It has been a few weeks since we've gone to the mailbag, but with free agency well underway and the draft coming up next month, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a question, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around.
@StevenDeJong93 asks, "Since it's March, what would be your No. 1 seeds in a bracket of Seahawks moments in history?"
A:This was a fun and difficult question to answer, because there have been some great moments, especially in recent years. We'll limit this to on-field moments, though if you wanted to expand it to all moments, things like the hiring of Pete Carroll and John Schneider or hiring Mike Holmgren or drafting Russell Wilson could certainly qualify. Or perhaps most significantly, we could point to the moment 20 years ago when Paul Allen bought the Seahawks, saving the team from relocation and taking a big step towards turning the Seahawks into one of the league's top franchises.
As for on-field moments, I'll go with these four, though there are plenty of other great choices:
1.The Super Bowl XLVIII win, and if you want a specific moment from that game, then I'd go with Kam Chancellor's tone-setting hit on Demaryius Thomas on Denver's first completion of the game. 2.Richard Sherman's tip to Malcolm Smith, the culminating moment in a thrilling NFC championship game victory over the 49ers. 3.Seattle's crazy NFC championship game victory over the Packers, ending on an overtime touchdown pass from Wilson to Jermaine Kearse.4.The first playoff run in franchise history, which included an upset win in Miami that sent the 1983 Seahawks to the AFC championship game.
If we want to expand it to No. 2 seeds, the 2005 team making the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history would definitely make the cut—and that moment could argue that it was snubbed not getting a 1 seed. Another solid No. 2 would be Marshawn Lynch's "Beast Quake" run against the Saints. And it wasn't a big moment in terms of an important result, but Steve Largent's revenge hit on Broncos safety Mike Harden, who had injured Largent earlier that season with a vicious hit, will always be a fan favorite involving one of the greatest players in franchise history.
If we're looking for the Cinderella of this hypothetical bracket—a 12 seed poised to go on a run—I'd submit Seattle's 2012 regular-season win at Chicago. The game itself was exciting, and it helped launch a strong finish to the season that allowed the Seahawks to make the playoffs, but most significantly, that game was something of a coming out party for Russell Wilson, who took over late in the game to lead a go-ahead touchdown drive late in regulation, then a game-winning touchdown drive in overtime. Coaches and players have frequently pointed back to that game as the moment when they knew the Seahawks really had something special in Wilson.
@Braedonlsom asks, "Who do you think is going to win the starting job in the backfield or get the most touches?" And @collphilins asks, "What influence will the signing of Eddie Lacy have on the future of Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise and other young running backs like Alex Collins and Troymaine Pope.
A:While Eddie Lacy has an impressive résumé, which includes Pro-Bowl honors in 2013 and consecutive 1,100-yard seasons, nothing will be handed to him in his first year with the Seahawks. And Lacy, who is out to prove himself after an injury-shortened 2016 campaign, knows he is coming in to compete for his touches and playing time.
"Whatever the coach needs me to do,” Lacy said. "However he wants to use me, however he wants to play me, my job is to take my opportunities and make the most of them, and that's what I plan to do. You have to compete. Spots aren't given, they have to be earned, always. There's a great group of guys here and I just want to fit in and do my role."
So what will it all look like in 2017? Carroll has made it clear that he wants to get back to running the ball more frequently and with better results than they did in 2016, and signing Lacy is a big part of that. He'll have a significant role, but that doesn't mean that Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise and perhaps Alex Collins can't also be big parts of the offense. As last season showed, depth is important at running back, but if everyone is healthy next season and those backs are all battling for carries all season, that's a good problem for the Seahawks to have to sort out after having injuries to Rawls and Prosise hurt them last year.
@zach_silver98 asks, "Where is Luke Joeckel going to play?"
A:Joeckel, who signed with the Seahawks last week, started his career as a left tackle, and has the physical build and athleticism to play that spot, but he moved to left guard last season. Carroll pointed to that versatility as a positive when talking about the signing, and said they'll consider him at both left guard and left tackle. Joeckel's versatility will give the Seahawks more options as they try to figure out their best line combination for the 2017 season.
