Seahawks add vet
As good as the Seahawks were last season they had a glaring hole at nickel back. Bringing in Antoine Winfield should shore that up. I have gone back and watched the final two losses just to see what went so wrong. It is easy to place blame on former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley for calling a soft zone defense, and in part that is correct, but both Miami and Atlanta targeted Marcus Trufant on their final scoring drives.
I have been a fan of Trufant’s ever since his days at Washington State. I would drive down to Pullman to watch him dominate the field in Martin Stadium. That is what makes it so hard to admit that he played poorly last season.
Unfortunately, that never happened and teams quickly learned Marcus was a chink in the “Legion of Boom’s” armor.
I honestly think that Walter Thurmond will be a pretty solid nickel for the Seattle Seahawks if he can stay on the field. He reminds me of the Camaro I got when I was in High School. I loved it and put a lot of time and effort into customizing it. When it was running it was great.
One Friday night I even took it to the High School Drags out at Spokane Raceway Park and won.
At the end of the day it spent more time with the hood up than time on the road and I finally traded it in for something more reliable.
Antoine Winfield gives the Seahawks a player who they can count on in the secondary. Age is against him, as he will turn 36 before the season starts. Eventually he will hit a wall where he is no longer effective, hopefully it is not this season.
Winfield has not been in his physical prime for many years, yet last season was one of the best statistically.
For the second time in Antoine’s career he reached a triple digit tackle total, the last time was 2003. For Winfield getting a lot of tackles is not an aberration. He has averaged at least 5.5 tackles per game since the 2003 season.
The man he is replacing, Marcus Trufant, had a single season career high of 86 in 2004. That was the season where he averaged a career high of just under 5.4 tackles per game.
One thing I noticed about Winfield while going over film was lack of desire to join piles. He prefers to stay on the fringe and avoid unnecessary risk of having someone roll up on his knee, or over an ankle.
On the other hand when he has a ball carrier in space, whether it be a back or a receiver, he lays the wood. That will fit in very nicely with the “Legion of Boom.”
Of course Antoine has lost a step or two through the years, nevertheless he is still very effective in coverage. At-least close to the line of scrimmage.
He is best suited to play inside and cover players who are good route runners but not track stars. Winfield now uses his experience to track the receiver and watch the quarterback to help aid his break on the ball.
He’s doing it successfully, as a matter of fact last season’s 3 interceptions where the most he has had since 2006. It tied the 3rd most in his career.
Marcus had none.
How about pass deflections? Marcus has always been pretty proficient knocking the ball away. Last year Trufant had two while Winfield had twelve.
There was a time when I would have rather had Marcus Trufant over Antoine Winfield, but the years have not been kind to Trufant.
Marcus’ back situation has caused him to miss a lot of playing time. When the Seahawks asked him to play inside last season it did not work out well for him or the team.
Winfield’s experience will help young corners like Jeremy Lane and Walter Thurmond, of course Trufant has a lot of experience as well. There isn’t much Antoine hasn’t seen in 191 career games. He has a lot of knowledge to pass on to everyone in the Seahawks secondary.
It is always hard to watch players that have been great on and off the field leave the team. But, if a team wants to win, it is imperative for them to make decisions that are based on bettering the football team, not nostalgia of a fan base or the organization.
Signing Antoine Winfield was a move that bettered the defense who gave up a league low 245 points last season.
That is exactly what I want them to do because I want the Seahawks to end their season in East Rutherford, New Jersey on February 2, 2014.