Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable says he's not yet ready to make major changes up front despite being disappointed in the play of the line Sunday at Green Bay.
Offensive-line coach Tom Cable hopes the play up front improves Sunday when the Seahawks host San Francisco at CenturyLink Field.
But Cable said the Seahawks for now will stick with the same group that started and played every snap of a desultory 17-9 loss Sunday at Green Bay.
“I think so,’’ Cable said when asked if the Seahawks will go with the same five offensive linemen. “We are just working and competing every day. But there is no sense to panic or do anything crazy like that.’’
Cable, though, understood the criticism of the line, because he said he felt much the same himself. The Seahawks offense was held to 225 total yards and had a mostly ineffective running game.
“Not good enough,’’ he said of Sunday’s performance. “Too inconsistent and not good enough. At the end of the day, we have to play better in a couple of situations, particularly.’’
What has to get better?
Cable said the issues weren’t so much physical or mental, in the vein of doing things correctly, but psychological.
In particular, Cable said he thought a few bad plays early set a tone the line had trouble redirecting.
“It’s just the ability to put plays together,” Cable said. “So it’s like you do it right once, you let that play have no bearing on the next one. It’s the next that’s the most important thing. So whether it’s good or bad, don’t be on the roller coaster.’’
He pointed to a play coach Pete Carroll mentioned earlier — the third play of the game when Russell Wilson was sacked on third-and-13 by Green Bay linebacker Nick Perry, who plowed through left tackle Rees Odhiambo.
Odhiambo, who was making his first career start, appeared to get his foot tangled with the foot of left guard Luke Joeckel and lost his balance, leading to an easy path for Perry to Wilson.
Cable said it wasn’t so much the play that was the issue — things happen — but that Odhiambo had a tough time moving past it.
“I thought the third play of the game was really rough for him, because it was a situation that was out of his control and it happened, and he’s got to rebound from that,’’ Cable said. “But like any young player he just needs to put it behind him and move forward.”
That’s largely been the theme from the coaches this week, that the Seahawks won’t let a disappointing game dissuade them from the notion that the offensive line can be vastly improved this season. Many observers concluded that the performance showed Seattle may again have one of the NFL’s worst lines.
“We’ve only played one game,’’ Carroll said Wednesday. “There’s time. We’re going to do really well, we’re going to have a really good season, and I hope it shows sooner than later. I don’t have any hesitation in telling you that. I love our club. It’s just unfortunate that it didn’t start better.’’
The Seahawks knew there would be a learning curve for the mostly young group.
Center Justin Britt has been a starter since entering the NFL in 2014, and Joeckel has been a starter since 2013.
But Joeckel also started just his fourth game at left guard Sunday, Germain Ifedi made his first career start at right tackle, and Mark Glowinski his first career start at right guard. Both started at other spots last year (Ifedi right guard and Glowinski left guard). Odhiambo played just 33 snaps last season as a reserve. He became the starting left tackle when George Fant suffered a season-ending knee injury this preseason.
Still, a preseason in which the starting offense typically moved the ball well had coaches optimistic about hitting the ground running Sunday at Lambeau Field.
“That’s why we’re all kind of disappointed, because we hadn’t really seen that at all in the preseason,’’ Cable said. “And the expectations are very high, which they should be for this group.”
In fact, Cable mentioned only one player as having done well — Ifedi.
“Germain pretty solid,” Cable said. “But as a group, too many inconsistencies.”
Though three sacks and seven hits of Wilson were obvious blotches against Green Bay, what seems an even bigger issue to Carroll and Cable was the inability to get a running game going.
The team called runs on just 15 of 48 plays, gaining 90 yards overall on 18 official attempts (which also included two Wilson scrambles and a lateral to Doug Baldwin). Seattle’s tailbacks gained just 53 yards on 15 carries, including 21 yards on nine attempts in the first half.
“Fifteen is not near enough,’’ Cable said. “Can’t win in this league running the ball that many times.”
Seattle actually did win a game last season running it fewer times, beating Buffalo 31-25 in a game the Seahawks had just 12 rushes for 33 yards, feasting instead on a number of big plays in the passing game.
But that’s not the Seahawks’ way, and Carroll and Cable have hoped to get back to the kind of offense the team had from 2012-15. Even if Seattle didn’t run it first all the time during that span, it knew it could call on the run when needed.
So what’s the solution to fix what happened Sunday?
“Block it better,’’ Cable said. “So there’s some bodies to clear.”