It's Tuesday, which means it's time once again to answer questions from fans. And I promise this week's Q&A won't end in a tie… Just bad name-related puns, which are probably even less satisfying. As always, thanks to everyone who submitted questions this week, and apologies if wasn't able to get to yours this time around.
@AndrewMBorges asks, "What do you think is going to happen at LT?" While @KBottom2 asks, "Are the Seahawks going to look to make a trade to bolster their offensive line."
A: Seahawks left tackle Bradley Sowell went down with a knee injury in Sunday's game, and while the good news is that he won't need surgery, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did say Monday that Sowell will "take a few week" to get back. George Fant was Sowell's replacement in the game Sunday, so obviously the undrafted rookie is an option there, but just because he filled in there doesn't necessarily mean the job is his this week and beyond. Knowing they have to replace Sowell for at least a few weeks, the Seahawks could consider other options, Carroll said, including using J'Marcus Webb, who has spent time there in practice, and starting right tackle Garry Gilliam, who spent most of offseason workouts and part of training camp at left tackle before moving to the right side.
"George jumped in there," Carroll said. "We've been counting on young George to jump up one of these times—we didn't know when that was going to be—and he did an admirable job for his first time ever. We've got some choices, J'Marcus has moved around, of course Garry has played over there—we have some things we can work with."
As for the idea of a trade, this is a good time for a reminder that, as an employee of the team, it's not really appropriate for me to comment on rumors involving specific players. I'm not ignoring your questions, nor do I blame fans for being curious about said rumors, it's just not my place to address them. In general terms, it's safe to say the Seahawks front office is always considering all options, but as Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle Monday morning, finding help via a trade right now is not the most likely option.
"I don't think there's a guy out there who's going to come flying in here," Carroll said on the Brock and Salk Show. "Now if there is, John (Schneider) will figure it out. He'll figure it out if there's something we can do. We have never not been looking for another player at every position, we're always looking, that's the way we do it… This is the most difficult time to find a player just sitting there, so it's not likely."
@mrtommygman asks, "Since we're on the subject, what kind of overtime system do you like best for football?"
A: I wasn't a fan of the old system in which a team could win with a field goal on the first possession of overtime, but I don't mind the current setup. More often than not, both teams get a chance to have the ball, and I just don't have a lot of sympathy if a team loses because they couldn't stop a team from marching down the field and scoring a touchdown on its first possession.
That being said, I really like the college format, because it is the most fair in terms of not putting too much of an advantage on getting the ball first, and because teams start deep in opposing territory, it's exciting. Also, no ties.
@Foxxfo asks, "What's the plan for the running game? Is Thomas Rawls healing well, who will start, him or Christine Michael?" And @FNTSYGuyBuddy asks, "What do you think the backfield split will be once Rawls is back?"
A:With Thomas Rawls getting closer to returning—Carroll said Rawls will run this week and should start practicing next week—and with C.J. Prosise returning to game action Sunday, the Seahawks are getting closer to the running back depth they were hoping to have when the season began. Rawls has been out long enough that it's probably not realistic to assume he'll jump right in and be the lead back, and with Christine Michael playing well this year, there's no need to force it with Rawls. That being said, the Seahawks did put Rawls back in the starting role in Week 2 after a limited role in Week 1, so long-term that likely seems to be the way they'll do things. Even when Rawls is at full strength, and even if he's the starter, Carroll has said multiple times this season that he likes the idea of a 1-2 punch at running back, so don't be surprised if those two split carries throughout the season (sorry, fantasy football players).
Getting Rawls back is just one step in improving the running game, Carroll said: "There's no question that we've missed Thomas' factor, just his style of play and all of that. To have a real 1-2 punch would be a nice asset… Thomas coming back, he's a big factor for us. We love the way he plays."
@UnintendedMax asks, "Whose defense was better on Sunday night, the Cardinals' that forced so many punts, or the Seahawks' that endured so many plays?"
A:Great questions, and I don't really think there's a right answer. On one hand, Arizona kept the Seahawks from ever getting going in regulation, forcing nine straight punts before the Seahawks turned a Tanner McEvoy blocked punt into a field goal. On the other hand, the Seahawks defense was on the field for so long, in part because of the offense's struggles, and still managed to limit the Cardinals to 6 points despite being on the field for 95 plays. Both were very, very impressive performances in their own right, and while I don't think you can definitively declare one as being superior to the other, what Seattle's defense did was so rare, it might be more memorable than Arizona's dominant performance. Seeing Seattle's defensive players so physically spent after the game, it was hard not to be impressed that they were able to hold on for so long, including two impressive goal-line stands in overtime.
@German12thMan asks, "How do you personally feel about a tie?"
A: In general, ties are a little unsatisfying, but this particular tie isn't a terrible result considering A. it came on the road, B. it was against a team trying to make up ground in the standings on the first-place Seahawks, and C. the Seahawks got to overtime despite having only five first downs in regulation. The Seahawks definitely feel like they could have and should have won that game, but a tie doesn't do a lot to damage their NFC West title hopes.
@Adeipho_ asks, "Can you ask Steven Hauschka how he's doing and tell him to keep his head up? We got him this week."
A: I can't ask Hauschka about how he's doing, as today is the players' day off. What I can tell you is that while Hauschka was disappointed after the game, saying "It's unfortunate, I feel like I let the team down," the team has full faith in him going forward. If they last long enough in the game, even good kickers are going to miss a big kick in a big moment, and Hauschka is one of the best in the NFL. Even with that miss, Hauschka has the fourth highest field goal percentage in NFL history at 86.7 percent, and the Seahawks are confident he'll come through the next time that situation comes up.
"He has always come through for us and we'll continue to count on him," Carroll said. "He's a great performer and competitor."
@FlocktimusPrime asks, "What would be the best Seahawks related Halloween costume?"
A:"Post NFC Championship Game Michael Bennett" would be fun and pretty easy. All you need is a Bennett jersey and a bike—and if you're really ambitious, a fake beard and a "Police" decal on the bike would help. As an added bonus, you'll get from house to house faster while trick-or-treating. Or do you have some sort of Seahawks shirt/sweatshirt, khakis, white sneakers and a headset? Then you can be Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. Just remember to chew lots of gum and be very energetic and enthusiastic. Don't want to put too much effort into it? Write "Tyler" on a plain T-shirt and carry around a key, acting like you're turning it all night, then when people ask about your costume, say "I'm Tyler Lockett. Get it, lock-it?" Be sure to enthusiastically laugh at how clever you are—that helps. Or, since we were discussing options at tackle earlier, you could go as George Fant-om of the Opera. So basically a Phantom of the Opera costume with a No. 74 jersey.
Team photographer Rod Mar shares exclusive moments from Seattle's Week 7 tie with the Arizona Cardinals.