Seahawks Insider

Milloy a starter, or backup?

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 6, 2009 at 12:23 pm with 22 Comments »
September 6, 2009 12:23 pm


There’s been some discussion on the blog in the comments section on whether or not Seattle’s new addition Lawyer Milloy will be a starter or a backup, and if he’ll play strong or free safety.

Although he’s getting up there in years, at 35 years old I think Milloy still is athletic enough to help Seattle. The Seahawks may give Jordan Babineaux a deserved audition at free safety, but I think the more likely scenario is Milloy coming in to play strong safety, and Deon Grant moving to free safety.

However it shakes out, both Babineaux and Milloy should get ample snaps on defense with all the situational subbing Seattle does.

But Milloy, 35, has been a starter his entire NFL career and likely still sees himself as such. I don’t know how well he would take sitting behind someone who has not regularly started in the league.

The way Seattle used Grant during exhibition action is playing him close to the line of scrimmage in early downs and then bringing in Babineaux as an extra defensive back in passing situations, and I believe that’s something Milloy still can do effectively.

And while I think Brian Russell was assignment correct most of the time and did a decent job of protecting the back of the field in pass coverage, I do think he had trouble making open-field tackles in the run game.

Free safeties are the last line of defense, both in terms of the passing game and running backs breaking long runs. To that end, the free safety has to be one of the best tacklers on the team. And that wasn’t the case with Russell.

On a couple long runs during the preseason I noticed that Grant usually was the guy circling back and running down the running back to keep him from getting into end zone. So it makes sense to have a better tackler in the back end at free safety. And I believe that Grant still has the athleticism and range to be a decent center fielder at free safety.

While Seattle only gave up 388 yards on the ground during the preseason, they did give up an average of 4.3 yards per carry. The addition of Milloy makes Seattle a better tackling team.

Milloy also brings more leadership to the defense as a player who has had much success on the field, including a Super Bowl win with the New England Patriots.

Along with returning to finish his career in his hometown, Milloy has other motivation. With 17 sacks and 25 interceptions, Milloy is close to reaching the elite 20/20 group. Only nine players in NFL history have reached the 20 interceptions, 20 sacks plateau.

It’s an exclusive group that includes linebackers Jack Ham, Donnie Edwards, Seth Joyner, Wilber Marshall, Williams Thomas and Ray Lewis, safeties Rodney Harrison, Brian Dawkins and LeRoy Butler, and the only cornerback in the group, Ronde Barber.

Former strong safety Harrison is the only player to reach the 30/30 mark, with 30 ½ sacks and 34 interceptions. However, Milloy has gone without a sack in his last two seasons as a pro.

Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. Dukeshire says:

    It’s interesting, Sando speculated that Russell’s reluctance to accept a backup role at a purported reduced salary (in addition to he awful tackling and Babs fine play) may have contributed to the team cutting him.
    I don’t know how many options Milloy had at this point (I imagine Seattle wasn’t his only one) but a I suspect he’ll accept whatever role the Seahawks ask him to play.

  2. seahawklovertoo says:

    I like most of the (yesterday and today)decisions even though none of my (wish list) trades had materialised. RB Sheets was cut but, I guess we are not interested ( yeah…I can live with JJ for one more year). G-Man cut QB Rhett Bomar too; I feel Teel will do fine for us. So, the only other trade I can think off is going after NE rookie Patrick Chung. We can use him even if we get Mays or Berry
    next year. Will anyone comment on Chung?

  3. RichmondHawk says:

    I really don’t know if bringing a safety is really good idea in a plug and play situation. Milloy is one year younger than Rodney Harrison so he’s lost some speed. Its a tough call but my guess is that Babs starts. I think Mora did say early that it was an open competiton between Babs and Russell so apparently Babs won. Another scenario, is Tru is possibly done for the year even after the time on the PUP and Babs would move over to the nickel. The CB’s read as Lucas, Wilson, Jennings and Fisher. So they need all the help they can get there.

  4. Seahawksfan57 says:

    I saw someone post that Hass signed to the PS. Where did you find that out and was there any other players mentioned?

    Duke- from the last post. Man we all saw gow much you loved Russell. Like a little kid that punched the girl he likes un her shoulder. J/K.

