RENTON, Wash. – With injuries continuing to plague the Seahawks’ offensive line, lineman Lemuel Jeanpierre is ready to step in and keep Seattle’s improving running game moving forward.
Despite losing three starters for the season in the last four weeks, the Seahawks have managed to forge a consistent rushing attack behind the zone blocking scheme of offensive line coach Tom Cable and the running of Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks have posted 100-yard rushing games as a team in five consecutive games for the first time since 2005, with Lynch scoring touchdowns in eight straight games.
But an injury to Russell Okung has forced more offensive line shuffling that is giving Jeanpierre his first shot at extended action since joining Seattle last season. Jeanpierre signed as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina with the Kansas City Chiefs last season. He was released by the Chiefs after training camp and Seattle signed him to the practice squad, where he spent the rest of the 2010 season.
Jeanpierre made the 53-man roster this season out of training camp. He has served as a backup at center and guard for most of the season, in addition to playing on special teams.
“He had really good strength and pop and foot quickness and we thought maybe we could make him a center. We knew he could play some guard,” coach Pete Carroll said.
Jeanpierre appreciates the team’s belief that he could become a player for them and committing to him the last two seasons.
“The first thing is just how the Seahawks have had faith in me,” Jeanpierre said. “After getting cut out of Kansas City, they called me right away. I didn’t have to sit around a long time. It meant a lot of me in like, ‘We see this player who we think can develop and has a bright future’ and that means a lot to me. To be able to play and help the team is an amazing feeling I have.”
He received his first career start in Week 6 against Cleveland because of starter Max Unger’s foot injury. He has spelled starters at right guard on several occasions throughout the year as well.
“Now he’s one of our guys,” Carroll said. “He has the flexibility to play a couple spots. He’s tough. He’s durable. All of the good things. He knows what we’re doing and he communicates well in the game.”
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