Seahawks Insider Blog

Saban: “I really think y’all got a good player”

Brock Huard and Mike Salk of ESPN 710 Seattle interviewed Alabama head coach Nick Saban about the Seattle Seahawks new offensive tackle James Carpenter.

And of course, Saban had nothing but good things to say about his former player, stating that the Seahawks made a good choice.

“I really think y’all got a good player,” Saban said. “And I know there’s probably a lot of draft scrutiny, and a lot of talking head out there that talk up one player, and then defend their position and criticize someone else when they don’t get drafted. But James Carpenter has a lot of versatility, and he really proved that in the Senior Bowl, when they played him at guard and tackle. … I think he can be a very good guard. He’s very athletic. He’s a tough guy. He’s physical. He’s got the athleticism, where he played very well at left tackle in our league against very good players for two years.

“So I think you’ve got a player that could possibly be a backup tackle, and maybe even play tackle for you.”

That’s an interesting comment by Saban, and something I had not considered when Seattle drafting Carpenter. But by getting a guy that can play all four positions, he also serves as insurance at left tackle in case Russell Okung continues to have injury issues. We know Carpenter can play left tackle because he did it pretty well for two years against the best college talent in the country in the SEC.

The other thing you have to consider is the environment that Carpenter played in. He’s been coached hard by Nick Saban and Alabama offensive line coach Joe Pendry, who has 19 years of coaching NFL experience.

“It does bode well, the fact that they have real good success,” Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable said. “He’s got a good line coach there in Joe Pendry. The guy is schooled the right way. I’m sure there will be a transition for him moving into the NFL and all those things, but he cam from what is right in this game. He’s been in a lot of big games and obviously played on a championship team, and he fits for us. This is a really nice steal for us.”

Alabama has a power running game, used some zone blocking principles and play-action pass off of that, so it’s a pro-style scheme that’s similar to what Seattle wants to do offensively.

And Carpenter appears to be a good fit in terms of the culture and philosophy that Pete Carroll wants to establish with Cable now in the fold, so we have to assume that they believe he’s a better overall fit in terms of talent, scheme, and attitude than more highly regarded prospects still on the board when they selected Carpenter at No. 25, like Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi and Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod.

“Most of our guys transition a little easier to the NFL because of how they’ve been coached in college,” Saban said. “He’s a tough guy. He’s got toughness. He can be physical. James is very, very quiet. He doesn’t communicate a lot. He doesn’t talk a lot. But he works hard and always gets his job done. … He’s a very consistent player.”