Jeremy Lane is the front runner to start opposite Richard Sherman at cornerback on Week 1 with incumbent starter DeShawn Shead likely still rehabbing from a torn ACL and meniscus. Defensive Coordinator Kris Richard has confirmed this preference.
But Lane was a weak link in the secondary for the Seahawks last season, drawing criticism from Pete Carroll at times. He was found mostly covering slot receivers by season’s end.
The Seahawks added plenty of depth in the secondary during the NFL Draft. Third round pick Shaquill Griffin will challenge Lane for that second corner spot, as will the recently signed Neiko Thorpe. For Lane to fend off these challengers, he’ll have to show he can use his 6′, 190-pound frame to effectively press receivers in practice and throw them off their timing.
Sherman is celebrated for his ability to throw off the timing of routes, bait the quarterback into making ill-advised throws, and coming up in the run game. Perhaps what irked Carroll and Richard last season about Lane was his relative reluctance to come up and hit running backs. He was also exposed in coverage all too often last season as well.
Lane is a six-year veteran who has been effective in his career. Whether he fends off youngsters like Griffin and possibly even sixth-round draft pick Mike Tyson will depend on his changing his coaches’ perceptions (fair or unfair) of him.
He can help prove the doubters wrong by shutting down wide receivers like….