Which Seahawks OL spot will they look to settle 1st in training camp?
The Seahawks’ offensive line has probably seen the most turnover from year to year of any position group in the time Pete Carroll has been the team’s head coach, and that certainly is the case in 2020.
The Seahawks have four-time Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown back for his fourth season protecting quarterback Russell Wilson’s blindside, but it’s a lot of open competition after the soon-to-be 35 year old.
Seattle signed five offensive linemen in free agency earlier this offseason – B.J. Finney, Brandon Shell, Cedric Ogbuehi, Chance Warmack and Kahlil McKenzie – and none are set in stone at a starting position. The Seahawks also used a third-round draft pick on Damien Lewis, who had a key role on LSU’s national championship team. They join veteran guard Mike Iupati, backup lineman Ethan Pocic, and Joey Hunt, who started at center in eight regular season games and another two in the playoffs last season.
Then there’s everybody Seattle has lost – center Justin Britt, who was released after suffering a season-ending ACL injury, and tackles Germain Ifedi and George Fant.
Where does all that leave the state of Seattle’s protection for Wilson?
“You don’t know where anyone’s going to play on this offensive line,” said Michael Bumpus, a former Seahawks wide receiver, on a recent edition of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant. “Your right guard might be your tackle, your tackle might be your right guard.”
So with all of those options and a number of open starting positions, which spot is where the most competition will take place going into the 2020 season?
“I’ve got to go with the other tackle,” Bumpus said, meaning the right tackle as opposed to Brown’s position. “I think they’re really going to try find a guy to play that spot and they’re going to rotate a bunch of guys in there at least initially during camp and during the preseason and even during the season. You’re going to see guys move around and switching spots.”
No matter who wins the competition at left tackle, there’s no guarantee that player will stick there for long. The one thing the Seahawks have always valued from their offensive linemen under Carroll is an ability to move around the various positions, and Bumpus doesn’t expect that to change this year.
“With this offensive line, you’ve seen over the last two or three years that you have to be versatile,” Bumpus said. “When you’ve got 18 guys in that one room, you’re going to try everyone out, try them in different positions. And what we’ve learned over the last few years is if you play offensive line for the Seahawks, you’ve got to be able to play at least two positions. If you don’t play at least two positions, then the chances of you getting on the field go down because they’ve been so unlucky on the offensive line. Someone’s always banged up, someone always has a bump or a bruise there, so it’s all about versatility.”
For more on the Seahawks’ offensive line, click any of the links below.
Further reading on Seahawks O-line
• Seahawks LT Duane Brown explains the difficulty Seattle’s new-look OL faces
• Why former NFL OL Ray Roberts is impressed by additions to Hawks’ O-line
• What will the Seahawks’ 2020 offensive line look like?
• Heaps: OL turnover, injuries leave me anxious about Seahawks’ offense