The Seahawks only have a handful of training camp practices left on the docket, but coach Pete Carroll and his staff are in no hurry to name a new starter at nickel cornerback.
After reviewing game film from Thursday’s 22-14 victory over Denver in the exhibition opener, Carroll indicated the competition to replace departed starter Justin Coleman remains an “ongoing” race between Kalan Reed, Ugo Amadi, Akeem King, and Jamar Taylor.
“Kalan Reed did a nice job in the game, Ugo Amadi did a nice job in the game too in the plays that he had.” Carroll told reporters on Sunday. “We know that Jamar Taylor and Akeem King can play in there, so we’ve got four guys – it’s kinda hard to get the reps right right now.”
While Carroll seemed hesitant to label him as the front runner to win the job, Reed appears to be atop the depth chart going into this week’s preparation for a road game against the Vikings.
“He’s done a really nice overall job right now run, pass coverage-wise, he’s done all that stuff well enough that he can hold onto his spot going into the week.”
From a snap count standpoint, Amadi played 25 defensive snaps against the Broncos, while Taylor played 24, King played 22, and Reed played 16. However, for what it’s worth, many of Reed’s snaps came early in the game playing with the first-team defense, while Taylor and King played into the fourth quarter.
Reed, who played in seven games for the Titans during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, finished with two tackles in limited action. As part of an impressive Seahawk debut, Amadi stuffed the stat sheet with two tackles, a quarterback hit, a pass defensed, and a couple nice punt returns on special teams.
King and Taylor joined forces late in regulation to force rookie quarterback Drew Lock into an interception, as King blitzed and hit him as he threw, leading to a pick by Taylor along the sideline. Both players wrapped up the contest with three tackles and a pass defensed apiece.
With all four players making positive contributions to a victory, Carroll is employing the right approach by not rushing into naming a starter and the competition will continue to play out throughout the remainder of the preseason.
“It’s just up for grabs,” Carroll reaffirmed. “And those guys will be rotating evenly throughout.”