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Swartz: Rookies Learn On The Fly With Seahawks

Who knew Justin Britt would become one of the more reliable and healthy starters on the Seattle Seahawks offensive line?  Did anyone believe undrafted free agent Brock Coyle would become a starting middle linebacker in week eight of the season?

Against the Oakland Raiders last week Coyle did a solid job filling in for an injured Bobby Wagner.  The University of Montana product admits it was an emotional moment running out of the tunnel into CenturyLink Field.

“It was special to run out and be a part of that game and a starter for that defense,” Coyle told me before Wednesday practice.  “It was something I’ve been working for my whole like, but again, this is Bobby’s (Wagner) spot.  I’m just trying to do the best I can do until he gets healthy, but it was fun.”

Wagner (turf toe), is out again this Sunday against the New York Giants, along with tight end Zach Miller, who still needs more time to fully recover from ankle surgery.

Justin Britt was the Seahawks second round draft pick, and expected to battle Michael Bowie for the starting job.  The University of Missouri product has taken his lumps against some of the top pass rushers in the league.

“There’s things I still need to get better doing, things I need to make a habit in practice and the games.   I’ve learned a lot and enjoyed playing next to J.R. Sweezy, and all the other veteran o- lineman,” Britt told me.

For much of the second half against Oakland, Britt and Sweezy were the only offensive line starters playing.  Seattle was forced to use 4th string center Patrick Lewis, and converted college tight end Gary Gilliam as a left guard.

The Seahawks rash of injuries meant Brock Coyle was also responsible for interior blocking during punt protection.  The Raiders exploited the situation and blocked Jon Ryan’s kick for a touchdown.

Coyle doesn’t expect that to happen again.  “Every single game we take our mistakes from the experiences and correct them and get better this week.  I’m just doing the best I can on special teams and defense, just growing every game.

*******************

Running back Marshawn Lynch was among eight players who sat out Thursday’s practice due to injuries.  Lynch is dealing with a calf problem.  OL James Carpenter (ankle), C Stephen Schilling (knee), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), S Kam Chancellor (groin) and DL Michael Bennett (toe) did not participate.

-Bill Swartz-1090TheFan

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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