RENTON – Aaron Curry watched from the sideline more than he played on the field last week against Chicago.
The No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft, Curry signed a six-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks that included $34 million guaranteed. His role Sunday in Chicago was to play about one-third of Seattle’s 59 snaps on defense against the Bears.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said because Chicago threw the ball so much, he chose to go with defensive packages that included more safeties on the field, and Chris Clemons and Raheem Brock are the team’s two main edge rushers in passing situations.
However, even though Curry did not play much against Chicago, Carroll said overall he has been pleased with the Wake Forest product’s performance.
“He’s working at it,” Carroll said. “He has great skill, is really strong, really explosive and long and has all of the right elements. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. “Fortunately for us, Raheem is a good edge rusher as well, as is Clem (Clemons), and so we have three guys that we really like. So we can keep those guys rotating through and utilize them. We’ll continue to do that.”
Now in his second season, Curry has a more defined role this year as a run stuffer on the strong side playing next to defensive end Red Bryant, and a part-time edge rusher in passing situations.
Curry’s stats are nothing to brag about. He’s 11th on the team in tackles with 15, got his first sack of the year against Chicago last week and has three quarterback hurries.
However, stats don’t show the full impact of Curry’s play so far.
As the outside linebacker on the strong side, Curry plays a key role in holding the line of scrimmage against the tight end and bottling up runs on the perimeter, along with Bryant. And Curry has played a pivotal role in the Seahawks being ranked No. 2 in run defense, giving up just 70 yards a game.
“I’m enjoying my role in the scheme and I’m just playing full speed,” Curry said. “They’re using me a lot of different ways, I really can’t pinpoint, but I do a lot of different stuff. I just go out and do what they ask me to do, whatever plays there are for me to make, I make them.”
Carroll expects Curry to play more this weekend because Arizona focuses on running the ball.
“He’ll have a huge role in this game because they run the ball right at those guys,” Carroll said. “So I think he’s doing really well. He’s healthy and complementing the linebacker corps and working well with Kenny (linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr.) and all that kind of stuff. I think it’s going great.”
HASSELBECK ON SOUTH PARK
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck had a brief cameo appearance on the animated TV show South Park on Thursday. Hasselbeck said he didn’t know he was going to be on, but his phone started buzzing right after the show aired.
“That’s all I’ve been hearing about today,” he said. “People have outed themselves. People that I thought were real professionals – you know, marketing people, finance people, accounting and some media people – it’s kind of surprised me.
“It was an honor to be on the show. Any time a Sea-hawk is on a national show, it’s an honor. Maybe ‘The Simpsons’ will call next. That would be huge.”
Offensive lineman Chester Pitts (knee) practiced on consecutive days for the first time leading up to a game in the regular season. He looks to be on target to play Sunday for the first time this season. He had microfracture knee surgery just over a year ago. Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (calf) did not practice for a second straight day and is uncertain for Sunday’s contest against Arizona. Cornerback Kelly Jennings (hamstring) did not practice for a second straight day and is questionable for this week’s game. Defensive end Dexter Davis (hamstring) was a limited participant in practice Thursday.