The Seahawks made some major changes to the lineup, but I doubt many 12s expected two of the biggest would be at CB. Artie Burns and Coby Bryant, take a bow.
When you move on from the best quarterback and linebacker in team history, it’s easy to overlook other positions. Sure, the biggest focus for the Seahawks is at quarterback, and rightly so. That doesn’t mean there aren’t big changes afoot elsewhere on the field. One position that has seen a lot more competition than expected is cornerback. It may be early, but it looks like the Hawks have found two new starters.
Most of us 12s expected big things from rookie Coby Bryant. He’s looked great in camp so far. He’s swatted balls away from DK Metcalf and even the 6’7″ Colby Parkinson. Sure, you can attribute at least some of that to less-than-perfect ball placement.
There’s been a lot of that going on in the Seahawks training camp. Nevertheless, Bryan is making plays when the opportunity arises. The truly unexpected sight is that Artie Burns is making an awful lot of those plays too.
Bryant and Burns add up to the Seahawks new LOB
Let’s see…we already have Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton starting at linebacker. Marquise Blair and Tre Brown are sure to see plenty of time in the defensive backfield. The way things look so far in camp, Coby Bryant and Artie Burns are playing their way into the starting lineup at cornerback. That’s an awful lot of Bs. Yeah, it’s just a bunch of initials, but it bodes well for some big plays. Yeah, boy.
Okay, enough silliness. Bryant’s talent isn’t that big a surprise – after all, he’s the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s best defensive back. Artie Burns is the real wild card here. Burns was taken in the first round by the Steelers in 2016 but hasn’t exactly established himself as a top corner. In fact, he spent his four years in Pittsburgh playing himself out of the starting lineup. According to the fine folks at pro-football-reference.com, Burns had an atrocious passer rating allowed of 143.2 in his last full season there, 2018.
Burns missed six games in 2019, then all of 202 with a torn ACL. He played better in Chicago last season, eventually starting six of the last seven games. He wasn’t great, that’s true, but he definitely played better under coach Sean Desai. And who is the Seahawks associate head coach for defense? That’s right, 12s; you’ve been paying attention.
Burns has looked great in camp so far. Yes, it’s just camp, and some of those passes hung in the air a little longer than they should have. But just as with Bryant, he’s making the plays when he has the opportunities. We’ll know a lot more when the Hawks see actual competition, starting August 13th versus the Steelers. But for now, Burns and Bryant look like the next Hawks corners.