The Passing Game, Pete Carroll's Khakis, Eggnog and More in this Week's Seahawks Q&A

Answering questions about the Seahawks, and a few other random things, in this week's Q&A.

You had Seahawks questions, I have answers. Or at least I try to have answers; sometimes I just have bad jokes. As always, thanks to all who sent in questions. Apologies if I wasn't able to get to yours this time around.

@kkurt13 asks, "Can we expect a great passing attack like it was against the Steelers throughout the rest of the season?

A: If you're asking if you can count on five passing touchdowns and 345 passing yards in every game going forward, no, that's probably not realistic. But can the passing game be efficient and successful going forward? That's a fair expectation. More than anything, we're seeing Russell Wilson thrive in the pocket in recent weeks as the pass protection improves, and assuming the line can build off of its recent success, there's no reason to think the passing game shouldn't continue to look good going forward.

"I think the most obvious part of this is really what's going on up front," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "I think we've just come a long ways, and I think the pocket being so consistently solid for him makes a huge difference. The rhythm, since the break we had, we've really tried to feature a fast rhythm and making sure he's really got a chance to get the ball out fast to keep the pressure off of the guys up front. All of that has happened with more earnest because of how the start was. I think it's a combination, but I really think the guys up front are really improving and that's what's made the difference for us. We're playing off of that."

@MilesDaily asks, "Dolphins reporter Omar Kelly Tweeted that the Dolphins lost a good player in A.J. Francis. What is it that the Seahawks like about him?"

A: A.J. Francis, a defensive tackle who Seahawks initially claimed off of waivers two weeks ago, then waived, then signed to the practice squad, then eventually re-signed to the 53-man roster, is a player the Seahawks have had their eyes on for a while, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said after the team initially claimed him off waivers from Miami. The first thing Carroll has mentioned when asked about Francis is his size. Francis is listed at 6-foot-5, 321 pounds, giving Seattle a defensive lineman with size and length that wasn't on the roster up to this point. In the past the Seahawks have usually had at least one tall, long-limbed defensive lineman—Red Bryant, Alan Branch and Tony McDaniel, for example—but until now they didn't have a player like that.

"A little different guy, a little bigger guy than we've had," Carroll said. "We kind of like the thought that he can help us inside with that rotation."

And with Demarcus Dobbs and Jordan Hill both dealing with injuries this week, it's possible Francis could factor into that D-line rotation this week.

@Gink_1228 asks, "How many pairs of khakis does Pete Carroll own?"

A: Well according to this Sports Illustrated feature from Carroll's first year in Seattle, he has 20 pairs pressed and ready for wear at the VMAC. How many does he own overall? Well that's just a question I'm not sure anyone has bothered to ask. It's safe to assume, however, that there is no shortage of the pants he calls "utility trousers" in Carroll's closet at home.

@abman25 asks, "What is the status of Beast Mode and Paul Richardson?"

A: Carroll said it's too early to know much on Marshawn Lynch's status other than that his surgery went well last week. The best case scenario Carroll laid out for Lynch last week was a 3-4 week timeline, so it's likely we won't hear much on Lynch's status for at least a couple more weeks.

As for Richardson, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, Carroll said Monday that Richardson "has a great shot" at playing this week, and said the receiver will likely practice Wednesday.

@jackie_lund aks, "Who would win a model pose-off between Cooper Helfet and Kam Chancellor?"

A: Well, Helfet has done a little modeling as a side gig in the past, so he ought to have the edge in this one, right? If, however, the judges of this pose-off are former receivers or tight ends who has ever run a crossing route, they may be intimidated by the mere presence of Chancellor and hand him the title.

@andydrinkswater asks, "Can Seattle's defense stop Adrian Peterson?"

A: First off, Andy, good work staying hydrated. To answer your question, the Seahawks have been good against the run this season, holding opponents to an average of 92.5 rushing yards per game, which ranks fifth in the league. The Seahawks have not, however, faced a running back as good as Peterson, who at 30 is leading the NFL with 1,164 rushing yards. It's probably not realistic to think the Seahawks can completely shut Peterson down, but if they can keep him in check, say, under 80 yards, and force second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater into some obvious passing situations, would be a pretty successful day.

@irliteach asks, "Do you like eggnog?"

A: I like it all right, but it's not my favorite. I'll definitely drink it this time of year just on occasion to get in the holiday spirit, or at a party, perhaps with a holiday spirit.  

@Tacomagamefan asks, "What's the deal with the secondary, which still has three LOB founders? Nagging injuries, poor communication, wrong scheme, or?"

