Seahawks Insider

Hawks change approach on OL

Post by News Tribune Staff on Nov. 30, 2006 at 10:20 am with 16 Comments »
November 30, 2006 10:20 am

For years the Seahawks have stuck to their same five offensive linemen almost no matter what (barring injuries). They seemed to do this even several years ago, when the line seemed like it need an infusion of new talent in a couple spots. The line played great last season, ending talk about the need for changes. Injuries have forced some shuffling this season.

Mike Holmgren has also altered his philosophy a little bit. As Holmgren implied yesterday, he envisions Rob Sims as a starter in the not-too-distant future. The team has already experienced lots of turnover at left guard, so Holmgren has decided it wouldn’t hurt to work Sims in there. By his thinking, the team will be better prepared if something happens to Floyd Womack, who has a long history of injuries. And if Sims outplays Womack in the short term, they’ll be in position to make the change outright.

Holmgren: “We like Rob Sims. We think he has a bright future. While ‘Chop’ is doing a good job in there, if you don’t plan for it and you just say ‘Listen, as the game kind of evolves, we’ll stick this player in,’ you forget. Or the emotions of the game kind of get you and you say, ‘No, we better not do that.’ So I said I don’t want to do that. I want him to play a little bit. You never know. With the injuries we’ve had in the offensive line, the experience of playing a guy can help him down the road. I hope we don’t have any more, but it just prepares him for the eventuality that he might play. So we did it. We might do it again, I don’t know that. We’ll have to decide that.”

Asked if the move represents a change in philosophy, Holmgren said: “We’re not doing that with a guy who is a five-year veteran or a six-year veteran. We’re doing it at a position where we’ve had three guys play there this year. So I think that has allowed me to do what we’re doing. If we had a veteran in there, we wouldn’t do it, if he had experience there. Because when I say that, I believe it. The continuity in the offensive line is very, very important. I don’t even know if we are going to do it again this week. I can’t tell you that.”

Coaching Decisions
Leave a comment Comments → 16
  1. Hey Mike. I heard a rumor that Chop was getting reps at RG in practice. Any truth to this? I think that once Lock gets back that RG is going to be our weakest link on that line.
    I love everything that Gray has done for us, but he’s getting a little long in the tooth and it’s really starting to show on the field IMO.

  2. I like the fact that Holmgren is being proactive with this. We can’t rely on PC too heavily due to his unfortunate luck with injuries and he is a FA next year so who knows what will happen. Mike, if this is the new approach, do you think we will be seeing anything from Ray Willis at RT? IMO, Ashworth has done an average job so far and if Willis played well, this could free up Locklear to play RG next year, assuming Gray is not resigned.

  3. Long in the tooth helps Gray (aptly named) tutor Spencer and assist with line calls, etc. in the absence of Tobeck. If Tobeck can get back, then the possibility exists that another RG could substitute and ‘be ready’ for the unexpected, to paraphrase Holmgren.

    Interchangeability, I believe is undervalued in the NFL. Due to a limited number of players, advantages can be gained and are often not realized. Didn’t most of the players grow up playing both sides of the ball? Is there a major reason why more teams don’t carry more flexible players that can cover more than 1 or 2 positions? I know specialization is a major reason, but overall depth would be incentive enough.

  4. I think the bigger issue is that Porkchop can play mutiple positions. Ashworth apparently can’t do guard or LT very well, and Spencer didn’t do LG very well. Porkchop can do guard or tackle on either side. Right now we’ve got a RT who’s hurt and not playing, and a LT who’s hurt and is playing. It also is relevant that Spencer is playing well at Center now, but got experience being out their first playing at LG.

    It’s still interesting to me that there are percieved problems with RG, but in training camp Holmgren singled out Grey as the guy who had the best camp.

    It’s also possible that Holmgren let Sims play this week because of who they were playing against. Perhaps he thought Green Bay’s defensive line is poor enough that Sims wouldn’t be pushed too hard. That said, if I’m coach I’m not going to telegraph when I do this so that the other team can prepare. I’d be surprised if they do that this week, just because they don’t want to be predictable.

  5. andelero says:

    I don’t think substitutions at left guard, announced or not, are going to require a rework of the defensive game plan.

    What do the coaches think of Ray Willis? Is he on the same “we like him” level as Sims? It would be nice if Willis got the opportunity for a little work at RT.

  6. nomorereg says:

    Yeah Mike, what about Willis, he was a great prospect and supposedly has some attitude

  7. Pest: They move the linemen all over the place in practice. Womack works at right tackle some, with Sims at left guard. That is one example. That way, they are better prepared to adjust on the fly when injuries knock out a guy during the game. … Willis is behind Locklear and Ashworth on the depth chart. That is why he is not playing. Locklear was the incumbent starter. Ashworth was signed for depth. Willis is still in the developmental stage, but behind those other two. He didn’t seem to have a great exhibition season, particularly.

  8. PapaHawk says:

    Just a guess Mike, correct me if I’m wrong. Let’s pretend Spencer gets hurt and has to come out, Chris Gray would slide over to play center, right? (assuming Tobeck can’t go). Then you would need to plug in somebody at RG, presumably Pork Chop and then put Sims at LG. Hence, the importance of playing lots of combinations in practice. Gray was a center when we brought him in here, wasn’t he? (back before electricity). Of course, we don’t want that to happen, but stuff happens.
    Kind of like if Branch or Jackson were to get hurt, Burleson would step into either of those positions…whereas Hackett has nicely adopted Bobby’s role.

    Aren’t you glad we have versatile depth? Instead of starting 8 rookies like the Packers.

    Another thought on Pork Chop. The dude is 335 lbs. I imagine rotating him in Denver is a good idea. I doubt he’s got the most “wind” for playing at High Altitude. This would be a nice week to have D.D. Lewis back…any word?

  9. PapaHawk says:

    I just checked out a Bronco blog. Hilarious. They are calling for the Defensive coordinator’s head, and they hate their punter and Darrent Williams. Some of them realize that Plummer was only a part of their struggles, however, nobody mentioned that there is a new offensive coordinator this year or that they are missing their starting LT. I know, if we had a new offensive coordinator and were missing our starting LT, our offense would struggle.

    Also, they are buying the Cutler Jersey like its going out of style.

    If the Hawks can run it well and do a decent job of stopping the run, Seattle will win. But those are two BIG ifs.

  10. Thanks Mike! What’s the latest on Tobeck? I know he’s out of the hospital but I’ve heard nothing on him returning to practice or if he will again this year.

  11. Leroyhill says:

    THank you very much for your answer to my Womack-Sims question.

  12. Doc_Bucket says:

    Where’s john friesz?

    How about ground chuck?

    Hadn’t really thought about the altitude part in relation to chop-but yeah, every other series wouldn’t hurt.

    Let’s throw the ball deep to Darryl Turner, I mean Jackson, then run run run the football!

  13. wow, i was excited about the new offensive line that was on display sunday. what i would like to see is either sims or womack out there together one playing lg and the other playing rg, not trying to knock gray because he has played well but that would be what i would like to see.

  14. dyoshida says:

    This will date me but I remember when Edwin Bailey and Reggie McKenzie (of OJ fame in Buffalo) alternated at LG. I believe it was Bailey on first and second downs or obvious run downs and Reggie came in to pass block. Sims and Chop are the latest…

  15. The real question is do they ever try anyone out at LT for a few snaps? The day is coming where they will have to confront that awful situation.

  16. reshumate says:

    I think as of right now, Locklear would be the heir apparent at LT. He’s the only guy we have on the roster with the skill set to be a good LT.

    Of course, we have to re-sign Lock first.

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