Rookie T James Carpenter excited for first NFL game
Aug 11, 2011, 1:50 PM | Updated: 3:05 pm
By Liz Mathews
Seattle’s first-round draft selection, tackle James Carpenter, is ready for his big debut Thursday night in a Seahawks uniform.
“I’m very excited,” Carpenter said Tuesday after practice. “I’ve been working with [offensive line coach Tom Cable ] and the veterans have been getting me ready. I’m ready for this game.”
First-round pick James Carpenter will start at right tackle for the Seahawks this season. (AP)
Carpenter said that he has already learned a great deal from Cable in the few short weeks the team has been allowed to practice since the end of the lockout and the start of training camp.
“He’s a real smart coach and has been doing this a long time. He’s helped me out a lot,” Carpenter said, adding that both Robert Gallery and Russell Okung have been active in getting him up to speed on the line and in preparation for his first game.
But for Carpenter and the rest of the rookies who missed the valuable OTAs, minicamps and team meetings as a result of the lockout, the lack of an offseason presents an overwhelming challenge.
“Certainly, the games are very important, particularly for the young guys,” Pete Carroll said Tuesday during his press conference. “The hard thing for the young guys in this camp is that they didn’t have the OTAs. They don’t have the same competitive opportunity that they’ve had in other years. This is an absolute race for these guys to learn information by game time.
“If you can imagine 14 OTAs and all of the hours of meetings — 40-something hours of meetings that they would have had up until now — and all of the extra work they would have done. You can’t equate that. We’re never going to get that time for these guys going into this season. So they’re at more of a disadvantage because of the lockout than any other year.”
But Carpenter isn’t thinking about the lack of an offseason right now. He’s focused solely on game day and what he can bring to the team.
“We are all growing together and are working very hard,” Carpenter said of his fellow linemen. “Both of us are very physical — that’s our game. So we’re going to be pretty good come Thursday.”
The Seahawks signed defensive tackles Teryl White and Ladi Ajiboye, both rookie free agents. To make room on the 90-man roster, the team released free safety Brett Johnson and linebacker Michael Johnson.