The Seahawks are back after a weekend off and are now gearing up for a Christmas Eve game against the AFC West-champion Kansas City Chiefs. But before we turn our full attention to that game, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. As always, thanks everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around. And remember, in addition to asking questions via Twitter, you can also do so online at Seahawks.com/mailbag.
@michaelpherman asks, "I'm assuming the Seahawks are going to go full retro with giant pads, baggy jerseys*and*neck rolls, yes? But really, any other insights you can share?"
A: Ha, I love it. What if part of a team wearing throwbacks was that everything had to be authentic to the era those uniforms were worn? "And this week, with the Packers wearing their 1920s throwbacks, they'll be in leather helmets… " OK, so that's actually a terrible, unsafe idea. Disregard.
So no, I don't think the Seahawks throwbacks will include oversized pads, big ol' neck rolls or any other staples of the era, but as for actual insights about throwbacks in 2023, I don't have much to share other than that, at some point next season, the Seahawks will be wearing 1990s era throwbacks. More information should be coming this offseason, and in the meantime, fans can sign up at seahawks.com/throwback-uniforms/ to receive more information when it becomes available, and can also enter to win a throwback jersey.
@RossFrieser asks, "It seems like a 7-win season would have been considered a success before the season began, then the playoffs became a possibility. Where's the bar now?"
A: First off, I think we need to clarify whose expectations we're talking about, because while you're right that, externally, a lot of folks didn't see the Seahawks as a playoff-caliber team, the belief has been there within the building all along that this could and should be a contending team. Starting at the top with Pete Carroll, the Seahawks never thought they were anything less than a playoff-caliber team, regardless of what players might have moved on in the offseason, and despite some recent struggles, they've shown they are very much a contender in 2022.
And to your point, Ross, expectations have surely changed for a lot of fans who came into this season thinking it was about building for the future, then got excited about what the team was doing, particularly during a four-game winning streak earlier this season. Suddenly being 7-7 feels almost disappointing given the recent losses, even if your expectations weren't that high to begin with. That's the beauty of sports fandom—you can come into a season thinking you're just going to enjoy watching young players develop and focus on the future, but once your team starts winning, it's impossible not to get sucked in.
The good news for the Seahawks, regardless of what you were or weren't expecting of them coming into the season, is that they have three games left to try to get back on track and earn a playoff berth, and even if things haven't gone as planned in recent weeks, they're still playing meaningful games down the stretch, which is not a statement every team can make.
@Noa_253 asks, "With the Broncos pick looking good, what position will the Seahawks look to fill first? Defensive line, quarterback, linebacker?"
A: Seen a lot more in-season draft questions than in the past, though I suppose holding a potential top-5 pick, via the Broncos, will get fans looking ahead. I'm not going to pretend A. to know much of anything about next year's draft class, or B. have any inside info on what the Seahawks' front office is thinking, but I will say that it sure is a nice luxury to have two first and two second-round picks, especially when two of those are projected to be near the top of each round.
Without knowing what happens in free agency, and particularly with Geno Smith, who is on a one-year deal, it's impossible to know what the Seahawks might want to do come draft weekend, but I will say that in general terms, if there's a game-wrecking defensive lineman available with that first pick, I don't think too many people would feel bad about that pick. There's a reason so many of the league's best edge rushers and interior linemen were taken with early picks—those types of players are rare—and Seattle's sustained success under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, while a great thing, has meant that they've never had a chance to draft players like Nick Bosa, who had a pair of sacks against them last week, or Aaron Donald, who, well has been a nightmare for opponents for nearly a decade.
But again, the Seahawks are in great position in terms of draft capital, meaning regardless of what they do with that top pick, they'll have a chance to add a lot of talented players on the first two days of the 2023 draft.
@kmasterman asks, "What's your favorite story of Turf the dog?"
A: Oh man, where to start. To me it's not so much any one story when it comes to Turf, but just the constant joy he brought to anyone who was lucky enough to run into him on any particular day. I can't tell you how many mornings were made better because the day started with seeing Turf on the way into the building.
But if I had to pick any one thing to remember Turf by, it's the fact that he lived such a great doggy life with three football fields as a yard, and with so many people, led by the fields and ground crew, that made up his extended family in addition to his No. 1 human, fields & grounds manager Sergio Pedroza. And to see Turf play in the sprinklers, sticking his mouth and snout in the water while bouncing around, was to witness joy in his purest form.
RIP, Turf, we all miss you, buddy.
@MikeCFromNJ asks, "Do the Seahawks have any nose tackles coming in this week with Bryan Mone out and Al Woods iffy?"
A: I can't tell you if the Seahawks are or aren't going to add interior defensive line depth this week, but I feel comfortable saying they're at least looking at all their options there. As the question notes, Bryan Mone went down with an ACL injury on Thursday, and as of now at least, we don't know the status of Al Woods, who missed that game with an Achilles injury. The Seahawks used Poona Ford and Myles Adams in that nose tackle role after Mone went down, but that's not really either player's natural spot, as neither has the size of Woods or Mone. If Woods is back this week, that will obviously be a big help, but either way, the Seahawks are no doubt at least looking at what their options are to add interior line depth, whether or not they actually sign anyone.
Leslie Sweeney from Bellingham asks, "I've thought that Godwin Igwebuike has done a really good job at kick returner. Could he be used as a running back sometime soon?
A: First off, you're right that Igwebuike has looked great in the return role, already accounting for four returns of 30 or more yards in two games, including a 50-yard return that helped set up a touchdown.
The Seahawks can elevate Igwebuike from the practice squad one more time, but after that they'll need to make a move to get him to the 53-man roster if he's going to keep handling return duties the rest of the season. As for if/when he has a role on the offense, to me that will come down to how well and how often the Seahawks can run the ball in general. Over the past month or so, the Seahawks just haven't been able to get the running game going, which has led to more pass-heavy play-calling in some games, or in other games just fewer offensive plays overall if the offense isn't able to convert on third down and extend drives. And if there aren't a lot of carries overall, it's hard to get multiple backs involved beyond Kenneth Walker III, who is definitely a player the Seahawks want getting a lot of touches given his big-play ability.
If, however, the Seahawks can have a game with a lot of rush attempts, it wouldn't surprise me if Igwebuike gets a little work on offense to see if his explosive return skills translate to offense, again, assuming he's elevated off the practice squad or added to the 53-man roster.
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from Thursday Night Football vs. the 49ers at Lumen Field on December 15, 2022 at Lumen Field. Eye On The Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.