John Schneider: Finding offensive linemen is hard, just look at us


Seahawks General Manager John Schneider admits he has struggled to find good offensive linemen, but he thinks that’s a problem throughout the game of football, not just in Seattle.

Schneider said today that he talks to coaches across all levels of football and they tell him it’s hard to find athletes who have both the size and strength to play offensive line, and the desire to play offensive line.

“We go to colleges and talk to a bunch of different coaches, they struggle to find offensive linemen,” Schneider said. “Everyone wants to play quarterback and running back and defensive line. It’s just kind of how football culture is now. A majority of guys aren’t like, ‘I want to be the best offensive lineman in high school football.’ They want to sack the quarterback.”

Schneider noted that last year in Seattle, George Fant went from an undrafted rookie who had been a basketball player in high school and college to a starter in the NFL.

“Look at us, with George Fant last year. God bless him, but holy cow. He was playing basketball and then he’s out there blocking Robert Quinn. I mean, good luck,” Schneider said.

Schneider said he wishes the NFL could develop more talent than it has.

“It’s tougher now. We don’t have NFL Europe. We don’t have a developmental league right now,” he said.

And so the Seahawks will keep looking for big guys who can block. Those guys aren’t easy to find.

43 responses to “John Schneider: Finding offensive linemen is hard, just look at us

  1. That’s not REALLY true…..Cowboys seem to have drafted really well along the O-line. Maybe he should THINK about Okung or Breno in free agency then.

  2. have to invest high picks to get NFL caliber linemen in the draft–sure you can find gems in the later rounds but chances are slim you will find one ready day one, most likely will have to develop within your system (either on the active roster as backup or on the PS).

  3. Dallas has shown the need for a good offensive line. Controlling the ling of scrimmage is how games are won. That’s why the Cowboys won 3 in 4 years in the 90s.

    Investing in Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, Travis Frederick, and lucking into Lael Collins will pay dividends for whoever they put in the backfield. The Cowboys basically have a pro bowl offensive line.

  4. Belichick seems to find them. Even when it looks like he messed up on his choices the guys turn out to be good.

  5. It’s easy for Jerry, when you finish in the bottom for years you get to draft high and choose from the really few studs available.

  6. Whatever. About the worst tackles in the league.
    Solution is to sign Rt whitworth.
    Draft a left tackle with serious upside. Bolles or Robinson.
    Extend Britt.
    Odihambo and glowinski should compete for LG.

  7. .
    Almost every year the top OL are long gone by the time Seattle picks at the tail end of the first round. Plus, Seattle’s modus operandi has been to emphasize defense first. Unfortunately, there’s not much help on the horizon either, as this year’s crop is woefully thin on the OL.

  8. It’s especially hard when you waste first round picks on trades for Percy Harvin and Jimmy Graham in back to back years.

    It also makes no sense why they let JR Sweezy leave. He was their grittiest OL.

  9. Read somewhere that’s another way the spread offenses are kinda screwing up NFL scouts. The OLinemen play the whole gm in a 2 pt stance. A lot of NFL olinemen are coming from conferences like the Big 10. They still play a pro style offense with their hand in the dirt. A lot of top 10 whiffs on the OL lately. That used to rarely be the case.

  10. Finding them is hard?

    More like finding them for the minimum or off the street is hard.

    It can be done, but not likely.

    You need to spend money and/or high draft picks to have a decent shot.

    Of course it’s possible to find a good one in the middle rounds, but you don’t have that luxury when your line is crap, especially at pass blocking.

    The truth of the matter for Seattle is that they invested elsewhere and the predicted result ensued.

  11. Cowboy fan brags about their gold plated O line but they still could not win a playoff game, at home no less.

  12. I don’t have a problem with a team drafting him. What he did was horrible, but it’s the responsibility of the legal system to punish this guy, not the NFL.

    On top of that, I’m fine with giving this guy a 2nd chance. the purpose of punishment isn’t just to get justice, it’s to (hopefully) rehabilitate people, and we focus on that way too little. If he gets punished for the rest of his life and isn’t given a chance to get a good job and make meaningful contributions to society, then chances are he’s going to end up in jail again, or at the very least, on public support.

  13. That’s on him, Pete, and Tom Cable. Didn’t really need Jimmy Graham. Max Unger is still playing at a high level and they could have used that #1 pick they traded for Jimmy on another lineman. They had an alright o-line and they went cheap. You can’t pay Jimmy Graham that much money and claim that you couldn’t pay to keep your line.

  14. Could we stop comparing Seattle’s offensive to the one in Dallas?
    No, Seattle does not seem to have invested much in the position, preferring to concentrate on the other side of the ball — and just about every other position. That’s on the Seahawks, and very much to their detriment.
    But let’s not forget that Dallas’ line was assembled as a result of years of futility, which ended in a whole lot of premiere linemen being picked near the top of the first and second rounds (plus another should-have-been high first-rounder who fell because of off-field concerns).
    To put it bluntly, Dallas was in a position to draft those studs. Seattle was not. If we must make a comparison, a better one would be the Seahawks vs. the line in Green Bay, much of which was assembled in the fourth and fifth rounds — picks Seattle spends on defense.

