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Seattle, Rams and weathering CB changes

10/21/2011

Marcus Trufant, Kelly Jennings, Walter Thurmond and Roy Lewis played significant snaps at cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks last season.

Trufant recently landed on injured reserve. The team traded Jennings before the season. Thurmond has been gaining momentum as his health improves. Lewis spent the first six weeks of the season on the physically unable to perform list.

Sounds like a rough situation, but the Seahawks did not sign a veteran cornerback to replace Trufant this week.

"We wanted our guys to step up," coach Pete Carroll said. "That’s what we brought them here for."

Thurmond joins Brandon Browner in the starting lineup. Rookies Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell are late-round picks pushing for larger roles. Lewis is coming back soon.

"We feel good about the young guys and we didn’t even think to go look for somebody," Carroll said.

The situation in St. Louis has been similar in one regard. The Rams have also burned through their primary cornerbacks from last season. Unlike the Seahawks, however, they haven't fallen back comfortably on younger players.

Bradley Fletcher, Ron Bartell, Kevin Dockery, Justin King, Jerome Murphy and Quincy Butler were their primary corners last season. Fletcher, Bartell and Murphy are out for the season. Dockery and Butler weren't in the team's plans. King, a fourth-round choice in 2008, has been starting with 36-year-old veteran Al Harris. The team signed Josh Gordy from the practice squad and brought in veteran Rod Hood, who had not played since suffering a knee injury before the 2010 season. Marquis Johnson could come off the PUP list soon.

It's fair to say the Rams' injury-related losses at cornerback have been more substantial than those suffered by Seattle. The Seahawks could not so easily weather another key injury at the position. It's also fair to say Seattle was better prepared for change at the position. To hear Carroll tell it, the team has been looking forward to the transition.

The schedule should brighten Seattle's short-term outlook at the position.

While the Rams are facing Dallas and New Orleans after a trip to Green Bay, the Seahawks draw Cleveland and Cincinnati over the next two weeks. Their secondary faces stiffer tests against Dallas, Baltimore and Philadelphia later in the season. It'll be interesting to see how Carroll feels about the position then.