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Salk: Lano Hill is the presumptive Week 1 starter for Seahawks

Jul 3, 2019, 9:31 AM
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Seahawks safety Lano Hill is entering his third season. (AP)
(AP)

The Seahawks kick off training camp on July 25, and until then, Brock Huard and Mike Salk will count down the top 25 most intriguing Seahawks every weekday at 8:30 a.m. Their list continues with No. 14: safety Lano Hill.

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Quick Look

• A 2017 third-round draft pick out of Michigan.

• Has been a regular contributor on special teams, but saw more snaps on defense in 2018. Finished with 24 tackles, two quarterback hits, and two fumble recoveries.

• Was placed on the injured reserve in January with a fractured hip. Expected to make his return to the field in training camp.

What the Seahawks are saying

“Delano is a really physical tackler,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “I thought he was the best tackler in the draft when he came out and he continued to show that. He also is a good cover guy. He played like in a nickel position in college, so he has a lot of one-on-one matchup stuff that he’s done. He’s just getting started.”

What Brock Huard is saying

“I did not think he was the best tackler that I saw in college that year. I thought, like Pete said, that he was a very versatile guy. In a Michigan scheme that plays a lot of man-to-man coverage, that’s what they do. You’re going to be on an island, you’ve got to be sound, you’ve got to be secure, you’ve got to be smart. Hill, to me, was a late-round kind of pick. He was 6-feet-1, 215, didn’t have anything that just jumps off the page at you. But also doesn’t have a tremendous amount of limitation. And I think that’s why ultimately he started near the end of last year… I think if I bundle all these defensive backs together, here’s the bottom line: what is so striking about the Seahawks is that in their rise to glory they did it so differently with a secondary that was dominant. And what’s hard about this new iteration is that they’re fine, but there’s just no juice. That plug feels pulled at practice because it was so rare to have Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner. They defined the defense. And this crew just isn’t like that, and I’m not going to make them into something they’re not.”

What makes him so intriguing?

“There’s a good reason Hill is on this list: he is the presumptive Week 1 starter at safety, at least for me,” Mike Salk said. “Despite the new blood, despite the presence of Tedric Thompson, who he beat out by the end of last year. He won this job. Now, Tedric Thompson relinquished the job; I don’t think he played particularly well, certainly not well enough to keep it. But Hill is in a make-or-break season after finally winning the job at the very end of last year, and if he hadn’t been hurt he’s starting the playoff game against Dallas, not Tedric Thompson. So, Lano Hill belongs on the ’25 Most Intriguing’ list. In many ways, he’s part of that nucleus of guys that you’re waiting for them to take that step forward and not just be a serviceable player, but actually be somebody you’re looking forward to seeing out there. He hasn’t done that yet. Does he have the skills to do it?”

Huard and Salk preview Lano Hill’s 2019 season below:

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Salk: Lano Hill is the presumptive Week 1 starter for Seahawks