Remember Ethan Pocic? He was the Seattle Seahawks’ second-round pick back in 2017 and had the versatility to play either guard or (his preferred position of) center. Unfortunately, he’s never worked his way into the starting lineup without someone else getting injured, he’s played more guard than center, and then he was shelved for much of 2019 with his own injury woes.
With Justin Britt and Joey Hunt gone, B.J. Finney figured to be the presumptive favorite to replace him as the starting center in 2020, leaving Pocic either on the fringe of being cut or in the familiar role of reserve guard/center. One of the surprise developments in this year’s Seahawks training camp is the fact that Pocic, not Finney, has been anchoring the first-team offensive snaps thus far.
Recent team-mandated rules limit our ability to view training camps even through the live streams, so these tweets from media who were there will have to suffice.
On his first day, Quinton Dunbar watched Tre Flowers play right CB in #Seahawks team drills. Ethan Pocic got starting-center work for (apparently) resting B.J. Finney. Duane Brown watched Cedric Obuehi play LT.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) August 16, 2020
Ethan Pocic gets first first team reps at center. Finney with number twos.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) August 18, 2020
Pete says the competition at center is "wide open." Between BJ Finney, Ethan Pocic and Kyle Fuller. Wants to get that sorted out sooner than later but yeah, Always Compete and whatnot.— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 18, 2020
BJ Finney snaps at guard today. First I’ve seen. At RG right now. Pocic and Fuller handling center so far.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) August 20, 2020
First time I’ve noticed B.J. Finney at left guard, alternating with Mike Iupati. Ethan Pocic still the first center.— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) August 20, 2020
Finney played left guard more than center for the Steelers. #Seahawks
This may have been the first day I didn’t see BJ Finney take any center snaps. Maybe it’s Ethan Pocic SZN— Dugar, Michael-Shawn (@MikeDugar) August 20, 2020
C Ethan Pocic is running with the first team offense again.— Joe Fann (@Joe_Fann) August 20, 2020
Now we’re only a week into training camp and padded practices have only lasted for a couple of days. Tomorrow we have the first of two “Mock Games” at CenturyLink Field and we may get a better indicator of what’s to come through those scrimmages.
At present, you can interpret Pocic’s early first-team work as having more familiarity with Russell Wilson than the newcomer Finney. Pocic has seldom gotten the chance to prove himself at center and in the final year of his rookie deal, he just may breakthrough as a legitimate starting offensive lineman.
Alternatively, Finney is not cutting the mustard as first-team center and Pocic has usurped Finney as the favorite. In which case, the Seahawks might have just paid Finney at least $4.5 million guaranteed money to be a reserve. I don’t think that’s the case, but it’s one of the more interesting developments of training camp.
Always Compete, etc.