Was offensive line at fault in Seahawks' loss?
When asked what positions will be under scrutiny on the Seahawks offensive line, coach Jim Mora had a simple answer: all of them. "I'm going to consider the change at all five spots," Mora said.
Seattle Times staff reporter
HOUSTON — Chris Spencer didn't know exactly what went wrong with his snaps Sunday.
Maybe the ball went a little sideways. Perhaps he didn't get it high enough as he snapped the ball with his left hand because his broken right thumb requires a cast.
But three snaps wound up on the grass at Reliant Stadium during Seattle's 34-7 loss to the Texans, leaving Spencer like his coaches — searching for an explanation.
"What happened today was embarrassing," Spencer said. "I just don't know, I just don't have an answer."
Coach Jim Mora said he considered replacing Spencer at center in the middle of the game, given the issues with the snapping.
"We've got a center that's trying to snap with his left hand," Mora said, "and has a cast on his right hand, which he's had on it seems like forever, which I'm not quite sure why he's still got a cast on his hand, but he does. And that is a factor. That is a big factor.
"You see it affecting on shotgun snaps. You saw it affecting a lot of our running plays today. The timing on offense has to be crisp. And when you can't get the snap to the quarterback, you've got no chance of having a successful play."
Consider that the start of a very thorough review of Seattle's offensive line, which Mora vowed will take place after Sunday's game.
"We are going to take an extremely hard look at that over the next two days," Mora said of the line. "I can't promise you there won't be changes. If there are changes that need to be made then we will make them even at this late [stage] in the season."
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was sacked three times, but that doesn't give a real indication of how often he was hit.
"It has been bad for the last couple of weeks," left tackle Sean Locklear said of Seattle's protection. "Matt, he's gotten hit more these last three weeks than I can remember since I've been here. And there's no answer. It's us. It's the front five and the backs."
Texans rookie linebacker Brian Cushing clobbered Hasselbeck on Seattle's first play from scrimmage after the quarterback released the ball, the result of a miscommunication between Seattle's running backs.
Hasselbeck had to leave the game for a time in the third quarter after he was hit by linebacker DeMeco Ryans on a pass that resulted in a completion to Nate Burleson.
Hasselbeck returned from the injury but the Seahawks' problems remained, including one of the most fundamental parts of an offense: the snap.
Spencer has a cast on his right hand because of a broken thumb he suffered in the days leading up to Seattle's game at Arizona. Spencer played in that game, snapping left-handed without a problem. He wouldn't blame the injury for what happened Sunday.
"I haven't got any excuses, man," he said.
Two of the botched snaps occurred with Hasselbeck under center. One occurred when Seneca Wallace was in the game for Hasselbeck in the third quarter.
Spencer is a free agent after this season, and one of the options Seattle may consider is rookie Max Unger, who is starting at right guard. Unger played center his final two seasons at Oregon before being chosen in the second round by Seattle.
When asked what positions will be under scrutiny on the offensive line, Mora had a simple answer: all of them. "I'm going to consider the change at all five spots," Mora said.
Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364
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