Seahawks preparing for Broncos pick plays

One of the most controversial moments of this NFL postseason that didn’t involve a Richard Sherman postgame interview happened in the AFC championship game. Denver receiver Wes Welker ran a crossing route that ended with him colliding with New England cornerback Aqib Talib, causing Talib to leave the game with an injury. Call it a rub route, call it a pick play, the NFL called it legal, and it’s a play the Seahawks could see plenty of in Sunday’s game.

The Seahawks have one of the most physical secondaries in the NFL, however, so it is possible Denver’s receiver will be a little less hesitant to initiate contact. The pick play isn’t designed to create the kind of collision Welker had with Talib, however. Usually the idea is to simply make a defensive back slow down to avoid the receiver, allowing the player that defensive back had be covering to get open.

“It’s something you’re aware of,” safety Kam Chancellor said. “You know that it’s probably going to come in certain plays by formation and how a guy lines up. But it’s something you just have to adjust. You have to get around them, be athletic and get around. It’s not something we just put our mind on or we have to really be aware of, just trying to get this or that. But we definitely are aware of it.”

Safety Earl Thomas said he isn’t bothered by the idea of the Broncos running pick plays, and that the Seahawks will prepare for it.

“It doesn’t trouble me. You just understand how they want to do it. That’s it. And then, you’re ready for it. That’s why the whole week of preparation is so critical just to get all the kinks and stuff out of the way and get your game plan ready.”

While Chancellor said the key is to be athletic and get around a receiver in that situation, the reality is that a receiver might not be as willing to run at Chancellor as he would another player.

As Bobby Wagner put it:

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