Their former coaches said at the NFL league meetings Tuesday the Seahawks got good players in Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi.
What kind of players are the Seahawks getting in newly-signed free agent offensive linemen Luke Joeckel and Oday Aboushi?
The annual AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL meetings Tuesday in Phoenix meant a chance to get a little insight on the two players from their former coaches — Doug Marrone of Jacksonville and Bill O’Brien of Houston.
Marrone took over for the fired Gus Bradley late last season. But prior to that Marrone was Jacksonville’s offensive line coach, coaching Joeckel in 2015 and 2016.
It was under Marrone’s watch that the Jaguars moved Joeckel — who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft — from left tackle to left guard in 2016. When Joeckel suffered ACL and MCL injuries last October, he was placed on Injured Reserve and then sat out the rest of the season and then became a free agent.
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But while Joeckel’s Jacksonville career is generally painted as a disappointment, Marrone offered nothing but praise for Joeckel, who signed a one-year deal worth up to $8 million with the Seahawks and is expected to compete for the starting left tackle spot.
“I spent two years with Luke,” Marrone said. “I do like Luke. He’s had some injuries, unfortunately (also suffering a broken ankle in 2013), but he’s probably one of the hardest-working people I’ve been around. Really cares about the way he plays. I told him I wish him nothing but the best, obviously except for just one game (the Jaguars will host the Seahawks in 2017). He can have 15 great games and hopefully he just doesn’t have a great game against one team that he plays. But I think you’ll enjoy him. Really great kid. Great man. Great wife. I think he’s got flexibility, can play multiple positions, a heck of an athlete. I think he works extremely hard and is a very young player (25). People have tended to forget that part about how young he is from an age standpoint. I wish him nothing but the best. He did the best job he could for us and I know we appreciate that.”
Asked about moving Joeckel last year from tackle to guard, Marrone said the team was just trying to get its best offensive line on the field and that it was not an admission the team didn’t feel Joeckel could play tackle.
“I think we were just trying to put the best five out there,” Marrone said. “I think he can play both. I think he can play both well. I know Tom (Cable). Tom is a heck of a coach up there and I think he’ll do a great job with him. I’m sure Tom will put him in the best position that he feels is best for Seattle.”
Aboushi, meanwhile, started eight games at guard over the last two seasons for the Texans under O’Brien before signing a one-year deal with the Seahawks worth up to $975,000.
“Tough guy,” O’Brien said. “Another guy that is a good team guy. He’s played a lot of different roles for us. Played guard, played tackle for us sometimes in practice. I think we even tried him at one point at being an extra tight end for blocking purposes. The thing about Oday is he’s tough. He’ll practice every day. He’ll show up every day. He’s kind of a lunch-pail type of guy and I’ve got a lot of respect for Oday.”
Asked if he thought Aboushi was a better fit at guard or tackle, O’Brien said: “Played mostly guard for us. Played mostly guard for us, but I think he can do both. I think he can do both.”