Seahawks’ Recent OL Signings of Smith, Winston Signify the Next Stage of Competition


The Seattle Seahawks are still the deepest team in the NFL and it’s pretty clear that they don’t plan on moving backwards when it comes to that aspect of the game.

The signings of perennial starters Wade Smith and Eric Winston give the Hawks plenty of options at right tackle, along with rookie second-round draft choice Justin Britt out of Missouri. But this isn’t the normal ‘bring them in to compete’ move by Pete Carroll’s organization, I see this as a more recent trend for Seattle.

For example, I think Justin Britt is still the clear leader to land the starting spot, he just has to continue to grow as the preseason evolves. To me, this is a very similar situation to bringing in Antoine Winfield at corner last season. Obviously the other two tackles (or three if you include Cory Brandon in the discussion) are going to get every opportunity to go ahead and steal the job, but this isn’t so much about them. It’s about a young buck like Britt being able to handle the competitive nature of the situation and flourish like Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane did last season with Winfield in the mix.

I think this is great for Seattle’s team, the O-line in particular. Where before it was “who can we get in here to compete to make the roster, so we can be better“, now it’s “who can we get in here to push the guys we have here to be better?” There’s an important and distinct difference and if the guys on the team can meet the challenge and raise their level of game, not only does the continuity continue to strengthen, but the entire team benefits (especially if it happens at every position). Of course if they can’t raise their level and the new guy does come in and earn it, it’s business as usual, best guy plays.

So the bar has been raised for Justin Britt and the Seahawks will benefit from not just sitting on their laurels and letting him coast to the finish line in this thing. Don’t forget also that Smith can slide to the guard spot, so J.R. Sweezy will need to re-up his game as well.

Also, it would seem that at least one (possibly two) of the three new will get their opportunity to play on Super Bowl contender, which they have to be excited about.