Olu Oluwatimi will be Seattle’s center, sooner than later

You can often learn a lot from Pete Carroll’s press conferences by parsing what he says. His tone often reveals more than the words.

It’s also pretty difficult for the world’s most energetic 71-year-old to hide excitement.

We’ve seen it with the way he’s discussed Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jake Bobo. Although the pair arrived in Seattle in very different circumstances, Carroll’s tone with both players has been nothing short of gushing. There’s a twinkle in his eye when he discusses the pair. It was notable that the often jocular Carroll seemed offended by a question after the first pre-season questioning Bobo’s speed (a characteristic that, it has to be said, the same reporter keeps bringing up and really needs to let it go — Bobo is legit, has been secure on this roster for a while and his pre-draft forty time was massively impacted by atrocious weather conditions).

Carroll expressed a concerned tone when talking about Mike Morris’ injury situation. Michael Jackson’s had a couple of challenging pre-season games. When asked yesterday for a review, Carroll looked away and said, “I need to see the film” — often code for an unwillingness to delve too deep into what was a tricky afternoon (the film isn’t needed when he wants to share positive thoughts).

I’ve noticed in the last two press conferences — before and after the Green Bay game — he has gone above and beyond to praise Olu Oluwatimi. He’s talked him up as being right in the mix, fighting for the starting job. He’s praised his toughness, fighting through injury to get back on the field. He’s all but stated ‘this is our guy’.

Evan Brown may start the season but he’ll be fighting to keep the job. I wouldn’t even be shocked if they throw Oluwatimi in there for week one. I think they see the former Michigan man as a long-term solution, someone who is capable of learning on the job just as Charles Cross and Abe Lucas did a year ago.

Perhaps Brown, a veteran, is more prepared today? I’m not suggesting they don’t rate him or don’t believe he can start. I just think with the way Carroll is speaking, they view Oluwatimi as the answer to a problem that has existed for a long time.

He was Mr. Consistency in college and is well regarded for his level-headed, intelligent approach to the position. If he does start against the Rams, it’d be a baptism of fire against Aaron Donald. That might just be something he has to suffer through as part of the learning process. Within a month he might’ve benefited from the live action and be in the best position to start for years to come.

Evan Brown is only on a one-year contract. They’ll start him if he’s clearly well ahead of Oluwatimi. That’s not the sense I get from Carroll, though. Oluwatimi is contracted for four years and if he can pick up the slack quickly — that’s three fifth’s of your offensive line on cheap rookie contracts for years. If it works out, they could be left with one of the best young offensive lines in the NFL.

Call this a hunch based on the way Carroll is speaking. Watching Oluwatimi combine with Anthony Bradford to carve open a huge running lane for Deejay Dallas yesterday has to get him excited. Oluwatimi was part of a very successful, award-winning, Championship winning O-line in the BIG-10. He’s better prepared than most players to come in and start quickly.

I get a sense that sooner than later this will be Oluwatimi’s starting role and when he gets the job, he won’t relinquish it — securing the heart of Seattle’s O-line for years.

Don’t rule out week one against LA for a starting berth.

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  1. Mick

    How great would it be to have him start and completely take Aaron Donald out of the game. Fantasies aside, he doesn’t seem to be that much behind Brown and we’ll see him play this year. Looks like another very solid pick for the 5th round.

  2. Tony

    For all the rough drafts, these last 2 look to fully build a dynamic oline and stack our team with playmakers. We also revamped the entire secondary and found some pass rushers. The excitement in the building and the media over the hawks is legit. This looks and feels like 2011/2012 with these huge draft hauls.

    One thing that also can’t be understated is the amount of former players around this young group. Kj, sherm, Avril, Bennett, Mike Rob, Kam, etc. There is real excitement from that group on the young talent here. Add in Bobby’s return, and I haven’t seen the swagger in so long. But this team def oozes young brash confidence.

  3. Gaux Hawks

    Don’t forget about the (inevitable) benefits of Olu practicing against Chris Jones every week… sign me (and Chris Jones) up!

  4. Starhawk29

    Olu became a house favorite in our family last year during the CFB season. Whenever we saw a Michigan game, he stood out, which is damn hard for a center to do. I genuinely believed he would be our C of the future, and am ecstatic that I might be right.

  5. AlaskaHawk

    I watched the preseason game yesterday and wanted to mention Matt Gotel as nose tackle. He’s 6-1 and 341 pounds. I was evaluating the defense against the run and didn’t see a lot of runs up the middle. Also read that he was in XFL football league last year. So maybe Pete has found a nose tackle and I hope he finds another for the practice squad. Gotel most reminds me of Al Woods.

    Regarding run defense it seemed like a lot of runs were taking advantage of pass rushes on the edge. Where were the outside linebackers? That group seems to be thin.

    Also not a fan of Michael Jackson’s defensive face guarding technique. Playing with your back to the quarterback and ball means your always reacting. If he had just turned around he would have had an interception in the end zone yesterday. He also got beat deep a few times. For me he is a backup.

    • Troy

      I was at the game yesterday. While I am excited about this team, the run defense has me worried. Green Bay controlled the line of scrimmage and time of possession. Yes, it’s only preseason, but I’ve seen this type of defense for the last 3 years and yesterday (backups or not) was more of the same.

      • Rob Staton

        This is also my concern

        Very little seems to have been done to fix the biggest problem on defense this year

        • AlaskaHawk

          I want more defensive linemen, but I’m not sure that the problem is in the middle of the line. They have spent a lot of draft capital on defensive ends / outside linebackers. I’m hoping someone can analyze where the runs are going to, but I think they are working trapping the edge rusher and running between the rusher and the interior line.

        • RealDangerRuss

          Read this today:


          Would you guys be willing to give up picks to bring Wilkins to Seattle? He’s obviously looking for a massive contract but Dude would be a beast playing next to Dremont Jones. I would love for that to happen.

          • Rob Staton

            I don’t think win-now Miami will trade him

      • cha

        Me personally, I don’t the preseason was ever going to convince me that they’ve solved the run defense problem.

        We need to see it in action. The first few weeks should be a stout test.

        Week 1 – Cam Akers
        Week 2 – Jahmyr Gibbs & David Montgomery
        Week 3 – Miles Sanders & Chubba Hubbard
        Week 4 – Saquon Barkley
        Week 5 – Joe Mixon

        • Brodie

          Yep. We’ll know pretty quickly how much progress they’ve made from last year. We’ve got CMC x2, Chubb, Pollard, Derrick Henry and the revenge game for Penny too.

          If we can be a mid-level run D against all of those guys, that will be a success.

        • Sneekes

          That’s a free Fantasy Football cheat sheet right there.

    • Malanch

      “Gotel most reminds me of Al Woods.” –Alaska

      For what it’s worth, here’s a side-by-side comparison of Gotel’s and Woods’s pre-draft measurables. On paper, these two seem to have strikingly different body types and athletic profiles.

      Matthew Gotel, W. Florida (redshirt senior), Pro Day only, 3/11/22
      Ht: 6′ 1 3/4″
      Wt: 341 lbs
      Hand: 9 3/4″
      Arm: 32 3/8″
      Wing: 78 1/8″
      40: 5.34 sec
      10: 1.87 sec
      Bench: 32 reps
      Vert: 27″
      Broad: 8′ 6″
      SS: 4.75 sec
      3C: 7.83 sec

      Al Woods, LSU (senior, one-year starter), 2010 NFL Combine plus Pro Day, 3/15/10
      Ht: 6′ 3 5/8″
      Wt: 309 lbs
      Hand: 11″
      Arm: 36″
      Wing: –
      40: 5.20 sec (4.98 sec at pro day)
      10: 1.84 sec (1.71 sec at pro day)
      Bench: DNP shoulder (23 reps at pro day)
      Vert: 37″
      Broad: 9′ 1″ (9′ 0″ at pro day)
      SS: 4.67 sec
      3C: 7.45 sec

      I take it you’re noticing a similarity in play-style or mentality?

      • Malanch

        . . . Oh, I forgot a data point.

        DOB: 1/2/99

        DOB: 3/25/87

      • AlaskaHawk

        I didn’t follow Al Woods until later in his career when he came to Seattle for the second time. So as a seasoned veteran I thought he held his position well and made tackles, but he wasn’t a fast pursuer. Those are the same things I see in Gotel.

        Others may just compare weight and then look for someone like Mone to compare him to. None of these players are the unicorn defensive tackle that disrupts the offense and chases quarterbacks like an angry bear.

        At this point I’m just happy the Seahawks have found one player that if healthy can be a nose tackle.

        • Malanch

          Al Woods has special arm length and hand size, and one of his early strengths as a player was his ability to play with “heavy hands.” Those ridiculous explosion numbers (37-inch vert and 4.98-sec forty at 309 pounds) certainly have played a role in his developing into a journeyman stalwart. Such natural athleticism, reasonably well preserved after adding at least 20 pounds to his frame, likely has a thing or two to do with him still being able to hold down a job in his mid-30s.

          If Gotel is going to carve out his own place in the league, he’ll have to tap into what makes him special. Length and explosiveness simply are not among his attributes, but his natural thickness and great strength are at least something to work with.

  6. cha


    I cannot imagine this makes Christian Wilkins available, but if he is they’d be foolish not to inquire.

    The tag for DT’s in 2024 will be about $21m or so and Miami would need clear a ton of cap room to make that work.

    Also they don’t have a 3rd or 4th round next year. Less if they do indeed make a trade for Jonathan Taylor.

    • Rob Staton

      According to a Miami fan I know their run defense is equally atrocious and they feel like they can’t function without Wilkins

      That said they also seem to be going after Jonathan Taylor because they are now a team that likes to make flashy trades so they can do with cap space and picks

      • cha

        Did they lose a lot of key pieces this offseason?

        Because they were 4th in yards/game, 4th in yards/attempt and middle of the pack in rushing TDs conceded last year.

        • Rob Staton

          Apparently it’s been an issue during pre-season

    • Zxvo3

      Would love to have Wilkins on this team, seems much more likely than a trade for Chris Jones IMO

  7. Tim

    Freddie Swain released by Eagles according to: https://nfltraderumors.co/2023-nfl-roster-cuts-tracker/

    • STTBM

      Thought he was gonna be a player, but he never put it together. Bummer….

  8. STTBM

    I’m hopeful Olu is the guy.

    I’ve always liked DJ Dallas, and he seems to have kept his speed despite bulking up this year. He’s a Chonk, but he really moves! It’s just preseason, but he looks good out there…

    Sarodrick Thompson looks like a find too. No way he makes it to the PS, we gotta IR McIntosh somehow to keep him on the team–if we can designate him for return. Bellore could be cut then resigned….

    • cha

      Bellore won’t be cut. He’s safe.

    • Malanch

      My mom almost named me SaRodorick, no apostrophe and all. Went Jed instead. One thing I’ll say about this particular player: At least his street racing hasn’t gotten anyone killed.

  9. LouieLouie

    With Oluwatimi they do seem to have solidified the O-Line. We’ll see during the regular season. Carroll and Schneider have done a good job building it through the draft. The run game defense is still a problem. If they can’t bring in a free agent or two in the next few weeks, it will most assuredly be the focus of next offseason.

  10. JimQ

    An overly obvious point!
    It seems to me that it’s been a long, long time since the Seahawks have consistently won the “time of possession” battle. That, to me says they obviously have to get better on the defensive side. If they could only control their opponents running game, they would force the opposition to pass more & that appears to be forcing them to attack one of the strongest parts of the Seahawks game, their pass defense. Run defense is all about proper execution at every position, one slacker & it implodes. PC & JS need to fix it quickly or we will be a similar team to last years. IF they can improve the run defense they could go deeper into the playoffs & hope to be at their peak in the post-season (and also, get lucky winning close games). Beat the bushes for some interior DL talent – JS.

    • AlaskaHawk

      The offense seemed more geared to trying out players even at the beginning of the game. Mostly it was Lock passing to varous receivers. Not a lot of running plays and they were mostly shut down. But I really think the game plan was built around seeing how much Lock has improved and verifying which second string linemen and receivers they will keep.

      To some degree they were doing that on defense too. They were using lots of players we won’t see again or will be on practice squad.

      So offensively the stats looked fairly similar to last year with Green Bay having longer time of possession and more yards. But we never really got to see the best running backs with the best offensive linemen. I would worry about Geno Smith being rusty, but with the first game being two weeks away everyone will be a bit rusty. I’m just hoping that the team will be better.

  11. Brodie

    If Olu is a mainstay for years to come, that goes a long way toward breaking in a rookie QB as well. Center is an inexperienced QB’s best friend. Now we just need to draft one!

    Not to mention what an Achilles heel it’s been for us to try to find an above average (serviceable?) Center for so long. Locking that position down for years would be welcome relief.

  12. Rushless pass

    Phins and Wilkins at a stalemate. The end end up extending Sieler. I wonder if they end up dealing him

    • Rushless pass

      Should have read through the comments! Cha beat me to it

  13. Volume12

    Anyone watched A&M DT McKinley Jackson? That is a grown man, NFL NT right there.

  14. Blitzy the Clown

    Kudos to the FO for the belt-and-suspenders approach to improving the C position by signing Brown and drafting Oluwatimi.

    Totally agree he’s the future, and further, I think the reason he probably won’t start in week 1 is his elbow.

    • Rob Staton

      He played a lot yesterday, so I suspect he’s healthy enough to go (especially with two weeks now until gameday)

  15. Rob Staton

    On Christian Wilkins:


    • cha

      That all makes sense.

  16. cha

    Focusing a bit on Tyreek Smith in the rewatch, I see him not able to set the edge as much as I’d like for an OLB. I am certain the Seahawks will want that from him.

    That said, I still like what he brings. He did ‘stay home’ on a couple handoffs that could have been play-action, instead of being tempted to abandon his edge and chase the runner.

    He has a look and build not unlike Derrick Hall. Strong enough to engage OTs in the run game and enough movement to make the QB move out of his comfort zone on occasion.

    He is basically a rookie as well.

    I’d rather have him on the roster than a rah-rah try hard Rudy type player in Levi Bell or John Rhattigan. Much, much higher ceiling.

    • cha



    • Rob Staton


    • Blitzy the Clown

      I saw the same, but to my eye it looked like he just bit too hard on his early read and ran himself out of contain. I could be wrong on that but that’s what I recall thinking when it happened.

    • Peter

      Agree with your assessment but isn’t bellore the very definition of a rah rah try hard?

      • cha

        We’re allowed one.

        • Sea Mode

          +ST value

      • bmseattle

        Isn’t Bellore newly signed, with a rather ridiculous (for his ability/role) contract?

        • Peter

          I don’t really care one way or the other on Bellore. But yeah it’s almost 2.5 mill guaranteed for YouTube content and special teams.

    • Malanch

      “… a rah-rah try hard Rudy type player in Levi Bell or John Rhattigan.”


  17. Sea Mode

    I’m torn between adding a piece now and just continuing to build through the draft, which has gone so well for us the past two years. I think it will come down to cost on one of those big-name DTs. My guess is Chris Jones will simply cost too much. Wilkins may be more attainable.

    Then again, maybe not if his demands are so high…

    Also interesting to see if Fangio himself considers him a fit for his scheme and worth top dollar to retain? After all, we are supposedly trying to run a similar scheme.

    Not a lot of sacks, but lots of TFL, QB hits, and batted passes, as well as excellent grades:

    Wilkins established himself as a top-10 interior defender in his fourth NFL season. PFF run-defense grades of 80.8 in 2021 and 78.9 in 2022 ranked him among the top four players at the position. Although stronger as a run defender, he has also produced 70.0-plus PFF pass-rushing grades in each of the past two seasons.

    • Big Mike

      Oh man, those PFF run grades make me salivate for a trade.

      • bmseattle

        Be happy, Big Mike!
        Jamal Adams had similar PFF run grades back when he was healthy!

        • Big Mike

          Oh well we good then since he’ll be healthy all year.

          By the way, I assume PFF gives plus grades for being the 3rd man piling on a tackle. Or maybe they grade up for acting like a bad ass in that situation. *shrug*

  18. cha

    It’s started.

    Nobody worth really fighting for.


    Waived one day after Seattle played its preseason finale were tight end Sal Cannella, defensive end Jordan Ferguson, receiver Malik Flowers, cornerback Benjie Franklin, receiver Justin Marshall, cornerback Chris Steele and running back Wayne Taulapapa.

  19. cha

    Cryptic tweet incoming

    DeeJay Dallas
    Such is life.

  20. Charlie TheUnicorn2187

    The OL depth at center looks good and solid. With two guys who can conceivably start.
    The OL depth at swing tackle however has not been as good as hoped. With the recent cut of Ofedi, I wonder if he could be brought in on a decent deal and add some veteran experienced depth to the tackle position on the OL. Forsythe, Ryan and Curhan have not really knocked my socks off this preseason.

    • bmseattle

      While he’s a clear downgrade from Lucas, Curhan could at least get by and RT.
      If Cross goes down, we are in big trouble, however. Forsythe is not a capable LT right now, and may never be.
      the Jury is still out on Cross… but in many ways, he is the most important guy on our OL. Or at least the one guy we can’t really replace.

  21. STTBM

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Flowers on the PS, and perhaps Ferguson and Cannella. Flowers is a good returner, and he showed that…

  22. Jeff

    Rob, you planning on doing a blog entry or video on your Trey Lance 49er retrospective thoughts and any thoughts on him going forward? Including whether you would have had the Seahawks give up a 4th rounder for him?

    I’m sure there are many people that would love to hear you chime in on it!

    • Rob Staton

      I’m not planning an article on that, basically because my opinion of him was ‘wouldn’t draft him’ and that has since proven to be a good position to take. I wouldn’t have wasted a seventh on him frankly, let alone a fourth.

  23. JP

    I don’t read between the lines on what Carroll says. I just listen. He speaks what he means. But, yes, his tone and gush need to be read too; and what order he brings things up.

    With that said, you mentioned Donald which is a perfect reason to not throw Olu into the week one mix. Brown was in Detroit with Goff and had probably a better idea how to attack Donald. Maybe.

    But ultimately it’s about who is communicating best with the line, and Brown is probably still a bit ahead in that. My guess is that Brown starts week one, but this is a good article for me as a reminder it’s an always compete world there and Olu’s not counted out soon!

    • Rob Staton

      There’s no point hiding Olu for one game

      He needs to learn by taking on Donald not babying him

      He’s either or he’s not. If he’s not, that’s fine. If he’d play if Donald isn’t the opponent, he should play.

    • Malanch

      “I don’t read between the lines … yes, his tone and gush need to be read …”


      Well, I’ve long heard that nonverbal communication is 93 percent of total communication.

      Rob, did you ever hear Danny O’Neil’s “Parsing Pete” segment on 710 ESPN back in the day? He had fun going over the top with it, but many times his “parsings” actually were dead-on with what I had been gleaning.

      • Rob Staton

        I did, I remember that segment

  24. Big Mike

    Hey Robbie,
    How bout our Mariners!

    Long way to go but sure has been awesome the last couple of months.

  25. Big Mike

    On a Seahawks note, who takes DeeJay’s roster spot if he is indeed cut?

    • Spectator


    • Ashish

      I will believe it when DJ Dallas is cut. If he is cut, it will be similar to DLine, new RB room.

  26. cha

    Gregg Bell thinks the Seahawks cut or trade Devin Bush, because Jordyn Brooks will be ready.

    Really? They’re already thin at ILB. Not sure saving $1m there is the way to go.

    • Rob Staton


      • cha

        It’s not like PC told Gregg they wouldn’t rush Jordyn Brooks if he wasn’t ready.

        Oh wait. That’s exactly what Pete said.

  27. geoff u

    I wouldn’t mind letting Evan Brown start the first half of the season and then letting Oli take over, that way he gets more adjustment time and won’t be hitting that rookie wall late in the season. On the other hand, if he’s on par with Brown, why not just let him start? That would also be kind of a shit deal for Brown.

    • Rob Staton

      Didn’t hurt Abe Lucas starting and playing throughout

  28. cha


    2. I worry about run defense. Seattle’s Achilles heel will be first and second down, as it was last year, when the team surrendered 4.9 yards per rush. This team will be average at best if that happens again. End Dre’Mont Jones was a physical and tough add in free agency, but with no picks to buttress run D in the top three rounds, and only 30-year-old journeyman (and former ‘Hawk) Jarran Reed to add to the front, this aspect of the defense could be a killer.

    I left here thinking if Seattle can improve to middle-of-the-pack against the run, the NFC West will be a Niners-‘Hawks contest into January.

    • Big Mike

      Sigh 😕

  29. Big Mike

    Saw an article on a Seahawks oriented site all about how as fans if we’re not happy with the trade for Adams, the 9ers trade to get Lance was even worse with the tried and true “hey SF, hold my beer” line. He goes on to blame Ken Norton being gone for Adams’ blitz opportunities being cut in half year before last and then glosses over his inability to hold on to interceptions. He also mentions that Adams wasn’t hurt when with the Jets so it’s a surprise that’s been the case in Seattle.

    I’ll argue that A) perhaps the Seahawks should have factored in his size/body type and how it might or might not hold up before making the trade considering the blitzing usage they ontended for his role and B) that the far decreased blitz opportunities was by design in an attempt to keep him healthy and get playing time out of him.

    Worst of all is the attempt to deflect any criticism of the trade by saying “hey look over there at how bad the 9ers screwed up”. They definitely did, but that may be the most weak-assed argument for any outcome known to man. It’s as bad as “Johnny did it so why not me?”. The only salvageable result of the Adams trade would be 8 sacks, 8 more TFLs, 8 pass breakups and PFF grades in at least the low 80s. Oh, all that and playing at least 13 games. I’d wager a year’s worth of my pension none of this things happen even if he does play in that number of games.

    • cha


      • Big Mike


      • Malanch

        That link explains how the tu quoque is a form of ad-hominem, a fallacy so popularly abused I can’t help but feel cynical about the progress—and ultimately the promise—of humankind. If only such abuse of logic were restricted to harmless entertainment content. Unfortunately, the ad hominem and the strawman have become standard argumentation in everyday circles.

    • Rob Staton

      Sounds like writing for the sake of it

      • AlaskaHawk

        The difference is that the Seahawks could have waited and evaluated him for a season before signing the long term contract.

  30. TCHawk

    I notice NT Donovan Jeter was released by the NYG. He’s a 6′-3″, 325 lb, NT who came out of Michigan in the 2022 draft. Any thoughts on him?

  31. TCHawk

    Or Noah Elliss, 6′-4″, 346 lb, NT from Idaho selected as an UDFA by Philadelphia after the 2022 draft and was just released by Philadelphia.

  32. cha

    Ian Rapoport
    #Seahawks WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who recently underwent surgery to repair a small broken bone in his wrist, is expected to begin the season on the active roster, source said. No word yet on his availability for W1, but avoiding IR/designated to return is a sign he’ll play soon.

  33. Gaux Hawks

    Thoughts on the following cuts… ??

    TE Jace Sternberger
    OG Emil Ekiyor
    OT Alex Leatherwood
    WR Denzel Mims

  34. Daniel


    Brad Spielberger, Esq.
    Underrated best time of the NFL calendar:

    Fans who think they can get a 3rd round pick for a fringe roster guy on their own team, and simultaneously think they could acquire a legit starter from another team for a 6th

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