Seahawks CB Tariq Woolen Reveals 'Enormous Advantage' as Rookie Playmaker – Sports Illustrated

The Seattle Seahawks defense has been historically bad this season. Seattle has given up an average of 30.8 points per game over the first five weeks, while wasting an MVP-effort campaign from quarterback Geno Smith. 
Nonetheless, amidst the mediocrity, Seahawks rookie corner back Tariq Woolen has shined through.
Woolen has three interceptions over the first five games, while allowing the lowest passer rating among all rookies
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll cites Woolen's previous history playing wideout in college as a large reason for his success.
“It’s an enormous advantage," Carroll explained. "If you’ve run a bunch of routes in your lifetime and you know what the rhythms are making the breaks and what it takes to get down and get out of your stem of the route … All of the offensive background that you have that gives you maybe a hint of what is going on, that’s the difference."
Carroll says he noticed this "enormous advantage" early on in Woolen.
"I noticed it in Tariq early in camp," Carroll said. "He had a couple stems that came off routes and he went and covered the route. I went immediately (to him) ‘What happened out there?’ … (He said), ‘I knew he was running this route.’
"That’s what some guys use to their advantage."
Woolen played at receiver his first three seasons with the UTSA Roadrunners in college before switching to cornerback as a junior. Now, Woolen is using that experience to make plays on the ball as a defensive back.
"When you find a guy like that, that’s a guy that has a chance to be a playmaker," said Carroll. "And so, we are learning about Tariq right now. He’s doing some pretty good stuff.”
"Some pretty good stuff" indeed, as Woolen is now making his case for AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. As the group readies for Sunday's Week 6 test from Kyler Murray's Cardinals, the Seattle defense may be a mess, but at least it has seemingly found a cornerback of the future with Woolen.
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