What They Said: Trey Wingo on Seahawks stars Witherspoon, Geno, DK

Oct 26, 2023, 9:09 AM

Seahawks DK Metcalf...

DK Metcalf of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a touchdown on Dec. 4, 2022. (Harry How/Getty Images)

(Harry How/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks rookie cornerback Devon Witherspoon’s career may have started slow, with a hamstring injury sidelining him through training camp and the first week of the season, but it’s full steam ahead entering Week 8.

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Witherspoon graded out as Pro Football Focus’ top cornerback after Seattle’s win over the Cardinals, a game that saw him lay the week’s most powerful hit on Arizona receiver Rondale Moore.

It was a tackle that had veteran safety Jamal Adams losing his mind and fans going wild despite the first down.

But while Seahawks fans had flashbacks to the Legion of Boom era, one NFL analyst drew a comparison to a far more modern counterpart.

Former ESPN host and current member of the 33rd Team Trey Wingo joined Bump and Stacy to offer his take on the three biggest names for Seattle right now: Witherspoon, DK Metcalf, and Geno Smith.

“The Monday night game against the Giants he was all over the field,” Wingo said of Witherspoon, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Witherspoon earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.

“That was insane. He reminds me a lot of Sauce Gardner, to be perfectly honest. Because physically, Sauce isn’t the biggest guy ever, but he brings it, he plays great coverage. Boy, (Witherspoon) had that one hit on the Cardinals wide receiver Sunday. That was Legion of Boom-worthy. That guy is a keeper. That guy is going to make plays for a lot of years for Seattle and that was a home run of a pick.”

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The Jets’ Gardner, who was the fourth overall pick from last season, won Defensive Rookie of the Year and was PFF’s best coverage defender in 2022.

A bumpier season for Geno Smith

Smith surprised the rest of the NFL world last season by setting franchise passing records and earning a Pro Bowl nod after entering a season filled with doubt. But a better performance means a higher bar, and its one Smith hasn’t met consistently this year.

His best game of the season came in Week 2, where – outside of a sack in the final minutes of the fourth quarter – Smith had a strong day. His worst moments have come more recently: two red zone interceptions in as many weeks and a lost fumble on a snap against Arizona.

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“It’s been a little bumpier this season than it was last season,” Wingo said. “It’s funny because it’s a game they won, but in the game against the Lions there was that one decision late in the game where he just sort of ran around and took the sack. There were a million things he could’ve done differently in that situation and he picked the wrong choice, and I think I’ve seen a couple of those moments so far from him that really weren’t there at all last year.”

Smith’s struggles don’t give Wingo second thoughts about his status as a starter; rather, it should make all of us appreciate the difficulty of consistency and the rarity of a premiere passer.

“This is why I think consistency is really, really hard in the NFL,” Wingo said. “I still think he’s by far the best option (the Seahawks) have, and the fact that San Francisco lost on Monday night puts the division way more in play than it was two weeks ago. It’s been a little more uneven this year for Geno, that’s the way I look at it.”

DK is the easiest question of the day

Seattle’s star receiver DK Metcalf can be a physically imposing player, but lately that physicality has cost the Seahawks. Metcalf has drawn five personal fouls this season, the latest for unnecessary roughness against the Bengals on Oct. 15. Smith found Tyler Lockett for a 32-yard bomb on the following play, but on most days a flag like that leaves your team far behind the sticks.

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“End of the day, he’s hurting the team,” Wingo said. “At the end of the day when you choose to do that stuff, that’s a drive-ender for a potential touchdown or field goal. So I get it; no one’s telling you to change the way you play. Just don’t play dirty after the play. You can do both those things. You can be an intimidating physical presence and not do the stupid stuff. To me, that’s a simple one.”

Metcalf was mostly unapologetic during a press conference last week. Asked about the flags, he said he wouldn’t change who he is as a person or player.

“When I heard ‘I’m not gonna change the way I play,’ then you’re being selfish,” Wingo said. “Because you’re putting what you want to do ahead of what’s going on with the team. That’s a really easy one for me.”

Listen to the full conversation with Wingo at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

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Booger McFarland: Seahawks, 49ers ‘mirror images of each other’

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What They Said: Trey Wingo on Seahawks stars Witherspoon, Geno, DK