Seahawks Insider

Keep your eye on Tharold Simon

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on July 20, 2014 at 7:03 am with 30 Comments »
July 20, 2014 7:03 am

Trying to anticipate a Seahawk who might step from obscurity during the impending training camp, it was easy to think back to the final OTA practice this spring when second-year cornerback Tharold Simon came down with impressive interceptions of passes thrown by Russell Wilson and Tarvaris Jackson.

He may have to wait for a chance to see much action in the Legion of Boom, but he certainly qualifies as a Baby Boomer.

The one that he picked in the end zone was in traffic, but he very effectively tracked and high-pointed the ball and made the catch. Richard Sherman was getting the day off, opening the way for the recently rehabbed Simon to see so much action. When Simon came down with the ball, Sherman raced from the sidelines — somewhat deliriously — to congratulate him for the big play.

Sherman had taken on Simon as a personal project that practice, coaching him every snap. Simon responded with the kind of play that the Hawk staff saw from him when he was healthy at LSU. A stress fracture in his foot sidelined him, initially, his rookie season, before he broke another bone in his foot later.

They were patient with him, though, and always included him when they talked about young secondary prospects (ala Walter Thurmond as he recovered from early injuries). It was only this spring that he returned to health and speed. And that OTA practice was really the first time that he made a conspicuous display of his athleticism.

At 6-3, 202, he fits the mold. Not just in the measurables, but the attitude, as well. I remember one play when he first got to Seattle as a rookie, in one of the few practices he participated in before being shut down. He was in press coverage and absolutely decked one of the bigger young receivers to his side. It was a little flagrant (early Brandon Browner style), but it was certainly emphatic. The scouting report on him out of college that his weakness was using his hands at the line of scrimmage. That play refuted that criticism.

Even with Browner and Thurmond gone, Simon has some talented corners stacked ahead of him. Sherman’s the best in the game, and the starter on the right side, Byron Maxwell, finished last season as another player on the threshold of stardom. With opponents trying to avoid Sherman down the stretch, they tested Maxwell, who responded with four interceptions in the final four regular-season games.

In one minicamp practices this spring, Maxwell made one of the most eye-catching plays of the day with a leaping, twisting, one-handed interception. And as it stands, Jeremy Lane has the advantage at inside corner in the nickel.

If he can stay healthy, Simon will enough time to refine his game and show what he can do during training camp and the preseason. And if he sustains the kind of play he showed in OTAs, he could be one of the team’s rising young stars.

Leave a comment Comments → 30
  1. montanamike2 says:

    Our secondary is second to none, i think it’s a joke to think the Pats could overtake ours. Thanks again for keeping the blog going with fresh material Dave. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas are like coaches themselves.

  2. Another Dave sighting. I like this emerging pattern. Good stuff.

  3. Simon is the heir apparent to Maxwell, who will get a huge contract elsewhere barring a major injury or some other Act-Of-God disaster. He’s being groomed for next year.

    Lane is interesting. I thought he played better as an outside corner his first year or so than in the slot, but if he wants to play here, he has to excel in the slot. Looking forward to seeing what he can do.

    Pinkston has a loooong way to go to even make the team this year. He hasn’t shown anything yet, and is a good candidate for the PS if he clears waivers. Seattle really likes his talent though, he was one of two players they admitted they targeted as key to their draft. But sometimes guys like Terrance Parks can come along and make a Pinkston irrelevant…

    Player Im going to be watching closely in camp and preseason: Norwood and Richardson at WR, Marsh, Jeffcoat, and Mayowa at DE, Scruggs and Hill at swing DT/DE, Toomer and Pierre-Louis at LB, Parks, Pinkins, Simon, Shead, Lane at DB, Britt and Carpenter on the O-line, and Terrelle Pryor and T-Jack at QB. Should be a fascinating preseason for sure!

  4. The Pats will have a fantastic Secondary, but its still a crapshoot that Revis will be Revis, and not Post-Injury Revis. Post-Injury Revis is merely a decent DB, not a star.

    Browner I expect to have a monster season. I mean that; I expect him to thrash his opponents on a play-by-play basis, taking out his frustrations and bad choices on the opponent, since he knows his career window is short. And he wont have a suspension hanging over him, so his mind should be focused on the task at hand.

    The Pats have one good S and one halfway decent, but they surely aren’t in the same class as Chancellor and Thomas. What they do have is excellent coaches who know how to use their staff to maximum advantage.

    Still, to say they will be better than the LOB is hyperbole at best, lying for ratings or simply East Coast Bias Sour Grapes at worst.

  5. montanamike2 says:

    Yeah they won’t suck, but they aren’t the LOB. Friday the Nfl laid out plans for more penalties for defenders who are too physical, that won’t help Browner and Revis island is more like Gilligan’s island nowadays.

  6. montanamike2 says:

    Gilligan’s island may be going a little far, but he’s a couple years removed from being elite.

  7. Southendzone says:

    But last year was coming off the injury AND with Tampa Bay. For much of the season TB was playing really bad ball and the media spin was that Revis wasn’t being used properly in their defense to accentuate his skills.

    If Revis had an awesome season this year, would anyone be surprised? Better offense to give the D a chance to play with the lead, plus Belicheck coaching them.

