Join Bob Condotta for a live chat Tuesday at noon to get all your Seahawks questions answered.
With six games in the books and a home game on tap vs. the Houston Texans this weekend, what do we make of the Seahawks? Bob Condotta hosted a live chat Tuesday at noon to answer all of your Seahawks questions.
Here are some highlights from the chat:
Q: What impact does the loss of (Cliff) Avril have on the team?
A: I think it’s substantial, especially in terms of what he meant as a player on the field. There’s the veteran leadership aspect, too. But I sometimes feel that can be overstated at the expense of what guys tangibly contribute on the field. Avril was the team’s most consistent pass rusher last year, making the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career. That’s what they’ll miss the most. They are bringing in Dwight Freeney for visit today and we’ll see where that goes — obviously they are looking at other pass rush options. Frank Clark has played well, but he was already contributing a lot. What they will need is someone else off the bench to help pick up some of the pass rush that will be lost with Avril being sidelined.
Q: Hi Bob, Do you still, realistically, see a trade for a left tackle happening after this past weekend? O Line had their best game of the year so far, and it appears a number of the available LT’s around the league are no longer on the trade block. Thoughts?
A: Not really. I just don’t really know who is out there that you could realistically get that would really help, especially with Seattle’s salary cap limitations. Joe Thomas is off the table, though I’m not sure he was ever on it. Duane Brown is, too. Branden Albert appears to have come and gone apparently not wanting to play anymore for anyone — that’s the rumor, anyway. Just not sure who they could get.
Q: Between Rawls and Lacey, who had the best runs vs the Giants?
A: Boy, I’m not sure there was much to separate the two on Sunday other than that Rawls had a fumble and a dropped pass and Lacy didn’t. Carroll on Monday seemed to really go out of his way to excuse each play, though. I think they are really working with Rawls to try to get him back to his 2015 form — if he could do that I think he’d be the best running back this team has. The reality remains that with 10 weeks in 10 games, they are going to need both guys to make it through. But I think when healthy and at his best Rawls may be the best overall back for this team right now. But he seems to still be searching to get back to where he was in 2015.
Q: NFL Network suggested today that the hawks sign Texans LT Duane Brown, what are your thoughts on this?
A: A reminder that they can’t just sign him. He’s with the Texans. They’d have to trade for him, He makes more than $9 million a year and he was holding out cause he wants more than that. Seattle has less than $2 million in cap space for this year. So it’s hard to see how that would all work. As of Monday, Brown returned to practice there and all sides seem to be indicating he’s going to stay put for this year. The trade deadline is next Tuesday so we’ll know for sure by then. But I wouldn’t put high odds on anything happening given all of that.
Q: Think the Rams have a real chance to win the division? Also, what do you make of the rest of the NFC playoff picture.
A: I definitely do. I am coming around on thinking the Rams are for real especially with their defense seeming to look more like its old self the last few weeks. But Seattle has the huge tiebreaker edge at the moment and has the home game against the Rams on Dec. 17 in its backpocket — all Seattle has to do is stay where it is and then win that game and it’s the Seahawks’ division. The teams play pretty comparable schedules the rest of the way so I’m not sure either team has a huge advantage there. But it’s worth remembering the Rams just basically won four straight road games — three true road games and then the game against Arizona in London. That’s not easy to do. But the key for the Rams is to make it to Dec. 17 with that game having meaning.
Q: Do you think the Seahawks offense is getting its rhythm?
A: Other than when it’s in the red zone, haha. That was obviously a huge issue on Sunday. But here’s a stat for you — in the last for games the Seahawks have averaged 394 yards, which for the season would be second in the NFL. And that’s with the running game still trying to hit its stride, what have been a few obvious dropped passes and missed throws and way too many penalties. I know the argument back would be that they haven’t played great defenses in that stretch other than maybe against the Rams, who held them down to 241 yards. But that’s also the NFL. Seattle is up to 13th in the NFL in yards per game. I think in their eyes that’s okay considering everything that’s happened.
