Heaps: The mistake the Seahawks can’t afford to make this offseason

Mar 4, 2022, 12:26 PM | Updated: 12:26 pm

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson...

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson prepares for a play against Detroit last Sunday at Lumen Field. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps said earlier this week that he thinks the Seahawks should bring back their entire secondary from 2021 for the 2022 season.

Heaps: Why Seahawks won’t have any outside additions in the secondary

Let’s just say that he doesn’t feel the same way when it comes to the offensive line.

“What they cannot afford to do in my opinion is to stay status quo with the offensive line and to treat it the same way in which they have done in the past. And that is one thing that concerns me when it comes to offseason acquisitions,” Heaps said during Thursday’s Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle when asked what one mistake must the Seahawks avoid this offseason.

The Seahawks are set to return their starting guards in Damien Lewis and Gabe Jackson next year, but Seattle’s Pro Bowl starting left tackle (Duane Brown), top two centers (Ethan Pocic and Kyle Fuller) and two-year starting right tackle (Brandon Shell) are all set to hit unrestricted free agency in a few weeks.

Heaps admitted he wasn’t the biggest fan of what head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider said about the offensive line during their press conferences at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday.

“When (Carroll) was asked about (the offensive line), his response was, ‘We want to bring everybody back.’ OK, well, what does that mean?” Heaps said. “You want to sign up for Ethan Pocic and Kyle Fuller again (at center) and Brandon Shell (at right tackle)? And then John Schneider was asked about it and he brought up (2021 third-string center) Dakoda Shepley. ‘Oh, you you guys haven’t even seen Dakota Shepley yet.’ I’m sure there was probably a reason for that, was there not? If there wasn’t then how come we didn’t see him out there last year? There were plenty of opportunities. Nobody ran away with the with the starting (center) job last year.”

Heaps also thinks that the Seahawks finishing as strong as they did offensively and at offensive line in 2021 may cause the team to want to run it back in 2022 with that same unit.

“I believe that there’s an element of hope and projection that you look at (with) the final six games of the season (where) the offensive line started to play better, the running game became started to come alive with Rashaad Penny (and because of that) you can kind of fall into that fool’s gold, that trap of ‘OK, if we just keep that continuity together with these guys then we can we can improve and we can be that type of offensive line and that running game and that pass protection for a full season,'” he said. “And I just don’t agree with that.”

Heaps said improving the talent level on the offensive line this offseason will be key in the Seahawks accomplishing what they want to on offense in 2022.

“If you want to have a dominant running game with Rashaad Penny, if you want to have your quarterback in Russell Wilson realize his full potential and get the most out of a very potentially explosive offense, you’ve got to have a great offensive line and this is something that we’ve talked about for years and years,” Heaps said. “I just would really really not like to see ‘Groundhog Day’ happen all over again when it comes to the offseason acquisitions and how the offensive line is put together.”

Listen to the second hour of Thursday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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Heaps: The mistake the Seahawks can’t afford to make this offseason