Offensive line a work in progress
team. Some football observers have stated that the need to run to win in the modern NFL is overblown.
Schottenheimer, though, said again Sunday that the Seahawks want to be able to run even if the defence is geared up for it.
“We did a little 9-on-7 drill today, right? So it’s a heavy eight-man box, we’ve only got our seven blockers, they’ve got the extra safety down there, and so what’s critical is the ability to get movement up front. I saw us do that today. I saw some double teams where we were knocking guys back off the ball. That’s important, and then there’s a trust factor with the back and him hitting his landmark or his course, trusting that those blocks are going to happen because sometimes they happen late. Again, I think it’s a work in progress, but again, people are going to want to make you one-dimensional. We have to be able to run versus eight-man fronts, and that’s not always with checks. It’s got to have runs that you believe in (and that) this groups believes in. ‘Hey Schotty, we can run this no matter what we do,’ and I think we’re finding that identity right now.”
SEATTLE — Given the way many view the Seahawks’ offensive line, no coach in the NFL may have a tougher job than Mike Solari, hired last winter to replace the fired Tom Cable as Seattle’s new OL coach.
Monday, he met the media for the first time during training camp to discuss what he has seen four days into camp.
Here are some things that stood out :
FLUKER HAS ‘PURE ASS ATTITUDE’
Seattle’s most notable newcomer on the line is D.J. Fluker, a 2013 first-round pick of the Chargers who played last year under Solari with the Giants. Fluker has been running with the starting unit at right guard early in camp, though limited at times apparently due to a knee issue.
Solari offered an interesting description of Fluker.
“Pure ass attitude. D.J. has been — he’ll pound you. He’s a guy that brings the passion to the game. Again, I know you guys got great eyes, (watch) the way he works on the football field. He loves the game. He loves the game. He loves when the pads come on. He’s a physical football player and he brings passion and he brings an energy and a physicality that you want on your offensive line. You want that physicalness, you want that toughness on your offensive line, and he brings it.”
USING IFEDI AT GUARD IS ALL ABOUT COMPETITION
Germain Ifedi, the team’s first-round pick in 2016 and lightning rod for criticism following his penalty-riddled 2017 season, is still running with the starting unit at right tackle. But Ifedi also got some work Monday at right guard with Isaiah Battle at right tackle. Solari said not to read too much into it.
“The best five start, best five starts. So, we wanted to work them in a little bit in a sense of playing some different positions. We wanted to keep the integrity, the unit together so we can build that unity, that camaraderie, but we got to work some guys in a little bit if an injury happens or we have to move some guys. So, we’ll do that throughout every day to try make a little adjustment here and there.”
FANT PLAYS LEFT TACKLE, ODHIAMBO PLAYS GUARD
George Fant and Rees Odhiambo, each recovering from injuries that ended their 2017 seasons, got some brief work Monday in team sessions — Fant lining up at left tackle and Odhiambo at left guard.
For now, Solari says that’s where they will stay as they work their way back — Fant from an ACL injury suffered last August and Odhiambo from hand injuries suffered midway through the 2017 season.
“We’ve got to find the spots for them but the thought process is initially, starting off, starting Rees at guard and George at tackle because of the limited reps initially.
“We’re going to keep George grounded at the left tackle, but again, he’s got to be ready to adjust. Again, the best five start. The best five start, so again, we’ll adjust accordingly if needed.”
BROWN CONSIDERED ‘A GREAT LEADER’
Duane Brown, who signed a three-year extension keeping him with the team through 2021, is regarded by the Seahawks as almost as important for how he helps the team in the locker-room as what he does on the field, said Solari, who raved about the veteran left tackle’s leadership.
“Just watch the way he practices, watch the way he plays the game. Watch the way he competes, he leads, on and off the field. I know you men and you women don’t see it off the field, but in the meeting room, in the sense of being a pro, listening. In the back of his mind, he is like I got it, but he’s listening, focusing ... he’s been excellent. He’s a great leader, great position leader, great group leader, offence, great team leader.”
Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Duane Brown is described as a valuable leader by new offensive line coach Mike Solari.
Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny has performed well in training camp.