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Originally published Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Seahawks guard Rob Sims switching from left to right

This was Rob Sims' moment to shine for a captivated audience. It applauded and smiled at his every word, and he returned the affection by...

Seattle Times staff reporter

This was Rob Sims' moment to shine for a captivated audience. It applauded and smiled at his every word, and he returned the affection by thanking the group for what they do.

Then Sims, the Seahawks' right guard and son of a teacher, took questions from a group of 24 Seattle Public Schools educators being honored Tuesday for outstanding leadership and instructional skills as part of the Symetra Heroes in the Classroom program.

"I'm an offensive lineman. I don't get these Q&As," Sims wisecracked from inside the Seahawks locker room at Qwest Field. The teachers and those listening laughed at his jokes and sarcasm.

All kidding aside, the third-year pro is getting an education of his own as he makes the move from left guard — where he started all 16 regular-season games last season — to right guard, now that the Seahawks have signed veteran Mike Wahle to be the left guard.

"At first I was kind of upset," Sims admitted when asked about switching positions. "I thought I had proven that I can be the left guard here for a long time. After that, I kind of was excited for the challenge. It's just something new that I can add to my career and say that I did."

It took Sims only a couple of days of the first team minicamp in May to start liking right guard.

"I'm kind of kicking myself for getting mad in the first place," Sims said. "It's one of those deals where this game is kind of territorial, and it's one of those things where you get excited too fast before you need to. Now I feel great about it."

Moving to right guard is Sims' latest challenge. Last season, his playing time was reduced for a time as a message from coach Mike Holmgren to improve.

"I care so much about this game. I care so much about the team. I care so much about what I'm doing here," Sims said. "I know in the end I'll persevere and be fine and be better for it."

Sims, 24, must get his footwork correct as he gets used to the new spot. But before that, he needs to get healthy.

Sims might be limited in his participation at the Seahawks' June minicamp, which opens in less than two weeks. He is rehabilitating from minor right-knee surgery he had May 6.

Yet he feels fine. "As soon as I came out of it, they [doctors] looked at it and said 'You're already a week ahead of schedule,'" Sims said. "I'm the kind of guy that thinks I can go right now ... it's looking like I'm only going to miss three days of minicamp."

Sims was on crutches for two days after the surgery but looked to be walking without a limp Tuesday. And for good measure, his remarks to the teachers would have made his mother, Brenda, who is retiring from teaching in Ohio this year, even more proud.

José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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