The Seahawks head into Week 3 looking to bounce back from a tough loss to the 49ers. And before we turn our full attention to Seattle's Week 3 home game against the Falcons, it's time once again 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 couldn't get to yours this time around. And remember, in addition to asking questions via Twitter, you can also submit them online at Seahawks.com/mailbag.
@swftyx asks, "How do the coaches hope to improve from their Week 2 game?"
A: When you lose a game by 20 points, there are plenty of things to clean up, and the Seahawks know they need to fix a few issues if they're going to win on Sunday. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll addressed a couple of the things he'd like to see happen during his press conference on Monday.
On defense, the Seahawks need to be more consistent in the running game, and with their tackling in particular. From a schematic standpoint, Carroll said the goal is to get more players around the ball so that there are fewer one-on-one tackling situations where one missed tackle can be the difference between a tackle for loss and a huge gain, as was the case in San Francisco when a missed tackle on Deebo Samuel in the backfield ended up as a 51-yard gain.
Offensively, the Seahawks know they need to run the ball better, but another thing Carroll pointed out is that they also need to let Geno Smith do more in the passing game. Smith has completed more than 80 percent of his passes through two games, but the Seahawks have been fairly conservative when it comes to taking shots down the field. Carroll doesn't want Smith to force bad decisions, but he noted that Smith has earned the trust of the coaches to start opening up the passing game more.
@JacsonBevens, (who has a pretty good podcast by the way), asks, "Do you think this team, as currently constructed, can overcome two-score deficits, or do they need to be ahead early to have a chance?"
A: As currently constructed? Yes, I think they can. As they have executed on offense the past six quarters? Probably not.
A two-score deficit, unless we're talking about the final minutes of a game, isn't necessarily all that daunting. Even as poorly as things were going for the Seahawks early in Sunday's game, they were a really poor trick play away from potentially heading into the half with the score 13-7. In that case could the Seahawks have overcome that early double-digit deficit, as currently constructed? Sure. But when you turn the ball over in the end zone, and when a muffed punt sets up a touchdown for an opponent, then no, this team isn't going to overcome a big deficit.
And even if some folks might think it sounds a little corny, I do think there's something real about the belief Carroll instills in his teams that they're never out of games. We've seen it time and time again over the years—and yes, I'm aware it was with a different quarterback—that the Seahawks look out of sorts and fall way behind, and then suddenly are right back in the game in the final minutes. Yes, Russell Wilson had a big hand in some of those comebacks, but so too did a defense that tends to be able to flip the switch in the second half regardless of how the game starts and so too have playmakers like DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett who so often show up in big late-game moments.
Again, the Seahawks need to play a much cleaner game than they did against the 49ers, but I do think they're more than capable of staging a comeback if they do address some of those issues.
Jan from Canadensis, Pennsylvania asks, "Seahawks players all had 'Seahawks' on the backs of their helmets, but Geno Smith had 'Black Lives Matter' on his. Why is that allowed? If I were a backup for eight years, I would be happy to be where I was and remain neutral. I was more than a little upset and was hoping all this had passed 'field time.' That was not the time or the place."
A: Oh boy, there's a lot to unpack here.
First off, let's not pretend Smith is on an island in wearing a social justice message on the back of his helmet instead of the standard "Seattle" that would otherwise be in that spot. A quick rewatch of one offensive and one defensive series from the opener showed that Jamal Adams and Uchenna Nwosu also had "Black Lives Matter" on their helmets, while other players wore other messages like "Choose Love" (Tyler Lockett as well as Denver QB Russell Wilson), "Inspire Change" (Rashaad Penny and Penny Hart) and "End Racism" (Dareke Young). Plenty of Broncos players in addition to Wilson had those messages on their helmets too.
Yet even if Smith were the only player with such a message, which is league approved, by the way, on his helmet, why shouldn't he be able to use his platform to make a basic statement affirming his humanity as a Black man? What does being a backup for most of his career have to do with his right to speak out against racism, which is still a very real problem in this country (And this is a discussion for another time, but one could also argue that race played a real role in Smith being a backup for so long when a lot of white quarterbacks with inferior talent/credentials received chances to start between Smith's two stints as a starter).
This idea that players should "remain neutral" on the topic of race is nonsensical considering how non-race-neutral this country has been for centuries when it comes to all the different forms of systemic racism that have prevailed throughout American history. Because a Black man has worked his way to a prominent role with an NFL team, is he supposed to shut off his humanity just because shining a light on racism makes some people uncomfortable?
Smith and so many others feel the need to publicly remind folks that Black Lives Matter, because they have seen so many times throughout their lives that to a lot of Americans, and within a lot of American institutions and structures, their lives aren't equally valued. Generations of Black Americans, including Smith's have been affected by not just individual overt acts of racism that are easy to recognize, but also by systemic racism that shows up in education and healthcare and financial institutions and the criminal justice system and on and on and on.
So Smith and others should "remain neutral" to all of that just because they happen to be good at football? No thanks.
@JacobMc62750848 asks, "With Jamal Adams being out, will Josh Jones stay his replacement for the rest of the season?"
A: That would appear to be the plan right now, and other than a couple of missed tackles, Jones hasn't done anything to change the Seahawks' opinion of a player who was one of the standouts of training camp and the preseasons.
That being said, you can never rule out that general manager John Schneider and Carroll will continue to look for ways to improve the roster throughout the year at every position, safety included. In Jones and Ryan Neal, the Seahawks have two players they trust to fill in for Adams, but if there's more depth or competition to be added at some point this year, that's obviously something the Seahawks could still pursue.
@iamjosh asks, "Who is the oldest player, my kiddo asked?"
A: I guess your kiddo missed Nick Bellore's press conference in which he joked that his teammates must have voted on captains by age, saying, "it's a testament to the young guys sorting our ages in descending order" and noting he and Al Woods must have been selected first.
At 35, Woods is indeed the oldest player on the roster, though his play shows no signs of slowing down—he had a single-game career-high three tackles for loss on Sunday—while Bellore is the team's second-oldest player at 33. Offensive captain Tyler Lockett, meanwhile, is the team's longest-tenured player, having been here since 2015, though at 29 he's still younger than quite a few players on the roster.
The Seahawks and the Falcons will meet this Sunday at Lumen Field during Week 3 of the 2022 season. Take a look back at photos from past games between the two teams.