The New NFL Siberia: Playing Guard for the Seattle Seahawks
Monday, August 24, 2015
Pick a guard, any guard
Don’t believe me? Name the starting guard for the Seahawks. Go ahead. I’ll wait. You can’t. Because the Seahawks don’t know themselves. Nearly three weeks into training camp, after numerous OTAs and mini-camps, the Seahawks are as uncertain of their starting left guard as you are.
According to multiple reports, here are the players that have logged time at the left guard position: Alvin Bailey, Drew Nowak, Kristjan Sokoli, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Keavon Milton, Mark Glowinski … and maybe you. Wait by the phone. You could get a call. And now add Justin Britt to this lengthy list. Is this bad? Well, it’s not good.
Glad that’s over with
The Seahawks’ first preseason contest against the Denver Broncos revealed a few ugly truths. We may not love preseason football, but we can be thankful for its learning opportunities.
One of the lessons learned is that Russell Wilson may very well be an endangered species in the upcoming campaign. Second-string quarterback Tarvaris Jackson did not make it all the way through the game. His estimated time out (4 – 6 weeks) may cause the blue birds to keep an extra quarterback on the roster. Which is a shame, because the Seahawks need to, apparently, throw as many bodies as they can at the offensive line.
Do you buy the line that Head Coach Pete Carroll gave about trying guys out at guard, as if that’s some kind of natural progression? The second-year Britt was the team’s starting right tackle all last season. He is one of the few offensive linemen to have started all 16 games. Highly drafted (second round), Britt is supposed to be an ascending player, if the Seahawks’ drafting prowess is more fact than fiction.
Instead, one of the few young offensive lineman the Seahawks have that is supposed to be a building block of the future — while the blue birds reload for another likely championship run— is now being shuffled among the who-dats at guard. No, they didn’t do that because they are pleased as punch with Britt.
Garry Gilliam, the former college tight end, is now being tried at Britt’s right tackle spot. Think that isn’t a message of assessment of Britt’s abilities to counteract speed rushers? We can probably use Gilliam as a litmus test for how well Britt is doing. If the undrafted Gilliam (or anyone else) continues to get first-team reps at the right tackle spot, it’s a sign that the Seahawks have lost confidence in Britt. The Seahawks’ roster still lists Britt as a tackle, but reports from camp indicate he’s still practicing at guard. All the more reason to think that maybe his sojourn inside was intended as a wake-up call (or worse) after his spotty preseason performance.
The lesson: Don’t let Von Miller put you on his lunch menu. Otherwise, we’ll move you to Siberia.
Right now, the left guard role is a grab-bag for the Seahawks. Bailey is thought to be the clubhouse leader for the starting slot, but should the Seahawks be unimpressed with Gilliam’s audition, don’t be surprised if Bailey is next in line at right tackle instead of the incumbent Britt.
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Over the past few seasons the Beavers have been commonly referred to as the Oregon Ducks’ “little brother.” It’s been close to 8 years since the Beavers last defeated Oregon in the Civil War, and it’s been even longer since they’ve had the type of success the Ducks have recently experienced. Although this year’s Civil War will be played in Eugene there’s still a chance that they could pull off an upset over the Ducks.
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This year’s receiving core is deep, fast and tall. There’s no doubt that the Duck’s receivers could give almost any team’s secondary headaches if they can put it all together on the field. If Devon Allen and Bralon Addison come back healthy, and Darren Carrington decides to stop smoking marijuana before big games, the sky’s the limit for the Ducks’ offense.
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Photo via Vernon Adams Facebook page (image cropped)
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Photo via Jimmy Graham Twitter page (image cropped)
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Photo via Joseph Young Twitter page (image cropped)
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Photo via Gary Payton Twitter page (image cropped)
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