Garry Gilliam talks about ‘next step in the evolution’ as Seahawks’ left tackle

Apr 16, 2016, 12:36 PM

Garry Gilliam says he's learning new techniques as he prepares to move to left tackle. (AP)...

Garry Gilliam says he's learning new techniques as he prepares to move to left tackle. (AP)


From collegiate tight end to undrafted utility lineman, to starting right tackle then Russell Okung’s heir apparent. It’s been a circuitous route to the blindside for Garry Gilliam, who Seahawks coaches have tapped as next season’s starting left tackle, but he told “Danny, Dave and Moore” Thursday that journey has better equipped him for the challenge.

“Being a tight end gives me advantages in terms of my foot speed and athleticism,” he said. “Playing at right tackle, becoming more of an offensive lineman in that way, but not having as much pressure as a left tackle does, I was able to find my own way there and come into myself as player. Now I kind of see it as an evolution. The next step in the evolution would be now to move to the left side as a left tackle and be there. So it’s a huge opportunity and I’m excited for it.”

Related: Follow the Seahawks in Southern California

Gilliam was part of an offensive line that he believes meshed better and improved as the season went on, and he stated appreciation for the coaches’ faith to move him to the more demanding left side.

In preparation of the transition, Gilliam said he’s been working to get “a lot stronger” in the offseason and is working on eye-hand coordination with his left hand.

“Just little things that a lot of people don’t really focus on: flexibility through certain parts of my body to help me move going that way better,” he said. “Little things here and there and obviously the practice is what’s going to be the biggest thing when we start that.”

He says the main adjustment with his stance will be moving his left foot back off the snap rather than his right.

“In terms of seeing the field, it should be fairly similar,” he said. “Actually, sometimes I think you get more from the left side of the line because it’s the quarterback’s blindside, so a lot of blitzes will be geared toward that way, so you’ve got to be a little bit more aware on that side.”

After going undrafted in 2014, Gilliam was initially groomed as Seattle’s backup left tackle before being thrust into the starting right-tackle role during training camp last season.

Gilliam is muscular and relatively lean at 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds, which is not typical for his new position that is generally responsible for blocking the other team’s premier pass rusher. When asked about his size, Gilliam said his body type might be what’s needed to handle the NFL’s increasingly athletic defenders.

“You know how I said this is an evolution as a player from tight end to right to left? Maybe this is the evolution of an offensive lineman,” he said. “These defenders are getting crazy athletic and way faster so you’ve got to compete with them. In order for you to do that, your body has to be able to move in that way. A moving body, if it (means having) a six-pack and a little bit more ripped, then so be it.”

Wyman & Bob

Seattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks...

Brandon Gustafson

Cross out, Metcalf among 7 Seahawks questionable vs Panthers

The Seattle Seahawks have a very lengthy and notable injury list ahead of Sunday's Week 3 matchup with the Carolina Panthers.

9 hours ago

Seattle Mariners... Staff

Where to find Mariners-Rangers, Seahawks-Panthers on the radio

Here is everything you need to know about listening to the Seattle Mariners vs Rangers and Seattle Seahawks vs Panthers this Sunday.

9 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks...

The Associated Press

A weak spot last year, Seahawks’ run D much improved so far

Last year, the Seattle Seahawks' run defense was a major issue. So far this year, it has been much improved through two games.

10 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks...

Brandon Gustafson

Pete Carroll reflects on Seahawks’ ‘marvelous’ Super Bowl 48 team

Ahead of the 10-year celebration for the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl 48 team, Pete Carroll reflects on what made that group special.

12 hours ago

Seattle Seahawks...

Mike Salk

Salk: 4 ways Wagner’s Seahawks return is an unmitigated success

Bobby Wagner's return to the Seattle Seahawks hasn't been good or great. It's already an unmitigated success, Mike Salk writes.

1 day ago

Seattle Seahawks...

Seattle Sports Video

Bump’s Breakdown: How Fant and Lockett came up big for Seahawks in Detroit

Michael Bumpus breaks down the film of how Noah Fant and Tyler Lockett were able to lead the Seattle Seahawks to victory in Detroit.

1 day ago

Garry Gilliam talks about ‘next step in the evolution’ as Seahawks’ left tackle