RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Going into the final week of the preseason, the Seattle Seahawks are solid on the interior of the offensive line.
Out on the edge, at the tackle spots, the situation remains unsettled.
Bradley Sowell, J’Marcus Webb and Garry Gilliam have rotated between left and right tackle throughout training camp with nothing solidified through the first three preseason games. How the positions finally shake out is one of the few points of interest for the Seahawks going into Thursday’s preseason finale against Oakland.
For now, it appears Sowell is ahead in the competition to start at left tackle, but offensive line coach Tom Cable said nothing has been settled at either tackle position.
“There is competition really cranking at right tackle. It doesn’t mean it’s done at left; it’s not. But that is ahead of where we are at at right tackle,” Cable said on Sunday. “The competition is all three guys, but right now it’s pretty heavy at right tackle.”
Thursday’s preseason win over Dallas was the third straight week the Seahawks went with Gilliam at right tackle and Sowell at left tackle. Webb’s calf injury earlier in training camp precipitated changes to the original plan of having Gilliam at left tackle and Webb on the right side. So did Sowell standing out in the early days of training camp.
When Seattle made its moves in the offseason to address the offensive line, Sowell was deemed a secondary option after Seattle made the decision to flop Gilliam from right tackle to the left side. Now, it appears Sowell could end up being the starter when the season begins on Sept. 11 against Miami.
“I think they know they’re going to get someone who will show up every day, fight really hard,” Sowell said. “For the most part I’ve been consistent with knowing the plays and doing what they ask me to do.”
The Seahawks had to alter some offensive line plans when Webb was slowed by a calf injury just before the preseason opener against Kansas City. At that point, the Seahawks moved Gilliam back to the right side, where he played last season, and they have stayed that way for three straight games.
Webb played well against Dallas, getting time on both sides. All got close to equal playing time against the Cowboys: Sowell was in for 26 plays, Gilliam for 24 and Webb for 20.
How Webb plays this week against Oakland could determine if he goes into the season as the starting right tackle, leaving Gilliam as the reserve option for both positions.
“He did a very solid job on the right side and flipped over and was very comfortable on the left side. It’s not necessarily obvious that the guy was going to be able to do that,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “He looked very good in practice during the week, so we got him a few snaps there just to show us the flexibility that we may have moving forward, when you have to adjust and move things around.”
NOTES: Seattle did not announce any roster moves Sunday and Carroll said none would be announced until Tuesday morning just before the deadline. … Carroll said rookies DT Jarran Reed (ankle) and TE Nick Vannett (ankle) both will not play against the Raiders and both are “in a race” to be ready for the regular-season opener. … Undrafted rookie WR Tanner McEvoy (groin), making a push for a roster spot, is likely to miss the preseason finale.
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