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Seahawks line looks to improve after sacks, penalties

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, left, talks with teammate Duane Brown, right, after they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Seattle. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, left, talks with teammate Duane Brown, right, after they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Seattle. (John Froschauer / Associated Press)
By Curtis Crabtree Associated Press

RENTON, Wash. – Back in May, Seahawks left tackle Duane Brown said he believed Seattle’s offensive line had a chance to be the best in the NFL.

While Seattle is off to a 2-0 start, that prediction hasn’t played out over the first two weeks of the season. Russell Wilson has been sacked eight times and the unit had seven penalties called against it in Sunday’s win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Coach Pete Carroll said the unit needs to clean up the mistakes.

“I hope this hit hard enough this week,” Carroll said. “I hope the lessons are strong enough that we can make the impression on our guys. This isn’t something that we’ve missed, we’re just not accomplishing the objective of cleaning it up and we got to get it done.”

Carroll has made it no secret that he believes this group is capable of great things this year. He noted his disappointment that the group struggled in the opener against the Cincinnati Bengals and followed that up Monday with the penalties incurred against the Steelers.

“When your arms extend in blocks, it’s just a red flag (to officials) and here it comes, you know,” Carroll said. “If they can see that you don’t get it removed immediately then you get called. That’s just being sloppy with our hands and we have to do better. We’re not there yet. We’re not on it yet.”

All four sacks of Wilson on Sunday came in the first half. The unit came together after halftime and kept Wilson upright along with being penalty free in the third quarter. However, there were three more penalties in the final quarter that the team managed to overcome with a touchdown drive and a drive that lasted 5:34 to run out the clock against Pittsburgh.

But that still left a false start from right tackle Germain Ifedi, six flags thrown for holding against the unit and two additional illegal blocks in the back penalties from wide receiver Jaron Brown.

“We know it’s a point of emphasis for the league and we’re working our asses off to have that emphasis ourselves,” Ifedi said.

Despite the miscues, Seattle’s offense still amassed 425 yards of total offense as Wilson dissected the Pittsburgh defense when given the time to do so. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny also carried the team to a 151-yard rushing day.

“We’ll improve in the next couple of weeks just like we improved in the game. You could see the improvement from the first quarter to the fourth quarter, and hopefully we can keep doing that,” Carroll said.

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