Seattle: From "Have-Not" to Hadnot?

When the 2007 season ended for the Seattle Seahawks on the frozen tundra in Green Bay, the team's offensive line had officially been a question mark for two years. Set into a tailspin by the March, 2006 departure of guard Steve Hutchinson, the line went, almost overnight, from the best in football to one of the worst. A revolving door of players tried to replace Hutchinson to no avail.

Left tackle Walter Jones, perhaps the greatest lineman of his era, has struggled through injuries and ineffectiveness for those two seasons. Center Chris Spencer is still learning the full dimension of his trade -- a position in which one must be equal parts intellectual and wrestler, and right guard Chris Gray was practically a turnstile in 2007. Injuries, personnel mismanagement and coaching issues had turned a team strength into a primary reason the Seahawks couldn't advance in the playoffs.

After the season, things started to change. The Seahawks signed veteran guard Mike Wahle as a solid stopgap who could provide some stability between Jones and Spencer, moving talented young guard Rob Sims to the right side. Right tackle Sean Locklear was signed to a five-year, $32 million contract in a commitment to further line stability. Line coach Bill Laveroni was replaced by highly-respected Kansas City coach Mike Solari.

Still, there are issues. One of the primary concerns is that if Spencer, who has undergone at least one shoulder surgery in the last year, is out of the picture for any amount of time, there really isn't anyone to replace him. This may be one reason that Gray, who has played center and knows the offense, has been encouraged to keep suiting up when the ability really isn't there. How, the Seahawks may be addressing the situation in a different way -- they're one of several teams interested in former Dolphins center/guard Rex Hadnot.

Hadnot, a native of Lufkin, Texas, visited with the Houston Texans earlier this week. The Texans believe that he would be an excellent center in the Alex Gibbs system the team will now run. However, he left Houston without a contract and traveled to Cleveland, where he might be asked to replace right guard Seth McKinney, who looked ineffective at times last season and ended the season on injured reserve. That Hadnot can play both center and guard makes him a very appealing option for the Seahawks, who are thin from a depth perspective at both positions.

It is not known when Hadnot might visit Seattle at this point, but the Kansas City Chiefs are also interested. Selected in the sixth round of the 2004 draft by the Dolphins, Hadnot alternated between starter and reserve in his rookie season. In 2005, he began a string of starts that went uninterrupted through the 2007 season. He started 13 games at guard and three at center in 2005, all 16 games at center in 2006, and alternated between guard and center once again in 2007 -- though mostly at right guard -- as rookie center Samson Satele began to impress. He took every offensive snap for Miami in 2007.

Hadnot has a charity foundation, "Hadnot's Head-Knockers", which helps various children's groups in the Fort Lauderdale area. He has been a member of the Dolphins' "All-Community Team" in each of the last two seasons.

Seahawks.NET asked Alain Poupart, the Editor of the Dolphin Digest magazine and website, for the following scouting report.

Picking Rex Hadnot in the sixth round of the 2004 draft was one of the few good moves made by the Dolphins in recent years. Hadnot has become a solid starter in the NFL, and he's equally effective at guard or center.

Hadnot is a very vocal guy, and he's been the leader of the Dolphins offensive line the last couple of years. He's a pretty solid technician who's solid both as a run blocker or pass protector. Hadnot, however, isn't big enough or strong enough to handle the more dominant defensive tackles and he can get overpowered. By NFL standards, Hadnot actually is rather small. He's also had a habit of taking a lot of penalties.

The bottom line with Hadnot is he's a serviceable starter in the NFL, but he's probably not headed to the Pro Bowl anytime soon.

We'll look further into the penalty issue and other facets of Hadnot's game should he sign with Seattle. Stay tuned to Seahawks.NET for more on this and other stories!


Doug Farrar is the Editor-in-Chief of Seahawks.NET, a staff writer for Football Outsiders, and he writes NFL previews for the New York Sun. Feel free to e-mail Doug here.


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