Bumpus: With Dunbar, Seahawks have one of the NFL’s best secondaries
The Seahawks may end up having cornerback Quinton Dunbar for the 2020 season after all, as he will not be facing charges in an alleged armed robbery in Florida due to lack of evidence. Now, it’s wait and see time for Seattle as Dunbar on Saturday was removed from the NFL’s Commissioner’s Exempt List, so it remains to be seen if there will be any sort of punishment.
But if he is able to play at all in 2020, that’s good news for the Seahawks according to former WSU and Seahawks wide receiver Michael Bumpus. He spoke about the news that Dunbar was not being charged when he spoke to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy on Friday, a day before news broke that Dunbar was removed from the Commissioner’s exempt list.
“My initial reaction was ‘let’s go,'” he said about Dunbar not being charged with armed robbery. “You (want to) see what this secondary looks like if Quinton Dunbar is available.”
Dunbar was acquired for a fifth-round pick from Washington after a successful 2019 campaign that saw him rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 2 cornerback in the entire NFL. If he can play, he would join some very good members of the Seahawks’ secondary.
“If you’ve got all those guys out there, you’ve got Dunbar, you have (safety) Quandre (Diggs), you have (All-Pro safety) Jamal Adams, you’ve got (cornerback Shaquill Griffin) on the other side and let’s not forget about (cornerback) Tre (Flowers),” Bumpus said. “He’s in the mix, he’ll get some reps. I like the starters, man.”
Just how much does Bumpus like those presumed starters?
“I would say if it’s not the best (secondary) it’s got to be in the top five,” he said. “… On paper right now, they are one of the best secondaries in the NFL.”
But, as Bumpus said, that’s just on paper. And getting the group together to see what they can do is the next step. And that will be difficult both because Dunbar is not eligible to practice yet since he’s still on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, and because training camp is not like it usually is.
“Paper is one thing but you’ve got to go out and execute. And you have to trust each other,” he said. “And how do you gain trust? You gain trust during training camp and getting all these reps in and this training camp is going to look a bit different.”
Bumpus said there’s a chance this secondary doesn’t mesh together, but that it’s unlikely that happens.
“I would think with the talent that they have they have no choice but to mesh and to realize the opportunity that they have in front of them,” he said. “When guys know that ‘we have a chance to win the division, have a chance to win the NFC, have a chance to go to the Super Bowl.’ That kind of makes guys fall in line whether you like each other or not.”
The mix of high-end talent that the Seahawks’ secondary suddenly boasts, as well as the coaching staff makes Bumpus think that the back end of Seattle’s defense should be very potent in 2020.
“These are high-caliber players. These aren’t guys who are coming off the bench or struggling to make the team, they’re in the NFL for a reason and they’ve shown that they can make plays,” Bumpus said. “When you have the physical (element), you have a coach like Pete Carroll who is good at connecting with guys and you lay it on the table, you have an opportunity in front of you to be a really good unit and that makes me think that guys are going to fall in line, but there is going to be a learning curve.”
Bumpus has made it known he thinks the Seahawks will win the NFC West in 2020, but after acquiring Adams and now with the news that Dunbar may play, his expectations have gone up.
“It is NFC Championship or bust for this team,” he said. “You have an offense that is ready to go. You have questions on the offensive line, but that’s every year with Russell Wilson. This is what Russell needed. He needed some help on the back end some help on the other side of the football and if Dunbar is available, he’s getting that.”
Listen to Bumpus’ full conversation about the Seahawks with Tom, Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.