L.J. Collier primed for bigger role for Seahawks after sparse first season

photo courtesy Seattle Seahawks

L.J. Collier, the first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2019, is set to see a much larger role with the team this season after a disappointing rookie campaign.

Collier has dropped weight this season and was listed as a starter at defensive end on the team’s unofficial depth chart this week after playing just 152 total defensive snaps in 11 games last year for Seattle.

“Really good growth,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said of Collier on Wednesday. “He’s come a long way. He understands the way we practice, he understands the scheme. Understands what his role is in the defense and what his responsibilities are. So I think he’s really going to take a lot of steps.”

Collier suffered a bad high-ankle sprain in the first week of training camp last year that served as a major setback. It forced him to miss the season opener and he was inactive for three of the first five games of the season. He ended up with just three tackles on the year as he saw double-digit snaps in just five of 11 games played.

“I’m one hell of a football player and I’m going to show that this year,” Collier vowed back in the spring.

Collier is down from the 291 pounds he was listed at last season and is now in the 270’s, which is closer to his college playing weight at TCU.

“He’s been quick. He’s moved really well. He’s been on top of his assignments,” defensive line coach Clint Hurtt said. “There’s still a youthfulness to him because he didn’t play a lot of ball last year. … He’s taken a lot of good steps.

Collier will likely rotate at the spot with former second-round pick and last year’s team sack leader Rasheem Green. Both players are also capable of moving inside to rush from the tackle spots in sub-packages as well.

“The competition continues,” Norton said. “Obviously you will see them both on game day. But at the same time, we are strong there because we have two really good football players. … There’s no question we are going to be pretty good there because both of those guys are pretty good.”

6 responses to “L.J. Collier primed for bigger role for Seahawks after sparse first season

  1. God the fact this guy is a starter after how disappointing he’s been thus far shows you just how bad the Seahawks Defensive line is . Pro Football Focus ranks them the worst 32nd ranked D-Line for a reason, and their outside pass rush is even worse. They have no one at ILB outside of Bobby Wagner who now in his 30’s is slowing, KJ Wright’s knees are shot. That defense is going to get tore up this year.

  2. I am not a beleiver that an high ankle sprain at the start of pre-season can make a talented player non-factor all the way into the playoffs. That just feels like in excuse.

    I do hope that LJ Collier can produce, he probalby should have went in the 3rd round but Seattle picked him in the 1st. Even if he gets 5 sacks this d-line would need it.

    Saying at linebacker Seattle only has Bobby Wagner is wrong. They just drafted Wagner’s replacement this year in Brooks. He’S shown to be that guy. Seattle also had talented young players like Cody Barton.

  3. Pete Carroll can’t afford to spend the first 3 quarters of every game going 3 and out this year. The defense is going to give up a ton of points and the offense can’t afford to play it ultra conservative.

    Homers will try and say the d-line got better and that Bobby Wagner is still the best LB in the game. But, if we’re objective, Bobby took a huge step backward last year and he and KJ are just too old and slow. They’re not elite anymore. Brooks and Barton need to be ready to go and Pete needs to be ready to go to them. Secondary got better, sure, but if you can’t pressure the qb in the NFL, it doesn’t matter much. Pete needs to get creative and aggressive about getting to the qb this year or I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Seahawks miss the playoffs with a 8-8/9-7 season.

  4. They need good D because penny-pinching mode has the 4th best quarterback in the NFC West.

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