Corner was a roller coaster position for the Seahawks in 2011. It went from being a major question mark, to being considered decent, then a injury riddled liability, and then ended the season as a major strength.
Marcus Trufant had hoped for a bounce back season. His performance hasn’t been the same since a 2009 back injury, but he was finally fully healthy and hoping to have a big year. Instead was solid but unspectacular over the first few games before landing on IR. It id really starting to feel like his Seahawks career is over.
Brandon Browner had spent the past few years playing in Canada, and was a surprising invite to training camp. Even more surprising was when he was given the starters job playing opposite Trufant in week 1. He responded with some of the worst CB play that I’ve ever seen by a Seahawk. During the week 2 game against Pittsburgh, was looked completely incapable of covering NFL WRs. On top of that, he also had a habit of giving up big penalties and getting beet deep. Over the course of the entire season, there was only one CB who committed more penalties, and only 4 who gave up more yards than Browner.
Browner’s early play was not indicative of his overall talent. It took a frustratingly long amount of time, but eventually Browner’s performance came around. By midseason we was no longer a complete liability in coverage. After week 12 he stopped committing penalties. By the end of the season he had gone from being the team’s weakest starter to being one of it’s best. Browner appears to have a bright future in Seattle.
Its hard not to be disappointed in Walter Thurmond’s 2011. He was beat out for the starting job by Browner who at the time was simply awful. After Trufant got hurt and Thurmond was promoted into the starters role, he lasted all of 1 half before getting injured himself. Thurmond has tremendous potential, but he need to start realizing that potential before he finds himself replaced.
Rookie Richard Sherman exploded on the scene just before mid-season, when he was forced into the starting lineup due to injuries. I don’t think any of us expect Sherman to be as good or as ready as he was. Sherman played at a pro-bowl level, and was one of the best corners in the NFL over the last 8 games.
Byron Maxwell was the other rookie corner on the team. The Seahawks really like his potential, but he had difficulty staying healthy in 2011. Even when he was healthy, he seemed to never manage to get on the field. Hopefully this offseason will help him realize some of his potential, or he may end up being replaced by another young player.
Roy Lewis started the season on the PUP list, and came off it and got ready to play just as Trufant and Thurmond went on IR. Lewis spend a good portion of the year as a nickel or dime back, depending on the situation and the game plan. Lewis play was hardly spectacular. He struggled both in coverage and in tackling. In my eye, Lewis proved that he is only a special teams player, and not someone who should be counted on for regular playing time.
Kennard Cox, Ron Parker, and Chris Maragos all spent time with the Seahawks as well. None of them appear to be more than special teams players.
Prediction: Sherman and Browner return as the starters with Thurmond as the nickel back. Trufant is cut and signs on with another team. Maxwell also returns, and then the Seahawks find a young talent with a very late pick, or decide to bring back Lewis to fill out the depth chart.