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The Cable guy: The Mark Glowinski story

Postby D-Trains on Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:39 am

A fourth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2015, Glowinski emerged as a standout this season with the Colts.


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Bob Condotta By Bob Condotta
Seattle Times staff reporter
That one-time Seahawk guard Mark Glowinski signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday raises the obvious question — is he now just another offensive lineman Seattle missed on and/or mishandled over the last few years?

The unavoidable answer is “pretty much.”


Glowinski was a Seahawks fourth-round pick in 2015 out of West Virginia who started 19 games before being waived late in the 2017 season and claimed by the Colts.

And what he appears to be now — at age 26, an emerging player who is part of a line that last season tied for allowing the fewest sacks in the NFL (18) — is exactly what Seattle hoped it was getting then.

He also appears to be exactly what Seattle could use now to solidify a guard position that instead is one of the team’s biggest question marks heading into the offseason with veterans D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy each now free agents and only unproven players behind them.


So the Seahawks, and specifically then-offensive-line coach Tom Cable, deserve all the criticism you want to throw their direction for letting a now-highly-valued asset pretty easily escape their grasp, either by not recognizing what they had or failing to use him in the best ways to accentuate his abilities.

But Glowinski being back in the news gives reason to at least recall the circumstances that led to him getting away and add a little bit of nuance to the picture.

Glowinski played sparingly behind a still-mostly-veteran offensive line as a rookie in 2015 when the primary starters at guard were Justin Britt and Sweezy.

But his one start that year was tantalizing — he played every snap at right guard in place of Sweezy in a late-season win at Arizona, a 36-6 Seattle victory against a team that would go on to play in the NFC title game (bonus points if you remember that three of the Seahawks’ touchdowns were scored that day by Chase Coffman, Bryce Brown and Will Tukuafu).

Glowinski then started all of the 2016 season at left guard, which didn’t go quite as well. With the Russell Wilson hobbled by injuries all season, the Seahawks fell to 12th in total offense and 22nd in rushing.

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Glowinski then was moved to right guard to begin the 2017 season after Seattle signed Luke Joeckel and drafted Ethan Pocic, but after starting the first two games was supplanted by veteran free agent Oday Aboushi.

Seattle had scored only one touchdown in the first two games of the 2017 season but then broke out to score 73 points the next two weeks with Aboushi replacing Glowinski at right guard.

And that turned out to be pretty much that for Glowinski as a Seahawk as he played in only two more games, each time coming in midway through to fill in for injured players, before being waived on Dec. 16. That Jordan Roos had begun to emerge as a bigger factor also contributed to the team’s decision to let Glowinski walk.

Glowinski was waived amid a flurry of moves in a week when Seattle was suddenly dealing with a bunch of injuries heading into a game against the Rams (notably injured: Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Seattle also put Kam Chancellor on IR that week).

But what was also at play was that Glowinski had done enough to earn a Proven Performance Escalator that was going to bump up his 2018 salary from $705,000 to $1.9 million (the Proven Performance Escalator is a section of the Collective Bargaining Agreement designed to assure that players drafted after the second round are paid closer to their worth entering their fourth season. It’s explained in full here).

Seattle was hoping that Glowinski would clear waivers and then be re-signed to the practice squad (which would make his rookie contract void). That would allow Seattle to keep Glowinski but not have to worry about a bigger cap hit in 2018.


“I think that’s always our plan,’’ Cable said at the time of the hope of keeping Glowinski. “But Indy got themselves a good player and that’s the way it goes when you waive somebody.”

The Colts assumed Glowinski’s rookie contract and the potential $1.9 cap hit for 2018 when they claimed him.

But when Glowinski was slated for a backup role as the season began, they worked around the cap hit a bit by restructuring Glowinksi’s contract before the first game. With the new deal, Glowinski could still make $1.9 million but had to earn much of it in the form of roster and playing time incentives (he got $295,000 immediately guaranteed — and also, potentially, not being again waived, by agreeing to the restructure).

Seattle could have done the same thing, and had the Seahawks known the way Glowinski played with the Colts in 2018, the money likely wouldn’t have been much of a factor.

But at the time, with Glowinski riding the bench, the Seahawks were attempting to save a little money while still keeping him around, a plan foiled by the Colts, whose assistant general manager is Ed Dodds, who joined the Colts in the summer of 2017 after having been in Seattle’s front office since 2007 and senior personnel executive in 2015 when Glowinski was drafted.

Dodds obviously had an inkling on Glowinski that paid off in 2018 as he became a starter at right guard six games into the season, with the Indy offense then taking off.


Not that he was the only reason, but the Colts went 8-2 the rest of the way as Glowinski finished with a 72.3 grade from Pro Football Focus, 17th among all guards (Fluker was at 49.2 and Sweezy 45.7, 70th and 73rd among all guards.) Along the way, Colts QB Andrew Luck went 239 pass attempts at one point without being sacked, which ESPN reported is the third-longest stretch in NFL history.

Would Glowinski have thrived similarly under new offensive-line coach Mike Solari had he stayed in Seattle?

Seahawks fans are left wishing they could have found out.
 
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Re: The Cable guy: The Mark Glowinski story

Postby ThePro on Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:18 am

However Cable did cut Jordan Simmons from the Raiders. He played very well until he got injured. Cable is stocking NFL rosters with players that weren't good enough for his system.
 
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Re: The Cable guy: The Mark Glowinski story

Postby Michael K 2 on Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:24 am

ThePro wrote:However Cable did cut Jordan Simmons from the Raiders. He played very well until he got injured. Cable is stocking NFL rosters with players that weren't good enough for his system.


3 sentences that may he the most apt description of the "O Line Guru" that I have ever heard!
 
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Re: The Cable guy: The Mark Glowinski story

Postby HawkBowler on Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:55 pm

Chip Douglas the Cable Guy: The problem with real life is there's no danger music.
 
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Re: The Cable guy: The Mark Glowinski story

Postby D-Trains on Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:22 pm

HawkBowler wrote:Chip Douglas the Cable Guy: The problem with real life is there's no danger music.


:) Great movie. Can not believe it is 23 years old. :shock:
 
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