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Seahawks Mailbag: Former Players As Coaches, Pass Rush & More 

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It’s Tuesday, which means it time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn’t get to yours this time around. And remember, you can submit mailbag questions both via Twitter (@johnpboyle) or online at Seahawks.com/SeahawksMailbag.

Braden Webb from Maple Valley asks, “What really went wrong in the Baltimore game?”

A: Sunday’s 30-16 loss to the Ravens is actually one of the easier “what went wrong” scenarios to explain. The Seahawks turned the ball over twice, and both times the Ravens scored on those plays. That right there is the difference in the final score. Considering the Seahawks were driving when Marcus Peters intercepted Russell Wilson and returned it for a touchdown, and considering how good the Seahawks and Wilson are in late-game scenarios, the Seahawks would have been right in the game and had a very good chance of winning if not for those turnovers.

The other big factor was Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was incredibly difficult to contain as a runner, including on a critical fourth-and-2 run on which he scored Baltimore’s only offensive touchdown.

@walkngirl asks, “What is contributing to the relative lack of quarterback sacks this season?”

A: Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been asked about this a few times of late, which is understandable considering the Seahawks have just one sack in their past three games. And while he definitely expects to see that improve, there have been mitigating factors, including the Browns using a quick passing game, and the Seahawks not rushing Jackson very aggressively because of the threat he presented. And as Carroll also noted during his Monday press conference, the Seahawks haven’t exactly been getting lit up by opposing quarterbacks, holding four straight passers under quarterback ratings of 90. Again, the Seahawks want their pass rush to improve, and they believe that will happen soon, but they’re also not panicking about the recent lack of production.

Howard Hustoft from Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho asks, “Would the Seahawks ever think of hiring Kam Chancellor as a coach?”

A: If Chancellor were to express interest in coaching, sure, I would imagine Carroll would strongly consider bringing in a player with Chancellor’s leadership ability and knowledge of the game. However, and this is a very significant however, the real question here is whether or not Chancellor would want to be an NFL coach. I’ve seen this question a few times with regard to various high-profile players, and in general I don’t think the players discussed would be that interested. Why? Because being a coach in the NFL is really hard work—late nights, long hours, no weekends, etc.—and being a brand new, inexperienced coach means starting at the bottom, no matter how accomplished you were as a player. So if you’re someone who made tens of millions of dollars, and who has other business interests, and who is starting a family, do you really want to put in those crazy hours for not great pay relative to what you made as a player? Some players might, but most would rather pursue other interests. So while Chancellor has been and will continue to be a somewhat regular visitor around the VMAC and at games, I wouldn’t expect to see him coaching anytime soon.

Randy Wesserman from Cashmere asks, “Why is Jon Ursua always a healthy scratch? When will he get a chance?”

A: The Seahawks like Ursua and fellow rookie Gary Jennings enough to carry seven receivers on the roster, which is an unusually high number, but on gameday both have been inactive most weeks, as this question notes. The reality is that three and sometimes four receivers take up the majority of playing time in any given game, so for the Seahawks to have more than five active, those players would have to be making big contributions on special teams, and for now the Seahawks are going with other players in those roles.

Owen Pringle from Sammamish asks “When will DK Metcalf get more involved?”

A: I’d counter that Metcalf is very involved in Seattle’s offense already, especially for being a rookie at a position where it can sometimes be hard for first-year players to make an immediate impact. The second-round pick has started six of seven games, is usually one of the top two or three receivers in terms of playing time, and he’s currently second to Tyler Lockett in receiving yards with 389, and fourth behind Lockett, Will Dissly and Chris Carson in receptions with 20.

That puts him on a pace for 45 catches for 889 yards, which is a pretty darn solid start to a career.

Dorian March from Lewiston, Idaho asks, “Was the Hawkumentary about the touchdown celebration coordinator a joke?”

A: Miss Heidi has since left us for the bright lights of Hollywood, but I can’t divulge any of her secrets, so you’ll just have to watch the video and decide for yourself.

@Elsaucy asks, “How does Pete Carroll plan on improving the turnover ratio?”

A: Sunday’s loss was a great example of why Carroll puts so much emphasis on turnovers, but while things didn’t go Seattle’s way in that department against Baltimore, they’ve been pretty good in that department in general. Last year Seattle led the NFL in turnover differential, and this year they’re plus-four, even after being minus-two last week.

As for what the Seahawks do, it starts with an every-day emphasis. From meetings to practice to just about everything the Seahawks do, Carroll “it’s all about the ball” message is everywhere. Offensive players know how important it is to take care of the ball, and having a quarterback who is mindful of the ball is key, while defensive players constantly work on punching the ball loose, taking advantage of tips and overthrows, and finding other ways to get the ball. That doesn’t mean the Seahawks will win the turnover battle every single week, but over the course of Carroll’s career, they’ve been very good in that department, ranking second behind New England with a plus-86 turnover differential since 2011.

Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seattle Seahawks' Week 7 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.

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