Greetings Seahawks fans, I hope the offseason has been treating you well. With the NFL Scouting Combine coming up this week and free agency starting in mid-March, it's going to get busier in the NFL world, but before we focus on that, it's time once again 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 wasn't able to get to yours this time around.
Matthew Gregg from East Wenatchee asks, "When is Shaun Alexander going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, or if not the Hall of Fame, what about the Ring of Honor?"
A: Alexander has never been a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame since becoming eligible despite being a member of the 2000s all-decade team and despite having numbers that compare favorably with some Hall of Famers—he has more rushing yards (9,453) than Hall of Famers Earl Campbell and Terrell Davis, and his 100 rushing touchdowns are tied with Marshall Faulk for the eighth most in league history ahead of Hall of Famers like Barry Sanders, Jerome Bettis, Franco Harris, Eric Dickerson, Curtis Martin, Edgerrin James and Tony Dorsett—so whether or not you or I think he has a good case, for now at least it would appear Alexander isn't a serious candidate for the Hall of Fame.
Alexander, who in 2005 became the first, and so far, only player in team history to win league MVP honors, does, however, seem like a very good candidate for the Ring of Honor even if the Hall of Fame isn't in the cards. As for when that could happen, team president Chuck Arnold said on Sports Radio 950 KJR last week that the Seahawks will likely add another name to the Ring of Honor in 2022, and while he gave no hints as to who it could be, Alexander certainly would seem to be a strong candidate to be the next player to earn that honor.
All in all, it seems like for whatever reason too many Seahawks fans don't really appreciate how great Alexander was in his prime. Maybe it was having an icon like Marshawn Lynch follow him in Seattle, or maybe it was the quality of offensive lines he played behind, which I've always thought is a silly argument in a team sport in which every player relies on others to help him succeed, but for some reason people tend to overlook the fact that, in addition to winning MVP honors in 2005 while setting a record, since broken, for touchdowns scored in a season, Alexander also had just a phenomenal five-season peak from 2001-2005, scoring an absurd 98 total touchdowns in those five years while averaging 1,500 rushing yards per season.
@Nuc004 asks, "What is the message to fans from the players after a disappointing season?"
A: For the most part, every player we heard from after the season had a similar message about a 2021 campaign that saw the Seahawks miss the playoffs for just the second time in a decade and have their first losing record since 2011. First, players all acknowledged that the product on the field in 2021 wasn't up to their standard, but they also all felt like the issues that did lead to that losing record aren't overly difficult to fix, and with that there is a lot of optimism about 2022 despite that 7-10 record.
Samuel Harris from Kirkland asks, "What are the top three changes the Seahawks have to make to get the win total up in 2022?"
A: When Pete Carroll was asked about improvements he wants to see in the offseason, one of the first things he mentioned was the pass rush, so I'm not going to argue with the man in charge on that one. Not only would getting more sacks and pressure be good for the defense in terms of ending drives, that would also help the Seahawks create more turnovers, something that the defense didn't do as well as it would have liked in 2022.
In terms of other things to do to be better, since you asked for a top three, I'd point to something that isn't a change but rather an offseason priority, which is trying to re-sign some key players headed towards free agency. As is the case every year and with every team, the Seahawks have a handful of free agents they'd really like to re-sign, and this year that includes the likes of left tackle Duane Brown, safety Quandre Diggs, cornerback D.J. Reed, running back Rashaad Penny and tight ends Gerald Everett and Will Dissly, to name a few. Lastly, I think a key for success in 2022 will be whether or not the offense can pick up where it left off late in the 2021 season. For a number of reasons, not the least of which was an injury to Russell Wilson, the Seahawks offense had some ups and downs in its first year under Shane Waldron. But with Wilson back to playing at a Pro-Bowl level late in the year and with the running game putting up huge numbers, the Seahawks offense looked great over the last month of the season, and if they can come out playing like that to start next season, the Seahawks should be able to win a lot more games in 2022.
@ArrDJay asks, "How is Tre Brown's recovery going?"
A: The bad news is that I don't have a recent update for you on Brown, whose promising rookie campaign was cut short by a knee injury, but the good news is that we will hear from Pete Carroll and John Schneider on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, and they will definitely be asked about players recovering from surgeries such as Brown, Jamal Adams and Diggs, so while I can't provide an update now, stay tuned and you should see one later this week.
@BPatti15 asks, "Who is the best golfer on the team?"
A: I can't say this with any certainty, but my guess would be Jason Myers. Based on social media we know he plays the game in the offseason, and kickers tend to be among the best golfers on football teams for a number of reasons—they have a little more free time than some other players; there is some overlap between kicking and a golf swing when it comes to things like tempo; and there's a better chance they are healthy in the offseason to enjoy golf than some of their teammates who might be dealing with an offseason surgery or nagging injury.
@Kmasterman asks, "How fast can the Boyle girls run/crawl the 4-foot dash?"
A: You're assuming they'll listen to me long enough to get them to run said dash, which is far from a sure thing.
@michaelpherman asks, "In the spirit of bongo day, does anyone in the organization play an instrument?"
A: I've seen Tyler Lockett play the piano at John and Traci Schneider's Prime Time event, which raises money for Ben's Fund. Carroll can play the piano a bit as well, as he showed off during Seahawks draft clues a few years ago. Those are the only two I can think of at the moment, though surely there are other players with musical talents.
@RamblinRob2 asks, "After re-signing the players we want to, how much do you think we have for free agency?"
A: Carroll referenced this topic in his end-of-season press conference when he was asked about the Seahawks having a lot of cap space heading into the offseason, cautioning that the number won't look so big if the Seahawks are able to re-sign everyone they want to bring back. That being said, there are always ways to find more cap space when needed, particularly by restructuring contracts or signing players to extensions that lower their cap number in the upcoming season, so even if the Seahawks are fortunate enough to re-sign everyone they want to, they should be able to make some moves in free agency.
The Seahawks partnered with Intentionalist to support local Black-owned small businesses in the Seattle area as part of Black History Month, with visits to Flowers Just 4-U, The Barbeque Pit, Tougo Coffee, and Baked From The Hart.