Originally published Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at 8:48 PM

Seahawks will not rest starters against Oakland

Usually the final exhibition game is a chance for backups to play for a spot on the roster, but the Seahawks offense needs all the time it can get playing together.

Seattle Times staff reporter


Exhibition, Oakland @ Seahawks, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 5

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The fourth and final exhibition game is always important.

The significance, however, is usually concentrated among those players fighting for roster spots and a future in the league.

The Seahawks, however, aren't just sweating the final pieces of their 53-man roster this week. The offensive line remains very much a work in progress to the point that Seattle will deviate from standard-operating procedure of resting veterans for the exhibition finale.

Seattle's starters will play on Friday night against Oakland at CenturyLink Field. Coach Pete Carroll wouldn't say how much, but he implied the first unit is going to play. In fact, he was already fairly certain of that after Saturday's loss in Denver when he watched starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson get sacked five times.

"We still need to play," Carroll said after the game. "I'm not sure what the numbers will be, but we still need to play. We've got things we've got to get done."

The Seahawks don't have much time to do them, either. Seattle's regular season begins on Sept. 11 in San Francisco, which is frighteningly close when you consider it took the first-string offense more than six quarters on the field to reach the end zone.

Carroll rested seven of his starters in the final exhibition game last season, including quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. That wasn't a precedent, though.

"I don't care about tradition in the fourth preseason games," he said. "That matters nothing to me. We'll do what we've got to do."

And what Seattle has to do is maximize every opportunity to sand off the rough edges from the offseason rebuilding project. The Seahawks have a new offensive coordinator, a new offensive line coach, two rookies on that line and four free agents signed to be starters within the past five weeks, including the quarterback.

The quarterback, Jackson, is actually the one who might be feeling more familiar than most since he played under Darrell Bevell, Seattle's new offensive coordinator, the past five years in Minnesota.

"We've got some work to do," Jackson said after Saturday's game. "That's obvious."

Jackson has been under center for 19 possessions during this exhibition season. Those drives have resulted in 14 punts, 10 points and seven sacks. Even that doesn't give a true indication of how much pressure Jackson has been under.

The pass rush has been so severe that it's difficult to evaluate how Jackson has played.

"We haven't had as much opportunity as we would have liked to get the ball thrown down the field," Carroll said. "However, when he's been given the time, he's done very well and he's been very accurate with the football and does a terrific job of getting out of trouble."

Time is one thing that is running out during this training camp that could be mistaken for the Seahawks' new employee orientation. Friday's exhibition game will be one last mic check before the results will be reflected in Seattle's record.


• Seattle re-signed receivers Chris Carter and Patrick Williams on Wednesday, releasing punter John Gold and cornerback Ron Parker to make room. Carter and Williams were added for depth because WR Sidney Rice (shoulder) and WR Ben Obomanu (head) did not practice Wednesday. Neither finished practice on Tuesday because of injuries.

• DE Dexter Davis (hip), DE Chris Clemons (ankle) and LB Aaron Curry (knee) returned to practice after watching Tuesday's workout. LT Russell Okung (ankle) took part in some team drills as part of the second-string offensive line. SS Kam Chancellor (foot) took part in individual drills, but was held out of team drills.

• Not practicing: RB Marshawn Lynch (ankle), WR Mike Williams (undisclosed), WR Isaiah Stanback (hamstring), LB David Hawthorne (knee), DE Pierre Allen (hamstring).

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or

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