In the Seahawks’ second preseason game against the Vikings, their starting left tackle George Fant suffered a torn ACL. I’m no fan of Fant, but the former basketball player turned left tackle had put on 20 pounds in the offseason and was reportedly looking half-decent. It’s not saying much, but Fant was the second best player on the line.
At the end of the day, a weak position group got even weaker at the most important position. I’m on record saying that even though this team is talented and is no doubt of playoff caliber, I believe that their weak offensive line will prevent them from contending for a Super Bowl. The Seahawks have an organizational hubris that is the largest I’ve ever seen in my admittedly short time of really watching the NFL, and now the chickens will come home to roost.
Currently, the decision of trading back in the second round to select defensive tackle Malik McDowell while passing on offensive tackle Cam Robinson went from dumb to outright unforgivable. Yes it’s ‘unlucky’ that McDowell is out for the year after an ATV accident, but that kind of stuff just comes with the territory of taking a player who if he just did what he was capable of at Michigan State would’ve been a top 10 draft pick. Robinson has been great for the Jaguars in camp and will be their starting left tackle.
Even when Fant was in the lineup, things were not looking good on the line. Luke Joeckel is probably the worst guard I’ve ever seen and that experiment will undoubtedly crash and burn. Joeckel was a tackle his whole career, and may replace Fant, but that wouldn’t be a good option. Germain Ifedi sucked at guard last year and for some reason the Seahawks are now starting him at right tackle where he will likely suck again. Center Justin Britt is the best player on the line but even he is nothing special, and as a center there’s really not much he can do to help out the other spots. Replacing Fant will either be Rees Odhiambo or Ethan Pocic. Odhiambo is a second year player who as a rookie never started and was active for 8 of 16 games. He played guard at Boise State. Pocic was a second round pick out of LSU this season, and he played center. Yes, the two most likely candidates to replace Fant have never played tackle before. It’s important to note that Odhiambo replaced Fant when he exited.
The one thing you can point to is that Russell Wilson is the most elusive quarterback in the NFL, and also plays extremely well when under pressure. As was evident in the preseason game, the Seahawks run quick passes very effectively. They were able to move the ball down the field against the Vikings and score, I doubt that this can be a successful formula to win games in the NFL. Defenses will be able to get pressure all game while just rushing four. When the Seahawks are in 3rd and long situations, Wilson simply will not have enough time to throw the football. Their weak line makes them extremely one dimensional, and as a QB it’s really hard to hang in the pocket when you don’t trust the protection to do their job.
2017 will be a lost season in Seattle, and the front office is to blame.