It has been an eventful two days for Matt Tobin, who on Monday afternoon took part in the Philadelphia Eagles' joint practice with the Miami Dolphins. Not long after that practice came to an end, Tobin received word that he had been traded to Seattle, and the next morning he was on the practice field, meeting Tom Cable, his new position coach, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll as practice got underway.
"I didn't have a clue it was coming," said Tobin, who was acquired, along with a 2018 seventh-round pick, for a 2018 fifth-rounder. "Yesterday I got done finishing practice against the Dolphins, and now I'm out here finishing a practice. I'm just excited to be here, ready to compete and have fun."
Tobin was learning on the fly during Tuesday's practice—he barely had time to get to Seattle and take a physical prior to practice, so there wasn't a chance to get into the playbook or even get a quick crash course from Cable or one of his new teammates—so it's way too soon to know what his role will be this season, but he's ready for whatever the Seahawks ask of him.
"They just told me to come in and compete and help the team any way I can," he said. "We really haven't had a discussion about that much. I really got done with physicals and ran onto the field to do the warmup, so I was out there learning."
Cable said the plan for now is to have Tobin compete at left tackle, where Rees Odhiambo is currently working with the first-team offense following Friday's injury to George Fant.
"I've studied him quite a bit," Cable said. "His background coming out of Iowa with (head coach) Kirk Ferentz and Brian Ferentz, his line coach, there's some really good stuff there. A kid who walked on and earned it, he has earned everything so you know he's got work ethic. You know he's probably pretty tough, very smart, reliable, all the things we look for. What has he done on film? He's been consistent, he's been in the league awhile. When he's been asked and called on to go play, he's done a nice job."
Tobin's versatility is also an asset for the Seahawks. Tobin played both guard and tackle at Iowa, and while most of his starting experience with the Eagles was at guard, he practiced more at tackle.
"Yeah, I think that's why it was a good choice for us to get him," Cable said of Tobin's versatility. "I'm excited from what I've heard from (General Manager) John (Schneider), and the fact that as you dug into him, he has all that versatility. That's our world. We need guys that can do that. Again, hopefully we don't have to have a bunch of moving pieces, but he's a good addition."
Tobin worked mostly at right tackle in Eagles camp this year, but said he has more background on the left side, though he doesn't feel more comfortable at one particular spot.
"I'm pretty comfortable playing tackle and I'm pretty comfortable playing guard," he said. "It's just wherever I practice at is what I get the best at… There's nothing more comfortable than the other right now."
And while jumping into a new team midway through the preseason will present challenges for Tobin, that's something he'll embrace. After beginning his college career as a walk-on and his professional career as an undrafted free agent, Tobin has had to do things the hard way for most of his football career, so jumping onto the practice field Tuesday not really knowing what he was doing was just a small hurdle for a player who's used to fighting an uphill battle.
"I have never had anything come easy," Tobin said. "I mean I walked on at Iowa. I was the backup and grinding, just trying to get bigger and stronger for three years and had an opportunity to start and then I was a free agent with the Eagles and made the team and just tried to get better and built the trust up with those coaches. Now I'm out here and going to try to do the same thing."
Prior to the start of Monday's practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Seahawks players, coaches and staff took in the 2017 total solar eclipse.