Peters’ Seattle Seahawks debut just one reason to highlight O-line
Oct 31, 2023, 11:33 AM
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
The big news with the Seattle Seahawks right now may be Monday’s trade for defensive lineman Leonard Williams, but the team provided plenty of reason for excitement the day before.
Adorning the franchise’s vintage throwbacks, the Seahawks stunned the visiting Cleveland Browns 24-20 on Sunday after rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba scored a go-ahead touchdown – the team’s first points since the opening quarter – with just 38 seconds remaining.
On Monday’s Pete Carroll Show, the team’s head coach joined Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk Show and crowned the team’s heroes from Sunday after taking over the second seed in the NFC with the win. His pick might surprise you.
Offensive line’s best game of the season
“The heroes were the tackles,” Carroll said.
That’s saying something considering the Seahawks’ line was facing Cleveland’s Myles Garrett, one of the premier defensive players in the game. Garrett recorded two tackles and a sack in the loss, pushing his season total to 8.5 sacks, tied for the third-most sacks this season. He’s currently on pace for a career-high in sacks while already tying his career-high in forced fumbles with four in just seven games played. He remains one of the favorites for this year’s Defensive Player of the Year award alongside fellow pass rushers T.J. Watt and Micah Parsons.
“What a great job (left tackle) Charles Cross did, a fantastic job. He took a guy that’s the hottest in the game and played him all the way to the hilt,” Carroll said. “And then Stone (Forsythe) did his job on the other side. In the last drive, they moved Myles over to the other side, and here we got Jason Peters up against Myles Garrett, and he handled it right through the whole game.”
That’s when Carroll shared some serious praise for the O-line.
“Myles, who’s an incredible football player, looked like a regular guy for those moments,” he said. “That’s what we hope to do. When guys come through, when teams come through, they make other teams look normal when they’re really good. And this was a loaded freaking team and we took them on and slugged it out and got it done.”
Co-host Brock Huard said that while there may be better offensive lines, he’s convinced the Seahawks have one of the deepest groups in the league at the position as they’ve played well despite injuries to key players. Carroll couldn’t help but agree.
“It is by far,” Carroll stated. “It’s the guys being able to come through all these tough games and play at the same level as the starters. It’s been a remarkable, kind of quiet line this early part of the season. I was so fired up about Charles because that’s Charles arriving. He was up against it and then Stone played great and then Jason got a chance to play.”
The 41-year-old Peters is a likely future Hall of Famer, as he has nine Pro Bowl nods under his belt and has been in the league since 2004. He finally made his Seahawks debut after spending over a month on the practice squad, during which he dealt with a quad injury of his own, by rotating with Forsythe at right tackle.
“We just rotated him because he deserved to get in there,” Carroll said of Peters. “It wasn’t anything Stone did wrong at all, we just played all the guys and they all came through.”
Despite the injuries and constant rotations, quarterback Geno Smith has been sacked just 14 times through seven games. Only Patrick Mahomes, Tua Tagovailoa, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen have been sacked less this season (minimum seven games played).
Rookies, veterans both thriving on line
When Huard asked Carroll if he’s ever had two bigger players on one side of the O-line than when the Seahawks featured Peters (listed at 6 foot 4, 328 pounds) next to rookie right guard Anthony Bradford (6-5, 332) on Sunday, the response had just as much to do with the dichotomy of their experience.
“No, I don’t know that we’ve had,” Carroll replied. “Isn’t that something with the ying and the yang of it? One guy just starting and one guy at the end of culminating an extraordinary career. That’s a cool relationship. And let me say this, when Jason came in here, he said he was going to lose 15 pounds and he just did. He lost 15 pounds, got his weight down where he wanted it to be.”
As for Bradford, Carroll joked that he’s still learning how to balance an NFL athlete’s caloric intake.
“I don’t think he’s ever been fed this well before,” Carroll said. “He hasn’t quite figured out how to balance that yet. But he’s working on it.”
Bradford was the first lineman the Seahawks drafted in 2023, picking him at No. 108 in the fourth round. He has since paired with fifth-round center Olu Oluwatimi as the two rookies on the offensive line.
“(Bradford) is really physical and I think I’ve probably said that to you a few times,” Carroll said. “If you watch the games, there will be a handful of plays where he’s just going to destroy the guy that he’s blocking. That’s unusual that he’s got that and it doesn’t always work for him. He’s not always calling on it properly, technique-wise and tactically, but he’s getting better. He’s learning. He’s busting his tail and he’s doing good.”
The Seattle Seahawks, winners of two in a row and four of their last five, travel to Baltimore this Sunday to face the Ravens, the fourth-ranked team in the AFC.
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