    If you held a draft today for all players, Revis would very likely be in the top 3 CBs taken. I suppose there’s an argument that Haden could crack that group.

  8. Agree that the Seahawks won’t pay Maxwell (enough) and Siomon will be his successor. Lane does a great job as nickel back and on specials. I like some of the back-ups too: AJ Jefferson is one. Deshaun Shead another. Its great to have such depth.

    I think Pinkston ends up on the PS or gone.

  9. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Last year some of us were debating back & forth who would be the better starter opposite Sherman.
    Maxwell then came out of the depth chart & took advantage of an opportunity & never looked back.

    Pete Carroll has made this team so much more fun to watch with his approach to letting young players step up & play regardless how much experience they have.

    There is so much young talent on this team that the next star or stars could come from a number of positions.

    It’s just impossible for me to get bored of Pete Carroll’s Camps.

  10. Last season it was Antoine Winfield who looked like a pretty solid option – then didn’t even make the team.

  11. Mr Boling,
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping the TNT Insiders blog alive! You are the greatest! However, calling Tharold Simon a Baby Boomer was kinda funny – or maybe not(?) The youngest baby boomer is about 50. Then the youngest Gen X person is about 36. Finally, Simon falls into the Gen Y group, whose youngest members are about 17 years old. Not sure what the younger than Gen Y people are called – if they have actually become an identifiable generation(?)

    Love reading your writing Mr Boling – please keep it up!

  12. OregonHawk says:

    klm008 his reference to Tharold Simon as a baby boomer comes from

    The “Legion of Boom”

  13. I thought that was pretty obvious too.

  14. chkn_liddle says:

    Millennials are the Gen born since 2000. But it was a play on words, a pun…not a literal classification of his age.

  15. LarryLee says:

    Dave, Love the “Baby Boomer” reference. Got a feeling that the “Babies” may be a interesting subject this year.
    Thanks for stepping in to keep this space going. For serious Hawk fans this is a “Must” read item.

  16. Macabrevity says:

    Dave’s rocking it…. all you have to do is mention Hawk’s secondary and I have a Pavlovian response.

  17. You guys do realize that Dave shows up this time every year, gives us great, true “inside” stuff, we all fall in love wanting for more and then he basically disappears until the same time the following year?

  18. SandpointHawk says:

    Dave is a columnist, that’s the top of the news writing profession. Jim Murray did the same thing. Best sports writer on the staff and he has earned a that freedom.

    (Yes, I just compared Dave Boling to Jim Murray whom I was lucky enough to work with back in the 80’s).

    Please respect the great stories he shares. He is the true treasure of this blog….

  19. BigShermyPerm says:

    yes, Dave does not run the Hawks’ blog. Any contribution is appreciated.

  20. GeorgiaHawk says:

    M-Rob making his rounds-

  21. Dave Boling says:

    Thanks, folks, appreciate the appreciation! Sandpoint, worked with Jim Murray, eh? That’s very cool. So respected him for his work, but really, really admired the way he handled himself … so humble and respectful — even though he could rip somebody’s guts out in just a few lines if he felt the need.

    Yes, I’m kinda jumping in to help out as we sort through some manpower stuff. I like to toss in some historical perspective and commentary from time to time when I can. And, Mac, yeah, I get the same conditioned response this time of year as you do. I’ve played, coached or covered football since I was a tot, so this time of year gets me a little worked up.

    Eager to hear if anybody went to the Sherman softball game and how it turned out. Help us out and file a report here. Hopefully no sprained ankles or anything.

  22. Dave, I know I appreciate every time you show up here and I definitely enjoy reading your work. I don’t comment on here much anymore but I am always around. If we get a little bit more of you until the manpower situation is figured out then that’s just bonus points for us! Go Dave! Go Hawks!!!

  23. Mo-Johnny on the spot! Thanks for the link…

    Dave Boling–I really appreciate the anecdotes etc from past regimes that you dole out occasionally–never enough! I started watching the Hawks in 1983, but I don’t count till the following year because it took me awhile to figure out why you would go for a field goal!

  24. BigShermyPerm says:

    Millennials are actually people that became adults around the year 2000. The generation is also referred to as Generation Y. There are no exact dates, but it is people born between approximately 1982 and 2000. It is the largest demographic in America.

  25. jawpeace says:

    Don’t like how the NFL’s plan targeting the Hawks D. By hitting physical defenders with more penalties. I guess that is what happens when you destroy their golden child at the Super Bowl in front of the world.

  26. chkn_liddle says:

    I stand corrected. I call ‘em all whippersnappers anyway.

  27. Anyone who can make Cheney references garners interest from me stat. I loved that era, from Zorn to the last year. I used to take some of my corporate vacation time just for camp and when it came time to take an early retirement at 50 I just drooled at having all the time in the world to drive six miles to camp every day.

    So many stories to relate that I might just write a book on it someday.

  28. Woofu,
    I lived 9 miles away on Salnave Rd. Where did you live?

  29. woofu–Im sure everyone on this blog at least would love to read your book! You should write your experiences up, even if you dont intend to publish–your family and friends and us fans would love if you made a blog and posted anecdotes every week!

    Think about it…

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