Bradley Sowell gets his first start at left tackle Sunday for the Seahawks, a spot where Seattle has had uncommon stability the last 20 years.

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The Seahawks have had as many different home stadiums as full-time starting left tackles since 1997 — three of each.

Two of those three left tackles have the most starts at that position in team history — Walter Jones, with 180 from 1997-2008 and Russell Okung with 72 from 2010-15. Those two — each taken among the top six overall picks in the draft — sandwiched the one-year reign of Sean Locklear in 2009.

But with Jones’ number now hanging from the rafters at CenturyLink Field and Okung now in Denver after signing with the Broncos as a free agent, it’s Bradley Sowell’s turn to try to provide protection for Russell Wilson’s blind side while laying a permanent foundation at left tackle.

“I can’t think about that (history), honestly,’’ said Sowell, who played the last three seasons at Arizona before signing with the Seahawks in the off-season.

What he said he will do is simply give an honest effort, the kind he has throughout training camp to emerge as a somewhat surprising victor in the left tackle battle with Garry Gilliam and J’Marcus Webb while also beginning to make a reputation of his own with teammates on both sides of the ball.

“He’s the bully of the O-line,’’ said defensive end Cliff Avril of Sowell. “He doesn’t back down to anybody and he brings that grittiness, that toughness, to the O-line. I think they definitely need him.’’

Interestingly, Avril said one of the moments when Sowell caught his eye the most is when Sowell got into a celebrated fight with Michael Bennett — one of Avril’s best friends — during training camp. Sowell and Bennett tangled during a one-on-one drill that resulted in each essentially being benched for the rest of practice.

“During camp, it’s a grind and some guys will back down from fights because they’re tired and what not,’’ Avril said. “For him to step up and show that he ain’t no punk, that he’s a scrappy guy, I think that’s pretty cool because you know he’s going to go to war for you. He brings that grittiness that they need up front and he’s definitely going to lead that way.’’

That’s something a rebuilt offensive line — one undergoing a sudden unexpected change this week — will need in the season opener against Miami Sunday.

Of the team’s five starters, only Gilliam at right tackle played that same position last year.

Center Justin Britt was a left guard last season and left guard Mark Glowinski was a rookie a year ago who made just one start. The team had been counting on rookie Germain Ifedi to fill the right guard spot.

But Ifedi is out three weeks or so after suffering a high ankle sprain in practice on Wednesday.

That will likely result in newcomer Webb — who played last season for the Raiders — stepping in at right guard.

Originally, the Seahawks planned on Webb — who at $2.45 million is the highest-paid lineman on the team — starting at right tackle and Gilliam at left. But each battled injuries during training camp, with Webb missing some time after twisting his knee.

That helped open the door for Sowell — who was signed with the idea that he would compete at either tackle spot but might also fill a backup role — to take over at left tackle.

“He kind of just outlasted anybody else that was willing to take the left tackle spot,’’ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

That’s all Sowell said he wanted when he came to Seattle was a foot in the door.

The Ole Miss grad played the last three seasons at Arizona, starting 12 games in 2013 for a Cardinals’ team that went 10-6 (including a late-season win against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, the last time the eventual Super Bowl champs lost that year).

But Arizona then signed high-priced free agent Jared Veldheer to play left tackle and Sowell spent the last two seasons in a reserve role, playing a combined 33 snaps (all in 2014) before becoming a free agent.

Sowell said Arizona wanted him back but that the Seahawks told him to at least take a visit to Seattle first. Sowell did, liked what he saw, as well as knowing that Okung was unlikely to return, and signed on, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $1 million.

“I wanted to take a chance somewhere else, honestly,’’ he said. “They had their left tackle sewn up. He’s a good player. That’s what I wanted — to play.’’

The task now is to show some longevity.

Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable said Sowell has so far showed what the Seahawks thought he might — that’s he’s a better fit in their system than in Arizona’s. At Arizona, Sowell largely had to drop back and form a stout pocket for classic dropback quarterback Carson Palmer, or win battles in a power running game.

Seattle’s zone blocking system, meanwhile, relies more on smarts, communication and athleticism and the ability to improvise when quarterback Russell Wilson takes off running.

“So far I’m not asked to do anything that I can’t do,” Sowell said. “You can be really athletic in this offense. You can really show who you are. So so far they have put me in great situations and I just feel really comfortable.”

Cable, though, said the goal for Sowell — as well as the rest of the linemen — is to now live up to the faith the team has shown in them.

“He really hasn’t had any challenges yet,” Cable said of Sowell. “The truth to that is we’re waiting on that to happen. He’s done a wonderful job of coming in here and learning our thing and taking it where we needed somebody to go. Can you handle the challenge that’s the next thing for the whole group. Can you keep getting better and handling the challenge.”


Here are the Seahawks career leaders in starts at left tackle

Walter Jones, 1997-2009, 180

Russell Okung, 2010-15, 72

Ron Essink, 1981-85, 67

Nick Bebout, 1976-79, 54

Ron Mattes, 1986-89, 52

Ray Roberts, 1992-94, 46

Andy Heck, 1989-91, 40

James Atkins,1995-96, 32