Ask almost any NFL rookie about his professional debut, and you’ll probably hear about the speed of the game.
But you generally won’t hear it spoken about the way Seattle Seahawks rookie right tackle Justin Britt did Thursday after his start against the Green Bay Packers.
“It was kind of slower,” he said.
Britt didn’t mean that the pro game was slower than what he was used to from his college days at Missouri.
He meant playing against the Packers seemed slower than what he faces every day in practice against the Seahawks defense.
“It makes the game slow down because you’ve kind of seen everything,” Britt said. “We have a lot of talent on the defensive side. It’s great to go against them every day. (And) going against our defense, they know the snap count.”
Britt is a 6-foot-6, 325-pound tackle who was taken by the Seahawks in the second round, with the 64th pick overall.
He takes over the starting spot previously held by Breno Giacomini, who signed with the New York Jets as a free agent over the offseason.
In camp, Britt competed with veteran Eric Winston, who had signed in late July. But it became apparent early on that the team believed Britt could handle the job.
“It obviously helped tremendously to be able to get work consistently and to be able to work with the 1s,” Britt said. “It’s helped being next to (guard J.R. Sweezy) all camp and for us to build that camaraderie and the language that we needed for game day. It definitely helped and made my first game a lot easier.”
Sweezy himself was a newcomer on the Seahawks’ offensive line just two seasons ago. Not far removed from his own professional debut, Sweezy said he was impressed with what he saw from the 23-year-old to his right.
“I thought he did amazing,” he said. “I made my first start as a rookie and I didn’t go too well. For him to just come in and play like he is — like a seasoned vet — it’s pretty amazing and a credit to him.”
The offensive line did its part in the 36-16 win over Green Bay. It paved the way for 207 rushing yards — 110 of those from Marshawn Lynch. And it helped keep quarterback Russell Wilson upright for 28 passing attempts. He also was sacked once, for no lost yardage, and hurried once.
“We’re a team that communicates really well — the whole line does,” Sweezy said. “We’re just making huge steps in the right direction. We’re going to keep playing our style of football and see what happens.”
As for Britt, he said he had a lot of fun “going out there and hitting people.” And he believes preparation helped when some of those people he was hitting had names such as Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers.
“I studied film on them and saw what their moves were, their tendencies and stuff,” Britt said. “But I feel like they did well: They came in with a plan, too. But I just stayed with my technique and trusted when the coaches coached us, and I felt like I did really well. … We’ll see what the film says, and there will be things that we’ll be able to learn from. But I feel like it was a great first start to hopefully a lot more.”
The Seahawks return to action Sunday (Sept. 14) at San Diego.