The quick recovery of Rees Odhiambo from a sternum injury means the Seahawks are likely to start the same offensive line for a third straight game Sunday.
The news that Rees Odhiambo will likely be able to start at left tackle for the Seahawks Sunday against the Rams after suffering a sternum injury last Sunday that required an overnight hospital stay also means that Seattle will likely start the same offensive line for a third straight game.
And the maybe-obvious-but-still-worth-stating implication of that is that the Seahawks appear to have settled on an offensive line.
That’s worth mentioning given all the attention put on Seattle’s line this season for all the obvious reasons.
After an offensive struggle of a 12-9 win over the 49ers in week two, Seattle coaches said they look at potentially shaking things up on the offensive line.
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Turns out the shakeup was replacing Mark Glowinski at right guard with veteran free agent signee Oday Aboushi.
Since that switch the Seahawks have scored 73 points and gained 910 yards — each more than in any two-game stretch last season — performances that appear to have Seattle for now set up front with Aboushi at right guard, Germain Ifedi at right tackle, Justin Britt at center, Luke Joeckel at left guard and Odhiambo.
Starting the same line for a third straight game might not seem like anything of real note, but the Seahawks started the same line as much as four straight games only once all last season due to injuries and sorting things out, specifically at right tackle.
Coaches talk constantly about the value of continuity on the offensive line and the Seahawks appear to have found some — or at least willing to let this group get continuity and see what happenes.
Offensive line coach Tom Cable said Thursday that he saw more progress in the 46-18 win over the Colts on Sunday in which Seattle also gained a season-high 477 yards.
“I think in a lot of phases we did,” Cable said. “Consistency with the pass-protection was better there, and the run game was fit up pretty good all game, and then it kind of got going there with some explosive runs. It’s better — and we just have to keep doing that, really. We’re really trying to keep developing and keep growing and just see how far we can take it.”
Still, the Indy win was hardly a picture of consistency as the Seahawks had just 10 points and 140 yards at halftime before busting loose in the second half.
Cable gave an interesting explanation for what he thought changed in the second half, saying none of it had to do with schematics.
“We relaxed,” he said, then added “seriously” upon apparently seeing some skeptical faces among the reporters present.
“We didn’t change anything at halftime,” he continued. “We just wrote on the board to communicate, relax, and be on the same page. We went out and just played the second half. I mentioned this last week, I still feel like in some levels, we know we’re pretty good on offense; we’ve proved that a couple of times here. But what we’d like to be is come out of the gate and start playing like that, and obviously, I just think we’re just pressing too hard early, and that’s growth. That’s a young group learning to find themselves, find each other, and certainly when we got on the same page, it looked pretty good.”
Asked how to avoid pressing Cable said the key is to have a “quiet mind” where “you don’t hear the noise, you don’t hear the ‘what ifs?’ Your self-talk is positive. You are not panicked. And we are certainly getting to that. We would just like to get to that earlier and stay in it.”
Here are more of Cable’s thoughts on what he has seen out of the offensive line the past few weeks:
On Luke Joeckel’s play the last two weeks: “Yeah, very consistent. Obviously, his experience, I think his wisdom, that he’s grown playing tackle and some guard a year ago, has really paid off. You see him working well with Justin [Britt], working well with Rees [Odhiambo], and I just think his level of consistency is very high right now.”
On if he is liking the way the right side of the offensive line has come together the last few games: “Yeah, I think, like the group, we’re seeing some growth and development with Germain in terms of protection where he’s fitting his helmet in the running game. We need to get that better and continue to get his pad-level down, but those two (Ifedi and Aboushi) seem to be on the same page now two weeks in a row. We haven’t had any free-runners or hitters that way, and that’s important in o-line play. If you’re just targeting the right people, and then it comes down to fundamentals with feet, hands, pad-level, and all of those things. I think they’re growing.”
On how Absoushi has helped the offensive line communicate better: “It’s kind of what he just asked about Luke. When you’ve played a little bit, you know some of these issues that are coming at you. It’s not just out there in game time, it’s at practice and the meetings and at lunch, or wherever, talking about things; just hashing it out and getting young people to think about it and process it. That’s that experience and leadership coming to front, and really for both of those guys. They’ve helped both of our young tackles in that regard.”
On how he’s seen newly acquired offensive linemen Isaiah Battle and Matt Tobin develop so far with the team and what he likes about each of them: “Matt, again, like Oday, like Luke, there’s an experience factor there that you can never replace. With Isaiah, you’re getting a big, long athlete that really does well in one-on-one pass-protection. There’s no substitute for all of the reps and time that they’ve missed, so every day, you’re catching up. You have to be careful not to overload them, obviously, Matt’s a little bit ahead on that, but Isaiah is on the come. It’s just really catching them up to where the group’s at and you can’t replace the spring, and training camp, and all of those things, there’s just no way to do it. You just kind of keep building each day with them and try to stack them up.”