A: The Seahawks have indeed given up a few more yards and big plays than we've been accustomed to seeing over the past few years. Some of that has just been the result of playing some very good quarterbacks like Carson Palmer, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Andy Dalton, but there have been correctable mistakes as well. Players and coaches have pointed to communication issues at time, ones they say are fixable, but a change at right cornerback also points to coaches thinking that the personnel has been at least part of the issue.  

One thing to remember before getting too worried, however, is that the Seahawks, and their defense in particular, have been strong finishers. The Seahawks weren't leading the league in many defensive categories at this time last season, but thanks to a dominant stretch of game to close the season, they had allowed the fewest points and yards in the league by the end of the year.

@sarah_seattle12 asks, "Do you think the Seahawks will keep Jimmy Graham around next season?" And @ArrDJay asks, "Will Jimmy Graham be back in 2016? What's the team's mood like with so many injured starters and being in the hunt?"

A: Carroll said Graham should be fully recovered from his knee injury by the beginning of next season, and yes, I absolutely think they Seahawks will keep Graham around. NFL teams don't trade a first-round picks for a one-year rental. The Seahawks added Graham because they thought he could help this season, which he has up to this point, but also because they see him as an important piece of their future. As for the mood, players understand that injuries are an unfortunate reality in their business, so while they feel bad for Graham and any other player who is sidelined by an injury because they care about each other, they also understand they have to keep going forward with the players who are available.

@starwarsnerd75 asks, "Why did they flex Baltimore vs. Seattle from Sunday Night Football? Did they believe it would be a blowout?"

A: If you hadn't heard already, the Seahawks' Week 14 game at Baltimore has been flexed out of the Sunday night slot and will now take place at 10 a.m. PT. While a lot of Seahawks fans would prefer to see their team in primetime, it's worth remembering that this is a ratings decision, not one made to somehow hurt the Seahawks. The Ravens are 4-7 after their wild win on Monday, and their starting quarterback and running back are out for the season. If the Seahawks get on a roll, they'll likely be heavy favorites in a game against a team with a losing record and a backup quarterback, and if they don't win another game or two before then, it could be a game between two teams that are out of the playoff hunt; neither of those scenarios are big ratings grabbers.  

@Beast_blood123 asks, "What's going to happen with the loss of Jimmy Graham? Is the offensive game plan going to change against the Vikings?"

A: Obviously Graham will be missed; you can't easily replace one of the best tight ends in football. But don't look for the Seahawks to suddenly overhaul their offense 12 weeks into the season either. Luke Willson had to take on a bigger role last season when Zach Miller went down with an injury, and the Seahawks have full confidence Willson can step up again, as can Cooper Helfet, who will also likely have a bigger role going forward. Ultimately, however, the Seahawks will still look to run the ball and Russell Wilson will do his best to spread the ball around to all his weapons. If anything, the Seahawks' refusal to rebuild their offense around Graham and force feed him the ball should pay off going forward now that he isn't available.

@jacobhawkr asks, "How come the defensive coordinator is on the field and not in the box to see the entire field better?"

A: For play-callers on both sides of the ball, this is a matter of personal preference. Some coaches like to see the field better from above, as you mention, but others, Kris Richard included, like to be on the field so they can communicate directly with players and get a feel for the game from up close. When Gus Bradley was Seattle's coordinator, he operated from the field, while Dan Quinn preferred to be in the box; both of those worked out well. And it's worth remembering that just because Richard isn't up there, that doesn't mean he doesn't have other assistants in the box with whom he can communicate.

@AGarrett90 asks, "Do you think they'll continue to mix and match the CB spot opposite Richard Sherman?"

A: It appears DeShawn Shead will be the starter opposite Richard Sherman for now. He won the job last week, then played very well against the Steelers. That being said, the fact that the job was just open for a competition after 10 games shows that nothing is set in stone going forward.

@ORCWIZARD asks, "How is everyone's favorite Albanian progressing?"

A: I don't want to presume to know who everyone's favorite Albanian is, but based on the context of a Seahawks Q&A, I'm assuming you mean Kristjan Sokoli? If that's the case, then offensive line coach Tom Cable said Sokoli, who played defensive line in college, is starting to adjust to the transition well and is showing good signs of growth. As for Sokoli not playing this season so far, Cable said that was never really the plan for the sixth-round pick as much as it was to develop him for the future.

The Seahawks finished out their three-week home stand with a thrilling 39-30 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and team photographer Rod Mar documented the excitement from pregame to postgame in this week's photo essay.

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