There will be a familiar name on the other sideline Sunday when the Seahawks face the Falcons in Atlanta — Trufant, as in Atlanta rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant.
The younger brother of Marcus, Desmond was a first-round pick by the Falcons out of Washington and has so far lived up the billing, starting all eight games and marking himself as a foundation of the Atlanta defense for years to come.
I wrote about Trufant for our Thursday paper, including some thoughts from Seattle receiver Jermaine Kearse, a teammate at UW.
Here, also, are some more detailed quotes from Atlanta coach Mike Smith about Trufant:
On his rookie season: “Desmond has a great skillset athletically, but the thing that I’ve been most impressed with is that he’s probably the most mature rookie that I’ve been around. I think having two older brothers that have played in the NFL he’s had an opportunity to visit with them and know what to expect. He loves to compete, he doesn’t back down form anyone, and that’s what you want to have in a cornerback, and he’s a very physical player as well. he’s played well for us to come in here as a rookie and basically from day one start as our right corner speaks volumes of his talent. He’s just going to continue to get better and better.”
On Trufant being matched up with Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Smith the last two weeks: “It’s just the way that it came out formation wise in terms of where he lines up. He lines up as our right corner in our base defense, and he’ll play some nickel corner and it just so happen that both Larry and Steve were moved around so they got matched up there sometimes on the right side for us. As the nickel corner he lines up inside and both Larry and Steve had some snaps where they lined up as the slot receiver. We’re very confident in Desmond, I think he’s had a very good season for us, and he’s done a very nice job because we had to play some other rookies on the defensive side of the ball, and he’s kind of the leader of that group because he was really the first one that was playing a significant amount of time. I think he’s helped those other guys, Robert Alford, Joplo Bartu, Paul Worrilow, and our two defensive linemen Stansly Maponga and Malliciah Goodman. We have a number of guys that are rookies that have had to contribute, and I think Desmond has done a nice job leading that group.”
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— Make sure to listen to KJR-AM Thursday at 8 a.m. for the 12th Man Roundtable featuring yours truly, Hugh Millen, Dave Boling and Mitch Levy;
— Here are ESPN.com’s mid-season grades;
— Seahawks.com with more on Kearse/Trufant;
— Here’s a preview from CBSSports.com;
— Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wonders how much of the Falcons’ issues fall on Matt Ryan;
— Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon has returned to practice;
— Here’s a full Atlanta injury report;
— The AJC also has mid-season grades for the Falcons;
— Washington Post columnist Tom Boswell says the NFL has a reality problem;
— Finally, here’s some video of Kearse talking about his relationship with Trufant:
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