The Seattle Seahawks talked Tuesday about their plans for veterans Chris Clemons and Brandon Browner, each players recently re-signed to the team.
Tuesday offered the first official words from the Seahawks about the recent re-acquisitions of cornerback Brandon Browner and defensive end Chris Clemons — each members of the team’s Super Bowl XLVII-winning team before playing the last two seasons elsewhere.
And confirming what had been speculated, the Seahawks said each veteran player is likely going to be used in a more situational role than during their previous stints with the team. Each was a starter on the defense that helped Seattle beat Denver 43-8 in the Super Bowl before departing — Clemons was released in a salary-cap move while Browner was not re-signed after becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Browner, 31, played last season with New Orleans and in 2014 with New England while Clemons, 34, played the last two seasons with Jacksonville. Each recently signed one-year contracts that represent a small investment and little risk for the Seahawks.
Here’s how general manager John Schneider described the plans for each player when asked during the team’s annual pre-draft press conference Tuesday:
Most Read Sports Stories
- Analysis: Answering 5 post-draft questions about the Seahawks
- Former Garfield star Daejon Davis announces transfer to Washington men's basketball team
- Analysis: Who's pulled ahead in UW's quarterback competition?
- Richard Sherman says he'd be open to a Seahawks return. But does Seattle have a spot for him?
- With Tacoma Rainiers, Mariners prospects Jarred Kelenic, Cal Raleigh and Logan Gilbert are so close, yet so far
“With Chris, last year they wanted him to be a little bit more of a situational pass rusher. They ended up playing him more than they wanted to. We recognized that, you could kind of see it on tape. But he’s been here, he’s got a specific attitude about him. Losing Bruce (Irvin in free agency), some of those reps that Bruce was taking as a situational rusher, that’s really kind of how we see Chris. With Brandon, it was really a situation where the last two places he’s been — New England and then New Orleans — he’s been a strong leader for them. When you have to make those decisions to move on from a guy because you can’t afford him and then yet they still want to come back to your family, your team, your organization, that’s big for us. So it was a way for us to accentuate that. Now how we use him, that’s still to be determined.”
Said coach Pete Carroll:
“Both guys are really special competitors and they’re really tough-minded guys and we loved them when we had them, we hated when we had to lose them. So the opportunity arose and John figured it out and jumped at it. Both guys come back, and they bring something special to us. Clemons is a really adept rusher, and he’ll be good to help our young guys learn, too. If we can keep it in the mode that we want to and the numbers of plays we want to, we think we can really keep him effective. Brandon’s got some special skills as we know, and he’s very aggressive coverage-wise and makes things happen. So we’re going to do some different things with him you’ll see in the future. We have a nice plan for it. So we’re excited about both those guys coming back. Fun to have in the building.”
Schneider added that continued enhancements in how the team monitors the conditioning of players makes it easier to bring back veterans and know how to get the most out of them.
“When you get those guys, guys like this, I would say four or five years ago we wouldn’t be able to do something like this,’’ Schneider said. “But with Sam Ramsden and his staff on the sports science group working with our coaches and the trainers and strength and conditioning guys, we’re able to track them a little bit better and monitor how we’re using them, how they’re practicing, and can we help them where they are at physically.”