The competition for who starts at left tackle for the Seattle Seahawks is now in full swing. Just three days into training camp and the team had its first padded practice on Tuesday.
Still recovering from a knee injury sustained last season, offensive lineman Luke Joeckel was able to start training camp with a brace on his knee and without a stint on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform List.
Asked where Joeckel stands as far as his likely position on the line, coach Pete Carroll was frank during his Tuesday press conference.
“Well we have been very open minded about him,” Carroll explained. “It depends on how George [Fant] does too. We know Luke can start at left guard. We know Luke can start at left tackle as well. It is a tremendous asset to have that.”
Carroll said offensive line coach Tom Cable has been working with Joeckel and Fant this offseason at guard and tackle to ensure they each feel comfortable at both spots. Fant, despite his lack of experience on the line and football in general, earned the nod last season as the team’s starting left tackle.
“However, George ain’t hearing it,” Carroll said with a smile. “George has come back in great shape. He is busting his tail and obviously is the most improved physical guy. He has put on over 20 pounds of strength and muscle and power and just as you have heard us say from year one to year two, his confidence is already above any point at any time last year. So he will have something to say when he plays too.
“So Luke is just ready for both. He’s been great and open minded about it and we think it is a tremendous asset.”
Joeckel was limited a bit during the first Seahawks practices to be safe but is finally a full participant.
“He was in everything today,” Carroll said Tuesday before the players broke for the off day. “We are still watching to see how he is handling and enduring it, but I would say there is a couple days before we need to say, we don’t need to think about it anymore. So he did very well at the end of the day.”
The competition for the starting left tackle spot continues Thursday morning at 10 a.m. The Seahawks released additional tickets this afternoon for Monday’s scrimmage, but they sold out quickly.
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