A family of athletes
At 6-foot-5, 327 pounds, Arizona State product Paul Fanaika is one of Seattle’s promising young linemen that could find his way onto the final roster in September.
The Seahawks signed Fanaika off of the Cleveland Browns practice squad at the end of last year to the team’s active roster, and he’s been getting some work with the first unit at right guard during training camp.
Fanaika comes from an athletic family. His mother Tina played volleyball at Fresno State, and his sister, Lavinia, played guard on Arizona State’s women’s basketball team.
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“We’re out here trying to learn and compete,” Fanaika said. “Trying to pick up the system and adjust to the new things. We don’t really focus too much on the things that are similar. That stuff comes easy. We’re just trying to move on to the stuff we’ve got to get better at.”
Learning from the Cable guy
Fanaika said he’s enjoyed working with new offensive line coach Tom Cable.
“It’s been a blast,” he said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with a bunch of good O-line coaches since I’ve been in the league, and Coach Cable is one of those guys. He’s a good leader. He knows his stuff. He’s good about the technique. He’s just all-around a great coach.”
A road grader
With the focus on improving the run game, one of the reasons Seattle brought in Fanaika is his ability to run block in Seattle's zone blocking scheme. Fanaika already had experience in zone blocking from his time at Arizona State.
“I think I’m pretty good at run blocking as well as pass-pro (pass protection),” he said. “There’s areas of both that I can improve on. … But I would say my strengths are just coming off the ball hard on the run game and being stout in pass protection.”
Finding his niche
While the Seahawks primarily will use Fanaika as a guard, he also has the ability to slide out and play tackle if needed, and his hoping that versatility could help him earn a roster spot.
“I would say guard is my position,” he said. “But that’s not to say no that I’m not down to try it. I’m willing to do whatever for the team.”