Bump: Where Seahawks’ young, dynamic defense must shine in 2023

Aug 16, 2023, 8:25 PM | Updated: Aug 17, 2023, 5:46 pm

Seattle Seahawks Tariq Woolen...

Tariq Woolen of the Seattle Seahawks intercepts a pass against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 4, 2022. (Harry How/Getty Images)

(Harry How/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks spent the offseason getting even younger and more athletic and dynamic on defense.

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Between the draft and free agency, Seattle’s defense looks much better on paper than it was during the 2022 season.

So what numbers and stats must improve this season on that side of the ball? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus broke it down during Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports.

“I’m looking at interceptions,” Bumpus said. “I’m looking at a healthy Quandre Diggs, I’m looking at (Riq Woolen) coming back, Mike Jackson had one interception last year, the first of his career. That experience is going to help them out. I’m looking at Devon Witherspoon or maybe even Coby Bryant in that nickel spot with that experience there.”

Last season, the Seahawks picked off 14 passes, which was tied for 12th-best in the NFL. Woolen and Diggs combined for 10 of those while Jackson had another. The two players who combined for the other three – Cody Barton and Ryan Neal – are no longer on the roster.

What should help the back end, Bumpus said, is that the defensive front has a lot to like, especially coming off the edge.

“When it comes to getting after the quarterback and getting sacks, these guys were (seventh) in the NFL (last year). Crazy, right? Imagine if you can cause more turnovers on the back end. I think they’ll be able to do that,” Bumpus said. “The guys they have up front, there’s pressure that I think they’re going to be able to to apply with Derick Hall, with Boye Mafe, with Uchenna Nwosu, with the new additions in the interior line.

“I’m looking at the back end and I’m saying they had 14 picks last year, so if you can get around 18 to 20, you’re up there with the elite. You’re already up there when it comes to sacks. That just means disruption. That’s what this defense needs to do. I look at the talent in the secondary and I go why not?”

Listen to the full second hour of Wednesday’s Bump & Stacy at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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