Tom Cable says Seahawks emphasizing pass protection


The team whose former head coach once lamented the absence of “dirtbags” on the offensive line now hopes that its offensive linemen will keep its quarterbacks from being treated like bags of dirt.

After allowing 50 sacks in 2011, Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable says that a major effort will be made in the coming season to keep the quarterback on his feet.

“I’m personally disappointed in how we protected the quarterback, and we’ve made that a big emphasis to clean it up,” Cable recently told Bob & Groz on ESPN 710 in Seattle.

As Brady Henderson of the station’s website explains, the Seahawks last year had two rookies playing offensive line, and they faced some very good pass rushers.  Still, the 29 sacks allowed in the first eight games was more than nearly 25 percent of the league permitted.  All season.

“It starts with the system and everybody understanding it,” Cable said. “When to redirect, when not to, how to spot the box and all those things that go on in the middle of the play — and getting everybody on the same page because so many of our sacks last year were that problem, not being on the same page.”

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson holding the ball for too long also may have been a factor, but the team can address that situation by not allowing Jackson to play quarterback.

Injuries and ineffectiveness on the offensive line have plagued the Seahawks in recent years.  Regardless of the talent amassed at the skill positions, those players can’t use their skills if the quarterback doesn’t have time to distribute the ball to them.

Of course, the irony to all of this is that the former Raiders head coach has taken it upon himself to keep the team’s quarterbacks from, yes, getting their jaws broken.