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Seattle Seahawks 90-Man Roundup: Will Artie Burns Keep Backup Nickel CB Role?

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Seattle Seahawks 90-Man Roundup: Will Artie Burns Keep Backup Nickel CB Role?


With OTAs wrapping up across the NFL, the Seattle Seahawks will open training camp at the VMAC in just under two months, officially ushering in the first season under new coach Mike Macdonald.

In preparation for the new incoming season, we’ll be detailing every member of the Seahawks 90-man roster over the next several weeks, diving into scheme fits, exploring best- and worst-case scenarios and predicting what to expect from each player entering the 2024 campaign.

Entering his third season with Seattle in 2024, will Artie Burns maintain his role in the Seahawks defense despite an injection of young talent?

A four-star recruit out of the football factory at Miami Northwestern Senior High School, Burns stayed local for college and signed with Miami, which was only about 12 miles away from where he played prep ball. Playing three seasons with the Hurricanes, Burns broke out in 2015 when he started all 13 games and piled up 36 total tackles, six interceptions, and five passes defensed. After earning All-ACC honors, he was drafted 25th overall in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Steelers and was solid in his first two seasons, starting 25 games and posting 119 total tackles, four interceptions, 26 passes defensed and four tackles for loss. In 2018, Burns started just six games with no interceptions and Pittsburgh did not pick up his fifth-year option, allowing him to sign with the Bears ahead of the 2020 campaign. He suffered a torn ACL in the preseason and missed the season before returning to play in 11 games in 2021. Burns signed with Seattle in March 2022 and has regularly moved between the practice squad and active roster since while also missing time due to groin and hamstring injuries.

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Throughout his eight years in the NFL, Burns has been a serviceable outside and slot corner at 6-0, 187 pounds, adding nickel to his repertoire in 2023. Last season, in Pete Carroll’s defense, Burns played 232 defensive snaps with 87 percent of those coming as the nickel corner, per Pro Football Focus. He was also a regular contributor on punt and kick coverage. Burns is a willing run stopper from the slot corner position and has good speed and quickness to keep up with the dynamic receivers he is often matched up against.

Outplaying rookie sixth-round pick DJ James and third-year defensive back Coby Bryant in training camp and the preseason, Burns maintains his backup slot corner role into the regular season and sees a similar number of snaps to last season behind Devon Witherspoon on the depth chart while continuing to contribute on special teams.

With ample younger prospects now on Seattle’s roster, Burns, 29, shows the least upside and has his role filled by a combination of James and Bryant. Since Bryant can also play safety in the Seahawks defense, Burns is cut at the end of the preseason and brought back on the practice squad as an emergency veteran option.

Burns’ extensive NFL experience gives him an edge over Bryant and James from a reliability standpoint, but his age could be a deterrent to a new coaching staff that may want to get its younger players game snaps early on. It’s also possible that Bryant’s versatile status in the defense has him competing mostly for a role at safety, which would leave the backup nickel role to a two-man race between Burns and James — both of whom would be quality options to be on the field at the same time in a dime package.

When it comes down to it, Burns, Bryant, and James are all likely to stick around with the Seahawks as slot corner and special teams coverage options, with one or two making the active roster. If Bryant’s role becomes more defined, that situation will be more clear. Unless Burns is outplayed by other young corners further out on the roster bubble, he should at least have a practice squad spot reserved. Regardless, it will be a fun competition to watch as Burns tries to play a third season with one team for the second time in his career.

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Buddha Jones | Devin Richardson | TaMerik Williams | Rason Williams II | Ro Torrence | Nathan Pickering | Dee Williams | Devere Levelston | Kobe Lewis | Sunny Anderson | Mike Novitsky | Max Pircher | Easton Gibbs | Hayden Hatten | Garret Greenfield | Carlton Johnson | Matt Gotel |George Holani | Cody White | Ty Okada | Drake Thomas | McClendon Curtis | Easop Winston Jr. |Nelson Ceaser | Jonathan Sutherland | Lance Boykin | Joshua Onujiogu | Patrick O’Connell |Jack Westover | Raiqwon O’Neal | Tyler Mabry | Dareke Young | Tremayne Anchrum | DJ James



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Mitch Haniger lifts Seattle Mariners to walk-off win over White Sox

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Mitch Haniger lifts Seattle Mariners to walk-off win over White Sox


SEATTLE (AP) — Mitch Haniger capped a nine-pitch at-bat with an RBI single to score Luke Raley with the winning run and give the Seattle Mariners a 2-1, 10-inning win over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.

