Seahawks offensive lineman Germain Ifedi says he's happy to move back to right tackle if that's what the team wants.
Germain Ifedi’s first NFL season began with a position switch — a move inside to right guard from the right tackle spot he had played his final two seasons at Texas A&M.
His second is expected to begin with another — moving back to right tackle.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider each mentioned the likely move of Ifedi back outside during recent interviews and the team then appeared to make it a done deal by letting Garry Gilliam —- the right tackle most of last season — leave via restricted free agency to the 49ers.
Ifedi, the team’s first-round pick in the 2016 draft at No. 31 overall, says the switch back is just fine with him.
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Speaking before serving as a celebrity waiter at a fundraiser for Ben’s Fund — a foundation created by Seahawks general manager John Schneider and his wife, Traci, that supports families with autistic kids — Ifedi said the team discussed the idea with him shortly after the end of last season.
“Yeah, I talked to (offensive line coach) Tom (Cable) after the season, and he just said it depends on how pieces are moving around, but we definitely could see you getting a shot out there, it just depends on what happens in free agency and things like that,’’ Ifedi said. “…. So with how things have shaken out, maybe that’s more of a reality now. We’ll see. I did have contact with Pete and he did say, ‘hey, we’re looking at you maybe getting out there.’ But like I said, nothing’s ever set in stone until it’s set in stone.”
Ifedi said he told the team “Hey, whatever we do, I’m going to stay ready at all positions, no matter where you want to play me.’’
Ifedi said it won’t change anything with his routine if he is playing tackle instead of guard.
“No, you just work at everything,’’ he said. “You don’t ever want to have yourself be limited, because something could happen where I have to bump back in or bump out, so you never want to be limited to, ‘OK, this is my only position,’ because especially on the offensive line, that’s never the reality in the NFL, because we only carry six or seven guys on gameday.”
Wherever he is playing, Ifedi says he expects 2017 to go more smoothly than 2016, a season that began and ended with high ankle sprains with some inconsistent play scattered around in between.
“I’ve watched it a ton of times,’’ Ifedi said of reviewing film of last season’s games. “You see the film and you see a guy who has all the ability, you see the rookie mistakes that are there, but he can make all the blocks and all those type of things when we’re dialed in and we’re communicating well. The line is great when we’re doing those things, but when you’re not communicating and everybody’s not connected, then it goes to a mess. That’s the one thing I saw throughout the film with how many times I looked at it. The games when I know we’re communicating and really gelling, we’re really rolling. But the games where it’s, OK, ‘go one play, then go back, pre-snap penalties,’ things like that is when we kind of got ourselves in trouble.”
Ifedi spent most of the winter in Seattle rehabbing his ankles. He suffered a high ankle sprain in practice on the Wednesday before the opener and missed the first three games. Then he suffered another in the first quarter of the divisional playoff game against Atlanta.
“Just get the ankles right so we can prevent that from being a problem in the future,’’ he said of an ailment that he said impacted him for much of the season.
“It was there. It got a lot better toward the latter half of the season, but it happened again in the playoffs. It wasn’t the same injury, but it was the exact same place. I wouldn’t say they were related or anything.”