In one swell foop Thursday, the Seahawks reset their offensive line for 2019 — bringing back D.J. Fluker and swapping in Mike Iupati for J.R. Sweezy (basically a trade with Arizona).
The Hawks now have four former first-round picks and one second-rounder as their line starters. You can hardly get better draft pedigree than that.
They also will return four starters to the line that led the league’s top rushing attack in 2018. They just have to hope Fluker and Iupati can stay healthy for Mike Solari — or at least combine with Jordan Simmons to put together 32 man-games at the guard spots in 2019.
Then John Schneider needs to work up a plan for beyond next season.
Continue reading 2019 line set, but what about the future?
Three years ago, the Seahawks basically traded Paxton Lynch to the highest bidder, which brought them an extra third-round pick in the draft. And now, after the quarterback flamed out in Denver, the Hawks have Lynch, too.
Maybe they just missed having a guy named Lynch on their team.
Continue reading Three years after draft deal, Hawks add Lynch
Some — maybe even many — people thought the Seahawks screwed up by not drafting an offensive lineman before the late fifth round last weekend.
Sure, they could have selected Austin Corbett or Will Hernandez instead of Rashaad Penny with their first pick (after trading down, of course). But the Seahawks have put a lot of resources into the line over the past couple of years, and Pete Carroll obviously is betting Mike Solari will do a much better job with that talent than Tom Cable did.
Carroll is expecting Solari to boost the Hawks out of a two-year funk that has seen them rank second only to Detroit in fewest rushing yards by non-quarterbacks. (Russell Wilson’s 845 yards raise Seattle to 11th worst.)
Continue reading Hawks should have what they need for the O-line
As the Seahawks undergo the biggest roster reshuffle since Pete Carroll and John Schneider arrived in 2010, some are making the mistake of calling this the most important draft in the Schneider/Carroll era.
The simple fact is the last two drafts were more significant.
Every draft is important, but the Seahawks (with no picks on Day 2) are not set up for success in this one like they were in 2016 and 2017, when they had 11 picks in the first two days. Those players should be a big part of the team’s core in 2018-19. They need to come through this year — something Schneider has said more than once.
Continue reading Last two drafts were bigger than this one
Tom Cable’s offensive line failed because it was passive and predictable and did not use the players’ skills as well as it should have, and the lack of creativity by Cable and Darrell Bevell made it easy for defenses to beat Seattle — according to some great analysis by former Seattle first-round tackle Ray Roberts on 710 ESPN.
Roberts confirmed what we have said for a long time: Cable’s zone scheme has not worked partly because the Seahawks have not incorporated enough pre-snap motion. There has been almost no misdirection to make defenses wonder what is coming.
“There’s no other thing for linebackers or defenders to read,” Roberts said of the running game. “They know exactly where it’s going and they can come right downhill and defend it.”
Continue reading O-line expert: Cable & Bevell were passive, predictable
As Luke Joeckel returns to Jacksonville to face the team that made him the No. 2 pick in the 2013 draft, the Seahawks finally have put together a quintet of blockers that could carry them the rest of this season — and perhaps for the next few.
The crew of (from left) Duane Brown, Joeckel, Justin Britt, Ethan Pocic and Germain Ifedi looks like the best Seattle has had in two seasons. It should be, based on draft pedigree — Brown, Joeckel and Ifedi were first-round picks and Britt and Pocic second-rounders.
Continue reading Hawks finally found their five O-linemen
Talking about it is tiresome, but it’s really the only thing hindering the Seahawks from winning another Super Bowl, so, until the Seahawks fix their offensive line, it will remain the topic du jour.
People can talk all they want about Kam Chancellor’s 2015 holdout or Earl Thomas’ 2016 injury being major factors in the Seahawks not advancing far in the playoffs those years. But the simple fact is: If the Hawks’ offensive line had been anywhere close to average in those seasons, the Hawks would have had a great shot at winning the Super Bowl — even with the issues in the secondary.
So now here we are again, coming off a significant opening loss to one of Seattle’s top NFC rivals, and the offensive line remains the biggest hindrance to Seattle’s success. And we have no idea if it will become any good, despite the insistence of Pete Carroll and Tom Cable that it will.
Continue reading When will Hawks’ O-line investments pay off?
Pete Carroll isn’t ready to move Luke Joeckel to left tackle yet — he is holding out hope that Rees Odhiambo will play with confidence and consistency, letting his physical talent take over.
In the wake of George Fant’s season-ending ACL injury, Carroll indicated Monday that Odhiambo will get first crack at replacing Fant, Joeckel will remain at left guard and Mark Glowinski will remain at right guard.
The Seahawks also traded for versatile lineman Matt Tobin, who started 20 games at guard for the Eagles since coming into the league undrafted in 2013. Tobin started for the Eagles at right tackle last weekend, and the Seahawks surely see him as a versatile backup.
Continue reading Carroll hopes Odhiambo can hold left tackle
We learned a lot about the Seahawks’ offensive line over the past couple of days — and we’ll learn a little more tonight when the Hawks host the Minnesota Vikings.
On Wednesday, Tom Cable announced that three-fifths of the line is set for the season opener, and Thursday the team announced that one of those three is set for the next four seasons — Justin Britt signing a three-year, $27 million extension.
It’s the only second deal for a Seattle starting lineman since 2012, when the team re-signed Breno Giacomini and extended Max Unger. As everyone knows, those two and the rest of the 2013 Super Bowl line were all gone by 2016 — none of them meriting what the market dictated the Hawks would have to pay.
His first two years, it certainly didn’t look like Britt would buck that trend. But he found a home at center last year and benefitted from the departure of J.R. Sweezy, becoming a technician rather than a Sweezy-style brawler.
“He has been a fantastic leader for us up there,” Pete Carroll said. “He had an excellent (2016) season and (has) played three spots and started at tackle, guard and center now. We really think he is in the best spot for him. I think it’s a recognition and acknowledgement of the player and teammate he has become for us.
“And also the fact that we are able to do it in the offensive line — I think it is important to note.”
Continue reading Will any other O-linemen be as worthy as Britt?
Malik McDowell seems unlikely to play this season, although the injuries from his ATV accident do not seem to be career-threatening — per several reports.
Pete Carroll said McDowell suffered “multiple injuries,” including a concussion but no cracked skull, and is still only walking, not exerting himself physically. He has returned home to Michigan.
“He had a serious accident. He had multiple injuries; he had the injury to his head,” Carroll said. “It’s going to be quite a while, and we’re going to have to wait it out. He’s on NFI and he’s going to be there for a while, and we’re just going to have to see how he progresses really down the road. We’re not looking for him to get back in the immediate (future), not even for the first game of the season. … We’re going to wait it out and see how he does.”
Asked later on KJR whether McDowell will play this year, Carroll said, “It might be a lot to ask right now.”
Continue reading McDowell out for 2017?