A random thought about JR Sweezy

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A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:07 am
  • A lot of people have talked about replacing Breno Giacomini this offseason, or at least beginning the search for his future replacement. For the record, I am about as pro-Giacomini as one can reasonably be, but even I've said that drafting a tackle somewhere in the mid rounds this offseason makes sense- Seattle does not have much organizational depth at tackle right now, and Okung could revert to being injury prone at a moments notice. Sure, McQuistan could fill in, but McQuistan is a starting guard, and continuity matters. You can see how this isn't an ideal situation.

    By contrast, Seattle may not be deeper anywhere on the team than they are at guard. Carpenter, McQuistan, and Moffitt are already starting caliber guards, and Sweezy will probably join them when he's been acclimated enough. Rishaw Johnson showed a lot of promise during the preseason I thought, especially for a UDFA. He didn't even make the 53 man roster because the team was already so stacked there.

    PC/JS value roster flexibility. They like DBs who can play like LBs and DTs that can play DE and o-linemen that can play 3-4 spots on the line. The problem is, Paul McQuistan is the only guard we have right now that is truly roster flexible. Carpenter is more "Red Bryant athletic" than "Chris Clemons athletic." He moves well for a big man but not by any other standard. Weight was a problem for him last year at tackle and he looks bigger now than he did then. He's good at what he does, but not among his gifts is a quick lateral step, and he was abused for it on the edge last season. Moffitt rounds out the group and he is a pure interior lineman.

    So with Sweezy being buried on the roster and Seattle needing flexibility/depth at tackle, why not think outside the box a little bit and start giving Sweezy practice reps at tackle?

    Sweezy had some of the very best combine numbers of any of his O-line peers. IIRC, his 40 yard dash rated #1 among all OL, even better than Matt Kalil. He scored very well in agility drills too. During my preseason tape reviews I noticed that no other Seahawk reached the 2nd level faster than Sweezy did, not even Max Unger. I cannot say for sure that Sweezy would have the kind of lateral agility needed to play bookend, but if Giacomini has enough, I'd be surprised if Sweezy didn't.

    Sweezy is listed as 6'5" some places and 6'4" at others (and weighs 298 pounds). Either one would make him slightly below average for height at tackle in the NFL- especially for Tom Cable who has a track record of drafting and starting very tall offensive tackles. In terms of height and size, Sweezy would be pretty comparable to Jordan Gross (6'4" / 305), and Russell Okung is decently close as well (6'5" / 310). Cable is a Gibbs disciple, and Gibbs talked about preferring his tackles to be almost exactly Sweezy's size. Gibbs himself handpicked Russell Okung for our team. So I don't think size should be something that rules Sweezy out for tackle, unless Cable is emphatic that HIS tackles must duck entering every doorway. Which if hypothetically true, would make the concept of G/T flexibility pretty difficult.

    Arm length is a major factor for being able to play tackle. Sweezy has 34" inch arms, which is not elite but still well above average for tackles.

    Sure, Sweezy is a converted DT who still hasn't mastered guard yet, but this isn't about having Sweezy start at tackle in 2013- it's about improving Seattle's in-house roster flexibility. He's showed that he's a fast learner, and with one professional season under his belt he'd likely acclimate to NFL tackle faster than a mid round rookie would. Not that there is anything wrong with doing both.

    Maybe I'm off base here, but last year I looked at James Carpenter's tools and lean and thought "left guard" immediately. As Carpenter struggled at RT last season, the FO insisted that his future was at tackle. Then the offseason happened and the coaches and staff reviewed things, and it didn't take long at all before they changed their tune and rightly moved Carpenter to where he belonged.

    I see some of the same potential for Sweezy getting moved. Sweezy has the raw tools to play tackle, and Seattle needs depth at tackle much more than needing a 4th guard. He might not provide value right away, but Seattle can and maybe should try and see, and if all goes well he might have a chance to compete for the RT job in a couple seasons, which would allow him to field some real value for the team as opposed to being a forgotten 4th stringer. At the very least, the team needs to find ways to improve their depth situation at tackle, and Sweezy is the best and most obvious way of doing so in-house. It's certainly worth a look next preseason, at the very least.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:19 am
  • Thank you Kearly. I've been saying it for several weeks now. IMO Sweezy is more athletic than Breno, but also has the same "dirtbag" mentality. He's been playing RG. I would love to see the staff kick him out to RT to see how he does. AT the least it should give him some position flexibility as he could be decent at either RG or RT. But I think he's got the athleticism to play RT. Give him a year in the weight room and I wouldn't be surprised if by training camp he's in the 305 range.

    I think his upside is much bigger than that of Breno's. On a slightly off topic note- I hope Moffitt can reclaim the RG spot. It would be nice if our 2 top picks from last year were the answers we've been looking for at both Guard spots.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:39 am
  • I think the coaches should do exactly has they are right now. One thing at a time. Give Sweezy a full season (this season) to acclimate to the guard postion. He should have a pretty good grasp of the position by season's end, then they can start getting him practice reps at Tackle, starting with the off/preseason.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:38 am
  • Great stuff kearly. I'm in total agreement with you here. I wrote about Sweezy potentially moving to tackle earlier in the season over at Seafense and I came to the same conclusion, although I never mentioned Breno because prior to and early on in the season I was still a massive Giacomini supporter. I still am, but as you point out, the team could use some better depth at tackle.

