Rookie J.R. Sweezy will get the start at right guard for the Seattle Seahawks, head coach Pete Carroll told the media on Wednesday.
"J.R. earned it. He did it the old fashioned way," Carroll said. "Right now it's a pretty good unit on the right side."— Curtis Crabtree (@Curtis_Crabtree) September 5, 2012
The context of the "old fashioned way" Carroll describes is a story in itself. Sweezy, a seventh round draft pick out of North Carolina State, was converted from a defensive lineman to an offensive lineman by offensive line coach Tom Cable. At 6'5, 298 pounds, Sweezy's defensive background and skill set bring something new to the Seahawks offensive line that will be charged with protecting rookie quarterback Russell Wilson against the Arizona Cardinals defense in Week 1.
The decision to start the rookie might have been a long time coming. When asked on Twitter in August if there was one surprise player in camp going under the radar, Carroll listed Sweezy.