'They're Great Athletes': Seahawks Pete Carroll Gives Sound Approval Of Rookie Tackle Duo – Sports Illustrated

The Seattle Seahawks enter the season looking for their next quarterback. The franchise also will be looking for the two bookends to block for him well past the 2022 season. 
Seahawks general manager John Schneider elected to go heavy — but perhaps a tad inexperienced in terms of style of offense — when selecting a pair of offensive tackles in the 2022 draft. In the first round, Seattle added Mississippi State left tackle Charles Cross. Two rounds later, he double-dipped with adding Washington State's Abraham Lucas
So far, both have flashed in practice, but Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is looking for consistency before Week 1's matchup against the Denver Broncos. 
"We had a couple missed assignments that had nothing to do with the physical ability," Carroll said. "So that’s something to not take away from them. Both guys held up well in the run and passing game.
Both Cross and Lucas come Air Raid offenses in Starkville and Pullman, respectively. The two tackles also were coached by Mike Leach, one of the pioneers of the Air Raid and are known for their ability to shine in pass protection. 
Carroll has spoken about establishing the run the past two seasons under offensive coordinator Shane Waldrop. In his final season at Mississippi State, Cross recorded just 200 run blocking snaps against 719 in pass blocking
Lucas, who played left tackle for the Cougars in 2021, was more balanced, recording 324 run blocking reps against 477 in pass pro. Scouts are still worried about his overall footwork and balance when trying to deliver a punch. 
"The ability to adjust and to move and to return the balance which is a big concept for the lineman," Carroll said. "Need to be able to get out of whack and get back on track. Those guys can do that because they’re really good athletes." 
Seattle is hopeful both Lucas and Cross can compete in Week 1. Pro Bowler Duane Brown was not offered a new deal following the 2020 season. Brandon Shell, who started the previous two years on the right side, remains a free agent. 
The Seahawks could elect to go with veterans Jake Curhan or Stone Forsythe instead of Lucas should he struggle in the preseason. Curhan started five games last season when Shell was injured and has shown potential against the second-team offense. Forsythe, who was selected in the sixth round out of Florida in 2021, was expected to fight for reps at left tackle. 
Since the start of camp, most of his reps have come from the right side.
Should Seattle elect to start both Cross and Lucas, it will be the third time in more than 50 years that a team has started two rookie offensive tackles to open the season. Carroll likely is exploring all avenues, but if the two rookies make strides throughout the preseason, they will be working with the first team.
It's not an upside choice, either. It's strictly business for Carroll and his offensive staff.
"I don’t see anything holding those guys back other than just the time and the experience," Carroll said. "Nothing but positives right now. They’re going to get a lot of play time this weekend.”
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