Seahawks players and coaches are off on a well-deserved break before training camp kicks off at the end of July, but just because football isn't going on, that doesn't mean people don't want to talk about football. So with that in mind, let's answer some Twitter questions that were submitted today by you the fans. Thanks to all who asked questions, and sorry if I didn't get to yours this time. We'll do it again soon. Here are 12 questions and answers about the 2015 Seahawks and a few other random topics:
From @dannyoneil: "Why am I such a jerk on twitter?"
A: This was the first (and one of the funnier) questions submitted, so we'll lead off with it. The easy response would be to answer, "Just on twitter, Danny?" But in fact Danny is not a jerk, he's a very nice guy in real life. He does, however, enjoy a good Twitter beef, so be warned if interacting on social media with this 710 ESPN Seattle host.
From @aileen206: "Who are your top 4 rookies/UDFA to watch at camp who are likely to make the 53-man roster?"
A: The obvious two are Seattle's top two picks, defensive end Frank Clark, who figures to fit into the defensive line rotation in some capacity, and receiver Tyler Lockett. Clark will be a part of the line rotation and likely a big part of special teams play, but exactly where he fits into what should be a deep unit will be worth keeping an eye on in camp. The rest of the rookies will have a harder time finding playing time right away other than on special teams, but one name to keep an eye on in camp is fifth-round pick Tye Smith, who played at little-known Towson, but whose upside was very intriguing to the Seahawks. After drafting Smith, general manager John Schneider started to name an NFL player whom Smith reminded him of before catching himself so as to not put unfair expectations on the rookie.
It's impossible to know what undrafted rookie might make the roster just yet, but it's a safe bet one or two will do so based on past history. One such player Pete Carroll raved about following minicamp was running back Thomas Rawls, who saw a lot of first-team action in offseason workouts with Marshawn Lynch absent, Robert Turbin recovering from hip surgery and Christine Michael dealing with a minor injury.
From @bdpgrinder: "How are the young D-linemen looking? (Cassius Marsh, Jordan Hill, Frank Clark, Obum Gwacham)?"
A: After finishing the season thin at D-line because of injuries, the Seahawks look like they should have good depth there heading into the 2015 season. Cassius Marsh and Jordan Hill both showed flashes—Hill in particular late in the year—before their seasons were derailed by injuries, and both have looked good in offseason workouts. Clark's role is yet to be defined, but based on his draft status it's safe to say the Seahawks have high hopes for him, and while Gwacham is a bit more raw, he certainly fits the profile, athletically speaking, and could make an impact right away on special teams.
From @Wizdom80: "Is Derrick Coleman expected to be the starter at FB for 2015? And is he fully recovered from his injury?"
A: Yes, Derrick Coleman is back to compete for his starting spot, and Pete Carroll is very excited about his fullback being back, not just for what it can do for the offense, but also because Coleman is a core special teams player. And yes, Coleman is fully recovered and showed no signs of his foot bothering him in offseason workouts.
From @isumeander: "A lot was made about where Jimmy Graham lines up during arbitration with the Saints. Where will 88 line up most for the Hawks?"
A: It's too early to know exactly how the Seahawks will use Graham this season, but given the nature of Seattle's offense, it's safe to assume he'll do more blocking than he did in New Orleans, where he was basically an oversized receiver. Given Seattle's history with its tight ends, expect to see Graham move around plenty, lining up at times next to a tackle, but also in the slot and even split out wide as a receiver.
From @RossRichendrfer: "What type of season should we expect from Wilson as a runner? How (if at all) will #88 cause schematic shifts that impact this?"
A: It's probably not fair to expect Wilson to match last year's season in which he rushed for 849 yards and 6 touchdowns, but his rushing and scrambling ability will remain a big part of the offense. As Tom Cable said earlier this month at the Seahawks Town Hall, Wilson makes Marshawn Lynch a better runner just as Lynch does the same for Wilson. Wilson also said he worked on his speed this offseason, so perhaps if he gets in the open field he'll improve upon his career-long run of 55-yards. As for Graham's presence, that should only help Wilson as a runner. The more teams focus on Graham and perhaps use an extra defender to cover him, the fewer defenders that team will have to defend the run whether that's Wilson or Lynch or anyone else carrying the ball.
From @Loonsi: "Chances Kasen Williams makes the team?"
A: The former University of Washington standout will be a popular player among fans at training camp, but he'll have his work cut out for him to make the final roster. That's not a knock on Williams' ability, but rather just a testament to the Seahawks' depth at receiver. Williams has more size than most of Seattle's receivers, which works in his favor, as does the fact that Seattle has a history of developing undrafted players at that position, but several of them—Jermaine Kearse and Ricardo Lockette to name a couple—needed practice squad seasoning before making an impact on Sunday.
From @thebrettwise: "Which position battle will be the most competitive when camp starts?"
A: In terms of starting positions, the answer is definitely center, as several players are battling to replace Max Unger. The nickel corner spot is also one to watch, especially until Jeremy Lane gets back from knee and arm injuries suffered in the Super Bowl. Will Blackmon saw most of the first-team action at that spot in offseason workouts, but Marcus Burley figures to battle for that job as well. In terms of depth, the most fun competition might be at receiver, where several good players, including guys who contributed last year, will have to fight just to make the 53-man roster.
From @angelnek1: "Where, when, how will they practice their "special plays" if we 12s are there watching training camp?"
A: If by special plays you mean trick plays, then there are two answers to this. For starters, not all practices are open, so the Seahawks could still work on those behind closed doors when fans aren't around. And secondly, trick plays in the NFL tend to work not because teams don't know that an opponent might, say, have a receiver who can throw a pass, but because the team does it at the right time when the opposing defense/special teams gives the right look. So just because one of Seattle's opponents knows Jon Ryan can throw a touchdown pass doesn't mean we'll never see a fake punt again.
From @Cougarboy85: "Does Nate Boyer have a shot at long snapper?"
A: You can never say never in Pete Carroll's "always compete" world, but it's safe to say Boyer is fighting an uphill battle. Obviously the Seahawks are only going to have one long snapper on the 53-man roster, and Clint Gresham has been incredibly consistent in his time in Seattle. Boyer did a very impressive job turning himself into a long snapper while at Texas having never done it before, but Gresham still has years of experience and 44 pounds on Boyer.
From @tibbsaf: "Who do you think could eat a quart of Rocky Road the fastest? BFF (brain freeze factor) and allergies absolutely factor."
A: I'm not aware of players' allergy history, so I can't factor that in, but here are my three choices: 1. Ahtyba Rubin, because the recently-signed defensive tackle is tied for being the heaviest player on the team, according to the roster, and a 325-pounder has to be able to eat, right? 2. Marshawn Lynch, because we know he can handle his sweets. 3. Jon Ryan or Luke Willson, because Canadians should be immune to brain freeze.
Q: @TheCrappyTotals: "Would you like to see Jimmy Graham Block Jayson Jenks?"
A: If you missed it, Jenks, a reporter for the Seattle Times, asked Graham about his blocking earlier this offseason and Graham playfully offered to block Jenks. And to answer the question, absolutely. I might even pay a little bit to see it happen. Now to be clear, I consider Jayson a good friend, and don't wish him any actual harm. But would it be fun to see him put on pads and take a shot from an NFL tight end? Sure it would.