The starting right cornerback job is Quinton Dunbar’s if he wants it.
With Tre Flowers being held out Sunday “with a slightly sprained ankle,” Dunbar’s opportunity to take over the starting gig is wide open.
While Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said it was important for him to observe the film of Dunbar from Sunday's practice, he certainly praised the 28-year-old for his understanding and grasp of the game.
“This is a really, unique football player in Quinton Dunbar,” Carroll said. “He's got terrific awareness—he's got size and speed and all that kind of stuff, so he can do the things that we need our corners to do—but he has terrific awareness, very good spatial awareness and playmaking ability in a really good challenge attitude. I really like the way he plays. We don't have a lot of work done with him at this point, so we've got a couple more weeks and then the competition continues, but he has made nothing but positive steps towards playtime. I really like his savvy and awareness. So, it just helps us depth-wise, it makes us better."
Dunbar, who was traded to Seattle in March after five seasons with the Washington Football Team, got a late start to his tenure with the Seahawks.
He participated in the team’s virtual offseason program but was unable to join the Seahawks for practices or games after he was added to the Commissioner’s Exempt List following an incident at a cookout in Florida with DeAndre Baker of the New York Giants.
Ultimately, charges of armed robbery were dropped for Dunbar due to a lack of evidence and the former wide receiver turned quarterback was able to resume his career.
Dunbar said the legal scare was eye-opening.
"I had never been to jail, never been in trouble, never encountered the police for doing anything illegal," Dunbar said in August. "Now all of a sudden, when I make it this far, with everything I grew up wanting, I just put it out there on the line for something silly like that."
While Carroll admits Dunbar’s late report did set him back “some,” it helped that Dunbar spent some time with former Seahawks Super Bowl safety Marquand Manuel, one of Carroll’s former defensive backs coaches.
Because Dunbar had implemented many of the Seahawks’ techniques into his own game, including the step-kick technique, he had already grasped many of Carroll’s cornerback requirements.
“It’s accelerated his sense of comfort with us and understanding what we are doing and all that,” Carroll said Sunday. “It just works in our favor.”
Now that Dunbar’s name is cleared and incumbent starter Flowers is sidelined with an ankle sprain, the door is wide open for Dunbar to show Seattle why he is the best player for the job.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Evan Silva].