After a well-deserved break following a successful trip to London, the Seahawks are back in action this week, preparing for a Week 8 game in Detroit. With the bye week over, it's time once again to check the mailbag and answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who took the time to ask a question this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to your question this time around.
@DanCohen17 asks, "John, what was your favo(u)rite thing about my great city of London?" @Dusk118 also asked for my thoughts on London.
A: My least favorite thing was how little time I had to actually explore London. With the team staying at the Grove, a resort near Watford, my time in London was very limited, and as anyone who has spent any time in London knows, it's huge, meaning you need a lot of time to properly explore the city.
That being said, I did enjoy a lovely walk along the Thames on Friday evening, the result of me taking the wrong Northern Line train while trying to reach the Blue Friday rally that was taking place at the Barrowboy & Banker.
And speaking of that Friday night event, one of the best parts of the week was seeing and talking to so many fans from around the world. From the fan events to random encounters on the streets to the game itself, I was very impressed by the showing of Seahawks fans in London.
@Pier_C_1 asks, "Is Ed Dickson going to be used in the passing game or predominantly as a blocking tight end?"
A: The Seahawks welcomed Ed Dickson back to practice on Monday, and they'll be looking for big things from the free-agent addition the rest of the season, particularly with rookie Will Dissly on injured reserve.
As for how they'll use Dickson, it's safe to say they see him as the type of tight end who can help both as a blocker and a pass catcher. Not long after the Seahawks signed Dickson, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll praised him as "a real versatile player," noting Dickson showed big-play ability as a pass catcher with Carolina last season, but was also a very good blocker.
@lukeallenxvi asks, "Who gets cut to make room for J.D. McKissic when he comes off injured reserve?" And KBottom2 asks, what happens when McKissic and Ed Dickson re-join the team.
A: With Dickson, he can practice this week without the Seahawks making a move, but for him to come off the reserve/non-football injury list and play on Sunday, a roster move will have to be made. McKissic, meanwhile, remains on injured reserve, but can return as soon as Seattle's Week 10 game at the Los Angeles Rams.
As for what moves could happen if and when McKissic gets back, there's no point in speculating on that before it happens. Too many things can happen between now and Week 10, including injuries, which could affect roster decisions, and McKissic still has to show over these next couple of weeks that he's ready to go. So while getting McKissic back would be a nice boost for the Seahawks, let's go ahead and wait a couple more weeks before wondering about corresponding roster moves.
@_Niko97_ asks, "With the trade deadline coming up, have you heard of any potential trades to get players?"
A: Heard of anything? No. But if something were happening, I'd be pretty far down on the list of people to hear about it, so sure, it's a possibility. As general manager John Schneider has said on multiple occasions over the years, if they're not at least considering everything, they're not doing their jobs. So yes, the Seahawks will almost undoubtedly engage in some trade talks between now and the deadline—that's just part of doing their due diligence—but talking hardly guarantees that a deal, either to add a player or draft picks, will happen.
The Seahawks have been known under Schneider and Carroll to add talent at midseason via trade, acquiring Marshawn Lynch in 2010 and Duane Brown last year, and they've also traded players away to add picks around the deadline, moving Dion Branch in 2010, Aaron Curry in 2011 and Percy Harvin in 2014. So a trade is definitely a possibility, but I wouldn't necessarily count on it happening.
@JKRotor asks, "With Kam Chancellor always on the sidelines, when will we make him a secondary coach?"
A: You're right in noting that Chancellor, who is unable to play this season due to a neck injury, has been around the team a lot, including on last week's trip to London, and as Carroll has noted on a few occasions, there is significant value in having a leader like Chancellor around the team even if he's unable to contribute on the field.
"He's an extraordinary individual," Carroll said. "He has always been a big factor, not just with what he does on the field, but who he is and how he's been around us. He's been with the team all year. Traveling with us now is just another statement of how we want him connected to us and we'd like him to be connected to us always. He helps young guys, he helps old guys, he helps coaches. He's just one of those guys that has a way about him. It fits and makes other people play better and do better. He's an inspiration and a great guy to have with us."
But just because Chancellor likes spending time around the team and the team likes having him around, that doesn't mean he necessarily has the desire to be a coach. The demands placed on any NFL coach, let alone a first-year coach trying to get his foot in the door, make it a very time-consuming and stressful job. So perhaps Chancellor, who has plenty of interests outside of football, including fashion and travel, is happier in a role where he can be around the team and offer his unique perspective without taking on the demands of a full-time coaching gig.
@codergirl03 asks, "What are the best matchups with the Lions?"
A: There are plenty of interesting matchups to watch in Sunday's game at Detroit, and we'll dive into that more as the week goes on, but off the top of my head, I'm looking to see how Seattle's pass defense, which has been one of the best in the NFL this year, holds up against Matt Stafford and the Lions. The Seahawks currently rank third in the NFL in passing yards allowed (206 yards per game) and are giving up the third lowest passer rating (79.9) to opposing quarterbacks. The Lions haven't put up the volume numbers in the passing game that they're used to, but that's because they're enjoying more rushing success than they have in years past, allowing Stafford to be as efficient as he has in just about any season of his 10-year career. And of course, it will be fun to watch Golden Tate face off against his former team.
@UnintendedMax asks, "How soon before the Seahawks are able to post back-to-back 50-point games again? The O-line changes have been a game-changer."
A: To your actual question, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for back-to-back 50-point games happening anytime soon. While Seahawks fans fondly remember their team doing that in 2012, it's important to understand how incredibly rare that is in the NFL. In fact, according to Pro Football Reference, only three teams have scored 50 or more points in consecutive games dating back to the 1970 merger, the 2012 Seahawks, the 2013 Denver Broncos and the 2014 Green Bay Packers.
That being said, you're right that the offensive line improvement has been a game-changer for the Seahawks. Whether it's the addition of Mike Solari or the signings of D.J. Fluker and J.R Sweezy or the improvement of Germain Ifedi or (most likely) the combination of all of those things, the progress made by that unit has been one of the most encouraging trends of the season for the Seahawks. With that group paving the way for a successful running game and providing time for Russell Wilson to operate, expectations for the offense should be high; just not 50-points-a-game high.
The Seahawks welcomed 12s from everywhere to London's Barrowboy & Banker pub for a Blue Friday rally on October 12, 2018 ahead of the team's Sunday matchup against the Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium.