#HawksMailbag - October 15: How does the club handle the short week?

Posted Oct 15, 2013

Answering your questions about the club on a weekly basis.

Welcome to another week of #HawksMailbag here on, our weekly question and answer session with you - the fans - about your club - the Seattle Seahawks.

We fielded several of your questions on Twitter following the Seahawks 20-13 Week 6 win over the Tennessee Titans, and we take some time out on this Tuesday morning to provide some answers.

A special thanks to everyone who submitted questions this week. Sorry that we can't get to them all.

Basically, they're resting. With just three days in between gamedays, the Seahawks will hold lighter-than-usual practice sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday with an eye toward coming into Thursday night's game against the Cardinals completely healthy.

"You have to take care of them [the players] and you have to adjust what you’re doing," head coach Pete Carroll said of the team's short week on Monday. "You can’t practice in the same manner that you normally do, you can’t expect them to recover if you did, and you have to adjust. Everyone does, I don’t know how everybody else does it, but we have a real strict plan that we spend a long time on to maximize the opportunity to return to health. They all get banged up, and we have to recover.

"They’ll be in the recovery phase all the way until Thursday, hopefully we’ll do this really well, and the players will respond."

In addition to the lighter workload ahead of Thursday's matchup, the Seahawks are scheduled to rest on the four days following the game against the Cardinals. The team will receive Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off before returning to the practice field on Tuesday in preparation for their Week 8 road matchup with the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football.

Cornerback Brandon Browner hasn't showed up on the injury report since Week 4 (hamstring), so all indications are that he's healthy. He did struggle at times, as you note, against the Titans last Sunday. He was beat on back-to-back plays by wide receiver Kendall Wright for sizeable chunks of yardage in the first quarter and Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick missed wideout Damian Williams in the end zone with Browner in coverage later in the same quarter. Head coach Pete Carroll responded by replacing Browner with backup Walter Thurmond to start the second quarter.

"I just wanted to give him a break because I wanted to make sure that we got it clear to him what was going on, what was happening," Carroll said of his decision to take Browner out of the game. "They got up on top of him on two different plays there, and I just wanted to make sure he was clear. We have great guys to throw in the game to take care of business, and that’s what happened. I put him right back in there in the third quarter, and he started to play a nice second half, which was great."

Carroll went on to say that Thurmond, Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane - when healthy - continue to challenge Browner at the cornerback spot opposite Richard Sherman.

"We have tremendous depth and tremendous competition at these spots," said Carroll.

Free safety Chris Maragos was the holder for all field goals and points after touchdowns throughout his four years of college and has received a limited amount of work in practice, so he does have experience in the area.

But after Sunday's game against the Titans, head coach Pete Carroll said Maragos' role as the team's backup holder is in question, pointing to quarterback Russell Wilson as the one who would likely handle the duty if needed moving forward.

"Ironically, I've held for Steven Hauschka before, playing at N.C. State," Wilson said. "I'll definitely start working on that throughout the weeks."

I think he already has. Hill made that clear when he recorded his first NFL sack - technically a half-sack that he shared with defensive end Chris Clemons - last Sunday against Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tennessee Titans.

Hill is working his way into the Seahawks defensive line rotation nicely after missing the team's first four games with a biceps injury. He was on the field for 15 snaps in his NFL debut in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts and saw his workload increase to 21 snaps in Week 6 against the Titans. Those 21 snaps last Sunday were the same number of snaps as defensive end Red Bryant and one more than defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, a veteran duo that excels against the run.

Defensive linemen Tony McDaniel, Clinton McDonald and Michael Bennett are seeing a bit more playing time than the Seahawks rookie at the moment, but it looks as though we can expect Hill to hold his presence on the inside.

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