Sat, 06 Jun 2020

Greetings all, I hope this mailbag finds everyone healthy and sane at home. It's time once again to answer questions from you, the fans. Thanks as always to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn't get to yours this time around.

@Anthrax1225 asks, "As a fans should we be upset that the Seahawks have made it to the playoff four out of the last five years and not advanced farther, or just be happy that the Seahawks keep making the playoffs?"

A: I think it's completely fair to be frustrated when a team gets to the playoffs and falls short of the ultimate goal. The Seahawks were good enough to win 11 games last year, and by beating Philadelphia in the wild card round, they put themselves two wins away from the Super Bowl, so yes, any time you're that close and fall short, it's easy to second guess or get upset.

But to me there's a difference between hoping for more and having unrealistic expectations that keep you from appreciating the run the Seahawks have been on under Pete Carroll and John Schneider. Yes, it'd be great if they had gotten back to the Super Bowl over the past five seasons, but they also are one of only two teams, the Patriots obviously being the other, to appear in consecutive Super Bowls this century, so it's incredibly hard to go back year after year, despite the insane standard set by the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady-era Patriots.

Since the NFL expanded to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, the Seahawks are one of just five teams, along with New England, Green Bay, Philadelphia and Baltimore to reach the divisional round seven times in a 10-year span. Look, I get it, it's frustrating when you think your team is capable of going to the Super Bowl and falls short-the Seahawks were about a foot short of a division title and a home playoff game, that can be maddening-but don't let that frustration keep you from enjoying a run of success unrivaled in franchise history.

David Gazia from Perth, Western Australia asks, "The Seahawks seem to sign a lot of players that are former first-round picks. Do they deliberately do this?"

A: I couldn't tell you if the Seahawks have signed more former first rounders than every other team, but yeah, they have shown a willingness to take a shot on former first-round picks, most notably players from the 2013 draft-the recent signing of Chance Warmack means the Seahawks have in recent years signed or traded for seven of the first 13 players selected in that draft. But for the most part the Seahawks are signing those players for fairly low-risk deals while betting on the upside that made those players first-round picks in the first place.

And there's probably something to be said about Carroll's optimistic nature when it comes to these types of signings. He's a coach who believes he and his coaching staff can help bring the best out of individuals, and the Seahawks have shown the ability to do that in a few cases.

So no, I don't think the Seahawks go into free agency thinking, "hey, how many former first-round picks can we sign," but they are a team willing to take some chances on players with upside even if they maybe haven't lived up to expectations up to that point of their career.

John Boyle from New York asks, "Should the Seahawks draft a receiver in this year's draft."

A: Wait, your name is John Boyle too? Cool. Anyway, to your question about receivers, I would say the Seahawks have positioned themselves in such a way that they don't need to force anything when it comes to drafting a receiver. Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf are a very solid 1-2 option, and the addition of Phillip Dorsett II adds to an already pretty deep group, so the Seahawks could field a pretty strong group without making more additions. That being said, I would not be at all surprised if they did add a receiver via the draft. In 10 drafts under Carroll and Schneider, the Seahawks have selected 11 receivers, and have taken at least one in eight of 10 drafts, including Metcalf and John Ursua last year. Add to that the consensus among draft analysts that this year's draft features a strong class of receivers, and yes, I think it's very possible the Seahawks will add to that group, even if they don't see it as a huge need.

@StephenSeahawk asks, "Do you see the Seahawks going with a three tight-end formation much this season?"

A: While the addition of Greg Olsen gives the Seahawks a pretty impressive tight end group when Will Dissly is back, no, I don't see a lot of three tight end formations happening. Sure it could happen some if the Seahawks want a heavy package to run the ball-or at least give the impression they're going to run to set up an unexpected pass-but having three tight ends on the field means, with five linemen and Russell Wilson accounting for six more spots, there's only room for two more receivers or running backs or some combination of the two. The Seahawks, like a lot of teams, have run a lot of 11 personnel in recent years (three receivers, one back and one tight end), and while I do think a healthy Dissly along with the likes of Olsen and Jacob Hollister and others could lead to more two tight-end sets this year, I wouldn't necessarily expect to see three on the field at the same time all that often.

That being said, the Seahawks are excited about what Carroll called "an exciting duo," and it's fair to say you'll probably see a lot of Dissly and Olsen on the field together in 2020.

"I don't think there's any question," Carroll said at the combine when asked if Dissly and Olsen could be a special tandem. "Will Dissly is a really good football player. We've loved everything that he's done. He just hasn't had enough time to really stack up numbers and all of that, but there's no doubt that Will can play the game at the line of scrimmage and downfield, and catching and running, he's done all of that. A marvelous kid and competitor, and all. So he was thrilled to hear that Greg was coming, for obvious reasons, because he wants to be great and he wants to learn from Greg. So, they'll both play on the field at the same time, I'm sure. And it will be exciting to see that happen."

William Porter from Kent asks, "Any news on Chris Carson? Wanted to see how his recovery is coming along."

A: No super recent updates on Carson or any other players recovering from injuries, but Pete Carroll and John Schneider did both express optimism earlier this offseason that Carson will be ready for the start of the season.

"Chris is doing really well," Carroll said at the combine. "There's not a whole lot Chris can do, so he hasn't done many things wrong. It's an injury that takes time. It's serious because it's a hip, but it's not serious in that we know what's going to happen. It's not displaced or any of that kind of stuff. We just need to wait it out, which is really hard for Chris because he's a workout maniac and loves to be in the weight room and all that. He's doing the best he can and he's done everything he can possibly do and we're just hoping he just doesn't overdue it, so we're trying to monitor that. But we're counting on a full recovery. He should be ready to go."

Former Seahawks PR intern @helenofpullman asks, "how do you keep track of what day it is? Also, favorite zoom background photo?"

A: The second question is actually tied to the first, because the only thing that allows me to know what day it is anymore are the daily calendar updates about the next work teleconference. And by background photo, do you mean "living room destroyed by my kids?" If so, that's my default, but sometimes I mix it up with a picture from the 2018 Pearl Jam shows in Seattle. Also, Flying Lion, our neighborhood brewery, was kind enough to put on social media pictures of its brewery for exactly this use so you can pretend you're at the brewery during meetings.

@Its_A_ccount asks, "Russell Wilson spoke of getting some weapons for the offense. Do you think Pete and John are going to do something about that before the draft?"

A: A few things here... Yes, Russell Wilson did make a comment during Super Bowl week about wanting the team to add more "superstars," but I think the reaction to that was a bit overblown. That was just Wilson's way of saying he wanted to see his team get better, which is what every player should want, and by the way, Seahawks general John Schneider said at the scouting combine that he agreed with his quarterback. As for the notion of adding "superstars," it's worth noting that teams don't often let true, in-their-prime stars hit the open market. Teams generally do everything they can to extend their best players before they hit free agency, and when that can't happen, there's also the franchise tag, so it's hard to add true stars in free agency.

All of that being said, the Seahawks have added some potential impact weapons for Wilson and the offense, signing three-time Pro-Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, as well as speedy receiver Phillip Dorsett, who could be a great fit given Wilson's ability to throw the deep ball. The Seahawks have also added reinforcements on the offensive line, which could help make life easier on Wilson. And lastly, as Schneider always says, roster building is a year-round process, so there are plenty of ways for the Seahawks to continue to improve between now and the start of the season, ranging from the draft to possible trades to the rest of free agency.

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