The addition of Jahri Evans to Seattle’s line is both exciting and confusing — exciting because the Hawks are adding a highly decorated veteran and confusing because Evans plays the position where the Seahawks appear most set.
Mark Glowinski and Germain Ifedi have received glowing praise from Tom Cable and Pete Carroll, leading everyone to believe they will be starting at the guard spots when the season starts. Along with Garry Gilliam at left tackle, those positions looked like the only ones where the Hawks had figured it out.
But the addition of Evans, a six-time Pro Bowl right guard, certainly bolsters the competition there — assuming he is healthy and able to play at age 33.
“He’s not been told he’s the starter or anything like that,” Pete Carroll said. “He’s been brought in to compete; (we’re) hoping he’ll add to the level of our play.
“Right now he’s competing for playing time. To have a guy like that, with that kind of experience to mix with our group, I think we’re very fortunate. This is a guy that has done everything you can do in the game and we’re thrilled he wants to come play with us. We’re happy to have him.”
Worst case, Evans will be great depth at both guard spots. And, if he’s as good as he thinks he still is, he could end up starting.
Of course, that would mean Glowinski or Ifedi — or both — would have to move. In that case, the options would be to move Ifedi to right tackle or use Glowinski or Evans at center or bench Glowinski. None of those options are being considered at this point, although Carroll said Ifedi will get some time at right tackle before camp ends.
“That may come up here down the road a little bit, but not right now,” Carroll said. “We want to really dig in on right guard. We certainly know that he can (play tackle); we just don’t want to confuse the issue right now. We want to get him to focus; but, before camp is over, he’ll play some right tackle for us.”
As Cable said, it comes down to the Hawks finding their best five guys and then finding spots for them. In that case, it might end up being as simple as measuring Evans vs. J’Marcus Webb. If Webb can’t pick up the zone blocking scheme, it could open the door to a line comprised of Gilliam, Glowinski, Britt/Lewis, Evans and Ifedi.
If Webb or maybe Terry Poole ends up being the best option at right tackle, the Hawks would need to evaluate the middle of their line. Carroll likes the way Britt, Glowinski and Ifedi have been working, but if Britt struggles at center, perhaps Glow or Evans moves into that spot.
As usual, the coaches don’t know what they want to do yet. They’re just messing around with different combinations. Evans creates yet another one — which is both exciting and confusing.
“We have really high hopes that it’s going to come along,” Carroll said. “We need it to come along quickly; that’s what we would like to get done. And I really think it’s going to happen.”