Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable was on with Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN Seattle this morning and I took some notes on what was discussed.
What do they hope to accomplish during OTAs versus maybe mini-camp, training camp, and beyond?
Think getting these young guys introduced to our system, what we are going to be asking them to do both in the run system and the protecting system, so, with all of these young players here right not it is very important, particularly in his group.
What does getting these guys ready for camp during OTAs look like? What can Tom Cable and your staff learn in shorts and no helmets to really get these guys ready for training camp?
Whether they get it assignment wise. Don't think in the term of the combative side of it and can they execute and all that, that is a little bit ludicrous to even consider that right now when you're not even wearing helmets. So right now it is the learning phase, how do they learn? Can they learn? Can they capture the whole thing and retain it when they come back for training camp?
In regard to the challenge of the spread offense in college, is there any positive morsel of thought of the other side of these guys in a zone system? Of being able to come in and understand some of the zone concepts that are critical to your game?
Not really. They're so different. They have a whole different technique they use in that system. We just look for the guys that are smart and tough and have been really reliable over their career, physically and socially. Put them in our program and our culture and mold them.
What does your ideal offensive linemen look like?
"It's who's got the mental capacity to execute under duress. It starts with that. Physically, who is big enough, powerful enough to win in one-on-one battles. And the third thing is their health history. Have they been healthy, have they been able to overcome any minor injuries and keep playing? The really good ones, the ones I really envision to knock it out of the park, as you'd say, would have those three traits."
On how evaluation of players has changed
"It's OK to be disrespectful, it's OK to do whatever you want to and say whatever you want to because no one is held responsible. So you've got to look for those kids who have kind of been forced to toe the line, if you will. To be responsible, be accountable and were raised that way. No means no. And you've got to to dig until you do find those guys because if you don't you can get yourself in a bad spot."
In regards to the draft and sitting there with Germain Ifedi on the board in the 1st round
The cool thing about this year's draft is the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball was really deep. In years past you'd say "I hope Germain is there" and you'd get nervous as you get close. We're certainly glad he was there because that was the one we wanted, but had he been taken there was a plan B and plan C, there were a lot of options. Think the draft being so deep really helped everybody relax a bit, that however it works out we'll get a good player. But if we can hand pick one this is the one we want, and it worked out.
On Pro Football Focus' calling Ifedi the worst first-round pick in the draft
"You watch him and see what you think then ... People don't have to be accountable, they can say or think what they want, and that's OK. But what they really don't realize is how they could screw up a young person, because all these kids read all the Twitter and social media. One minute they're loved and the next minute they can't do this or they can't do that, it was a bad pick, or whatever.
Fortunately ... Germain is a strong-minded, strong-willed kid ... So I just think watching him play, it will be kind of cool, whoever they are, they'll kind of eat their words."
Are you looking for a different type of lineman than perhaps the other 31 teams in the league?
Don't know about that. Knows specifically what he is looking for; players who are comfortable being uncomfortable. Thinks that is a really important trait that you have to go, really get with these guys one on one, not just watching their film. They look tough and play hard yeah but who are they really?
Can you get into the school, their background, ask about them and where they come from. If they don't mind straining, being uncomfortable, then they probably fit to us. That is our thought on reliability.
Do they have a good health record? Sure they do, okay well do they like to work? Do they play football because it is cool and they get paid or because they like it? They like the grind, they like the hurt, if you will. If they are okay with that then those are the guys with the ingredient of grit we look for.
They will persevere when it gets hard, they'll be accepting of failures and understand failure is actually a learning opportunity and they won't go in the tank on you because some internet company says they suck or whatever that is, they will kinda look by that and through that and say "well, that is just their opinion, this is who I am and what I do."
Do you coach against some of that noise? Walk through that with these guys in ways you didn't the last decade or two?
Thinks definitely they do. You have to be willing, there used to be this saying when he grew up, your coaches kicked your tail and said you are going to be here on time this week and work hard, I don't care if you don't feel that good right now, go practice hard and bust your butt for your teammates. Now when you talk that way or in any way push them towards that you have to show them, you have to show them how the media is going to attack them, you have to show them how to respond to that or not respond to that.
Thinks before when coaches told him what to do when he was young you didn't question them you just said let's go. And now a lot of times because of the ... backed into a corner with social media and they are very guarded, you have to teach them how to handle this and how to deal with it. Think it is a big part of what we are doing.
How much time do you spend tailoring your offensive line play to the running back and quarter backs that are already there on your time?
Don't think you do it like that at all. That would be like a cat chasing its tail if you do that. Think you have to have a system. With Coach Carroll and our style of play and our philosophy and all of the things that are important to us here, if you are trying to mix and match all the time you are going to get a little bit jacked up here.
We try to find guys that fit into our system and philosophy. Are we looking for something different? I guess we are, we are looking for Seahawks. Not Ravens, Patriots, or 49ers. We're looking for guys that can play our way, our style, our philosophy that are passionate about it. Think who we are is what we are looking for and you go find that.
These guys are big, sees power and size. Is big powerful presence part of being a Seahawk as well?
Everything goes in cycles, he guesses. You find the character mold who fits who you are. "Right now it just happens to be these big, powerful goons. And that's cool," he said. "Some years it's not like that. Some years you're OK with that 306-to-308-pound guy because that's the strongest kid out there and that's all the bigger he is. This happens to be one of the years when they are 316, 323, and 331 and they can really move."
Thinks it is a cycle. All of a sudden we have a big group coming in. Ebbs and flows.
Who is your strongest guy in the weight room?
Thinks the strength and conditioning team have done an incredible job. The strongest guy is Mark Glowinski, he can lift a building. Would say Germain is going to be in there in the top 4 or 5, Justin Britt in the Top 3. Pretty fortunate this way. Both the young guys Rees Odhiambo and Germain should be in the top 5.
What should we make of Britt at this point?
Two years ago he played 17 games all the way through the Super Bowl and he was really consistent. And we made a move to LG and he was very inconsistent. His future is to make him a successful Seahawk. And there is enough background in him playing center (as a backup, never a starter) in his college days and we messed around with it last year. That we felt like we can stick him in there, that will continue to make us a little bit bigger, more experience in the lineup, a good brain in the lineup. We expect him to be successful and we're trying to see if he can play center.
You're going to have an almost entirely new offensive line this year, once you get it settled and everything worked out throughout training camp, how long should it take before we can accurately judge how that unit is doing?
The answer to that is it doesn't matter does it? Day one of training camp they'll start judging. They are already judging and we aren't even practicing with helmets on.
Are we winning? That is the only thing that matters.
That PFF piece was awful in regards to their Ifedi opinion. Worst of all is they talked about him in that piece like he is going to be playing OT for us in 2016. But he clearly isn't, he will be our RG.
Tom's eval of Britt was interesting. He calls him "consistent" in his RT play which had me scared he was blowing smoke, then called him inconsistent at LG. That leads me to believe he is telling the truth, or at least his perspective of the truth. Maybe the God's honest truth is he means consistently bad? They moved him away from RT and instead put a UDFA former TE there so clearly they didn't like his play at RT enough to keep him there.
I really, really don't like his final answer in this interview. I think it is complete B.S. to judge the OL play on wins or losses, especially when Russell Wilson is your QB. He (as we all) should be judging the OL play based on if they are succeeding in their assignments or not. Russ can find a way to win a game where he is hit 15 times and sacked 5 times but that doesn't mean the OL play was anything other than atrociously awful. This concerns me because what is on the stake is the QB's health, which is the biggest impactor of a season you can get in regards to player injuries.