Robert Gallery Confident in His Ability to Help James Carpenter, Russell Okung and Rest of Seahawks’ Unpolished, Young Offensive LineAugust 16, 2011 – 9:00 am by Steven Cuce
Robert Gallery signed a three-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks at the start of free agency. Assuming he stays healthy through the preseason, he’ll become the 11th different player to start at left guard since Steve Hutchinson’s departure. Gallery, who stands at 6’7” and 325 pounds, had strong ties with Seattle’s new offensive line coach, Tom Cable, dating back to their time together in Oakland.
Gallery may be more soft-spoken than you might guess based on his appearance, but he’ll be leaned on to provide veteran leadership to Seattle’s young offensive line. Gallery discusses mentoring John Moffitt and James Carpenter on the right side of the offensive line off the field during training camp and also sounds optimistic that his neighbor next door to him on the line, Russell Okung, will be fine after suffering a big scare of an injury to his left ankle during last Thursday’s exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers.
Robert Gallery joined KJR in Seattle with Mitch in the Morning to discuss last Thursday’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers, what he feels are the biggest adjustments for John Moffitt and James Carpenter on the right side of the Seahawks offensive line, helping his young OL teammates this season, what James Carpenter must overcome this season in order to be successful, and the injury suffered by Russell Okung in last Thursday’s preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.
Your thoughts on the Seahawks first preseason game? It looked like the offensive line did a nice job in some running block situations, but you guys struggled in pass protection. Is that a fair characterization?
“I think that’s fair. I think we got stuff to clean up in every area. For the first time out getting some of the young guys their first experience and seeing what it is like at game time you know that is what preseason is for. Hopefully we’ll be better this week and obviously we’ll be ready to go by week one.”
What’s the biggest adjustment for the young offensive lineman (John Moffitt and James Carpenter) on the right side of the line? Will it be easier to improve on running blocking first rather than the pass protecting? Is that a fair assessment?
“I’d say that’s a fair assessment. Obviously in the National Football League all of your pass rushers are good where as in college you may have once or twice a year you play someone who is of top caliber, so I think that will be a little adjustment for them, but they [John Moffitt and James Carpenter] are both good players and they know what they are doing working hard and they’ll be ready to go once the regular season starts.”
How can you help the young guys on the right side of the offensive line mature even though you are on the opposite side of the football?
“I think all the stuff away from the games to the practices, to the times at our meetings, the stuff I have seen over the years and applying maybe the experiences I had that can help them along, so I help those guys as much as I can and just use the experiences of my past to maybe gives some queues and that’ll help them out. At the end of the day they are going to get the job done.”
Talk about what you have seen from James Carpenter and what his biggest challenge will be at the beginning of this year?
“I just think those young guys are behind the ’8-Ball’ a little bit obviously with the lack of off-season preparation, so they just gotta get in here and learn things at a much faster rate than a normal NFL off-season and I think that will be the biggest challenge because there is so much to learn at this level with so many defenses. So many more things than you had to learn in college, so just the knowledge in knowing it and then being comfortable and once you know it and you have it your confidence goes up and you’ll play well.”
What can you tell us about the injury to Russell Okung?
“Russell was in an unfortunate incident or injury I should say. He’s been walking around in tennis shoes as everyone has seen at practice. Hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later and he’ll be ready to go and we will be firing on all cylinders when week one comes.”