    What will be interesting as the season progresses is the amount of playing time Sweezy will see. With Moffitt nearing 100% and James Carpenter also nearing return from his catastrophic injury last season, it would seem that the Seahawks are stacked at guard for the foreseeable future. The competition between Moffitt/Sweezy for the right guard position should be an interesting battle not only for the remainder of this season, but for future seasons as well. I could see the 'Hawks also giving Sweezy a shot at tackle down the road. He's got the short area quickness and mean streak that you look for in such a player. As well, Sweezy has the frame to continue to grow and add muscle. I can't tell you how many times I've seen him in the huddle or walking back to the huddle after a play and thought to myself "The Big Sweezy just doesn't look like an OLineman!" He's one of the quicker, more athletic guards I've seen for the 'Hawks in a while which is quite impressive. Moral of the story? Don't doubt Tom Cable.. EVER!


    http://seafense.blogspot.com/2012/09/it-aint-easy-bein-sweezy.html

    HawKnPeppa wrote:I think the coaches should do exactly has they are right now. One thing at a time. Give Sweezy a full season (this season) to acclimate to the guard postion. He should have a pretty good grasp of the position by season's end, then they can start getting him practice reps at Tackle, starting with the off/preseason.


    I agree with you as well HawKnPeppa, and I think that's the route the team would end up going if such a switch were to be made, as kearly points out. We saw them do it with Carpenter this season and so far the results have been impressive. Carp looks more natural out there at LG and a large group of 12's actually "called it" before the team ever made the move. I could see the same happening here with Sweezy.

    If it does happen, kearly, you've got to be enshrined into the Seahawks Fans Hall of Fame. If such a place doesn't exist, it needs to! First, calling Russell Wilson to Seattle (and his success, mind you) eons before anybody else and then Sweezy to RT? Have you ever considered trying to intern or something in an NFL front office? No joke! You know your shiz! Nice outside the box thinking good sir, once again.
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    NYCoug
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:08 am
  • Been wondering the same thing. I think it would work.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:14 am
  • I dont think it would work , he would be too over aggresive and elite DL would run right past him.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:10 am
  • I agree. I also mentioned this in a couple of posts earlier in the season, but alas, no where near as eloquently as you Kearly. In fact, at the time, I was even thinking that, it may even be possible to move Sweezy to LT (this is when Okung was hurt and playing horribly).

    In any case, I think the kid is smart, and we should be giving him stints at every position on the OL (except maybe center, that is a different beast). The positions aren't all that different mentally, and they should all know what their fellow linemen are doing on any given play anyway. Minor technique differences could be mastered fairly quickly by someone as agile and powerful as Sweezy.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:32 pm
  • They put Sweezy at guard because they thought his talent best fit for playing guard. To be an nfl tackle you have tough nails like Breno and Okung. Btw Okung is really good, if we are to replace breno he needs to be better and their is no need to unless he is nearly as good as Okung. (Okung is tough as nails when he is playing) The Sweezy idea would be better if we think he could outplay breno, when that is probably not going to happen. Breno is pretty good.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:35 pm
  • There is a certain logic to what you are saying Kip, and if they are thinking along those lines thrn what they are doing at the moment by playing him as a G makes sense too. Ii can think of a few examples of linemen who had the physical tools to play at T but lacked experience and technique so were played at G so they could develop both whilst playing in a position where they would be more of an asset than a liability. I'm sure you could give far more examples than I could. LT talent is so hard to come by and the physical tools at such a premium that when Brandon Albert of the Chiefs was coming out of College even though he had only played G the talk was that he had the tools to be a LT so he should be played as a G for a year to refine his technique then slid across to LT. In the end, the Chiefs didn't even wait and stuck him straight at LT. We don't need quite as much out of JR to get him to play RT, but he's starting from further behind the curve.

    I think it says a lot about the faith we all have in the PC/JS braintrust that we are talking about the 7th round DT we drafted as our potential starting RT. Given where he was drafted, becoming a serviceable backup G would be an achievement.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:48 pm
  • skater18000 wrote:They put Sweezy at guard because they thought his talent best fit for playing guard.


    I agree- Sweezy does look best suited to an interior line position since guards pull and attack the 2nd level more than tackles do. Sweezy's speed would be better utilized there. Unfortunately for Sweezy, he's kind of buried on the roster at this point. I guess another option would be to hope that Sweezy beats out McQuistan for the starting RG job next year and McQuistan becomes our flex/depth. My guess is that scenario I just described is the FO's "plan A," but at the same time it could be worth thinking about plan B too. Moving a starter to cover for other starters means than just one injury can create a cohesion destroying domino effect. I think the FO wanted to avoid that problem by starting Sweezy, which might explain why they were so extremely aggressive in promoting him earlier this year.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:56 am
  • I'm not so sure Sweezy would have success at tackle. Size wise he fits the bill, and run blocking does has a lot of the same techniques as interior linemen. I think the problem would come in pass protection. Defending the edge is a whole other animal in the NFL, and it takes even elite college tackles (in most cases) a few years to adjust. And those players have played the tackle position for years. Add to the fact that if he struggled in a certain area (speed, power move, swim move etc.) You can bet he'd be seeing it all day.

