Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Center of Attention

There has been some speculation out about whether or not free agent center Robbie Tobeck will be back with us next year. He's one of my favorite Seahawks, so I was comforted when I read this comment from the Times, in passing:

Robbie Tobeck is expected to be re-signed.

Having said that, I was equally comforted by the fact that the Seahawks are actively looking for his eventual replacement. From the PI:

The club has scheduled a private workout with Mississippi's Chris Spencer, the top-rated center in this year's draft class.

I tell you what, I have more and more respect for the balanced, patient, and thorough approach Tim Ruskell has demonstrated in adding talent to this roster. Of course, the proof will be in the W/L record this coming season, and I still have my doubts about acquiring LB Kevin Bentley, but I can't help but think that Paul Allen has 'righted the ship'.


  1. Nice timing! I had just been talking about this on the draft post and on the shout out.
    I think it makes for some very intyeresting questions. I personally hope they resign him, because it will take a high pick to get someone like Chris Spencer,and I would rather see them go after defense. However, I certainly understand the idea, and said so myselkf, that the time is now when we should look to start grooming a new center.
    I wonder if this means that the Hawks are thinking about not resigning Tobeck and just replacing himn through the draft? Very interesting.

  2. Here's what I had posted in the draft post. Maybe it belongs here instead. NicHere's something very interesting I noticed in a P-I article; "The club has scheduled a private workout with Mississippi's Chris Spencer, the top-rated center in this year's draft class."
    This is interesting for two reasons perhaps. One, apparently they agree with me that the time to groom a future center is now. Two if they are looking at Spencer, they are thinking of drafting him high, maybe with the first pick because he won't be around for very long.
    Actually there's perhaps a third interesting thing here, what does this say about resigning Tobeck? Maybe they aren't planning on resigning him? Maybe they are simply looking at replacing him?

    Great new post Bluefoot, I guess great minds DO think alike, I was just thinking about starting a new thread on this topic.

  3. My problem with this is that in order to get Spencer they may have to trade up from the second overall pick to get closer to the first round. That will net us fewer picks overall. Otherwise, even if he were to slip into the second round and we could take him there, that's one less stud Defensive player we can get. I still love the idea of getting a center at some point in the draft though, just not sure we should get Spencer, we have too many defensive needs and there are other good value center picks we could get in the fourth round.

  4. I believe it was Clare Farnsworth that said Tobeck is expected to re-sign, and he has aways been dead-on with stuff like that. So I'm guessing that they are just looking for an understudy, or perhaps they are leveraging Tobeck's agent.

    Either way, they are pursuing real talent for the center position, and not looking to fill it with a scrub.

  5. Yeah, I'm hoping for a edge rusher with the first pick. And hoping Spencer could be available in the 2nd round seems to be a bit of a stretch.

    You're right this is very interesting.

  6. Tes it kind of crosses over into what I was talking oabout in the draft thread. I really want someone like Matt Roth with the first pick, but the second will be very interesting, for example, what if we trade SA? Then do we go after someone like Marion Barber (who would be a steal in the second) form Minnesota? Do we go after a center, which would probably mean that we would have to move up a bit in the second round, because Spencer will probably go early in the second if not in the late part of the first.
    I would prefer to go get a stud LBer with our second if we could instead of going after RB or center,but I do like the idea of replacing TObeck with the best guy available Spencer will be a very good NFL center, no doubt about it. Wow! It makes my brain hurt with all the possibilities and potential scenarios.

  7. im just going to trust Tim Robbins

    as long as we have a starting---or competitor for a starting job with a pass rush by the end of the draft, ill be happy

    I would prefer a I could only wish they would trade up for Derrick Johnson (SA and a 2nd-3rd rounder maybe?)...

    I say we stick where we are in the draft...if Spencer doesn't fall, oh well...we are notorius for picking up late round quality players, and we will certainly get a nice group (10 total) if we dont trade up

    anyone have a clue that Boulware would almost single handily save our season when we picked him?

    karma is a bitch though, and we may end up with a bust...I say dont trade up...too risky, giving up 2-3 picks for one guy who could be a bust (though Spencer is pretty good...but there are too many teams that are after a Center...I think he goes in the 2nd round at 8-15)

  8. I'm not for giving up any picks in rounds 2-4. That's where Ruskell has had the greatest success, and I'm anxious to see what he can get for us. having said thathere is some info on Spencer from

    Chris Spencer, C, Mississippi

    Name: Chris Spencer Number: 73
    Height: 6-3 Weight: 309
    Position: C Pos2: OG
    Class/Draft Year: Jr/2005
    40 Time: 5.21
    College: Mississippi
    Projected Round: 1-2

    Pro Day Results
    Combine Invite: yes
    Height: 6'02.7"
    Weight: 309
    40 Yrd Dash: 5.21
    20 Yrd Dash: 3.04
    10 Yrd Dash: 1.81
    Wonderlic: 19
    225 Lb. Bench Reps: 26
    Vertical Jump: 32
    Broad Jump: 8'9"
    20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.61
    3-Cone Drill: 8.07

    Spencer is an unheralded athlete with only one year of starting experience, but so impressed the pro scouts during the 2004 campaign that he is now regarded as one of the elite blockers in college football. Surrounded by stellar offensive guards Marcus Johnson and Douglas Buckles, Spencer showed the ability to generate combo blocks, along with his linemates, as the trio accounted for eighteen touchdown-resulting blocks in 2004.

