Thurmond Makes a Statement
The decision to let Antoine Winfield go is making more and more sense by the day. Coming off of one of the most hyped training camp performances we’ve ever been privy to, Walter Thurmond‘s health and production have him skyrocketing up the Seattle Seahawks depth chart and even challenging Brandon Browner for the starting spot opposite Richard Sherman.
The Legion of Boom could be in store for a minor makeover.
It’s not solely the play of Thurmond that has him moving up Seattle’s depth chart. Since coming back from a hamstring injury in week 3 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brandon Browner simply hasn’t been the same.
There has been a noticeable drop in his physicality both at the line and in coverage and an even more noticeable drop off in speed – what little burst he ever had is gone.
A Tale of Two Corners
As Browner’s play gets worse and worse, Thurmond’s just seems to get better. It started off innocently enough, with Browner getting torched by T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Luck.
Then going from bad to worse, he let Ryan Fitzpatrick and Kendall Wright have similar success throwing his way.
And it wound up costing him his job on Sunday.
Thurmond, on the other hand, did nothing but blanket receivers all day long. On several occasions, two come to mind, Thurmond jumped the receivers route and just as easily could have come away with an interception.
Thurmond, On His Own Merits
It’s not what Browner did that’s landed Thurmond the spotlight in this “Stats Don’t Lie” piece. Thurmond had a friggin great game.
Of the five passes sent to a receiver that Thurmond was covering, only two were caught for a combined 20 yards. That, combined with his one pass defense, had Fitzpatrick throwing for a passer rating of only 52.1 when throwing in his coverage.
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
It’s hard to say really. As much as I hate to take away from Thurmond’s performance on Sunday, which was more than deserving of his promotion to the role of starter, there was some talk that Browner might have injured himself during the game.
If he is hurt, then I would expect Walter Thurmond to probably move outside and continue playing as the Seahawks second starting corner; with one of either Byron Maxwell or Jeremy Lane playing in the slot.
If Browner is healthy, who knows. He’s clearly lost a step and can’t be trusted covering burners on the outside.
That being said, he lacks the agility and acceleration to cover receivers from the slot.
Browner could get himself another week to pull it together on the outside, but don’t be surprised if one of Maxwell or Thurmond take away some of his snaps.
#Seahawks Pass Coverage grades via PFF Earl 1.6 MSmith 1.2 Sherm 0.7 Irvin 0.7 WT3 0.1 // KJ -0.9 Maxwell -0.8 BB -1.5
— Q Smith™ (@NWSBQ) October 15, 2013