Do the Seahawks need a new right tackle?

December 15th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

Justin Britt has had a mixed rookie season at right tackle

Justin Britt is fourteen games into his NFL career. Some would argue it’s too early to judge his performance. He’s a rookie. He’s learning a new position and scheme. He’s also faced some of the top pass rushers in the league — whether it’s Denver’s Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware combo or the prolific blitz attack of the Arizona Cardinals. This has been the proverbial baptism of fire.

Inexperience could be used as a legitimate excuse. He could improve with time. Look at the way Jordan Hill has suddenly exploded onto the scene towards the back-end of his second season in Seattle. It’s taken Tharold Simon time to get healthy and have an impact. Golden Tate was a slow burner and even Kam Chancellor sat as a rookie to learn the ropes.

Britt hasn’t been afforded that luxury. The Seahawks needed a right tackle after losing Breno Giacomini. When they reached the final pick in the second round of the draft — they simply had to take one.

By pick #64, seven offensive tackles had been drafted. When the Indianapolis Colts took Ohio State’s Jack Mewhort at #59 (a possible Seahawks target), Seattle faced a dilemma. They didn’t have a third round pick — they coughed it up in the ill-fated Percy Harvin trade. They were next on the board at pick #108 at the top of round four. If they didn’t take Britt at #64, they were probably not going to come away with a guy they liked at right tackle.

Britt is a Tom Cable type of guy. No nonsense. Former wrestler. Tough as nails. The Seahawks have leaned on their offensive line coach for advice in the draft — he appeared to be instrumental in the decision to select James Carpenter and John Moffitt months after arriving in Seattle. They also signed one of his former Oakland players — Robert Gallery — to further bolster the line. They even allowed him to draft a defensive lineman, convert him to guard, and start him in the first game of his rookie season. J.R. Sweezy has since become a mainstay on the O-line.

It’d be easy to look at the acquired group (including Britt) with indifference. The results, however, speak volumes. Pete Carroll wants the best running game in the NFL and that’s what he has — with Cable pulling the strings. For all the complaints over pass protection, before week 15 Seattle ranked only four places below the celebrated Dallas Cowboys offensive line according to Football Outsiders. I suspect both Carroll and Cable are quite satisfied to have a highly ranked run-blocking unit, even if the pass-pro is distinctly average.

That’s part of the reason Britt was drafted in round two. I watched two Missouri games over the summer where he played the run superbly — but looked awkward in pass protection. He played at left tackle but looked far from a natural.

I doubt they planned on rolling out a finished article in 2014. Losing Zach Miller — perhaps the best blocking tight end in the league — hasn’t helped. His presence on the right side would’ve taken the pressure off Britt in his first year. Instead he’s had to get out there and take on the best. It hasn’t been pretty.

In Sunday’s win over San Francisco, Ahmad Brooks had him for dinner. On more than one occasion he had a free run to Russell Wilson. Britt didn’t even lay a finger on him. Giacomini was a brawler and far from perfect in pass protection but he usually did enough to buy his quarterback a bit of extra time. Britt has to develop that kind of effectiveness. He’s never going to be the natural pass blocker who kick-slides with ease and ushers the top DE’s out of danger. But he needs to be disruptive, get into the pads and at least buy Wilson a second or two.

Life won’t get any easier in the final two weeks of the regular season. A rematch with the Cardinals in Arizona — and then St. Louis’ all-star D-line. Ouch.

With every struggling performance you wonder how Seattle’s front office and coaching staff will assess this situation. Will they feel Britt can take the next step in year two? Can he grow just like J.R. Sweezy and others. Can he lock down the position for years to come?

Or is he better off moving inside — just as James Carpenter did after a tough rookie season — and trying his hand at guard?

If the Seahawks were willing to give up on the #25 overall pick at right tackle after one year, you better believe they’ll do the same with the #64 pick. Carpenter’s pending free agency status adds another dimension to this debate. If he walks they could let Britt battle with Alvin Bailey for the left guard spot. The other player, theoretically, could start at tackle. Or they could bring in a new body.

Should they decide to bring in a new tackle — what are the options?

It’s another good class for offensive linemen, even if there isn’t that sure-fire top-five pick heading the group. Depth is the key here — and that’s a good thing for the Seahawks. They’ll be picking in the 20’s or 30’s if they make the playoffs. And there’s every chance they’ll have the opportunity to get a solid player if they want to add another early pick to this unit.

La’el Collins (T/G, LSU) divides opinion. For me he needs to kick inside to guard at the next level — but he has a chance to turn into a perennial Pro-Bowler at that position. Could he operate at right tackle? Perhaps. But you’d be wasting a damn fine guard.

T.J. Clemmings (T, Pittsburgh) is the most intriguing tackle in the class. A converted defensive lineman, he’s looked terrific this year playing at right tackle. He’s mobile, athletic, loves to get to the second level. He has the potential to dominate in the run game. He could work his way into being the first or second tackle off the board.

Two of the bigger names — Cedric Oguehi (T, Texas A&M) and Brandon Scherff (T, Iowa) are a bit overrated. Ogbuehi in particular has struggled this year after moving to left tackle. Scherff might be better suited to guard — he’s another player with the potential to excel in the run game but is he good enough in pass protection?

It’s debatable whether Andrus Peat (T, Stanford) and Ronnie Stanley (T, Notre Dame) will declare. If either does, they have a shot to be among the top-15 picks. Peat is a natural in pass-pro and the best pure left tackle eligible for this draft. Tyrus Thompson (T, Oklahoma), Corey Robinson (T, South Carolina) and Ty Sambrailo (T, Colorado State) could all be options too. The depth extends to Cameron Erving (T/C, Florida State), Chaz Green (T, Florida), Jake Fisher (T, Oregon) and Daryl Williams (T, Oklahoma).

Here’s the issue though. Is replacing a struggling rookie with another first-year player the answer? Spending a first round pick on a right tackle (Carpenter) didn’t provide a solution. Spending a second round pick on a right tackle (Britt) hasn’t paid off so far. Do you keep throwing picks at a non-premium position in the hope you finally strike it lucky?

And yes — it is a non-premium position. If Zach Miller returns in 2015, Britt will get the kind of help he currently desperately needs. The Seahawks have won a whole host of games in the last two years starting Michael Bowie and Britt. Their most productive starting right tackle under Carroll and Cable has been a 5th round pick signed off the Packers practice squad.

It would be unprecedented for a team to spend two first round picks and a second round pick within a five year span trying to get a long term starting right tackle.

If they’re going to sign another player, wouldn’t they be better off adding a competent veteran tackle to the roster? Playing it safe at a slightly greater cost? Doug Free could be a cap casualty in Dallas as they try to re-sign DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant. He has his critics in Dallas — but he is the kind of player who could become available.

Alternatively, there is one not insignificant reason to draft a first round tackle. Russell Okung will enter the final year of his rookie deal in 2015. His cap hit is just $7m — a relative bargain for a player of his ability. But what happens after 2015? He could be a difficult keep. On the one hand he made a Pro-Bowl in 2012 and is a highly respected member of the roster. A team leader and a consistent feature during the Carroll revolution. He’s also struggled to stay healthy and might generate serious money on the open market.

