McCray, Lane and Burley earning their stripes in the Seahawks secondary

Lost a bit in the brilliance of the Seahawks offense in recent weeks has been the much improved play in the secondary, which continued Sunday with reserves Kelcie McCray, Jeremy Lane and Marcus Burley drawing rave reviews from Pete Carroll.

Prior to Sunday's 30-13 win over the Cleveland Browns, much of the attention on the Seahawks secondary was focused on strong safety Kelcie McCray, who was making his first career start in place of injured Pro Bowler Kam Chancellor.

McCray played quite well in Chancellor's absence, leading the Seahawks in both total tackles (eight) and solo stops (five).

It was the play at cornerback rather than safety, however, which had Pete Carroll excited after reviewing the tape. 

Marcus Burley had the splashiest game of his young NFL career against the Browns, recording a sack and an interception. Pressed into a starting role with an ankle sprain limiting DeShawn SheadJeremy Lane nearly had an interception of his own and provided impressive coverage on a variety of Cleveland's receivers, including the speedy Travis Benjamin, who was limited to just three catches (of five targets) for a total of 26 yards Sunday.

Playing on the perimeter was something relatively new to Lane with the Seahawks and given that he only returned a few weeks ago from the fractured arm and ACL tear suffered in February's Super Bowl, his play was all the more impressive.

"He did a good job, was very consistent in his coverage," Carroll said when asked Monday to assess Lane's performance. "Looked quick, technique-wise was really solid. Stayed on top really well, covered guys throughout. Had that one chance where their guy knocked the ball away from him, but he did a good job. Tackling could be a little bit better, but all in all he did a very good job for us."

Carroll was sure to check up on how Lane felt following the game.

"I think so," Carroll said when asked if Lane is all the way back from his injuries. "After the game, I visited with him, what was the impact of all the plays. He said he felt great, felt fine, he handled it well so that was a good sign. Endurance-wise, he's in good shape. He can go. Usually with these guys that have an ACL, they're better the next year. They're at their very best the next year and he looks fine, he doesn't look to show any signs at all. Now that he's had enough time, it's like preseason is over for him so he's ready to go."

With Chancellor and Shead healing as expected and both Lane and Burley stepping up their play opposite All-Pros Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, Seattle's secondary could be rounding into form just as the post-season is approaching.


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