Antoine Winfield is scheduled to visit the Seattle Seahawks this week. One may wonder why the Seahawks may be bringing in a corner when they already have two of the best in the NFL in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, in addition to a great talent like Walter Thurmond III currently sitting behind the starters.
Knowing what I know about head coach Pete Carroll and his “outside the box” thinking, it may be because he has specific plan for Thurmond or one of the other corners. Shermand and Browner would presumably remain the starters and Winfield would man the slot, meaning that one of the best 11 players on defense, Thurmond, may not be on the field.
Personally, I think Carroll is too smart to keep one of his better players on the bench. I have written not just one, but two articles on Thurmond and how I think he’s one of the best players in the NFL heading into 2013 that nobody knows about. This will change in 2013 and the uneducated fan will wonder where he came from.
Aside from improving the pass rush, one of the biggest needs for the Seahawks is at weak side linebacker (or at “Will”). I am purely speculating, but the arrival of Winfield could mean that you see more athleticism in terms of coverage ability when the team is in a nickel or dime defense from a corner.
Malcolm Smith is currently atop the depth chart at Will. He is set to replace Leroy Hill who has probably played his last snap for the Seahawks. However, Smith has also had some injury concerns while playing for the Seahawks the past two seasons. He’s a fast and talented player, but I could see him giving way to a corner like Thurmond, for example, in some situations while the team adds great coverage ability from the nickel linebacker position.
One thing Carroll has proven is that whenever you think in terms of being conventional, if you’re thinking about his Seahawks, you’re most likely wrong.