Focus on: James Carpenter

Posted Dec 13, 2013

The James Carpenter who will start at left guard for the Seahawks in Sunday’s game against the Giants has progressed light years from the rookie who started at right tackle against the Giants in 2011.

When the Seahawks last played against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium, James Carpenter was a rookie making his fourth NFL start. Sunday, when the Seahawks again play the Giants in the Meadowlands, Carpenter will be making his 26th start.

What’s the biggest difference between the offensive lineman who started that game in 2011 and the one who will start on Sunday?

“The biggest change is, I’m not playing right tackle anymore,” Carpenter said. “I’m playing left guard, so that’s totally different. And I’m just more of a physical player than I was playing right tackle.”

But there’s more to Carpenter’s evolution than those right-to-left, tackle-to-guard, timid-to-tenacious switches – which are significant enough.

“I think James is a pro now,” line coach Tom Cable said. “I think he understands how to play. I think he’s in great shape. He understands the system. So he’s a pro. He’s becoming what we picked him to be.

“And that’s good. Because he’s been through all the traumas and all the ups and down you go through when you’re young. He’s played quite well lately.”

Carpenter was the Seahawks’ first-round draft choice in 2011, when he started the opener at left guard and then moved to right tackle for the next eight games before suffering a season-ending injury. But his move to guard fulltime last season was good for him and his team.

“Life is better,” Carpenter said. “I love playing left guard.”

And Cable loves having Carpenter at left guard, where he’ll start Sunday but also continue to rotate with veteran Paul McQuistan.

“There’s no doubt, he’s much more comfortable in there,” Cable said. “And he fits for us, for sure.”