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Seahawks Mailbag: Assessing The Defense, Roster Hopefuls & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.

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The Seahawks wrapped up preseason play in Dallas on Friday, and now they, and every other NFL team, must reduce their roster down to 53 players by Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT. With all of that going on, and with the regular-season opener against Denver two weeks away, now is a great time to open up the mailbag and answer questions from you, the fans.

As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I wasn't able to get to yours this time around. And remember, if you aren't on Twitter, or if just don't follow me because you don't appreciate my terrible sense of humor, you can also submit questions via our online submission form at Seahawks.com/mailbag.

@gml1955 asks, "What is your assessment of this year's defense?"

A: Based off of preseason games, my assessment would be pretty incomplete, because while the Seahawks defense didn't look great at times in the preseason, we're talking about a defense that didn't use Jamal Adams, Quandre Diggs, Jordyn Brooks or Sidney Jones IV at all, and that saw several other key starters play only very limited snaps. It's also worth remembering that teams tend to keep it pretty vanilla in the preseason, and that's especially true if you're a team that changed coordinators—why give things away to opponents when you don't have to? So what we've seen in the preseason has been a defense very limited, personnel wise, and that also has not shown off much of what it will do to try to make life difficult on offenses this season.

And if you go by what we've seen in practice, I think there's a lot of reason to be optimistic about what this defense will look like under Clint Hurtt, Sean Desai and Karl Scott.

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XRayBird1 asks, "Do you have any sleeper picks to make the roster?"

A: If you're talking a true sleeper that no one is talking about at this stage, then no, I can't say I do. But if you're looking for a couple of names that might not have been on my—or many other people's—radar to start camp, then the two I'd point to are Myles Adams and Mike Jackson.

Now before we go any further, now is a good time for the disclaimer that I really don't know anything and that, despite working for the team, the front office isn't about to start sharing important decisions with the digital media folks. Anyway, now that we got that out of the way…

With Adams, who has been on the Seahawks practice squad for parts of the past two seasons, it seemed like he might just get caught up in the numbers game when it came to spots on the 53-man roster, but after a strong camp that was punctuated by a great game against the Cowboys, its seems quite likely that Adams could make the team. Jackson, meanwhile, was a player who showed some promise last year, but who looked to be on the outside looking in when the Seahawks drafted two cornerbacks in April. But as Pete Carroll has said on a few occasions, Jackson has been one of the bright spots in camp, and like Adams he was a standout in Friday's game. With Tre Brown starting the season on the PUP list, there just might be room for Jackson on the team even with a lot of other good cornerbacks on the roster.

@kapaa6000 asks, "What's your take on the cause of so many passes being dropped this preseason?"

A: I don't have a great answer for you other than to say that most of the drops have come from young, inexperienced players who perhaps were dealing with nerves in the preseason. And while those drops aren't fun to see, and can be detrimental to a player's hopes for making the team, I don't see it as a big cause for concern once the season starts. None of those drops were from DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who barely played in the preseason and who figured to get the most targets this season. Marquise Goodwin, who was looking like the No. 3 receiver before getting injured, didn't play in the preseason, but drops weren't an issue for him in camp, and the same is true of Dee Eskridge, who showed some flashes in his preseason debut on Friday. So while seeing any player drop a pass is disappointing, especially if that drop might hurt his chances at winning a job, I don't look at those drops and think its translates to drops being a big concern in the regular season.

Philip Benedict from Shelton asks, "Can we keep Michael Bennett and Michael Robinson in the booth all year? Best I've heard in a while with all the banter and cracking jokes. I liked it."

A: You're absolutely correct that the duo of Robinson and Bennett were a great addition to the preseason broadcast, but unfortunately the regular season broadcasts are all handled nationally (FOX, CBS, NBC, ESPN, etc.) and those two were part of the local KING 5 team that handled preseason games. You can catch Robinson on the NFL Network, however, and hopefully Bennett, who is truly one of a kind, will be involved with the team in some way or another, broadcasting or otherwise, somewhere down the road.

On the other hand…

John Anderson from Chehalis asks, "Are the two ex players who help announce the cowboys game going to be working the booth regular season? They are (expletive) terrible and have a poor command of the English language. Please dear God tell me your going to have some properly trained broadcasters…. these idiots rendered the game unwatchable. Had to mute the whole game after the first quarter, just couldn't take it anymore."

