Clearly among the most crucial components of Seattle Seahawks reconstruction is the offensive line. In part because of ineffectiveness up front, the 2009 Seahawks couldn’t run, pass, score or win.
In comes Alex Gibbs, They used their first draft pick on left tackle Russell Okung to address the issue. But even more critical to reshaping the line was the hiring of veteran coach Alex Gibbs.
Gibbs has a reputation for being tough and gruff, and is not only personally mute toward the media, he discourages his entire unit from conducting interviews.
It’s apparently a function of group-think. Gibbs wants nobody getting attention above the others. They operate as a unit on the field, and that’s how he wants them to act at all times.
So, if you’re a fan and are hoping to get some first-person insights into how the line is progressing, you’re pretty much out of luck. Hey, frankly, if it somehow helps them learn to block, almost everybody around here will willingly forgo the quotes explaining how it happened.
But in the absence of access to Gibbs and the players themselves, we’re left to speculate on what they might say if they ever agreed to stop and answer inquiries.
Here’s the wholly fabricated transcript of the fictitious interview:
Me: “Coach Gibbs, you’re reputed to be a demanding taskmaster with your players and uncommunicative with the media, why did you decide to chat today?”
Gibbs: “Well, Dave … you don’t mind if I call you Dave, do you? Dave, yes, we do tend to be circumspect in most cases, but I’ve been a big fan of your work for a long time. You truly grasp the subtleties and nuances of offensive line play.”
Gibbs: “No, &%$#!-head, I’m just @#$%* with ya.”
Me: “Coach, I see that you conduct all your practice sessions dealing with the entire unit or at least small groups, but don’t work much on individual techniques.”
Gibbs: “That’s because a member of our brotherhood never stands alone. There are no individuals.”
Me: “Like a little socialist society?”
Gibbs: “I don’t even learn their @#$%* names.”
Me: “OK, let’s see, how about that guy over there wearing No. 66, who’s that?”
Gibbs: “No @#$%* clue.”
Me: “That’s Mansfield Wrotto.”
Gibbs: “*&#(^$# … I don’t have any linemen named Mansfield, you’re @#$%* crazy, boy. Mansfield. Ha. *&(*^%.”
Me: “OK, well, what do you have to say to rookie tackle Russell Okung, who hasn’t signed his contract, and is missing time while waiting on a possible deal that could make him $30 million guaranteed?”
Gibbs: “He won’t ever see that @#$%* much. I told you, there are no individuals; we pool our checks every week and divide the sum equally.”
Me: “Does Okung know that?
Gibbs: “Why the *&*^$* do you think he’s holding out?”
Me: “OK, let’s talk to some of the players. Chris, Chris Spencer, you reportedly had a great offseason and are highly motivated. Is that because you sense that injuries and other factors over the past five seasons might have left you falling somewhat short of the expectations that the public holds for a first-round draft pick?”
Spencer: “Well, yeah, there’s that, but mostly it’s because Gibbs scares the daylights outta me. Have you heard that guy? Sheesh, he’s tough.”
Me: “Let’s move over to right guard Max Unger. Max, after a rookie season in which you played both guard and center, what is the main thing you have learned from coach Gibbs thus far?
Unger: “Lotta new cuss words.”
Me: “Back to you, Coach. Can you summarize the main challenges at this point?”
Gibbs: “Were you dropped on your head as a baby? Let’s see, how about giving up 41 @#$%* sacks last season? Or being ranked @#$%* 26th in rushing. Or scoring only *&(%* 17.5 points a game? Summarize that.”
Me: “Well, I’d like to thank you coach for taking the time to participate in this mythical interview.”
Gibbs: “Sure … nice not talking to you. I’ll be happy to not talk to you every day after practice. But I gotta run.”
Me: “What’s up, Coach, film session?”
Gibbs: “I gotta check and see if I really have a guy named Mansfield on my line.”