“Heater” heating up

Linebacker David Hawthorne, who was given the nickname “Heater” by Lofa Tatupu during his rookie season for his hard hits on special teams, made a name for himself the past two years as Seattle’s biggest playmaker on defense. Two years ago, he started only 11 games but still led the team with 117 tackles. Last year, he changed from middle linebacker to weakside linebacker and again led the team in tackles with 106.

This season, after missing the season opener with a sprained knee, Hawthorne has been back in the lineup, but hasn’t stood out as much as in the previous two seasons, or at least until last weekend anyway.

Against Cleveland, Hawthorne was all over the field, recording a team-high 11 tackles as well as his first interception and sack of the year. Hawthorne said part of his improvement is his knee getting healthier, but also simply a matter of plays coming to him against the Browns.

“It’s just a combination of stuff,” he said. “I’m definitely to feel a little bit better. Having productive games, I got accustomed to them. When are used to you playing at that level and then you don’t for a couple of games for whatever reason, when you come back, it’s like a ‘Oh, he’s back’ kind of deal. But the confidence has always been there, my play has always been there, it just so happened to show up a lot last game.”

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