Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday there will be no changes on the offensive line --- for now.
RENTON — There were times Monday night against Detroit when the Seahawks’ offensive line appeared more than a little unsturdy.
But on Wednesday it was a united front, with the offensive linemen insisting to the steady wave of reporters that came their way in the locker room that it wasn’t as bad as it might have looked, and that any possible issues will be fixed soon.
“When we’re all on the same page, we’re really good,’’ right guard J.R. Sweezy said. “It really comes down to just one thing — the communication. When everybody’s on the same page, we’re really good.’’
Not everybody agrees.
The football analytic site Pro Football Focus on Wednesday, for instance, rated the Seahawks’ offensive line as the third-worst in the NFL after four games.
And the play of the line, especially in protecting quarterback Russell Wilson, was a constant theme of ESPN’s telecast of Seattle’s 13-10 victory over the Detroit Lions.
“They’ve got to throw the ball and pass protect much better to get back to the Super Bowl,’’ analyst and former NFL coach Jon Gruden said when wrapping up the game.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that “we had some issues,’’ and offensive-line coach Tom Cable said it was a “really inconsistent’’ performance.
The issues and inconsistency, though, were not enough to prompt changes among the starting five.
Carroll said the line will stay the same “right now.’’ Cable, when asked if there will be changes said, “No. Competition always, but no.’’
Seattle has allowed Wilson to be sacked 18 times this season and is on pace for 72. The franchise record is 67, set during the 2-14 season of 1992. The NFL record for most sacks of one quarterback is 76 set by Houston’s David Carr in 2002 (the Eagles allowed 104 as a team in 1986).
“We’re taking sacks at an alarming rate right now,’’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said.
But everyone involved said it’s too simple to place all the blame for the sacks on the offensive line.
“There are a lot of things that enter into it,’’ Carroll said. “Sometimes it’s getting the ball out when we had the chance to before the rush gets there. We missed a couple of blocks. And they did a nice job with the pressures that they brought, too.’’
Also an issue Monday were the snaps of center Drew Nowak out of the shotgun. A handful were off target, including on a fourth-quarter play that led to Wilson being sacked and fumbling the ball away (though not the one that was returned for a touchdown).
“We have to get that cleaned up,’’ Carroll said.
The game was just the fourth as an NFL center for Nowak, who is one of three starters on the line in new positions. Garry Gilliam is in his first year starting at right tackle after having been a reserve last season, and Justin Britt is in his first year at left guard after starting last season at right tackle.
The only two players at positions they have started previously are left tackle Russell Okung and Sweezy.
That relative inexperience, Seahawks coaches say, means some growing pains were to be expected.
“It takes a while,’’ Carroll said, adding there are things the Lions threw at the Seahawks on Monday night that “an experienced group might be able to identify a little bit quicker and adjust a little bit sooner.
“It’s just part of it. We are just growing through it.’’
Cable, though, said inexperience couldn’t be used as an excuse for the snaps of Nowak. And Nowak said he didn’t need any excuses.
Nowak was a defensive lineman at Western Michigan and moved to guard when he was with Jacksonville in 2012-13 before being moved to center with the Seahawks last year.
Asked if he’s still adjusting to the duties of a center — which includes setting blocking assignments at the line — Nowak said simply, “I can handle it. I just need to snap first and then play second. … It’s my job to make sure that everything is on point, and it wasn’t the way it was supposed to be (against Detroit), and I need to do a better job of that.’’
Sweezy came to Nowak’s defense saying, “He’s going to be just fine. Everybody that’s on him needs to back off. He’s going to be just fine.’’
Though Carroll said he expects the line to stay the same, he said there always is competition and noted that the center spot is “very close’’ between Nowak and Patrick Lewis, who started four games last season.
“There will be a time if the opportunity opens up for him he’ll be ready to jump at it,’’ Carroll said of Lewis.
Cable, meanwhile, said nothing he has seen so far has altered his opinion that the line could eventually be one of the best he’s had.
“This has always been kind of a work in progress,’’ Cable said. “And I said when they get it they are going to be really good, and that hasn’t changed.’’