While some young talent stood out in their first action, not all the Seahawks looked ready for the season to begin. This player needs to step it up.
The Seahawks preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts certainly was a showcase for some players. Not only did some rookies really shine, but more than a few veterans showed off their talent. Russell Wilson was in fourth quarter mode on Seattle’s opening drive. That was nice to see, considering how often he’s gotten off to slow starts. Chris Carson is barely a veteran with all of four games on his resume, but he certainly looked dialed in Thursday. He just had four carries, but that was all he needed to demonstrate he’ll be a force this season. And Tedric Thompson solidified his early claim to the free safety spot.
Other players, however, didn’t exactly set Twitter on fire. Or if they did, it wasn’t for the right reason. One of these gentlemen struggled as a starter last year. He hasn’t exactly been a standout in camp, either. Germain Ifedi needs to step up his game quickly.
Ifedi started every game for Seattle at right tackle last season. That’s great, unless you happen to log a penalty for each start. That’s exactly what Ifedi did, as you can read in miserable detail here. To his credit, he did manage to get through four games without a penalty. How that happened, I have no idea. Ifedi is a master of the false start, as he was flagged nine times for that particular specialty.
Seahawks need to fix either Ifedi or the position
He led the league in total penalties, and that doesn’t even account for four more that were either declined or offsetting. Let me be clear; he didn’t just lead the league among tackles, or offensive linemen. He led all players in penalties. I don’t know, maybe he took Michael Bennett‘s accomplishment (12 penalties, tied for second worst in the NFL) as a personal challenge.
Sadly, Ifedi hasn’t improved under the tutelage of new offensive line coach Mike Solari. He’s been benched in practice, and doesn’t show any signs of shedding his near unique talent for penalties. Right now, Ifedi’s best hope is in the training room. Not for his injuries, but for Jamarco Jones and Isiah Battle, who both went down in the Indianapolis game. If both players manage to come out healthy, Ifedi’s days in the starting lineup could be dwindling, and fast.
If George Fant was 100 percent, I’d be much more comfortable with him taking over, even with no game experience on the right side. Fant committed just seven penalties in 2016. Think about that; he played one year of college ball, and that was at tight end. Counting offset and declined penalties – of which Fant had none – Ifedi screwed up twice as much as a guy with basically zero experience. If anyone can get healthy, Ifedi will be riding the bench, and possibly a comfy window seat on a ticket to a new team. Obviously he isn’t making all these mistakes on purpose, but performance is what matters. Unlike Bennett, his play isn’t good enough to live with the mistakes.