  15. Dallas had lots of early draft picks to spend on the few NFL ready linemen whereas Seattle has been to the playoffs and has not. Lynch helped hide their woes, just like Brady’s quick release hides their woes.

  16. If the OL was all that and Dallas has the best OL then where are the SB wins for the ‘Boys ? Or for that matter where are the playoff wins ? Thank Jerry for that Cowboy fans.

  17. The Seahawks drafting at the end of the 1st round for the past half decade makes it hard to draft top tier linemen. But the Seahawks take it one step further to make it harder on themselves and draft college defensive linemen to play on the offensive side and pick up free agents hoping for a diamond in the rough. Every now and then it works, but most the time, it doesn’t.

  18. Schneider said he wishes the NFL could develop more talent than it has.

    “It’s tougher now. We don’t have NFL Europe. We don’t have a developmental league right now,” he said.

    Ding ding ding. Schneider is in a better position than us fans to influence owners to create a development league. No, the NCAA is not it because they can only play for 4-5 years (6 at absolute max). Then what? The interest is there for a development league but the greedy owners refuse to invest in their future. No development league is going to work without NFL financial backing. The NFL is the only major sports league that doesn’t have a “minor league”.

  19. Seahawks have been deep in the playoffs for 5 years straight which means they draft at the bottom of the first round each year. By that time most of the quality Olineman are gone, so normally we do what we can with that 1st rounder. Either trade for a known commodity (Graham etc.) or trade back to get more picks. If no one is worthy of that pick but a bunch of people are worthy later in the rounds trade back and get more selections where the value is.

  20. Obviously Schneider didn’t tell the 2013s this, they’re still in denial about it.

  21. When Seattle won the SB they had an O Line that was in the top 5 in $ spent. They then had to pay everybody and they could only afford what they put on the field last year which was one of the least expensive in the NFL. Hawks fans have to trust that they will be better this year and can be coached up.

  22. the nfl should add an extra blocker to the offense. He can’t touch the ball. he can’t go 5 yards past the line of scrimmage. great new rule

  23. That’s funny, the Cowboys have one good season and suddenly everyone thinks they wrote the book on how to build a winning franchise thru the O-line. Give me a break. They’ve had a great O-line for at least 3 years straight now, and look how far it got them until they found a consistent ground game and played good defense.

    Yes, a talented O-line is a huge difference maker, but let’s not praise Jerry’s playhouse as the model for building a winning franchise.

  24. And that’s with O-Linemen being allowed to hold more than ever before, especially on certain teams. Just imagine if they actually had to use footwork and technique instead of just grabbing and chokeholding pass rushers to the ground.

  25. An overview of the Cowboys O-line:
    Tyron Smith, LT 4x Pro-bowler (9th overall pick)
    Zack Martin LG (3x pro bowler (16th overall pick)
    Travis Frederick (3x pro bowler (31st overall pick)
    Doug Free (4th round pick)
    Ronald Leary (Undrafted) will probably earn a mega-contract this offseason in FA
    La-el Collins (Undrafted)

    You’ve got to spend high capital on the O-line. Travis Frederick was considered a reach at 31st pick but he ended up anchoring a great line these last few seasons.

  26. Even though Trent Baalke is put down constantly by media people who wanted him fired by keep on reporting he did a horrible job, he found a lot of good linemen through the draft and free agency and he not only rebuilt the Niners OL in just one year, he traded one of the surpluses for a wide receiver who led the Niners in recpetions at one point last season. So, Schneider is not telling it like it is. He just has a hard time finding and keeping good OL. Other teams don’t have the same trouble. The Raiders spent money and they got a good o line, one of the best in the league. Seattle refuses to spend money on the OL and they have a lousy one.

  27. Seattle allowed the following OL to leave via free agency after they won Super Defensive Holding Gate Bowl: RT Breno Giacomini, LT Russell Okung, LG James Carpenter, and RG JR Sweezy. They also traded C Max Unger to the Saints for TE Jimmy Graham. Refusing to invest money on an OL is how a team can go from having a very good OL to having one of the worst OL in football.

  28. Seattle has been overzealous in finding good wide receivers the past few years, spending early picks on Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson, and trading for Jimmy Graham. They gave Doug Baldwin a big contract extension last season, and also extended the contract of Jermaine Kearse. Of course they also traded for Percy Harvin a few years back. If they had spread their money around more and signed some of the OL who left, they would not be complaining about the difficulty of finding good OL.

  29. Justin Britt, their center and their best OL, is a free agent after the 2017 season. Watch John the Turkey Schneider spend money on other players and allow Britt to leave as free agent. Then watch him complain about the lack of OL out there. It will be deja vu all over again.

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