The Seahawks may not be done making moves on their offensive line now that free agent tackle J'Marcus Webb is back and expected to play Thursday against Dallas.
Seahawks’ offensive line coach Tom Cable thought he saw more progress in Thursday’s 18-11 loss to the Vikings, despite what was a somewhat spotty overall performance by the Seattle offense.
The No. 1 offense did not score in five possessions and the team allowed six sacks overall, four of quarterback Russell Wilson.
But Cable liked that the Seahawks also rushed for 187 yards (70 on 14 carries in the first half) and said there were some better signs throughout.
“Lots of improvement, individually kind of took another step, the run game is better, finished better, got our pads down better, pass roll-out was really good in so many instances and so we just have to clean up a little bit of communication,” Cable said.
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And for now, the offensive line appears the same, with Garry Gilliam at right tackle, Bradley Sowell at left, Justin Britt at center and Germain Ifedi and Mark Glowinski at right and left guard.
Cable, though, gave an intriguing answer when asked if Gilliam will stay at right tackle or if he could return to left, where he began training camp before an injury to J’Marcus Webb helped result in Gilliam going to the right side and Sowell stepping in with the number one unit on the left.
“No, we’re not done with any of that (moving players),” Cable said. “You’re going to see a lot of different things this week before it’s over with.”
In particular, Webb returned to full practice on Sunday and is expected to play Thursday, and the team will want to see not only how Webb looks but also likely how different tackle combinations look with Webb in there.
Cable, in fact, said the team has to get a good look at Webb — signed as a free agent to a two-year, $5.75 million deal in March that makes him the team’s highest-paid offensive linemen — before making any decisions about a starting five up front.
“I just think that we have a lot of work to do between now and then to make that decision,” he said. “Quite honest, it would really be premature to say this guy should do this or this guy should do that because we don’t know, we haven’t even seen Webb play yet. It looks like we’re going to this week so I think until we can evaluate that it’s really difficult to give you that answer.”
Cable also acknowledged that the team is still trying to get Gilliam back to the form he showed last season at right tackle, which helped lead to the team wanting to move him to left to replace the departed Russell Okung. Gilliam missed most of the team’s off-season program after having a cyst removed from his knee.
Asked about Gilliam’s progress, Cable said Sunday: “I think that’s the right word, progression. You know, he’s still in that mode of catching up from the spring and then catching up from the early part of camp on the pitch count and all that so he needs to get better and we’ve addressed all that so he’s ready to go.”
And later during his session with reporters following Sunday’s practice, Cable said of the line: “I think if you went through each guy you would find things they need to work on. Garry is the one that’s really up and down in consistency. We’ve talked about that and have addressed that, we have a great plan this week but I think the rest of them are taking those steps in the right direction as a group. So hopefully we’ll keep doing that, so as we get ready to make these decisions, the right guys are in the right places.”
Cable said he liked the play of Sowell, who is in his first year with the team after having played with Arizona and signing with Seattle as a free agent in the off-season calling his play against the Vikings “good. …He fits right in, he’s learning how to do our style and getting it, kind of looking for another move forward this week but that’s two pretty solid weeks for him. He can do a lot better, don’t get me wrong, but for going over there, no problems.”
Here are a few more thoughts from Cable:
- On Jahri Evans: “He is tremendously gifted in terms of his experience and his knowledge and all that, so he’s in there battling right now.”
- On Rees Odhiambo playing different spots: “Yeah, although it will probably narrow down to only playing on the left side this week, strictly playing on the left side.”
- On the run blocking: “I know this, it’d be nice to get everybody going. You know, Christine [Michael] has done a terrific job, you guys have all said that, you’ve seen it. So getting Thomas [Rawls] back and ready to go, find out where C.J. [Prosise] is, Alex [Collins] all those kids, Zac [Brooks]. I’m really anxious to see Alex [Collins] and Zac [Brooks], how far can they take this the last two weeks.”
- On Terry Poole taking a step forward: “No I think you’re right, he’s become way more understanding of what he’s asked to do and he’s doing things correctly, so he’s kind of at that point now where he can cross over into the player he wants to be, we want him to be and that’s what we’re hoping for.”
- On what he wants to see the rest of the preseason: “Improve, improve, improve, improve, communication would be at the top of that list, our pad level and body started to come down last week so we want to continue on that as well. I just think getting better in our system fundamentally and communicating with each other, those would be the two top goals.”
- On what stood out with rookie center Joey Hunt against the Vikings: “Same, consistent, played with good hands, he did get his hips a little high three or four times that he didn’t do at Kansas City so that was kind of a learning thing for him there but really solid again.”