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#HawksMailbag - August 20
The Seahawks and the Panthers have faced off 11 times, including three postseason matchups. The Seahawks currently own seven wins in the series and will play the Panthers again this Sunday at CenturyLink Field during Week 13 on Sunday Night Football. View
Welcome to the fourth edition of #HawksMailbag here on Seahawks.com.
Let's take a look at what questions came through our inbox over the last seven days...
The fans were ecstatic. That much was (very) loud and clear from the 67,635 sellout crowd in attendance on Saturday night.
As for the players and whether or not the game mattered? Well, head coach Pete Carroll did a pretty nice job answering that question on Monday morning when he joined the team's flagship radio station 710 AM ESPN Seattle for a conversation with "Brock and Danny."
"It means a lot to us as a team because we're learning how to win and we're learning how we win," Carroll said. "We're learning what it feels like. The things we're trying to show in our play are coming out. We're trying to take care of that football, we're trying to ball hawk the football, we're trying to really be aggressive with our style of play on special teams - all of those things.
"You can wait until the real games to do that - I don't believe in that. I believe you've got to get good and get comfortable with what it feels like and with what we're asking our guys to do so that we not only do it, but we expect to do it and it's really clear kind of what our formula is."
And was Saturday's victory a sign of things to come? Again, cue coach Carroll.
"It kind of sets the mark," said Carroll. "OK, this is how we're capable of playing. The challenge extends to this next week as we go on the road to Green Bay."
Believe it or not, that was Jermaine Kearse's first kickoff return since his time at Tacoma's Lakes High School. It sure didn't look that way, as the former University of Washington Husky exploded 107 yards up the left sideline to the pay dirt.
Kearse was listed as the team's top kick returner heading into that game against the Broncos and remains there going into this week's exhibition against the Green Bay Packers. The competition at the spot is ongoing. No one player has been named to the position. But after last week's performance you have to think Kearse will certainly be in line for more opportunities as the preseason rolls along.
Outside of Kearse, rookie running back Christine Michael got first crack at returning kicks during the team's first preseason game and cornerbacks Will Blackmon and Jeremy Lane, as well as wide receiver Bryan Walters have also been in the mix.
The Seahawks will actually trim their roster down to 53 players, not 54, making those decisions and this question all the more difficult. It's hard to put an exact number on how many defensive linemen the Seahawks will keep, but we can look at Pete Carroll's history as head coach for some clues.
Since taking over in 2010, coach Carroll's Seahawks have finished each year with an average of 8.3 defensive linemen on the active roster (9 in 2010, 8 in 2011 & 8 in 2012). As of this writing, the Seahawks host a whopping 15 defensive linemen on their active roster - more than any other position group. That number does not include last year's leading sack artist Chris Clemons or second-year pro Greg Scruggs, who are on the team's physically unable to perform (PUP) list with knee injuries, or rookie Kenneth Boatright, who landed on the team's injured reserve.
The injuries to Clemons, Scruggs, and Cliff Avril - who recently returned to practice with the team after battling a hamstring - coupled with a four-game suspension to Bruce Irvin to start the year has sparked an influx of talent to bolster the team's depth along the line. Expect those situations to factor in when the Seahawks cut the roster down on August 31.
Not necessarily. Chris Clemons has been participating in individual drills while rehabbing the knee he hurt in the playoffs last season during the Seahawks Wild Card victory over the Washington Redskins. Head coach Pete Carroll shed some light on Clemons' health last Friday, but would not provide a timeline for his return.
"He's doing well," Carroll said. "He’s right in the middle of the real rigorous rehab. He’s on the field cutting and moving and doing defensive line drills. I don’t know what that means time wise, but he’s doing well and he’s managing his way through it. He’s not in any pain or discomfort so it’s just a matter of getting his confidence back and getting him back to full speed before we take him off of the PUP.”
This is a pretty good idea and I'm sure it would help revitalize the lungs of the loud 12th Man. We'll drop a line in @CenturyLink_FLD's ear (you can, too). Until then, no excuses. Cheer like a champion.