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Pete Carroll Praises Seahawks' Rookie OL

Seattle's rookie offensive linemen have delivered promising returns early.

The Seattle Seahawks have ranked inside the Top 10 in sacks allowed in each of the last four seasons.

While Seattle is entering a new era at quarterback, the team will also have fresh faces book-ending its offensive line.

Left tackle Duane Brown, an every-game starter last season, remains a free agent. Same with Brandon Shell, who started 10 games at right tackle in 2021 before succumbing to a plethora of injuries (including ankle and shoulder).

The Seahawks entered the 2022 NFL Draft with an emphasis on adding young impact players at the tackle position and did so with the selections of Charles Cross (first round) and Abraham Lucas (second round).

With several padded practices and a mock game under their belt, Cross and Lucas are beginning to get acclimated to the speed and physicality of NFL defensive linemen. To this point, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is pleased with the development of both.

“They made progress," Carroll said. "We had a couple missed assignments that had nothing to do with the physical ability. So that’s something to not take away from them. Both guys held up well in the run and passing game. It was a good first outing, that was really the first chance."

Carroll added that the team intentionally put their best pass rushers across from the rookies on a consistent basis, hoping to hasten their adjustment to the speed of the game.

Seattle's mock contest was the first time the rookies were in a game-like setting at Lumen Field, which Carroll believes resulted in a valuable learning experience for the two. Above all else, Seattle's veteran coach left the stadium feeling encouraged with what he saw.

"You look at the film in our stadium, it just looks different out here," said Carroll. "It just gives you more of a gauge. To see them out there, you can just tell the quickness and the movement and all that stuff. It was a really good day for us.”

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One of the biggest talking points surrounding Cross and Lucas entering the league was the lack of balance in pass versus run blocking reps they saw in college. Thus far, Carroll has seen positive signs regarding their ability in both facets, along with balance as a functional trait.

“They have everything ahead of them," Carroll stated. "It’s not scary putting them out there. They’re comfortable. They’re poised athletes. You can see them in the run game and the pass game. The ability to adjust and to move and to return the balance which is a big concept for the lineman."

Carroll's been encouraged by Cross and Lucas' start, with the emphasis more on physical traits than anything else. With the steep learning curve rookie offensive linemen face, identifying whether or not each player has foundational traits to build on is ultimately the most important thing for Seattle right now, and Carroll is pleased with what both have shown.

"(Offensive linemen) need to be able to get out of whack and get back on track, (and) those guys can do that because they’re really good athletes," noted Carroll. "I don’t see anything holding those guys back other than just the time and the experience. Nothing but positives right now."

Seattle won't fully know what they have in each until they play in a competitive setting against other teams, an opportunity they'll get in Saturday's preseason opener against the Steelers. According to Carroll, the rookies will see extensive action, as the game offers just what the doctor ordered: experience.

"They’re going to get a lot of play time this weekend,” Carroll said.

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