs. Two weeks before, he was burned over the top by D.K. Metcalf in the season finale.
On size alone, Witherspoon has all the things Ken Norton Jr. will be looking for in his primary Cover 3 set. Seattle also will be hoping he can replace the production of Shaquill Griffin, who left for Jacksonville in free agency. Despite adding Tre Brown in the fourth round, his 5-foot-9 frame likely limits him inside.
In a competitive NFC West, one weakness could cost a contender a shot at the postseason. After learning from former Seahawks legend Richard Sherman, perhaps Witherspoon can remind the 12th Man fan base of what a star-studded corner looks like.
If not, his next step in the NFL might be harder to find.