With Luke Joeckel expected to be out multiple weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery, the Seahawks find themselves in need of a new starting left guard. But while Joeckel's ability and experience will be missed, the Seahawks do like their options to fill in during his absence.
Mark Glowinski, last year's starter at left guard, and rookie Ethan Pocic, a versatile second-round pick out of LSU, will compete for the starting job throughout the week, and regardless of who comes out ahead, expect to see both on the field during Sunday's game at the New York Giants.
"Glowinski started all last year there, so Mark is working there, and Ethan Pocic will also work there," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "They are going to share time this week and we are going to give those two guys a chance to battle it out and compete for it and see how it goes."
Offensive line coach/assistant head coach Tom Cable added, "They'll compete this week, and we're going to play them both. Regardless of who goes out first, we should plan on seeing both of them in the game."
One reason for using both players is that it will give coaches more information to go off of going forward, but also, there's the fact that getting through an entire game could be tough for players who have not been playing in recent games.
"The fact that neither one of them have played enough reps here lately, so conditioning would be an issue," Cable said, noting the two also have "two little bit different styles of play, which together I think will be really good. Let's tag-team it and then as we go through this off-time with Luke, we'll figure out what's best."
Glowinski moved from the left side to right guard this season and opened the year as the starter, but eventually lost that job to Oday Aboushi, who has started the past three games. Despite the season not going the way he wanted thus far, Glowinski will be ready for this opportunity.
"I'm practicing the same amount and preparing the same amount as anyone else, so whenever they call my name, I'll be ready," he said.
Pocic, meanwhile, is looking at his first NFL playing time, outside of special teams, and is eager to show what he can do.
"It's a great opportunity," said Pocic, who has played every line position but left tackle in practice since arriving in Seattle. "I'm just looking forward to it, looking forward to the challenge. I'm just going to have some fun."
While the Seahawks feel fortunate to have an experienced starter in Glowinski as an option, they are also eager to see what Pocic can do in a game having already impressed in practice and the preseason playing multiple positions.
"What I look forward to seeing from him is doing right and learning to play in the NFL game," Cable said. "My expectations are actually very, very high for him. I don't look at him like 'Oh, he's a rookie, this or that.' He'll have some issues, but the football plays, the brain he is, the way he competes, I expect good things."
The versatility that has allowed Pocic to serve as a backup at multiple spots, and now likely help at left guard, is "really why we took him," Cable said. "We said that when we drafted him; we thought he was the most valuable guy in the draft because of his ability to have played so many positions at LSU, and it certainly has been paying off for us right now."
The best photos from the Seahawks' Tuesday practice at Virginia Mason Athletic Center in preparation for Sunday's Game against the New York Giants.