Halfway through preseason play, the Seahawks are still trying to sort some things out before deciding on a starting offensive line, and while coaches like plenty of what they've seen so far, they're also in no hurry to make any decisions on starting jobs.
"What day is the first game?" offensive line coach Tom Cable asked reporters when a question was posed about settling on a starting five. Told that the opener against Miami was on September 11, Cable answered, "September 11.
"I just think we have a lot of work to do between now and then to make that decision. Quite honestly, it would be really premature to say, 'This guy should do that, or that guy should do this,' because we don't know. We haven't seen (J'Marcus) Webb play yet. It looks like we're going to this week, but until we can evaluate that, it's really difficult to give you that answer."
The Seahawks have started the same line in their two preseason games—Bradley Sowell at left tackle, Mark Glowinski at left guard, Justin Britt at center, Germain Ifedi at right guard and Garry Gilliam at right tackle—but as Cable noted, until Webb is healthy, the Seahawks don't know for sure what their best combination is at tackle. Early in camp, Gilliam was working on the left side with the No. 1 offense and Webb was the starter on the right side, but since Webb went down with a knee injury, Gilliam has been on the right with Sowell on the left side. Webb is on track to play in this week's preseason game, head coach Pete Carroll said, so in practice this week and in the game, the Seahawks will have a chance to look at more combinations at the two tackle spots.
"Oh no, we're not done with any of that," Cable said when asked if Gilliam was done playing left tackle. "You going to see a lot of things this week before it's over with."
Yet even if things are still unsettled, particularly at tackle, Cable likes what he has seen overall from his line from the beginning of camp up to what he saw in Thursday's game against Minnesota.
"Lots of improvement," Cable said. "We kind of took another step, fit the run game better, finished better, got our pads down better. Pass-pro was really good in so many instances, so we just have to clean up a little bit of communication."
Carroll was also mostly positive in his assessment of the line after reviewing the film saying, "We ran the ball really well again, so that's two weeks of going out and really working the line of scrimmage and getting the running game going. We probably averaged almost five and a half yards a carry in the first two games. It was very consistent and solid. Pass-protection wise, we liked what happened the first week, and there's almost a storyline for every one of the sacks that we had, that it's pretty clear and obvious what happened. We're better, and we're going to be better. I don't like the (sack) numbers that hit us last week—we have to work together. There are really obviously reasons for what happened, so hopefully we'll make good progress against another good group, a group that really attacks the line of scrimmage this week and see if we can keep getting better."
The Seahawks kicked off preparations for their third preseason game on Sunday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.