GREEN BAY, Wis. — Tre Flowers, the Seahawks’ second-year cornerback, was slumped in his seat in the visitors’ locker room at Lambeau Field late Sunday, his head down, his shoulder pads still on.
Flowers didn’t want to talk at first. He turned down an interview request. Then, a moment later, he pivoted.
“OK,” he said quietly. “It’s my job (to talk).”
An up-and-down season for Flowers ended in frustrating fashion in the Seahawks’ 28-23 loss to the Packers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.
Flowers was often lined up opposite Green Bay receiver Davante Adams, who set a Packers playoff record with 160 yards receiving on eight catches.
Adams had an easy 20-yard touchdown reception from Aaron Rodgers early in the first quarter. Flowers and rookie Ugo Amadi were in coverage on the play.
Adams had another easy touchdown reception, on a 40-yard catch and run, in the third quarter. Flowers was beat on the play.
What, Flowers was asked, was the Seahawks’ game plan regarding Adams?
“To cover him — what I didn’t do today,” Flowers said. “(He) made a lot of ‘explosives’ on me and I owe that up. I gotta be better.”
Rodgers and Adams again connected for a backbreaking play late. With 2:19 remaining, facing a third-and-eight from their own 22, Rodgers floated a pass for Adams for a 32-yard gain to the Seattle 46-yard line.
On that play, Adams was left alone in single coverage against Amadi. Rodgers went right after the rookie.
“It’s tough,” said Shaquill Griffin, the Seahawks’ third-year cornerback. “We believe in all our guys to make those plays. We don’t take nothing from Ugo on that play. If we had to run it back, he’d probably poke that ball out. I truly believe in my guys.”
If anyone can relate to what Flowers is feeling, it’s Griffin.
A year ago, Griffin was coming off his second season as a pro — and in his own words at the time, it was a disappointing season. He vowed to get better last offseason — committing himself to an improved diet, for one — and he made a major leap in Year 3.
Griffin said he pulled Flowers aside after Sunday’s loss. He said Flowers must enter a “redemption mode” mindset now.
“You live with it. It hurts. It hurts,” Griffin said. “I remember my second year, in the playoff game in Dallas, I remember every play that happened. I remembered giving up a back-shoulder fade in the end zone, scoring. I remember giving up the edge and getting stiff-armed by Zeke (Elliott). I remember plays that hurt me that I had to live with. I told him: ‘It happens. But now it’s redemption mode. What are you going to do to come back better? How much do you believe in yourself?’
“My second year, I had a lot of people who had a lot to say and I had to live with that, you know. And he’s a guy that could handle it. I could handle the last year, and I know he can handle it as well.”