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Seahawks Mailbag: An Abundance Of Linebackers, Running Back Carries & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers. 

It's mailbag time once again, folks, so let's get right to it. As always, thanks to everyone who asked a question this week, and apologies if I wasn't able to get to yours this time around.

@StormsseN asks, "How many linebackers can we fit into a defensive scheme?"

A: Well the Seahawks use three linebackers in their base defense and two in nickel packages, so in general they'll only have three linebackers on the field. That being said, the Seahawks are really deep at linebacker this year, and in Barkevious Mingo and Shaquem Griffin, they have players who might also contribute to the pass rush. Mingo started at strongside linebacker last year, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said earlier in offseason workouts that they're looking to use him more as a pass-rusher this year. Griffin, meanwhile, played weakside linebacker last year, and is still playing there in the nickel defense, but he's also working at strongside linebacker and as a pass-rusher. If either of those two can show the ability to get to the quarterback, the Seahawks will find ways to get them on the field even if Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendrics are holding down the starting jobs.

@guillevz_ asks, "How is Will Dissly's recovery going, and how important is Will going to be for the Seahawks' 2019 plans?"

A: The latest update on Dissly came from Carroll during minicamp earlier this month, and the news is encouraging. Dissly, whose impressive rookie campaign was cut short due to a patellar tendon injury, may not be on the field on Day 1 of training camp, but all signs point to him being returning to action during camp.

"He's on schedule," Carroll said. "We'll get to camp and figure out what it means in camp. He's running, catching balls and doing stuff in the workouts and all that, so he's making good progress. We think there's no reason for him not to be on schedule when we get back to camp, which would mean we'd not rush him, so we'll take a few weeks in camp before we would think to cut him loose."

As for Dissly's importance, he should be a big part of Seattle's offense, both in the running game and as a pass-catcher. The Seahawks liked Dissly in the 2018 draft first and foremost due to his blocking ability, and that showed in his injury-shortened rookie season, but what also stood out was better-than-expected production as a pass catcher. The Seahawks like the other options they have at tight end, so there's no reason to rush Dissly back, but when healthy he figures to have a big role on offense.

@theOriginalJ_Lo asks, "Assuming a healthy season from both, is there any possibility of Penny getting more carries than Carson this year?"

A: Is it possible? Sure it is, but Chris Carson, who is coming off of a 1,151-yard season, will be tough to unseat from the starting spot. Ideally the Seahawks will find ways to get Rashaad Penny plenty of carries along with Carson, and perhaps from game-to-game the split will vary. And it's worth noting that when asked about Penny and Carson earlier in the offseason, Carroll used the term “one-two punch” and added, "and I don't know who's one and who's two, it doesn't matter to me."

In other words, the Seahawks hope to get a lot out of both of those running backs, and Carroll doesn't really care if there's a clear-cut No. 1 back (sorry, fantasy football players).

@HolliWinters asks, "What is Pete Carroll's favorite gum flavor?"

A: Strangely enough, this is at least the third time I've been asked about Coach Carroll's gum in a mailbag, and the second time someone named Holli has asked about it. Unless he has changed things up recently, Carroll likes to chew Bubble Yum during games, going through approximately 15 pieces on gameday, give or take a few pieces.

@djentle_jake asks, "Which player, current or recent, would make the best politician?"

A: Doug Baldwin is the first name that comes to mind—he's incredibly bright, is outspoken on important issues, and showed a willingness to get involved in the political world by making multiple trips to Olympia to discuss Initiative 940. So if Baldwin decides to pursue politics someday, I would not at all be surprised.

As for current players, Duane Brown has the smarts and leadership skills for a job in politics. Russell Wilson has long showed the ability to successfully take on a number of tasks in addition to football, and that ability to multitask could translate well to politics, and he'd certainly have name-recognition on his side. Or, let's see Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright run together for something to keep alive a partnership that has been so productive on the field.

@spoorow asks, "Do you have some tips if I would like to visit a game in Seattle from the Netherlands?"

A: Pick an early-season game if you want good weather for your visit.

If you like the outdoors, give yourself a chance to get out of the city and explore, whether than means a trip to the coast or to the San Juan Islands or into the Cascade Mountains or to the Olympic Peninsula to visit Olympic National Park. Or if you don't have time for that type of adventure, just hop on the water taxi that goes from downtown to Alki, get some food at Marination Ma Kai, then hop on a bike to Alki for a beach experience within city limits.

If you like beer, sample some local breweries; there's a ton of them making great beer. Go to the Pike Place Market, it's Seattle's top tourist attraction for a reason. Get a burger at Dick's on Broadway and then explore Capitol Hill, one of Seattle's most interesting neighborhoods. Go to Ballard for some of Seattle's best food, beer and a trip to the Ballard Locks.  

If you're a fan of music and/or popular culture, the Museum of Pop Culture is a can't-miss stop.

And eat seafood, it's one of the things we do best here.

@walkngirl asks, "Can Jacob Martin become a star DE?"

A: Star? Let's slow down on that talk for now. But can Jacob Martin be a big part of Seattle's defense in 2019? That's what the Seahawks hope can transpire. Martin finished last season on a high note, recording 3.0 sacks over the final seven games, and four tackles in Seattle's playoff loss at Dallas. And with the Seahawks looking for pass-rushers to step up following the offseason trade of Frank Clark, Martin will be given every chance to carve out a significant role in the pass-rush rotation.

"I'm pretty excited about what Jacob Martin did," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in March. "If you guys check his stats, you'll see Jacob Martin's pressure percentage was really up there with elite players in a limited role. As a matter of fact, I saw Jacob the other day, he looks great, working hard to keep—he lost weight during the season, trimmed down more than we would like him to. I think if he can maintain his weight around 245, right in that area, I think it's going to make a difference. But he had a very effective year, three sacks and a really good looking percentage of pressures, I think 15-something, which is right up there with really good players. So we're thinking we give him more opportunities. He's got a great motor, he plays like crazy on the field."

@flashdash007 asks, "You can only have one for your all-time Seahawks team: Shaun Alexander or Marshawn Lynch?"

A: This is a very tough choice, and there's no bad answer here. Alexander is responsible for one of the best individual seasons in franchise history, and is the only player to win league MVP honors, while Lynch put together a dominant four-year stretch, helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, and helped give that team its identity.

Again, there's no bad answer here, both were among the very best in the game at their position during their respective eras, but I think I'd give the nod to Lynch not just for his memorable, physical runs, but for the effect his style of play had on the entire team.

@e_hammond asks, "Seems like the WR competition is the most wide-open I can remember. How many receivers do the Seahawks keep on the roster and which ones make the cut?"

A: There have been several receiver questions this offseason, and for good reason. Few position groups will be more intriguing in training camp, because outside of Tyler Lockett, who is all but a lock to be the No. 1 option, the competition for starting jobs and roster spots is wide open. In the past, the Seahawks have usually kept five or six receivers, so expect that to be the case again when the 53-man roster is set. As for who makes the cut, we'll have to wait until September to know for sure, but again, outside of Lockett, it's pretty wide open. David Moore and Jaron Brown have the most experience and Carroll has spoken highly of both this offseason, so they both have a good shot to earn meaningful playing time, as does second-round pick DK Metcalf, who was a standout throughout offseason workouts. If those four do all end up making the team, that would likely leave only one or two spots open for a number of talented options, so again, this will be a very interesting group to watch in training camp and the preseason.

Seahawks defensive end Jarran Reed hosted his 3rd annual free youth football camp in his hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina.

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