Rookie J.R. Sweezy earns starting job with Seahawks

Sep 5, 2012, 4:59 PM | Updated: 5:19 pm

By Liz Mathews

Rookie offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy will start at right guard on Sunday in the Seahawks’ regular-season opener at Arizona.

Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that Sweezy earned the spot over incumbent starter John Moffitt, last year’s third-round pick. Moffitt recently returned to practice after having minor elbow surgery at the start of training camp. Sweezy had started in Moffitt’s place throughout the preseason.

J.R. Sweezy

“He did it the old-fashioned way of hard, tough, day-after-day ball,” Carroll said.

Sweezy was selected by the Seahawks with the first of two seventh-round picks out of North Carolina State. A defensive lineman his entire career, Sweezy hasn’t played on the offensive side of the ball since his youth football days.

“When I first came in everything was the complete opposite, it’s the best way to put it,” Sweezy said Wednesday. “It was just a matter of learning when to use my aggressiveness and then being able to sit back, let things happen, let things develop and then attack.”

Carroll saw glimpses of Sweezy’s ability from the beginning and was impressed with how quickly he learned. Carroll praised veteran linemen Max Unger and Breno Giacomini for helping Sweezy with his transition.

“What we do get out of him is a really aggressive kid,” Carroll said. “He’s really tough. He’ll make plays. If you keep your eye on him, he’s going to make plays — knocking people down, getting out on the perimeter and getting downfield. He’s got this nature of hitting people that we just loved.”


• Carroll said running back Marshawn Lynch participated in Wednesday’s walk-through but will continue to be listed as day to day. Lynch has been sidelined the majority of the preseason with back spasms. Rookie Robert Turbin will be taking the snaps with the first-team offense this week.

• Wide receiver Golden Tate is dealing with a sprained knee he sustained during a punt return in the final preseason game. Tate didn’t practice Wednesday, but Carroll hasn’t yet ruled him out for Sunday.

• Wide receiver Doug Baldwin “looks ready to go” per Carroll after sitting out the majority of training camp with a hamstring injury.

• “Everything’s a factor,” Carroll said of the decision to release tight end Kellen Winslow. The Seahawks signed Evan Moore on Sunday to be their third tight end.
• Defensive end Greg Scruggs (hamstring) did not practice on Wednesday. Guard James Carpenter (knee) was limited.

• The Seahawks practice Thursday at 1:30 p.m. Starting quarterback Russell Wilson will speak to the media before practice.

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