BUMP AND STACY

Bump: Seahawks OL on track to be best team’s had in a decade

May 17, 2023, 2:50 PM

Seattle Seahawks Olu Oluwatimi...

Michigan center Olusegun Oluwatimi (55) looks over the defense before snapping the ball on Oct. 8, 2022. (Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus is excited about the direction of the Seattle Seahawks.

And that’s not just because they added the top cornerback and receiver from this year’s NFL Draft.

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Bump is so excited that during Wednesday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports, he made a very bold claim about one specific element of the Seahawks’ offense.

“When you look back to the Seahawks when the run game was its best, you go to (2012-14). You’ve got Marshawn Lynch back there going for 1,000 yards-plus,” Bumpus said. “But I’m not focusing on the running backs. I’m focusing on the men who don’t get the love that they deserve, and that’s the offensive line.”

Back in 2014, the Seahawks’ starting offensive line was very good. From left to right, that starting uni was Russell Okung, James Carpenter, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy and Justin Britt.

The Seahawks drafted two tackles who started last year in first-rounder Charles Cross and third-rounder Abraham Lucas. They also drafted two interior O-linemen this year in LSU guard Anthony Bradford and Michigan center Olu Oluwatimi. Bumpus thinks Seattle has the makings of a very good long-term offensive line.

“I’m looking at just the potential of this group,” he said. “Two second-year tackles, a fourth year-guard (Damien Lewis) and you have the opportunity to have a rookie center … if he’s a leader in the huddle, if he’s a great communicator, if he has a good relationship with Geno (Smith), if he understands what he’s seeing in the box … If you hit with this center and that guard (Bradford), I think this could be the best offensive line, eventually – maybe after a year or two – that we’ve seen since those days of Marshawn Lynch rushing for 1,200, 1,300, 1,400 yards. So this is big.”

“I’m looking at his offensive line and I’m getting excited because I’m watching the film, I was at rookie minicamp the other day and Anthony Bradford looks great – obviously no pads, but he looks coachable – Olu looks great – no pads, but looks coachable – and I’m thinking if this unit can get going, that’s another step for this offense to make,” Bump later added.

Bump’s co-host Stacy Rost thinks that having multiple linemen entering the league around the same time could also be a big deal for the Seahawks.

“You know what I like about the potential? …  Is the idea that you’d have an offensive line that comes up together,” she said. “Now, not a lot of teams do this … It’s also rare in today’s NFL that you see like the Eagles-type of thing where here’s three guys on the offensive line that have stayed together for most of their careers … It’s hard to maintain that. And if you have a great offensive line, you probably have a quarterback that’s performing well and a running back that’s performing well and everyone gets paid. But to be able to have a couple guys on a rookie deal, imagine if Olu works out. You’d have two second-year players (Cross and Lucas) and a first-year player (Oluwatimi) and you’d have at minimum three years on rookie deals for three of five starters.”

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