Cinderella Men: 3 Seahawks that stepped up in 2022

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Seahawks LB Cody Barton has been better than you think.

In many regards, I think the well has been a bit poisoned regarding Cody Barton. It’s one thing to replace a long-tenured defensive stalwart. It’s quite another to replace one of the greatest linebackers of his era, the Lance Briggs to Bobby Wagner’s Brian Urlacher, the greatest screen-killer the NFL has ever seen, the immortal K.J. Wright.

Barton looked rough his first few years, admittedly. There are still faults with his game. I wish he was more aggressive to the ball. But so much about his game has been swept under the rug because of how badly the defensive line played the two-gap scheme they were running at the beginning of the season.

Especially notable against the Falcons, Barton found himself walled off from the play extremely frequently to open the season, and the play where he found himself turned around to the rest of what was going on was a really bad look. But other than that, all Barton has been this season is second on the team in tackles, easily Seattle’s best coverage linebacker, and sixth on the team in tackles for loss, trailing only d-linemen and designated pass rushers.

Is Cody Barton the second coming of K.J. Wright? I’m going with no on that one. But he is absolutely a worthy starter on this team, and thanks to his coverage skills, a better option for this defense than a nickel cornerback, assuming the Seahawks start both Neal and Adams next season, as they should.