BY Art Thiel 07:04PM 09/09/2019

Thiel: Biggest first-game flop? Seahawks O-line

Neither pass-blocking nor run-blocking well, the Seahawks’ offensive line, which didn’t play together much in preseason, didn’t look ready for the opener.

RB Chris Carson found lots of traffic in the Seahawks backfield Sunday. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

After quarterback and linebacker, the one position unit the Seahawks were all in on for 2019 was the offensive line. But after the first game Sunday, the Seahawks might want to claw back a chip or two.

Neither in run-blocking nor pass protection did the line distinguish itself, helping account for a modest 233 yards of total offense and the biggest disappointment in the unexpectedly tight 21-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, 4-12 last season.

Coach Pete Carroll skipped his usual supportive qualifiers and was, for him, direct.

“It was not as good as we expected,” he said in his Monday afternoon post-mortem with reporters. “We thought we’d come out more efficient than that in run game and pass protection.

“The run game would have helped us with play action. (The Bengals) did a nice job. They  totally planned on us (running) and did really good job with their coaching. (The line play) wasn’t as good as we hoped, and we’ll do quite a bit better.”

Earlier in his weekly Monday show on ESPN 710 radio, he used the word “arrogant” to describe the Seattle playcalling once it was discovered that the Bengals front four (and often five), led by Pro Bowl DT Geno Atkins, were even more stout than advertised.  The Seahawks rushed 25 times for 72 yards, 21 coming on RB Chris Carson’s run inside the final three minutes that helped keep the ball away from the Bengals until it was too late.

“We thought we would be able to knock them off the rock,’’ Carroll  said, and were “a little arrogant with our stuff at them.

“We didn’t get to all the stuff we wanted to do.”

The style worked well enough last season to lead the NFL in rushing, and made the offense one of the most efficient. But in the second quarter, C Justin Britt was shoved back and collided with TE Will Dissly, injuring both. Dissly left the game with a sore knee. Britt left and returned quickly after Ethan Pocic moved over from left guard for a play.

After a career-high 51 sacks last season, QB Russell Wilson was sacked four times and hit nine times.

“We got knocked off on the play into the backfield more than we were counting on, and the penetration messed up the timing,” Carroll said. “It wasn’t one guy. It was different guys that had issues with some pretty intricate, finesse things things we do.

“Good attack by them. They were able to get an edge on us.”

LT Duane Brown offered no argument.

“We didn’t get a lot of plays in the preseason, but it’s no excuse. We’re a veteran group and we know what to expect,” he said. “We have to be able to come out and play to a certain level. We didn’t start off that way.

“In pass pro, we’ve got to keep Russ clean – bottom line. So I’ll be better, we’ll be better as a group.”

Carroll said LG Mike Iupati, who played one play Sunday in Britt’s absence, will practice this week after missing most of the preseason.

Yes, the Seahawks considered WR Antonio Brown

Despite having been thrown away by two teams in the past year for various misbehaviors, WR Antonio Brown was looked at by the Seahawks before the New England Patriots Saturday swooped up the NFL free-agent desperado.

“We are involved in everything,’’ Carroll said. “I’ve been telling you that for a long time and we seriously mean we are trying to know what’s going on with every opportunity to get better.

“If we missed one of those, we messed up. So we did know what was going on in that one.’’

The Seahawks have a shortage of veteran receivers, and Brown’s talent would be a game-changer. But his actions with the Steelers and Raiders were so disruptive that each club unhooked from him.

The Patriots signed him to a one-year deal for $9 million, with incentives that could make the total $15 million. He didn’t play in the Patriots’ season-opening 33-3 win over Pittsburgh Sunday night.

Carroll said due diligence was done to find the whole story on Brown.

“We just weighed in on the situation to know exactly what was going on,” he said. “That’s what we needed to know, and why wouldn’t you? He’s a great player; see what’s going on. Not everything is always what it seems.

“You’ve got to check into stuff and figure out what’s going on. I have confidence in our guys and (general manager John Schneider), and our coaches, that we can figure those things out and see what’s best. I don’t mind getting real close to the edge of it and figuring it out.”



  • 1coolguy

    The Oline was the most disappointing group that I saw – their line play was horrible, especially in the first quarter – They were getting clobbered and RW was running for his life every play. I wanted to look at the sidelines and see if Cable was back! What other excuse could there be? Brown alluded to no playing tine in the preseason and I don’t doubt that had something to do with it.
    If anyone (even though he was a self-absorbed jerk) has any questions what-so-ever about the exceptional talent we had in Thomas, watching this game of DB mishaps answers every question. Earl roamed the deep zone like Willie Mays in center, and had a hand on practically every ball, causing the QB’s to respect him and throw AWAY from him whenever possible. its a whole new game now for the DB’s, who like guards for the Lakers, knew that Chamberlain was back there to enforce the lane.
    Let’s hope the Hawks get smart real quick, as the Steelers are wanting to lay the wood on someone after their Patriot debacle.

    • coug73

      Cable is a Raider coach now and the Raider OL looked very good Monday Night. Quick, mobile and physical the Raider OL performed at a high level.

      • art thiel

        So you’re taking on the Cable rehabilitation saga. You go, dude.

        • coug73

          Did you see the game? Prehaps better talent on the Raider OL.

    • art thiel

      Thomas’s value was an asset well beyond one out of 11. Very hard to replicate, so the Seahawks are compensating with an improved front seven. But until Reed, Clowney and Ansah are together, winning games falls to the offense.

  • Husky73

    Someone in this room– smarter and funnier than me– posted last year that “Ifedi” translates to “orange traffic cone.”

    • art thiel

      Four of SEA’s penalties were pre-snap, which I attribute to first-game awkwardness. Regarding Ifedi, the signal was when his fifth-year option went untaken.

  • jafabian

    Expected better play from the Hawks considering their opponent and that they were playing at home. It goes without saying that the week will be used to review the game, work out problems and get ready for another supposed team in transition with the Steelers. Both the offense and defense were spotty which probably is due to rust from the offseason as it were. The injures to Britt, Dissly and Ugo Amadi hopefully are minor. If there’s any glaring weakness of this team it’s their depth.

    If the Hawks picked up Brown I’d think the 12’s would have collectively protested. When you have a team as young as the Hawks you don’t want a veteran prima dona around those players. Doug Baldwin would probably say if the team is that desperate he might as well limp back on to the team.

    • art thiel

      My guess regarding Brown is fan displeasure was a minimal consideration. As always, teams expect controversy will blow over when the player delivers. Some Pats fans are dismayed, but it will go away with the first TD reception.

  • Kevin Lynch

    Honestly, it’s a really interesting group of QB’s the Hawks play this year. With Tyler in Arizona showing some stuff last week (late in that game) you can say there isn’t going to be a single week that Seattle won’t face someone who could potentially light up the secondary. That was not true last year.

    • art thiel

      Good point. That’s why the one-year risk was taken to get Clowney.

  • Matt712

    A surprising admission from Carroll, to call the playcalling “arrogant.” I hope Shcotty was listening. It was this same ‘arrogance’ we witnessed last year in Dallas that ended the season for the Seahawks.

    To be clear, I’m not a Schottenhater as many around the local interwebs seem to be; I think OCs in general get more than their share of blame when execution from players is usually the culprit. However, when a defense stacks five guys on the line, you’d think, after that Cowboys game, there would have been lessons learned and the Seahawks would have made adjustments sooner than late in the 3rd quarter.

    • art thiel

      Fair point. Although I didn’t realize there were Schottenhaters yet, although I suppose the Dallas playcalls started the fire.

      • Matt712

        Yeah, Schottenhaters gonna hate.

  • 1coolguy

    Looks like JS and PC dodged a bullet. Not necessarily the one they knew about, but AB has so much baggage something was bound to arise. I bet Davis, Mayock and Gruden are pleased AB is someone else’s problem.

    • art thiel

      I don’t think Brown was seriously considered, but mostly because of cost, not character. Besides, Brown wanted NE.

  • tor5

    Reading about the Antonio Brown saga the past few weeks, I kept thinking about the long history of talented wide receivers with impossible personalities (Terrell Owens, Randy Moss, Ochocinco, etc.). Not sure why that often goes together, but then I thought about Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and even the new kid, DK Mecalf. All such stand-up guys. We’re blessed, man!