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Seahawks Mailbag: Russell Wilson’s Chemistry With The Rookies, Tight End Depth, Ice Cream & More

It’s mailbag time once again, folks. The Seahawks kicked off organized team activities this week, and a holiday weekend is rapidly approaching, which makes now a good time to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks to everyone who asked a question this week, and apologies if I couldn’t get to yours this time around.

@BazzMann20 asks, “Are Russell Wilson and the rookie receivers creating some chemistry? How do you think the receiver corps will look by the regular season?”

A: Now that offseason workouts have progressed to the stage where rookies and veterans can work together, this will be an important piece of the puzzle for Seattle’s offense, and Wilson no doubt understands that it will be important to help get rookies up to speed. In years past, Wilson has organized informal workouts with his teammates during the break between June’s mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp in late July, and I would expect we might be seeing some pictures and videos posted on social media this summer of Wilson working with his pass-catchers, including Seattle’s rookie receivers.

It’s probably a good sign as well that Wilson called general manager John Schneider the day Seattle drafted DK Metcalf to ask about the receiver out of Ole Miss, and Metcalf noted during rookie minicamp that Wilson had already reached out to him via FaceTime. If Wilson was making that effort when he wasn’t in the building, it’s safe to assume he’s going out of his way to interact with the rookies and build the chemistry that could pay off during the season.

@LadyMoonRaven87 asks, “What sort of good things do you see from our rookies this year? Can we make it to another Super Bowl?”

A: I’m not about to predict a Super Bowl for any team in May, so let’s just say that I think the Seahawks will field a competitive, playoff-caliber team, and from there just about anything is possible. As for the rookie class, what I’m seeing doesn’t really matter much, so let’s instead look at what Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said about the rookie class earlier this week.

“"I’m pumped about this group, man,” Carroll said Tuesday. "I just have been. Their minds are in the right place. They’re really focused on studying and learning. They feel the responsibility of catching up. You know, they’re asking questions, they’re staying late, they’re coming around and doing everything they can to make sure that they’re doing their part. Plus, there’s some talent out here that’s obvious it’s going to add to the competition of all the different spots. Everybody that’s had the opportunity has made a good statement about where they know they’re going for it. And it’s really exciting for us.”

Wilson has also been impressed, saying, “To be honest with you it’s been one of the best rookies classes I think we’ve had in a while in a sense of—nothing against the other classes—but I think the preparation in terms of the guys has been really special. You really notice that from the defense side and offensive side. It’s been exciting. I think John (Schneider) and Pete did a great job of picking the guys and making sure that one, they’re very, very talented, but also high character, hard-working guys. It’s across the board. We’re rolling in the meetings and they’ve caught on extremely, extremely well in the language and everything else. It’s a no-problem, no-issue thing for them."

@Ryan37142201 asks, “With Tyler Lockett becoming more of the No. 1 receiver, do you see Travis Homer taking over some of the punt and kick returns?”

A: So far I haven’t heard any talk of Homer as a returner, and the rookie running back didn’t handle those duties at Miami either, so I don’t necessarily see that falling to him. That being said, your thought process on Lockett is a good one, and yes, there’s a good chance the Seahawks could look to take some of the return burden off of Lockett given what he means to the offense. The problem with that, however, is that Lockett is an All-Pro returner and it’s always tough to take the ball out of someone’s hands when he’s capable of making so many big plays happen every time he touches the ball. Last year the Seahawks had Rashaad Penny handle eight kick returns to Lockett’s 19, so already that’s something they’re willing to consider, and there are other strong candidates on the roster, including J.D. McKissic, who has a lot of return experience, but who was injured for most of last season.

“We always are thinking that way,” Carroll said of possibly using Lockett less on returns. “We’ve been thinking that way for a few years. We look for the opportunities and stuff like that and see if we can maximize his play, however we do that. He’s such a great catcher and a great return guy that it’s hard to put somebody else in his spot, but we’ll continue to always lean that way. We’d rather kind of pick and choose when we do it, particularly in the kickoffs, but he’s just such a great punt returner, it’s hard to take him out of there. But we do have some guys now, we have some guys working hard on it.

As for this year’s rookie’s class, Carroll said defensive back Ugo Amadi, who returned punts as a senior at Oregon, looks to be “well-equipped” in that area based on what he has shown so far in offseason workouts.

