Paul Moyer: Pass rush would help improving Seahawks CB Tre Flowers
While Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin took a big step forward from 2018 to 2019 and played consistently well all season, earning his first career Pro Bowl nod, his partner, Tre Flowers, seemed to struggle at the tail end of the season, with those struggle carrying over into the postseason.
Flowers excelled at times, such as the Week 12 regular season contest against the Philadelphia Eagles when he intercepted two passes, but when the games were most important he gave up big plays in coverage and had some bad penalties.
Dave Wyman of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore said Flowers has all the size and ability to be a good cornerback in the NFL, but thinks at times he doesn’t trust himself, pointing to pass interference penalties Flowers had in the wild card round of the playoffs against the Eagles.
Head coach Pete Carroll said after that game that Flowers created contact that was unnecessary since he was in a spot where he could defend those plays.
“He was in great position and he just got a little antsy when the ball was coming down which he’s been really good about it,” Carroll said. “In those two instances, those were the big plays in the game really for them. Those were like two big bombs that they hit. Hit nothing up top on us, but those two plays really changed the field position and gave them the chance to get in the scoring zone.”
Both penalties were on deep passing attempts and the penalties set up two field goals for Philadelphia, who scored just 9 points in the 17-9 contest.
Paul Moyer, a former Seahawks safety and later the team’s defensive backs coach who is now a broadcaster for the Seahawks’ pregame, halftime and postgame shows, told Wyman and company that he thinks Flowers has a bright future ahead of him if 2019 is any indication.
“I think Tre played well for Tre,” Moyer said. “I mean, this is a guy, and we’ve talked about this, it’s his second year playing corner, and he’s doing it in the NFL against the greatest, fastest guys in the world. That’s a tough position.”
Flowers was a safety in college at Oklahoma State. The Seahawks drafted him to play cornerback due to his size, speed and long arms.
Making things harder for Flowers and other Seahawks who dropped back in coverage was a consistently lackluster pass rush.
“If he played for San Francisco (who had one of the best pass rushes in the NFL) this year, there’d be some people saying ‘this guy is the real deal,'” Moyer said. “If that ball has to come out in 2.5 seconds every single time, you can trust routes.”
The Seahawks were one of just four teams in the NFL with less than 30 sacks, ending the regular season with 28. When the Seahawks had a historically good defense in the early- and mid-2010s, the pass rush was consistently getting pressure while rushing just four players. That wasn’t the case in 2019.
On top of that, defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney, Jarran Reed, Quinton Jefferson and Branden Jackson all are unrestricted free agents, so the defensive line could, and likely will, look a lot different next year.
If the pass rush is again a weakness, Moyer said Flowers will need to step up, otherwise the Seahawks will need someone opposite Griffin who can cover for extended periods of time.
“He’s going to be a good corner, but that doesn’t mean we don’t bring someone in here to absolutely compete with him and make him better,” Moyer said. “He’s got to get better. We’ve got to have two corners that you can count on if the ball is being held for 3 or 3.5 seconds that they can still run with these guys on crossing routes and so on and so forth.”
Despite Flowers’ play dropping off, Moyer has a positive assessment for his second NFL season, especially given the lack of a pass rush.
“I think he played well for a guy who’s your right side corner, really your second corner, (for) a team that had less than 30 sacks,” Moyer said. “At some point you’ve got to say, ‘Hey, he’s going to give up some things.’ But I think his best football, there’s no question, is ahead of him. He’s going to get better as he keeps getting more experience.”
Moyer also gave his thoughts on the Super Bowl, former Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and more.
Listen to Moyer’s discussion with Bob, Dave and Moore at this link or in the player below.