Good afternoon, Seahawks fans. The time has come once again to open up the mailbag and answer your questions. As always, thanks to everyone who asked a question this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to your question this time around.
@bill_schwener asks, "Will Seattle use its first-round pick or trade out to try to get a second- and third-round pick?" @Seahawksdan8 also asks if the Seahawks will trade back. Conversely, @jaydelamar206 asks, "Is there any chance that the Seahawks trade up?"
A: Seahawks general manager John Schneider has never made it a secret that he likes trading back to acquire more picks, and Seattle's history under Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll certainly suggests that a trade is possible. The Seahawks held onto their original first-round picks in 2010, taking Russell Okung and Earl Thomas, and in 2011 when they selected James Carpenter, but since then they have not used their original first-rounder in the last six drafts. In 2013 and 2015 the Seahawks traded their first-round picks prior to the draft, while in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017 they moved back during the draft, either to a spot later in the first round (2012 and 2016) or out of the first round altogether (2014 and 2017).
Considering that the Seahawks currently don't hold a second or third-round pick, it seems likely that they would try to move back again to add draft capital, but that's far from a given. For starters, if there's a player available at 18 who the Seahawks simply love too much to risk missing out on, they would likely chose that player over more picks, as was the case when they selected Thomas in the middle of the first round in 2010 rather than move back. Secondly, there has to be a trade partner willing to give up enough to make it worthwhile to move back, so it can't be assumed that a deal is inevitable, even if that scenario seems likely.
@Liz_Mathews asks, "Why in the world was there no media combine this year?"
A: Well, Liz, maybe it was that people didn't take it very seriously last year, such as a certain someone who used a walker during the 40-yard dash. Or maybe we were just afraid to see what Danny O'Neil might wear this time around.
@Dabtronaut asks, "Will Kam Chancellor play football this season?"
A: That's a big question, and one that, as of last month at the league meetings, Carroll and Schneider still couldn't answer. In the cases of both Chancellor and defensive end Cliff Avril, who both ended the 2017 season on injured reserve because of neck injuries, the Seahawks and players involved are waiting on more tests from doctors before deciding how to proceed moving forward.
"We are hoping and praying for both of them," Schneider said at the league meetings in Orlando. "As soon as we know from a scan standpoint, and the experts and all the doctors and what they say, we are going to go with. Both total professionals that obviously we didn't see this coming. You can plan for a lot of things and that's one of them you can't."
@Aaron_314 asks, "How are the Seahawks going to fix their O-line and how do you feel about the changes with Mike Solari and D.J. Fluker?" @JosephV977 and @lorrie_gatewood also asked what the Seahawks are doing to improve the offensive line.
A: The Seahawks are excited about Fluker and the physical presence he could bring at right guard, and the hope is that Solari will make a difference as the new line coach as well. But one of the biggest factors behind Carroll and the Seahawks thinking their line will improve in 2018 is the lack of change. With Duane Brown back at left tackle, Ethan Pocic an option at just about any spot on the line, Justin Britt established at center and Germain Ifedi heading into his third season, the Seahawks have a chance to enjoy a level of continuity on the line that they haven't had for several years.
"We haven't had a guy like Duane Brown in some time," Carroll said at the league meetings. "Duane coming back is a great plus. He barely got started with us last year, then he got hurt and struggled through an ankle and all of that. But his return, the consistency that he brings, the experience that he brings, the toughness that he brings. The growth of Ifedi on the other side—he's going to get better, he's going to make a big jump. I think the best thing that ever happened to him is there's a transition here for him where he can get a new start and really get going with (new offensive line coach) Mike Solari. Britt is going to be the best he has been, Pocic is going to be better than he has been, then D.J. coming in. Then there's George Fant returning to us. George was really poised to have a bigtime second year, and he has had a fantastic offseason working, I see him every day in the building, so he's going to factor into the competition.
"This is the best we've been in some time. A little quietly it's emerging that it's a very good group and it's going to be one that we're going to look forward to seeing some real progress made… It hasn't been mentioned that much, but we feel like we have continuity. We haven't said that in so many years, but we feel like we have some continuity on the offensive line, so we're looking forward to it."
@ryanboyle84, also known as my older brother, writes, "MO SALALALALAHHH!!!"
A: First, that's not a question, Ryan, but secondly, yes, that was a great win by Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, and Mohamed Salah is having one heck of a season.
@NOAHRRHS asks, "With Thursday Night Football moving away from color rush, will we be able to see a Seahawks throwback jersey soon?"
A: If you missed it on Tuesday, FOX Sports executive Bill Wagner said that color rush uniforms won't be the norm on Thursday Night Football next season (FOX acquired the rights to Thursday Night Football this year), but that doesn't necessarily mean the Seahawks' action green uniforms and other color rush uniforms will soon be extinct. As the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported, color rush could still exist, it just might not be a Thursday-exclusive thing anymore. He also reported that additional changes to the uniform policy could be coming, which brings us to the question about throwbacks uniforms.
Fans for a long time have been clamoring for a throwback Seahawks uniform—and for good reason, it's a great look—but there are two things currently preventing that from happening. For starters, teams are only allowed one alternate (other than color rush) to their regular home and away uniforms, and the Seahawks have used the Wolf Grey uniforms as their alternate since 2012. Secondly, teams are only allowed one helmet under the current rules, so unless the Seahawks wanted to repaint all of their helmets for a throwback game, they couldn't sport the old silver-helmet look. But, if as a few reports have suggested, changes to the uniform policy are on the table, perhaps there is a chance for a Seahawks throwback somewhere down the road, but as of now, it's too soon to give you a good answer on that.
@schuyler138 asks, "What is a catch?"
A: The NFL hopes that by approving a new catch rule this offseason, we all will have a better understanding of the above question, which for years has frustrated fans, coaches and players alike.
Under the new rule, a catch will require control of the ball with two feet down, followed by a football move, which can mean a third step or reaching with the ball to gain extra yardage. Players no longer have to "survive to the ground" meaning hopefully there will be fewer plays that look like a catch to everyone, officials included, only to be overturned after review.
@ETalldayBaby asks, "Are the Seahawks going to draft a change-of-pace running back, a bell-cow, both?"
A: The Seahawks like the running backs they have, including Chris Carson, who was a starter early in the season before his rookie season ended with a Week 4 leg injury; C.J. Prosise, who has shown tremendous potential when healthy; J.D. McKissic, who took over that role when Prosise was hurt; and Mike Davis, who finished the year as the starter. That being said, it would seem likely that the Seahawks will try to add to that position in the draft, particularly because of how much that position group has struggled to stay healthy over the past three seasons. As for the type of back they could look to draft, that would likely depend on where they're picking and who is available at that point of the draft.
@MyohBallz asks, "Neiko Thorpe has looked good at corner when given a chance, do you think he could start next season opposite Shaquill Griffin?"
A: In Carroll's always-compete world, yes, Thorpe certainly would have a shot to compete for that job, but it's far too soon to determine how good his chances would be of winning that job. The Seahawks added Dontae Johnson Wednesday, a former 16-game starter in San Francisco, they could still re-sign free agent Byron Maxwell, and there are other returning players such as DeAndre Elliott and Mike Tyson who could also factor into that battle. And, of course, there's still the draft, and as Griffin showed last year, it's possible for a talented rookie to come in and win the job.