The offensive line is one of the most crucial position groups in American football. The five linemen are responsible for protecting the team’s quarterback and preventing the defenders from tackling players in the backfield. The Seattle Seahawks have taken a lot of scrutiny lately for the play of their offensive line, or lack thereof. It seemed as if, for a handful of seasons, the problem persisted with no serious adjustments being made by the front office. Going into the seventh season under head coach Pete Carroll, what will it take to successfully rebuild the Seattle Seahawks offensive line?
Rebuilding the Seattle Seahawks Offensive Line
The Seahawks were looking to add depth to their offensive line in the NFL draft and through free agency. It was clear that if they wanted to succeed they needed to improve in the trenches, via the front office. The Seahawks needed to help their quarterback. Now entering his fifth season, quarterback Russell Wilson seemed to face defensive pressure on nearly every play. In 2015, he was sacked for a career-high 45 times. Wilson has become one of the most sacked quarterbacks currently in the league. He has been sacked a total of 164 times in the first four years of his career. With the 2016 season almost here and the Seahawks vying to add a second Super Bowl title to their franchise, the team has finally started to make some modifications necessary for possessing a solid offensive line.
In the 2016 off-season, the Seahawks lost three notable offensive lineman. Tackles Russell Okung, Alvin Bailey, and guard J.R. Sweezy, each joining the Denver Broncos, Cleveland Browns, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers respectively. In the absence of Okung, Bailey, and Sweezy, Seattle relied on the 2016 NFL draft to find replacements among those positions in need. Former Texas A&M tackle, Germain Ifedi, was taken by the Seahawks in the first round along with Boise State guard, Rees Odhiambo, in the third round. The Seahawks also signed veteran J’Marcus Webb during free agency to a 2-year $5.75 million contract.
Breaking Down Each Position
After a week in training camp, the Seahawks have expressed their confidence in their offensive line for the upcoming season.
Currently taking first team reps in camp:
Left tackle: Garry Gilliam
Left guard: Mark Glowinski
Center: Justin Britt
Right guard: Germain Ifedi
Right tackle: J’Marcus Webb
Garry Gilliam and Justin Britt are both having to adjust to their new position changes as Britt formerly played at left guard while Gilliam played at right tackle. But these are not the only guys battling for a spot in the starting lineup. The others include centers Joey Hunt, Patrick Lewis, Will Pericak, and Kristjan Sokoli, as well as tackles George Fant, Terry Poole, Kona Schwenke, and Bradley Sowell.
With as many players as there are on the Seahawks roster, fans can only hope that head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider can pick out the few who have the ability to make an impact among the team. Seahawks coaches, including Pete Carroll, have said that they are truly excited about what they are seeing with the offensive line. They are prepared for the approaching 2016 season.