    Spencer was considered one of the top offensive linemen in the nation and the top overall player from the State of Mississippi as a senior at Madison Central High School. He earned Parade, Super Prep, Prep Football Report USA Today, and Reebok's ESPN All-American first-team honors. Super Prep rated Spencer the second-best offensive lineman in the nation. He added Prep Star Super 30 All-Southeast Region and Orlando Sentinel All-Southern first-team accolades. He was also selected Player of the Year in Mississippi by both Gatorade and Jeff Whitaker's Deep South Football publication.

    Spencer was an outstanding run blocker, as he was powerful and dominating at offensive tackle. He helped lead Madison Central to the Class 5A state championship in 1999 as the Jaguars went a perfect 15-0. Spencer won the Class 5A Super Heavyweight power-lifting championship of Mississippi his junior and senior years, and holds all the prep lift records. During his senior season, he broke his own state record in the power-lifting competition, which is determined by combined weight lifted in three events (the squat, the bench press, and the dead lift) when he totaled 1,675 pounds. That effort broke his own state record of 1,665 pounds set in South State competition earlier in the year.

    Spencer played in every game behind Johnson at right offensive guard during the 2002 campaign. He started the first four games and the Mississippi State game at center in 2003, spending most of the year sharing playing time with Justin Sawyer. With Sawyer graduated, Spencer took over the starting chores at center full-time in 2004.


    Positives... Powerfully built with good thickness throughout his frame. ... Carries his weight well, with a tight midsection, wide hips, good bubble and a strong upper body frame. ... Uses his leg drive to wall off and turn the defender while maintaining position. ... Shows quick movement off the snap for the running game, displaying agility and balance with adequate change of direction skills. ... His quickness off the snap allows him to gain advantage and he is very alert to movement, using his hands properly to set, pop and stop the bull rush charge. ... Has good knee bend and flexibility, staying low to anchor while using his mass and excellent strength to generate pop and explosion. ... Plays flat-footed, making good body adjustments in his lateral slide to gain movement.

    Very productive on short traps and pulls because of his ability to adjust to movement and find the target. ... Tough lineman who will compete and challenge defenders. ... His strong upper body is shown by the way he uses his hands to gain control, generating a solid punch while also developing a knack for grabbing and steering the defensive linemen wide. ... Is still developing his pass blocking skills, but has the quick feet needed to shuffle, slide and adjust to change of direction. ... His explosion coming off the ball allows him to sustain and finish consistently. ... Has the wide leg base to keep his balance dropping back in pass protection, keeping his weight back and under control. ... Does a nice job of incline blocking, adjusting to stunts on the move.

    Negatives. ... Inconsistent getting to the second level, as he has the speed needed to be effective working in space but needs to do a better job of looking up defenders downfield. ... Gets good hand placement, but needs to keep his base wider as he will overextend, causing him to not sustain blocks for long. ... Relies more on strength to sustain, but needs to do a better job of taking proper angles on his man. ... Even with his strong hand punch, he sometimes prefers to catch the defender rather than rocking him back. ... Must learn to play at a lower pad level, as he gets too upright in his stance. ... Has a strong upper body, but needs to develop better lower body power and hip snap to prevent the bull rushers from pushing him back on his heels.

  9. This whole last year the centers I have heard about were Ben Wilkerson of LSU and Jason Brown of UNC and Vince Carter of OU,and Spencer.We can trade up in the 3rd round get one of those guys.The Center class is weak this year.
    Possibly trade up in the second for David Baas,he's the only g/c
    I would want before the 3rd.
    Put another Michigan guy next to Hutch.

  10. I'd be nice to have Robbie back for one more year. He and Hass seem to have a very nice rappor (sp?). Plus he's a Coug.

    It is really never to early to prepare for the future at O-line, the 'Hawks are notorious for grabbing up O-linemen in the 3rd round and later, so if a center falls there, so be it.

    I wouldn't read too much into this info, though. I'm sure the 'Hawks will workout a whole bunch of players privately before all is said and done.

  11. Welcome back Mr. Tobert.

    Mr. Hasslebeck says he couldn't dream of putting his hands under anyone else's ass!