Could DeShawn Shead be the answer at CB?


Cornerback DeShawn Shead played well in place of Cary Williams as the Seattle Seahawks beat Pittsburgh Sunday 39-30.

Sometimes, you don’t know how good something is unless you can hold it up right next to something similar. This is why we test drive cars, right? That Nissan Pathfinder might look beautiful in a flashy TV ad, but until you drive it you don’t really know how well it holds up to, say….. a Toyota 4Runner.

Cary Williams had his moments as the Seahawks starting cornerback. In fact, I thought he played better than most over the first 8 games of the season and defended him after many fans were uber-quick to jump on the Williams-sucks bandwagon. But against the Cardinals and 49ers the last two weeks, Williams looked especially lost, and ultimately was benched against San Francisco in favor of DeShawn Shead. Williams was a healthy inactive for yesterday’s game against Pittsburgh, and the way Shead played against the Steelers yesterday, we may have seen the last of him.

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William has been credited with four passes defensed for the season. Shead had four passes defended in the game yesterday. The Steelers tried to pick on Shead, and Martavis Bryant made a couple spectacular catches for big gains, but Shead showed better-than-advertised recovery speed and outstanding ball skills. In particular, he looks adept at sensing exactly when the ball is about to arrive when his back is turned, and getting his arms into the receiver’s catch radius to disrupt the pass. He never seemed out of place, was around the ball, and as a former safety he’s physical enough to support in the run game. At 6’2″ and 220 pounds, he certainly fits the physical mold the Seahawks like in their CB’s.

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It’s been a long, steady climb for Shead after being an undrafted free agent out of Portland State in 2012. He’s primarily been a reserve safety for the Seahawks, but started playing more corner last year and his versatility is something the team covets. He showed flashes in the preseason of making great strides at CB, and after yesterday, it appears he may be the presumed started going forward. Pete Carroll announced today that he will, indeed, be the starter again when Seattle travels to Minnesota this week.