It's Not Just The Seahawks: Why NFL Offensive Lines Are Struggling

Sep 22, 2017

The Seahawks take their 1-1 record to Tennessee on Sunday to play the Titans. The offensive line is once again a problem for the Hawks this season. But they’re not alone. KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel explains why.

From College To Pro: Linemen Need 'Training Wheels'

"So very few teams have quality offensive lines and that comes from the farm system and the lack of production we're seeing in college," Thiel said.

"The college game has changed into spread offenses, which emphasize the pass at the exclusion of the running game."

"As a consequence, these offensive linemen are trained to stand up on two feet and pass block as opposed to putting a hand on the ground and run blocking."

"When the pro teams draft the college linemen they have to put training wheels on them for a season or two to get them to be efficient in the pro game."

"For a team like Seattle, which emphasizes in its roster-building defense first, then the quarterback, then the skilled positions on offense and finally the offensive line, they don't have the investment in the offensive line that other teams have done."

"In addition, the guys they have chosen haven't been very efficient so far."

"So it becomes a very frustrating thing for fans - not only here but in a lot of other places."

Fantasy Fans Frustrated Too

Thiel said the fan frustration is resulting in lower television ratings.

"Two games is a small sample size but last year the ratings were down, too," he said.

"It's because the fans not only are bored, they're upset because their main interest is fantasy football, where you're watching individuals in the league and not necessarily teams."

"The fact that the Seahawks and all the other NFL teams can't get the kinds of players they need to play the games they want to play are resulting in a lot of inefficiency and a lot of boring outcomes."

"And, by gosh, if the league doesn't change in some fashion, they're going to lose a lot of people in a fan base that has been previously very, very loyal."

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