Get to know the newest faces on the Seahawks’ D-line
After losing three Pro Bowlers on the defensive line this offseason, the Seahawks are championing their younger players (and newly-acquired free agents) up front. Seattle’s preseason opener was a promising debut for rookies Rasheem Green and Jacob Martin, and linebacker Barkevious Mingo, but the sample size from new talent is still small.
To glean a bit more insight, John Clayton invited Seahawks defensive line coach Clint Hurtt to join him on 710 ESPN Seattle and chat a bit more about Seattle’s talent up front. You can listen to the full interview on Clayton’s podcast page here.
Here’s a bit of what Hurtt had to say:
On rookie defensive end Rasheem Green, and how the team is continuing his growth from the preseason opener: “Just continuing to rebuild his confidence. He’s played multiple positions. He’s played defensive end, he’s played on LEO position, he’s been playing inside as a 3-technique on rushing downs. A lot of times when a kid gets a lot of that stuff on his plate, they start processing too much and they play slower. He was kind of going through that initially early on. Now it’s like OK, we’ll simplify this stuff; let’s build your confidence up, because this is the guy you are… this is the reason why we drafted you in the third round, this is who you’re capable of being. And he’s taken it and run with it.”
What was Green’s technique like coming into the league? “He came in with a good baseline of understanding technique… for a kid coming out of college, there are so many guys today that are so raw and underdeveloped. He’s a guy who is so much further along and ahead of the curve in that aspect of it. So now, once he gets the schematics of what he has to do down, things happen faster because he understands how to play the game. There’s a couple things to clean up here and there, but he has a good baseline coming in.”
Could he be a Day 1 starter? “He’s in contention to. He’s in contention to start on this defense. He’s competing with Brandon Jackson and Quinton Jefferson on the D-end spot. Definitely inside in pass-rush situations. So if he goes out and owns it, and he’s doing a great job right now, absolutely he could be a Day 1 starter.”
On the development of Frank Clark: “I looked at Frank as a starter to begin with. Being out there not just in the rush downs, but in all situations. I know we lost Cliff and Mike, and they’re great football players, but I had total confidence obviously knowing Frank was going to come back and he was going to be better. And also with Jarran, who I think is one of the more underrated D-tackles in the NFL, I think he’s an absolute stud. So obviously you always love to have those guys, but I’m so excited about the future going forward with Frank and Jarran Reed there.”
What’s the depth situation like now? “We’re legitimately six-deep. In the NFL, that’s special to have. So you’ve got six guys who I know could start… Poona Ford, Nazair Jones, Quinton (Jefferson), these guys have been outstanding, they’ve been really playing great football.”
Can you tell us a bit more about Poona Ford’s training camp? “His initial quickness is outstanding. He is a leverage freak. Not everybody that is short like he is plays with great leverage. He can anchor, he’s physical. Very, very smart guy, understanding where the football is going. He’s been outstanding and really good with shedding blocks and what not. So I’ve been pleasantly surprised with that. We felt like we got a diamond in the rough when we got him and we’ve been happy since he’s been here.”