Is a first round left tackle necessary? More often than not, yes. Defenses are getting faster. The top, athletic O-liners go early. It’s why Carroll’s first pick in Seattle was a top-ten tackle.

Would they draft a player to initially feature at right tackle, providing security on the left side if Okung walks? Possibly.

Of course, there’s every chance time will be a healer with Justin Britt. And it’s also very possible the Seahawks re-sign Okung. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing either. Again — the Seahawks want the best run-blocking line in the NFL. They’ve set out to draft run blockers. They know they have a scrambling quarterback who can evade pressure — they want to be a scrambling team. Wilson is a difficult guy to block for and it should be no surprise that the top two pass-protecting lines in the NFL according to FO are Denver and New England. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are easier to block for and they both have a super-quick release.

Don’t underestimate consistency either. Keeping a line together is vital — more vital than endless high picks at the position hoping something eventually clicks.

The play of Britt didn’t cost Seattle in any of their four defeats. Let’s hear that perspective. There’s every chance he will improve in year two. But it’ll be interesting to see how they approach this situation in the off-season. Does he switch to guard? What do they do with Carpenter? And would they be prepared to spend yet another early pick trying to find a long term option at right tackle?

T.J. Clemmings vs Miami

Ty Sambrailo vs Boston College

Jake Fisher vs Washington

Brandon Scherff vs Maryland

129 Responses to “Do the Seahawks need a new right tackle?”

  1. Steve Nelsen says:

    “Pete Carroll wants the best running game in the NFL and that’s what he has.”

    That is an excellent perspective Rob and one we all need to keep in mind as we evaluate the Seattle offensive line for next year’s draft.

    • Drew says:

      Yes we have the best running game in the NFL…but what happens when we sacrafice good pass protection for run blocking ability only to get Russell Wilson hurt? Every time I’ve seen him take a huge hit is when he hangs in the pocket and there are too many times I’ve seen Britt get beat easily for the sack. It’ll only take one big hit to knock Russell out of the game or for several weeks. I always cringe when he gets hit and am amazed he keeps getting up.

      At what point is enough enough to actually start prioritizing it a bit more? I know it’s a tricky balance and I agree on having a dominant running game before a passing game, but I just don’t want to see our franchise QB get hurt.

      • 300ZXNA says:

        Indeed, RW is a huge part of our run game. Also, even if we argue that on say a scale of 1-10 the run ability is a 10 and pass pro is say a 3, even if we dropped from a 10 to a 9, if that meant we could go from a 3 to a 6 in pass pro it seems that that would be an acceptable if not advantageous tradeoff.

      • Volume 12 says:

        My guess on why they sacrifice this is because you have to sacrifice talent at some position on the field. Whether it be on offense or defense. Since an O-line is best when functioning as 1 anyways, then why not get 3-4 average to good lineman that collectively are better? I hope I’m making some sense. Remember as well, Cable learned from ZBS guru Alex Gibbs, who’s been quoted as saying ‘Give me a garbage man off the street and I can make him an effective guard or right tackle.’ However outdated that mantra may be nowadays.

      • Saltherring says:

        You got it right. Russell Wilson’s life is at stake every time he drops back to pass. And the Seahawks OL problems run much deeper than at right tackle…and every team in the NFL knows it. Okung and Carpenter are as much a problem as rookie Britt. I say flush the whole lot (except C Unger) and sign some free agents for the short term, while rebuilding thru the draft. The life saved might be Russ Wilson’s.

        • PartyBoob says:

          Such an over reaction. We are building. That’s what you do with a rookie like, say, Sweezy. Wasn’t everybody wringing their hands about Sweezy last year? I distinctly remember people being all upset with Tom Cable because Sweezy – and Carpenter for that matter – were such terrible interior offensive linemen. Tell me about all the other teams with very mobile quarterbacks and excellent pass protections. Sheesh.

  2. 300ZXNA says:

    Rob- My question is why haven’t we seen Bailey at RT? He has seemed competent filling in for Okung when he is out. It seems that Bailey couldn’t be anything but an upgrade over Britt at this point. Or are the Hawks simply trying to find out as quickly as possible if Britt is going to sink or swim so they can better reassess RT after the season?

    • tony says:

      I wonder if bailey isn’t being groomed as okung’s possible replacement. Seahawks love their in house options.

      • JeffC says:

        I think this is a very likely perception. Even last year after preseason Bailey was dominant at LT, but during the season when Breno went down they kept going to Bowie. I think they like Bailey on the left side and have plans for him there.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I think you might be right. I’m not sure why Bailey has never been tried at right tackle. I suspect either I’m underestimating the quality of Britt’s play or like you say — they just want to get through the growing pains.

      • Arias says:

        I don’t think you’re underestimating the quality of Britt. He ranks dead last in the league in pass blocking efficiency among starting tackles, 54th out of 54, having surrendered 47 QB pressures in 483 pass play snaps. He’s god awful.

    • Turp says:

      I prefer Bailey as the best backup for LG and LT. He looks pretty good at LT honestly. While he’s a lot better in pass pro than Britt, Britt is just a better fit for run blocking at RT. To clarify – Bailey is solid at run blocking ‘in a phone booth’ while Britt is a pretty fantastic run blocker in space. So I wouldn’t expect Bailey to replace Britt for that reason.

    • Steve Nelsen says:

      We won’t see Bailey at RT any time soon. It looks like Okung’s chest injury will keep him out a couple games so Bailey will be playing LT.

      • Volume 12 says:

        Just my opinion, but Bailey doesn’t seem to have the preferred size for the RT spot that they seem to like. Carpenter was drafted to be the RT and is what…6’5-6’6, 320-325 lbs., Breno is 6’7-6’8, 320 lbs., Bowie was 6’4-6’5, 330 lbs., and Britt is 6-5, 315-325 lbs. And I think Bailey is like 6’3-6’4, 310 lbs? Although I will say Bailey does look like he’s put on some weight in his mid-section. Tony and Rob you two may be right as well that Bailey is being groomed as a replacement for Okung.

  3. rowdy says:

    They will definitely draft one, maybe not a high pick and most likely not a 1st. They always do and every team should. Replacing Britt with a rookie doesn’t make much sense but but they will bring in competition for Britt and for life after okung (speculation). I think missing miller is the bigger problem, something that wasn’t really a problem last but when he was out russell lived on his back for that game or two. I don’t see them spending in fa to upgrade and I wouldn’t want them too.

    • Volume 12 says:

      Yeah, no spending in FA on the o-line. If rookies struggle with the ZBS scheme, why should we expect a long term veteran who’s already stuck/set in his way’s to fare any better?

      • rowdy says:

        Exactly my thought. I think if he had miller next to him a lot of this talk wouldn’t be happening. Willson is a big step down from miller and that’s why I think bruno looked so much better.

      • Arias says:

        Because there are some 19 or so teams in the league the either runs the zbs or some hybrid. Upgrading through free agency makes sense if the player has some former familiarity, and more likely than not they will.

        • rowdy says:

          The problem is what are they going to have to pay for an upgrade? 3-4 mil more then what Britt makes? Then he will still have to get acclimated to are line. Carps rookie deal is up and that’s going to cost more weather we resign him or not. I don’t see the money being there.

