The Seahawks could make a change at right guard this week as they look to improve their offensive line.
While Seahawks’ offensive line coach Tom Cable wouldn’t say the team will make a change at right guard this week he didn’t deny the team is thinking about it.
In the wake of coach Pete Carroll’s comments earlier in the week that the Seahawks could shake things up on the line in the wake of a sluggish start to the season Cable said on Wednesday that the battle for the right guard spot between Mark Glowinski and Oday Aboushi remains ongoing.
Glowinski started the first two games but was in basically a dead heat with Aboushi, a five-year veteran who signed in March as a free agent, throughout training camp making that position a logical spot for the team to look to make a change.
“We will certainly find out in terms of competition where we go with that (position),’’ Cable said after practice Wednesday.
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On top of the fact that the team may simply want to give Aboushi a shot — he has started 18 games in a career that dates to 2013 with the Jets and Houston — he also has experience playing against Tennessee.
Aboushi has two career starts against the Titans, in 2015 and 2016 when he was with Houston. Left guard Luke Joeckel also has played often against Tennessee during his four seasons with Jacksonville.
The Titans run a 3-4 front with blitzes and pressures that “come from everywhere,’’ Cable said. And that makes quickly identifying the defenses and communicating blocking assignments especially critical, something that having knowledge of the defense could help.
“That’s a thought, definitely,’’ Cable said. “For him and Luke both there is great familiarity with this group playing them twice a year.’’
Cable also mentioned Aboushi’s experience as a potential plays. “I would think veteran leadership, consistency,” Cable said of what the 26-year-old Virginia grad could add to the line. “Consistency. He’s been there done this a lot.”
Center Justin Britt also mentioned Aboushi’s experience against the Titans when talking about the right guard spot prior to practice.
“They’re two different players that are at the same position, but play it different ways,’’ Britt said. “With Mark you get power and he’s gonna work his ass off. With Oday you’ve got the experience, he’s played more and he understands the Titans real well because he’s played them plenty of times. He gets that for this week. He brings great experience. But they both know what they’re doing, and with either of them in there, I trust them.’’
Joeckel didn’t practice on Wednesday with a knee injury, but it’s unclear if that’s something that could threaten to hold him out against the Titans or merely a rest day — he had knee surgery last October after suffering an injury that ended his season. His backup is listed as rookie Jordan Roos but second-round pick Ethan Pocic has also been used at guard and could also be an option at left guard if needed.
The team could also consider other moves though Aboushi for Glowinski, who was a fourth-round pick out of West Virginia in 2015, seems the most logical. Glowinski started last season at left guard but moved to right guard this year, the spot where he played primarily before the 2016 season, with the Seahawks hoping that returning to a more familiar position would help.
“I think it’s been better,” Cable said of Glowinski at right guard. “He’s more natural, more comfortable there.”
But Glowinski had some obvious struggles against the 49ers and the fact that Aboushi was on his heels throughout training camp has the team thinking of a change at that spot this week.
And while the line has received its share of outside scrutiny, Cable said he felt it showed improvement as the game against the 49ers progressed.
“I thought I saw a much better second half, obviously a really good finish to the game,’’ Cable said. “Maybe not enough in rhythm with the back and some misreads Targeted much better than the week before and I thought it showed late in the game and then obviously at the end it was pretty good. So some good things that were better targeting from week one to week two. 100 percent improvement in that regard.’’
The Seahawks also have new starters at their tackle positions in second-year players Rees Odhiambo on the left side and Germain Ifedi on the right.
But Seattle also has less-experienced options as backups at those spots in two players who were acquired after the beginning of training camp — Isaiah Battle and Matt Tobin. Battle, in fact, has yet to play in an NFL game while most of Tobin’s experience — he has 21 career starts with the Eagles — has come at guard.
Cable said he thought Ifedi played better against the Packers than the 49ers saying “just want to get him on time on a couple things snap-count wise could have been called maybe a couple of times. But really he is progressing well.”
Of Odhiambo Cable said: “I think he’s been very inconsistent. Really good stretches but the thing that jumps out at me is early in the game he’s been the most inconsistent. The longer the game has gone the better he has gotten. So really trying to focus on getting him dialed in from the get-go.’’
Cable also said he thought the pass protection was better last week. Noting that there were three sacks he said “two were unnecessary. I mean you just shouldn’t take them.”