Bumpus: Where Seattle Seahawks must play younger players
Jul 1, 2023, 12:14 PM
(Photo: Taylor Jacobs/Seattle Sports)
Young players were a big part of the Seattle Seahawks’ success in 2022.
Five of the Seahawks’ 2022 draft picks emerged as starters by the end of the year, and two others – second-round pass rusher Boye Mafe and seventh-round receiver Dareke Young – also had notable roles.
The Seahawks had gotten away from playing younger players and rookies in previous years before last season, and former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus wants to see young guys get more playing time going forward. That’s especially true with one position group in general, Bumpus said during Thursday’s Bump and Stacy on Seattle Sports.
“Offensive line,” Bumpus said when asked which position group needs to play young guys, regardless of how well they play. “I think that you throw the young guys in early and say, ‘Look, we’re going to make this thing work.'”
Seattle will have a fairly young O-line this season with 2022 rookies Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas back to man the two tackle spots. Damien Lewis is back for his fourth season and is expected to start at left guard, but the other two offensive line spots appear to be up for grabs, especially with the Seahawks adding guard Anthony Bradford in the fourth round and center Olu Oluwatimi in the fifth round in this year’s draft.
“The best way they can learn is just getting reps. You know you’re gonna take some lumps and some bruises, you’ve got Evan Brown (at center), you also have Phil Haynes (at guard) and they’re gonna get their burn, too,” Bumpus said. “But I think as soon as the season starts, you’ve got to get those young guys in right now on that offensive line because you have a chance to really build your offensive line and have one of the best we’ve seen in a while. That’s been an issue for this club over the last five, six, seven years. So when you look at just the history of that offensive line, I think you’ve just got to force it this time and say, ‘Look, young guys, get in there, go perform, learn on the job.’ If it gets too bad, you’ve still got some veterans that can back them up. But O-line, get the young guys in and let them play.”
Listen to the full second hour of Thursday’s Bump and Stacy at this link or in the player below.