          • Arias says:

            They might need some time to get acclimated but it would still be a vast improvement over this year’s line where not only did a raw rookie need to get acclimated with the line, he also had to learn the zbs. The question comes down to how much of an improvement a veteran zbs right tackle could be over a 2nd ýear Britt and whether that’s worth the cost of their difference on salary. The big unknown is how much Britt is going to improve but seeing ssd how the team staked a second rounder on him and right tackle is probably one of those positions that they’d like to avoid paying a franchise player market value for, they’ll in a likelihood roll the dice with Britt. I just really hope he doesn’t turn out have as slow a learning curve as Sweezy, who is only finally kind of getting it together this year yet his ceiling is still not that high. Two dev years of a below average lineman just to develop an average player at the position seems like too steep a cost IMO.

            • rowdy says:

              I agree with that. I’m not against it bringing in a fa, I just think they would rather put the money somewhere else. And to fair I think team planned to have Britt push bowie, not for him to be the starter. Like you said, I see them rolling with Britt out of necessity because of cost. Having miller back would make the biggest difference. Britt definitely didn’t look as bad lined up next to him.

  4. Volume 12 says:

    I was a big proponent of not going ol early, but I have no problem eating crow or conceding a point. I think Britt may be what they’re looking for overtime at RT. The ZBS scheme may be one of the hardest things to learn as a rookie if their not used to running it. However, no doubt about it he is struggling. Rob you make two great points.

    1. Continuity may be the most important factor in how an online functions

    2. Not having Zach Miller healthy to help Britt out was a big blow to his development

    I think they should go OL in the 3rd Rd., at least you give Britt some competition, go OL in the mid rounds for some depth and of course go OL late to give Cable his yearly project. And unlikely as it may be, hopefully we get Garrett Scott back/healthy. Britt may be the next McQuistan or he be the long term starter at RT. It’s too late now however to find out differently. Again the point was made he’s a good run blocker, he’s faced some elite pass rushers, and the o-line is our team’s weakness, every team has one. No Such thing as a perfect team in the NFL. We may just have to live with the fact that they’ll always sacrifice run blocking over pass protection, therefore leading to the o-line being constantly scrutinized and leading to this annoying ‘will they? won’t they?’ but necessary debate on the o-line. Really like Oregon OT Jake Fisher by the way. He seems like he would fit in perfectly.

  5. tony says:

    Britt was thrown to the fire a bit unfairly. Bowie was supposed to be the starter before he got injured and waived. Then they brought in Winston, who wasn’t that great either. I see them getting a mid rounder and some undrafted or late round project. Similar to Bowie, bailey, sweezy.

    • Volume 12 says:

      Yes. Totally agree with you Tony. I’m not ready to give up op Britt just yet. My opinion he will pan. Again, right on that some much needed depth/competition should be on the way this draft.

  6. AlaskaHawk says:

    Last game was one of the worst first halfs for the offensive line. The left side sort of held their own but the right side (both Sweezy and Britt) had a lot of issues. Sweezy had some blocking whiffs which resulted in 300# linemen charging up the gut at RW. Britt just can’t seem to get used to defensive ends taking an outside path. I hadn’t realized Britt played LT in college, maybe that is a better side for him?

    I think we have all accepted the idea that our offensive line is going to struggle against just about every team they play. I don’t really care that the statistics say we are a top running team because those statistics are based on Marshawn Lynch running the ball. Without him we would be an average running team. Most of our wins have occurred because the defense held the opponent in check until our offense could finally score a few times. And we all know our best scorer is our field goal kicker.

    I mean if our offensive line was great we wouldn’t have issues running for a TD in the red zone. But we do have red zone issues, and we can’t depend on this line to block well enough to score that way.

    Continuity is the key, but we don’t have it because we can’t depend on the left side or center to stay healthy. We would have blocked a lot better this year with a healthy Unger. In fact the best thing about the right side of the line isn’t their blocking, it’s that they stay free of injuries. They are there every week.

    Replacement wise, our best players are injury prone while our worst players (relatively speaking) are injury free. That makes it difficult to decide how to go about keeping the line. My thoughts are to concentrate on 3rd round to mid round picks for backups to the offensive line. Last year the Seahawks drafted two offensive linemen. I expect them to draft two or three this year. They don’t have to be high picks. Both Sweezy and Bailey were 7th round or so. They just need to be active and healthy. There is no reason why we couldn’t start with a backup center, LT and RT. If they make the team great and if they don’t they can be on the practice squad.

    A

    • rowdy says:

      Britt played one season at LT and didn’t play that great. They drafted him for his play at RT. He played LT because they didn’t have anyone else that could.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s too easy to say we wouldn’t be a good running team without Lynch — when Lynch is getting the vast majority of the carries.

      The fact is the Seahawks are easily the best running team in the league. It’s not just because of Lynch. Some of it’s Wilson. Some of it’s the line. A lot of it’s the line.

      • Radman says:

        If we take RWs running yards out of the equation, what does this team look like in terms of rushing attack? RW is a special QB having one of the historic rushing seasons of a QB. Lynch is also a special back, as we all acknowledge.

        I wonder if the stats showing us as a ‘great’ rushing line take the yardage of RW into account. I like football outsiders a lot, but one quibble I have with their O line ratings is they don’t take into account the abilities of the RB. You simply have to give Lynch his due in this regard. He turns negative plays into positive plays on a routine basis. It’s why we are willing to pay him big money next year if he is healthy.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Well, Lynch has a 1000 yard season. If Wilson wasn’t working design runs he might have even more attempts. Or the other backs might. I think overall the OL passes the eye test and has the stats to back it up. They run block very well.

          • Radman says:

            Right. Agree they pass the eye test. But, when I hear stats showing this wide distance between our #1 rushing attack, and the second ranked rush attack, you have to consider what it would look like w/o Russell running for 800 yards, and driving team ypa way up. It’s a good run blocking line, combined with an elite RB and a very good running QB.

            • Darnell says:

              No you don’t.

              Why in the world would you discount Wilson’s rushing yards? It is an extremely valuable part of the offense and a dimension that not many teams have.

          • AlaskaHawk says:

            I don’t think the offensive line passes the eye test, especially on passing downs. Take last weeks first half with 3 points put on the board. No one is happy with that, and it has occurred pretty often this year. Fortunately they have done enough to win.

  7. Ed says:

    I know we disagree about moving on from Okung and Unger, but while I agree we need OL help, don’t think it would be in round 1. Maybe 2, but for sure in 3rd. I would see something like this:

    1st DL
    2nd TE
    3rd OL

    • Drew says:

      I highly doubt we take a TE that early.

      • Bryan C says:

        Agree, no TE that early. I think we get a TE in FA.

        • Ed says:

          I would prefer we DL OL DL, but no TE out there in FA. The only one coming available that could help stretch the field would be Gresham. Miller is done, Wilson can’t catch. I like Helfert, but we need a big bodied receiver/te

          • Volume 12 says:

            Jury’s still out on TE Willson. It takes the vast majority of rookies 3 years in the league to figure things out, but your right. He does drop a lot of balls, but he has that desired athleticism for a TE. Not dropping balls should be easily fixed and or coached up, but if he doesn’t fix that problem next year then he may never fix it. I think Wilson was always seen by this staff as more of a no. 2 guy anyways.

