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Pete Carroll preaching growth, not overhaul, for O-line

The Seattle Seahawks' offensive line proved to the team's weak link as they bowed out of the playoffs Saturday. The assumption heading into the offseason was coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider would look to upgrade the blocking group.

That effort might not be done to fans' liking.

Speaking on KIRO-AM in Seattle on Monday, Carroll suggested the Seahawks are banking on improved growth from the current players as opposed to an overhaul.

"This group has a chance to be really solid as they grow," Carroll said, via ESPN's Sheil Kapadia. The coach noted that the offensive line is an "easy target."

After last offseason's revamps failed -- highlighted by the eventual jettison of guard J'Marcus Webb -- Seattle ended the season with a young, struggling group in front of Russell Wilson.

Raw, undrafted rookie George Fant -- a college basketball player -- started at left tackle, second-year fourth-round rookie Mark Glowinski at left guard, Justin Britt at center, rookie Germain Ifedi at right guard and Garry Gilliam, a 2014 undrafted free agent, started at right tackle.

Outside of Britt, the group was below-replacement level for the balance of the season. For reference, only the center earned a blocking grade above 55 by Pro Football Focus this season.

The depth issues were exasperated in Saturday's loss to the Falcons. When Ifedi -- who struggled in both run and pass blocking for the majority of the season -- exited with an injury early, backup rookie Rees Odhiambo blew a blocking assignment that led to a sack, and he stepped on Wilson's foot to cause a safety.

Seattle spending cheap on the offensive line proved too much for Wilson to overcome. During the regular season, Seattle allowed 42 sacks (six most), 111 QB hits (fourth most) and ranked 25th in rushing yards per game (99.4).

In another twist for the offensive line, the Seahawks could be looking for a new coach to help grow the unit. O-line coach Tom Cable interviewed for the San Francisco 49ers job and is one of two remaining candidates -- along with Kyle Shanahan -- with a shot to land the gig.

Carroll preaching that offseason growth could turn the young unit around won't make Seahawks fans comfortable the next eight months. Wilson might be a cyborg that can overcome any injury, but it's a detriment to the face of the franchise to hamstring him with substandard blocking for much of his prime.

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