Twenty Reasons Why the 2019 Seattle Seahawks Will Make the Playoffs: Number 19; Mike Iupati

The 2019 Seattle Seahawks will be a playoff team this year. I am sure of it. In fact, I will go one further than that. I say that not only will they be a playoff team, I think they are going to do some damage in the playoffs, and other teams and fans of those other teams won’t like it. Nope, not at all, and I am giving twenty player related reasons why. This is Player Related Reason Number 19.

Mike Iupati; Offensive Left Guard.



Why is Iupati poised to make a big impact?

Well, for one thing, he’s massive. At 6-5 and 331 lbs, Mr. Iupati is the human definition of a road grader built to move other big humans out of the way. Another thing is that he is seasoned veteran who, when healthy, adds veteran leadership and savvy. But perhaps the most exciting reason to be optimistic about the addition of this guy is just how much further the commitment of the team is to get more physical at the line of scrimmage.

Seattle wants to run the ball. There is no secret about this. This is been the stable of the Seattle offense for nearly a decade now. But the way they are going about things over the last season to this point it quite different. When Tom Cable was coaching the offensive line, they preferred quick moving lighter players at guard to incorporate a zone blocking scheme. For a while, it had it’s effects, but the league caught up to it, and Cable was unable to adjust, or unwilling, however you want to view it, and that led to his firing. Enter Mike Solari, and a power blocking scheme.

Last year, Seattle was dominant running the ball, and the addition of DJ Fluker (6-5 342 lbs) at right guard was a revelation. Seattle brought Fluker back this season on a two year deal, and reached a one year deal with 32 year old Iupati. That one year deal just made Seattle’s offensive line considerably even bigger considering who Iupati replaced, and I would expect this to be a trend that continues.

Seattle drafted  Phil Haynes (6-4 322 lbs) in the fourth round this year probably likely with the intentions of developing him into a starter, but with Iupati, Haynes has the luxury of learning from a veteran, and Seattle has the luxury of not rushing a rookie. Yes, Iupati might well just be a veteran stop gap, but that’s a huge stop gap of a player, and while his recent injury history suggests that he may not play a full sixteen game season, Seattle showed last year with relatively unknown youngster Jordan Simmons thrust into the starting lineup for a few games, that they have a type that they look for to be effective in their power scheme, and with that type, size most definitely matters.

With Iupati, Seattle’s offensive line will boast four former first round picks, and a second round pick at center. The average weight of these five players is about 324 lbs. That’s a group of some pretty big men. The average of the projected backups is at about 320 lbs. Yeah, big boys.

Simply put, for Seattle to win in the trenches this year size matters, and this Iupati signing shows even more clearly that they want to be the bully of the division again, even if that means that they might only get Iupati for ten games, or so. Based on last season, they might be onto something.

They played the Los Angeles Rams tough in their two close losses to them. They had success running against a defensive line that included top self defense linemen Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Michael Brockers. During one match, Fluker owned Suh in the run game, and in another match they got under Donald’s skin, which isn’t an easy thing to do.

I suspect 2019 is going to very much be a continuation of that. Is it sexy and innovative? Nah, it’s about as unsexy old school as you can get, but I gotta admit it, a big part of me applauds this approach.

Seattle doesn’t have the exotic weapons to likely match LA in a shoot out, but that isn’t how they want to play it. Seattle wants to hit LA in the mouth repeatedly on offensive until LA is forced to take away the run, and New England might have just given the league a blue print on how to slow down LA’s offense. If Seattle can execute that blue print a bit better in 2019, that offensive line could pave the way to a victory or two over LA, and might just put Seattle in the driver’s seat in the division again.

We shall see, of course, but personally, I like this Mike Iupati signing. I like it a lot. Add in the fact that Iupati will be reunited with his old O-line coach from his San Francisco days in Solari, and I think he’s poised to fit in really nicely here in Seattle.

I’m looking forward to it.

Go Hawks.


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