Q: How many more years do you think Russel has in Seattle? And how many more years do you think the Hawks are realistic Super Bowl contenders
A: I think Russell has a lot of years left — he says he wants to play until he’s 40 and there seems little reason to doubt him at this time. And there’s no reason to think the Seahawks would ever let him get away. As long as Russell is around I think the Seahawks will always have something of a puncher’s chance at the Super Bowl — we see every week the difference it makes having a quarterback. But obviously the defense is also really special and won’t stay at this level forever without some major reinforcements. I think this particular group may have about 3 years left, including this one, before they’ll really have to count on new guys to stay at this same level.
Q: Hi Bob, What is your thought on the Seahawks run game? Any chance that they will improve the run game?
A: They will certainly keep trying. It is a little strange to see the Seahawks win some of these games without the kind of running game they have had in the past. But I think the OL may at this point be better pass protecting, especially in working with Russell, anyway. And the tailback spot obviously took a hit with the loss of Carson. I’m not sure they can keep winning week after week after week averaging 3.9 per attempt — they were 4.3 or better every year from 2012-15. But they’ve also played a few teams that have loaded up to stop the run and dared Seattle to pass it more. And as discussed earlier, I think a real key would be if Rawls could get back to his rookie year form.
Q: Between 52 man roster currently….Shead back soon?…..Jordan back soon?……Prosise nicked up again….Freeney in for a visit…..Tyvis Powell cryptic tweet…..and 3 CB/0 DL on the practice squad, should we expect a raft of moves soon?
A: There will for sure be some. I saw Powell’s Tweet, too, and wondered about that. Seattle often makes moves on Tuesdays, as does everyone, since that’s when rosters get set for the week salary cap wise. Won’t be a surprise if there are a few moves announced later today. Shead and Jordan could be announced as back to practice this week, potentially, then they can practice for up to three weeks before they have to go on the 53 man. And obviously they will need a few weeks of practice — neither guy is going to step right back onto the active roster. But there is always roster churn and this week looks to be no different. If Freeney is to sign I would imagine it would happen by Wednesday so he could start practicing. They know the next two opponents present far more challenging offenses than the Giants did Sunday.
Q: What “rumblings” have you heard from other media and league sources about the “wise beyond his years” comments which Doug Baldwin has made with respect to the Kaepernick/Anthem issue? Was there any teammate disenfranchisement from his statement with Roger Goodell?
A: I don’t think so. I think everyone involved understands fully the right of everyone to speak their mind how they want. Obviously a few high profile guys are speaking out a lot and have some slightly different takes on this stuff. And I know sometimes after practice they talk about it. But it’s nothing to worry about in terms of how the team plays or anything. Everyone that’s been at the head of these conversations for the Seahawks this year have also been among the team’s best players all season.
Q: Do you think there is any chance that the Seahawks will ever make a trip for a game in London?
A: Yes I do. The NFL seems really committed to the London series and I think they will eventually make everyone play a game over there — they know the London fans at some point don’t want to just see the same teams every year. But the Seahawks, like every other team, don’t want to give up a home game — that’s the tricky part. If it’s your home game then you are giving your fans just seven home games that season instead of eight. But it has to be a home game for somebody. I don’t know if it’ll be next year or when but if the London series remains as it is then Seattle will inevitably play there at some point.
Q: (Pete) Carroll is under contract to stay on thru the ’19 season, tough to impossible to predict, but do you see him going beyond that? Wilson will only be 32 entering the 2020 season, and the defense will probably be entirely remade by that season. Will it take another SB appearance or win you think to keep him after ’19? Or even so, will Carroll want to return to SoCal to retire there?
A: I think Carroll wants to keep coaching as long as he can — I don’t see that he has any specific end game. He’s 66 — he talks all the time about Marv Levy doing it until he was 72. I don’t think Carroll has any real post-football goals — he doesn’t want to be a media guy or anything like that I don’t think. So I think another Seattle contract isn’t out of the realm. It’ll just be if it’s still working for all parties at that particular point in time. I do think his legacy is more important to him than he lets on publicly so if he could win another Super Bowl or two and really elevate himself in the pantheon of NFL coaches I think he’d take a run at that.
Q: What was your favorite Tom Petty song?
A: Ugh, bringing up the feels there. I have a few, but a particular favorite that was maybe a little off the beaten path was “I Need to Know.” Another would be “Room at the Top.”
Here’s the full chat: