Seahawks Insider Blog

Seahawks offense plays tackle roulette

Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach Tom Cable prizes versatility with offensive linemen.
Seattle Seahawks assistant head coach Tom Cable prizes versatility with offensive linemen. AP

And on the sixth day, the Seahawks juggled their offensive tackles. On another sunny day at the VMAC, the Seahawks allowed just about any player with a jersey in the 70s a shot at working with the first unit.

It’s not unusual for line coach Tom Cable to shuffle the deck and see what different configurations look like. Versatility, he says, is a criteria for his linemen, especially since the Hawks tend to activate only seven linemen on game day. Backups have to be able to play multiple positions.

Friday’s team session opened with rookie Rees Odhiambo with the 1s at right tackle (where J’Marcus Webb has been a starter) and free-agent rookie George Fant at left tackle. Left tackle Garry Gilliam then moved over to the right side, where Terry Poole also later got snaps with the first offense.

Does it mean universal displeasure with the play at tackle? No, that’s what they do. We’ll have a much better indicator of who they like at the starting positions when they take the field Sunday afternoon for the first scrimmage.

At least immediately after practice, no coaches were available so no word was forthcoming on the reported look at veteran free-agent guard Jahri Evans. The question of O-line talent and depth is a major concern, so the possible addition of a veteran All-Pro guard like Evans could be big news. Evans was cut by the Saints in February, in the second season of a three-year contract. Reportedly, he refused to take a pay cut to stay with the Saints.

--More than a dozen Seahawks were either out or limited Friday. Defensive lineman Frank Clark (calf) was one who has been out but returned. The two whose injuries on Thursday looked most serious, Brandon Cottom and Ronnie Shields (both with Achilles injuries), were absent. Without availability of coaches, no updates were given on injuries. Of the key players missing, Doug Baldwin (calf), Kam Chancellor (groin), Jordan Hill (unspecified), injuries did not seem serious.

Practice observations:

DeShawn Shead worked with the first group at right cornerback while Eric Pinkins got his shot with the 1s at SAM linebacker. Kelcie McCray started at strong safety in the absence of Chancellor.

Receiver Paul Richardson continued his good camp, shaking free in an open space to take in a big-gainer from Russell Wilson against the No. 1 defense. Richardson is flashing the kind of speed and receiving ability the Hawks promised when he was drafted in the second round in 2014. The limiting factor for him has been staying healthy. So far, he’s been reliable.

SAM linebacker Cassius Marsh continues to make plays. And even when he isn’t disruptive against the pass, he’s very quick and effective at the back-side pursuit. The SAM candidates seem to bring varied attributes to their position battle. Mike Morgan has the veteran experience and exceptional value on special teams. Pinkins has been a cornerback and safety, so he’s adept in pass coverage. Marsh, a former defensive end, is a strong pass rusher.

Rookie quarterbackTrevone Boykin shows daily improvement, particularly displaying nice velocity on a pass while on the run to his right today.

A story through most of camp has been Michael Bennett’s irritable demeanor. He’s been playing at mid-season intensity, and it’s led to some scuffles. While he has appeared weary of his team’s offensive linemen, he took a moment during pass protection/rush drills to bring together Will Pericek and rookie DT Quinton Jefferson to instruct them the art of hand placement. It was a vignette of Bennett as a team leader rather than rowdy instigator.

Rookie tight end Nick Vannett again had mixed results, dropping a ball on a play he should make.

Receiver Jermaine Kearse, who seems to be having a quiet camp, had a nice touchdown reception from Russell Wilson during a Red Zone session.