Seattle Mariners 2, Chicago White Sox 1: Box Score

Seattle blew a chance to win the game after Luis Robert Jr’s. pinch-hit solo home run leading off the ninth inning tied the game 1-1. Chicago was unable to score in the 10th and Haniger came through with the sixth walk-off hit of his career.

Haniger fell behind in the count 0-2 against Steven Wilson (1-3) but dumped a soft single into right field. Raley, who provided all of Seattle’s offense through the first nine innings with a solo home run, raced around from second.

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“I’ve been in that situation a bunch where you strike out. So you that it can go either way. You control what you can control and that’s putting a good swing on the ball,” Haniger said. “Luckily on that one, just grind through an at-bat and got enough of it to get it to the outfield.”

Seattle won its 16th one-run game, the most in the major leagues, and improved to 10-1 in its last 11 home games. The Mariners have also won their last eight series at home.

“Series win, that’s what it’s about,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Have a chance to sweep these guys tomorrow, won’t be easy, it hasn’t been easy over these last three nights but we have a chance.”

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Robert homered on the first pitch of the ninth inning from Mike Baumann. Robert was getting a scheduled day off from the starting lineup a week after coming off the injured list following a hip injury.

It was Robert’s sixth homer and cost Seattle starter Bryce Miller the chance at a victory.

“I knew the game was tight and I knew there was a chance that I could pinch-hit. But I’m not really used to those situations,” Robert said via an interpreter. “I just went there and tried to make hard contact.”

Miller allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and Austin Voth kept the shutout going striking out the side in the eighth. But Seattle has been without primary closer Andrés Muñoz for most of the past week due to lower back soreness.

Miller struck out eight and needed only 92 pitches to get through seven shutout innings, rebounding after allowing a season-high seven earned runs in his previous start against Kansas City.

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“Obviously last week wasn’t ideal,” Miller said. “The bad thing about being a starter is you’ve got to wait five days to get back, but the last four days I’ve been looking forward to it. I was excited to get out there.”

Trent Thornton (3-1) stranded automatic runner Danny Mendick at third base in the 10th, finishing the inning with a strikeout of pinch-hitter Andrew Benintendi.

Chicago starter Jonathan Cannon was hit hard at times but matched Miller with zeros until Raley’s homer in the seventh. Cannon made just his fourth start in the majors, and allowed three hits with seven strikeouts.

ROSTER SHUFFLE

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Mariners: Seattle optioned LHP Jhonathan Díaz back to Tacoma after he made an emergency start on Tuesday night. RHP Brett de Geus was recalled from the Triple-A team to add depth to the bullpen.

UP NEXT

White Sox: LHP Garrett Crochet (6-5, 3.33) has won five of his past six decisions and has pitched six innings in six of his past seven starts.

Mariners: RHP Luis Castillo (5-7, 3.35) will try and rebound after giving up five earned runs over five innings in his last start against Kansas City.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Mariners injury updates: Latest on Ty France, Andrés Muñoz and more
• Mariners receive ‘clean’ results from Bryan Woo’s MRI
• Servais: Surging Mitch Garver will be ‘key’ to Seattle Mariners lineup
• One thing Seattle Mariners excel at reveals what needs to improve
• Does a Luis Robert trade make sense for Mariners? Passan explain

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Seattle Seahawks Coaching Staff ‘Really Excited’ About Dre’Mont Jones in New Defense

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Seattle Seahawks Coaching Staff ‘Really Excited’ About Dre’Mont Jones in New Defense


As the Seattle Seahawks progress further into their offseason program, the many roles of the team’s plug-and-play defensive linemen are beginning to become more clear.

Mandatory minicamp is now underway, and that means veterans like Dre’Mont Jones and Leonard Williams are back on Seattle’s practice field at the VMAC full-time. Jones was not present for any voluntary OTA practices, while Williams made his first appearance in the 7th of 10 practices on June 3.

Seattle signed Jones away from the Broncos on a three-year, $51 million deal last offseason — the largest free agent contract of the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era — and he, like all the other interior defensive linemen, was criticized for the Seahawks’ poor run defense in 2023, which allowed the second-most rushing yards in the league to its opponents.

