Clowney Expects to Make his Seahawks Debut in Week 1
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Jadeveon Clowney spent Monday exactly where he wanted to end up.
He was no longer in Houston. He was in Seattle, the place former teammate Duane Brown helped convince him would be the best landing spot for the pass rusher.
Clowney had successfully taken back control of his career, and combined with some deft maneuvering by the Seahawks, found a new place to call home.
"I'm glad it's over, the whole process of being traded and everything," Clowney said. "I'm glad I can be a part of this team here now and get going on a new journey."
Clowney went through his first practice in Seattle on Monday, two days after the agreement was reached for his trade from the Texans. Clowney held out of training camp in Houston unhappy with his contract situation after the Texans used the franchise tag on him for the upcoming season.
Eventually his patience in staying away from the Texans paid off. He was sent to Seattle in exchange for a 2020 third-round pick, two players, and an agreement with the Seahawks they would not use the franchise tag on him after next season.
It may just turn out to be a one-year rental for the Seahawks, but still could be a win for all parties. Seattle landed the elite pass rusher it needed to help answer the biggest question for a team that should be a contender in the NFC. Clowney got the freedom to become a free agent after next season and decide if Seattle is where he wants to stay or see what else is available on the open market.
"His excitement about coming here and being part of this team and ready to take advantage of this opportunity to show where he belongs. He's not going to let this go by now," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "He wants to show us that we've got to have him here. That's thrilling for us to hear. We'll see what goes down in the long haul."
Despite missing all of training camp and preseason, Clowney said he expects to play in Sunday's season opener against Cincinnati. His first practice with Seattle was simply learning the basics of the defensive scheme, but Clowney believes his offseason conditioning and the work he did during his holdout should allow him to play in Week 1.
The Seahawks could end up with both of their new defensive ends being available. Ziggy Ansah returned to practice last week and is on track to be ready to go against the Bengals.
"Those guys are like bookends. They're exactly what you're looking for on the edge," Carroll said. "I'm hoping we'll be able to see these guys come together and be a factor and play off one another and complement each other."
Another important factor in Clowney landing in Seattle was Brown. The veteran offensive tackle's voice is respected inside the Seahawks facility, and it was his conversations with Carroll and other staff members that alleviated any concerns Seattle may have had about bringing Clowney to Seattle.
It also worked in the other direction, with Clowney asking Brown what Seattle was like.
"Without question Duane helped us through the process helping us know who we're dealing with, the player he used to practice against, and capabilities, potential, habits, background, family. I mean we really had a lot of insights because of Duane," Carroll said.
From a scheme standpoint, Clowney sounded thrilled to be no longer playing in a 3-4 defensive alignment. In Seattle's 4-3, he'll rarely — if ever — be asked to drop into coverage. Or as Clowney described, "when you're going forward, you don't think about a lot."
"That's the best thing about this defense is you've got guys behind you that can make all the plays," Clowney said. "So the guys up front just get moving and get going and cause havoc. That's what I like about this."
NOTES: Seattle continued to reshuffling its roster by re-signing WR Jaron Brown and FB Nick Bellore on Monday. The Seahawks placed TE Ed Dickson on injured reserve with a knee injury and released backup LB Austin Calitro. The move with Calitro was a surprise after he started five games last season and played multiple positions. But it was a spot where Seattle had a glut of players after keeping seven LBs on its initial 53-man roster, including rookies Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven, and Shaquem Griffin. ... Seattle finished off its 10-player practice squad by signing LB Jachai Polite, G Kyle Fuller, CB Ryan Neal and G Kahlil McKenzie. Polite was a third-round pick of the New York Jets, but was cut over the weekend.