Seattle defensive coordinator Kris Richard said cornerback Cary Williams has bounced back well this week from his shifting of roles last Sunday against the Bengals.
One of the subplots in Seattle’s surprising come-from-ahead loss last Sunday in Cincinnati was the decision the Seahawks made early in the game to shuffle some responsibilities in the secondary.
Specifically, the Seahawks decided after Cincy’s ninth play of the game to have Richard Sherman shadow star Bengals’ receiver A.J. Green all over the field instead of just sticking to the left side. Seattle has at times moved Sherman around, but rarely changed tactics that early in a game to have him move from his usual role to take on a single receiver.
But the Seahawks felt it necessary after Green got off to a hot start that included three catches for 44 yards and a 72-yard touchdown that was nullified due to a penalty.
Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll said Monday Williams had trouble with how he was playing Green at the line.
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“Well he went real aggressive at the receiver, and he mistimed his changeup jam,” Carroll said. “So it got him in the trail position and he had to scurry from there. He was in position on a couple other ones. He had a penalty called on him that he was in very good position on a couple times. He was better the week before. And technique-wise he could have been a little bit cleaner. I think he’d be the first to tell you that.”
The move worked well as Green had just one catch after halftime, finishing with six receptions for 78 yards overall after the hot start.
Williams, though, had some struggles later in the game, as well, including being flagged for a pass interference penalty on the Bengals’ final drive of regulation which led to the tying field goal.
The question now is how will Williams respond to the first real setback of his Seattle career. After signing as a free agent last March Williams had gotten mostly good marks for his play in the first four games, including winning Jon Gruden’s Gruden Grinder award for his coverage on Detroit’s Calvin Johnson the previous Monday night.
Seattle defensive coordinator Kris Richard said Thursday he has been impressed with the way Williams has bounced back this week
“Yeah, he’s responded well,” Richard said. “He responded well during the game as a professional would, and that was the good sign. He was unfazed and unwavered, he understood what was happening, and how he needed to fix it. Ultimately, he was able to come back around and finish the football game. This week, he’s been fantastic. Right back to the drawing board. Right back in, focused, locked into the technique, and prepared to execute.”
Much has been made of Williams having to adjust to Seattle’s step-kick technique in the secondary,which calls for patience at the line. Richard said this might have been a game where Williams might have gotten stuck at times in old habits from his years with the Eagles and Ravens.
“Yeah, there was a couple of times out there to where there was situations to where the technique wasn’t used in the fashion that we prefer,” Richard said. “But ultimately, he was able to recapture and come back to who we are. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, we just need to be in lead position. He understands that. So again, a great learning example for us right there. A learning situation. It’s happened to every corner who’s been here. We talk about it each and every single day, and we know that we need to be on top.”
Not that the Seahawks would be considering altering their alignment in the secondary. But the reality is also that the Seahawks are shy on depth at cornerback at the moment with Tharold Simon out for the year with a toe injury and Marcus Burley out for a few weeks after having thumb surgery last week. Simply put, the Seahawks will need Williams make a quick comeback.