Seahawks’ O-line primed for another step forward in 2019
The Seahawks’ offensive line took a step forward in 2018 – jumping from the bottom of the league to 17th overall by Week 15 – and the players who oversaw Seattle’s change say fans can continue to expect more growth this season.
“Our line has a chance to be the best in the league, I think,” left tackle Duane Brown told reporters at OTAs Tuesday. “If we keep everyone healthy, with the talent that we have, the mixture of youth and experience we have, we have a chance to really be great. And (new left guard) Mike (Iupati) has been a great addition for us.”
Fellow tackle (and occasional tight end) George Fant echoed Brown’s sentiment during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton.
“If you look at this O-line we have right now, we’re huge,” Fant said. It’s something he believes can aide the team’s run-first offense.
“We’re anywhere from 320 to 360 or 370, across that line. So, we’re embracing that run first smack them in the mouth mentality and I think upstairs is, too.”
The Seahawks also have consistency on their side this year. Four of five starters along the offensive line will make a return this year – the exception being left guard J.R. Sweezy, who signed with the Cardinals in free agency. Chief among those starters is left tackle Duane Brown, who was Pro Football Focus‘ highest-graded lineman and third-highest graded Seahawk last year.
Mike Solari’s history an asset for 2019’s line
Offensive line coach Mike Solari will be entering his second year with Seattle, but has previously coached with the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, and New York Giants. This year, Solari’s coaching history could prove especially useful for a Seattle team that has ex-Giants right guard D.J. Fluker and ex-49ers left guard Mike Iupati.
“I think he would tell you (Solari) is one of his favorite coaches he’s ever had,” Carroll said of Iupati’s transition to Seattle’s offense. “They hit it off well in the past. And we’ve benefited from D.J. also, last year, having played for Mike. Mike’s got a unique style in the things that he demands of his players, and it helps to have background. Both Mike and D.J. have benefited from that.”
While Fant played under Solari for the first time last season, he also praised his coaching style.
“I love Mike, man,” Fant told Clayton. “He’s good; he’s really technically sound, wants you to have high technical skills. He wants everything done right, slows everything down, wants you to get it right and keep doing it ’till you get it right… I think he really brought not just myself, but a lot of guys in that room, (brought our) game to another level.”
Listen to Fant’s full interview with Clayton in the audio clip embedded above.
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