Huard: Seahawks’ interior O-line a big part of run game struggles

Dec 14, 2023, 2:04 PM

Seattle Seahawks...

Evan Brown and Damien Lewis of the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 2, 2023. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

(Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The Seattle Seahawks are known for a few things under Pete Carroll. Maybe more than anything, what sticks out is the team wanting to run the football.

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While that has been a strength of the Seahawks for most of Carroll’s coaching tenure, that has not been the case in 2023.

Entering Monday’s matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Seahawks are 28th in rushing yards and 22nd in yards per rushing attempt this season.

There have been some injuries, such as running back Kenneth Walker III missing two full games, but overall, the run game has not worked for the Seahawks this year.

Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard points to the offensive line – more specifically one part of it.

“I know there’s been movement at tackle, but by and large Jason Peters has done a nice job, (Jake) Curhan before him filled in for Abe Lucas, and Abe has done a nice job the last couple of weeks being back,” Huard said. “(Left tackle) Charles Cross is, again, one of those young studs and is a difference-maker for you in the years ahead. But the guard to guard has just not been good enough.”

Seattle’s Week 1 starting offensive line saw Damien Lewis at left guard, Evan Brown at center and Phil Haynes at right guard. Lewis and Brown have each missed one game, while Haynes is now on injured reserve after being in and out of the lineup early in the year with a calf strain. With Haynes sidelined, rookie fourth-rounder Anthony Bradford has played a lot this season.

“The problem is it’s not just one guy. It’s not just, OK, Phil Haynes struggled … or Damien Lewis is struggling, or Evan (Brown) is struggling, or big, big boy Bradford,” Huard said. ” … Because what happens is just consistently, it’s hard to run the football in the NFL. You have to have those five guys largely do their assignment right – or at least four of them – and win. And that’s just not happening.”

Huard said that when you look back on Seattle’s rushing attempts, the Seahawks often have two or three guys win their blocks, but one or two guys lose their matchups and the play doesn’t work out.

“Every single one of them, you look at those plays and you’re like goodness, if you could just all consistently do it. And guard to guard has been a challenge,” Huard said. ” … Guard to guard has just got to get better here down the stretch.”

What about rookie center Olu Oluwatimi? Could he give the interior of the offensive line a boost?

“I mean, obviously they’ve got all that evaluation behind the scenes through practice and everything else,” Huard said. ” … He moves people and he’s a bigger presence than Evan Brown is, but I think Evan brings you a ton of leadership, a ton of communication and at least is setting the table right, even if you’ve not been able to move the dishes the way you want to.”

Listen to the full second hour of Thursday’s Brock and Salk at this link or in the player near the top of this story.

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Huard: Seahawks’ interior O-line a big part of run game struggles