As far as I can tell, they don’t have a name for some of the blocking techniques I’ve seen Breno Giacomini employ a time or two during the Seahawks’ recent offseason workouts in Renton.
So I’ll rely on a description.
Have you ever seen those levered devices into which you place a soda can to crush it flat for recycling? On occasion, Giacomini, a 6-foot-7, 320 pound offensive tackle, becomes that device.
Defenders are the can.
It goes like this: Giacomini gets his hands on a defensive end’s shoulders, and physically crumples him to the ground. Maybe it’s holding; maybe it’s assault and battery. But it’s danged impressive.
And recycling is good for the environment.
“You try not to do that, but sometimes it happens,” Giacomini said when asked of the technique.
Nah, come on, who are you kidding? You try to do it every time you can.
“Yeah, you’re right,” he admitted.
Giacomini was one of the Seahawks’ success stories last season. Having been picked up off the Green Bay practice squad in 2010, he came in and started eight games last season, including the final seven once first-round rookie James Carpenter was lost for the season.
When Giacomini was in the lineup during the second half of the season, the Seahawks’ rushing game became one of the most productive in the league.
And Giacomini’s knack for physically dominant play perfectly suited the team’s burgeoning aggressive mentality.
“That’s what we want to do as offensive linemen – not just me, all the O line – is to play really nasty,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a pass play or run play. And, yeah, sure, I want to be known as that guy.”
A former prep basketball star and a lanky tight end at Louisville, Giacomini ate himself onto the offensive line. Even with the added weight, he maintained foot speed and agility, and became a fifth-round pick of the Packers in 2007 – the same year Green Bay used a seventh-round pick on new Seahawks quarterback Matt Flynn.
But he never got on the field during the regular season for the Packers.
“Last season was a great learning experience, and thank God I had it. It will help me out for this season and years to come,” he said.
He played so well, he has given the Seahawks some nice options. If Giacomini continues to develop at right tackle, Carpenter might be a nice fit at left guard.
“He’s gonna get healthy and he’s going to find a spot,” Giacomini said of Carpenter. “He’s a big kid; he’ll probably play left guard and right tackle. It’s a good competition is what it is, and I hope he gets back sooner rather than later because it’s good for the team.”
Giacomini proved his value to the extent that the Seahawks signed him to a two-year deal that includes a base salary of $1.5 million this season.
That’s a big deal for a kid whose parents left farm life in Brazil in favor of the Boston area shortly before Giacomini was born “to find a better life,” he said.
His mother cleans houses, and his father does construction jobs for Marriott. As early as age 10, Giacomini used to go on jobs with his father to help out. When he reached high school, he picked up money working hot dog and fried dough stands at Fenway Park. So the work ethic, he said, was ingrained early.
He just traded in his Chevy Avalanche for an Escalade, he said, but that’s about it for splurges.
“Money was never really something big for me,” he said. “I just want to keep playing; to keep getting the chance to play the game.”
At times the privilege of it strikes him and he takes a moment to take it in anew.
“Sometimes I might be sitting in a meeting and a team logo comes up and you realize, yeah, this is the NFL,” he said. “I’m very blessed, and I appreciate it every day.”email@example.com 253-597-8440 @daveboling