After the “starters” were done for the night against Arizona, the backups played phenomenally and guys like Kyzir White and Uchenna Nwosu look like they belonged with the first-team.
Jatavis had a nice play or two and looks a bit like his old self. Perryman was ok and I think a number of other defensive playmakers may have just been playing while also trying no not to get hurt.
Against a Seattle offense that doesn’t have much going for it other than Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin, I expect the defense to have a better time this week to start the game. After there first drive or two, I’d like to see a repeat performance from the back-ups to really hammer home the fact that this team is deeper than people think.
Let’s take a look at which defenders the staff will be watching closely tonight.
Richard Wade: I want to see if Nwosu can continue performing at the same level he did in week 1. That first game was impressive, but it remains to be seen if he can be consistent from week to week. The Seahawks offensive line is pretty bad, so he needs to be able to take advantage of that matchup.
Jamie Hoyle: I’ll be watching Steven Richardson. The undrafted free agent defensive tackle was arguably the team’s second best interior lineman against the Cardinals, recording a pressure and three tackles while consistently pushing the pocket. He also made a couple nice effort plays against screen passes. I’d like to see him get some time with the second team and I’ll be looking to see how he holds up against the run in the middle of that line. The team will need him during Liuget’s suspension, so now is the time to get him ready to play.
Matthew Stanley: I’ll be focusing on the interior DL. The young LB’s looked good last week, as did the secondary for the most part, though there weren’t many opportunities where they got challenged. That interior DL looked bad though, and someone in that group needs to step up, especially since 3rd round pick Justin Jones is still hurt.
Ruben Gonzalez: My eyes will be on Denzel Perryman. As the veteran of the LB group, he should be heading into his prime years, yet last game didn’t show me that he was where I would think he should be. Everybody has those meh games, and im sure all its gonna take is a couple boom tackles and I’m back on the wagon, but with the LB group infused with some fresh hungry faces, it would be nice for him to prove his Alpha-ness.
Jamie Sewell: On defense, I’m looking for Kyzir White and Uchenna Nwosu. They both had good debuts last week, and it’ll be interesting to see how they can follow that this time round.
(Side Note: Kyzir White is Questionable for tonight’s game)
Garrett Sisti: I really want to see Derwin James cut it loose a little bit. He did fine vs. the Cards but he really seemed to be thinking a lot out there and that’s not the Derwin we saw in college. With a full work week I hope Derwin is a little more comfortable and he gets after it against the Seahawks.
Michael Peterson: I will be watching the interior of the defensive line and how well everyone plays the run. The beginning of the Cardinals game was embarrassing after an entire offseason where a main focus of the defense was to get better at stopping the run. Mebane looks old and washed and Philon doesn’t look much better than Liuget so far. I hope Steven Richardson continues his stellar play as it is much needed, at the moment.