The story of Seahawks training camp on Friday and Saturday was: Offensive line, offensive line, and offensive line. Not really a surprise when that was the story most talked about all offseason. It's perfect then that offensive line coach Tom Cable was on the mic on Saturday and here's what he had to say.
- On seeing the team in pads this week:"Well we're getting to see them play football. You know, the learning phase is over, we talked about that earlier. Now you're seeing them compete. Now you're seeing how they've been able to take the learning with the combative side of it. I love the work they're doing. A little bit high right now and the whole team is. You've probably heard the team talk about that. Just getting our pad level down, the rest of it looks really good."
- On switching out players in practice on Friday and giving them a chance with the first team lineup at tackle:"Yeah, totally - you're going to continue to see that going forward. Even tomorrow for example, we'll shuffle around a little bit and just look at different combinations to see how they work together. But also trying to see how a couple of those young guys can handle being in the first huddle against that first defense."
- On if anything stood out to him yesterday:"I think that yeah, we have good depth and the competition is maybe a little bit better than we thought. So I think that's the good news and as we get ready to start playing these games, that will really sort itself out."
- On how Rees Odhiambo is doing:"Good, you're going to see him really start to play multiple spots now. Kind of taught him as a left side player but you'll start seeing him play that left guard spot, some left tackle and even right tackle." On if he believed that Rees Odhiambo could play multiple spots when he was drafted: "Yes."
- On George Fant having first team reps Friday:"Just that, you know it's new to him. I think he's played, gosh about thirty-one snaps of football in his life. So this is all new and I think the more that we expose him to it. The more we put him in a really competitive environment where he has to line up on Cliff [Avril] or Michael [Bennett], those guys. It does a lot of good for him, it kind of elevates how his mind has to work, what he's got to do with his body. But I think he's terrific and I'm anxious to see him and Rees [Odhiambo] and Germain [Ifedi] and all those guys get in games and start to play."
- On if George Fant reminds him of Garry Gilliam:"You know, it's a little bit different because Garry has some background playing tight end at Penn State and then the transition. So he's different, it's truly a blank slate and what I love about him is that he takes what you give him and he tries to do it that way. He doesn't know any different so you're not having some of those normal struggles you might have when you're trying to break it down or get rid of a bad habit."
- On J'Marcus Webb's progress in camp:"Yeah, we've had two really good days. The last two days in terms of getting his feet right in protection. Generally, in the running system, that's just getting enough reps at it. It's not real hard, there's a right and a wrong way to do it. My concern was getting him on balance and his feet and hands with him in pass protection."
- On reports of Jahri Evans joining the team:"I don't know anything more than that. He visited, we're always trying to get better obviously. So that's about all I know at this point."
- On Justin Britt's progress in camp:"He's continued to do something better from the day before, each day. Mentally, he's excellent. He reminds us of guys we've had there before, guys I've had in the past. Has great command of what we're trying to do, so it's ultimately learning how to play the position. So far I think he's improved each and every day with no setbacks, so that's good."
- On what he is looking for in the scrimmage on Sunday:"Well first of all, it's really important. What I'm looking for is not so much that you know, eight guys get knocked down every play. What I'm looking for is - the issues that we've had these first four or five days, have we improved on them and are we still growing. So that's what I want to see, so that's the continuity thing. From my group, there aren't any superstars as offensive lineman, so the group is a star. If they're right, then they shine and if not then they look like bums. So you just don't want to look like bums. You want to have that kind of connectedness if you will, that we're all on the same page, we're communicating, we're working together in combination, protection and if we walk away from tomorrow with that done, what a great week."
- On how the competition is behind Justin Britt, with Patrick Lewis and Joey Hunt:"Very good. You know, I think that's kind of mentioned earlier but there's a number of spots now where it's on, so."
- On plans of moving Germain Ifedi around:"It's been talked about but it's surely not a serious thought right now. The biggest issue is getting him settled and obviously he's doing really well, so I don't know if you want to mess with that."
- On the importance of younger guys being very competitive:"I don't think your team is any good unless you're good on the line of scrimmage. There's a toughness, and mentality that comes with that. Was it a part of going out, getting this group, and putting it together; absolutely. Let's face it, it's like a bar fight every play in this league so if they can't handle that, if they cower to that, if they give into that they can't play on this team and we don't want them. There has to be a certain mentality that comes with it, but you have to be able to do right in that manner too. That's really what we're working at now."
