While many fans are calling loudly for the Seahawks to buy an expensive cup o’ Joe to jolt their left tackle spot, the simple fact is the Seahawks chose to go decaffeinated on the offensive line, and they are very unlikely to brew a new pot now.
In other words, don’t expect them to mess up their 2017 salary cap and draft by trading for Joe Thomas or Joe Staley.
Instead, expect them to see whether undrafted rookie George Fant can become the next Jason Peters — now. It took Peters, also an undrafted college tight end, three years to become a standout left tackle in the NFL. The Seahawks would settle for half the accomplishment in a third the time.
Fant stepped in for the injured (and vastly struggling) Bradley Sowell midway through the fourth quarter Sunday in Arizona and played OK. He got beat a few times by Chandler Jones and was called for a hold, but it was no worse than Sowell had done. And the former basketball player clearly is much more agile than the lumbering Sowell, who will miss a few weeks with a sprained knee.
“We’ve been counting on young George to jump up one of these times — we didn’t know when it was going to be — and he did an admirable job for his first time ever,” Pete Carroll said.
“He got a little bit overanxious,” Carroll told 710 ESPN. “He’s a really gifted athlete and there’s times when he kind of lunged at some guys and got overanxious and stuff. Missed on a (defensive stunt) one time and got knocked back a couple times. But then he settled in pretty good. He’s strong, he’s quick, he gets it, he’s really competitive. … He is a terrific prospect. Let’s see if we can bring him to life right now.”
Carroll also said the Seahawks have “some choices” — J’Marcus Webb and Garry Gilliam both have played left tackle. Carroll said John Schneider is already on the lookout for help, but the coach waved off any idea of making an impactful acquisition.
“We’ll see how that works out, but I don’t think there’s a guy out there that’s going to come flying in here,” Carroll said. “Now if there is, John will figure it out. He’s already all over it.
“He’ll figure out if there’s something we can do, but we have never not been looking for another player at every position. So we’re always looking. That’s the way we do it. So, when something happens, we have a backlog of guys that we’ve worked out and things that we’ve looked at and the options that are there. But right now, this is the most difficult time to find a player that’s just sitting there, so it’s not likely.
“We’ll see what happens at the left tackle spot,” he said, “but George is going to improve tremendously as we move through the next few weeks.”