RENTON – “Excuse” is not a part of Tom Cable’s vocabulary.
So when the offensive line’s inexperience was cited as a reason for his group’s struggles in the Seattle Seahawks first three exhibition games, Cable wasn’t buying it.
“We can all see where they’re at – they’re not there yet,” Cable said about the offensive line’s youth, including two rookies in John Moffitt and James Carpenter starting on the right side of the line. “So how you handle the time crunch, we talked about it from day one. We didn’t have OTAs (organized team activities), minicamp – all those sorts of things.
“It can’t be an excuse. If you notice, we try to give them as many reps as we can. We’re probably playing that group more than you normally would. But we need to. And I think Saturday was a perfect example of how much they need to continue to play, and continue to grow.”
After Carpenter struggled protecting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson against Denver last week, Cable and the Seahawks aren’t standing pat. Carpenter spilt time with third-year product Breno Giacomini with the first unit. And coach Pete Carroll said the two will be battling for the starting job moving forward.
“It’s a competition that we’re just continuing,” Carroll said. “Giacomini has done a nice job. He’s put together a really good preseason. He’s been very solid. He hasn’t played against all the same guys all the time but he has had a very solid preseason.
“He’s been around a little bit more. We want to make sure that he has the opportunity to show and see if he can help us. So we gave him some opportunities with the first group.”
At 6-foot-7, 318 pounds, Giacomini was a fifth-round selection by Green Bay in 2008. Seattle added him to the 53-man roster in September. Although Giacomini never played, he has more experience facing NFL-caliber players.
However, even though Carpenter is splitting reps, Cable said he has not given up on the team’s first-round pick. Several draft experts during and after April’s draft questioned Seattle for selecting Carpenter over higher-rated offensive tackle prospects Gabe Carimi (taken four picks later at No. 29) and Derek Sherrod (selected at No. 32 by Green Bay).
Carimi has received rave reviews starting at right tackle for the Bears, while Sherrod has had similar struggles as Carpenter, and is currently being used as a reserve left guard for Green Bay.
Cable said he’s undecided how he will handle the situation at right tackle for the team’s regular-season opener at San Francisco.
“By the time we get ready to go for San Francisco we’ll do what’s best for us to win that football game,” he said. “If that means he’s (Carpenter) is able to come along in the next few weeks to get himself right – and I can get him right – then that’s what we’ll do. If not, then we’ll find someone who can, or we’ll double-team it or triple-team it. Who knows? But we’ll do what it takes to win the football game.”
Cable said Saturday’s game against Denver was even more frustrating because the offensive line had communication issues on three of the five sacks by the Broncos.
“That’s the part that really kind of burns me, you know, because you make the right calls but then the guy doesn’t get there,” he said. “So it looks worse from that standpoint. But it was bad, period.”
He said rookies experience some of their growing pains during offseason workouts. Because of the lockout, Carpenter’s struggles have become public, but Cable said the rookie’s struggles as a larger issue for his entire unit.
“I actually think it’s an ultimatum week for the group because you don’t have any more practice games, you don’t have any more do-overs,” Cable said. “So that’s been our approach this week. We just go back to work. We don’t panic. We just say, ‘It ain’t good enough, fix it.’ And the thing I told them from the beginning, ‘You’re greatest improvement will be from your biggest failures.’ So we’ll be fine.”
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437 email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks