JIM MOORE

Moore: Seahawks may need help on O-line more than D-line

Feb 29, 2020, 10:14 AM | Updated: 10:19 am
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson...
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was sacked five times in the playoff loss to Green Bay. (Getty)
(Getty)

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, but when Michael Bumpus, Bob Stelton and I talked about the Seahawks’ second-biggest priority behind the defensive line, we all agreed on the offensive line.

Moore: Russell Wilson avoids country music, but reason is far-fetched

I thought Michael or Bob might go with running back given the injuries to Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny or cornerback given the shaky status of Tre Flowers and up-for-grabs nickel spot. Maybe even wide receiver since the Seahawks clearly need a third guy to go with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf since David Moore, Malik Turner and Jaron Brown never siezed that role.

But the offensive line won out because of continuing concerns about average to below-average play by most metrics and the possibility of losing two starters, left guard Mike Iupati and right tackle Germain Ifedi, in free agency.

George Fant, who could replace Ifedi at right tackle, wants a shot at being a starting left tackle, and that’s not going to happen here with Duane Brown manning that position. You’ve also got a starting center in Justin Britt, who is coming off a torn ACL and may be in line for a restructured contract.

I love right guard D.J. Fluker, but wonder if he’ll hold up for another season, and he’s a better run blocker than pass blocker. At some point, Russell Wilson is going to go down and not get up right away. He has yet to miss a game in his remarkable career, but he’s in his 30’s now and more vulnerable to injuries. Wilson was sacked 51 times in 2018 and 48 times in 2019.

Argue all you want about Wilson holding onto the ball too long, causing some of those sacks. But I’d argue till I’m blue in the face, maybe even green in the face, that his mobility has prevented more sacks than ones he’s supposedly caused by hanging onto the ball too long.

If the Seahawks lose Iupati and Ifedi, which appears likely, they have a few in-house candidates to replace them with Ethan Pocic, Jamarco Jones and Phil Haynes. But how good are those candidates? Count me out with Pocic, who has never lived up to being a second-round pick. But count me in with Jones, who played well at guard if not at tackle when he was called upon this season. And let’s wait and see with Haynes, whose rookie season was hampered by an injury.

Part of the reason I don’t want to see the Seahawks break the bank with Jadeveon Clowney is uncertainty with the O-line. You can disagree if you want, but let’s say they get a capable if not elite pass-rusher in free agency and another in the draft. The money they save could go toward acquiring an above-average right tackle to replace Ifedi.

The more I think about it, the more I could be talked into saying the O-line might be a bigger priority than finding pass-rushers. Let’s face it, if Wilson gets hurt, this team goes from Super Bowl contender to 7-9, maybe even 6-10, as currently constructed.

Listen to the conversation from Thursday’s Bob, Dave and Moore in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore on Twitter.

Seahawks’ Pete Carroll dives deep into team’s defense ahead of 2020

Jim Moore

Seahawks Russell Wilson...
Jim Moore

Moore’s 10 Seahawks Takeaways: We’re seeing the downsides to ‘Let Russ Cook’

Jim Moore shares what stands out to him at the midway point for the Seahawks, including five reasons he's still not fully on board with letting Russell Wilson cook.
2 years ago
WSU Jayden de Laura...
Jim Moore

Moore: WSU’s future looks bright after QB Jayden de Laura’s stellar debut

After watching true freshman Jayden de Laura lead WSU to a 38-28 win over Oregon State, Jim Moore writes that he was dazzled, seeing a combination of Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray.
2 years ago
Seahawks Russell Wilson...
Jim Moore

Moore Predicts: Most factors favor Seahawks, but Bills will win in Buffalo

The Bills' biggest weakness is something Jim Moore doesn't see the Seahawks taking advantage of, predicting Seattle's second loss of the season on Sunday.
2 years ago
WSU Nick Rolovich...
Jim Moore

Moore: As WSU’s Rolovich era begins, it’s nice to be all-in on Cougs again

As WSU prepares for its Pac-12 opener Saturday, Jim Moore is plenty excited about the first new Cougs football coach since Mike Leach in 2012. That's because of how Leach conducted himself during his time in Pullman.
2 years ago
Seahawks Ryan Neal Bobby Wagner...
Jim Moore

Moore’s 10 Seahawks Takeaways: How do they keep finding diamonds in the rough for the secondary?

On Sunday, D.J. Reed joined Ryan Neal as a reserve defensive back to make an unexpected impact for the Seahawks this year. Jim Moore on that and more in his weekly takeaways post.
2 years ago
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson...
Jim Moore

Moore Predicts: Seahawks to win battle of hurt teams behind big game from Wilson

The Seahawks and 49ers enter Week 8 banged up, but Jim Moore thinks Seattle has the advantage and Russell Wilson will beat the 49ers' depleted secondary.
2 years ago
Moore: Seahawks may need help on O-line more than D-line