Seahawks: Drew Nowak release shows Tom Cable’s weakness


The release of Drew Nowak by the Seattle Seahawks is just the latest example of why Tom Cable should not have roster control over Seattle’s offensive line. 

Tom Cable has a reputation around the league for being a great teacher of the zone blocking scheme. To get him to come to Seattle, Pete Carroll gave Cable significantly more autonomy than offensive line coaches typically get. It is time for Carroll to pull back some of that control.

The Seahawks released Drew Nowak on Tuesday to make room for a tight end that hopefully won’t ever see the field except on special teams. It is a move that is hardly newsworthy. Nowak has been a healthy inactive for the last few games. He’s that low on the depth chart.

What makes this move a big deal is that Nowak was the starter at center for most of the first two months of the season. He was the guy hand-picked by Cable to replace Max Unger.

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Back in training camp, Tom Cable oversaw a competition between Nowak and Lemuel Jeanpierre for the starting center job. The end result was pre-ordained by Cable himself. He gave Nowak nearly twice as many reps with the starters, and then cut Jeanpierre when the roster was reduced to 75.

Seattle’s current starting center, and the one that has help lead to the revival of the entire offensive line, wasn’t even given a chance in training camp. The faux-competition didn’t even include the team’s best candidate.

Patrick Lewis was the guy who covered for an injured Unger, and played well, late last season. It wasn’t like he was an unknown commodity. Cable should have known what he had.

The same goes for Jeanpierre, who has been with the Seahawks off-and-on for years. All he’s ever been is a reliable backup who cold be trusted to start when needed.

But no, Cable had to pick Nowak. All that mythical athleticism that Cable coveted never mattered once the games became. Noway’s awful blocking technique was rivaled only by his inability set up the line in the correct protection.

Sadly, even when it was obvious that it wasn’t working, Cable stubbornly kept running Nowak out there as the starter. It was like he was trying to get QB Russell Wilson killed.

Luckily for Wilson, and for the rest of the Seahawks, a Nowak injury forced Lewis into the lineup. It was pure serendipity, and the Seattle offense has been steadily improving ever sense.

Jeanpierre was re-signed, and Nowak was relegated to the bench. Now he’s gone.

The Nowak experiment was the single biggest factor that lead to Seattle’s awful start. Had Cable picked the right player from the beginning, the Seahawks wouldn’t be fighting to just barely make the playoffs.

Cable has done some great things teaching linemen throughout his career. The results he’s had speak for themselves. That is all that he should be doing. Letting Cable pick players has lead to disaster after disaster. It is time for that to stop.

It is time for Cable to do what he does well, and leave the roster decisions to Pete Carroll and John Schneider.