    I like this switch. wish we would have done it a couple years ago.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Patrick Chung is a stud, I would love it if he were a Seahawk. But I cannot imagine the Pats are too eager to let him go at anything that would be considered reasonable. He is a future pro-bowler.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Seahawksfan57 – Hass info here:

    Fentress didn’t have any other names. I imagine he has some relationship with him covering Oregon St and Oregon for the Oregonian.

  7. RichmondHawk says:

    Logan Payne was just named to the practice according to

  8. Seahawksfan57 says:

    Wilson is the nickle back. He starts opposite Lucus in the 4-3 but in the nickle he moves over to cover the slot and jennings steps in to cover outside. In the Dime Babs comes in but if he is playing free saftey then Fisher would probably be the extra DB.

  9. Seahawksfan57 says:

    Duke, RichmondHawk-

    Thank you guys I really want to see Moore make it after his performance against Oakland. I know they are a lousy team but I liked the fight in him.

  10. seahawklovertoo says:

    I went to NE depth chart; they got Pat Chung as a back-up to Marriwether ( I may have spelled his name wrong). I know he is good but, as they say : if you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win in lottery.
    It is free to call them and try. The worst that can happen is if they say no.

  11. Tompage says:

    Nice analysis Eric.

    Milloy may have lost a step, but he is still a big hitter. I agree with Eric, Grant moves to Free Safety and Milloy plays strong safety close to the line of scrimmage. In fact, I would expect CJ Wallace to get some time at strong safety spelling Milloy. Wallace is a hitter also. When I heard they were going to cut Russell, I thought they would move Grant to Free Safety. He played a lot of Free Safety in the past, with some success at the position.

    Our run defense and our pass defense improves with the cutting of Brian Russell. Halleluiah, my payers have been answered.

    I couldn’t be happier that we had rid our roster of Duckett and Russell before the season has begun. I believe those two subtractions improve our team significantly.

  12. Seahawksfan57 says:

    For all we know this player has been considered or the call has been made.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    Like I said, if they could get him without giving away the world, I’d be giddy. He is everything Ruskell looks for in a player, on and off the field. The Pats though, have a history of coming out WAY ahead in trades recently. And they really seem committed to youth there, as evidence the Seymour deal this morning (in addition to dealing Vrabel, Harrison and Bruschi retiring). But like you say, it doesn’t cost anything to inquire.

    Apropos of nothing Seahawk related:

  14. Soggybuc says:

    Even Milloy has lost a step he’s still an upgrade against the run than what we had. and even if he hits a little softer he could still knock your teeth out.

    I remember watching him at UW. he could pop a guy so hard it would echo almost.

  15. I don’t see any way the Pats would trade a guy they like and who they just invested a high #2 pick on. It’d be worth a call, but odds are that the NE FO would probably laugh if our offer wasn’t big.

    I think Babs and Milloy will do some subbing, with Milloy on obvious running downs and Babs in the game on obvious passing situations. I think this is a better scenario than Brian Russell at FS. Anyone who has watched our games knows that he’s slow and can’t tackle. That’s not a good combination.

  16. snydro22 says:

    Are you guys really discussing whether or not New England would trade Patrick Chung to us, before he’s even played a snap for them and while they have his rights (at a low salary) for the next four years? Really? ;)

    There is a reason New England stocks up on draft picks. Young, cheap players. Like Patrick Chung.

    I think we should trade for Polomalu, or Bob Sanders. Or LaRon Landry! Let’s trade for two of those three and release Grant too. And would you rather have Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? Drew Brees? Lets get one of those guys too because Matt is good but not great. I think Patrick Willis would be an good addition. And maybe we could trade for Hutchinson back to help the o-line.

  17. lulz @ snydro. Nice work sir.

  18. Seahawksfan57 says:

    LMAO!!!! I couldn’t have said it better. FYI I don’t think Duke was really thinking there would be a chance, and I certainly didn’t think there would be I was quite frankly trying to get Seahawklovertoo to stop ranting about this by throwing the bone out that maybe we had called. Perhaps thats what Duke was doing.

    I love the way you just crushed it, much more entetaining.

    I’m still laughing.

  19. snydro22 says:

    I wasn’t trying to pick on seahawklover. He is obviously a hardcore hawks fan, and that’s never a bad thing. Just having a little fun.

  20. navy_at_3 says:

    Milloy turns 36 during this season

  21. nightwulf says:

    You’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking there:)

  22. Zena Carbajal says:

    I wanted to make sure i commented on this subject.
    I am enjoying your dicussion.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0