Seahawks fans have called for a new slot corner. Seahawks fans have got a new slot corner.
Antoine Winfield has agreed a one-year contract to come to Seattle, ending an eight-year term with the Minnesota Vikings. A former #23 overall pick by Buffalo in 1999, Winfield turns 36 on June 24th.
So when’s the last time a player moved to Seattle to try and get an elusive ring?
The Seahawks already had a fearsome secondary with great depth at corner. Now they have one of the best slot corner’s in the league on a one-year rental. As we’ve discussed on this blog many times, playing in the slot is a thankless task. Very few corner’s succeed. After all, you’re left to cover a selection of elite tight ends and receivers like Wes Welker and Danny Amendola. One of the main reasons Marcus Trufant remained in the slot all year was due to his experience. It’s not an easy role for a rookie or even sophomore corner to walk into.
Winfield had three interceptions in 2012 plus 12 passes defended (a career high). He’ll take over from Trufant (who deserves credit for his career in Seattle).
It answers another question. With the draft less than two weeks away, defensive tackle, linebacker and offensive tackle appear to be the most likely early targets. The Seahawks still need to add more competition to the WILL position. Cheap depth at tackle is expected. They really need another interior defensive lineman.
Overall though my only concern for Seattle remains the pass rush. Not because of the personnel, because the team made some bold moves this off-season. It’s really the scheme. Last year the team was again relying totally on Chris Clemons for pressure in base defense. And despite playing three big guys on early downs, the run defense gradually deteriorated as the year went on.
Jason Jones acted as a specialist three-technique on passing downs, but the addition of that chess piece didn’t get the team off the field much. Neither did the drafting of Bruce Irvin. It seemed to me the scheme was drawn up to limit the run early and then attack. And it didn’t work out like that.
I suspect they will persist with the base scheme and ideology, while hoping Avril takes up the slack left by Clemons. They’ll hope Bennett can be more effective than Jones. They’ll hope Irvin can take another step forward. I think they’ll draft another big tackle to replace Alan Branch, rather than a natural three-technique. Yet whether as a cumulative the scheme will create a beastly pass rush and fierce run defense to go with every other aspect of the roster, I’m still not sure.