Seahawks adjust O-line

RENTON — Adjusting to injuries on the offensive line is nothing new for the Seattle Seahawks.

Feeling confident the next player up is ready to do his job, however, is different.

By overhauling the roster over the past two seasons, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider believe they have created a deeper team, top to bottom. Over the last four games, they’ll find out just how deep they are on the offensive line.

Left tackle Russell Okung was placed on injured reserve Tuesday because of a torn pectoral muscle he sustained in last Thursday’s victory over the Eagles. Seattle has now lost three of its five starting linemen for the season following last month’s injuries to right guard John Moffitt and right tackle James Carpenter. But unlike the past two seasons when Seattle has often had to sign players, then rush them onto the field — who can forget Tyler “Troy” Polumbus starting at left tackle when Carroll didn’t even know the new tackle’s first name — this year’s Seahawks have players on the bench they believe can do the job.

Paul McQuistan, who has started six games this season at both guard spots, will move to left tackle to take Okung’s spot. That leaves a vacancy at right guard, where McQuistan was starting for Moffitt. That role will now be filled by Lemuel Jeanpierre, who has started one game this season at center.

“We pretty much have to head in that direction,” Carroll said. “Hopefully it will work out fine. Paul’s not unfamiliar with playing tackle, so that helps. The fact that these guys have been with us and we don’t have to go outside of the organization and the system to get guys is really very fortunate, and it does speak to the depth that we started camp with.”

McQuistan will have a tough task moving to left tackle, arguably the second most difficult position on an offense behind the quarterback. But he has played a bit at that position, most recently in 2008 while in Oakland. He also started at right tackle in 2007.

“Different stance, that’s about it,” McQuistan said. “The speed of the guys is a little different. … It’s more of a finesse spot than guard. It’ll be a good challenge over there.”

McQuistan, who was signed in the offseason, played in this system under Tom Cable in Oakland. Cable is now the Seahawks’ offensive line coach. Jeanpierre, meanwhile, is well versed in the Seahawks offense despite limited game experience. Last year he was on Seattle’s practice squad as an undrafted rookie, and he made the 53-man roster this year as a backup guard and center.

Now Jeanpierre plans to show he can help Seattle’s line not miss a beat despite another injury. Seattle has rushed for 100 or more yards in each of the past five games, something it hasn’t done since 2005, and injuries or not, the line doesn’t plan on taking a step back.

“I’m happy they have faith in me to go in there and step in,” Jeanpierre said. “I’ve got to work my butt off and prove them right.”

As for playing guard and center, Jeanpierre said he doesn’t see much difference in the two: “It’s two big guys hitting each other, that’s how I see it. … Once that ball is snapped, you’re making contact.”

With McQuistan moving to tackle and Jeanpierre, the backup center, moving into the starting lineup, the Seahawks signed guard Mike Gibson on Tuesday. Gibson, who can play guard and center, spent last season with the Seahawks, starting eight games at both guard positions. He was released following training camp in September.

Herald Writer John Boyle: For more Seahawks coverage, check out the Seahawks blog at

Talk to us

More in Sports

Third-place finishers Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker pose with their medals in the championship ice dance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Community sports roundup: More medals for local ice dancer

Kamiak graduate Jean-Luc Baker earns a bronze medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Washington State offensive lineman Abraham Lucas (72) looks on during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Utah Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Archbishop Murphy grad Lucas will return to WSU next season

The All-Pac-12 second-team offensive lineman from Everett opts not to declare for the NFL draft.

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (32) is one of 23 unrestricted free agents the team has to sort through this offseason. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
POLL: Which free agent should the Seahawks prioritize?

Who among Seattle’s 23 unrestricted free agents should the team target for re-signing?

File-This July 20, 1977, file photo shows American League pitcher Don Sutton of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 48th All-Star Game in New York Sutton, a Hall of Fame pitcher who was a stalwart of the Los Angeles Dodgers' rotation spanning an era from Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela, died Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. He was 75. The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, said Sutton died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a long struggle with cancer. The Atlanta Braves, where Sutton was a long-time broadcaster, said he died in his sleep.  (AP Photo, File) (AP Photo, File)
Sutton, Hall of Fame pitcher for Dodgers, dies at age 75

The four-time All-Star never landed on the injured list during his stellar 23-year career.

Seattle Mariners J.P. Crawford, left, and Kyle Lewis run together off the field against the Oakland Athletics in a baseball game during the Mariners home opener Friday, July 31, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Mariners ready to take ‘step forward’ in 2021

The ‘step back’ rebuild that began in 2019 is starting to see results at the big-league level.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll tosses a football before an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Pete Carroll should stay — and reexamine the way he does things

It’s time for the highly successful Seahawks coach to re-evaluate what’s best for the team.

Seattle Sounders defender Brad Smith (11) poses for a photo with head coach Brian Schmetzer, left, and vice president of soccer and sporting director Chris Henderson, right, following MLS soccer training, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, in Tukwila, Wash. The Sounders acquired Smith, who is from Australia, on loan from English Premier League club Bournemouth in a deal announced Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Sounders’ Chris Henderson hired by Inter Miami

The Cascade High School product will join Manchester United greats Phil Neville and David Beckham.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles away from Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Leonard Floyd during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Final grades for a Seahawks season left wanting

Inconsistencies are a big reason Seattle is not still playing football.

Washington forward Hameir Wright, left, and UCLA guard Tyger Campbell dive for a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
UW leads at half, but comes up short in loss to UCLA

The Huskies fall to 1-11 on the season with a nail-biting 81-76 loss to the first-place Bruins.

Most Read