- On Germain Ifedi being aggressive and intelligent:"I think we're lucky, I think he's lucky as an NFL player to have both of those intangibles. Those characteristics are hard to find. You can find a smart guy or athletic guy, you can find a tough guy; can you find a guy that's got all that. I really like the group that way, I think they're all very smart. Our retention, I mentioned this the other day has been really, really off the chart. Whatever new we're putting in their handling it. Our MA's, (missed) assignment issues are way down compared to the past, I think that's a reflection of the work they've done in the off season and collectively who they are. So, yeah having all those elements, athletes that are tough and smart it's pretty cool."
- On Bradley Sowell:"I think he's got himself right in the mix to play either tackle."
- On what he's learned about Mark Glowinski:"I think that start in Arizona was huge for him. I keep going back to that when I look at him and evaluate him because, he doesn't have any doubt and his worries and all those things have subsided, so now he can go focus on him and being the best him. You see a confidence with him now. Early in the first few days a couple stunts got to him and then he's fixed them. He's had three terrific days in a row in regards to the pressures and the stunts stuff, I'm really pleased where he's going."
- On how the tight ends are coming along with blocking:"I think it's a fantastic group, that has too—like this O-line has to learn. Think about it Luke's [Luke Willson] the only one really proven, you would say that about Jimmy [Jimmy Graham], but he's not practicing yet, didn't really spend a lot of time with us last year, so you're really trying to bring along those other guys. Certainly Nick's [Nick Vannett] a rookie, they've got all the stuff it takes, but again you have to put the work and learn how to do it on this level. Then they're going to fail and then they're going to learn from that, if they do they'll be pretty good."
- On Kristjan Sokoli moving forward:"I think we've picked up where we were last year. The thought with him, and we'll pre check both of them, is to start to also train him in some center work as we go forward. That's the plan moving forward."
- On Terry Poole getting reps:"Yes, I'm pleased. I like that he's come back. I think, in my opinion, way, way more mature. I think he understands what's asked of him now. I think he's being responsible to himself, to his teammates in terms of his preparation and all those things. So very excited for Terry, cause again, like Brad [Sowell] I think - between Garry [Gilliam] and J'Marcus [Webb] and Brad [Sowell] and George [Fant] you look at that and you say, you know, we have a really cool group and a lot of competition going on at tackle. Who's right and who's left, not worried about that yet. Just finding who the top guys are and then who's at third and who the starters are and then we'll go from there.
- On there being tougher decisions narrowing down the line-up this year than in the past:"Oh there's no doubt, we've been talking about that daily as a staff. What a cool cut this is going to be but a very difficult one. Cool by we're better, and so that's all you care for."
- On versatility playing into those decisions:"Sure, sure. Yeah."
- @Seahawks Seahawks sign guard Jahri Evans.
- @EvanonFG Seahawks have less that $4M in true cap space -- so the Jahri deal must have been very small.
- @EvanonFGIn ten NFL seasons -- Jahri has played all 16 games in EIGHT of those! #Durable
- @bcondotta Jahri Evans has 153 career starts. Rest of Seahawks OL has 136.
- The signing of right guard Jahri Evans could mean a lot of things. First and foremost given his experience I believe he will be a veteran leader in our offensive line room. I don't believe it is worth discussing until we go red in the face given the fact that in seven days we will be watching our first preseason game in which we can watch every offensive linemen play real football and then we can make all of our judgments about Webb at right tackle or Ifedi at right guard.
- If you believe what Cable is saying it sounds like we should feel pretty good about this group. Our missed assignments are way down compared to the past. The offensive line group is deeper and more talented than it has been in the past. Assuming he is right it makes me feel good about our offensive line situation this year and beyond.
- It is worth mentioning that the critique Cable gives about the offensive line as a whole having their pad level too high is what Britt was doing wrong in that pass rush one on one Twitter video that was going around. His issue really only was that he was too high against Jarran Reed. I'm not trying to imply that it can be easily fixed and we'll never see it again, however I am saying it sounds like that issue is one everyone on the line is having and it is being worked on. One video of Britt getting pushed back by a powerful defensive tackle isn't reason (yet) for me to freak out about Britt. It is Britt and Webb I'll be paying closest attention to in this upcoming preseason game.