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When Tre Brown returns in weeks the rookie may not recognize Seahawks' cornerback position
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When Tre Brown returns in weeks the rookie may not recognize Seahawks' cornerback position

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Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tre Brown warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Las Vegas Raiders, Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. 

Tre Brown is going out a while longer.

He won’t recognize the position he left when he returns to it.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday following the first practice of the regular season Brown, the team’s top pick in this spring’s draft, is going to remain out injured at least until the week of Seattle’s third game. That’s Sept. 26 at Minnesota.

Such is Carroll’s latest estimation of the former Oklahoma cornerback’s injured knee.

“It’s going to be a bit for him (to get back),” Carroll said. “He’s got a couple things we’re working on. None of them are debilitating. None of them are so serious. It’s just going to take some time.

“It’ll be a couple weeks.”

Brown had been backing up Tre Flowers on the right side.

Since Brown got hurt, the Seahawks have done more moves in the last few weeks than college kids arriving on their campuses.

The team has:

  • moved 2020 starting right cornerback D.J. Reed to left corner
  • traded training camp starting left cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon to Pittsburgh for a fifth-round pick, on Friday
  • traded a sixth-round pick to Jacksonville to get former University of Washington cornerback Sidney Jones last week
  • traded a conditional seventh-round choice to Houston to acquire John Reid, who is now on the practice squad
  • signed cornerback Nigel Warrior off waivers from Baltimore.

Other than that, the Seahawks have been just fine with their cornerback position.

As the mixing and matching continued into the week of the opener, Carroll was asked what his concerns would be about the readiness of all the new cornerbacks in new places.

Carroll smiled.

“My concern would be in terms of their readiness. Exactly what you said,” Carroll said. “Making sure our guys know what’s going on.”

Jones played mostly right cornerback last season for the Jaguars. He’s played both left and right side in his injury-limited NFL career, first as the Philadelphia Eagles’ second-round pick in 2017.

Jones, wearing the jersey number 23 Damarious Randall had until the Seahawks released him last week, has impressed Carroll with how quickly he is picking up Seattle’s defensive schemes and techniques for cornerbacks. Carroll teaches and demands a unique step-kick technique of cornerbacks jamming then stepping with and turning receivers off the line of scrimmage.

Many veteran cornerbacks have failed in Seattle trying to unlearn old ways and learn Carroll’s. The most infamous and expensive example: Cary Williams, in 2015. The Seahawks signed him as a free agent before the 2015 season. He never did learn what Carroll taught. The team paid him $7 million for 10, subpar games before Carroll released Williams in the middle of the first season of his contract.

Monday, Carroll said for the second time in a week how well UW’s coaches taught Jones, and how those teachings closely align to what the Seahawks cornerbacks need to do.

“Sidney’s been here for a week already, so he’s been working at it. He’s familiar with us and our style and technically how we coach guys,” Carroll said. “His coaches at UW took care of him in great fashion. He’s a really bright kid too, as is John Reid. We just notice these guys pick stuff up really quickly.

“The cornerback spot, it depends: If we try to make them into something different than what they are, then they might struggle. These guys are not — we don’t ask them to do that. We ask them to play in the mentality and the mold that they bring, and then tweak from there. That’s always the way we’ve done it.”

Carroll said Reid also has quickly grasped the nuances of the position for the Seahawks.

“It took him a couple of days and he was comfortable then he was on the field,” Carroll said. “I think Sidney will do the same thing.”

Until Jones does, the aggressive, 5-foot-9 Reed on the left and the 6-3 Flowers on the right appear on track to start Sunday against Carson Wentz and the Colts.

Wentz had a foot injury throughout most of the preseason and training camp. Indianapolis’ coaches are going to assess him fully following their practice Wednesday. They hope to determine soon after that whether the former Eagles starter will make his Colts debut on Sunday, though that is the expectation.

Parkinson out, Mabry in

Second-year tight end Colby Parkinson remains out with a foot injury, one summer after he broke his foot and missed the first half of his rookie season.

Carroll said the 6-7 target won’t play against Indianapolis.

“He’s on his way back. H just isn’t going to make it yet,” Carroll said.

“We felt like if we don’t have him available here, then we can get a couple weeks to get him ready.”

The Seahawks signed tight end Tyler Mabry, who was with the team last season, off the practice squad to back fill for Parkinson.

Seattle brought back recently waived guard Jordan Simmons to fill Mabry’s vacated spot on the practice squad.

Vaccine update

Following all the team’s roster moves of recent weeks, Carroll said all but two Seahawks players are vaccinated. That’s 53 players on the active roster and, presumably, the 16 players on Seattle’s practice squad.

“We’ve been at one guy throughout the whole (offseason and training-camp) process, so we’ve had great participation,” Carroll said. “Everybody has their stories (on how they view getting vaccinated). I’m really pleased with everybody’s contributions, because we’ve had a ton of guys that made one.

“The way I look at is that it’s everybody but a couple. We’re at two (unvaccinated) right now, I don’t mind telling you that.”

Captains

The coach said teammates “overwhelmingly” voted Russell Wilson (offense), Bobby Wagner (defense) and Nick Bellore (special teams) Seattle’s captains for the 2021 season.

Wilson and Wagner, the team’s only remaining players from Seattle’s Super Bowl-winning 2013 team, are perennial selections as captain.

“They’ve really stood for consistency at the highest level,” Carroll said. “It’s not just that they make a lot of tackles or throw a lot of touchdown passes. It’s in everything they bring, do, and represent. They are really the real deal. They’re the leaders chosen for a number of years, and the leader is chosen for a lot of great reasons. These guys believe in them, look up to them, count on them, count on their word, and they trust the heck out of them. We are very fortunate to have them.”

This is the first time Bellore has been a Seahawks captain. He became a Seattle Pro Bowl selection for his special-teams play for the first time last season.

This summer he’s been on special teams, on offense at fullback as he is listed, and as Wagner’s backup middle linebacker. That’s the position he played at Detroit and earlier in his NFL career, but not for the last four seasons.

“Nick Bellore has been a fantastic guy to step into the role a year ago and the guys look up to him, too,” Carroll said.

“We have real wisdom in our leadership and that’s really all you can hope for.”

Captains are more than mere figureheads for Carroll. The coach defers to and leans on them to head the councils of veteran players Carroll relies upon for consultations on various team matters, on and off the field.

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