Ray Roberts: The pros and cons of Seahawks having a young O-line

Jul 20, 2023, 12:54 PM

Seattle Seahawks Abraham Lucas...

Abraham Lucas of the Seattle Seahawks in action against the Denver Broncos at Lumen Field on September 12, 2022. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks will once again be a young team in 2023, and that’s especially true on the offensive line.

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Seattle’s most veteran O-linemen are guards Phil Haynes (27) and Damien Lewis (26) and free-agent addition Evan Brown, a center.

The Seahawks have two returning starting tackles in Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas, both of whom were rookies last season.

The Hawks also added two offensive linemen in the draft this year in guard Anthony Bradford (fourth round) and center Olu Oluwatimi (fifth round). Both those rookies are expected to compete for playing time right away.

So what are the pros and cons of the Seahawks having a young offensive line? Former NFL offensive lineman “Big” Ray Roberts, who is a radio analyst during Seahawks games, shared his thoughts on that question during Thursday’s Brock and Salk on Seattle Sports.

“I think the pros are that you have a lot of athleticism, you have a lot of energy, you have dudes that are really hungry to play, guys that haven’t had a whole lot of reps or are gonna get a chance to play a lot,” Roberts. “If you look at some of the rookie and veteran battles at center with Evan Brown and Olu and then Anthony Bradford trying to get some reps maybe from Phil Haynes (at right guard), you can create like a lot of that ‘Always Compete’ thing that (head coach Pete Carroll) talks about a lot.”

Being a young and inexperienced player can offer certain advantages, too.

“Sometimes as a rookie or a young person or a young player, you just don’t know any better, so you just go use go play hard and you do things that people maybe didn’t expect you to be able to do because you don’t know any better and you just go play,” Roberts said.

What about the cons of the Seahawks having a young offensive line in 2023? Roberts pointed immediately to leadership.

“I think the downside looking at this offensive line is like who’s the leader? Who’s going to be the dude that’s going to step up when the times are tough, when training camp is hard, or when a game isn’t going quite like you want it to or just the offensive line isn’t performing the way it (needs to)?” Roberts said. “Who’s the voice that everyone is going to turn to?”

Roberts first looked at Lucas.

“Abraham Lucas I think is a dude that has energy and his style and his approach, there’s leadership in that. But I don’t know if he’s a talker type of dude,” Roberts said. “And so I’m not real sure who does that with this offensive line. Charles Cross seems like a quiet guy. Damien Lewis is a veteran guy who has a lot of reps, but I don’t know if he’s that guy either. So I think that’s going to be maybe the weakness of this offensive line if there is one is finding out who is the leader, who’s who’s going to be the voice in that room that pulls it together when things are falling apart.”

Listen to the full second hour of Thursday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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Ray Roberts: The pros and cons of Seahawks having a young O-line