  8. Mylegacy says:

    In my mind (or what I use to pass for a mind) Hill has bought Britt a mulligan. Hill looked half a step from being totally lost for (in my mind) too long – then – viola – this new Hill showed up and he is proving to be quite a dandy little addition to the DLine rotation.

    Rob, I really agree that, with the early season loss of Miller, Britt lost his only margin for error when the team was passing. Britt has been – for most of the season – a dwarf on a mountain ledge swinging an undersized sword trying to keep an invading army of Orcs at bay. (Can you tell I’m looking forward the “Battle of the Five Armies”)

    I say give the wrestling champion, smashing run blocking, pass blocking noodle – another chance. Another winter to get bigger and in even better shape, another spring and summer to refine his moves and then with his trusty partner Tonto – er Miller – by his side lets watch him use the Games of Autumn to show he belongs. I think there is still a chance he’ll make it.

    Though I have to admit – IF his continued inability to protect Wee Russell leads to us losing one of the next two games I’ll be ever so pissed.

  9. Ross says:

    I’m on the let’s cut Justin Britt… some slack team. The guy’s starting as a rookie in a new position while having to learn a new system, and playing beside guys who aren’t so great at pass protection themselves and a quarterback who’s not the easiest to actually protect. He might be one of Tom Cable’s guys but Carroll and Schneider are honest enough that if they didn’t like what they were seeing, Britt wouldn’t have started the last 12 games. Let’s see how he does with 16+ games and a full off season under his belt before we pass final judgement.

    That said, some competition is never a bad thing.

    • Radman says:

      They might not like what they are seeing, but they might like the alternatives even less. Teams go through entire seasons with players they are not happy about because the options available are worse (or they are not willing to pay the price for something better). I have no idea if that’s the case with Britt, but it might be.

      • Ross says:

        That’s fair, but I don’t think they’re out of options. Gilliam, Bailey and Carpenter all have some experience at tackle. Eric Winston I’m sure would have taken a call. Hell, they bring in guys of the street all the time and have them playing immediately. There was some two day old d lineman from the the Bengals’ practice squad getting snaps against the niners. All I’m saying is that it’s an obvious vote of confidence in Britt’s play and potential that he’s started every game so far.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I don’t see where PC has any choice. Bailey is the only viable backup and he is playing on the left side.

      • Ben2 says:

        Yep. We’re thin right now. Gilliam is an athletic project who, I would assume at this point in his development, is still raw. Looks like he needs to get bigger too. This coaching staff has rotated guys before on the o-line before. Sweezy rotated (with Moffitt?) at a pretty even spit if I remember correctly.

  10. Radman says:

    Fair analysis, Rob.

    My thoughts are this: it’s very rare to have a lineman who is really good at both pass blocking and run blocking. Most guys excel at one or the other, or are close to average in both. It’s a bit unfair to ask for both, all across the line.

    For me, I’d like to see some close to average pass blockers mixed into this line to go along with the run block first (and only) approach.

    I don’t have any sense of what Britt’s ceiling is. I trust the coaches have a pretty good handle on that. But it’s also not hard for me to imagine a mid rounder doing pretty close or better to the same job Britt is now.

    There are a few RTs in the league right now who were drafted in the last year or two, who were mid round/late round picks, and they are having very good seasons. Those guys are out there. At both guard and RT. I’d sure like the coaches to find some of them this year, because I think Britt’s hold on the job right now is pretty weak, based on how he is playing at this time.

    It’s also nice that Cable has these projects. The cost savings is significant. Except for this- you pay a cost in poor play while you develop them, and by the time they’re good/acceptable, they’re near their second contract. It’d be nice if they could find some guys who are less projects are more plug and play ready. Maybe not reaching on guys (Britt) or taking on major over hauls (Sweezy) is a good way to avoid the long road to a good enough final product. Or maybe taking a player or two who are less 1 dimensional in exchange for more balance (with the cost of more averageness in both pass pro and run blocking).

    • Radman says:

      It’s also probably time to start looking for the solid blocking, in line TE to replace Miller. Miller is getting older, and experiencing injuries at a seemingly faster rate. I’d like to see them find a good young blocking TE in the draft this year and was a bit surprised they didn’t grab one this past year.

      • Alaska Norm says:

        There are a lot of OL out there who sat for a couple of years or struggled for a few years before things clicked. The strength and speed of D lineman has got to be one of the biggest changes from the college game to NFL. There is a huge difference between a 21-22 year olds strength vs a 25-26 year old. I think another off season of working out with pro trainers, coaches and dietitians will fix a lot of the issues we have seen with Britt. Everything I have read points to awesome work ethic and coachability. I really think he will turn into a solid RT, he just needs to get stronger and refine his pass blocking. It will take a little time…. Trial by fire. I agree though, looking for a replacement TE who can block will help.

        • Ben2 says:

          I want to agree with your positive developmental speculation – and I do about 70%- but there’s a 30% part of me that thinks he could be a straight up bust.

  11. James says:

    Count me also in the “cut Britt some slack” camp. I would grade him thus far as: Run Blocking: A-; Pass Blocking: C-. The guy is a really, really good run blocker, far better than Brenno on his best day. His simply rides his man completely out of the hole, and has that nasty attitude along with Sweezy that helps make Seattle the most physical team in the league. As a pass blocker, he is either adequate most of the time, or awful for about 5 plays per game, where RW’s life is at risk. But watch his feet and how well he can control his upper body, and I see no physical or metal restrictions to him being a grade B pass protector some day. And as long as Pete is the coach, a grade A run blocker and a grade B pass blocker is pure gold. I predict Britt will be much improved next season, and there is certainly no way the Seahawks draft a RT in the top 3 rounds…. future LT maybe, but Britt is here to stay.

    • James says:

      ….re Pig Bailey at RT, they are opposite players. Britt is dominant in the run game and barely adequate in pass pro. Pig is weak in the run game and pretty good in pass pro. Pete said today in his presser that Pig Bailey struggled on Sunday… he is not under consideration to replace Britt.

    • James says:

      Being a rookie OT in the NFL is a tough job, that very few excel at. Look how the elite R1 rookies have struggled at OT, whether RT or LT, the past few years. The rookie OLs who play well, such as Bitonio or Martin, have been eased in at OG… and RT is almost interchangeable with LT now, because so many elite DEs have been moved to that side to take advantage of the lesser athletic ability of RTs (see Avril, et al).

      • Arias says:

        Sorry but giving up five pressures a game is a big fat F for any offensive linemen in pass pro. You weren’t right but you were close, he’s giving up close to 4 pressures a game, his 47 total pressures is the highest of any starting offensive lineman in the league.

        Just to give you a point of comparison, Bitonio has given up two pressures in the last SEVEN WEEKS.

        • AlaskaHawk says:

          WOW! Now I’m wishing we had picked Bitonio.

