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Seahawks expected to have one of most experienced offensive lines in NFL in 2019

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For years former offensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks Tom Cable kept the offensive line room filled with highly athletic, young starters. In 2016 and the first half of 2017 the Hawks fielded the youngest, least experienced offensive line in the entire NFL.

In fact, the five starting linemen for the Seahawks were so young in and when the team traded a second and third round pick for Duane Brown at the trade deadline in 2017, Brown brought almost as many career games started as the entire rest of the offensive line. To put into perspective how inexperienced the 2016 line for the Hawks was, in the last two seasons the least experienced lines in the league were the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 and the Houston Texans in 2018, with the lines of those teams having a combined 181 and 168 career starts, respectively. In comparison, the 2016 Seattle offensive line finished the season with 121 combined career starts

In any case, here is how things are projected for all 32 teams across the league, thanks to the great tracking work that Thomas Emerick does on offensive lines and the projected starters.

As is seen in the data, most of that experience is on the left side of the line, where both Brown and Mike Iupati are in their 30s. Brown has stayed healthy to this point in his career, however, Iupati has battled injuries in recent years and last played a full sixteen games in 2012. Seahawks fans will have to wait and see how much he has left in the tank, but with both D.J. Fluker and Iupati having injury issues throughout their careers, it could be interesting season on the interior of the offensive line. In addition, three projected backups may start camp on one of the injury lists, as Demetrius Knox was placed on the NFI list and Phil Haynes landed on the PUP list when they reported for rookie camp on Wednesday.

In any case, it’s obvious the team has gone away from the strategy of youth on the offensive line that it pursued for so long, and appears to have come to the realization that young offensive linemen are not typically that good early in their careers.