What the Seahawks are showing that’s different on defense

Aug 21, 2023, 12:31 PM

Seattle Seahawks Boye Mafe...

Boye Mafe of the Seattle Seahawks defends Cooper Rush of the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 19, 2023. (Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

(Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks picked up their second win of the preseason Saturday night, defeating the Dallas Cowboys 22-14, so there now are eight quarters of the 2023 team to analyze.

Video: Wyman’s instant reaction to Seahawks’ preseason win over Cowboys

There is a lot of attention on Seattle’s defense going into this season as it has plenty to improve upon after an up-and-down showing last year. Has anything jumped out so far?

“I think the aggressive meter and gas pedal has been stepped on by Clint Hurtt,” Seattle Sports’ Brock Huard said Monday, referring to the second-year Seahawks defensive coordinator.

That may come as a bit of a surprise as teams don’t usually like to show all of their cards in the preseason, but Huard, a former NFL quarterback and current FOX football analyst, explained why it’s likely indicative of what Hurtt and head coach Pete Carroll have planned for the 2023 campaign.

“It used to be, ‘Hey man, preseason, we’re gonna be vanilla. We’re not gonna bring much, we’re not game planning. We’re gonna let the other team – and certainly backup quarterbacks and third-string (offensive) linemen just try to protect against four (rushers).’ But no, I think this is a mindset that Pete and Clint want to be very clear, ‘We’re gonna be aggressive.'”

It goes back to something Hurtt said before his first season as Seattle’s DC.

“You love that sound from Clint Hurtt, not this offseason but the offseason before,” Huard said to his co-host, Mike Salk, “where he said, ‘It’s a different sheriff in town,’ and ‘I’m going to be aggressive’ and ‘We’re going to be aggressive.'”

Responded Salk, somewhat tongue in cheek: “I think we all just liked the fact that he said the defensive ends were going to be rushing the passer rather than dropping into coverage.”

Huard agreed with that sentiment, and thinks there are two benefits to the way the Seahawks have approached pressuring opposing quarterbacks this preseason.

“Well, this has been more than D-ends rushing,” he said. “It’s been linebackers, it’s been nickel backs. This has been a whole lot of pressure calls, and I think A, that’s a mindset, and B, it also exposes and tests some of your man-to-man coverage (in the secondary) and where you’re at in that evaluation, as well.”

Listen to the full conversation in Monday’s Blue 88 segment of Brock and Salk in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Video: Most Intriguing Seattle Seahawks – No. 5 Jamal Adams
Seahawks rookies JSN, Charbonnet make big plays in win over Cowboys
Bump and Stacy’s bold predictions for Seahawks and rest of NFC West
Ray Roberts: Why Jarran Reed is ‘the key’ to Seahawks defense
Seattle Seahawks’ JSN: Lockett, Metcalf made transition ‘very easy for me’

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