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Tom Cable did not have complete control in selecting offensive linemen

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals

For years pundits and fans have raged about how the Seattle Seahawks could be so bad at putting together an offensive line, and have demanded to know who was responsible for assembling the players the team was using on the line. Some held general manager John Schneider responsible, while others claimed that Tom Cable held absolute power in terms of personnel decisions with the offensive line.

That brings us to this offseason, as one of the most interesting things about the changes in to the coaching staff is that it gives us as fans a chance to evaluate the personnel decisions that the team is continuing to make in order to try to discern how much influence Cable had versus the front office. Thus, without getting too deeply into what will almost certainly devolve into a heated debate in the comments, let’s jump right into the data.

In this draft the Seahawks selected only one offensive lineman, Jamarco Jones out of Ohio State, but they then added four undrafted free agents to either the roster or as a mini-camp invite. Here is a table of those five players and their athletic profiles, along with the athletic profiles of six offensive linemen that graced the Seattle roster at some point in the past seven years.

Anyone who wants to argue about how well Jones comps out to Players A and B, feel free, because I’ll put you on my list of commenters to ignore. Those athletic comps are nearly as similar as they come. Players C through F do not match up quite as closely as the first two, but there are definite similarities in the profiles throughout.

So, then we turn to the additions the Oakland Raiders made in the draft, which is obviously important because that is where Cable is now. Looking at the linemen the Raiders added, this is what it looks like.

With that, it appears as though it may be possible to draw a bottom boundary on the athletic requirements to be a “Cable guy”. With that lower boundary in place, then where are Players A through F coming from? They certainly aren’t Cable guys but they have been on the roster.

Well, let’s go ahead and look at some players whose profiles those guys do match.

Some of those matches are pretty close, in particular Player E and Unknown X, along with the striking similarities between Player B and Unknown Y.

So, what conclusions can we draw from this data? Well, the indisputable fact is that the Seahawks continue to add linemen that are similar to some of the players they have had in the past, and those linemen are guys who are nowhere near meeting Cable’s threshold for athleticism. So, here’s a look at all of the players I’ve looked at in this article, with the names of all the unknown players revealed.

In short, the takeaways from this article are simple. First, in spite of the claims of many in the comments section, Cable did not have one hundred percent control over the personnel for the offensive line. Second, the individual responsible for drafting and signing superstar linemen Oday Aboushi, Justin Senior, Michael Bowie, Drew Nowak, J’Marcus Webb and Rees Odhiambo appears to still be with the team and still be making personnel decisions for the offensive line.