The 3 Questions: How will Quandre Diggs fit in Seahawks’ secondary?
The Seahawks will look to bounce back in Atlanta after falling to the Ravens in Week 7, but they have a few questions to answer heading into the weekend.
Here’s what is going unanswered right now for the 5-2 Seahawks:
Will Jamarco Jones push D.J. Fluker for a starting role?
The Seahawks have a decision to make on the offensive line, but head coach Pete Carroll is calling it “a good situation” to be in.
Starting right guard D.J. Fluker has missed the past two weeks with a hamstring injury. In his place, the Seahawks have turned to second-year lineman Jamarco Jones, who has played well in relief. Fluker could return this Sunday, but has Jones done enough to compete for the starting role?
Jones was first called into action when Fluker was forced out of a Week 5 game against the Los Angeles Rams. He put together a strong performance, earning Pro Football Focus’ highest grade for any Seahawks offensive lineman, a feat especially impressive considering he’d never before played an offensive snap in the NFL nor played at guard.
Carroll acknowledged that Jones has done enough to at least be in the competition with Fluker for a starting role.
“He’s competing and he’s done well,” Carroll said. “That means that he’s raised the question, ‘Does he deserve to play, should he start?’ He played terrific for us for three weeks in a row now. It’s a good situation for us, it’s as competitive as can be and D.J.’s got to come back for us ready to go, which he is. His attitude is great, he can’t wait to get back out there. We’ll see what it all means, we’ll know at the end of the week really.”
What will this secondary look like with Quandre Diggs?
The Seahawks made a trade Tuesday, acquiring veteran safety Quandre Diggs and a 2021 seventh-round pick from the Detroit Lions in exchange for a 2020 fifth-round pick (details here).
The move adds depth, yes. Seattle played Sunday with just three healthy safeties – Tedric Thompson, Ugo Amadi and Marquise Blair – after Bradley McDougald was ruled out with back spasms. But more than that, it adds a potential starter.
The 26-year-old Diggs is a versatile defensive back, having played both at corner and at safety, and was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2018. He was named a Lions team captain for the 2019 season, as well.
ESPN Lions reporter Michael Rothstein told Danny and Gallant on 710 ESPN Seattle Wednesday (listen here) that Diggs can play slot corner and safety – both areas of need for Seattle.
“If the Seahawks want to use him as a slot corner they can do that, because he can handle that role,” Rothstein said of the 5-foot-9 Diggs. “I think it’s a little bit tougher potentially against some of the bigger receivers that might play in the slot these days, but he can handle that… although I think he’s a better safety than a slot corner.”
Do the Seahawks have a kicker problem?
Personally, I think it’s a bit early to say the Seahawks have a serious problem here and Seattle’s bad recent history with kickers could be egging on fan frustration. That said, it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on Seattle’s special teams and kicking unit.
Kicker Jason Myers is 8 of 11 on field goals this year (72.7%), which is substantially lower that the field goal percentage from his 2018 Pro Bowl season (91.7%). He’s been perfect on field goal attempts of 39 yards or less (7 of 7), less so for field goal attempts between 40 and 49 yards (1 of 2) and has missed both of his field goal attempts of 50 yards or more, where he was 6 of 7 last year.
Seattle has been one of the league’s best red zone teams, meaning he hasn’t had a ton of attempts. But that he is so far less accurate than he was last year is, at least, notable. He ranks 23rd in field goal percentage – a concerning point if he’s 13th in average salary.
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