Surprisingly, likely the most polarizing figure in the Seahawks coaching staff is not Pete Carroll but Tom Cable, who some love and many hate for the ongoing boondoggle that is the offensive line.
Sure, Pete Carroll can annoy some people with his relentless positivity and his coachspeak, but perhaps the one coach on the Carroll staff that polarizes Seahawks fans more is assistant head coach and offensive line coach Tom Cable.
The former Oakland Raiders head coach came to Seattle lauded for his blocking schemes that repaired a terrible Oakland attack into a respectable team. Cable was likely the plan for Seahawks general manager John Schneider all along, a respectable coach to bolster a cheap offensive line.
Schneider built the Seahawks we know today by drafting star players and making shrewd free agent signings like Michael Bennett. But after those once-cheap stars like Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and the rest finally earned their NFL paydays, something had to give.
So the Seahawks let Russell Okung walk and traded Pro Bowl center Max Unger for tight end Jimmy Graham. Suddenly the offensive line that took Wilson and company to the Super Bowl was gone. And that’s where Cable is supposed to come in.
Schneider and Carroll probably thought that by bringing in Cable, they could get a serviceable offensive line for a tiny fraction of the total team salary pie.
The problem is, Cable’s results have been uneven. The Seahawks’ latest loss at Lambeau Field is another dip in what has been a peak-and-valley tenure for Cable’s unit since 2015.
More from Emerald City Swagger
- Seattle Seahawks: To rest or not to rest, that is the question
- Washington State Football: What you need to know for 2018 Alamo Bowl
- Washington Basketball: 3 takeaways from Huskies win over Sacramento St.
- Seattle Seahawks: 12s still waiting to exhale
- Seattle Seahawks: 4 Takeaways from 26-23 Loss to the 49ers
Rees Odhiambo was woefully unprepared for a starting left tackle taking over for former power forward George Fant. Isn’t that part of Cable’s job? To prepare Odhiambo for his first start? It’s impossible to simulate NFL game action, of course, but everyone knows the Packers will try to come after Odhiambo at Wilson’s blindside, so, I dunno, coach him up… I guess?
And another thing about Fant: He bulked up this offseason, trained hard, added muscle and weight to hold up against NFL defensive linemen, probably at the urging of Cable and the offensive line staff… then he tears his ACL in Preseason. Did the relatively fast weight increase put more stress on his knee tendons?
It’s hard to know if Cable is at fault or if Schneider simply hasn’t provided him with enough talent to mold into a protective shell for Wilson, which he desperately needs. Cable is careful to never badmouth his players to the extent that to listen to him, you’d think Seattle’s offensive line is the best in the NFL, not the worst. Is it all a ploy to hide the unpreparedness of his players?
These are hard questions that only a few people in the world know. What anyone knows who watched the Seahawks latest Lambeau defeat is that the offensive line has to be better. That’s the obvious truth. What’s less obvious is who’s to blame when the unit fails.