The Seahawks will have a new-look offensive line in 2020 that features at least 60% turnover from a year ago. Pete Carroll touched on each position on Monday, raving about a few of Seattle’s new additions to the point where you'd never guess that Pro Football Focus recently ranked the Seahawks offensive line 28th.
As a whole, he referred to the offensive line as a “smart group” that has communicated well and benefitted from all the work done during the virtual meetings this offseason. Here’s the rundown, going from left to right along the line.
Duane Brown hasn’t been practicing the last few days, but that’s merely as a precaution.
“We’re trying to take care of him over the long haul,” Carroll said. “He’s in incredible shape.”
Seattle is desperate to keep Brown healthy for all 16 games after their star left tackle missed five games in 2019.
Mike Iupati re-signed with Seattle on a one-year deal this offseason and is the odds-on favorite to keep the starting left guard job.
“Mike’s been around a long time,” Carroll said. “He’s an established veteran and a really good player. The competition is on, but he’s taking all the first snaps to get us started in camp.”
While it’s Iupati’s job to lose, Phil Haynes and Jordan Simmons the top contenders behind him.
“Those guys look pretty good coming out of the shoot,” Carroll said.
B.J. Finney signed a two-year, $8 million contract with Seattle during the offseason. He’s the expected starter at center. However, Ethan Pocic received a vote of confidence when the Seahawks released Joey Hunt before camp.
Pocic has moved around a bit during his time in Seattle, but now he’ll be exclusively at center.
“He played everything in college, but mostly at center – where I though the looked the best,” Carroll said. “He had a fantastic offseason. He’s as primed as he’s been. He’s had a couple good days to get us started. The competition is on.”
Finney should be the starter, but everyone should keep tabs on Pocic just in case.
Damien Lewis became an immediate starter once the Seahawks released D.J. Fluker. Lewis, a 2020 third-round pick out of LSU, is already getting rave reviews from Carroll.
“He’s a special football player,” the coach said. “He’s got a tremendous body for the position. He’s got great body mass, and he’s really powerful. You can see him in positions already, torqueing, showing that he can return to balance really well, which is great for an offensive lineman. He’s really smart. He’s studied really hard. Guys already can sense that you can count on him to know what’s going on. He’s off to a really good start. He moves well on the second level. He’s showing us that he can pull and get on the edge. He’s done nothing but good stuff so far.”
Carroll recently had a sit-down discussion with Lewis about the expectations for him as well as his potential. “I was really impressed with how squared away he is,” Carroll said. “He has really demonstrated all of the stuff we would have hoped to see at this point.”
For as much as Carroll gushed about Lewis, he may have been even more excited about Brandon Shell.
Shell, who played his first four seasons with the Jets after being a fifth-round pick in 2016, signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Seahawks. He’ll replace Germain Ifedi, who is now with the Chicago Bears.
“It might be my favorite acquisition because he looks so much the part,” Carroll said. “He’s a big kid, has good body control – there hasn’t been a thing about him that hasn’t looked good. His consistency and his technique is really a joy to see. I think he’s going to be really good. He can get downfield. He can get off the edge and block. He’s stout in pass protection so far.”
Shell is listed at 6-foot-5 and 324 pounds, so he’s certainly imposing from that standpoint.
“He’s physical enough to be dominant,” Carroll said. “I’m really fired up about that.”