    I don't doubt he has the tools, but I don't think the team has enough patience to go through growing pains with him, especially when the tackle position is protecting our most valuable asset.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:08 am
  • MRH72 wrote:I'm not so sure Sweezy would have success at tackle. Size wise he fits the bill, and run blocking does has a lot of the same techniques as interior linemen. I think the problem would come in pass protection. Defending the edge is a whole other animal in the NFL, and it takes even elite college tackles (in most cases) a few years to adjust. And those players have played the tackle position for years. Add to the fact that if he struggled in a certain area (speed, power move, swim move etc.) You can bet he'd be seeing it all day.

    I don't doubt he has the tools, but I don't think the team has enough patience to go through growing pains with him, especially when the tackle position is protecting our most valuable asset.


    No one is saying do it this year and throw him to the wolves. I think it would be something worth taking a look at in next year's OTA's. The good thing about Sweezy is the staff doesn't have to deal with bad habits that most OLmen have coming out of college. He's a clean slate for Cable to mold. He's more athletic than Breno and also has a nasty side to him. Also RT usually is the Tight End side so It's not like he'd be all alone and he'd normally be lining up the #2 DE on an opposing team, as usually it's the the elites line up against the LT.

    I hope they give it a try next offseason. Who knows he could be the next "Red Bryant" and really excel at a new position. For this year I'm curious to see if Carpenter and Moffitt are our starting guards by the end of the year or will McQuistan hold one of them off. That should be interesting.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:50 pm
  • JR Sweezy remains an intriguing development project. He has absorbed an amazing amount of instruction. It was only after opposing defenses really got heavily into targeting him with exotic blitzes that he slipped out of the starting lineup in favor of veterans experienced in dealing with those tactics. All in all, he learned a lot before he slipped out of the starting lineup. He's still progressing with game day special teams, in unit meeting rooms, in the film room and on the practice field.

    Given Sweezy's demonstrated learning accomplishments and Tom Cable's insistence on linemen that can play multiple positions, a future look at tackle merits consideration. Part II of his field story may not come until 2013. But, I'm certainly on board for a continuation of the unfolding JR Sweezy story.

    And as Andy Reed can certainly testify, a team can never have too many offensive tackles. So just as the 2013 Eagles are confirming, "every year is a good year to draft a tackle". I expect the Seahawks to demonstate the forsight to select an offensive tackle in 2013 draft.

    Nice topic :th2thumbs:
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:40 pm
  • Knowing Cable, Sweezy has already been learning the tackle positions
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:05 am
  • Well, while I agree with you in theory, Kip, the simple fact is that Sweezy lacks experience in addition to the slight lack of sand in his pants. Who would he be facing at RT? often the best DL on the other team. The best DE's play both right and left side anymore. And unlike at G, where his lack can be made up for with the judicious use of double teams, at T he would need TE and RB help, which leaves him really hurting the offense.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:07 am
  • Scottemojo wrote:Well, while I agree with you in theory, Kip, the simple fact is that Sweezy lacks experience in addition to the slight lack of sand in his pants. Who would he be facing at RT? often the best DL on the other team. The best DE's play both right and left side anymore. And unlike at G, where his lack can be made up for with the judicious use of double teams, at T he would need TE and RB help, which leaves him really hurting the offense.



    So it'd be about the same as having Breno out there? :)
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:09 am
  • I've got some sand I can donate.

    I want to lose at least 20 pounds.
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:16 am
  • Anyone have any thoughts about recently added offensive tackle Mike Person?
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Re: A random thought about JR Sweezy
Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:34 pm
  • skater18000 wrote:They put Sweezy at guard because they thought his talent best fit for playing guard. To be an nfl tackle you have tough nails like Breno and Okung. Btw Okung is really good, if we are to replace breno he needs to be better and their is no need to unless he is nearly as good as Okung. (Okung is tough as nails when he is playing) The Sweezy idea would be better if we think he could outplay breno, when that is probably not going to happen. Breno is pretty good.


    Eh, I'm no expert at the technique to play each line position, but I've always heard that playing G is easier to grasp than T. It could just be, b/c Sweezy is a convert, it made sense to push him into the shallow end first.

    I like kearly's idea here. Kid is a project, and while he's undersized slightly for a T weren't his combine strength numbers off the charts, particularly in the legs? Seems like a workout warrior kind of guy. Give him an offseason w/ a project, i.e. prepare yourself to learn to play T next year, so do x, y and z. I bet he can come into camp ready to learn and make major strides. It can only help our depth to have guys able to play multiple positions, as kearly's said.
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