#HawksMailbag - September 3

Posted Sep 3, 2013

Answering your on the field and off the field questions about the club on a weekly basis.

Head coach Pete Carroll shed some light on the factors that went into Michael Robinson's release when he joined the team's flagship radio station 710 AM ESPN Seattle for a Tuesday morning conversation with "Brock and Danny."

Carroll addressed the decision making process that goes into reducing the roster from 90 to 75 to 53 players throughout preseason, noting a myriad of criteria used in player evaluation.

"There's financial issues, there's all kinds of issues that go into this - age, youth and special teams and all of the different factors," Carroll said. "That's why it takes us a long time. We just wait patiently and field the information and eventually it gets to the point where it's clear and starts to make sense to us. Then we put the guy in the situation to prove to us that he's right. That's what the last couple of games were - to put guys in situations to prove we were making the right decisions as we were kind of formulating our plan."

Two players the Seahawks put in those prove-me-right situations were Derrick Coleman and Spencer Ware, both of whom showed enough to make the team's 53-man roster in lieu of the veteran Robinson, who had been sidelined with an undisclosed illness. Coleman is expected to start at the position Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Carroll did hint at the possibility of Robinson making a return later in the season, and offered high praise for his former Pro Bowl fullback.

"Maybe we'll get a chance to get him back somewhere down the road," Carroll said of the decision to let Robinson go. "At this time that was the way that had to go and it was very difficult because he's a great kid. He's going to be a football coach someday. He's a guy that's been in my office a lot talking about ball and schemes, so we're very close. It was very difficult."

I asked myself this question as well. History shows the Seahawks carrying at least three tight ends on the active roster since Pete Carroll took over as head coach in 2010. Luckily, Carroll addressed this question for the both of us yesterday. He expressed complete confidence in rookie Luke Willson and veteran Zach Miller and brought up an interesting note about offensive tackle Mike Person.

"You saw Mike Person play a little bit for us," said Carroll.. "He’s a real heavy duty guy playing tight end as well."

Person jumped in as an extra tight end in jumbo-type packages over the last two weeks of the preseason in games against the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders. The Seahawks also signed second-year pro Cooper Helfet to the team's practice squad. Helfet excels as a pass catching tight end in a similar style to Willson.

Who's on the practice squad and why do the Seahawks always wait so long to announce these things???

— John Lloyd (@lloydsouth) September 2, 2013

Our practice squad was announced early Monday morning. It includes defensive tackles Michael Brooks and Sealver Siliga, offensive linemen Jared Smith and Ryan Seymour, cornerback DeShawn Shead, tight end Cooper Helfet, linebacker Ty Powell, and wide receiver Bryan Walters.

The team waits to announce all roster moves and related transactions until they are signed, sealed and delivered to the NFL. Only at that time does the Seahawks public relations staff send out word of the announcement in the form of a press release.

Our digital media staff (which includes myself and a team of other individuals who handle our website and social media pages) will always wait until this official announcement from the club before releasing any information to the public.

Hey there, Rainn Wilson. I'm a big fan of The Office, so how could I pass up your #HawksMailbag question? 

I'd need to see a picture of that "weird rash" before I could provide any sort of unqualified diagnosis. Feel free to follow up with a photograph and I'll be sure to hand deliver it to our Director of Player Health and Performance Sam Ramsden. He should be able to provide some analysis.

Hopefully, it's nothing too serious. And like your feelings, perhaps your skin will regenerate at twice the speed of a normal man. Good luck.

Defensive end Cliff Avril is working out with team trainers while battling a hamstring injury and yesterday head coach Pete Carroll could not yet provide a timeline for Avril's return.

"I watched those guys work out today and he was moving better than I ever would’ve thought," said Carroll. "We will see what happens and see how he takes it to this workout and then gets another day off. I don’t know what that tells us, but it’s good news."

What is the injury status of Michael Bowie and Jordan Hill?

— Nate (@disdainforprogs)

The status of rookie offensive lineman Michael Bowie's shoulder injury is "really good" according to head coach Pete Carroll. Bowie should be ready to practice Wednesday afternoon.

Rookie defensive tackle Jordan Hill's strained bicep is more of a question mark. Carroll did not have a timeline from the team trainers following Monday's practice, but did pass along word that Hill is "feeling way better." Carroll said it would not be long before Hill has a chance to come back.

Wide receiver Stephen Williams is expected to practice Wednesday, according to head coach Pete Carroll. Williams suffered a concussion following a 50-yard catch in the Seahawks final preseason game against the Oakland Raiders last Thursday night. His status for this weekend's regular season opener on the road against the Carolina Panthers is still in question, as Williams will have to pass a series of evaluations before he's cleared to play.

In my opinion? The biggest challenge the Seahawks face in this upcoming season is the one right in front of them - Week 1 on the road against the Carolina Panthers.

The Seahawks scraped by with a 16-12 road win against Carolina in Week 5 of last season thanks to a dominating defensive performance, allowing just 190 total yards and a field goal (the Panthers returned an interception for a touchdown and forced a safety for their other nine points). I imagine it will be much more difficult to replicate that type of dominance this time around. The Panthers won five of their final six games to close out 2012 and they boast an improved read-option attack led by DeAngelo Williams and dual-threat quarterback Cam Newton.

I think it's easy to look ahead to Week 2's home-opener against the NFC West rival San Francisco 49ers as the biggest challenge of the upcoming season, but if you polled any player up and down the Seahawks roster I'm sure they would give you the same answer I just did. Head coach Pete Carroll wants to instill in his players the idea and mentality that every game is a championship game, whether it be preseason, regular season or postseason. And this Sunday is no different.

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