Skip to main content
Publish date:

With Battle Ongoing, Seahawks Not Ready to Name Starting Center Yet

Three players - Ethan Pocic, B.J. Finney, and Kyle Fuller - have been actively engaged in a competition to replace Justin Britt. While Pete Carroll won't name a starter yet, it sounds like a decision could be coming in the near future.

SEATTLE, WA - With three weeks remaining until the season opener in Atlanta, coach Pete Carroll isn't quite ready to unveil a new starting center for the Seahawks.

Through the first two weeks of training camp, Ethan Pocic, B.J. Finney, and Kyle Fuller have been engaged in a three-way competition with each player seeing snaps at the pivot position and snapping to quarterback Russell Wilson. The position remains vacant after Seattle released long-time starter Justin Britt and reserve Joey Hunt this offseason.

With the Seahawks being far more secretive about positional battles - particularly limiting what reporters are allowed to report on depth charts from training camp practice - Carroll didn't offer too many specifics when asked about the ongoing competition, indicating "no deadline" to make a decision has been made.

"It's just a battle," Carroll said. "They're competing like crazy… The competition will just keep going. We've had enough opportunities so far to see that B.J. [Finney] can handle it, and Ethan Pocic can handle it, so it's a good healthy competition… It's a good comp, and we'll call it before too long. No deadline is set yet."

Weighing in on the situation, Wilson indicated there hasn't been a drop off between Pocic, Finney, and Fuller, who have all been vying for snaps with the first-team through eight practices.

"Those three guys have done a great job," Wilson said. "You haven't seen a dip in performance from either guy and they're working their tail off every day, they're super sharp, understand what we're doing, they communicate well. All three of them are working really, really hard to win that job."

Read More

Stressing the importance of chemistry between quarterback and center, Pocic has the inherent advantage of having worked with Wilson during his first three NFL seasons. Though he hasn't played any regular season snaps at the position and has primarily played guard in the league, he was a standout center at LSU before being drafted by the Seahawks in the second round in 2017.

As for Finney, who also has NFL starting experience at both guard spots along with center, Wilson has done his best to talk with the free agent signee from Pittsburgh as much as possible. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that became complicated at times, but they've been working diligently to establish a rapport with one another.

Even without the luxury of being able to work with the trio on the field with OTAs and minicamps canceled in the spring, Wilson feels all three competitors came well-prepared after offseason Zoom meetings. Citing Pocic and Finney in particular, he's been impressed by their high football IQs when it comes to line calls and understanding of concepts.

"It's a challenge for the guys in a sense that there's so much information," Wilson elaborated. "You gotta have a doctorate in this information of football, of all the stuff that we're doing, all the stuff coach [Brian] Schottenheimer has [and] is responsible for and everything else... I'm a big believer in the why's of football and those two guys definitely know the game and that's a great thing for us."

As reported during the middle of Saturday's scrimmage and confirmed by Carroll afterward, Fuller has been handed a two-game suspension to open the season for violating the NFL's performance enhancing drugs policy and already looked like a long-shot to win the job. Ultimately, the competition to snap to Wilson in Week 1 remains up for grabs between Pocic and Finney.

With a pair of additional scrimmages set to take place in the next seven days, including another one at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday, it's possible the decision on a starter could be revealed as soon as next week. Given the versatility of both players, whoever finishes second may also be in the mix to see snaps at either guard spot moving forward.