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Seahawks Mailbag: Most Competitive Positions, Training Camp Info, A Bit Of Real Life & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.


The Seahawks wrapped up their offseason workout program last week, their first under new head coach Mike Macdonald, which means players are now off for the next month for a well-deserved break before they return for training camp in late July. But even if players have left the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for the time being, the mailbag is always open, so let's get into it. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around. And remember, the mailbag is always open for submissions at

And before we get to the football stuff, I'm going to dive into some more serious topics answering a question that is timely both with Juneteeth coming up tomorrow and with this being Pride Month.

John from Homer, Alaska asks, "*I have loved the Hawks since 1980, I am frustrated that the front office and leadership has become politically active and proactive with ads for DEI and LGBTQ+ and Black lives matter. All lives matter and I don't want to be told who matters more. As a dedicated fan, I pay many dollars entertained by my favorite team, I don't want indoctrination or to be subjected to an outside agenda that has nothing to do with the performance of the players or how they 'feel.' I don't push my lifestyle or opinions on others and don't want sports to be doing that to me. I am frustrated and tempted to not watch just because of that. Please share your thoughts on this. GO! HAWKS!"*

A: John, first off, thanks for being a longtime fan and for writing—and lest there be any doubt of John's fandom, know that "Seahawk" is included in his email address.

I understand the desire to see sports as entertainment and a place to escape anything controversial or political—though there's also a discussion to be had about why sticking up for human rights is political or controversial, or why things like diversity, equity and inclusion are considered bad by some—but to tell athletes or teams to "stick to sports" is to ignore the humanity of those people creating the product that entertains you.

When athletes in predominantly Black leagues like the NFL, NBA and WNBA protested after the extrajudicial killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery in 2020, or when NFL players protested in 2017 after a sitting U.S. President referred to protesting players as "sons of bitches," they weren't taking part in some abstract movement. This was personal, real-life shi… sorry, stuff… to them and to those who support them, including, ideally, the teams that employ them.

And you're correct, all lives do matter, but we still need to say things like Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter because, for most of the history of this country, they have not mattered equally in the eyes of the law or to those who historically have held the most power. The default in this country has always been that white, straight, male lives matter. Our country was literally set up this way. No one is saying Black lives or any other lives matter more than others, they're just saying, hey, let's maybe strive to get to a place where they matter on the same level. Systemic racism still affects everything from the legal system to education to healthcare to housing, and since you brought up the LGBTQ+ community, let's not forget that there were still states banning gay marriage less than a decade ago. Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal on a federal level, was decided within my oldest child's lifetime. She's 9.

We are a nation founded on protest, and it's possible to both love a country while the same time challenging it, loudly when necessary, to do a better job living up to the ideals spelled out in the constitution. That's everyone's right, if not duty, including athletes and employees/executives of sports teams.

Cody from Liberty Lake, WA asks, "Do you have any idea when the public training camp dates will be announced so we can come watch the Hawks practice?" Several others, including @Ciancr and @wenfot also asked about public training camp practices.

A: Understandably there's a lot of interest in training camp, and while I don't yet know all the specifics when it comes to open practices, what I can tell you is that information is coming soon, as in next week on Tuesday, June 25. There will be open practices, but I don't yet know how many, and it's worth remembering that the Seahawks are doing joint practices in Tennessee ahead of their preseason game against the Titans, so that will likely cut into the number of open dates. To be the first to know when training camp tickets are available, and just to be in the know on a lot of Seahawks stuff, sign up for Seahawks Email Subscriptions here.

Also, if you want to see a Seahawks practice in their home stadium, Football Fest is back at Lumen Field on August 3 at 1 p.m., with tickets starting at $12.

@nerrad206 asks, "How's the right guard competition looking?"

A: Incomplete would be the best description, most notably because OTAs and minicamp are padless practices with minimal contact, making it all but impossible to make any real judgements about line play. Also, Anthony Bradford, a 10-game starter as a rookie, missed much of the on-field work in OTAs and minicamp due to injury before taking part on Day 2 of minicamp. With Bradford limited and with rookie Christian Haynes still getting his feet wet, McClendon Curtis got most of the first-team reps at right guard, but come camp it figures to be a pretty open competition between all three of those players. As Macdonald noted last week, Haynes' best talents, and really those of any guard, won't fully be on display until pads go on in late July.

