Moffitt moves back in at right guard

Posted Sep 12, 2012

In an attempt to improve the communication on the offensive line for Sunday’s home opener against the Cowboys, incumbent starter John Moffitt will return to the lineup at right guard.

The Seahawks practiced on Wednesday, as they always do, with music blaring from a speaker on the side of the fields.

They should have gone classic rock and cued up some Led Zeppelin, because one of their more memorable tunes – “Communication Breakdown” – could have served as the song for the theme of the day as the players and coaches segued from the disappointment of losing their season opener to the Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday to the anticipation of this week’s home opener against the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field.

You remember: “Communication breakdown, it’s always the same; Havin’ a nervous breakdown, drive me insane.”

It might not have been that drastic, but better communication between the offensive linemen was the major topic in trying to decipher the problems that led to scoring 16 points against the Cardinals despite getting the ball in Arizona territory four times thanks to two long returns from Leon Washington and two big turnovers by the defense.

“About communicating,” coach Pete Carroll said during his news conference when asked what his message to the linemen had been earlier in the day. “It was really clear. It was an issue for us that we didn’t take advantage of our calls as well as we had been doing. So we didn’t target as well.

“That’s something that we can do well. We’ve been doing it. But for whatever reason, in this game we weren’t as effective as we’ve been and it caused some problems for us. So we go right back to the basics of it. Just get us on the right guys and we’ll be fine. But that’s really what we’re talking about this week – communicating really well.”

After the team’s two-hour practice, when asked about the Cowboys’ dialing up the blitz after watching the line struggle with extra pressure in the opener, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell smiled and offered, “Well, I mean that would probably be the smart thing to do. … So it just falls back on us to make sure that we’re right with our communication and all the things we’re trying to do to go along with that.”

In between Carroll’s press conference and practice, guard John Moffitt said, “We’re going to work on communication a lot this week.”

To try and improve that communication, Moffitt will move back in on the right side, where rookie J.R. Sweezy started against the Cardinals and in the final three preseason games because Moffitt was sidelined after having a surgical procedure on his left elbow.

Moffitt, a third-round draft choice last year, started the first nine games of his rookie season before getting a season-ending knee injury. He steps in between center Max Unger and right tackle Breno Giacomini, so the communication should be improved.

“I was talking to Breno earlier and saying, ‘Let’s talk a lot. Let’s over-talk in practice and on the field,’ ” Moffitt said. “Just so when it comes to the game we’re right at a good level of what we need to do and what we need to say.

“I think that communication thing can be cleaned up real fast, and I think we’ll clean it up this week.”
One of the games Moffitt played in last season was against the Cowboys in Texas.

“I know what to expect, so it is nice to come back to that,” Moffitt said. “But (defensive coordinator Rob) Ryan can throw a lot of things out there, so we’re preparing for a lot.”

Moffitt has been dealing with a lot. Just as he was getting back into the groove following the long layoff while rehabbing his knee, he had to have particles removed from his elbow.

“My knees felt fantastic,” he said. “I kind of feel like the elbow was just a speed bump.”

But it was a speed bump big enough to push him to the sideline, again.

“I think it’s tough for any player. We’re all here to play, so you want to do that,” Moffitt said. “Whatever I can contribute to the team, I want to contribute. So it’s nice to be back.”

In his first start since last November, Moffitt can start by eliminating the need for any Led Zeppelin songs to be added to the practice playlist.