Lucas at Large: Catching up with John Moffitt

Moffitt_John_ASU_10 (2)_WEB.jpgJohn Moffitt's patience is wearing thin. Not that the word "thin" should ever be mentioned in the same breath with a 300-pound plus offensive lineman, Moffitt might quickly add.

"I want to play football," pleaded the UW's All-American left guard. "It's been a really different year based on no spring football and the fact I've been training since the Rose Bowl ended."

Moffitt, a third-round pick of the Seahawks, has spent the last six weeks on the East Coast (Guilford, Conn.) working with a trainer and waiting for the word to move to the West Coast (Seattle).

Word is, the lockout is ending. NFL training camps are expected to open Wednesday.

"I'm ready to get into pads and play real football," Moffitt said. "The only thing that gets you into football shape is playing football. I feel really good but I want to get football-ready."

Yes, he has football on the brain.

That's exactly the type of player that the Seahawks felt like they were drafting. Seattle general manager John Schneider said the club targeted Moffitt because "the guy's just a (bleep)-kicker."

On the heels of the late April draft, Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable projected that Moffitt would be the starting right guard and first-rounder James Carpenter the starting right tackle.

Moffitt has not played right guard since 2006; his redshirt freshman season at Wisconsin.

"I don't think it's a huge switch," he said. "I've been doing stuff out of a right-handed stance since I found out (about the position change). I am right-handed, and it doesn't feel bad either."

Moffitt noted that he's had little or no communication with Seattle since the draft.

"But I'm really excited to play football for the Seahawks," he said. "I think I'm really going to like Seattle. Everyone says, 'Oh, it's so far away from where you live.' It's just a plane ride."

The Badgers will have two leadership voids to fill on the left side of their offensive line with the graduation losses of Moffitt and tackle Gabe Carimi; a first-round selection of the Chicago Bears.

"I know me, Gabe and Bill (Nagy, a seventh-round pick of the Cowboys) always got together and just talked about things," Moffitt said. "As a senior class, we'd talk about how we wanted things done.

"We were pretty clear on how we were going to go about it - how we were going to set the attitude and that's really important because the young guys really don't know.

"They look to the older guys to set the pace because they don't know how they're supposed to prepare or how they're supposed to act or how they're supposed to behave.

"When there's a lot of hype around a team like there is with this year's (Wisconsin) team, you can get distracted and think you're better than you are and that's always dangerous.

"With senior leadership, you can calm all that down and focus."

Moffitt pointed out that quarterback Scott Tolzien was one of the strongest team leaders.

"I know we always respected Scott a lot because he was a hard worker and did what he was supposed to do," Moffitt said. "He worked harder and prepared harder than anyone.

"That kind of thing earns people's respect. From what I hear that's exactly how Russell Wilson is. If he goes about it like that, he'll have the respect of the huddle."

When contacted last week, Moffitt said that he had his bags packed and he was ready to open a new chapter in his life. But will he be able to sing the school fight song, a rookie tradition in NFL camps?
    
"I've got to look up the words," he said.

Moffitt, of course, always has a Plan B.

"I'm a world class dancer," he deadpanned. "I'll just go with that."

ON WISCONSIN