          • Arias says:

            You and me both. It really is one of the great tragedies of this past draft seeing how the seahawks appeared to be interested in him with reports of cable scouting him out. He could have been our bedrock staple on the offensive line for the next decade, and was versatile enough to play tackle or guard. Suffice to say he would have been a massive upgrade over Britt and I wince thinking of all the extra offense Russell could have put up all those times he wasn’t busy getting steamrolled off the edge from a Britt whiff. Bitonio is playing well enough right now to make All Pro in his rookie year.

  12. Cysco says:

    Thanks for writing this Rob. It mirrors a lot of what I was trying to get across in the previous thread.

    Britt may struggle at times, but it appears the team is willing to live with it. I firmly believe if they weren’t ok with his performance, he wouldn’t be starting.

    This team is all about coaching and building players up. Britt is a project who, like you said, was thrown into the fire. I’m confident the team will give him the offseason and make the starting RT position next year his to lose. I’m also confident they’ll draft a couple later round projects to fill in for the depth.

    To address Wilson taking too many shots, the dude gets hit, no doubt. But the thing is, every
    qb gets hit. This isn’t some epic failing of the seahawk’s offensive line. It’s not like they’re leading the league in sacks given up. (I’m looking at you 49’rs) They’re actually kinda average in that category, maybe a few sacks above average.

    • Cysco says:

      Just out of curiosity, I looked at the sacks given up totals thus far this year. The average is 32.5. Seattle is at 38, which is good for 13th worst. They’ve essentially given up half a sack more per game than average.

      I can live with that if it means also having the number one rushing offense by a large margin. The average rushing for a team thus far this year is 1547 yards. Seattle has 2363 yards thus far. We’re talking over 800 yards above average and 300 yards above then next closest team. That’s ridiculous.

      That’s not all on Lynch. That’s o-line, scheme, QB and RB. That’s Seahawks football. Just imagine what it could look like next year with a more experienced Britt and a healthy Zach Miller.

      • Alaska Norm says:

        That does not account for RW ability to avoid sacks. With out that they would be the last… Or first?

      • Ben2 says:

        Zach miller is getting past the age where imagining him helping us out “next year” is increasingly less likely.

      • Arias says:

        It’s not just sacks. You need to look at total qb pressures since both hits and hurries affect the play of the qb too by rushing their throws and can be even worse than a sack if it rushes the quarterback into throwing a pick.

      • VaHawk says:

        Also remember RW holds the ball longer than many QBs, so you may get more sacks than normal. I wonder how that balances with his escapeability.

        • Alaska Norm says:

          But he also is not afraid to throw it away to avoid a sack. Either way he is under way to much pressure.

    • Radman says:

      ” I firmly believe if they weren’t ok with his performance, he wouldn’t be starting.” I feel it’s worth pointing out this logical fallacy once again. We just don’t know if this is true and there’s no reason to have a ‘firmly held belief’ about it. He appears to be the best option/cost/potential balance at this point in time since he is starting. We’ve no idea if they’re ok with his performance. That’s all we can really know about it.

  13. CC says:

    Hi all – can someone explain – is it difficult to be both a good pass blocker and a good run blocker? Obviously, Britt has done well and has potential as a run blocker, but what is the difference in the skill set?

    • Radman says:

      If you have a tackle who is a a plus run blocker and a plus pass blocker, you have one of the rarest players in the league. You are dealing with an elite talent and likely a potential HOFer if the career goes rather injury free. But there are a fair number of guys who are average in both- just acceptable in terms of performance in both. You’re just not going to find guys who are excellent in both very often. There are a ton of guys who are excellent in 1 and very bad in the other. The Seahawks have decided that they value run blocking far more than pass blocking, and they have ended up with a lot of guys who really kind of stink at pass blocking, but are excellent run blockers.

    • CHawk Talker Eric says:

      Run blockers attack, pass blockers defend.

      • Ben2 says:

        Dancing bears always seemed the best description for good pass blocking – the balance and strength of an elite LT is pretty special…throw in some long arms….

    • Rob Staton says:

      Being a good pass blocker requires excellent footwork, the ability to mirror and kick slide easily. Long arms and length — to keep blockers away from your frame — while also being able to challenge physically at the contact point. Very few +300lbs men carry this skill set. Run blocking is about creating holes which is obviously a lot more simple. It’s not always a physical 1v1 battle. You can cut and pull, you can move a DL or LB with technique to get them turned. You can coach up a good run blocker. Upper body power is a nice bonus — you need to be a bit of a grappler.

    • Alex says:

      They’re different. In pass pro, the linemen drop back to (ideally) form a pocket. Mirroring, balance, long arms, light feet, and awareness (e.g. for blitzes) are a premium. As someone said, it’s like defense.

      Run blocking is offense. Instead of dropping back, the linemen pushes and attacks. More so than pass pro, raw strength, hand technique, and short burst acceleration are placed at a premium.

      Typically, linemen grade out great in one or the other. One is who great in both and is able to stay healthy is a HOFer. The most well known examples are Bruce Matthews and Anthony Munoz- the greatest OG and OT respectively. Erik Williams of the early-mid 90s legendary Cowboys O-Line was another one, but health prevented him from being a HOFer. Technically speaking, even some HOF linemen such as Gene Upshaw are more well known for one than the other.

      Interestingly enough, the greatest O-line in history have been more well known for their run blocking than pass blocking. The 60s Packers, the 70s Raiders, the 80s Redskins, and the 90s Cowboys each have the best O-line of their respective decade and they were all known for run blocking. The advent of the free agency era has made it hard to maintain continuity on a O-line since the mid 90s, which is probably why there hasn’t been a historical O line since the mid 90s.

      Even in recent years, the best O line from basically 2011-2013- the SF 49ers- were typically the best run blocking team, but roughly average (around 15 or 16) in pass pro. This year, the 49ers declined and the #1 O line is the vaunted Cowboys line. They’re currently #1 in run blocking, but a below average #19 in pass pro.

  14. Hay stacker509 says:

    Hey rob, quick little thought popped in my head while watching this total beat down in Chicago; how much is Jared Allen hating signing with the bears over a WAY better shot at a ring with us?

    • Radman says:

      haha. Though he might have several million reasons to be ok with it.

    • Rob Staton says:

      It’s not much fun in Chicago right now…

      • HOUSE says:

        Speaking of NOT FUN in Chicago, Martellus Bennett expressed his disdain for “lack of passion” last night and all season towards his teammates.

        Do you think he’d be a possible trade option? He’s due $10.2M over the next 2 seasons (15: $4.9M/16: $5.1M + 2 $100K workout bonuses).

        He’d definitely be an upgrade at the position and not to mention he’s a passionate player like his brother…

        Thoughts?

        • Rob Staton says:

          Possibly. Although he’s one of Chicago’s real assets. Whatever happens there they’d have to be blowing things up to move Bennett. I think it’s probably unlikely.

          • Alaska Norm says:

            I would love the guy but he was giving up on plays last night as well. One of the ESPN radio guys even brought him up as bad attitude example. Walking through plays, phantom blocking. It was a bad game all the way around. I’m sure his brother is happy with the decision to stay a Seahawk.

