<
>

Tom Cable, Seahawks still optimistic about O-line after Week 1 disaster

Russell Wilson was sacked three times on Sunday and faced pressure on 44 percent of his dropbacks. Dylan Buell/Getty Images

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable was about as blunt as he will ever be Wednesday in assessing the way his group struggled in the team's season-opening loss to the Green Bay Packers.

"Not good enough," Cable said. "Too inconsistent and not good enough. At the end of the day, we have to play better, in a couple situations particularly. Some good things, [Germain Ifedi] was pretty solid, but as a group, too many inconsistencies."

Cable twice mentioned he was pleased with the way Ifedi played in his first career start at right tackle after playing right guard as a rookie, but there wasn't much to write home about from Seattle's offensive line on Sunday. Russell Wilson was pressured on 44 percent of his dropbacks, according to ESPN Stats & Information, well above the NFL average of 27 percent from 2016. The issues went beyond pass protection as Seattle's running backs managed only 53 yards on 15 carries, with 30 of those yards coming on one play.

Cable said the issues that Seattle's offensive line had were more mental than physical. And he hinted that there was more than meets the eye to one play in particular: the third snap of the game, when left tackle Rees Odhiambo was run over for the first of three sacks of Wilson. Replays showed tight end Jimmy Graham, lined up next to Odhiambo, failing to get much of a chip block on linebacker Nick Perry.

That was also the first career start for Odhiambo, a 2016 third-round pick who took over at left tackle when George Fant tore his ACL in the preseason.

Even with those qualifiers, it was an ugly performance from Seattle's offensive line.

And to the Seahawks, it was unexpected.

"That's why we're all kind of disappointed because we hadn't really seen that at all in the preseason," Cable said. "Expectations are very high, which they should be, for this group."

That group will likely remain the same for the Seahawks' home opener on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, based on what Cable said. Rookie second-round pick Ethan Pocic got a brief run at right tackle over the summer, but Cable liked what he saw from Ifedi there on Sunday. Swing tackle Matt Tobin, acquired in an August trade, doesn't seem like he's ready to challenge for a starting spot. If there is a switch to be made any time soon, the most likely spot would be at right guard, where Mark Glowinski held off veteran free-agent addition Oday Aboushi for the starting job.

But Cable sounds like he's going to give the current five more time. After all, it's not as though an obvious upgrade is sitting on the bench.

"I think so," he said when asked if he'll stick with the same starters this week. "We're just working, competing every day, but there's no sense to panic or do anything crazy like that."

Coach Pete Carroll struck a similar note when asked earlier Wednesday what he'd say to fans who have that here-we-go-again feeling with Seattle's offensive line.

“We’ve only played one game. There’s time," Carroll said. "We’re going to do really well, we’re going to have a really good season and I hope it shows sooner than later. I don’t have any hesitation in telling you that. I love our club. It’s just unfortunate that it didn’t start better, that’s it. Be really loud and help us out and we’ll show you who we are as these games keep coming to us. It’s going to be a difficult, challenging season, as they all are, and hopefully we’ll find our stride sooner than later. A lot of teams didn’t score very well and didn't do very well in this first week, and we happened to be one of them. I think we’re going to be fine.”