Seahawks’ Germain Ifedi on potential position switch: I’m no deer in headlights
In what has become an annual expectation, the Seahawks’ starting offensive line will likely begin with some new faces. Second-year lineman Germain Ifedi is expected to be one of the holdovers but may be shuffled from guard to a different spot.
While speaking to “Danny, Dave and Moore” at Seahawks general manager John Schneider’s “Ben’s Fund” charity event, Ifedi said he’s prepared for whatever is thrown his way and won’t be intimidated by a potential move from right guard to tackle.
“Whenever OTAs, and minicamp and eventually training camp come around, and they need me at right guard, I know that’s something I’ve done and can do and did it last year. And right tackle, I’ve played it in the past and always stay ready to play wherever I’m needed,” he said. “I’m not going to go out there and be a deer in the headlights. I’m prepared to play whatever, and I think that’s part of the reason they drafted me. So I can play both, and I feel I can play both at a very high level.”
Ifedi, who was picked 31st overall in the 2016 draft, started 13 games at guard for Seattle last season. Ifedi finished his career at Texas A&M playing right tackle but Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll shifted the 6-foot-5, 311 pounder to guard shortly after the draft. Ifedi missed the first three games of 2016 because of a high-ankle sprain but started the next 15 games (including playoffs).
Ifedi said he suffered an even worse ankle injury during the team’s season-ending playoff loss to Atlanta. Though the injury did not require surgery, Ifedi said he spent the “better part of a couple months” rehabbing but is now back to a more normal workout routine.
Carroll said after the season that the Seahawks were open to shifting Ifedi on the line but would prefer to keep him at right guard for continuity’s sake. But the team’s offseason moves may have changed some things.
Last season’s primary starting right tackle Garry Gilliam signed with 49ers and his fill-in, Bradley Sowell, remains an unrestricted free agent. GM John Schneider said last month at the NFL owners’ meeting in Phoenix that the team will look at newly signed guard Oday Aboushi at right guard, which could push Ifedi to the outside.
The ability to play multiple positions is part of Ifedi’s value to the Seahawks, which is why he said he wasn’t surprised by his move inside last season.
“I figured it was part of their plan,” Ifedi said. “This is one of the smartest front offices and coaching staffs, if not the smartest in the league, so I never want to question what they’re doing. I knew they had a good plan for me, a good plan for my development. I think last year was great for me being at guard. Got me really exposed to the league, got me to see a lot of different things. I think they don’t think there would be any problems if I did have to play tackle and be out there on the edge.”