- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 5, 2013

There are plenty of questions about Seattle Seahawks cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.

Browner is coming off a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, and Sherman won his appeal so he wouldn’t have to miss time.

But one thing the Washington Redskins and all opponents know about them.

“They’re really tall,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I just think you can say it again because they’re really tall. They’re really long.”

Seattle’s cornerbacks present of the biggest challenges for the Redskins on Sunday in their NFC wild card game against the Seahawks, from Robert Griffin III to his receivers.

“They’re very good at jamming guys. They’re very physical. They try to beat you up all the way down the field,” offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said. “They compete in the run and the pass game. They have a lot of confidence in them.”

It’s justified. Browner, at 6-foot-4 and 221 pounds, and Sherman at 6-3 and 195, are part of a potent secondary and the top scoring defense in the NFL.

“Both guys have a real knack for the position as well. They’re not just tall guys out there playing. They both have a style and they’re different, but they have a style that allows them to be aggressive and a factor on players they play against,” Carroll said. “They both ball-hawk and can catch the football well. They both run real well. We’ve just been fortunate. We lucked out that we found both those guys in the same lifetime and they can play together.”

The Redskins may have lucked out by playing the Seahawks last season. But the receivers, other than Santana Moss, are different this time around.

Pierre Garcon and Joshua Morgan are starting now, and Leonard Hankerson has an increased role. Those guys aren’t concerned about going up against Browner and Sherman.

“We’re not worried about them guys. We’re worried about us going out there and being on the same page, us doing what we got to do, us making plays,” Hankerson said. “I don’t think it do because you’re doing the same thing you would do against any other cornerback. Win against your [isolation], breaking him off, getting open, running routes and catching the football. I don’t see it being different or an advantage for us or an advantage for them.”

The Redskins‘ receivers recognize the size they’re dealing with in Seattle’s secondary, and tight end Niles Paul was quick to praise safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, both of whom he played against in college.
But there is one advantage Washington has.

“We do got a lot of speed,” Garcon said. “Hopefully, we can put it on tape on Sunday.”

From what Redskins players and coaches have seen on tape of the Seahawks, Browner and Sherman aren’t just big.

“They’re just aggressive,” Paul said. “They’re one of the more aggressive secondaries in the league and they make plays. They come up in your face and they hit you.”

That’s less of an issue for Garcon and Hankerson than for a smaller receiver like Moss. But the veteran brushed off concern about facing Browner and Sherman.

“Every week somebody’s going to be aggressive to you. We know those guys are aggressive, so you’ve got to go out there and be ready for it,” Moss said. “At the end of the day you’ve got to go out there and play football. You’ve got to find a way to win.”

It’s a concern for Griffin, too. The rookie quarterback threw only five interceptions this season; Browner and Sherman have combined for 11.

“They’ll be tall, rangy guys. There’s some throws that you throw that maybe a normal, 6-foot corner might not get to, but because these guys are so tall, they can get to those balls,” Griffin said. “You just have to be aware of that. Watch the film, see how they play. Then, after that, just go out there and try to execute.”

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