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Seahawks Mailbag: Pass Defense & Obscure Pets, Pearl Jam For Kids & More

You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.

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The Seahawks are 3-0 after yet another thrilling win at CenturyLink Field, and now head to Miami knowing there's a lot to like about their offense, and a lot to clean up on defense. Before we turn our attention to this week's game, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thank for everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around.

@UnintendedMax says, "I think we should be able to credit Russell Wilson with six touchdowns Sunday, what say you?"

A: Well yes, Wilson definitely should have had one more first-half touchdown had DK Metcalf not fumbled through the end zone after a 62-yard catch that should have been a 63-yard touchdown, but Wilson will be more than happy to take five touchdowns and more importantly, a victory. Also, we can't know for sure how the game would have played out had Metcalf not had that learning moment? Maybe the Seahawks take a more comfortable lead with that touchdown, and as a result they aren't having to score a touchdown late in the game, in which case Metcalf maybe doesn't get a hypothetical second touchdown. Regardless, Metcalf learned a hard lesson—I'd be willing to bet good money he never celebrates prematurely again in his career—the Seahawks got a victory, and the Wilson still has a league-leading 14 touchdown passes, the most by a quarterback through his first three games in NFL history.

@SeanHQuinn asks, "Who on the D-line has impressed you most thus far?"

A: Look, I get that highlighting the run defense when the Seahawks have given up the most passing yards in the league might seem a little odd, but the Seahawks have in fact played really good run defense when teams actually try to run on them, including against a New England offense that run a ton in Week 1, and against Ezekiel Elliott, who had 185 rushing yards in his first two games and 34 on 14 carries against Seattle.

As a result, when it comes to picking D-linemen who have impressed early, I'll point to two of the big run-stuffers in the middle, Poona Ford and Bryan Mone. We expected Jarran Reed to be a force in the middle, and he has played very well, but the Seahawk are also getting big contributions from a pair of undrafted players who have shown the ability to get into the backfield and stop the run, including last week, when Mone led the way in stopping Elliott in the end zone for a safety.

@Agethoy asks, "Will Shaquem Griffin get another opportunity?

A: Griffin, who was elevated off the practice squad for last week's game, had some bright moments, particularly on the last drive, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that he will indeed be back on the field this week having earned that opportunity with his play. How that happens, in terms of the roster, remains to be seen. Under a new rule this year, teams can elevate up to two practice squad players the day before a game without a corresponding move, essentially creating a temporary 55-man roster for the weekend, which is what they did last week with both Griffin and Ryan Neal, who made the game-clinching interception. Those players revert to the practice squad Monday, so as of now that's where Neal and Griffin both are, though the Seahawks have two open spots on the roster as of now with Rasheem Green going on injured reserve last week, and with linebacker D'Andre Walker getting waive Tuesday. Players can be elevated twice from the practice squad without being added to the 53-man roster, so the Seahawks could do that again with Griffin, or they could just sign him this week. Also new this year is the ability to protect up to four practice squad players, meaning other teams can't sign them, and the Seahawks did that this week with both Griffin and rookie tight end Stephen Sullivan, so one way or another, it looks like Griffin will indeed be on the field in Miami on Sunday.

Nils Stadtlander from Germany, Larry Garman from Montesano, @thomsen_kirk and several others asked about the Seahawks pass defense and what can be done to fix it.

A: Carroll has been asked about this a number of times—understandably given the numbers Seattle has allowed—and he obviously wants to see his defense do better. Carroll explained Monday that he thinks the lack of preseason and offseason workouts seemed to have affected defenses more, meaning offenses are ahead, so perhaps the defense catches up a bit. The Seahawks have also played three very good quarterbacks in Matt Ryan, Cam Newton and Dak Prescott, so they and their offenses deserve credit, and with Seattle's offense doing so well, all three opponents have been throwing a ton while playing from behind.

All of that aside, however, the Seahawks know they need to be a lot better on defense. As a somber Bobby Wagner said after Sunday's win, "It's not something I am accustomed to. It is not something I want to be accustomed to. We'll make the changes, we just need to get off the field, we need to make our plays. I think that's really it, just need to be a little more locked-in, a little more sound, and make our plays when they come to us and get off the field. I think we are hurting ourselves in a lot of facets and we have to get that out of our ball."

