As expected, the Seattle Seahawks continue to ratchet up the pressure on incumbent starting right tackle Germain Ifedi.
After committing multiple penalties in Saturday's mock scrimmage, the Seahawks benched Ifedi, replacing him with former supplemental draft pick Isaiah Battle. "Real disappointed" by his recurring issues with penalties, patience is wearing thin for coach Pete Carroll and his staff and Seattle is looking for a way to light a fire under the former first round pick.
As another measure to turn up the heat on Ifedi, Seattle rewarded rookie Jamarco Jones by subbing him in with the first-team offense during the team's two-minute drill in Tuesday's practice.
“Jamarco has been a real surprise that he’s been able to pick up stuff so soon." Carroll told reporters following Tuesday's session. "Mike [Solari] has been real impressed with him. So we’ll find out, you know. We’ll finally get to play ball.”
A fifth-round pick out of Ohio State, Jones primarily played left tackle for the Buckeyes and has spent his entire time with the Seahawks thus far working as the backup at the same position behind Duane Brown. But with George Fant returning from reconstructive knee surgery and Ifedi once again struggling, the Seahawks decided it was time to push the rookie and see if he could successfully adapt to playing on the right side.
Carroll acknowledged that players can be "inhibited" switching sides on the line, but he's been encouraged by how well the rookie has picked up information since being drafted in April and believes his experience on the left side will benefit him as the team gives him a shot at right tackle.
"He’s been a left side guy a lot, so he has shown a real good savvy about the game and he’s precocious in his awareness and stuff so we’re thinking maybe there’s a chance that it’ll come easy to him to play on the right side as well. We’ll find out.”
The Seahawks have nothing to lose moving the 6-foot-4, 293 pound Jones, as fast-tracking the former All-Big Ten selection will provide legitimate competition for Ifedi's starting job while also allowing him the chance to earn playing time quicker than anticipated. Ultimately, Seattle hopes his presence will bring out the best in the third-year tackle as he sees the rookie drawing closer in the rear-view mirror.
“I don’t mind making it noted to him. However we need to do it, we’ve got to get this done." Carroll said in regards to Ifedi, adding: "He’s capable of being a terrific player, and part of it is he’s got to play really sharp and get rid of that stuff.”
Among multiple positions that will be under the microscope in Thursday's preseason opener against the Colts, Jones move to the right side adds further intrigue to the right tackle competition.
With job security no longer a guarantee for Ifedi, if he's unable to overcome the penalty problems that have plagued him during his first two seasons, his time as a starter could be nearing an end.