The Seattle Seahawks’ secondary has lost some of its depth this offseason. The secondary’s performance is indisputably a crucial element to Seattle success, but with the loss of corners Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond, as well as safety Chris Maragos, question marks are left as to who can fill those holes. For defensive backs coach Kris Richard, the answer is simple.
“It’s time for Tharold Simon to step up. It’s next man. Let’s go.”
Simon is a 2013 fifth round draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks out of college football powerhouse LSU. The 6’3”, 202-pound Simon entered the NFL after his junior season, but has not made a regular season appearance for the Seahawks due to a surgery-requiring foot injury. The young corner is eager to contribute next year, and the Seattle coaching staff likes what he can bring to the table.
He has been designated as next man up, but when you think about it, he’s really not.
Byron Maxwell made for a brilliant replacement for Brandon Browner. Maxwell doesn’t have Browner’s size, but he was in no way a weak link among the secondary’s starters. So there’s no need for Simon to replace that hole.
And while Walter Thurmond was suspended, Jeremy Lane stepped in as the nickel corner and easily held his own. He’s earned that nickel spot and will go into training camp as that primary nickel guy.
So I guess by next man up Kris Richard means the next guy to be one step away from taking the field.
Simon will likely get a spot on the special teams unit, and then be the guy to come in against a four receiver set. But even then, Seattle’s linebackers are good in coverage, so Simon may not be in for every four receiver set.
As a result, Simon will probably be part of the starting eleven when someone needs a breather every once again. It doesn’t sound like much, but for a guy who had to spend his rookie year on the PUP list, I’m sure Simon will take it.
And who knows, maybe Simon will be so impressive this summer and the preseason that he could wrest the nickel job from Jeremy Lane, who is already more of an asset on special teams.
At any rate, the way the Seattle Seahawks’ coaching staff is talking about Tharold Simon, this guy is going to be a player to watch. It’s worth mentioning that both Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were fifth round draft picks. Maybe the fifth round magic will continue in Simon.