Despite camp holdout, rookie McIntosh shining on offensive line

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Thursday, October 19, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

KIRKLAND – Maybe it took a little longer than some of his fellow rookies, but Chris McIntosh is beginning to make quite an impact for the Seattle Seahawks.

McIntosh’s first start last weekend drew guarded praise from the coaching staff, which sees a bright future ahead for the 22nd overall pick in the April draft.

“We’re pretty pleased with where he is right now,” offensive line coach Tom Lovat said Thursday.

After missing all of training camp because of a contract dispute, McIntosh has slowly been worked into the playing rotation. He finally got his first start in Sunday’s 37-24 loss to Indianapolis, and it doesn’t appear as if McIntosh will lose hold of the starting role anytime soon.

“He’s going to be one of those guys who each week, hopefully he can progress and get better,” coach Mike Holmgren said.

McIntosh has already moved ahead of 20th overall selection Stockar McDougle, who has not been able to play for the Detroit Lions this season because of a knee injury. McIntosh is one of only five rookie offensive linemen currently starting in the NFL.

“Coming in here and missing all of camp, he’s making good strides,” Lovat said. “Had he been in camp, no telling how good he’d be right now. There’s a lot of reps that you’re having to catch up on now, and it’s hard.”

  • Huard expects to practice today: Brock Huard took another day off beause of a groin injury, but the starting quarterback said he expects to practice today and be on the field for Sunday’s game at Oakland.

    “I have to get my work in and get the rhythm in with the offense,” Huard said. “Jon (Kitna) has done a great job the last two days. I need to make sure (Friday) I can go full speed on Sunday so we’re on the same page.”

    Guard Pete Kendall also missed most of Wednesday’s practice after a stinger he suffered two weeks ago appeared to flame up. Kendall was visibly angry, and had to watch the final hour of practice from the sidelines while center Chris Gray shifted over to his left guard spot and Robbie Tobeck took over at center.

    Kendall was not added to the injury list. Huard is still listed as questionable for the game.

  • Running woes: If your name is Tyrone Wheatley or Napoleon Kaufman, chances are you’re licking your chops this week.

    The Seahawks have seen four running backs this season – and six in the past nine games – break the 100-yard barrier against them. The question this week is, will it be Wheatley or Kaufman who puts up his first 100-yard game of the season?

    “They’re both real good backs, plus they have a very fine (offensive) line,” Seahawks defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell said. “And they have the threat of being very consistent throwing the football. Those things add up to make a real fine running game. Their running game is not complicated in any area, but they just execute it well.”

    Sidwell’s main concern isn’t who will break the century mark, but what Seattle can do to stop its current trend of giving up rushing yardage. The Seahawks rank 26th in the NFL in that category, allowing an average of 137.9 rushing yards per game.

    “That’s where the great wealth of our problems lie at this point,” Sidwell said. “If you can’t do that, then you don’t have much of a chance to do anything else. Then all you’re doing is playing calls to stop the run, and those aren’t necessarily the best ones to stop the other team.”

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