“He looks like he’s comfortable catching the ball and moving and all of that,” Carroll said.

@Pier_C_1 asks, “How are the Seahawks looking at defensive tackle? Are we done adding or can we expect more coming in?”

A: The Seahawks bring back one of two starters at defensive tackle, Jarran Reed, who is coming off a career-best year in which he recorded 10.5 sacks, but while he’s all but a lock to start, there’s less certainty at the other starting spot, which last year was held by Shamar Stephen, who left in free agency. Poona Ford, an undrafted rookie free agent last year, came on strong late in the season and Carroll has said this offseason that Ford will compete for a starting job. The Seahawks also signed veteran Al Woods, who could definitely be an option there, and drafted Demarcus Christmas out of Florida State. Adding Woods and Christmas, as well as free-agent signing Jamie Meder and undrafted rookie Bryan Mone, gives the Seahawks improved depth from earlier this offseason, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re done. As John Schneider often says, roster building is a year-round process, and there are still some notable free agents available, so the Seahawks could still look to add to that group in the near future or later in the summer as teams start making roster cuts.

@Shilstad asks, “How’s Will Dissly doing with his rehab?”

A: Dissly’s promising rookie campaign was cut short by a patellar injury, and while he isn’t yet able to fully participate in offseason workouts, he is running and making good progress, Carroll said earlier this offseason.

“He’s making great progress,” Carroll said during the draft. “Really everybody is excited that he’s going to be OK by the time we open up. At camp it will be a really interesting time to see how far he’s come. He’s running, he’s working. He looks good, his attitude’s great, his weight is up, and all that. Strength is really good. Everything is pointing toward where he is going to be very competitive. We loved the start he had with us last time around. Our hopes are really high that he will be a big part.”

And speaking of the tight end group…

@BrodySaidSo asks, “Is the front office happy with Will Dissly, Ed Dickson and Nick Vannett,” or if not if the Seahawks might look to add to that position via trade?

The fact that the Seahawks didn’t add to tight end in the draft would seem to indicate they like the group they have, though they did go out and acquire Jacob Hollister from the Patriots for a 2020 seventh-round pick. And I’d also add George Fant’s name to the group you listed above, because while he’s still an offensive tackle, the Seahawks use him quite a bit as a blocking tight end.

“We love the big tight ends, as we showed you last year with George Fant doing a great job for us,” Carroll said earlier this offseason. “So Will and George and Eddie Dickson, those guys are a pretty good group right there. They all are a little bit different. We will use them according to their strengths, hopefully well.”

And again, the Seahawks never stop looking for ways to improve the level of competition on their roster, so you can never rule anything out, but they do like the talent and versatility they have at tight end right now.

@AaronQ13Fox, who has a 2-year-old, says, “Compare the 4-year-old temper tantrums to the 2-year-old ones, please.”

A: Obviously every kid is different, but with our older daughter, I’d say they’re less frequent, so you have that to look forward to, but the older she gets, the more stubborn she can get with said tantrums. Also, being more verbal at this age, there’s more yelling about what she’s mad about as opposed to the crying and kicking and screaming when she was younger. For example, yesterday morning was, between sobs, “I wanted to brush my teeth first!” All because I had the audacity to brush our younger daughter’s teeth first, which is the routine pretty much every single morning.

@ramdonomo asks, “What are their favorite ice cream flavors?”

A: I’m assuming this question is in regard to my children, who are referenced in the tweet, and not Seahawks players, but if you’re asking about players’ favorite flavors, well, sorry, I couldn’t tell you. Somehow that hasn’t come up in any previous conversations. With young kids, pretty much any ice cream is the best thing in the world to them. But as of now, the 4-year-old says strawberry is her favorite, though I’m sure that will change by next week. Our 20-month-old daughter, meanwhile, has yet to decide on a preference, though she is definitely a fan of ice cream. In fact, her vocabulary, though still limited, does included chanting “ice cream, ice cream, ice cream” while swaying side to side in an odd little toddler ice cream dance. She has also figured out how to drink the last of the melted ice cream out of the bowl, inevitably leaving a bowl-shaped ice cream ring on her forehead every time.

Photos from the Seattle Seahawks' third session of organized team activities held on Thursday, May 23 at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

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