"He can play left tackle and left guard," Carroll said. "He was drafted as a left tackle, the second pick in the draft, because of all the measurables he has. He's perfectly suited to play left tackle, but he played left guard last year, and that's what makes him really valuable to us. We think this gives us an opportunity to work it out with the best of our other players as well. He can play both spots, and we'll see how that works. He's physical, he's smart, he's got great flexibility for a big man. He's really determined. He had two injuries that did cost him some, but he has played a lot of good football and we think he's got great upside. And he's young too, so we think we have a big future with him on the left side."
@TruthisTold2U asks, "Should/will the Seahawks draft two cornerbacks in the first three rounds? Seems like they need to restock there."
A:Carroll said after the season ended that cornerback is a position of need this offseason, particularly with DeShawn Shead coming off of a serious knee injury, and this year's class of cornerbacks is considered to be a strong one, so it's definitely possible the Seahawks will pick one or more in the draft. Whether they take multiple corners in the early rounds remains to be seen, though if they did it would be a departure from what they have done in the past under Carroll and Schneider, who have never drafted a cornerback earlier than the fourth round.
On a related note, don't overlook the significance of Seattle re-signing cornerback Neiko Thorpe this week. Thorpe did most of his work on special teams last year, but he played well in limited chances at corner, and he will give the Seahawks a good option there if the draft doesn't fall the right way.
@AlexEricksonFan asks, "Will Tanner McEvoy be used more or less this year?"
A:It's way too soon to know how the rotation at receiver will play out, but it is safe to assume McEvoy will get a good chance to compete for a bigger role in his second season. As McEvoy pointed out after the season ended, this will be the first time in years that he will be able to stay at one position for more than one season. In college, McEvoy bounced around from quarterback to safety to receiver, and while that versatility helped him land a job with the Seahawks, who first looked at him at safety, he also feels like he has a lot of room to improve still if he sticks to receiver for a while.
@KBottom2 asks, "Is there a chance the Seahawks could make a trade to bolster the O-line if they don't find anyone else during free agency?" And @M_Banni asks if the Seahawks will add more line help via free agency, the draft or a trade.
A:Carroll and Schneider have both been open about wanting to add help to the line, and it's a safe bet that they'll use at least one, and perhaps multiple picks on offensive linemen in next month's draft—they have picked at least one offensive lineman in every draft under Carroll and Schneider, including five in the first four rounds of the last three drafts. As for free agency, Carroll noted in an interview on 710 ESPN Seattle this week that while the Seahawks are still looking, there aren't a lot of starting-caliber linemen left on the market. And Carroll and Schneider both take pride in exploring every possible avenue to improve their team, so a trade is always a possibility. That doesn't mean it's likely, I'm just saying you can't rule anything out with this front office.
@DanCohen17 asks, "How does your offseason differ day-to-day with your regular season?"
A:Well, Dan, I appreciate you asking, though I wonder how many people really care about my day. But since you asked, I can tell you it's less busy, as you'd expect, and there's definitely less routine than in the regular season when every week is similar in terms of schedule of practices, press conferences, etc. Oh, and having weekends off is nice.
@DennisGill10 asks, "What is the best game of Doug Baldwin's career? I'm torn between the Steelers and Patriots games."
A:Those are both good choices. Baldwin had three touchdowns in last season's win at New England, which was one of the best moments of Seattle's 2016 season, and he had 145 yards and three touchdowns, including a game-clinching 80-yard score, in the 2015 win over Pittsburgh. Baldwin also had 171-yard and 164-yard games last season, which could both be on the list.
Given the significance of the game, I might choose Baldwin's performance in Seattle's NFC championship game victory over the 49ers. Baldwin had six catches for 106 yards in that game, and he also added 109 kick return yards, including a 69-yard return that set up a third-quarter field goal. In what to that point had been a low-scoring, defensive game, that return was huge in terms of momentum, as it came right after the 49ers had taken a 7-point lead with a touchdown.
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