DANNY ONEIL

Hawk Talk: Brandon Browner and the Seahawks’ cornerback options

Apr 22, 2016, 7:01 AM | Updated: 7:02 am
John Clayton believes Tharold Simon is in line to be Seattle's No. 3 cornerback ahead of DeShawn Sh...
John Clayton believes Tharold Simon is in line to be Seattle's No. 3 cornerback ahead of DeShawn Shead. (AP)
(AP)

Highlights from the latest edition of “Hawk Talk” with Danny O’Neil:

Belfasthawk asked about the Seahawks’ reasoning for bringing back veterans like cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive end Chris Clemons when the team has tended to value youth.

O’Neil: Well, leadership and low-risk, high-upside type moves. For Browner, you’re looking at a minimum-salary deal (if he makes the team) for a guy who was previously a Pro Bowler here.

An anonomyous guest wondered if the Saints’ defensive system is “unfriendly” to cornerbacks, noting how both Browner and Stanley Jean-Baptiste didn’t work out in New Orleans.

O’Neil: I think you’re on to something there. A second-round pick and big-budget free-agent signing both flamed out there. I’ll be real interested to see if Jean-Baptiste makes some progress.

Tom Page asked if cornerback Jeremy Lane is more likely to play primarily on the outside or inside after signing an extension earlier this offseason.

O’Neil: He can play both, right? In the nickel, Lane could go from boundary corner to playing inside (which would be my expectation). Lane and then Tye Smith and Marcus Burley are the guys more suited for that nickel cornerback slot. I do expect there to be some pretty stiff competition to start outside, though, and if Tharold Simon is healthy, I would not rule him out. This coaching staff still has HUGE hopes for him. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has said that a baseball team needs eight to nine starting pitchers to make it through a season. I think there’s an argument to be made that a football team needs to be at least four deep at cornerback in a season to weather possible attrition.

Tom Page asked which of the Seahawks’ developmental cornerback is most likely to emerge, naming the following: Simon, Jean-Baptiste, Smith, George Farmer, Mohammed Seisay and Trovon Reed.

O’Neil: Most likely to emerge: Simon, Jean-Baptiste and then Smith are at the top (though each has limitations). For Simon, it’s health; for Jean-Baptiste, impossible to say because he hasn’t really worked with the team; Smith lacks top-end speed on the outside. For  Seisay, got to wonder if he’s more ready for the opportunity than he was last preseason.

An anonomyous guest asked O’Neil for his favorite play involving Browner.

O’Neil: My favorite play is when he took out three different Cardinals on a punt return (which was fair caught). My second favorite play was when Cincinnati’s Jerome Simpson was blocking low on Browner as a play ended in October of 2011. I had my binoculars on the play, and I saw Browner execute a gut-wrench suplex, whipping Simpson’s heels up over his head. Simpson got up and tried to kick Browner, who then knocked Simpson down a second time with a thunderous backhand. Simpson came back a year later (at that time with Minnesota). I asked Richard Sherman if Simpson had something to say to Browner. “Didn’t say a word,” Sherman said. “NOT A WORD.”

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Hawk Talk: Brandon Browner and the Seahawks’ cornerback options