Seahawks, Rams going young on offense

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The San Francisco 49ers fielded the youngest starting offense in the NFL in Week 1 last season.

I've been plowing through roster updates recently and can see that other NFC West teams are following suit.

The Seattle Seahawks have the youngest projected offensive starters in the NFL for 2011 based on my calculations. Some starting jobs around the league have not yet been won or lost, so there is some projection involved. But the big picture will not change much.

The St. Louis Rams have the second-youngest projected starters on offense even though they've added considerable veteran depth to their roster elsewhere. I went with Mike Sims-Walker and Danario Alexander as the starting receivers. The Rams do not have a receiver older than 27 on their roster, so tweaking starters at that position would not throw off calculations.

The Seahawks are heading toward the 2011 opener with left guard Robert Gallery as the only projected offensive starter older than 28. He turned 31 last month and is nearly nine years older than right tackle James Carpenter, the youngest offensive starter.

What does it all mean? Consider this more evidence of the massive overhaul Seattle has undertaken. General managers are more likely than coaches to embrace youth because they're responsible for the long term. In Seattle, Pete Carroll has embraced youth to a degree that has facilitated the transition. His eagerness to remake the offensive line and willingness to part with 35-year-old starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck come to mind as examples.

The chart lists the Seahawks' projected offensive starters from oldest to youngest. I'll break out more detailed information on NFC West teams as the season approaches. First, though, I'll be watching the St. Louis Rams' walk-through practice and conducting interviews at the team's headquarters.

2011 Seattle Seahawks Offensive Starters by Age