The Seahawks coaching staff is sick and tired of watching Germain Ifedi struggle at right tackle, which is why they’re giving him some serious competition.
Germain Ifedi struggled mightily to protect Russell Wilson last season. The Seattle Seahawks hoped their young right tackle would take a significant step forward in his third NFL season. It’s safe to say he hasn’t been good enough during the preseason.
Pete Carroll and the coaching staff aren’t going to sit back and hope for natural improvement any longer. Instead, they’re going to give Ifedi some real competition for his place in the starting lineup. The Seahawks have moved George Fant from his normal spot at left tackle over to the right to give Ifedi a run for his money.
Carroll insists moving Font to right tackle was the team’s plan “all along,” but it’s obvious this is a reaction to Ifedi’s struggles. The former Texas A&M star led the NFL in penalties last season with 20. For the record, that’s seven more than the next closest player. And it’s not as if he’ s dominating when he doesn’t commit penalties. He consistently struggles to handle quality edge rushers. Ifedi looks the part of a dominant offensive lineman, but his production doesn’t match his body.
Fant played a lot in his rookie season back in 2016 before missing last year with a torn ACL. That’s a pretty impressive feat for an undrafted rookie. He doesn’t project as a Pro Bowl level player at either tackle spot, but he’s good enough to be an adequate starter. That level of play would be a significant boost over what Ifedi gave the offense last year.
It’s possible this move by Carroll is actually designed to give Ifedi a kick in the pants. He’s more talented than Fant, but his lack of mental attention to the game is rather alarming. The vast majority of his penalties can be attributed entirely to mental errors. An occasional hold is acceptable from a quality tackle; a multitude of false starts is not.
It will be very interesting to see how Ifedi reacts to being challenged so directly. Good players can elevate their game when they are put on the spot by the coaching staff. Weak minded players can wilt under that sort of pressure. We should find out which category Ifedi falls into pretty soon.