Against the Miami Dolphins, Seattle struggled on offense. The Seahawks scored only 12 points on 352 yards, finishing 19th in offensive DVOA. These struggles started upfront with the offensive line creating few running lanes and allowing persistent pressure, eventually resulting in an injury to Russell Wilson when his ankle was rolled over as he was being sacked. But despite the overall issues along the offensive line, there were two bright spots.
#Seahawks OL coach Tom Cable said C Justin Britt and G Mark Glowinski were “outstanding” in opener. Rest of the group has more room to grow.
— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) September 14, 2016
Outstanding is very high praise. Considering we’ve heard similar praise for offensive linemen from the coaching staff in the past, it’s fair to take that comment with a grain of salt. It’s not absurd though, and Glowinski showed a lot of reasons for Seahawks fans to be excited for him this year and beyond.
Glowinski has excellent hands and upper body strength. On the play below you can see him get underneath Jordan Phillips and quickly turn him out so that he’s perpindicular to the line of scrimmage.
This is ultimately a run pass option where Russ reads that Seattle has numbers on the screen and elects to pass instead of hand off, but this ability to turn out linemen to the sidelines opens up huge running lanes on inside zone runs.
Glow also has fantastic feet. He’s nimble and agile for an offensive lineman. This normally comes into play when blocking linebackers in the second level, but it was best displayed against Miami when Glowinski pulled across the formation to block Mario Williams on the edge.
Not only is Glow able to get across quickly and engage Williams, he’s able to deftly maneuver around Webb and Gilliam as they are blown back into his path by Suh.
Glowinski isn’t just physically gifted though, he’s also a smart and player with good awareness.
Glowisnki knows he has inside help from Britt, which means he doesn’t need to over commit to Jordan Phillips line up as a 1tech. At the snap, Glow punches with his inside arm and contains Phillips while keeping his head up and looking to his left. If Sowell needs help of Miami brings a blitz, Glowinski is ready to pass Phillips off to Britt and take the new rusher.
Maybe my favorite trait of Glow’s is that he’s a battler. You might get the upper hand on him, but he’s going to fight you tooth and nail to the bitter end.
Glow is again matching up with Jordan Phillips who hits him with a powerful bullrush, driving him backwards into the pocket. With Glow on the ropes, Phillips attempts to transition into a swim move to shed the block. And the Glow does this.
Glow is able to plant his feet behind him and roll his hips up under Phillips, getting leverage with his left arm under Phillips pads and drive him past Russ out of the back of the pocket. It’s an absurdly athletic play that allows Russ to keep a mostly clean pocket despite the initial bull rush from Phillips.
We shouldn’t ignore the initial problem Glowinski has on this play though. His main weakness at this point is anchoring, and it showed up a few times in this game.
This is a tough block for Glowinski, having to reach Phillips who is lined out off his playside shoulder. But Phillips is again able to land a strong punch and drive Glowinski back, forcing Christine Michael to wide angle around the edge of the line.
One other thing to watch with offensive linemen is how they play when they get tired. This could especially be a problem for Glowinski, playing only his second full game in his NFL career. So were there any signs of fatigue?
This came on the last offensive possession of the game, the 13th play of a 14 play drive. I don’t think fatigue was a problem.
Looking forward to next week, it will be interesting to see how often Glowinski faces off against Aaron Donald and Jordan Phillips. Glowinski faced off against Jordan Phillips almost exclusively, and while Phillips is a very good player he’s neither as good as Ndamukong Suh or Donald nor is he the same type of player as those two. If he is put in situations to block Donald, it will be interesting to see how he handles his quickness and pass rush ability.
Whoever he ends up blocking, his week one performance should instill some confidence in Seahawks fans that he’ll be ready for the task.