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Tuesday in Hawkville: Tom Cable likes what he's seeing from Justin Britt and Garry Gilliam

Posted Jun 10, 2014

Grooming rookie tackles is nothing new for line coach Tom Cable. Last year, it was Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey, who ended up playing a lot for the Super Bowl champions. This year, it’s Justin Britt and Garry Gilliam.

A recap of the activities at the Seahawks’ OTA session at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for June 10:

FOCUS ON: THE ROOKIE OFFENSIVE TACKLES

Not Michael Bowie and Alvin Bailey. They were last year’s rookie duo. This year, the rookie tackles are Justin Britt and Garry Gilliam.

And, like Bowie and Bailey last year, Britt and Gilliam are getting opportunities to work with the No. 1 offense because Bowie and Pro Bowl-caliber left tackle Okung have been sidelined. But Tuesday, line coach Tom Cable orchestrated the snaps Britt and Gilliam got against the No. 1 defense.

“We’re creating the opportunity for them to compete,” Cable said after the eighth of the team’s OTA sessions. “Today, we took the second and third (lines) and threw them against the No. 1 defense more just to see them compete with the guys who are proven.”

And Cable has liked what he’s seen from the rookies. They are working this week at the tackle spots on the No. 2 line – Britt on the right side, where he is expected to compete with Bowie for the starting job that opened when Breno Giacomini signed with the New York Jets in free agency; Gilliam on the left side, where Okung is recovering from surgery. Each also has gotten some reps with the No. 1 line in the past month.

“It’s OK when guys are out,” Cable said. “You don’t want them out too long, but it gives those other guys opportunities.”

YOU DON'T SAY

“He probably has been the brightest guy the whole camp, jumped up the most. … He looks like he can compete with all those guys. He’s in good shape to compete.”

Coach Pete Carroll on linebacker Korey Toomer, a fifth-round draft choice in 2012 who has spent his first two seasons on the injured reserve and non-football injury lists

Cable on Britt, who was selected in the second round of last month’s NFL Draft: “He gets it. Nothing is too big for him. He really has a good background and he’s ready for something like this. … He’s been in the right kind of environments and he’s doing really well.”

Cable on Gilliam, who was signed as a free agent after the draft: “We’re seeing the athlete that we thought he was. And his brain is showing up. He’s just got to learn how to be a pro, in terms of the grind every snap, the intensity of each and every snap. But he’s doing that and we like where he’s going.”

Okung’s continuing rehab has put Gilliam in a double-duty situation as he’s also working at left tackle with the No. 3 line. Britt, meanwhile, stepped in with the No. 1 line at the end of Monday’s practice when Bowie sat out to rest a sore shoulder.

Here’s how those units have looked the past two days:

First unit – from left tackle to right: Bailey, James Carpenter, Max Unger, J.R. Sweezy and Bowie.

Second unit: Gilliam, Caylin Hauptman, Lemuel Jeanpierre, Stephen Schilling and Britt.

Third unit: Gilliam, Jared Smith, Greg Van Roten, Bronson Irwin and Nate Isles.  

PLAYERS AND PLAYS OF THE DAY

STAT DU JOUR: RUSSELL WILSON'S WINNING WAYS

Since winning the starting quarterback job after being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft, Russell Wilson is 28-9 the past two seasons, including playoffs. Here’s a look at how that stacks up against the franchise’s Ring of Honor QBs and a Ring of Honor QB in-waiting during their first full seasons as the starter:

Player First Season Second Season Total
Russell Wilson (2012-13) 12-6 16-3 29-9
Jim Zorn (1976-77) 2-14 4-6 6-20
Dave Krieg (1984-85) 13-5 8-8 21-13
Matt Hasselbeck (2001-02) 5-7 5-5 10-12

Note: Zorn missed four starts in 1977; Krieg was 7-4 in 1983 after taking over for Zorn at midseason; Hasselbeck missed four starts in 2001 and didn’t take over as the fulltime starter until Week 9 in 2002

Offensive player: Arceto Clark. When listing the merits of the wide receivers on the roster, Clark usually gets lumped into “also” category. Not Tuesday. The second-year wide-out, who finished last season on the practice squad, started early by producing a first down with his catch of a Russell Wilson pass on third-and-1. During the 7-on-7 drill, Clark caught a 20-yarder from Terrelle Pryor. In the red-zone drill, Clark caught an 11-yarder from Pryor on third-and-10. Three catches, three first downs. That works no matter who’s throwing the ball or who’s defending on the play.

Offensive play: It happened on the first play of the first full-team drill, as Jermaine Kearse went over All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman to haul in a pass from Wilson along the sideline.

Defensive player: O’Brien Schofield. The Seahawks thought they had lost the versatile linebacker/rush-end when he signed with the New York Giants in free agency. But the deal was nullified after Schofield failed his physical, so the Seahawks re-signed him to provide depth at both spots – just like Schofield did last season after being claimed off waivers from the Arizona Cardinals. Tuesday, he showed why. On one snap, Schofield stopped Clark for a 4-yard loss on an end-around. On another, he was on running back Robert Turbin after a 2-yard gain.

Defensive play: Linebacker K.J. Wright used every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame and every millimeter of his almost 35-inch arms to make a lunging interception of a Wilson pass that went off the hands of running back Christine Michael.

SIDELINE SPECTATORS

Among those watching practice were former Seahawks quarterback and QB coach Jim Zorn and former University of Washington head coach and defensive coordinator Jim Lambright.

UP NEXT: THE FINAL OTA SESSION

The players will wrap up Phase 3 of their offseason program with a non-OTA workout tomorrow and their ninth OTA session on Thursday.

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