Seahawks 2nd Down: How long does Devon Witherspoon need?
Seattle's prized top-5 pick Devon Witherspoon has not had the best start to his career. A somewhat ridiculous contract negotiation cost Witherspoon a few days of training camp. Witherspoon appeared to be playing really well when he finally signed and joined the team, but a hamstring issue has kept him sidelined through the first two games. After what I saw from incumbent starting corner Michael Jackson on Saturday, we need Witherspoon to get healthy ASAP.
For the second straight week, Michael Jackson struggled mightily. Jackson allowed two first down receptions on third down, as well as a fourth down conversion. Jackson also gave up a 36-yard completion from Cooper Rush to Jalen Tolbert, hardly a Dak Prescott to Ceedee Lamb connection. It honestly felt like we were watching Tre Flowers out there all over again.
While Jackson struggled, his biggest competitor for the starting spot currently, Tre Brown, had a big night. Appearing to be fully healthy for the first time since his torn patellar tendon in 2021, Brown may have passed Jackson on the depth chart. Brown finished the game with 5 tackles, one for a loss, a pass deflected, and an interception late to preserve a 17-14 lead.
The Tre Brown story is great, but I'm still nervous about asking him to start week 1. Michael Jackson has to get back to his aggressive style that made him such a success last season, or he could be looking at being the odd man out. This debate makes the "Witherspoon to play the slot" talk by Pete Carroll a little concerning. The thought of Witherspoon playing slot made sense because Woolen and Jackson played like Pro Bowl-caliber players in 2022. If that isn't the case in 2023, then Witherspoon (when healthy) should be playing on the outside opposite of Woolen.
Until he is healthy, look for next week to be a massive game between Jackson and Brown, if Witherspoon can't go.