Seattle moving closer to settling on offensive line starters
RENTON, Wash. (AP) The constant shuffling along the Seattle Seahawks' offensive line could be coming to an end.
Coach Pete Carroll and offensive line coach Tom Cable said Monday that the starting five the Seahawks used in last week's preseason loss at Kansas City could be the unit that starts Week 1 of the regular season against St. Louis.
It's been an arduous stretch through the first three weeks of training camp for the Seahawks trying to get their offensive line settled. But Cable and Carroll are moving forward with the current configuration in the hope that a solid performance in this week's preseason game at San Diego will be validation it's the right group.
''We'll see if they can hold it together and hold off the other guys that are battling with them but we feel good enough about it,'' Carroll said. ''We like the way that they mix together and they have a real chance.''
The two spots on the line that have been settled from the start have been left tackle with Russell Okung and right guard with J.R. Sweezy. But center, right tackle and left guard have been a revolving door of players working with the first unit.
The latest adjustment last week had starting right tackle Justin Britt move to left guard and backup Garry Gilliam, in his second season, step in at right tackle. Seattle also had Drew Nowak, a former defensive tackle in college, stepping in as the starting center.
The results were mixed. Seattle's offense failed to score a touchdown against the Chiefs and running lanes were scarce. But the protection for quarterback Russell Wilson was solid coming against the Chiefs' talented defensive front.
''A little more consistency. Really good communication. Probably the most impressive thing was making some moves and then having everybody be on the same page,'' Cable said.
While it seems set that Britt and Gilliam will remain in their positions, center appears to be the one remaining competition. Veteran Lemuel Jeanpierre started the preseason opener against Denver, with Nowak getting the nod against Kansas City.
Nowak was a defensive tackle in college at Western Michigan and the Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year as a senior. He started the transition to offense with Jacksonville in 2012 and spent last season on Seattle's practice squad.
''He's stronger than the guys that we've played with over the years,'' Carroll said. ''He's got hand strength. He's a brute in there and a very physical player. He's really smart. He understands it. Of course he's still learning. This is still new to him. But because he's applied himself so well and he's a good competitor, and he's got this nice strength about him.''
The Seahawks are also still seeing what's out there. Veteran Evan Mathis visited the Seahawks over the weekend and Carroll said there could be others they bring in for a look.
NOTES: LB Bruce Irvin suffered a concussion against Kansas City and is going through the league-mandated concussion protocol. ... Carroll said there was nothing new to report with SS Kam Chancellor and his holdout. Chancellor has missed 24 days of camp. ... Backup QB Tarvaris Jackson is still recovering from a high-ankle sprain suffered in the preseason opener, but Carroll said the target is having him available by Week 1.
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