Now that Jones has reported, Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald and defensive coordinator Aden Durde can begin to tinker with all the pieces Seattle has at its disposal in the trenches. However, nothing will be cemented until the pads come on. Macdonald, in a press conference with local media after the team’s first minicamp practice on Tuesday, said they are in the early stages of experimentation.

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“He’s very much in the mix of that. I think you saw today, you know, and we don’t know the answers yet. We don’t know how it’s going to look come the beginning of the season, how it’s going to progress throughout the whole year.”

– Mike Macdonald on Jones’ versatility

Like Williams, Jones has a history of playing various techniques on the defensive line. In his first three seasons in Denver, Jones played the vast majority of his snaps inside or over the tackles and even played about 23 percent of his defensive snaps at nose tackle as a rookie in 2019, per Pro Football Focus.

But as his career has progressed, there is clearly intrigue with Jones’ potential on the outside. While he still played about 55 percent of his total snaps inside the tackles last season, the rest of Jones’ snaps came as either a 6-technique or stand-up outside linebacker in Pete Carroll’s 3-4 defense.

It wouldn’t be a shock to see Macdonald use him there more, as Jones’ physical build (6-3, 281 pounds) and athleticism have benefitted him as a pass rusher off the edge. With other 300-pound interior defensive linemen on the roster like Williams, Jarran Reed, Johnathan Hankins and rookie first-round pick Byron Murphy II, that may also be where he gets the most opportunity to be on the field. In Seattle’s first minicamp practice, most of Jones’ reps came as a stand-up outside linebacker.

“I think his skillset lends to trying to play a little matchup ball with him or setting another guy up. He can do a lot of things. We’ve talked about it, but we are really excited about Dre’Mont. He was in great shape today. He knew a lot of the stuff we were doing even though he hadn’t been in the building. Credit to him for staying up to speed.”

– Mike Macdonald

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Even in a season where Jones’ interior presence felt marginal, he amassed a career-high 49 combined tackles, according to Pro Football Reference. His 4.5 sacks and five tackles for loss were the second lowest of his five-year career, however.

Regardless of where things stand by the end of minicamp, Macdonald was just glad to have Jones and Williams back on the field so they could begin to gauge how they fit into the team’s developing defensive scheme.

“It’s a function of reps, conversations,” Macdonald said of developing a relationship with the two players despite limited chances to work with them in OTAs. “There are only so many texts and phone calls. That is only going to take you so long. Now that they’re here, we’ll be rolling. We got a couple more days here and then we’ll go take a breather and go back and attack it and camp.”

– Mike Macdonald



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Seattle Seahawks’ Blitz Named NFL’s Most Forgettable Mascot

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Seattle Seahawks’ Blitz Named NFL’s Most Forgettable Mascot


Mascots are a huge part of the fan experience in the NFL (or any sport really) for kids and adults alike, so having a memorable one can go a very long way.

According to a recent study, the Seattle Seahawks and their mascot Blitz need some help in that department.

Online Betting Guide (OLBG) recently conducted a study using the popular quiz site Sporcle, creating a series of quizzes that gave participants 90 seconds to guess mascots’ names from picture in each league (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and Premier League). The results showed that Blitz was the most-forgettable mascot in the NFL with just 44.9 percent of participants correctly guessing his name, which also made him the sixth-most-forgettable mascot across all the leagues studied.

On the other side of the coin, Raider Rusher of the Las Vegas Raiders was found to be the NFL’s most-memorable mascot, with 88 percent of fans correctly guessing his name. The most-memorable mascot in the study overall was Cyril the Swan of Swansea City AFC, an English Premier League team based in Wales.

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Blitz has been a staple of Seahawks games since 1998, back when the team played at the Kingdome and wore royal blue full-time. He received a slight redesign in 2004 to appear more appealing to younger fans, followed by a major facelift in 2014 to better fit the Seahawks’ updated identity.

Alongside that 2014 redesign, the Seahawks also introduced Boom, a “official sidekick” to Blitz specifically designed with younger fans in mind.

Even considering all that, it apparently wasn’t enough to vault Blitz into the public consciousness.

As a consolation prize, the mascots of the other Seattle teams fared much better. Mariner Moose of the Seattle Mariners was found to be the second-most-memorable mascot in the MLB (90.6 percent recognized him), while Buoy of the Seattle Kraken was found to be the eighth-most-memorable mascot in the NHL (76.2 percent).



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