Seahawks News and Notes: Carpenter, Carlson and Gurode

Heading into the final week of the 2011 preseason teams are starting
to make moves to shape their teams for the upcoming season. Earlier in
the week Seattle cut ties with former first round pick Kelly Jennings
trading the cornerback to Cincinnati. Now longtime Dallas Cowboys center
Andre Gurode is an unrestricted free agent after refusing to
restructure his contract.

ESPN.com’s John Clayton reported that Gurode met with Seahawks
officials Tuesday during a visit but no word on any contract offer. A
five time Pro Bowler Gurode had offseason knee surgery which questions
how he will hold up this season. He rejected a reconstructed contract
offer which forced Dallas to cut the two time All Pro center. He was
scheduled to make $5.5 million this season.

With that being said here are some news and notes for the Seattle Seahawks this week.

First round pick James Carpenter being demoted?

When the Seahawks selected Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter
with the 25th overall pick it was thought to be a major reach. With
Carpenter’s poor performance during the preseason the starting right
tackle position has opened up again. Breno Giacomini, who was with
Seattle during the 2010 season will be competing with James Carpenter at
right tackle.

Pete Carroll said Carpenter still has the starting spot but that he
has to earn it these next two weeks. Both have the massive stature at
6’7 318 for Giacomini and 6’5 321 for Carpenter and Carpenter has the
slight edge in talent. Carroll will leave it up to his philosophy to
find the answer at right tackle.

“It’s a competition that we’re just continuing,” Carroll said.

Tight end John Carlson out for the season with torn labrum.

With the off season signing of Zach Miller from Oakland now that much
more crucial Seattle lost a major game plan on offense Tuesday. Third
year tight end John Carlson will have season ending surgery to repair a
torn labrum. Carlson missed the last two preseason games after suffering
a shoulder injury during the Chargers preseason game.

Carlson and Miller were expected to be a major part of Seattle’s
offensive plans this season using two tight end sets. With Carlson out
Seattle will have to rely on Anthony McCoy and Dominique Byrd to backup
Miller. While Carlson had a standout rookie season in 2008 his role has
diminished due to poor offensive line play the past two years.

The injury comes at a bad time for Carlson who is in the final year
of his original four year rookie contract. Not playing this season and
the addition of Zach Miller could mean Carlson won’t return after this
season. However Pete Carroll has spoken highly of Carlson so it’s likely
he will return.

Seahawks bring in former Dallas Cowboy Andre Gurode for a visit.

With the instability and poor performance of the Seahawks offensive
line this preseason Seattle might be looking to shake things up through
Andre Gurode. Gurode, 32, had played his entire career in Dallas before
being released Monday. While he’s not the best option Gurode could still
bring a stable veteran presents to a young offensive line.

However Seattle has tried and failed with this same exact approach in
recent history. Mike Wahle in 2009, Ben Hamilton in 2010 and Robert
Gallery in 2011. While Gallery has played only three games so far the
offensive line has still been a major issue.

With Gurode being a center it also would seem like a hard fix to work
out. Max Unger is already at center and has played well this preseason.
John Moffitt has played well at right guard as a rookie and offensive
line coach Tom Cable said Moffitt is a lock at right guard.

James Caprenter, the Seahawks first round pick has played poorly but
Carroll said he is competing with Breno Giacomini only for the starting
right tackle slot. Gurode has never played any position outside of
center and Max Unger has only played inside at guard but not tackle.

While Gurode would be a solid addition it’s going to be a hard sell
when the younger players need playing time and seasoning, not sitting on
the bench.

Other news and notes:

-Former Redskins runningback Clinton Portis will visit the Seahawks
this week according to NFL.com insider Jason La Canfora. La Canfora also
tweeted he’s not likely to sign but will visit Seattle regardless.

-Seattle signed two wide receivers Wednesday Chris Carter and Patrick
Williams. Ben Obomanu and Sydney Rice left practice early so both could
sit out the final preseason game just as precaution.

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