Seattle Seahawks Add Brandon Stokley, Still Tinkering With Offense

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Seattle Seahawks Add Brandon Stokley, Still Tinkering With Offense
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Brandon Stokley played in Denver under Jeremy Bates.

Who says it’s too late to tinker with the offense once the season has begun? Not when you’re still putting it together on the fly.

The Seattle offense won’t start to jell until midseason, so the additions of veteran receiver Brandon Stokley and two new linemen won’t do much to mess with chemistry that doesn’t really exist yet.

Stokley, 34, knows the offense from his time with Seattle play caller Jeremy Bates in Denver in 2007 and 2008. The 12-year veteran receiver is probably being brought in because Mike Williams figures to miss time with a shoulder injury.

Williams has been nicked up early this season and has not lived up to the preseason hype that made him the league’s possible comeback kid.

The Seahawks eschewed yet another chance to dump Julius Jones and instead released Quinton Ganther, who had been bothered by a sore knee and was inactive Sunday as Michael Robinson continued to take his fullback spot. Apparently the Seahawks would rather have a one-dimensional runner in reserve than a multi-tool special-teamer.

Unless Williams is out for some time, the Stokley addition is curious, considering the Seahawks still have Deion Branch, Deon Butler, Golden Tate and Ben Obomanu. Butler and Obomanu were underused Sunday, and the Seahawks have not yet shown the two-TE passing game that was so talked about in training camp.

The Hawks also swapped out two linemen, bringing former Green Bay big boys Allen Barbre and Breno Giacomini to replace Mansfield Wrotto and Mike Gibson.

Replacing Wrotto was no surprise considering he was brought back only after Max Unger went on injured reserve. But cutting Gibson is a bit of a stunner; the guy was starting at left guard only two weeks ago after having temporarily unseated veteran Ben Hamilton. The Hawks have to be confident that Chester Pitts will be ready to play this week, at least as a reserve.

Barbre was a fourth-round pick of the Packers in 2007, when current Seattle general manager John Schneider was in Green Bay. Barbre, 6'4" 300 pounds, started seven games at right tackle last season and gave up seven sacks―a sign that guard might be his better position. He’s coming off a back injury but obviously is healthy enough for Schneider to scoop up.

Giacomoni, a 6'7", 318pound tackle, was a fifth-round pick by Schneider’s Packers in 2008 and had been sitting on their practice squad.

That makes three former Packer linemen on the Seattle roster, as Barbre and Giacomini join Evan Dietrich-Smith, who was picked up just before the season.

With the release of Gibson and Wrotto, Chris Spencer and Sean Locklear are the only linemen among the 10 on the roster who were with the team last year. The current group:  Russell Okung, Pitts, Spencer, Stacy Andrews, Locklear, Ben Hamilton, Tyler Polumbus, Dietrich-Smith, Barbre, Giacomini. On IR: Ray Willis, Max Unger.

Okung, the No. 1 left tackle, is expected to practice this week for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain five weeks ago, and Pitts apparently is ready for action now.

Ideally, Okung and Pitts would practice together on the second offensive line this week, then step up to the No. 1 unit during the bye week. That would give them three weeks of practice together leading into their first starts, against Chicago. And they would have two weeks working with Hasselbeck and the first line heading into that game.

To read more about the Seahawks and their surprising ability to win while learning, go Outside The Press Box.

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