J.R. Sweezy figuring out other side of the line
J.R. Sweezy says he’s adjusting to playing offensive line for the first time in his life after a career on defense. (Seahawks photo)
Making the transition from college to the NFL is tough for anyone. But you can only imagine the challenge facing the Seahawks J.R. Sweezy, who’s moving not only to the pros, but the other side of the ball for the first time in his life.
“(Offensive line coach Tom) Cable called me up and he said ‘I’m looking for a guy who can play offensive line that’s different from everybody else and you fit the criteria,'” Sweezy told Bob and Groz.
The seventh-round draft pick out of North Carolina State has never played on the offensive side, so everything is different, from the style of play to the stance.
“As a defense, you’re always downhill you’re always running. As an offensive player, you have to sit back and let things happen.”
It’s not exactly the way he envisioned making it to the NFL. He said he had doubts about his future when no one expressed a willingness to draft him as a defensive tackle. But GM John Schneider reassured him he had the skills to make it in the pros on either side of the ball.
Now, he’s racing to learn his newfound position. Sweezy started Saturday’s exhibition opener against Tennessee and said he didn’t feel out his league after all the practice against the Seahawks defensive unit.
“These guys are some of the best in the league so I didn’t see anything different, they were no better. It was just like practice,” he said.
It’ll obviously be a long time before the experiment is ultimately judged a success or failure. But Cable said in a recent interview he’s surprised Sweezy has taken so quickly to his new position.
“He’s a very bright guy and a very driven guy, so I think those two qualities give him a chance. And he’s very coachable. He takes to it every time, every rep,” Cable said.
Sweezy knows he has plenty of work ahead, and hopes to add at least a few pounds to his 6-foot-5, 298 pound frame.
And while he’s learning a new position, he’s also learning about the three quarterbacks playing behind him as Coach Pete Carroll continues searching for his starter. But Sweezy said that hasn’t been as big a challenge as he imagined.
“There’s no real difference between each of them. They all do a great job. We don’t mind them switching it up.”
Considering the switch he’s undergoing, it’s understandable he’s not very worried about what’s happening around him. After all, from new terminology to techniques, Sweezy has enough on his mind.