Originally written on Oregon Sports News  |  Last updated 11/16/14
When discussing the strengths of the Seattle Seahawks, the secondary has to be towards the top of the list. This is undoubtedly one of the most loaded line-ups of defensive backs in the NFL. So loaded, in fact, that free-agent acquisition Antoine Winfield opted for retirement when it became clear that he would be cut in favor of 2010 draft pick Walter Thurmond. In a defensive backfield that includes household names such as Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner and Earl Thomas, Thurmond is a relatively unproven name as the slot corner. However, he’s looked good in preseason and if he can keep up his high-level play, he should become another viable contributor. Thurmond has put together quite the preseason highlight reel, including a one-handed interception against the Raiders, a 46-yard punt return against the Chargers and a fumble recovery against the Packers. The fourth-year corner has always had big-time potential but has struggled with injuries. Now that he’s finally healthy, the Seahawks fans have yet another high-caliber weapon to use in shutting down opposing receivers. His punt-returning abilities add yet another intriguing element to his versatile skill-set. He’s set to share those duties this season with Golden Tate. Keep an eye on the University of Oregon product as the Seahawks season gets under way. The decision to go with Thurmond over Winfield seems logical but is nonetheless interesting. Winfield is 36 and has been in the league for 14 seasons and has earned his reputation as one of the most solid corners in the NFL. However, it seems as though age has finally caught up with him. Winfield made his name as a member of the Minnesota Vikings where he was a three-time Pro Bowler. This marks another example of the Seahawks going in a more youthful direction. Popular fullback Michael Robinson, a former Pro Bowler himself, was cut in a move that some may find surprising. Tough as it may be, it makes sense when you consider that the Seahawks have promising young fullback Derrick Coleman ready to take over the starting spot. The always entertaining Richard Sherman should be in full force as well as the season gets underway. Often lost in all his trash-talk and bravado is the fact that Sherman is one of the premier cover-corners in the game right now. Humility has never been his strong suit though. Sherman got into it on Twitter earlier this year with Bucs corner Darrelle Revis, essentially saying that he was already a better corner than Revis in only his 2nd season. This is, of course, a bold statement considering that Revis has widely been considered the best cornerback in football for the last few years. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see if Sherman can back up his words on the field. I, for one, honestly don’t mind the trash talk. Sports are, after all, entertainment and it’s never boring with Sherman. I know some purists probably don’t like it but if that’s what it takes to get the Sherminator going then so be it. Feel free to disagree with me on that, but either way we’ll see soon enough if the self-imposed hype is warranted. Sherman had 8 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 64 tackles and a sack last season. Rounding out the crew will be Browner, Thomas and Kam Chancellor, all of whom are proven, Pro Bowl caliber players. The loaded secondary is set to combine with what should also be a lethal pass rush up front, led by Chris Clemons, Bruce Irvin and free agent pick-up Cliff Avril. Clemons is coming off an ACL tear and won’t play when the season opens against the Panthers. However, his return at any point during the year should be a boost to what is a supremely talented all-around unit that finished in the top 10 in every major statistical defensive category last season. With the development of Russell Wilson and what should be reliable production from All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks fans understandably have some sky high expectations. Whether all of this anticipation will pan out obviously remains to be seen. When does the season start again?

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over


John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Josh Gordon felt alienated by some in Browns organization

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks about Eminem referencing her

WATCH: Dwayne Harris dirty hit on Nolan Carroll sparks fight

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.