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Every good football offense starts with its linemen, and the Seattle Seahawks are fortunate to have one of the best lines in the NFL. Last year, a unit led by Pro Bowlers Russell Okung and Max Unger allowed 33 sacks, tied for 12th least in the NFL and the 4th best season in Seattle history.
The Seahawks had a dominant rushing attack spearheaded by Marshawn Lynch, who ran for a career-high 1,590 yards. But while Lynch had a career season, both he and Russell Wilson owed a significant amount of their success to Seattle’s front five.
Let’s break down the starting line for 2013.
Hint: there’s some familiar faces.
Left Tackle: Russell Okung
Big surprise: Russell Okung the Pro Bowling left tackle is back and as unmovable as ever. The Oklahoma State product was the 6th overall pick in 2010 by the Seahawks and has lived up to his promise, starting last year’s Pro Bowl. Simply put, one of the best blind side protectors around.
Left Guard: James Carpenter
The massive James Carpenter is big enough to play any spot on the line (6’5” 321) but has been slotted in alongside Okung at left guard. Although he struggled at right tackle in 2011 before an injury ended his season, Carpenter flashed potential at guard in 2012, playing on and off due to more injuries. Athletic and quick, Carpenter is an excellent run blocker.
If he can stay healthy, Seattle’s running game can only get better.
Center: Max Unger
Another obvious choice, the Pro Bowler anchored the middle of the line in 2012 and will be the lynchpin of the unit in 2013. Unger is versatile, big (6’5 and 305-the Seahawks have amassed a truly terrifying line), and an exceptionally intelligent player who could probably slide along to other spots on the line.
Despite being relatively new to center after playing tackle for most of college, Unger has adapted to the position remarkably well and was named to the AP NFL All-Pro team in 2012. A strong case could be made he is the best center around.
Right Guard: Paul McQuistan
Possibly the most up-for-grabs spot, Paul McQuistan’s chances look promising given his experience and adaptability. An eight-year veteran of the league, McQuistan has played solidly at both left and right guard over his career.
Criminally underrated for his work ethic and reliability, McQuistan doesn’t get half the press of Okung or Under, but deserves almost as much credit.
John Moffitt my favorite lineman on the team for his colorful personality could also fill in here or at left guard if Carpenter is injured gain.
Right Tackle: Breno Giacomini
Bookending the other end of the 2013 Seahawks offensive line is a name you probably don’t know, but you should. Breno Giacomini is poised to have a tremendous season at right tackle and garner some recognition. The gigantic Giacomini (6’7” 315) started every game last year and is a remarkable athlete for his position, having played tight end in college.
With his light feet, quick hands, and much-improved strength, Giacomini should continue to be a solid presence at right tackle.
There you have it; the foundation of what should be one of the best offenses in the NFL. And it all starts with the big five up front.
Russell Wilson can sleep easy at night.