The 2016 schedule is out, the draft is in two weeks, and here in the Seahawks digital media department, we're enjoying some cupcakes. And if there's time for cupcakes, there's definitely time to answer some of your questions. As always, thanks to everyone who submitted questions this week, and apologies if I didn't get to yours.
@AGarrett 90 asks, "What are your thoughts on having to travel to Green Bay in December to cover the Hawks?"
A: Well, Appleton, Wisconsin, which is where we stayed last season, was beautiful to visit in September, and I'm guessing it might not be quite as pleasant in December. Just a hunch, but downtown Appleton's lovely Saturday farmer's market probably won't be happening when we're there this time around. That being said, I'm not about to complain about getting to travel to one of the most historic venues in the NFL to watch two of the NFC's top teams play what could be a game with big playoff implications. And after Minnesota last January, the bar for uncomfortably cold weather is going to be tough to top.
And much more important than what I think, the Seahawks will go to Lambeau confident they can play in any conditions after surviving minus-6 degree weather in Minneapolis last season. Of course, it's probably safe to assume that any team with a road game at Green Bay on its schedule would prefer to have that game show up early on the schedule, as it did for Seattle last year.
@Tomcsh asks, "How does the NFL decide the bye weeks?"
A: Some folks might be unhappy about the Seahawks having a Week 5 bye this season, but because the league has to spread out byes for all 32 teams between Week 4 and Week 13, some will have early byes each year and some will be late. The Seahawks had a bye right in the middle of their season last year, an early one in 2014, and a late one in 2013, so it's not as if they've repeatedly been stuck with early byes.
Overall, it's a lot of work to make a schedule that is as fair for every team as possible while dealing with everything from travel logistics going overseas to conflicts ranging from concerts to Papal visits. http://mmqb.si.com/mmqb/2016/04/14/2016-nfl-schedule-release
And if you're unhappy about the early bye, remember that the Seahawks still managed to win the NFC West and earn the NFC's top seed in 2014 with an even earlier bye (Week 4).
@kibbykibbykibby asks, "Who would be the best baker on the Seahawks?
A: Until somebody else on the team demonstrates the ability to bake an apple pie from scratch, linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis is the very easy choice for this one.
@TruthisTold2U asks, "Is there anybody in the draft Seattle would trade up for?"
A: Presumably, yes there is. If a good enough player were available and the Seahawks felt the time was right to move up, they are willing to do so, as was evident last year when Seattle moved up in the third round to take Tyler Lockett. That being said, the Seahawks have traded back much more often than they've moved up since Pete Carroll and John Schneider took over, so just because they're willing to move up for the right player, that doesn't mean it will happen.
@Dah_knee asks, "Did you taste any cupcakes?"
A: Unfortunately I have not tried any of our schedule cupcakes yet. That could change before the day is over, however.
UPDATE: At the urging of Jessica Shusko, our social media intern who baked the cupcakes, I have now tried one. It was delicious, and fortunately tasted like cupcake and not any of that weird stuff we put in them.
@kozy_familyfun asks, "What is the Seahawks' number one objective in the draft? What position?
A: To answer the first part of the question, the objective would be to just make the team better. Boring answer, I know, but that's what the Seahawks will hope to do by adding players who can compete for starting jobs or provide depth or become big contributors in the future. As for position, I don't think there's one singular position that is the sole focus, but as general manager John Schneider has said several times, the Seahawks grade the draft based on their team, not the league, which is to say that they evaluate players with their current roster in mind. So while the Seahawks won't go into a draft thinking they absolutely have to get Position X in the first round, if they think they are weaker at that position than another, a player who plays that position might be higher on their draft board than would an equally talented player at another position.
@TheCrappyTotals asks, "Is the Rams' trade for the No. 1 pick a smart move?"
A: Ask me in five years… Oh, you want an answer now? Well the Rams did give up a lot to acquire the No. 1 pick for Tennessee, so they're definitely taking a risk, but if the quarterback they select works out—presuming they moved up to get a quarterback—then nobody will remember what they gave up to acquire him. Finding the right quarterback is so important to success in the NFL, and not every team is fortunate enough to acquire that player with a third-round pick, so if the Rams, who already have a strong defense and a young potential star at running back, are sold on one of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class, then this could be the move that turns them into a playoff team. As is the case when any team trades a lot of draft capital to move up, there is a risk of hurting depth down the road with such a move, but again, if the quarterback hits, that's probably worth it.
Not a retrospect, but a pictorial glimpse at players, moments, destinations of which to look forward.