  15. mrpeapants says:

    my problem with britt is he doesnt seem to be improving, actually seems to be getting worse! some people think that throwing extra high picks at the oline isnt the solution, but by that thinking we shouldnt draft a wr high either. they are both needs but no one seems to have issue with the wr. some think that once miller is back itll be ok cause he can then be the extra guy to help britt. thats great but should we really be at that point? are we always gonna have to alter our offense just so the rt doesnt get our qb killed? i hope not but again some folks think thats ok too. my point is, that it IS possible to draft a better rt, you CAN sign some better in FA w/o breaking the bank and you shouldnt have to have 1 less target to throw to.
    to be fair, i dont believe its all britt. but he does stand out weekly in a negative way.
    can we win with a crappy oline? sure. im just afraid of losing RW. i can remember seahawk football w/o RW and its not a nice memory. go hawks

    • Ben2 says:

      Yeah. I remember Brooks just blowing by him w/out getting touched MULTIPLE times. I remember having questions about Britt’s athleticism. I hope he just needs more development (coaching, diet, weights, whatever).

  16. kigenzun says:

    Rob, you called it. We should have, could have, would have drafted Joel Bitonio at #32. Personally, I believe they were aiming for Bitonio, and then got cute trying to get an extra pick. #40 was too low to go though, and sure enough Bitonio went at 35. I believe the second trade down supports this particular theory, as they ‘knew’ Richardson would still be available at #45, and at that point why not get another extra pick? (Sure, they say they wanted PRich at #32…but, really?)

    That said, Justin Britt is here to stay. Grade A run blocking & D to D minus pass protection so far.
    I love his tenacity, and I believe he has done pretty darn well in a trial by NFC West fire situation. Let us hope he stays healthy, and improves with further experience and Oline continuity.

    5 more games to Super Bowl Victory #2! Woohoo!

    • Drew says:

      They watned Dominique Easley at #32.

      • Ben2 says:

        Yeah, it was Easley….I remember hearing that, in the war room, that after Easly went people appeared bummed.

        • Volume 12 says:

          Remember too though that PC gives clues on twitter before their picks as to who they’re going to be drafting. The first clue this year was ‘Van down by the river.’ Doesn’t sound like a clue that would allude to Joel Bitonio, but I could’ve been wrong.

  17. KenE says:

    Coming from a family of coaches I have ragged on the Seahawk line the whole time. I’m changing my thinking. The defensive lineman these days in the NFL are too talented. No lineman are going to dominate the good d lineman anymore. They might win 80% of the battles but not 100%.

    I think the days of Walter Jones might be gone.

    And the Seahawk brain trust know what they’re doing. Get the best run blockers. Get a great scrambling QB. And make the best of it with pass blocking.

    So I’m done banging on em.

    GO HAWKS!!!!!!

    • rugby lock says:

      Big Walt would dominate in ANY era. Holmgren has repeatedly said Walt was the best offensive player he ever coached. Must’ve been nice when game planning to just X out the all pro DE opposite of Walt…

    • VaHawk says:

      I hear what you’re saying, but there are plenty of teams that get more out of their linemen. The Bengals consistently seem to draft well along the OL. So do the 49ers. Our offense with the 49ers line would be tough to stop. Personally, I don’t think Britt grades out much worse than the rest of our line. Russ is often having to dodge multiple linemen when he drops back. Britt is only responsible for 1 of them 😉

    • Alex says:

      It’s not just that D linemen are too talented. Yes, they’re talented, but aside from weight training and training regimes (something everyone has access to), the more athletic players big guys are increasingly playing on the defensive side of the ball.

      The other thing is just this massive dip in the O-line talent pool from the after the mid 00s. There was a period when Walter Jones, Orlando Pace, Jonathon Ogden, Willie Roaf, Willie Anderson, Tony Boselli, and Tarik Glenn all roamed the earth. There was also a nice second tier made up of Jamaal Brown, Jon Jansen, etc. I would honestly take the first 6 over any tackle in today’s game be it Jason Peters or Joe Thomas, and even Tarik Glenn at his apex is every bit the player that Joe Thomas is today.

      The only tackle in recent memory with true HOF talent that could both run block and pass block like the old guard is probably Duane Brown of the Texans, but he’s really only had 2 season (2011 and 2012) when he was playing at that HOF level. He’s been plagued with a foot or ankle injury since 2013 that sapped him of his mobility and he wasn’t fully developed yet from 2008-2010.

    • Alaska Norm says:

      I think part of the plan is to let as many d linemen through as possible so the run into each other when RW does his patented spin out move…..

  18. Phil says:

    I guess it’s a sign of just how good our team is when the guy who seems to be taking the most heat from the fans is a rookie RT.

    I’m all for PC’s focus on competition. So, use some draft picks (not 1st or 2nd rounders) to see if someone can unseat Britt. But, for the remainder of this season, leave things as they are. Continuity for an OL is important and we are already facing changes due to Okung’s and Unger’s injuries.

  19. Phil says:

    Off topic, but read in the morning paper that Sammie Coates has decided to declare for the 2015 draft. Any word on “Duke” Williams?

    • Volume 12 says:

      Auburn is still waiting on ‘Duke’ Williams Phil. I saw that about Sammie Coates as well the other night. Could not be more excited! I love that kid. I’ve been thinking about it and Rob may be right. Sammie just has that rare athleticism that Seattle likes in the 1st and 2nd Rd’s. He’s always upbeat/smiling, lost his father at age 10, plus how can you not love or root for him when you see that special relationship he has with the little girl who has cancer? Was it you Phil who said him and RW seem like they would hit it off? To me this kid may be a Jody Nelson type wr with Cordarrelle Patterson like athleticism.

  20. OZ says:

    People need to cut Britt some slack. Remember this a run first and foremost team, and will always be as long as PC is at the helm. Britt’s pass-pro will improve, he’s a rookie for crying out loud. Miller’s absence is really hurting his development.
    This is a very deep draft for linemen.

  21. JeffC says:

    San Francisco sportspages have headlines like “49ers lose to a bad call.” Wow. Pathetic. How the mighty have fallen. I would not be surprised to see a further free fall for them next season. Reminds me after 2005 how we lost Hutch, 2006 sucked, and we blamed the vikings. We blamed Alexander falling off the cliff. I remember a John Morgan article blaming Hasselbeck for doing too much, injuring himself, and putting himself above the team needs after he challenged Patrick Willis at the goal line. Then there was the Ruskell vs Holmgren fiasco. Then Mora. Seems like a parallel.

    The seahawks have truly imposed their will, demoralized and defeated their chief rival.

    • CC says:

      They have to find some justification somewhere. Seattle has had several bad calls this year – but for the most part, they have risen above it. They didn’t make the plays when they needed too. They had 64 or 67 yards on offense in the second half – that was not because of a bad call.

      • JeffC says:

        You also wonder what Justin Smith does. He’s one or two years away and will he want to keep playing? Same with Boldin. Crabtree is an FA. Gore is done there. Iupati is probably done as well. Staley is getting up there. Vernon Davis has made himself less valuable than Luke Willson. And what do you do with Kaep? I think of all those players, Justin Smith would be their toughest to replace.

