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Seahawks Mailbag: Getting The Running Game Going, More Love For Julian Love, Is There A Quarterback Controversy & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.


The Seahawks are right in the midst of the NFC playoff race thanks to a thrilling Monday night win over the Eagles that snapped a four-game losing streak. Next up is a trip to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans on Christmas Eve, but before we turn our attention to that game, it's time once again to open up the mailbag and answer some 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, the mailbag is always open for submissions at

@MrEd315 asks, "Does Drew Lock's success against the Eagles cause a quarterback controversy for the Seahawks?" And Phill from Waikoloa, Hawaii asks, "Any chance Drew Lock plays the rest of the season?"

A: Drew Lock held his own filling in for Geno Smith the last two games, and was great leading a 92-yard game-winning drive. It was awesome to see Lock get that moment, and it's great for the team to have a backup quarterback capable of coming in and playing like that, but despite all of that, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made it clear what the plan is when Smith is healthy, saying, "Geno is our starter."

And again, it's great having Lock play like that as the backup, but Smith won the starting job, and has hung onto it, for a reason, and one need only look at how well he played in Dallas, against statistically a better defense than Philadelphia, in his last game before the injury. Both quarterbacks have a lot of talent and have shown they can win games, but whenever Smith is ready to return, he is Seattle's starting quarterback.

@HolliWinters asks, "The Seahawks came out of halftime running the ball more in the second half. Was this something Pete Caroll and Shane Waldron decided at halftime?"

A: Carroll loved what he saw from his team's offense on its touchdown drive to open the third quarter, one that featured a heavy dose of Kenneth Walker III. But while that is very much how the Seahawks would love to function on offense, it wasn't the case of making a halftime change, but rather of an offense staying on schedule.

As Carroll noted on Seattle Sports 710AM Tuesday, they wanted to start the game the same way, but their first possession started with a false-start penalty to make it first-and-15, while their second started with Walker getting hit in the backfield for a 6-yard loss. It's really hard to sustain drives and stick with the running game with negative plays like that, something the Seahawks avoided on that impressive third-quarter drive.

"That should have been the first drive," Carroll said. "That's how we went into the game. Because we got screwed up with first-and-15 and second-and-16, you didn't get to see it, but that's how we had anticipated starting the game."

Ailee from Newport News, Virginia asks, "What are your thoughts on the tush-push? In favor of it or should it be banned?"

A: As we've seen throughout the league this year, the tush push or brotherly shove or whatever you want to call the Eagles' near automatic short-yardage play has actually not been so easy for the rest of the NFL to emulate. Plenty of other teams have tried a version of it, and with far less success than Philadelphia.

So I tend to agree with what Pete Carroll and several players said about the play last week leading up to the Philadelphia game, which is that it's up to teams to figure out how to stop it, not up to the league to ban the play. If there ends up being data down the road that shows it's a particularly dangerous play, then I think there's a discussion to be had, but if people are talking about banning it just because the Eagles are better at it than the rest of the league, that feels like an overreaction to me.

If every team in the league masters the play somewhere down the road and it basically eliminates all drama on third or fourth-and-one, then maybe there's a discussion to be had for banning the practice of pushing a ballcarrier, but right now the discussion feels too much like the desire to punish one team for being better at a play than everyone else.

@ValeKunDo says, "Julian Love's got to be the starter going forward."

A: Love has had a role in the defense all season long, but as this question alludes to, he hasn't been an every down player in some games, depending on Jamal Adams' availability and on the game plan. When Adams has been healthy, he and Quandre Diggs have been on the field as the starting safeties, while Love comes on for three safety/big nickel packages. In some games that still means a lot of playing time for Love, while in others his role has been reduced if the Seahawks play mostly with two safeties and three cornerbacks.

We don't know yet what Adams' status is for this week, but getting back to the point of this question, it does seem like Love, who was just named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording two interceptions against the Eagles, deserves to be on the field as much as possible going forward, regardless of other circumstances. There are a few ways the Seahawks could get that done, either by using more three-safety looks, or by giving Adams more snaps off to try to keep him healthy down the stretch as he continues to deal with the effects of last year's torn quadriceps tendon. I don't know how it will play out over the next few weeks, but my hunch is that, based on how he is playing, Love is going to be on a field a lot for the defense going forward.

@enzo_sco asks, "Do you think Devon Witherspoon can make it back before the end of the season?"

A: I have no inside info here, but based only on what we've heard from Pete Carroll, not to mention the fact that Witherspoon was listed as questionable for last week's game and not doubtful or out, I would assume Witherspoon is back soon, perhaps even for this week's game against the Titans.

"He's got a legit issue with his hip," Carroll said after the game. "It's not a damaged hip. It's just a hip pointer. But it's really deep and really painful. He's been really uncomfortable with it. I can't imagine that he won't be able to make it back. That's me wishful thinking. We need him back out there."

Even if, as Carroll noted, it might be a bit of wishful thinking to try to will Witherspoon back this week, the fact that there's not damage to the hip beyond the hip pointer, would seem to point to Witherspoon getting back at some point sooner than later.

Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from the Seahawks' victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football in Week 15. Eye on the Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.