The Seahawks signed safety Bradley McDougald this offseason for a reason. In 2016, backup safeties Kelcie McCray and Steven Terrell were not good when Earl Thomas was lost to injury. McDougald may get to prove his value Sunday.
Bradley McDougald is a good player. The Seahawks safety has not had many chances to show that this year, though. This is what happens when you play on the same team as Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Thomas injured his hamstring against the Houston Texans on Sunday, however. He is questionable this week against the Washington Redskins.
This means McDougald can have a big impact. He was a two-year starter with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before signing as a free agent with Seattle. He is a good tackler and athletic enough to be good in deep coverage. Is he Thomas? No. But he is better than McCray or Terrell. Far better.
Thankfully Thomas’s injury is not long-term. He could even play on Sunday. One thing McDougald nor anyone else cannot replicate is Thomas’s speed. Thomas can clean up mistakes quickly. But Terrell and McCray created messes. Terrell was tentative and allowed passes to be completed in front of him far too easily.
McDougald is different. He is disciplined in coverage. McDougald also isn’t afraid to hit someone. Coach Pete Carroll said on Monday that “Bradley is a front-line guy who has played a lot of football for us in and out and has done a ton of stuff. He’s smart, he’s a leader, he’s tough, and all of that.” In other words, everything that McCray and Terrell weren’t.
Plus, McDougald is on a one-year deal with the Seahawks. He wants to earn his next contract. McDougald has been in on only 45 snaps this season. Compare this to Chancellor’s 464 and Thomas’s 457. That Seattle has McDougald is good and the safety position is better than in 2016. McDougald will be motivated to prove his worth.
This is a win-win for team and player.