        • rugby lock says:

          Another decade of irrelevance for the Whiners?? 🙂

        • CC says:

          Depending on where Jimmy ends up coaching, there is a chance a few of them follow him to his new team if cut. Somehow, I doubt Crabtree will follow him – poor Crabs, he thought this was going to be his year to get a huge salary. After this season, and coming off the injury, he’ll like have to pull a Maclin and do a one year deal in hopes he plays better.

    • Rob Staton says:

      Even if that penalty didn’t count — it’s hard to imagine San Francisco winning the way that game was going. 10-7 might’ve been enough.

  22. rugby lock says:

    One more point on the disparity between run blocking and pass pro ratings for OL… Dallas has the number 1 run blocking line but at 19th in pass pro according to the table Robo linked to. Food for thought…

  23. Robert says:

    Gilliam has tremendous upside. He needs to add 15 pounds and get a little stronger. But he is very athletic and has the quick feet to kick slide AND block at the second level. I predict he becomes our RT next year and Britt becomes our LG.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I predict they leave Britt at RT and draft 3 offensive linemen who could end up just about anywhere on the line. I say just about anywhere because our two best offensive linemen are out of the game with injuries again. We need quality backups.

  24. VaHawk says:

    I could live with Britt getting beat in pass pro, if he wouldn’t commit so many penalties. The entire OL is having a tough time remembering the snap count, for some reason. It’s a drive killer, especially when you’re trying to be a run-first team. If I’m the GM of this team, I want to know if this is a coaching issue or a specific player ability that I need to look for. We seem to have fiesty guys may lack some discipline, and that costs us penalty yards in some key situations.

    • JeffC says:

      There was speculation on the radio today that PC isn’t overly concerned with the penalties. He’s more interested in the execution being as quick as possible and is willing to live with the false starts. Both offensively and defensively, which may be why we get so many offsides calls too.

  25. Soggyblogger says:

    Carpenter is the bigger issue. Unless one assumes he will be re-signed. I think the coaches and FO are quite happy with the right side of our offensive line. They sing the praises of Sweezy and Britt is getting 100% of the snaps. Pete and Cable are willing to platoon a position as they did with Sweezy and Moffitt. So what they show us, and tell us, is that they are happy and I have no reason to doubt them.

    Bailey has done remarkably well as a replacement LT considering what we pay him. What PC/JS decide regarding Okung and Carpenter will dictate how high they go for an OL. But generally, it seems like they will again have the luxury of drafting the best available player, and redshirt him even.

    I’d want them to negotiate a reasonable (Bennett-like) contract for Avril, and re-sign Wagner and KJ. Keep the whole dang defense together. I could even see them take DL in the first round of the draft. Personally, I favor a future replacement for Mebane. Someone like Danny Shelton.

    Unless we strike gold, any player drafted is a likely backup at whatever position they draft.

  26. Volume 12 says:

    I’ve seen there’s been some discussion about finding another blocking TE. I agree with this as well, and I think there’s a couple guys who would fit what Seattle looks for at the position. It seems like they prefer the ‘old-school’ type TE. I know they tried to trade for Julius Thomas, Fleener, Cameron, etc. but maybe a mix of the two would suit them best and that leads me to a guy I’ve been banging the table for and will continue to.

    Clive Walford, TE, Miami,Fla.: He’s 6’4, 258-262 lbs., was a former Basketball player, grew up in a terrible part of Florida known as ‘The Muck’ (which at one time had the highest AIDS% per capita), has a wife and son whom he plays the game for, is a highly respected teammate and one of their leaders, is a terrific inline blocker (maybe most important), he’s gritty/physical, highly competitive, has swagger, and a little bit of a BeastMode vibe to him. Some say he’s not that athletic or not very fast, but I think he’s a better athlete than people think. Too me he’s somewhat a mix of Julius Thomas and Zach Miller. He’s got a Julius Thomas type skill-set in a Zach Miller type body + Miller’s blocking. He’s currently got a knee injury and may not perform at the combine, which would lead him to slip a little, right into the spot I think Seattle should take a TE and that’s with our 3rd Rd. comp pick we’ll get for Golden Tate. If he works out you get a stud and lock down your TE position for years, if not then no biggie because really it’s an extra pick and he becomes a good backup or depth guy. And let’s not forget Miami,Fla. is/has been known as TE-U.

    It’s not a great class for TE’s this year, true, but there are some good ones. Ohio St TE Jeff Heuermann is another one and supposedly an athletic freak and extremely physical as well. He also seems to fit what Seattle like in TE’s. Of course Minnesota TE Max Williams is the best of the bunch, but I’ll be shocked if he comes out since he’s a R-SO.

    • CC says:

      It sounds like you’ve done some work on TEs – Funchess is more receiver than blocker – thoughts on him?

      • Alaska Norm says:

        Sounds like we could use a Fuchess and a Walford. Hopefully Walford will drop to the mid rounds w/o the combine. I don’t know anything about him but I like your review. I’ll check him out. I’m a big fan of getting some talent at the TE position. A blocker and a big receiving TE could help RW out immensely. Our current OC is not a big TE guy but good chance he’ll be on to a head coaching job after this season. Maybe the next man up will have that in his game plans. Hope so, I love watching the big guys rumble.

      • Volume 12 says:

        I like Funchess the athlete more than Funchess the hybrid or big wr. Then again, Seattle does like it’s athletes, because to me that’s what being a good coach is all about. You go find me the athletes and I’ll coach ’em up or fix their so called ‘flaws.’ Plus guys who are raw don’t have a lot of bad habits, but I digress.

        Funchess is NOT a good route runner. I think he could end up being a Kelvin Benjamin or BMW type guy, but for every highlight reel catch Benjamin has, he also has drive killing drops or dropped TDs. I know, I know sounds familiar. But he comes off kind of lazy as well. And that could stem from frustration with how Michigan has struggled recently as much as anything. Now if Seattle goes wr in the 1st Rd., my choices would be Sammie Coates or ‘Duke’ Williams, but if ‘Duke’ doesn’t come out or Sammie’s off the board, then I would probably take Funchess next.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      Great choices Volume 12. I like Walford, hope we can get him.

  27. seahawks509 says:

    JR Sweezy is a little bit of a different example to compare because of two reasons

    1) He was a late round pick, Britt was not
    2) Sweezy transferred from defense to offense, Britt did not

    Sweezy improved so much between year 1 and year 2. I think a lot of that has to do with being in a professional atmosphere, being on a professional work regime, and coach Cables teachings. Cable vouched for this guy, like he probably has most of his guys, but I think more so with Britt than anyone else. You did a nice write up on that already. I do think we’ll bring in some late round guy for competition like we usually do. Besides that I don’t think we make a drastic move for a OL. I think getting Russell a big body receiver or possibly replacing Lynch are our biggest priorities.

    • seahawks509 says:

      A lot will be determined in FA. We obviously know Wilson and Wagner are up for extension. KJ Wright, Maxwell, Malcolm Smith, and Cliff Avril are all up for FA. I think Avril becomes a must keep unless he wants more than we can pay. We can’t really afford to lose one of our best pass rushers and use an unknown there. Irvin has stepped up but who’s next. I am not confident with Schofield (another FA) or a rookie pass rusher coming in and taking over that duty. KJ is arguably the better player of the 4. Smith might come cheaper and I think that could be the defining factor. Maxwell will more than likely be the next Browner and take a payday elsewhere. Remember that payday doesn’t necessarily mean as much with talking about the Seahawks as it would be with another team.

