Seahawks tackle Charles Cross learning from mistakes in preseason loss to Bears – The Seattle Times

RENTON — No, Charles Cross wasn’t anxious about playing in his first NFL game Thursday night at Lumen Field.
“Naw, it wasn’t really any nerves or anything,” said Cross, who during his two years at Mississippi State played in front of crowds that are as big as any in the NFL at places like LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama.
And no, he wasn’t awed at the sight of Chicago veteran Robert Quinn, whose 101 sacks are sixth-most of any current active player, lined up on the other side of him for the first two series.
According to coach Pete Carroll, Cross “didn’t even know who he was. I asked him after the game and he said, ‘I found out after the game, I didn’t know who he was.’”
So how to explain the four false-start penalties Cross incurred in the game, including on the first play, along with a holding call?
Cross said it was just one of those things that he vows won’t happen again.
“It’s the preseason,” he said Sunday. “Good thing these things happen now so they won’t happen later on in the season.”
Carroll said he talked to Cross after the game and that each of the penalties had its own, separate learning lesson. Carroll said he thinks all the issues are easily fixable.
“Just gotta learn from my mistakes,” Cross said of Carroll’s message to him. “Just be locked in.”
And to Carroll and the Seahawks, the penalties also might have obscured the bigger picture, which is that otherwise, Cross played as well as they’d hope a player taken ninth overall would in his second game.
“He really did well against a great player, and Quinn was going after it, too,” Carroll said. “It might not be [Quinn’s] all-time effort, but he was trying to get to the quarterback. I was really happy to see that accomplishment.”
Cross has had no competition for the left tackle spot since the day he arrived. But seeing some solid play out of him the first two weeks helps make Seattle feel better about the pick and his ability to start immediately.
And it’s increasingly looking as if the Seahawks will indeed begin the season with rookies at both tackle spots as Abraham Lucas also turned in another solid outing against the Bears, and all indications are that he is now atop the depth chart at right tackle.
Jake Curhan has started both preseason games at RT with Lucas then entering the game on the third series each time.
As he did against the Steelers, Lucas responded with a pancake block on his first series, further reinforcing that he might be more ahead-of-the-curve on his run blocking out of a three-point stance given his background in a predominantly spread and pass-happy offense at Washington State.
“I thought that Abe played a really good ballgame,” Carroll said. “Abe has shown in the running game, one of the big questions coming off of the team that he came from and the philosophy that he came from, he’s getting off of the ball and playing the running game well. He has been particularly effective on the backside and he has some really stellar blocks. He is not having any trouble making this transition.”
Carroll stopped short of anointing Lucas as the starter saying only “he’s deep into the competition of it, so I’m really fired up about that.” 
But during Sunday’s practice, the last training camp workout open to the public this year, Lucas ran throughout with the starters at right tackle with Curhan seeing most of his time at guard. The Seahawks will need some extra depth there for as long as Damien Lewis remains out with an ankle injury suffered against the Bears.
Speaking of Lewis’ injury, for now his replacement in the starting lineup looks like it will be fourth-year player Phil Haynes.
That’s no surprise, as Haynes has been a standout throughout camp. But practices this week have confirmed it. With Lewis out for an indefinite period — though apparently not for too long as Carroll said he escaped major injury in spraining his ankle — the starting offensive line during Sunday’s practice was Cross at left tackle, Haynes at left guard, Austin Blythe at center, Gabe Jackson at right guard and Lucas at right tackle (Seattle held a walk-through-style workout Monday).
Haynes has battled injuries in his previous three years, starting just two games and appearing in just eight (as well as two playoff games in 2019). But solid performances in two starts late last year helped compel the Seahawks to give Haynes — a fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest in 2019 — an original round tender as a restricted free agent last spring worth $2.54 million.
That salary is not guaranteed, meaning Haynes has to make the team to get any of it and also meaning had he not performed well, he likely wouldn’t have gotten it.
But Haynes’ play — and that he likely enters the season as part of the starting lineup — not only assures him a spot on the roster but might also mean the Seahawks could make a move to redo his contract before the season to give him an immediate bonus and bring down his salary cap hit.
Regardless, the bigger picture is that Haynes will now get a chance to show the Seahawks what they thought they had all along in taking him 124th overall.
“Phil has felt like a starter,” Carroll said Sunday. “And he looks like it. His ability to bounce around and play on both sides is really helpful to us. He’s a stud of a kid, he’s strong, he’s smart, loves to play, practices great and does everything that you want. This is a good chance for Phil. This is a really good chance for him.”
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