As a defensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts last season, Brock saw a potential championship ring taken away by Drew Brees & Co. in Super Bowl XLIV.
RENTON — Motivation isn’t hard to find in the NFL playoffs, but Raheem Brock has a little extra when it comes to the New Orleans Saints.
As a defensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts last season, Brock saw a potential championship ring taken away by Drew Brees & Co. in Super Bowl XLIV. He hasn’t forgotten that loss heading into Saturday’s wild-card playoff game against the Saints at Qwest Field.
“I definitely would be happy about taking the defending Super Bowl champions out after they beat me in the Super Bowl last year,” Brock said. “I still feel some type of weight about that.”
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These days opposing quarterbacks are feeling his weight. All 274 pounds.
In his first year with the Seahawks, Brock has a career-high nine sacks and completes one half of a surprisingly fearsome pass-rushing duo with Chris Clemons. The two have combined for 20 sacks, the NFL’s third-highest total this season for a pair of defensive ends.
Only the New York Giants’ Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora (23 combined sacks) and Brock’s former Colts teammates Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis (21) have more.
“We actually had a little bet — me and Clemons against Dwight and Robert, back in Indy,” Brock said with a smile. “They beat us by one.”
Few might’ve guessed the Seahawks duo, each under-the-radar league veterans, would have been able to match production with the NFL’s best. And few were better than Brock in the final weeks of the season.
The 32-year-old recorded six sacks in the past five games, including at least a half-sack in four of them. In a division-clinching win against St. Louis in the regular-season finale, Brock had a personal-best 2.5 sacks, including two on the Rams’ final drive.
“Raheem was all over the place,” Carroll said of his performance Sunday. “Not just in the passing game.”
Being well-rounded has demanded more playing time, said Seahawks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, especially on first and second downs. Defensive schemes have been altered to utilize Brock’s abilities as well.
“We changed some things defensively so it’d better fit his style, just because we thought we needed even more rush, and he’s come through,” said Bradley, who equates the soft-spoken Brock to a “quiet storm.”
And Clemons also has been there to assist — whether it’s trying to unlock pass protection or a new playbook.
Brock signed with Seattle as a free agent less than a week before the start of the regular season after spending essentially his entire career with the Colts. When he struggled with a new scheme, Clemons offered a hand.
“He’s a great leader,” Brock said. “He helped me out a lot trying to understand the defense.”
Ultimately, all Brock wanted was a chance to shine. Pass-rushing options were limited in Indianapolis due to the prolific Freeney and Mathis. That chance has come in Seattle, and on Saturday, so might a little revenge.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org