We've heard quite a bit about how C Robbie Tobeck's absence hurts the Seahawks' ability to make presnap adjustments quickly. Coach Mike Holmgren addressed this topic yesterday. Tobeck has played a leading role in the Seahawks' ability to establish a fast offensive tempo. So, while Chris Spencer is more physical and more athletic at this stage of his career, the Seahawks still miss what Tobeck brought to the offense. By the nature of their offense, they probably miss him more than some other teams would.
Spencer will close the gap only by playing, but in the meantime, there are some growing pains. "Chris is doing a heck of a job," Holmgren said. "I want to say that up front. He's doing fine, and I'll stick with my comment that he'll be our center for many years, many years here. But right now, this is his first chance to play center a lot and while he might get to something or do something, it probably takes just a tad longer because he's grinding through some stuff. And the little tricks of the trade. Tobeck is real tricky. ... Those are the things that Robbie had and Chris will have and will learn."
What types of tricks was Holmgren talking about? "Influence blocking. If you're playing against somebody and you want him to go a certain way and you know the play is coming over here, and a lot of times if you know the player pretty well you're going against and you've used a move a lot, you might be able to get him to move actually counter to where he's supposed to or you're supposed to block him just by how you do something. Right now, Chris is just going by the book, and he's trying. And you know what, I will say this: 'He's doing fine.' In the passing game, I have no complaints about pass protection and things like that. The running game becomes a little more, experience - I think - plays a little bit more of a factor now with us now in the running game."