Middle men

A lot of attention has been focused on the edges of the Seahawks’ defensive line, and rightfully so after the club produced 28 sacks last season.

The coaches are looking to get faster at one end – the Leo spot, as outlined in this story. They want to be bigger on the other side – as coach Pete Carroll explained in this story.

But what about the middlemen? That would be nose tackle Colin Cole, who was signed in free agency last offseason; and three-technique tackle Brandon Mebane, who moved from the nose last year with the arrival of Cole.

Here’s what Carroll had to say about each player during his wrap-up following Monday’s OTA practice:

 

On Mebane at the three-technique – “We like him there. We just hope he will continue to grow as a player and we want to develop his pass-rush ability. It’s a position where you really do get a lot of good opportunities to rush the passer. We would like him to be effective there. He is the strongest he has ever been. He is in really good shape. He seems to be very explosively quick right now. There are different styles of guys that play that spot, but if we could use his quickness and ability to penetrate he could be a very effective player. So we are hoping that’s going to happen.”

Mebane, a third-round draft choice in 2007, started 10 games as a rookie at the spot that plays over the center and produced two sacks. He started 16 games in 2008 and collected 5½ sacks. Last season, after the move to the three-technique, Mebane had 1½ sacks in 15 starts.

On Cole at nose tackle – “He is the right kind of body type that you are looking for in what we are doing – and we want a big, strong guy. We like that he is over 300 pounds (328). He understands the game well. He can anchor right in the middle like you need. If we are able to add on like we think we can do with Red (Bryant) playing over there (at end) and Cole, we get big quick. Which we need to be. The people in our division continue to work to load up with some big dudes and we need to be able to matchup on the line of scrimmage. Those guys will give us the chance if everything keeps moving forward.”

Cole never started more than four games in five seasons with the Green Bay Packers. But he started 15 last season, when Cole registered 48 tackles.

As for their backups, Craig Terrill and Bryant are the incumbents; Kevin Vickerson (6-5, 321) was acquired in the draft day trade with the Tennessee Titans that also delivered running back LenDale White but has been sidelined with a hamstring injury; rookie DeMarcus Granger (6-2, 320) was signed after the draft; Robert Henderson (6-3, 275), an end acquired in the trade that sent guard Rob Sims to the Detroit Lions, has been getting some work inside; and E.J. Wilson (6-2, 289), a fourth-round draft choice as end, also has gotten some reps at tackle.


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