Veteran guard Jahri Evans, who worked with the first-team offense for the Seahawks Tuesday with Germain Ifedi out with a minor injury, feels he is starting to finally find a comfort zone with the Seahawks.
Of all the adjustments guard Jahri Evans has had to make in moving from the team he played with for 10 years in New Orleans to Seattle, the biggest, he has come to find out, may be the voice of the quarterback.
The scheme — from one favoring the pass to another that will always place great value on the run — is also different, as is being asked to zone block as often as he in Seattle.
But after 10 years of playing with Drew Brees, Evans says simply hearing another quarterback call the snap count has taken as much getting used to as anything else.
“For me, that’s how you gain your advantage is being able to jump the snap count, getting off the ball,’’ he said.
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“…. It’s like Adele and Usher. It’s just a different voice that you hear. Just the cadence is different.’’
Asked which of Brees or Seattle’s Russell Wilson is Adele and which is Usher, Evans laughs.
“I should have said two guys,’’ he said. “I just said Adele cause she’s amazing.’’
Like Adele on stage, Evans think he’s beginning to find some rhythm in Seattle’s offense after having been with the team for just a little over two weeks.
Tuesday, Evans worked throughout practice with the first team offense at right guard with rookie Germain Ifedi sitting out with an oblique injury. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell characterized Ifedi’s injury as minor and said it might only keep him out a day.
But the injury gave Evans his most extended work yet with the first team, and depending on how Ifedi recovers it could mean the four-time All-NFL pick could get some plays with the starting unit when the Seahawks play Dallas Thursday in their third preseason game at CenturyLink Field.
Given Evans’ pedigree — he made six straight Pro Bowls from 2009-14 — some observers figured he might step right into the starting lineup on a Seattle team again rebuilding its offensive line.
Evans didn’t try to dampen expectations when he arrived on Aug. 6, saying in his introductory meeting with Seattle media that “I still feel like I’m a top guard in this league, if not the best.”
But the Seahawks have been happy with the play of Ifedi and left guard Mark Glowinski, who have remained with the first team throughout camp, while Evans — who turned 33 on Monday — has been shaking off the rust after not having played since the end of last season while also adjusting to his first new team since entering the league with New Orleans in 2006.
Reminded of his comment about still being one of the best guards in the NFL, Evans again smiled.
“I definitely think I can play at a top guard level,’’ he said. “It’s just a matter of getting back in the swing of things. It’s just something that I’ve never had to do since my rookie season that I am doing out here, which is learning a new system, starting fresh.
“So it’s going to take some time. But I think I am picking it up fairly quickly. ‘’
Evans also found out quickly that Seattle’s offense puts some different kind of stresses on his body than did New Orleans’ pass-first attack.
“The guys up front are fast,’’ he said. “They are moving really fast. Especially on the zone plays. So you’ve got to take the proper angles. You can’t be slow in your footwork. It needs to be precise because of how fast things are moving.’’
Another difference for Evans has been working with a mobile quarterback in Wilson (or backup Trevone Boykin, who has worked with more regularly when with the team team) as opposed to Brees.
One of Evans’ greatest strengths with the Saints was being able to help the team maintain a stable pocket around Brees, who isn’t prone to scramble — Brees rushed for just 338 yards in the 10 years Evans played with the Saints, barely more than half of Wilson’s total of 553 last season alone.
“It’s a different system, different style,’’ offensive line coach Tom Cable said. “But it’s okay. It’s ours and we own it and we’re good at it, so they have to adjust to him and we have to teach them.”
The Seahawks have what is a relatively small investment in Evans, who signed a one-year contract worth $1.065 million overall and $80,000 guaranteed after having been released in February by the Saints in a cost-cutting move.
How that investment will pay off remains unclear.
Ifedi appears entrenched at right guard with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell reiterating on Tuesday that for now, the team has no plans to play him anywhere else.
“Things can happen,’’ Bevell said. “But right now there is expected to be no change.’’
And after the Seahawks tried Evans for a few practices at left guard, he has been solely on the right side of late meaning that for now, for Evans to start, he’d apparently have to beat out Ifedi.
“Germain, he’s going to be great,’’ Evans said. “Don’t get me wrong. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s a talent for this team and this league. So we’ll see what happens.’’