How Seahawks CBs Witherspoon, Tre Brown did in Week 2 win
Sep 17, 2023, 3:02 PM
(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
The Seattle Seahawks bounced back from a rough Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams by taking down the Detroit Lions 37-31 in a thrilling overtime battle.
As evidenced by the scoreboard, the two offenses stole the show on Sunday, with Geno Smith and the Seahawks edging out Jared Goff and the Lions.
There was plenty of intrigue with the Hawks’ defense this week, however, especially in the secondary.
Week 2 was the NFL debut of cornerback Devon Witherspoon, the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft who missed Week 1 and much of the offseason with a hamstring injury.
Witherspoon got the start at left outside cornerback opposite 2022 Pro Bowler Riq Woolen. Last week, Tre Brown got the start on that side, but he was in a reserve role this week instead.
Brown played a major role in Sunday’s win, though, as he came in for Woolen when he went down with a chest injury in the second quarter.
Brown had two of the biggest plays of the game for Seattle’s defense, sacking Goff in the fourth quarter on first down before picking him off on the very next play. Brown returned that interception for a touchdown, giving the Seahawks a two-score lead.
“Tre’s pick-6 was such an extraordinary moment for us to get that done,” head coach Pete Carroll said postgame. ” … The pick was huge and such a turnaround for us. He just came through and played the defense exactly right, and the ball came to him. But he converted it and came through. That’s pretty exciting.”
Brown told reporters that safety Julian Love put him in the right position before that play to where his only assignment was on rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
“The only person I had was the running back, so I knew I could squeeze that. I chased that route and the next thing I know, the ball is in my hands. And I just ran to the races,” Brown said.
It wasn’t a perfect day for Brown as he was in coverage on a late Detroit touchdown, but he did have a big part in the team’s win. Carroll wasn’t surprised Brown was able to step up when Woolen went down.
“He’s been playing with the (first-team defense) all along, so it wasn’t a transition for him,” he said.
Carroll called Woolen “sore” but didn’t seem too worried about his injury.
“He’ll be OK. We’ll figure it out,” he said.
As for Witherspoon, his first NFL test was certainly a tough one against a dangerous Lions passing attack, and he took some lumps along the way.
It wasn’t all rough for the rookie, though, as Witherspoon was in coverage for two fourth-down stops.
Spoon getting the stop on 4th down!
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 17, 2023
Witherspoon did get beat a few times in coverage, including on a flea flicker where he bit on the run fake and allowed Kalif Raymond to get wide open for an easy Detroit score. Witherspoon also got called for defensive holding on third down the play before the Raymond touchdown.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) September 17, 2023
Brown had some words for Witherspoon after that play, but told reporters after the game he isn’t worried about the rookie’s mindset.
“I told him, ‘Let that (expletive) go. It’s part of football. It’s your first game. You’re a (heck) of a player. If they get you on a flea flicker, so be it. Next play. It’s a long football game and we need you out there,'” Brown said. “He’s a warrior, that guy. He doesn’t need the talk from anybody. He’s going to go out there and play his game.”
Carroll told reporters he’s “just glad” Witherspoon was able to play this week.
“He had a great time playing today. He’s going to have some bumps along the way, but he’s a fine football player,” Carroll said. “He’s just scratching (the surface) and he’s just getting started. I can’t wait to see the film.”