A: Well, John, you're entitled to your opinion, and sure, if you're into a more traditional broadcast, maybe the more playful banter of Bennett might not be your thing. However, I will say that Robinson and Bennett are both two of the more intelligent players I've come across in my decade-plus covering the NFL, so insulting the command of the English language of people who might have come from a different part of the country than you, or who might use different dialect or slang depending on their culture or their upbringing, well, let's just say it says more about the person asking the question than the two former players in question.

Lastly, if we want to talk about poor command of the English language, let's go over your question above. For starters, hyphenate ex-players, and in that same sentence, Cowboys should be capitalized since it's the name of the team. Also, "working the booth regular season" sounds funny, did you mean "during the regular season" or something along those lines? In the third sentence, it should be you're, the contraction for you are, not your. Oh, and be sure when calling people idiots, you remember to capitalize the first word in the sentence, that's just basic English. And who had to mute the whole game? That sentence needs a subject.

Gene Backes from Sutherlin, Oregon asks, "With Damien Lewis injured and Abraham Lucas looking so good at tackles, would the Seahawks consider moving Jake Curhan to guard? Loved his play at the end of last season and would like to see him on the field rather than on the bench. Can he play inside?"

A: Curhan started doing some work at guard last year—he was almost exclusively a tackle in college—and while he admitted he felt a little comfortable there at first, that versatility is showing up this year. To your point, Lucas has looked really good and very well could end up being the starter on the right side, at which point Curhan likely would step into a role as a backup tackle and guard, an important role considering teams are limited in how many players they can dress on gameday, meaning there are often times only seven or eight offensive linemen in uniform for a game, making versatility a must for those backups.

With Lewis still out and Gabe Jackson getting the day off, Curhan started at right guard in Friday's preseason finale and played a lot there, but for now at least, I don't see him starting right away if it's not at right tackle. The Seahawks like their guards a lot with Lewis and Jackson leading the way, and in Haynes, who filled in at both spots last year and played very well, they feel like they have essentially a third starting guard. But Curhan's ability to play both spots should help him have an important role even if he's not a starter in Week 1.

Todd Breda from Sultan asks, "I have often wondered why the Seahawks don't hold practices with other teams like I see many other teams doing during training camp. I assume it's travel/logistics issues, but was wondering if there were other factors at play as well."

A: You're right that travel is no-doubt an issue. The Seahawks are the most geographically isolated team in the league, which means other teams might be hesitant to make the trip here, and the Seahawks probably don't want to add another flight to their season when year after year, they are among the league leaders in miles traveled—for example, the Seahawks traveled more miles for their preseason games in Dallas and Pittsburgh than the Steelers will during the entire regular season.

But there's also the element of risk involved when you bring another team into the mix, even if the coaches agree to a certain set of rules and tackling isn't allowed, etc. Look no farther than last week's joint practice with the Rams and Bengals in which a fight broke out and All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald ended up using an opponent's helmet as a club. Or earlier in camp when the Panthers and Patriots practiced together and had multiple fights break out. I'm not saying that's the norm in joint practices, but it's just one more reason why a team might be hesitant to have them.

@wenfot asks, "Is there still a chance of the Seahawks getting a quarterback via trade or signing?"

A: Any chance? Sure, there's always a chance, that's just how John Schneider and Pete Carroll operate—they try to leave no stone unturned when it comes to building a roster. A ton of roster shuffling will take place around the league over the next few days, and the Seahawks take pride in being involved in everything, so if a quarterback they like hits the waiver wire or is available for a trade, they would at least look into it.

But what's worth remembering here is that just because the Seahawks will consider any and all options, that shouldn't be taken to mean they don't like Geno Smith and Drew Lock. Smith did a lot of things really well in winning the starting job—he was a lot better in the preseason than his numbers show, in no small part due to those aforementioned drops—and even if a lot of folks outside of the organization don't see it this way, the Seahawks truly believe they can win a lot of games with him at quarterback. The same is true for Lock, who wasn't able to win the starting job, but who showed a lot of promise, albeit with too many turnovers mixed in.

Geno Smith was named starting quarterback for Week 1 vs. Denver. Let's take a look at some of his best moments from training camp leading into the highly anticipated regular season.

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