Bumpus: Seahawks’ Riq Woolen quietly playing better each week

Nov 13, 2023, 4:24 PM

Seattle Seahawks...

Riq Woolen of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates a fumble recovery with teammates on Nov. 12, 2023. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

There was no shortage of standout players for the Seattle Seahawks in their 29-26 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday.

Seahawks Notebook: Carroll on Jason Peters, Dre Jones, injuries

Quarterback Geno Smith led the team on not one but two go-ahead drives in the fourth quarter. Wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf were huge on those two drives, as well. And what about kicker Jason Myers going 5 for 5 on the day on field goals, including the winning kick as time expired?

There’s another player who made key contributions in the victory, albeit in a less flashy manner. In fact, he’s been quietly getting better and better each week lately, as Seattle Sports’ Michael Bumpus explained.

“Riq Woolen, I see him getting healthier and getting more confident,” Bumpus said Monday during Seattle Sports’ Bump and Stacy.

Woolen was a Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2022, tying for the NFL lead with six interceptions, but the lanky cornerback hasn’t been as noticeable this year. Part of that is the fact that he underwent an offseason knee procedure that limited him leading up to the regular season.

Lately, though, Bumpus believes Woolen has been playing more like the player who starred for the Hawks last year. Case in point from Sunday is a recovery by Woolen on a fumble caused by fellow cornerback Devon Witherspoon.

Bumpus, himself a former Seahawks wide receiver, shared a different play from Sunday to highlight Woolen, who didn’t start playing cornerback until midway into his college career at Texas-San Antonio.

“It was his only pass defense of the day,” Bumpus said. “He’s lined up, he’s one-on-one on the backside, he’s got these long arms. He jams a defender off the line with one arm, opens his hips, stays on top, they throw a slant, reaches around with his other hand, boom, and knocks it down. That’s textbook type of stuff. That’s the stuff that we’re used to seeing with Riq Woolen, and parts of his game that he can even get better at because he’s young at the cornerback position.”

The combination of Woolen, rookie star Witherspoon and 2021 fourth-rounder Tre Brown at cornerback has Bumpus optimistic about Seattle’s secondary.

“I’m looking at Riq Woolen and I go, look man, you keep progressing. Tre Brown, you keep doing your thing. Witherspoon, keep doing your thing. This could be the best secondary in the NFL.”

Listen to the full discussion in the Four-Down Territory segment of Bump and Stacy in the podcast at this link or in the player near the top of this post.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks’ Carroll: Boye Mafe ‘ain’t done yet’ after record-setting sack
The Next Day: Seahawks’ Geno Smith shows why he’s Carroll’s QB
Seahawks’ Lockett, Metcalf both come up big with game on the line
Seattle Seahawks Instant Reaction: Stars lead game-winning drive
Recap: Geno’s late heroics lift Seahawks past Commanders 29-26

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