      Carpenter is another FA, but I think he’ll stay. Not sure he’s getting a lot of money and it might be best for him to stay in Cables running scheme. Kearse is a RFA and will probably be restricted as a 2nd rounder just like Baldwin was. He’s another guy I am sure is a lock. Besides that it’s just more depth that needs to be restored. All the money should go towards the defense (besides Wilson) and the draft should go towards helping Wilson. Same approach as last season.

  28. dave crockett says:

    I’d make two points.

    1. The most important one is that Britt has worked with very little protection inside or out. The plan was always to protect him with Miller, much like the team did with Giacomini.

    2. One of Britt’s major problems is strength. When he gets beat wide it’s usually about getting off the snap a hair late. More commonly, his problem is being driven back into Wilson’s lap. His initial punch doesn’t phase or re-route the defender. Strength is probably the most fixable problem you can have.

    ***
    On the flip side, you are getting near elite run blocking from the kid. You can make a case for swapping him out but you have to consider whether the team wants to give up elite run blocking.

    Consider that being a 2nd round pick didn’t in any way assure that the team would commit to him as quickly as it did. Bowie and Bailey were both still on the team.

    Consider also that in his press conference, Pete Carroll was *rough* on Bailey’s performance vs. SF, as rough as you typically hear Pete. But never singled out Britt or Sweezy, who both at times were horrific in pass pro. That’s a pretty good indication of the weight they put on run blocking versus pass pro.

    • Arias says:

      Actually i think that’s more indicative of Pete shielding his rookie from public criticism, because his deflections didn’t in any way mitigate Britt’s poor performance.

      Right now football outsiders has the Seattle line ranked the fourth best in the league in run blocking and 28th in pass pro. I can’t possibly believe Carroll can be happy with a chasm that yawning no matter what he might say to the press.

  29. CC says:

    How about adding this to the mix – do we need to draft a center to replace Unger? He is great when healthy, but hasn’t been healthy the last 2 years – which do you draft higher this year – center or RT?

    • Volume 12 says:

      Draft RT higher. You give Britt competition, and while I personally believe Britt is this team’s starting RT of the future or going forward, drafting a RT higher at worst gives you a good backup and a guy who could maybe slide over and play LT if Okung is not re-signed in 2 years. To me it’s a win-win.

      As for C, yes they should draft one late, but also a guy who can play some guard. Jean-Pierre is more than serviceable and I won’t be shocked if he’s brought back on a cheap FA deal again. Have you noticed Cable’s project of 2 years ago Ryan Seymour? This kid looks like he might end up being a stud C for the Cleveland Brown’s, who have one of the better o-lines in the league.

      • CC says:

        Cleveland loves our O line guys! Seymour and Bowie – sad we lost them.

        I like Lem too – but hoping we get someone else in there to groom.

  30. Britt says:

    I am sure this was harped on by the 119 comments before mine. But Britt may be horrendous in pass blocking he is actually quite influential in our running scheme. I personally believe that we should have kept Britt on the bench and let him develop this year, basically I would love too see him in Gary Gilliams spot if we had a #1 RT, but Seattle doesn’t have that. I think you were right on with Zach Miller, he would have provided a safety net for Britt. Idk why but I really like what I see, it is possible he could move in and take Carpenters spot when he leaves after this year. In my opinion Seattle has been building their offensive line for the run game much longer than for pass protection. I would rather have for us draft a T/G first round rather than a defensive linemen

  31. Volume 12 says:

    Totally off topic here. If Marshawn plays out his current deal or re-structures how would everyone feel about getting a Darren Sproles type RB in the mid rounds? I’m talking obviously a speed guy, good receiver, gimmick plays, and our MUCH needed punt and kick returner. IDK why, but I get the feeling Sproles(in his prime) is such a PC type of guy. Seattle is the smallest team in the league, by design not accidentally. Anyways, Oregon St RB Terron Ward (younger brother of TJ Ward) is a good comparison/interesting prospect. He’s 5″7, 195 lbs., his coaches say he’s physical and has a lot of attitude, former track guy, 4.4 speed, and he’s flat out ripped. Sorry to change the subject, it’s something I’ve been pondering. Thoughts?

  32. Belgaron says:

    My guess is they believe they will be in an improved offensive line situation if they can get all 5 starters back healthy and signed. Because Okung and Unger should be healthy and Carpenter, Sweezy, and Britt will continue to improve. Last off season, they expected Scott and Bowie to provide quality depth competition. So I think they will look to bring in 2-3 high quality candidates in addition to the guys they have. Pretty much like they do every year.

    At this point, I doubt they’ll look to dump Carpenter or swap Britt, but stranger things have happened. It’s definitely an option.

    This is the final year for Okung’s deal, so they may need to draft his understudy if they don’t think he’ll stick around after ’15.

  33. Trudy Beekman says:

    We’re still too far out to see how this class is going to shake out and where there may be value, but it seems likely with so many 2nd Round talents in this years OL class, that some may fall to the back of Rd 2. We’ve grown so accustomed to OTs flying off the board in the Top 10, that not putting any up there seems weird. IMO, Ogbuehi, Sambrailo, Clemmings, Peat, should go 1st Round, but I think we’ll have to see how they rack and stack after the combine because as of now, people are all over the place in their evaluations of these guys.

    While I would usually err on the side of giving the guy another year, a few things are at play here. One, his tape was awful coming out of college, especially the Georgia game. When Seattle drafted him, that was the first thing I saw and it was absolutely brutal … the guy looked undraftable. He continues to struggle in pass pro at the next level and through a full season hasn’t shown any improvement in my eyes. If Russell Wilson isn’t so mobile, I have little doubt that Britt would grade out as the worst RT in the league in pass pro. We can talk about having an average unit overall, but pressure off the right side, and up the middle when Unger is out, has been glaring.

    Two, with the departure already of Bowie who I think could have been starting at OT in a pinch, and the potential departure of guys like Okung and Carp, there are now holes on the OL that could be addressed early. If you take an OT in Rd 1 or 2, you can start them at RT for a year, Britt becomes a backup, and in 2016 shuffle it around and you maybe have a serviceable OT group with your new guy at LT and Britt back at RT in year 3. Free agency is another place to look. Last years LTs went for around 8m and have maybe not been as injury prone as Okung. Re-signing Okung, if they choose to go that way, would mean that there’s really no room to be drafting an OT in Rd 1.

    Unless Avril is re-signed, I think edge rush is going to be our greatest need and as a premium position, I would hope a guy like Markus Golden (who reminds me of a bit stumpier Ziggy Ansah) maybe falls to the back of Rd 1. We saw it last year with Easley and Marcus Smith.

    In the end, who am I kidding. Seattle drafts a LB Rd 1, trades out of Rd 2 and takes someone I’ve never heard of at a position I didn’t think we need that doesn’t fit the mold of anything I’d thought they wanted. He’s a pro-bowler in 2 years and I continue not being an NFL GM.