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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



April 22, 2010 at 6:36 PM

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Alex Gibbs on Russell Okung: "We'll throw him right in."

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Offensive line coach Alex Gibbs just answered questions on the team's selection of Russell Okung, Oklahoma State left tackle.

"First of all, he has tremendously long arms, and tall stature," Gibbs said. "He's nasty, and football is his life. He's so committed to what he wants to do. He doesn't have a lot of fan fare. He doesn't have a lot of sideviews. He doesn't have a lot of contingencies. He's football. It's the most important thing in his life, and he is a committed young player, which is rare in today's world to get 'em where they come out, and it's everything they want to be.

"So we've got a guy that's going to come early, stay late, and aspires to be outstanding within himself. Self-motivated."

So where does he fit in to Seattle's offense going forward?

"There's some things that are raw," Gibbs said. "There's some things he's going to struggle with because he's young, and he has to do it. We're going to throw him right in. He will be our starting left tackle, Day One, Hour One. We will live with him through whatever the pain is."

As to where he ranked on Seattle's draft board?

"He was just one of the top-top players in this draft," Gibbs said. "He and Trent Williams both went very quickly. We would have loved to have had either one of them. They were both great, great players. In our mind, they can't miss."

The addition of Ben Hamilton last week will have an impact, too. Hamilton played for Gibbs in Denver, and he is expected to start at left guard next to Okung.

"Ben just went through this with a kid at Denver," Gibbs said. "(Ryan) Clady, who was a great young player, and you can't throw them out there without someone to guide 'em. And we needed a player that had done that, that knew this system, that I knew to help him make the transfer and that's what Ben is for. Ben will line up inside of him, and guide him daily through this whole process.

"So he's Coach One, I'm Coach Two."

So what goes into the adjustment to the NFL?

"It's like a high-school kid coming to college," Gibbs said. "And even more severe because at least in college, they have some players that aren't very good. He will see nothing but premier players week after week after week after week. And they're not ready for that, no matter how you deal with it, it's a continuous pressure situation and there's going to be through some growing pains."

So were there some nervous moments when the Kansas City Chiefs were on the clock with the No. 5 overall pick?

"I was scared to death because I know their line coach there very well, and he wanted this kid as bad or worse than I did," Gibbs said. "And he didn't get him. So we quickly texted and said, 'Ha, ha,' and all that good stuff. Now, we're all in the same community and we all fit together so that's just kind of the way it is.

"But we're really pleased to have him. He's going to fit good and he's going to be Walter's replacement obviously. That's why he's picked.

"It didn't happen a year ago, and people were very aware of it, and we made sure it's dealt with as quickly as possible."

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