By John Boyle Herald Writer
And that was no small feat for the former CFL standout who was coming off a rough game in his second-career NFL start. Not only had Browner struggled in his team’s loss in Pittsburgh, but he also knew his next game would feature a steady dose of the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, one of the best receivers in the game.
“Those are guys that you get up for,” Browner said last week. “You get up every week, but being a cornerback, when you get guys like Larry Fitzgerald, you get a little more amped about the game.”
So Browner was confident, but the bigger question was whether he could back that up. And early in the game it didn’t look good for him or the Seahawks. On Arizona’s second play from scrimmage, Browner was flagged for illegal contact, negating an impressive interception by safety Earl Thomas. Three plays later, Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb hit Fitzgerald, who had beaten Browner down the sideline on a fade route, for a 28-yard gain.
After Steelers receiver Mike Wallace torched the Seahawks — and quite often Browner — for 126 yards the week before, it could have been a here-we-go-again moment for Browner and the Seahawks, but instead Browner showed why he was confident in the days leading up to his matchup with Fitzgerald.
Yes, Fitzgerald did have a second-quarter touchdown catch with Browner in coverage, but had Thomas not come flying into the play to try to intercept the pass — and in the process knock his teammate aside — Browner was in position to perhaps break up the pass. Then, with Browner covering him most of the time, Fitzgerald went the second half without a single catch. And not coincidentally, the Cardinals failed to score in the half as Seattle held on for a 13-10 win.
“He played a very good game yesterday,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “… That was a really good game for him. After last week, when he got thrown at a little bit more, this was a good comeback week for him. I think it helped his confidence and it should moving forward.”
Matt McCoy (head) has been cleared, Carroll said, presumably meaning the linebacker had to take a concussion test. He is expected to be on the field when the team resumes practice Wednesday. The only other injury to come out of the game according to Carroll was a thigh bruise for safety Kam Chancellor. Receiver Sidney Rice, who missed the first two games with a shoulder injury, came out of the game healthy. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is also fine after having to limp off the field at one point with a sore leg.
No decision at strongside linebacker
Pete Carroll praised the play of rookie K.J. Wright, who took over the starting job at strongside linebacker from Aaron Curry last week.
“He did really well,” Carroll said. “He didn’t have a lot of chances for tackles, but his drops (into coverage) were really on the mark. … He did a very solid job. I don’t think he had any negative plays in the game, so he did a good job for us.”
Carroll would not say, however, if Wright will remain ahead of Curry on the depth chart: “We’ll just see. We’ll go to Wednesday and see how it goes and see what that all means, but he did play well enough to play again. He did a good job.”
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at heraldnet.com/seahawksblog