BROCK AND SALK

Huard: Seahawks LBs under most pressure vs Russell Wilson and Broncos

Sep 7, 2022, 1:57 PM

Seahawks Packers Jordyn Brooks Aaron Rodgers...

Seahawks LB Jordyn Brooks awaits a snap to Packers QB Aaron Rodgers on Sunday. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Seahawks are just a few days away from their Week 1 opener, which has one of the biggest storylines in the NFL surrounding it.

K.J. Wright: Why ‘new energy’ Seahawks can ‘get close’ to playoffs

It’s not only the first game for the Seahawks without star quarterback Russell Wilson on the roster since 2011, but they’ll be facing off with Wilson and his new team – the Denver Broncos – at home in Seattle on Monday Night Football.

Rost: Seahawks, Russell Wilson make very different gambles with split

Wilson, a nine-time Pro Bowler who quarterbacked Seattle to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title in 2013, is still recognized as one of the elite signal callers in the game and he figures to be a big test for a Seahawks team that has a new defensive coordinator as well as a number of young players in key roles on defense.

So which position group on defense faces the tallest task on Monday night? Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard broke it down during Blue 88 on Seattle Sports 710 AM’s Brock and Salk.

“I think it’s easy to point to the inexperience at corner, and you’re not wrong,” Huard told Mike Salk Wednesday morning. “… That’s obvious.”

It’s unclear who the Seahawks will be starting at cornerback next week, but of the four top candidates – Sidney Jones, Artie Burns, Michael Jackson and rookie Tariq Woolen – only Jones has started a regular season game for Seattle before, starting 11 last season and appearing in 16 games. Burns, a former first-round pick, has started just seven games since 2019, Jackson has played in just four NFL games in his career and Woolen, as noted, is a rookie.

Playing Wilson and the Broncos doesn’t help, either.

“It’s Russell Wilson, it’s a system that Russell’s basically calling the shots with (Broncos head coach) Nathaniel Hackett, (and) you’ve got inexperience out on the corner, especially if it’s a rookie,” Huard said. “So obviously, I think the natural answer would be ‘that cornerback group is going to be tested.’ Oh, by the way, throw in a new language, new system, new coaches on that side of the ball, new first-time defensive play caller.”

That being said, Huard thinks a different position group is under more pressure than the cornerbacks when it comes to shutting down Wilson and the Broncos.

“Those linebackers. When you play Russell Wilson and you play a scheme that you don’t know yet. You don’t have tape,” Huard said.

Huard, who has called NFL and college football games as an analyst for many years, said that from a broadcaster standpoint, it’s “much easier” to call Week 2 games rather than Week 1 games because you can watch tape, see tendencies, see personnel and see what players look like on new teams.

” The Broncos played none of their starters together the entire preseason. So for (Seahawks linebackers) Jordyn Brooks and Cody Barton in particular to identify what’s their formations, what’s their fronts, what’s their personnel groups?” Huard said.

Play-action will be especially important for Brooks and Barton, Seattle’s two inside linebackers in the team’s new 3-4 defense, to identify and address.

“We know the burden that Russell puts (on defenses) in the play-action game. He’s the greatest in the league. The numbers bear that out in play-action,” Huard said. “Who does that make it the hardest on? Those doggone linebackers. They’ve gotta key on, ‘Is this run? Is this pass? Is he outside the pocket?'”

“And oh, by the way, he’s gonna run more than he did in 2021. I’m sure of that,” Huard added. “So his ability to scramble when they drop into zones, Mr. Barton and Mr. Brooks playing some new spots, starting, playing a much bigger role, I think they’ll be under the spotlight more than anybody else.”

Listen to the second hour of Wednesday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player below.

Huard: One thing Seahawks’ Geno Smith does better than Russell Wilson

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Seattle Seahawks Ryan Grubb 2024 rookie minicamp...

Cameron Van Til

Baldinger: The biggest jump new Seahawks OC Grubb will face in NFL

NFL Network's Brian Baldinger explains the biggest transition for Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb as he moves to the NFL.

2 days ago

Seattle Mariners trade target Ryan McMahon...

Zac Hereth

Mariners Trade Target: A versatile infielder from the Rockies

Brock Huard and Mike Lefko look at Colorado's Ryan McMahon as a potential trade target for the Seattle Mariners.

3 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Riq Woolen Devon Witherspoon...

Brent Stecker

Will Seahawks be missing on the NFL’s annual Top 100 list?

Members of the Seattle Seahawks used to be all over the NFL Top 100 list, but that seems unlikely this year. So which players have a case?

3 days ago

Potential Seattle Seahawks UFL target Carlos Davis...

Zac Hereth

ESPN insider names two more UFL players Seahawks could target

ESPN Seattle Seahawks insider Brady Henderson assesses if Seattle could be in on more UFL players after signing RB Ricky Person Jr.

3 days ago

Seattle Seahawks Mike Macdonald 2024 rookie minicamp...

Cameron Van Til

Baldinger: What makes Seahawks’ new D a ‘conundrum’ for QBs

NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger explains how new Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald's defense puts opposing quarterbacks in a bind.

4 days ago

Seattle Seahawks signee Ricky Person Jr....

Zac Hereth

Will Seahawks’ new RB from UFL factor into backfield?

Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard analyzes the Seattle Seahawks' signing of RB Ricky Person Jr. from the UFL.

4 days ago

Huard: Seahawks LBs under most pressure vs Russell Wilson and Broncos