After a brief leave of absence, right guard J.R. Sweezy is back with the team that got him to two Super Bowls, winning one. With Sweezy looking to become a starter on the line, someone on the right has to shift over or move back. The obvious candidate: Germain Ifedi.
D.J. Fluker is currently rostered at right guard. But with time spent at both the right guard and right tackle position, Fluker has the ability to shift along the right side and still fit. Fluker has just earned himself some job security as Sweezy has not played any other position besides right guard. That leaves Germain Ifedi to fight for a position if the Seahawks still want to take a gamble on him.
To Ifedi’s credit, he has improved in his second year in the NFL once Duane Brown showed up. But the penalty issues surrounding him are hard to overlook. To date, Ifedi has 22 accepted penalties for 166 yards, 68% of them being false starts. Another staggering blow to his starting chances is how many penalties he accrued during the 2017 season. Beating Michael Bennett for the most penalized player in 2017, Ifedi drew 20 pieces of laundry and accounted for 13.5% of the teams total penalties. 17 of those penalties were false starts or offensive holding calls.
Ifedi also has to prove to new line coach, Mike Solari, that he is worth keeping him on the line. With Seattle capturing both Fluker and Solari from the Giants, it is in the best interest of Solari to keep Fluker as a starter and Solari isn’t short of praises for the lineman.
“He’s a physical football player and he brings passion and he brings an energy and a physicality that you want on your offensive line… You want that physical-ness, you want that toughness on your offensive line, and he brings it.”
Solari already knows who his big-3 are: Fluker, Duane Brown, and Justin Britt. Unfortunately for Ifedi, while the need is on the left side of the ball, his side has more competition. Yes, Ifedi also has the experience as a guard and tackle, whereas Sweezy has only played one position. But for Solari’s mix of zone, man, and trap schemes, Ifedi may be out of luck.
With so much competition on the right, it will be interesting to see what the Seahawks decide to do by week 3 of the pre-season. However, it appears that Seattle is trying to regain its former glory of being a ground-and-pound offense. While nothing is set in stone, it is quite possible we will see Fluker shift around as Sweezy comes up at right guard.
Predicted Offensive Line
- Left Tackle: Duane Brown
- Left Guard: Ethan Pocic
- Center: Justin Britt
- Right Guard: J.R. Sweezy
- Right Tackle: D.J. Fluker