Training camp is still a few weeks away, but that doesn't mean we can't still talk football… or, you know, hot dog eating contests… or uniforms. Anyway, thanks as always to everyone who asked a question this week, and apologies if I wasn't able to get to yours this time around.
@watters_scott asks, "What's going to be the most competitive position heading into camp?"
A:This is a tough questions because there should be some very good competition taking place all over the field when training camp kicks off.
"Across the board the competition is really on it," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier this month during Organized Team Activities. "I think this should be the most competitive (training) camp we've had, depth-wise, and that's just a tribute to what happened in the draft and the guys coming back off of injuries and the guys we have been able to acquire. It should be a really hard-nosed tough camp for us."
At different times this offseason, Carroll has pointed to receiver, running back, the offensive and defensive lines, linebacker and the secondary as position groups that should be highly competitive.
If you're talking about starting jobs, right cornerback and strongside linebacker are two that are currently up for grabs, as are a few spots on the offensive line. But there are other position groups where the top spots might be harder to crack, but where it's going to be very tough to decide who gets those final roster spots—receiver, D-line, safety and running back all come to mind.
Jonathan Crass, whose Twitter handle was not quite Seahawks.com appropriate, asks, "Will we see a pass rush group of Cliff Avril and Frank Clark and defensive end and Michael Bennett and Malik McDowell at defensive tackle? And any guess on playing-time percentages for each player?"
A:To the first part of that question, I'd say yes, it's very possible, likely even, that those four are on the field together at times in passing situations. Avril, Clark and Bennett all played together a lot in nickel packages last year, and Carroll has made it clear that they like the idea of McDowell being a disruptive interior presence as well as an option at end.
As for who plays how much, it's too early to try to estimate playing time numbers, but it's probably a safe bet that Avril and Bennett will again be among the team leaders in defensive line playing time. At their best, however, the Seahawks have had deep defensive lines, so ideally a lot of players would be on the field for roughly 50-60 percent of the snaps over the course of the season with few, if any, having to play nearly every down.
@HolliWinters asks, "If Seahawks players had a hot dog eating contest, who would be the favorite to win?"
A:Having never sat down to watch players binge eat, I'm hesitant to name a favorite, however we can assume an offensive or defensive lineman would likely be the winner, right? Then again, you wouldn't look at Takeru Kobayashi and assume he's a competitive eating legend, so maybe there's a smaller player on the roster we're not thinking of. As Sheil Kapadia detailed in a piece for ESPN.com, Russell Wilson is on a nine-meal, 4,800-calorie-per-day diet this offseason, so while not a big guy, maybe Wilson would be a surprise contender since he's able to eat a breakfast consisting of six whole eggs, fruit, two cups of oatmeal and chicken breast. Plus, Oscar Mayer was headquartered for nearly a century in Madison, Wisconsin, Wilson's last football stop before joining the Seahawks, so maybe that's a sign.
Regardless, it's safe to assume that team nutritionist Michele Clarke-Mason would not approve of such an unhealthy contest.
@VedderCup, @MexicanGuyAngel and @UnintendedMax all ask if the Seahawks might wear throwback uniforms in the future.
A:This is a popular Q&A question, and for good reason—that old blue and silver combo looked good—but as I've answered before, a throwback doesn't seem to be in the works anytime soon. In addition to usual home and away uniforms, the league allows teams one alternate (not including color rush), and since 2012, the Seahawks have worn wolf grey as their alternate. So unless the Seahawks want to give up their grey alternates, or unless the league decides to allow teams more uniform combinations, it would seem that throwbacks will have to wait. Another issue with a Seahawks throwback is that as of 2013, for safety reasons, teams cannot use more than one helmet during a season, so to wear silver helmets, the Seahawks would have to come up with a decal that completely covers the helmet, or repaint 53-plus helmets for a one-off game.
@TruthisTold2U asks, "How has Blair Walsh looked kicking?" As well as if there's a backup plan should Walsh struggle?
A:To be completely honest, I haven't paid extremely close attention of the work of specialists during offseason workouts, though one thing that is noticeable even at a quick glance is that Walsh, despite being a fairly small guy by NFL standards, has a big leg. As for competition for that job, Walsh is currently the only kicker on the roster, but that definitely could change by the time training camp comes around. Walsh will have to earn his spot on the 53-man roster, either by beating out a yet-to-be-named player for the job, or by being so good in training camp and the preseason that the Seahawks don't feel like they even need to bring in a second option.
A total of eight Seahawks players made NFL Network's Top 100 of 2017.