Veteran right tackle Eric Winston, who has started 16 games every year since 2007, will try to extend that streak in Seattle. His decision to sign there comes after an extended stretch of free agency. His patience apparently paid off.
“I think the opportunity, not only at my position but the opportunity with the team,” Winston told reporters on Tuesday regarding the reasons for choosing the Seahawks. “I wanted to go somewhere and win. I think this had everything, so I looked at the situation – obviously I wanted to be a part of something special and I think these guys have a chance to do something special again this year.”
Winston can do something special in the zone-blocking scheme employed by offensive line coach Tom Cable.
“I think some of my best years have been in that zone scheme, obviously with Alex Gibbs, way back in Houston and that whole scheme after that and so I’ve had some of my best years and some of the best teams I’ve played on have used it,” Winston said. “I think it’s a perfect fit for me and it definitely helps me with the learning process. Obviously you got to learn how they call things, some of it is the same and some of it is different, but I think it will definitely help me learn quicker, just knowing the techniques and not having to learn everything completely new.”
For rookie second-round draft pick Justin Britt, it’s all new. But Winston’s desire to play won’t keep him from helping the youngster, if he wants help.
“I think anytime you become a vet in this league, you’ve got an obligation to the young guys that come after you – to help them, teach them and obviously to compete against them,” Winston said. “I had the same when I was coming up in Houston. I had older guys that I was competing against but at the same time, took me under their wing. If Britt wants me to do that, then I’ll do that, and if he doesn’t want to hear it, then I won’t. But I’ll be here for him and always be here to help him, that’s for sure.”
Whether he plays or not, Winston is the kind of guy the Seahawks need to avoid the complacency that comes from climbing the mountain and then having to go to the bottom and try to climb it again. Winston, who has had only one taste of the postseason three years ago in Houston before spending a year with the Chiefs and then with the Cardinals, has every reason to push himself and his teammates back up the mountain.