@MrEd315 asks, "What's going to be the fiercest position battle for roster spots and starting jobs during Seahawks training camp?"

A: As mentioned above, right guard is probably the most wide open competition when it comes to starting jobs, though there are still a few other positions to sort out, including center, where Olu Oluwatimi looks to be the favorite, and off-ball linebacker, where Tyrel Dodson and Jerome Baker are the presumptive favorites, though they have not yet been able to take part in most of the on-field work due to injuries from last season.

When it comes to the battle for roster spots, two positions that jump out in terms of depth are cornerback and receiver, positions that have both Pro-Bowl-caliber talent in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Riq Woolen and Devon Witherspoon, as well as considerable depth. We don't know yet how many receivers or cornerbacks will ultimately make the 53-man roster, but however that sorts itself out, a least a couple of quality players are going to miss the cut given the depth at those two spots.

Andrew from Portland asks, "What's been the role of assistant head coach Leslie Frazier? Is it purely behind the scenes? Is he a presence at practices?"

A: I had a great chat with Frazier last week for a story we'll run later this summer (shameless plug alert!), and we talked quite a bit about what his role entails. I'll get into more detail in that story, but the short answer is that Frazier, a former head coach and longtime defensive coordinator with decades of NFL experience, is working hand in hand with Macdonald on almost everything, be it in practice or meetings or just about anything else, trying to provide a sounding board and an experienced voice who can help Macdonald with all the challenges that will come with being a first-year head coach. You won't find many coaches throughout the league who are held in higher regard than Frazier, and it's no surprise that Macdonald jumped at the chance to bring him aboard early in the process of building a coaching staff.

"I love Leslie Frazier," said Macdonald, who first worked with Frazier in Baltimore in 2016. "There's a lot of people in this world, especially football world, that love that man. His reputation is well-earned. Man of faith, the character, integrity. He's a leader, servant-leader, a lead communicator. I always go back to that, but he's just got a way of kind of getting people's guard down when he wants to give them a message. I really appreciate that about him. I trust him 100 percent, all the time. I'm just really happy he's a Seahawk."

Richard from Monroe asks, "What do you expect to see from Devon Witherspoon and Derick Hall in their second seasons?"

A: When it comes to Witherspoon, it's hard not to look at what he did as a rookie and expect great things in Year 2. After all, he was a Pro Bowler and one of the league's best rookies in 2023, and the way teammates and coaches are talking about him this offseason, the feeling is that he's only getting better with experience.

As for Hall, the goal will be to increase his role in what is a pretty strong outside linebacker rotation that includes Uchenna Nwosu, Boye Mafe and Darrell Taylor, among others. Hall doesn't need to carry the load at that position, but he showed enough flashes as a rookie to expect that he'll earn more playing time and hopefully find chances to make more plays.

@NC_LH_SEA asks, "How has Byron Murphy II looked so far in practices? I know it's hard to tell right now with no pads, but any insight would be great?"

A: As the question notes, we can't tell a ton about line play at this time of year, but Murphy has been checking all the boxes that he can within the limits of OTAs and minicamp. Murphy definitely looks the part in terms of his build, and even in simple things like hitting a blocking sled, he shows he packs a lot of power. Perhaps most importantly at this stage of the game, he's handling things well when it comes to the mental side of the game.

"What I like about him is just his physical attributes—he's a very stocky guy, he's strong, he's quick, and he understands the game already, which is really nice to see," defensive lineman Leonard Williams said. "A lot of times you see first rounders, rookies and stuff like that., they have all the physical attributes, but they still have to learn football a little bit, whereas he seems like he kind of has that under wraps already. They did a good job over there at Texas teaching him football and also, he's just a hard worker. That's the number one compliment I can give somebody is that they work hard."

The Seahawks took advantage of the nice Seattle weather and practiced outdoors on Wednesday, June 5, 2024 at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center.