One of the few true training camp competitions for a starting spot has been decided, Pete Carroll told reporters on Monday afternoon. Asked if there had been any decisions on who will start at center for the Seahawks in Week 1, Carroll announced that it would be Ethan Pocic, not B.J. Finney.
For Pocic, 2020 was the first training camp where he was able to focus exclusively on the center position and clearly, it had a tremendous impact. Over Pocic’s first three seasons, he saw time as a tackle, guard, and at center. With Justin Britt released during the offseason, Pocic was able to move back to the spot where he started 27 games while at LSU, became an All-American, and did enough to be selected in the second round.
Carroll also revealed that Pocic had surgery during the offseason to fix a sports hernia issue that had been bothering him for several years. That likely explains Pocic’s bizarre 2019, which saw him placed on injured reserve with a core injury, brought off I.R. two months later, then placed back onto the injured reserve just two weeks after he returned. If healthy, Seattle could get strong play from Pocic, now at his natural position.
For Finney, it is the conclusion to what had to have been a disappointing training camp. Signed to a two-year deal with the expectation of replacing Britt, Finney struggled out of the gate and quickly lost first-team reps to Pocic. Guaranteed $4.5 million in 2020, Finney is at no risk of being released and should serve as the primary backup at center and potentially even both guard spots, where he has experience from his time with the Steelers.
Pocic’s nod as the starter at center brings to a close a position battle with a number of turns, which included the former starter Britt being brought in for two visits. It just so happens Carroll declared Pocic on the same day Britt visited the Packers. For both sides, it could mean they will have finally moved on.