Bumpus: What the addition of John Reid means for Seahawks’ CB room
Aug 25, 2021, 12:15 PM
Perhaps no position on the Seahawks’ roster has a bigger question mark heading into the final preseason game than the outside cornerback spot.
Seattle has a capable starter in D.J. Reed, who played very well for the Seahawks down the stretch last season, but as far as who will start opposite him come Week 1 in Indianapolis against the Colts, it’s unclear.
The favorite is Ahkello Witherspoon, who signed with the team this offseason after spending his first four NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers in a very similar defensive system. Tre Flowers, a full-time starter in 2018 and 2019 for the Seahawks, is back for his fourth NFL season. Seattle also used a fourth-round draft pick on Tre Brown this year and brought back Damarious Randall, who played safety last season for the Seahawks but has past experience at cornerback.
But the Seahawks have added another face to the mix in John Reid, a second-year cornerback who Seattle acquired from the Houston Texans on Tuesday in exchange for a 2023 conditional seventh-round pick.
After practice Tuesday, head coach Pete Carroll shared some quick thoughts on Reid.
“Steady,” Carroll said of the 5-foot-10 defensive back. “He’s played nickel, he’s shown versatility (and has played) inside and outside. He’s got really good speed and is an active player. We’re continuing to seek depth.”
While Reid is only entering his second NFL season, the Seahawks have some familiarity with him thanks to an assistant coach.
“He’s played for (assistant special teams coach Tracy Smith) in Houston, so he has some background on him and kind of knew what we were getting, which helps us out,” Carroll said.
First, Bumpus shared what he sees in Reid after watching some of his film.
“The guy is quick. And he only started one game for the Texans,” he said. “… He’s fast, he has good instincts.”
Does Reid’s presence impact the race to be Seattle’s No. 2 cornerback at all?
“I think he brings more competition to this thing, but I don’t see anything changing,” Bumpus said. “I still see D.J. Reed, Witherspoon, Tre Flowers, Tre Brown as the front-runners, but I see (Reid) as maybe a guy who can contribute on special teams if he makes it.”
That “if,” Bumpus said, is key, as Reid will have only one preseason game to prove himself. Bumpus said that the second-year corner is “not in a real favorable position” because of the timing of the trade.
“He’s going to have to do something great,” Bumpus said. “It doesn’t change the situation that much but it shows you that the Seahawks are always looking to improve.”
Brown is currently battling a sore knee, which Bumpus thinks could be a reason why Seattle went out and traded for Reid.
“Even if you’ve got four to six guys at the corner spot that you’re just going to roll with (thinking) they’re good to go, they bring in a guy and say, ‘You know what, Tre Brown is banged up, let’s bring a guy in and see what he does. Let’s shake things up a little bit,'” he said. “I like the kid but I don’t think it does anything to that room, though. And I think it’s going to be hard for him to make this team because he’s only here for Week 3 (of the preseason). I feel like this is just a ‘we need a body in camp’ type of move.”
Paul Gallant said that the Seahawks trading for a player who was set to hit waivers, which has been reported to be the case with Reid, shows that the team doesn’t feel great about the cornerback room outside of Reed, who just returned to practice after dealing with a groin injury. Bumpus agreed.
“I don’t think they’re excited about the room based on what they’ve done during competition, during the preseason,” he said. “I also think they understand it’s hard to evaluate these guys. There are a couple dudes on this roster at that cornerback spot they still have questions about.”
Flowers is someone Bumpus is still keeping a close eye on because he knows the system well and has made plays in the past.
“But a guy like John Reid is here to directly compete with Tre Flowers,” he said. “Now you talk about the situation that’s going to come up. The starters are going to be in the third preseason game against the Chargers for what, a series or two? And then we’ll get these guys in to see (what they can do). This is going to be a battle. This is a matchup that they want to look after. Let’s see what Tre Flowers does, let’s see what John Reid looks like and then we’ll talk about it on Monday.”
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