Seahawks Respond to Mora's "Analysis"
Max Unger (Getty)

Posted Dec 18, 2009


An offensive-line coach in the National Football League for over 30 seasons, Mike Solari is experiencing a rough patch in his second year serving in the same position for the Seattle Seahawks. His team's head coach, Jim Mora, basically blamed Seattle's failings on offense on the struggles and the lack of cohesion of the offensive line.

Mora questioned the toughness of the guys up front, saying he needed more players who brought with them a "dirt-bag" mentality on the field.

"You're either tough or you're not," Solari said about the toughness question. "It's not something that you develop. It's something that you work on in training camp. You hit, you pound and so forth, and it's something you build on. Again, these guys are competing and working hard, we just have not been effective.

"We've got to do better as an offensive line, and I've got to do better as a coach."

Seattle has had its share of injuries up front, with the projected starting line missing a combined 23 games so far this season.

Offensive guard Rob Sims, who missed two games with an ankle sprain, said the fact that he and other linemen have not been credited with playing through injuries is an issue.

"Everybody at this time, their bodies are beat up," Sims said. "I'm not sure. I don't see how much you can get tougher. Spence (Chris Spencer) has a broken thumb and is snapping with his left hand and has a messed-up elbow that is probably my fault.

"I'm going to have to ask Coach Mora exactly what he means by toughness. But I know my guys up in that (offensive-line) room, we play with pain, we don't get much credit for what we do, and the stuff we do bad we get ridiculed for."

However, the Seahawks have started the same five players up front for the last five games, but they've been woefully inadequate in protecting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

In order to rectify the situation, Seattle has had Spencer, who has struggled snapping the ball with his left hand while playing with a broken right thumb, switch positions with right guard Max Unger.

Unger, a rookie, has started 13 games at right guard this season. But he was drafted as a potential future starting center, with Spencer becoming a free agent at season's end.

"Chris has done a commendable job going from a right-handed snapper to a left, and it's really a difficult thing to do," Solari said. "Your steps and angles change dramatically. He made that change going into the Arizona (Nov. 15) game, and it's just something where we're not getting consistent snaps, so it's something we've got to do."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Matt Hasselbeck told reporters on Thursday that his sore right shoulder feels fine and he'll be ready to play on Sunday.

--LB Aaron Curry (hip) was a full participant in practice on Thursday and could play on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

--WR Nate Burleson (ankle) is out for this week but is a possibility to return to the field before the season ends.

--LB D.D. Lewis (knee) was a full participant in practice and should be available for Sunday.


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