Possibly the biggest question mark for the Seattle Seahawks throughout the preseason was the structure of the offensive line. The first two weeks of the season have failed to add any clarity to the situation. Coach Pete Carroll spoke to the media Monday after practice and addressed the situation.
“We got better,” Carroll said. ‘We came off the ball much better than we did in week one, more confidently and we need to keep growing. You can see the fact that we were able to improve. I thought we did an adequate job getting to the preseason and I thought we were making progress and then we took a step back there in the first game but we came back to it.”
In Week 1 against Green Bay, Seattle’s offensive line allowed three sacks, seven hits on quarterback Russell Wilson and a mere 90 yards rushing on 18 attempts. On Sunday, the protection was similar, with three sacks and 10 hits allowed, but the line eventually steadied for 131 yards on 37 carries in the run game.
“I think we will continue to grow and we still have,” Carroll added. “Rees [Odhiambo] is a first-time starter and his first go on the other side, unfortunately. [Germain] Ifedi is at right tackle. There was a little bit of newness you could see.”
Carroll continued: “We are going to get better and the games are harder in the regular season than they are in preseason, but I think we can see us making the improvement that is going to be important for us. I kind of think maybe there is some similarity there to the years before.”
In spite of the optimist comments about the way the offensive line has played in the first two weeks, Carroll hinted Monday that a change might be coming.
“Oday’s [Aboushi] done a really good job, [Ethan] Pocic’s done a really good job,” Carroll said. “Matt Tobin’s showing us that he can play too, so there are some guys that are available. It’s hard to get very many guys on game day up with the numbers and all of that, but the competition is on. The question came up where ‘what are the things we are going to do,’ we’re looking to make sure that we keep it at the right edge to get better. We have to keep improving.”
Seattle also acquired 24-year-old Isaiah Battle from the Chiefs just before 53-man roster cuts. Battle was touted as a huge talent out of Clemson and possess an impressive stature at 6-foot-7 and 290 pounds.
“Really like him, really like what he’s doing,” Carroll said. “He’s got an unusually gifted style of pass protection and we’re trying to catch him up with the system right now so that he can compete to play. He’s done some really good stuff; he’s going against our best guys in practice in pass rush and things like that, and he’s been very competitive. We’re really excited about it and what’s coming, I don’t know how fast we can get him caught up, but he’s done well.”
Judging by the offensive line’s slow start to the regular season and Carroll’s comments about the depth of the group, it would not be a surprise to see Seattle shake things up in Week 3 when they head to Tennessee to play the Titans.