Most important for the Seahawks is getting rid of the big plays they have allowed. Stopping explosive plays is a huge deal for Carroll, and so far the Seahawks have allowed the most explosive passes (16-plus yards) of any team in the league, including three touchdowns of 40 or more yards against Dallas. It's one thing if, while playing from behind, an opponent dinks and dunks their way down the field on a time-consuming drive. Carroll can live with that to some extent, but when teams are moving the ball in big chunks like Dallas was, that's something the Seahawks know they need to fix in a hurry, whether through coverage schemes, finding ways to get more out of their pass rush, or perhaps even personnel change if necessary. 

@michaelpherman asks, "Which player has the most obscure pet?"

A: A lot of players have dogs, but the only somewhat obscure pet I'm aware of is Rasheem Green having a chameleon named Leek. I'm not positive Green still has Leek—he brough Leek with him from USC to Seattle three years ago—but that's definitely the most interesting one I can think of on the current roster.

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YFC #leek

A post shared by Rasheem Green (@sheem) on

@TomPage asks, "Did Alton Robinson exceed expectations in his debut?"

A: I'd say that depends on your expectations? If you were basing expectations on the fact that he's a fifth-round pick who had been a healthy scratch the previous two weeks, then yes, a key sack on the game's final drive and a tackle for loss on a running play would probably exceed expectations. If, however, you were able to watch Robinson in training camp, what he did on Sunday wasn't all that surprising. I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on defensive line play and the nuances of playing defensive end when it comes to evaluating every play, but I can tell you that in just about every practice, Robinson found himself in the backfield at least once or twice a day either pressuring the quarterback or blowing up a running play. It may have taken Robinson a bit longer than he wanted to get on the field, but I would think he has a role in the defensive line rotation moving forward.

Via Strickland, a 7-year-old fan from Graham, asks, "We love the Seahawks. I also like to play jokes on my dad, the kind that don't get you in trouble. Do you have any ideas for me?"

A: Easily my favorite mailbag question this week, thanks Via. This one shared by ESPN's Matthew Berry is pretty fantastic and harmless:

Also, the old whoopee-cushion-on-the-chair prank is always fun, though I wouldn't recommend taking it to school on April Fool's Day and putting it on your teacher's chair. That's purely hypothetical advice, of course… Sorry, Mrs. Gidner.

Prudence Bassett from Bremerton asked for an 85*th* birthday shoutout for her mom, Imogene Newberry, who is a big Seahawks fan.

A: This came in last week, so guessing we're late by a few days, but happy belated birthday, Imogene! Glad the Seahawks could give you an exciting game for your big day.

Eric Johnson from Seattle asks, "Do you know when Chris Carson or Jamal Adams could return?"

A: The good news is that those two, and the rest of the Seahawks injured in last weekend's game, escaped serious injury, but that doesn't necessarily mean everyone will play this week against Miami. In fact, Carroll said it will be a challenge for Adams to get back this week, and in general the Seahawks are always going to make sure they're looking out for their players' long term health, so no one will be rushed back, especially with a bye coming up in Week 6.

We'll have to wait until late in the week to know more after the team has practiced, but my guess would be there will be several game-day injury decisions this week.

@kmasterman asks, "What is your kids' favorite Pearl Jam song?"

A: Seeing as our girls are five and three, they like music they can jump around and dance to, so they definitely lean toward the more up-tempo Pearl Jam songs when their dad gets to pick the music. If you've ever been lucky enough to attend a Pearl Jam show, think of the songs that get the crowd clapping along and jumping up and down, songs like "Corduroy," "Given To Fly," "Porch," "Better Man" (after it picks up a little ways in), and their cover of "Baba O'Riley." Lately we've had Pearl Jam's newest album, Gigaton, playing the car quite a bit, and I usually have to restart it over and over because they like the four-song opener of "Whoever Said," "Superblood Wolfmoon," "Dance of the Clairvoyants" and "Quick Escape."

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