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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.



September 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM

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Line 'em up: Russell Okung, Chester Pitts both practicing

Posted by Danny O'Neil

Left tackle Russell Okung practiced Wednesday, his sixth day of practice since training camp opened.

Yes, just the sixth. He missed the first week before signing his rookie contract, and was injured early in the second exhibition game.

His return is just part of a shakeup along the offensive line as Chester Pitts is preparing to play left guard as he continues his recovery after knee surgery last week.

Those are two reasons coach Pete Carroll singled out the offensive line as an area of great hope for the Seahawks.

"Of all of the things on the football team right now, I'm most excited about the potential of us improving up front," Carroll said. "Without question, we should be able to get better, and that's hugely important because we haven't run the ball like we want to yet. We've pass-protected fine as we've talked about. We have a chance with Russell getting back in there -- shoot, he's our No. 1 pick -- and he looked great in all of the work that we had so we're really excited about him coming back when he's ready.

"Chester is a guy we know has started, and is an effective player in the league, that knows the system and should be able to help us there and just makes us stronger and better. Stacy (Andrews) will get better. He has only been here a couple weeks as he's learning the stuff. That's not to leave out the guys that are coming on.

"We'll see where they fit in time, but if you can imagine all of the weeks and weeks and weeks we've put together with the guys that have been here, it's just going to take a while and we have to be patient in these evaluations, and hopefully we'll have good fortune and allow them time to grow and improve and support us as we go."

Q: With the changes up front is there any change in teh scheme you're using?

Carroll: We're still trying to stay with what we've prepared as we continue to be dynamic and grow and not get static here. We're not satisfied so we're going to continue to learn about our players and adapt as we go. Some of that is unfortunate, but that's just the life we're living with right now so we have to go with it and we'll see what happens, and if we can find some things that help us a little bit, we're going to adjust. Prudently, we'll make those decisions and hopefully do that really well.

Q: Alex Gibbs is known for some who has a very specific prototype for what he likes at offensive line. His departure does that change the specs you look at in an offensive lineman?

Carroll: Honestly, we've just come off of three 3-4 teams, and we've got five more before the season is over. A little bit different scheme emphasis that is happening in the league with the 3-4 emphasis. Guys are a little bigger, and they're playing a little bit different style. They're playing a little bit tighter to the offensive linemen. We're seeing that half of the schedule calls for guys that can really do a nice job on those guys. It doesn't mean you can't do it with guys that are a little bit smaller, but as we grow we want to get stronger, and more aggressive and see where that takes us. We'll develop it as we go through the schedule. This is the first time this week that we'll play a team that isn't a 3-4 team. We're anxious to see how we're suited there, and we'll find it out as we go along.

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