Skip to main content
Presented by

Seahawks Mailbag: Offensive Inconsistencies, Penalties, Pete Carroll a Swiftie? & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.


The Seahawks host the 49ers on Thanksgiving night, which means they're already deep in preparation for this week's game, but despite the short week, Tuesday means it's time 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 couldn't get to yours this time around. And remember, you can submit questions to the mailbag whenever you'd like at

@KateOHareWrites asks, "Why are we inconsistent?"

A: Kate didn't specify what inconsistencies she means here, but I'm going to go ahead and address the offense because that has been the unit that seems to be the most up and down of late. Yes, the defense did allow two late—very penalty-aided—scores, but for the most part that unit played a very good game against the Rams.

The offense, on the other hand, looked fantastic to start the game, driving 88 yards for a touchdown on its first position, then adding field goal on the next two possessions. The second half, however, saw the Seahawks held to a single field goal while punting four times with an interception ending another drive. Yes, Geno Smith was missing for three of those possessions due to injury, which is obviously a big factor, but overall, the offense has not been able to put together as many consistent performances as it would like given the talent on that side of the ball.

As Seahawks coach Pete Carroll noted on Monday, the Seahawks started 4 for 4 on third down then lost their momentum there, in large part because they started facing a lot more third-and-long situations either because of penalties or lack of execution on first and second down. Figuring out how to stay on the field and convert on manageable third downs throughout a game like they did early on Sunday will be key for the offense moving forward.

"It just seems like we have not sustained—we ran the ball 16 times in the first half, and we ran the ball five times in the second half, and it goes right back to when we're converting, it changes everything," Carroll said. "It seems like a broken record about the third down thing, but it seems to follow that. We need to execute better there so that we can mix our game the way we like to. That would get us back to the kind of continuity that we want."

@Philipp_Swl asks, "When do we address the problem with the penalties?"

A: The Seahawks know the penalties have been a problem, and they have been addressing that issue—Carroll even said they stopped Wednesday's practice to talk about penalties. The question then is how do coaches get the emphasis on that topic to show up on gameday, and Carroll acknowledged that making that happened ultimately falls on him.

"It is a problem, and we've got to do better," he said. "We overcame a good part of the things that we did on both sides of the football, but it still hindered us and kept us from getting all of the points we could get. We missed some touchdown opportunities and had to kick field goals. It's something we're dealing with, we just have to get to everybody's brain and make sure that everybody can make the right decision at the right time. We need to do a better do a job—I need to do a better job at making sure I'm reaching them and making it happen. It'll call for a recommitment today, and guys doing their part to make the right choices and use the right technique at the right time so we stay out of trouble and all of that. It's on everybody."

@TomPage asks, "Kenny McIntosh should make his Seahawks debut this week, what type of game does he have?"

A: While Kenneth Walker III has not been ruled out for this week's game, Carroll did acknowledge he has a legitimate oblique strain, so seemingly it would be tough for Walker to make it back in a short week. And if Walker can't play, then yes, that would be chance for rookie Kenny McIntosh to make his debut after coming off injured reserve two weeks ago.

And if you're asking what kind of game he has in terms of playing time and production, that I can't say, though his touches would likely be somewhat dependent on how the Seahawks do overall on offense. If the Seahawks can convert on third down and sustain more drives throughout the game, then that will mean more plays, which in turn means more opportunities for multiple backs, which Zach Charbonnet presumably leading the way. 

Now if the question is "what kind of game does he have?" meaning McIntosh's style of play, well that we at least got a taste of that in training camp before he injured his knee in Seattle's mock game in August. And what we saw from McIntosh in camp was pretty impressive, from his shiftiness and ability to make people miss, to his pass-catching skills that could bring an added dynamic to the offense.

"Kenny Mac is ready to go," Carroll said. "He just didn't have the opportunity yet. He'll go right to the front with this thing, he and Zach (Charbonnet) will be knocking it out with DeeJay (Dallas) until we know (Walker) is back. So McIntosh is ready to go, he needs to be ready to play. He's got really good versatility in his catching ability in the throwing game, he's a scatback, got good quicks, good change of direction, good movement and stuff. You guys haven't had a real good chance to see him yet, but we're really excited about prospects of Kenny getting some shots here. So if that happens, we'll count on him to fill that role for us."

Lainey from Quapaw, Oklahoma asks, "What does Pete Carroll think about Taylor Swift? As both a lifelong Seahawks fan and lifelong Swiftie, I need answers."

A: Well, Lainey, I've got some good news for you. Thanks to the influence of his grandkids, Carroll has become something of a Taylor Swift fan, he said earlier this season. The topic of Swift came up with Carroll in September after she showed up at Chiefs game for the first time, and Carroll was asked about it on his weekly show on Seattle Sports 710AM. Carroll shared that he has grown to appreciate Swift, and that a large contingent of his family went to her shows at Lumen Field this summer.

"I happen to really like Taylor Swift," Carroll said on the Brock and Salk Show. "My whole family, all the girls in the family, grandkids and all, and the moms, all went and saw her. It was a big buildup, they came into town for the event. So I kind of got Swiftied into it a little bit. So I was fired up to see her in the booth (in Kansas City) and all that."

@wenfot asks, "Is there an update on Kenneth Walker for Thursday night?"

A: Carroll was non-committal on Monday when asked about Walker's chances of playing, but he did say, "he's got an oblique strain, and those are the kinds of strains that it takes a while to figure out."

And with a Thursday game, Walker and the Seahawks don't have a ton of time to figure it out. So while we won't know more until Wednesday's injury report comes out and we hear from Carroll after practice, it might be a tough ask for a player to come back so quickly from an injury Carroll described as "legit" after the game on Sunday.

@Yakalicious10 asks, "Why don't we blitz more?"

A: You are correct that the Seahawks haven't been a very blitz-happy team. According to Pro Football Reference, the Seahawks blitz at a 22.5-percent rate, which ranks 24th in the NFL. There could be more opportunities to blitz moving forward, especially as Jamal Adams gets fully healthy—rookie Devon Witherspoon has proven to be a very effective blitzer as well—but what most defensive coaches would say about blitzing is that the ideal scenario is to get pressure on quarterbacks without needing to blitz, and the Seahawks have done a pretty good job at that.

While ranking in the bottom third of the league in blitz rate, the Seahawks are ninth in the NFL in sacks with 31, a total that ranks fifth among teams that have already had their bye and played only 10 games. The Seahawks also rank ninth in hurry percentages (7.6), and 13th in pressure percentage (22.4), which combines sacks, hurries and knockdowns.

So again, might the Seahawks find times to blitz more frequently going forward? Sure, but if they can get pressure while still having more players in coverage, that's even better for the defense.

Seahawks practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton, Wash. on Nov. 21, 2023.

Related Content