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Seahawks LB Cody Barton
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Seahawks LB Cody Barton working hard to stay ready during shutdown

Seahawks LB Cody Barton is working with his brothers in Utah to stay ready for 2020. (Getty)

With the Seattle area being one of the “hotbeds” of the coronavirus in the United States, Seahawks second-year linebacker Cody Barton had to make the tough decision to leave his teammates and head back to his family in Utah with the threat of a shelter-in-place order looming.

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“Things got crazy up there and Utah’s not as bad, so I decided to drive back here just in case because if they quarantined Seattle I’d be by myself in my apartment and I wanted to come back here and be with my family and work out with my brothers,” Barton told 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Thursday.

But even in an area that’s not as impacted by the coronavirus, Barton is still experiencing an extremely different offseason than he was expecting heading into his second season.

He explained to Clayton how he’s staying as ready as he can be and what he learned during his rookie season.

“I try to keep it as normal as possible”

While Barton had to leave his Seahawks teammates in Seattle to go home, he has two brothers that he has been working out with.

His older brother, Jackson, also played collegiately at Utah and is a backup offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs.

The workouts haven’t been as convenient as normal, however.

“I’ve been driving 30 minutes south to a little gym that’s open that me and my brothers go to and the groups are pretty small, there’s like five of us in there at a time, but that’ll probably be shut down in the next week or two I’m assuming as (the pandemic continues),” he said.

If it does close down, he and his brothers have a plan, albeit an atypical one.

“We’ve got some dumbbells here at the house, so it will probably resort to us squatting each other, doing pushups with each other and just finding ways to work out and stay in shape,” Barton said.

Barton said he learned a lot from his Seahawks teammates in terms of how he should be attacking the offseason, and is trying his best to put that into action during the pandemic.

“I’ve got a good idea of what guys do. That’s our job,” Barton said. “Even though it’s the offseason, our job is to stay in shape, stay mentally sharp, watch film, stuff like that, so I’ve got an idea of how to do it, I’ve got a little routine going. I have a schedule I’m following every day. I try to keep it as normal as possible and here in Utah, it’s challenging because the virus shut everything down, but I watch film every day. The grocery stores are still open, thank goodness, so I can still get my food that I eat every day and just try to keep it as normal as possible, I guess.”

He said he has been keeping close contact with fellow linebackers Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Ben Burr-Kirven and that, for the most part, everyone is in the same boat.

“Guys are just getting their workouts in where they can and for the most part everyone is just locked in their houses.”

No longer a rookie

Barton was one of the more impressive Seahawks rookies in 2019. A third-round pick, he played a lot on special teams throughout the year and ended up starting two regular season games and two playoff games.

He played primarily played strongside linebacker off the line of scrimmage, which he hasn’t done much of in his life, but he could soon see himself in that starting role next season.

The starter at that spot, Mychal Kendricks, is a free agent who is also recovering from a torn ACL and is in the midst of a legal matter regarding insider trading. He is awaiting sentencing. That leads to the assumption Barton will take over there for the Seahawks in 2020.

“No matter the position, if I’m on the field, I’m up for the challenge, whatever position it is,” Barton said. “I’m excited, I feel comfortable. I’m taking this offseason, even with these circumstances, very seriously and just doing everything I can to improve as a player … and just doing everything I can to be ready for whenever we get that phone call to be able to come back and play football.”

Barton earned some high praise from head coach Pete Carroll after the season, saying Barton should be a great football player going forward. Though he impressed at times, he also had some mistakes. Barton is aiming to learn from both.

“There were good things and bad things just like any player,” he said. “There’s things that you learn doing good and things you learn from doing mistakes … I thought last year I learned more about football than in my whole life in football, actually.”

You can listen to Barton’s full interview with Clayton at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton on Twitter.

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