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May 9, 2014 at 10:21 PM

Tom Cable on Justin Britt: “He’s just my kind of guy”

Here are some quotes from Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable today after the drafting of Missouri’s Justin Britt in the second round.

On tackle Justin Britt sounding like Cable’s kind of guy: “He’s just my kind of guy.”

On where Britt will play on the offensive line: “He’ll compete at right tackle with Mike Bowie. Right from the beginning he’ll have the ability to play either guard spot. He played left tackle in the SEC this year. Was a right a year ago as a junior. But he is our kind of guy. He’s competitive. 45-0 as a heavyweight champion wrestler champion in high school. He’s an ornery, mean guy that plays the game the right way. Obviously with his background and that number of starts in that league against that competition, that’s important.”

On when they found him in the draft process: “He was really right there. I had targeted two guys and one went earlier we thought would still be there at that point and then he was still there so it was great. We knew I think from the time I was at the combine. Got a chance to meet him, be around him. Tried to keep our distance from him as best we could, and obviously it worked out. So it went exactly how you want it to. With the departure of Breno Giacomini, filling that need and then creating the right competition so that we get a good player at right tackle and this worked out perfectly.”

On if Britt will have a chance to start right away: “Everyone has a chance to start but he’ll come in and he’ll compete right away with Mike Bowie at right tackle, yeah.”

On what jumped out to Cable about Britt: “You know, style of play, who are they playing against, how much they played in their college career. I got excited about watching him play [Jadeveon] Clowney. I thought there’s a guy that it wasn’t too big, he didn’t worry about it, he was very physical with him. Then the more I started studying this guy, all the way back to when he was younger, the traits of toughness and competitiveness just kept jumping out at me. I think I got a little lucky too watching him a year ago as a junior as a right tackle. Because he did some things I thought were a little awkward at left tackle this year. Wasn’t all that comfortable with that part of it but then I didn’t see him being a left tackle in this league. As I started to dig into him and found him playing right tackle as a junior, it was like, there he is.”

On how much he likes the wrestling background in an offensive lineman: “Love it. Yeah, I love it. I was fortunate to coach a guy named Jeremy Newberry in college and he has a lot of Jeremy’s traits. Loves to grind, loves to work. He’s got his priorities in line. Young guy who’s married. Young child. Has graduated and is working on a second degree. He may in fact get his Master’s degree here sometime in spring. But he’s no nonsense. That’s our kind guy – guys who love to compete. He doesn’t care about the flashy whatever all that is. Just wants to get better every day. So it’s really a perfect hit for us at what we need to have right now.”

On if it was helpful that Bowie and Alvin Bailey showed versatility last year as rookies so they didn’t have to zone in on one specific position in the draft: “Yeah, I think we got really fortunate last year with both those guys. You think about Mike [Bowie] – in preseason we played them both kind of all over the place. And then we settled in with Mike at right and sure enough Breno got hurt and we needed him for seven weeks and he went in and just got better and better. Then he played a game against Arizona at right guard when J.R. [Sweezy] went down and a game at left guard against New Orleans and so it was like, Okay, we’ll be fine. He’s tested and he’s been through it. But we need to get quality depth and we need to replace two guys we lost, who had really cool roles – Paul McQuistan was a backup but a really cool bandaid in this league and I think Breno who some people may not have liked as much as I did because of his ability to get a penalty here and there, but I think he settled that down towards the end too and was fine after coming back from the injury. To me, we just started to replace those two guys with another quality competitor.”

On what Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel told him about Britt: “Well so much of what I heard about these guys—when I hear coach Pinkel say that this is a guy that can get it done and that we feel really good about succeeding out of this program, that’s pretty strong. I think a lot of Gary and when I heard that, it’s a good deal. How it comes out and we talked to his line coach and his coordinator and we did all that background and homework, it’s like, Okay, everything I’m hearing sounds right.”

On what Britt playing ornery and mean means: “Well, I think it’s important to have a certain mentality in this league, as you well know, and the guys that take care of quarterbacks, they have to be kind of relentless about keeping them off the quarterback. We made so much stride two years ago in doing that and last year, with no excuses, went the other way on it. I think that mentality that I’m talking about is one that others follow, but I think it’s also infectious in regards to running the ball and keeping your quarterback clean. I think it starts with loving to work. Anyone who can go 45-0 as a high school wrestler and win a state title, he’s been through it, he suffered and he strained to a great degree. I think that’s a tremendous characteristic and for me it was really cool to see him sitting there when we wanted him. We were really worried he was going to get taken and then you find out afterwards that he probably would have in the next few picks.”

On who takes over McQuistan’s role of utility man who could fill in all guard and tackle spots: “Well, who knows, right? Until we get to work. But you would think Alvin Bailey. That would be a real opportunity for him. The nice thing about Alvin and Mike Bowie both, is they have so much versatility. I think other than playing center, both guys could probably play the other four spots. So feel good about that.”

On if he looks to James Carpenter to step in at left guard this year: “Well if you think about what James Carpenter was able to do the last four weeks of the season, what a cool way to end the year and then to go into the playoffs and play the best football he’s played since he’s been a Seahawk. So we’re excited in that here the guy is, seems to be completely through the injury, has got his weight under control, his work ethic has really come on, he smiles every day – so there’s a peacefulness about that big guy that I start to see why we took him. And he’s healthy and I think that’s really key when you’re a big person is feeling good about your legs and your body. I’m excited for James. I think it’s going to be a really cool year.”

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