Seahawk experiments don’t always work out
By Dan Viens
The Seattle Seahawks aren’t afraid to try moving players to other positions, even if sometimes it doesn’t work out.
From the moment Brandon Browner signed a contract to return to the Seahawks and reunite the original “Legion of Boom” we were led to believe it was a significant move. Don’t worry about that bad year in New Orleans last season, we were told, he was injured and the Saints didn’t use him correctly.
Instead, Browner was brought in to play a “hybrid” position. Part safety, part outside linebacker, but mostly the guy who could cover all the tight ends that gave the Seattle defense fits last year.
Well, the great Brandon Browner Experiment didn’t work out, and the veteran defensive back was released. Whether it was that he didn’t take to the position change, or that at 32 years of age he was just out of gas, we may never know. What we do know is that the Seahawks love trying these outside-the-box personnel moves even if they don’t always end up successful.
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Some teams fall victim to fear. They’re afraid to try new things because what if we fail we look like idiots. The Seahawks have no fear. Zero. None. If they see something unique in a player, they’ll try bring it out in them.
DeShawn Shead went undrafted out of Portland State in 2012 but the Seahawks not only liked him as a safety, they saw him as their ideal cornerback profile. Long, tall, and physical. From the moment he stepped on the practice field they begun molding him into a safety/corner hybrid, and he took to it so well it earned him a spot on the practice squad. As he continued to develop the team played him more at CB, and now he’s essentially a co-starter there with Jeremy Lane and Richard Sherman.
This year, they’re putting former Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell through the DeShawn Shead Training Program. Powell is so gifted that he’s not only taken to it beautifully, but is now seemingly a lock to make the final 53 man roster as an undrafted rookie.
But taking players out of their comfort zones and having them switch positions hasn’t always worked for the Carroll/Schneider brain trust. Defense-to-offense line converts Drew Nowak and Kristjan Sokoli didn’t pan out, but J.R. Sweezy did, and now Will Pericak appears on the verge of making the team after moving over to center from defensive tackle two years ago.
Meanwhile, Eric Pinkins continues battling for an OLB after converting from the defensive backfield, and rookie Tanner McEvoy has played everything from safety, to wide receiver, to tight end this camp in his quest to earn a spot.
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Has it always worked? Obviously not, but suffice to say as long as Carroll and Schneider are around the Seahawks will continue to look for innovate ways to get the most out of each individual player, even if it means moving them to a new position.
If it doesn’t work out, they are quick to acknowledge their mistake and let the player go…..as they did with Browner.