With rookie right guard John Moffitt out for the rest of the season with a knee injury, the Seahawks are turning to Paul McQuistan – just as they did for three games earlier this season.
Just as he did earlier this season, Paul McQuistan is stepping in for an injured teammate.
This time, however, it’s for the long haul as the veteran offensive lineman is replacing rookie John Moffitt at right guard – starting with the Seahawks’ game against the Rams in St. Louis on Sunday.
Coach Pete Carroll made that announcement on Wednesday, after Moffitt damaged two ligaments in his right knee during Sunday’s victory over the Baltimore Ravens. Moffitt was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday and eventually will have surgery.
The question after Wednesday’s practice was whether the Seahawks will lose the other half of what had been the all-rookie right side of their line, because tackle James Carpenter went down with a knee injury during practice and was scheduled for a MRI on Wednesday night.
McQuistan is in his first season with the Seahawks, but the coaches decided to go with him as the replacement for Moffitt because of his experience (5½ seasons), knowledge of the system (he also played under assistant head coach/line coach Tom Cable when both were with the Oakland Raiders) and the fact that he has started 15 NFL games (including three this season at left guard with Robert Gallery was out with a groin injury).
Lemuel Jeanpierre stepped in when Moffitt went out against the Ravens and played well, but he’s also the backup center Max Unger – which also was a factor in the decision.
“He’s played before. He has a little more experience,” coach Pete Carroll said of McQuistan. “Also, we have a situation where Lem is the backup snapper in this game. We’ve got to make sure that with only two snappers available to us we have got to make sure he’s available to us if we need him.”
Compounding that situation: Moffitt also could have played center.
McQuistan took the news that he would be starting for Moffitt on the right side just as he did when he stepped in for Gallery on the left side in Weeks 3-5 – with a shrug and a look of determination.
“It’s just the other side,” McQuistan said. “A little different, but not much.”
McQuistan joins a unit that has progressed the past few weeks, rushing for 100-plus yards in back-to-back games for the first time this season and allowing only two sacks in the past two games.
“It’s just of a mindset, getting after it and putting the ball downhill,” McQuistan said when asked what he has seen as the change.
“The running opens up your passing game and your passing game opens up your running game. So it goes hand-in-hand, and it’s been a good balance the last few weeks.”
How did McQuistan play the last time he was in the lineup?
“Pretty decent,” he said. “Obviously I’d take some things back, but for the most part I felt pretty good.”
Said Carroll, “He did fine. He started kind of scattered during the first half of the first game, had some problems and issues in there. Then he settled down at halftime and played very well in the second half and played good, solid football. So we feel comfortable with him playing.”