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Originally published September 21, 2011 at 10:01 PM | Page modified September 22, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Paul McQuistan next to step into Seahawks' hole at left guard

With Robert Gallery out, 330-pounder to start on offensive line.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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RENTON — Paul McQuistan makes 13.

Since the Seahawks lost restricted free agent Steve Hutchinson to Minnesota in 2006, the turnstile at left guard began turning at a pace unlike any other position on the team.

The list of replacements: Floyd "Porkchop" Womack, Chris Spencer, Rob Sims, Mike Wahle, Mansfield Wrotto, Steve Vallos, Mike Gibson, Ben Hamilton, Chester Pitts, Tyler Polumbus, James Carpenter and Robert Gallery.

Gallery, the $15 million free agent from Oakland, was supposed to solidify left guard, but the 31-year-old, eight-year veteran missed the season opener with a sprained right knee.

He played last week in Pittsburgh, where he suffered a groin injury that required surgery and will force him to miss four to six weeks.

Now McQuistan moves into the spot on the offensive line that has become Seattle's black hole.

"I don't read too much into that stuff," he said. "I'm part of the line, part of the team. You just got to go out there and do your job and do it well."

At 6 feet 6 and 315 pounds, McQuistan is a big bulldozer who has the physical characteristics that Seattle looks for in linemen.

The first-year Seahawk also has experience with the offensive schemes and offensive-line coach Tom Cable after spending nearly four seasons in Oakland from 2006 to 2009 when Cable was the head coach.

"I kind of know what he looks for," said McQuistan, a six-year veteran. "I know how he is, how he coaches and how he likes the run game.

"(The offense) is pretty much exactly the same. There's different tweaks. And there's different what he calls window dressing, but it's pretty much the same. Same philosophy. Same everything else."

So far the results have not been similar.

Last season Oakland was second in the NFL in rushing yards per game, and Seattle is last among the league's 32 teams after two games at 47.5 yards.

Despite Gallery's injury, Cable believes the Seahawks are nearing a breakthrough to fixing the running game.

"We're really close to it," he said. "I think we're just around the corner. I expect it sometime soon. The next couple of weeks, I hope."

Rice practices, might play Sunday

Sidney Rice practiced Wednesday without limitations, which is a positive sign he may make his Seahawks debut Sunday.

Rice missed the first two games due to a sore shoulder.

"He looks like he's ready to go," Carroll said. "His mentality is he's ready to go. He is not even thinking about anything but that. We'll have to make a good decision on that when the time comes. We're day to day on this deal with him."

Notes

• LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) returned to practice after missing last week's game with a hamstring injury.

• FB Michael Robinson (ankle) did not practice, but could return this week. DE Raheem Brock (not injury related), CB Byron Maxwell (ankle) and OT Jarriel King (ankle) also did not practice.

Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or pallen@seattletimes.com

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