For devon witherspoon, It doesn’t matter where his new team puts him on the field. He will find football and play.

“I really don’t have a preference,” Witherspoon told reporters. “Whatever the coach needs me to do, I’ll do it.”

Seattle Seahawks In order to get the best 11 defenders on the field, Witherspoon, who is the 5th overall pick in this year’s draft, has been tinkering with slot defenders.

Currently, Pro Bowler Tarik Woolen And Michael Jackson Expected to start on the outside at cornerback. Playing the inside wouldn’t be exactly new for Witherspoon. According to Pro Football Focus, he played 109 snaps at slot corner during his final season. Illinois Last year.

Witherspoon told reporters about playing inside, “It’s going smoothly.” “Once I got it down it was an easy transition. Just keep getting lots of reps on the nickel, and then slow it down, get it at your own pace of the game. It’s a real easy transition, especially Defense in us from the form.”

kobe ​​bryantLast year’s starting slot defender for the Seahawks has moved to safety as coach Pete Carroll works to find the right mix in his loaded secondary.

So far, defensive coordinator Clint Hurt said he likes what he’s seen from Witherspoon at the slot corner. However, Witherspoon has not played as a representative since August 7 due to a hamstring problem and missed Seattle’s first preseason game. minnesota vikings, Due to injury, he may also miss the match against dallas cowboys,

Hurt said of Witherspoon, “She has great instincts and emotion.” “That’s what keeps going in that position. Nickel can be a tough transition for young guys because now you have the whole field instead of being out there all day. He’s got incredible instincts, experience and understanding, so we want to continue To grow and develop him. There’s a competition going on between him and Kobe for that spot.”

Hurt has a tough task ahead of him trying to get the best players on the field. If Everyone Is Healthy, Seattle’s Starting Secondary Will Probably Be a Pro Bowler quandre digs And julian love At safety, Woollen and Jackson at cornerback, Witherspoon as the slot defender and jamal adams at weak-side linebacker when he returns to the field from a torn quad.

Seahawks among “most overlooked” teams entering 2023 season

In 2022, the Seahawks used at least five defensive backs on 70% of their snaps during the regular season, according to Next Gen Stats.

Love said, “You just have to keep changing it.” “Teams that have multiple people tend to be successful on defense. You have to have multiple people playing multiple roles, multiple things, and hopefully that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

Bryant with cornerback tray brown and unused novice protection Jonathan Sutherland, has also been visible during training camp. Seattle has the most depth in the secondary since the Legion of Boom days of Richard Sherman and Brandon Brower. In 2013, nine of the 10 cornerbacks who began the year on the team’s training camp roster made appearances for an NFL team during the regular season.

“It’s rare to have people compete that all starters can do,” Carroll said. “When we get Witherspoon back out there, we’ll have four guys with a chance to start. We’re in a good position there.”

A healthy Witherspoon could be one of the keys to an improved defense for the Seahawks. Because of his ability to be physical in the run game and play sticky coverage in the back end defensively, Witherspoon could be an X-factor when Seattle uses sub packages on third down and in the red zone.

“He has a way of looking at the game,” Woollen said of his new teammate. “His attitude about the game, he doesn’t care, is a whole new level. He just comes and approaches it like he’s a big dog. And I love it because you need a guy like that on your team.” Especially from a young player. He is bowling in the camp now and his confidence is showing there.”

NFC teams making big jumps in 2023 include Rams, Giants, Seahawks

With players like Adams, uchenna navosu And bobby wagnerThe 6-foot, 185-pound Witherspoon provides a physical presence in both the rushing and passing games.

Witherspoon told reporters, “It’s part of my game that people should realize that’s what I bring to the table.” “I’m a little short, but I don’t want people to underestimate me thinking, ‘Oh, he’s not that big so he won’t kill you.’ It’s a lie. I try to be as physical as I can and get a lot of juice.”

However, not everything has gone smoothly for Seattle’s first round selection. He spent the first two days of training camp before receiving a fully guaranteed deal worth $32 million. And he’s battling a hamstring injury for the second time in three months, which has limited his ability to get comfortable with Seattle’s scheme.

For now, the focus is on Witherspoon getting back to health so she can contribute when the game matters most. The Seahawks’ first regular season game is less than a month away, a home contest against a division rival on Sept. 10. los angeles rams,

Hurt said, “I love the spirit and energy he brings to playing this game.” “It’s contagious. With that little kid, he’s like that all the time. It’s something that everyone will build upon.”

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. follow him on twitter @eric_d_williams,

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