Friday, November 9, 2012

Sanchez: Hawks DBs 'probably most physical in NFL'


Lack of physicality by the New York Jets two weeks ago resulted in a major-league beating at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. If Gang Green is that soft this week, things could get much uglier.

The Jets travel to Seattle Sunday to face a Seahawks defense that pulls no punches.

"Great edge pass rushers, they're tough in the middle as well, great front seven, and then their back end, safeties and corners, probably the most physical in the league," Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez told the media Wednesday, via "Some of the toughest guys we'll play. Great speed, good ball skills. They find the ball in the air."

Seattle's defensive backs are certainly physical, and they have the size to go with it. Six-foot-3 cornerback Richard Sherman and 6-foot-4 cornerback Brandon Browner each have three interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles. (photo: Joint Base Lewis McChord, Flickr)

Sherman has recorded 11 passes defensed, and Browner has six. Safety Earl Thomas has two interceptions and a forced fumble with seven passes defensed.

The Seahawks' defense has sacked opposing quarterbacks 25 times this season, with Chris Clemons leading the pass rush with seven quarterback takedowns. Bruce Irvin has five. Five other Seahawks defensive players have more than one sack.

"This is one of the best groups we’ll play all year," Sanchez said. "They’re a sound, disciplined team. That’s no surprise with their head coach [Pete Carroll]. It’s going to be good for us."

Only three teams have totaled more penalty yards on defense than Seattle, so while the Seahawks are disciplined assignment-wise, their aggressiveness sometimes costs them.

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