Experience vs Titans could give Oday Aboushi nod this week in lineup

posted by Curtis Crabtree - 

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks

RENTON -- While the scoreboard didn't seem to show it, the Seahawks offense did take strides forward last week against the San Francisco 49ers.

But while the offense was improved, it's not stopping the Seahawks from exploring potential changes to their lineup this week against the Tennessee Titans.

Head coach Pete Carroll, offensive line coach Tom Cable and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell aren't saying specifically what personnel changes could be made this week, but Cable gave a pretty strong indication of one place that could see a switch.

Mark Glowinski was the one piece along the offensive line that appeared to struggle most against the 49ers last week. Oday Aboushi nearly beat out Glowinski for the starting job in preseason and could get the chance to play this week against the Titans. It also helps that he has plenty of experience playing Tennessee having come over for the Houston Texans this offseason.

"For him and Luke (Joeckel) both there's great familiarity with this group playing them twice a year," Cable said.

"It's good for the room actually, talking to them about not only players but the scheme and all that I think has been really kind of a nice deal for us this week."

So what would Aboushi bring to the table should he get the chance to play?

"I would think veteran leadership, consistency, having been in there and done this a lot, so that’s a thought," Cable said.

The Titans will be a sizable challenge for the Seahawks to handle. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is one of the more distinguished coordinators and the league and brings a wide range of pressure packages to the table for an opposing offense to handle.

"This is a really good group. I love the test," Cable said. "I'm excited for our group to be able to go out there and battle these guys. You've got two really good outside (linebackers) and the whole front, I think they're all guys that are really (draft) picks, good players.

"That's why I'm excited about it. The physical test of this group is going to be really, really good, but also what we're up against in terms of this pressure package and where they're at and where they come from. But that's something we've done well so far in two games - targeting the pass protection hasn't been an issue, the run game got cleaned up a little bit last week. Hopefully, we'll continue that."

A few dropped passes, a few misread run chances by running backs and some inconsistent offensive line play made the game much closer than it should have been against the San Francisco 49ers.

For as good as Chris Carson was last week - 93 yards on 20 carries - he missed some holes that were opened for potential big gains as well. Cable also cited an over-excited nature from Thomas Rawls that led to some issues as well in his first game back.

"I think that's something that has to improve and we're working at that. It was nice in the fourth quarter particularly last week," Cable said.

Add in the dropped touchdowns from Tanner McEvoy and C.J. Prosise and the game could have looked a whole lot different at the end of the day.

Finding consistency offensively is still a work-in-progress, but there were positive signs from last week's performance. If the Seahawks make a successful tweak on the offensive line, there's a chance the group could find its footing in the near future.

Notes:

-- Tight end Jimmy Graham did not practice on Wednesday and his status won't be known until later in the week. Graham sustained an ankle injury in Sunday's game against the 49ers. Carroll said Graham believes he has a chance to play.

"He’s not going to practice today and we will wait a couple days to see how he does. He’s had the same injury before and we think he’s got a chance to do it.  His mind is that he can play but we will have to wait  and see later in the week.

Graham was injured in the second quarter and briefly left the game before returning to finish the contest. He was injured when 49ers safety Eric Reid tumbled into the back of his legs on a run play.

-- Cornerback Neiko Thorpe isn't ruled out for this week after injuring his ankle against the 49ers last week. Thorpe injured his ankle when linebacker Michael Wilhoite tumbled into it from the side on a kickoff return. He did not practice on Wednesday.

"He’s moving around OK," Carroll said. "It’s not out of the woods here, he’s got a chance, so we’ll see. That’s a big deal to us; Neiko’s been a very effective special teams player and he’s a tough dude on our football team. We’ll miss him if we can’t have him."

-- Linebacker Terence Garvin did not practice with a shoulder injury that kept him out of last week's game against the 49ers. His status for this week remains unclear but Carroll has not ruled him out.

"He has a chance," Carroll said. "He’ll get a little bit of work today, and then we’ll see how he does in the next couple of days and see if he can get back out."

-- Left guard Luke Joeckel (knee), defensive end Marcus Smith (illness), linebacker Bobby Wagner (thigh) and wide receiver Doug Baldwin (family matter) did not practice on Wednesday. Cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring) and wide receiver Paul Richardson (finger) were full participants.

-- Titans wide receiver Corey Davis has been ruled out for this week's game with a hamstring injury.

Injury Report:

Photo Credit: SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks looks downfield to pass during the third quarter of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on September 17, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

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