BRADY HENDERSON

‘You can feel his presence’: Pete Carroll glad to have rookie Germain Ifedi back on Seahawks’ O-line

Oct 7, 2016, 6:00 AM | Updated: 11:22 am
After missing the first four games, rookie Germain Ifedi made his presence felt in his NFL debut Su...
After missing the first four games, rookie Germain Ifedi made his presence felt in his NFL debut Sunday. (AP)
(AP)

The reasons the Seahawks were so high on rookie right guard Germain Ifedi heading into this season went well beyond the toughness he showed while refusing to back down from altercations. Between the whistles, Seattle’s first-round pick showed that he could move defenders at will, something coach Pete Carroll was delighted to see Sunday when Ifedi made his NFL debut.

“You can feel his presence,” Carroll told “Brock and Salk” on Monday. “You can see what he could do. When he pass-protects, sometimes he drive blocks, and guys go flying out of the pocket, he pushes them one way or another. That’s a real presence. As we get to become accustomed to that, it’s going to really help us.”

Playing for the first time since sustaining a high-ankle sprain four days before Seattle’s opener, Ifedi had anything but a soft landing Sunday against what may be the NFL’s best trio of defensive linemen. The Seahawks allowed two sacks in their win over the Jets, a total they’d consider a success considering how quarterback Russell Wilson was playing with a knee injury that limited his ability to escape pressure.

In his “Chalk Talk” video, Brock Huard highlighted one play on which Ifedi and the rest of the interior of Seattle’s offensive line stonewalled the Jets’ pass-rush by picking up a line twist and giving Wilson enough time to find tight end Jimmy Graham for a 24-yard completion.

“Germain did a really good job,” Carroll said.

Not that he was flawless. Ifedi was flagged for a false start, and from the sounds of it, he was fortunate that it was only once. Perhaps dealing with some nerves in his NFL debut, Ifedi got jumpy.

“I don’t know if you noticed during the game but there was a time when he was jumping, trying to jump the cadence a little bit and he had got called for a false start,” Carroll recalled. “The official came over and said, ‘Look, I’m warning him. I’m telling him he’s getting close.’ I said, ‘Would you come with me and let’s go tell him over here?’

“So I walked the umpire over there. We went and told Germain right on the bench during a timeout. We’re just trying to make the point.”

Carroll recalled that story when asked about how Ifedi can continue to grow in his first season.

“Everything,” Carroll said. “From the snap to his ability to recognize what’s up, what the calls were all about, his fits and his combination blocking and all that stuff, everything is going to improve.”

But his debut was an encouraging start.

“We realized that this is something really special,” Carroll said Monday. “He’s been here one game so far, but if you watch him in the game, he moves people. He makes the line of scrimmage move and he takes up a ton of space in pass-protection. We’re going to be better with him in there.”

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