Addition by subtraction: 3 Seahawks who should be benched for rest of the season

Three defensive changes might allow Seattle to make the postseason.

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Seattle should bench cornerback Riq Woolen

What happened to the Tariq Woolen of 2022? He changed the way he wanted his name listed on the roster to Riq - nothing wrong with that and he has that right - but along with the name change his play has changed as well. Last year, he got 6 interceptions and made the Pro Bowl as an overperforming 2022 fifth-round draft pick. But then he hurt his knee in training camp and hasn't been the same since.

Maybe that is part of the problem and part of what has gotten Woolen mostly benched the last few weeks. Possibly Woolen got injured and is playing a little scared now. Last season, Woolen was not only excellent in coverage, but he was mostly a very good tackler who didn't mind handing out some punishment when he did tackle someone. That kind of physicality has not existed this year.

Woolen has also dealt with a shoulder injury this year too. He is a tall corner but doesn't have much girth. Once a player has any fear of injury, that player shouldn't be on the field. That is a bit like a Formula 1 driver who suddenly has a fear of speed. I don't know that Woolen has a current fear of injury, but he plays as if he is.

Plus, the players taking his reps - Mike Jackson and Tre Brown, and even Artie Burns in Week 15 - act as if they want to be on the field and even though none of those guys will ever be mistaken for Richard Sherman, you wouldn't know it from how hard they play. Jackson and Brown want to prove they deserve the roster spots on an NFL roster and Woolen doesn't seem to have the same drive right now.

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