We had a chance to talk to new offensive tackle Robert Gallery and Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable this afternoon, and both provided some good perspective on the expectations of this year’s line, and Gallery’s role in bringing the young guys up to speed.
As expected, Gallery said that Cable played a major role in the Iowa product selecting the Seahawks.
“(It was) a very big factor,” Gallery said. “I now how he coaches, how he treats guys, and the way he handled himself as the head coach and the line coach in Oakland. And also the situation here, obviously it’s a great place. It’s run well from top to bottom, as I’ve learned even more being here.
“It was a big factor. I wanted to continue to be able to grow under him, and everybody knows how much I respect him.”
And Gallery said he’s embraced his role as the veteran leader for Seattle’s young line.
“I’ve been lucky to be under some great veteran guys in my career, and it’s my time to help lead these guys,” Gallery said. “I know this offense. I know what it takes to be good in this system and how you have to play, and the type of person you have to be, to be a good lineman in Coach Cable’s system. And I take pride in that. And I look forward to helping these young guys because there were guys that helped me when I was younger, and now it’s my turn.”
Cable said in talking to reporters today that getting Gallery in the fold was important for the growth of the offensive line.
“His experience in it (Cable’s running scheme) in the last, four years, he’s kind of seen everything,” Cable said. “From learning it from the beginning, to getting it to a point to where it’s the best in football, whether it’s running or throwing, he’s kind of gone through all of the ups and down and having to put a system in and grow with it.
“His value is extreme in that he can’t practice yet, he can’t be involved. But he can certainly be a sounding board for those guys.”
And one of the most important things that Gallery said the young guys will have to learn is toughness. Although technique also is important, Gallery said the mental aspect of the game will provide the edge his teammates need to be successful.
“Some guys don’t have that mentality,” he said. “Not all guys will be like that. But if you’re like me, I live for that stuff. The down-field stuff, the cutting guys – all legal stuff – but it’s stuff that slows guys down. That’s football, and as long as you’re doing it to the whistle, or right up to it, that wears on defensive guys.”
At 6-7, 325 pounds with a long, dark curly mane and a caveman beard, Gallery strikes an imposing presence, but he was well-spoken in addressing reporters this afternoon.
“My mom would be upset if I wasn’t well spoken and didn’t handle myself right,” joked Gallery. “I guess the persona is good. I guess if the right people are intimidated, that’s great. But I’m just like everyone else. I don’t pretend to be some bad boy.”
Gallery said he’s had a beard ever since he’s been in the league.
“When you look this good with it you’ve got to keep it,” quipped Gallery.
Here are a few tidbits from practice.
* The Seahawks confirmed the signing of cornerback Kelly Jennings today. He’ll get an opportunity to compete for the starting cornerback job opposite Marcus Trufant, a stacked competition that includes Walter Thurmond, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman.
* WR Dominique Edison had a nice practice today, catching two deep balls in one-on-one against cornerback Ron Parker and Kennard Cox during practice.
* WR Kris Durham made a nice, back-shoulder catch on a throw from Charlie Whitehurst against Brandon Browner.
* The Seahawks switched last year’s seventh-round pick Jameson Konz to defense today, and they are trying him at Leo defensive end. Konz did play some linebacker at Kent State, but was drafted as an H-back.
* Speaking of Whitehurst, he had his best practice of the training camp today, throwing the ball much crisper and showing better accuracy.
* Also, according to ESPN’s Adam Schfeter, linebacker Lofa Tatupu has a visit schedule with the Oakland Raiders.
* The Seahawks also confirmed the signing of former Tampa Bay defensive lineman Ryan Sims, who will see some time at 5-technique and defensive tackle for Seattle. Seahawks defensive line coach Todd Wash, who coached Sims in Tampa Bay, talked about Seattle’s newest addition.
“I know a little bit about Ryan,” joked Wash. “We had Ryan for 2 and half years in Tampa. He’s lost a lot of weight and stuff. He’s made a real commitment to get back in the game and bust his hump. So we’re excited about having Ryan and to get him in here and compete.”