Heaps: Why Tre Flowers starting at CB for Seahawks is a big concern
The Seahawks appear to have named their second starting cornerback, and it’s a player who many expected to be a reserve player in 2021.
That would be Tre Flowers, who is entering his fourth year with the Seahawks since the team drafted him in 2018.
Flowers was a full-time starter in both 2018 and 2019, but he was a bench player at the start of 2020 due to Shaquill Griffin being the team’s top corner and Seattle trading for Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar and Griffin both battled injuries, which caused Flowers to start seven games, but Griffin and D.J. Reed were the team’s two top corners for most of the season.
Now Griffin and Dunbar are out and head coach Pete Carroll all but named Flowers the starter at right cornerback during a press conference earlier this week.
But should Flowers be starting? And what does that say about the state of the Seahawks’ cornerback room? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps, simply put, has some concerns.
“I don’t believe Tre Flowers should be (starting),” Heaps said on Thursday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle. “Now here’s why I believe this is incredibly concerning: Your competition that played out or you wanted to play out over the offseason did not go the way you wanted it to. You wanted Tre Flowers, Ahkello Witherspoon, Damarious Randall, Tre Brown, one of those guys to really step up and make a statement and make it obvious to everybody (that they should be starting).”
Heaps, who spent a lot of time at the Seahawks’ practice facility watching training camp, didn’t see someone “make a statement” to be the second starter at corner opposite Reed. And on Friday, after this segment aired, the Seahawks traded Witherspoon to the Pittsburgh Steelers, further signaling Flowers will be starting come Week 1.
“If Tre Flowers went out there and absolutely balled out when it’s training camp and when it came to the preseason and he was locking down, making plays and getting his hands on the football, everyone would say, ‘Great, maybe we’re looking at a resurgence of Tre Flowers,'” Heaps said. “That is not what happened.”
So what did happen at that position in Heaps’ eyes?
“Basically what happened is you had nobody step up in that competition and now you’re looking at Tre Flowers as your Week 1 starter,” he said. “Why? Because Pete Carroll knows what he’s going to get out of him. It may not be top-end level play but you know what you’re going to get out of him because you’ve seen it for three years. You know you’re going to get somebody who is aggressive in run support and you’re going to have somebody where there may be plays that happen in front of him – and that might happen often – but he’s not necessarily going to get beat deep or beat deep often. And that’s the No. 1 rule in Pete Carroll’s system when it comes to defensive backs.”
So will Flowers be the Seahawks’ full-time starter on the perimeter in 2021? Heaps thinks a recently-acquired player may have something to say about that in the near future.
“Until Sidney Jones, who they traded for, gets assimilated and they feel he’s ready to take on that (role), I think you’re going to see Tre Flowers here as the starter at least for the next week or two,” he said.
Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.