BUMP AND STACY

Quandre Diggs glad to be mentor to Seahawks rookie DBs Woolen, Bryant

Dec 21, 2022, 3:24 PM
Seahawks Quandre Diggs Tariq Woolen...
Tariq Woolen of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates an interception against the Arizona Cardinals at Lumen Field on October 16, 2022. (Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)
(Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

A big story with the 2022 Seahawks has been the play of the rookies.

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Seattle has 2022 draft picks playing all over the place this season.

On offense, the Seahawks have two rookie tackles on the offensive line and a rookie running back leading the team in rushing. Those three players – Charles Cross, Abraham Lucas and Kenneth Walker III – were all taken in the first three rounds.

On the other side of the ball, Seattle has a second-round pick getting playing time as an outside linebacker in Boye Mafe, but it’s been a pair of Day 3 picks that have stolen the spotlight on defense. That would be defensive backs Coby Bryant and Tariq Woolen.

Bryant, a fourth-round pick out of Cincinnati, is Seattle’s go-to nickel cornerback and has forced four fumbles this year, tied for second-most in the NFL.

Woolen, meanwhile, is a fifth-round pick out of UTSA. He’s started every game as an outside cornerback and is tied for the NFL lead in interceptions with six, which has also set a Seahawks rookie record.

Someone who has seen that duo progress up close is Pro Bowl Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs, one of the team’s defensive captains.

Diggs joined The Huddle on Seattle Sports 710 AM on Wednesday and provided some insight into thosee two rookie standouts.

“Those guys, they continue to learn. They’re very special individuals. Very, very different individuals in Coby and Tariq and the way they go about themselves,” Diggs said. “Tariq is the more goofy guy, Coby is a little bit more serious.”

Both Woolen and Bryant love to compete and are willing to learn and do the small things, Diggs said.

“That’s what’s cool about seeing those young guys continue to grow.  I enjoy being around them. I’m glad I can be a mentor to those guys,” he said. “They ask me  certain questions because they know I’ve been in the league for a long time and have been playing at a high level for a long time. I just think it’s special to get both of those guys in the draft and both of those guys are producing for you big time throughout the year. I’m proud of those guys. I’m proud to be affiliated with those guys, and I just want them to continue to get better.”

Has Diggs seen those two hit the dreaded “rookie wall” we so often hear about?

“I don’t think it’s too big,” he said. “I think there’s certain things that as the season get longer, sometimes you have little lapses here and there. Whether it’s studying film, ice tub, cold tub, just the small things like that that you continue to get on them about and just make sure that they continue to take care of the body because the season is long.”

Diggs noted that in college at this time of the year, these guys would normally be in bowl practices where they wouldn’t get too many reps.

“But now you’re playing a real game. You’re playing games where it really counts,” he said. “And I think for them, your body might be a little tired, so you’ve got to do a little bit more extra maintenance for their body. And I think those are things that you have to teach them. It’s not like they’re not willing to learn or they’re not putting in the time and the preparation to learn playbooks and things like that. They’re doing that. It’s just keeping them mentally sharp and keeping them physically sharp so they’re ready to go.”

Listen to the full interview with Diggs in the podcast player below.

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