By Liz Mathews
Some lessons are learned the hard way, and for Seahawks rookie right guard John Moffitt, those lesson were learned in Saturday night's 20-7 preseason loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
"There's a little more work to do," Moffitt said in the locker room after the game.
The Seahawks' revamped offensive line – minus starting left tackle Russell Okung – was put to the test on Saturday night, and helped the first team offense amass an unimpressive 139 yards in 39 plays to wrap the first half of the game.
"I think in particular the offsides on that drive when we had a lot of momentum going, that kind of kills drives," Moffitt said. "And I think that was kind of the theme of the night.
"We just can't shoot ourselves in the foot."
With penalty prevention also a major focus in practice, and players running laps for each penalty earned, Moffitt said that Pete Carroll put it best when he said, "We're beating ourselves."
Moffitt was charged with one false start Saturday night, his first penalty of the preseason.
But despite the relative youth and inexperience on the line, expectations remain high for the group from a rebuilding standpoint, and with just three weeks of camp and only two preseason games in the books, there remains plenty of time to pick up the pieces and move on to the next lesson.
"This is my first year, but I assume this is why you play preseason games and this is why you practice," Moffitt said. "I think we got things ironed out from last week to this week, I think there was a bit more of a glare just with certain penalties and certain things that kind of stopped the drive, then on top of the fact that it was a loss."
"You work towards it – I know we want to work towards it."
With a proven history of shoring up lines, Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable is now the man tasked with getting the job done.
"Coach Cable is a great coach and he's a great teacher," Moffitt said. "He's not trying to chew me out. Maybe he will down the road and maybe I'll deserve it then. He just kind of taught things and shows you why things happened. I don't wanna go out there and make a mistake. I wanna do my job. So I think he understands that.
"He looks like an intimidating guy, and I wouldn't want to be on the other side of a bar fight with him, but he's a great teacher and I really respect him and really have learned a lot already and want to learn more as we go."
For Moffitt, the emphasis has been – and will continue to be – on both his personal technique and the finer points of playing the line.
"I think my pass protection, I have learned a lot from him, all the way up to the mental aspect of the game," Moffitt said of Cable's tutelage. "I couldn't just sit here and say one thing, but it's been a learning experience."
With the regular season opener now less than one month away, the offensive line classroom is likely to be a very busy place.
Rookie right tackle James Carpenter also spoke with the media Saturday night after the game. You can listen to that interview here.