To put it bluntly, new Seahawks offensive line coach Mike Solari has his work cut out for him.
“I’m quite sure that the idea is for them to help them get the run game back,” Gee Scott told John Clayton on Thursday’s edition of Behind the Lines. “Now it’s a matter of can you put things back together on a fundamental basis and get the most out of all the guys.”
Scott and Clayton ran through the players on the Seahawks’ offensive line and discussed what the position group could look like in the future.
“Ethan Pocic made the all-rookie team as an offensive lineman,” Scott said. “Everything that I’m hearing, folks at the building are saying that Ethan Pocic is really the future.”
Pocic finished the 2017 season at right guard. But according to Clayton, Pocic could play left guard or even right tackle next season.
“That’s his versatility. How would he fit at the right tackle position? Remember, that’s where he first started out in training camp,” Clayton said.
A first-round pick in 2016, Ifedi played right guard in his first season and right tackle in 2017.
“Germain Ifedi should have never been at right tackle. They should have just kept him at right guard since he already played one year,” Scott said.
Ifedi could move back to right guard next season, taking over for Pocic, whose skillset makes him more adaptable across the line.
Justin Britt, Seattle’s center, didn’t finish the season quite as strongly as he started.
“Can he be better?” Scott asked.
“Absolutely,” Clayton replied. “He’s a second-round pick. And he’s played three different positions. Out of the blue, when nobody expected it, nobody was paying attention, he’s a third alternate in the 2017 Pro Bowl. People recognized there was something there.”
The Seahawks acquired left tackle Duane Brown from the Houston Texans in the middle of the 2017 season. One issue with Brown is his contract, which currently pays him about $9 million in the upcoming year. Brown will be a free agent in 2019, but Clayton said he thinks the Seahawks could extend him with a contract similar to the ones they gave Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett. Basically, more money up front with fewer years overall.
“He’s a good enough player, Pro Bowl-caliber tackle. And I think you can see he offers good leadership,” Clayton said.
Fant’s future is a little unclear. An undrafted rookie, he started 10 games at left tackle for the Seahawks in 2016. Then he tore his ACL in August 2017 and didn’t play another snap.
“First he has to come off the injury. He’s going to be more of a swing type of tackle,” Clayton said. “Everything with him is new. Remember, he was a tight end (in his one year playing football in college) and he comes up and he has to start eight games at left tackle.”
Now that Duane Brown is holding down the left tackle spot, it’s likely Fant will move back to the right side of the line.
“That might be tough for him to go from left to right. But to be able to play, that’s what he needs to do,” Clayton said.