Bumpus: The importance of Woolen getting going for Seahawks

Nov 11, 2023, 10:10 AM

Seattle Seahawks Riq Woolen...

Riq Woolen of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates on Oct. 29, 2023. (Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

While one young cornerback has shined for the Seattle Seahawks, another has been a little more up and down.

Rost: What do Seattle Seahawks need to accomplish most vs Commanders?

Devon Witherspoon, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has looked exactly like a top-five pick since making his NFL debut in Week 2.

Riq Woolen, a Pro Bowler as a rookie last year, hasn’t looked like he did a year ago, allowing more catches and touchdowns than anticipated, and also struggling with missed tackles. According to Pro Football Reference, Woolen has missed over 11% of his tackles in 2023 compared to 7.4% a year ago.

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When asked which Seahawks player he wants to see have a good game this Sunday against the Washington Commanders, former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus quickly pointed to Woolen.

“I’m looking at Riq, man,” Bumpus said during Thursday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports. “He already has an interception — could have had two — but there are little things that I think he needs to clean up on.”

One play during last week’s blowout loss to the Ravens comes to mind for Bumpus.

“There was a comeback (route) ran by Odell Beckham on the sideline and (Woolen) read it perfectly, and he hesitated,” he said. “There was one little hitch in the step where he didn’t drive downhill and really break that pass up … I think that he’s not trusting his body and what he’s seeing right now.”

“I think if he has a big game – and he doesn’t even have to have an interception,” Bumpus later added. “If he got some passes defended, some open-field tackles, there were a couple of times – a touchdown against (Arizona’s) Josh Dobbs, I felt like he could have saved that one, and there was another run, (Ravens running back) Gus Edwards had a big run and I feel like (Woolen) could have saved it there. So just get back to the fundamentals, man, and the guy that we saw last year. I think he’s getting closer. There’s just a little bit of hesitancy in this game right now. If he can get rid of that, I think the back-end is that much better.”

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

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks Injuries: Brooks among 4 questionable vs Washington
• Carroll: How Seattle Seahawks are bouncing back from blowout loss
• New DL Leonard Williams on trade, how his game fits with Seahawks
• Huard: Seahawks’ Geno Smith ‘totally different’ on play-action vs dropbacks
• Huard: Which college QBs could be in play for Seahawks in draft?
• Bump’s Video Breakdown: What happened to Seahawks’ offense?

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