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Seahawks Mailbag: Winning At Home, Making Strides On Defense, Tight End Play & More

You had Seahawks questions; former Seahawks wide receiver Michael Bumpus has answers.

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Happy Blue Friday, 12s! As we head into the weekend and get ready for Seahawks vs. Giants back at Lumen Field, it's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. Thank you as always to those who submitted questions on Twitter or Seahawks.com. This week, former Seahawks wide receiver and 710 ESPN Radio Analyst Michael Bumpus addressed your questions on both sides of the ball ahead of our final five games of the season.

@TheRealJQuinten is wondering, "Seattle and Pittsburg are the only teams undefeated at Home so far (5-0). How important is it for the Hawks to be the 1 seed for the playoffs? With or without the 12s. Thx Bump. #GoHawks"

A: "How important is it? I think it's important, but not as important as it would be in previous years. In previous years, you got the crowd obviously that can shift momentum. Now, home field advantage just means you don't have to travel, you get to sleep in you bed, you know what time you'll get to the stadium – just familiarity. But, if you do get home field advantage and that No. 1 seed, more importantly you get that first round bye. That first round bye is going to allow guys to get healthy. Even if you don't have any major injuries, guys are dinged up. They can take a week off to get their body right and it allows the coaches to prepare. Even through they don't really know who to prepare for, they can split the duties up and prepare for two opponents. So is it extremely important? I wouldn't say it's extremely important because studies have shown that road teams have been more successful this year than they have in the past because there are no crowds shifting momentum. But, it's more about getting healthy and allowing coaches more time to prepare."

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@walkov5678 asks, "How'd your defense improve so much in such a short time?"

A: "One, Carlos Dunlap. Two, Jamal Adams getting healthy. I think those two are the main factors of why this defense has gotten better so fast. Carlos Dunlap has been with this team what, four weeks? 4.5 sacks. Jamal Adams missed four games – he leads the team with 6.5 sacks. Those guys get it going. Now we talked about the defensive line before the season started, lots of concerns there. What do the Hawks do? They add a veteran to lead the charge there. The secondary we felt pretty good about, it was just guys weren't healthy. Jamal Adams just adds an intensity to that secondary, but he plays a lot in the box. He is a safety, but he's going to play on that second level, he's going to blitz off the edge – he brings intensity as well. And then guys just learned their positions. Benson Mayowa wasn't a starter before he got here, he got banged up and now he's back in the mix. Poona Ford looks good in his second year, D.J. Reed is looking good. It's all about guys getting comfortable with their roles on this team, winning their individual matchups, and now having great leadership on that defensive line with Carlos Dunlap and Jamal in the back. You already know the linebacker core was solid with Bobby, K.J., and Jordyn Brooks. They are just starting to buy into the scheme, understand their roles, and react. Not thinking, they are reacting out there, they are playing football. I love it."

Patrick Boyle from Philadelphia asks, "What can we expect from Rashaad Penny when he returns?"

A: "I wouldn't expect much early. I don't think they need much from Rashaad Penny right now. Chris Carson is healthy, Carlos Hyde is healthy, you still have DeeJay Dallas. It would be nice to give him the rock this year, give him a few carries and see what he has. But, at the end of the day I think they have a 1-2 punch that's good to go. If we do see Rashaad Penny on the field, I think he gets 1-2 carries to start. It's just to get him back in there, have him take a couple of hits. That's the thing: when you come back from an injury, you're second-guessing everything. Can I take this hit? Can I cut there? Can I do that? I'm sure Rashaad is mentally tough. He knows what he's doing, but bring him in slowly, give him a couple touches, and get him back on the field with the team. I wouldn't expect much early. Now you get later into the season, Week 15 or into the playoffs, maybe you might see more of Rashaad Penny. But early, don't expect much, just get him out there with the boys, getting comfortable playing football again."

@boomshakamaui asks, "What's up with TE Cody Parkinson, figure to be a factor this year?"

A: "He's coming off a foot injury, and the thing about that is that's everything you do as a route runner, putting pressure on your foot and cutting the other way. Will he be a factor? He has an opportunity to. With Greg Olsen being out, there's a spot there. You still have Will Dissly, you still have Jacob Hollister, two tight ends who have shown they can get it done. But I feel like Colby Parkinson is probably the best route runner when it comes to that tight end group. I think Dissly is the best overall tight end. I really think Will Dissly is a No. 1 tight end in the NFL. He can play on a team and be the first option at that tight end spot. But when Parkinson gets healthy, I expect him to be a pass threat more than a run threat. I don't know what his blocking skills are like, but I know at Stanford he could really catch the ball and run routes. Again, another player you don't really need to rush into action right now. Get him in slowly, get him a few snaps, let him wet his feet and see how his body responds. It's mental. An athlete needs to get on the field and feel it. So, give him a few weeks, see how healthy he is, see what his mentality is like. When he's good to go and believes 100% in his foot, I think he can contribute. But right now, Uncle Will and Jacob Hollister are good enough for me."

@LesMetrovich is wondering, "I think Russ needs to spread the ball out a bit more, use the tight ends, Hollister and Dissly have more than proven themselves this and previous last couple of years. Plus our backs going out. DK is a beast, but let's not use him for everything, keep 'em honest? Thanks."

A: "I can get with that. The more the merrier. At the end of the day, Russ is going to go through his reads and throw the ball to who he trusts the most. I think the tight ends can play a big factor. They're going to be crucial in the seams, the flats, all the short stuff, the chip flats, the show-and-run, getting outside. I think that's good, but this offense has been explosive because of three guys: DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson. And let's not forget D-Mo. David Moore doesn't have a lot of catches, but he does have some big-time catches. Now you sprinkle the tight ends in this offense, I think they'll be great. More in the red zone and short yardage in my opinion. You have to go through your reads 1 through 3. What is the defense giving you? What is the play designed to do? Maybe Shottenheimer is just not calling up plays that are really dialed up for the tight ends. That can be a factor there. Should he spread the ball around? Yes. Does that mean he should force it? No. Keep doing what you're doing Russ. If we happen to see the tight ends get more involved, I'm not mad at that either."

Al Handelit from Bainbridge Island asks, "Ugo Amadi is ranked fairly high in coverage skills (eg, closing speed, tackles, catches allowed, etc) according to PFF (Pro Football Focus). Is there something that prevents Coach Carroll from using him on more than just Nickel Packages? I know Coach has a preference for taller DB's, but Amadi has been outstanding pretty much all season."

A: "I agree with you, Amadi has been doing a great job. I think at this point, he just has guys in front of him who are playing well. I mean Trey Flowers is playing well, Shaq [Shaquill Griffin] is back and playing well, D.J. Reed is playing well. Ugo Amadi was brought here to play safety and got moved into that nickel spot. That nickel spot is his. Him and Ryan Neal can go back and forth. I think they're just keeping him where he's most comfortable. Can he play outside? I believe that he can, but he doesn't have to play outside. They have guys there, there's a lot of depth there at that corner spot especially when [Quinton] Dunbar gets healthy. Special teams he's made an impact as well. I don't think it's a knock on Ugo Amadi. I think he has found a position on this football field and they just want him to master that position. Be the greatest nickel you can be. And then if something happens on the outside or the safety spot and the Hawks need you, you'll be able to move into that position. You got to know one thing really well. One spot. Once you got that done, you can spread your wings and go to other places."

The Seattle Seahawks meet the New York Giants for the 19th time in franchise history this Sunday, December 6 at 1:05 p.m. Take a look back at past matchups between the two teams.

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