Let’s get right to the questions following Seattle’s 28-26 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday and a 2-0 start to the season.
Q: How much would it take to land (Jalen) Ramsey?
A: As a quick refresher, the current Jacksonville cornerback has said he wants out, leading to the inevitable speculation of which teams might want him — and given Seattle’s 2-0 record and history of making trades like the one earlier this year for Jadeveon Clowney, speculation connecting the Seahawks to Ramsey was equally inevitable.
But the Jaguars are thought to want a lot — two first-round picks.
It’s hard to see Seattle doing that, especially for a player who will also want a new contract soon. Ramsey’s rookie deal runs out following the 2020 season, when he will make $13.703 million, which is also his salary cap hit for that year.
Seattle has two young cornerbacks it still likes in Tre Flowers and Shaquill Griffin, and has had its most success with defensive backs by drafting and developing its own.
The Jaguars are under no obligation or urgency to trade Ramsey. Unlike Clowney, he’s under contract for this year and next. And unlike Miami and Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Jaguars aren’t in rebuilding mode under a first-year coach.
The Seahawks have made it clear they want to be involved in everything. But that doesn’t mean making every move, either. This one seems unlikely at this point.
Q: Is Ed Dickson likely to be back this year and when Jarran Reed comes back who in your mind is most likely to lose their roster spot?
A: Dickson went on injured reserve after the initial 53-man roster was set. So, that means he can return after the eighth game of the season — or, just before the Nov. 3 home game against Tampa Bay. He was initially estimated to miss six weeks after knee surgery, barring setback.
Obviously, Seattle has two tight ends playing well, in addition to George Fant in his tight end-esque role, so the Seahawks could have a decision to make then. But a lot can change in six weeks in the NFL, too.
As for Reed, he will return after the sixth game, or before the Oct. 20 home contest against Baltimore. As noted with the Dickson answer, a lot can change in four weeks, so whatever roster decision is needed to put Reed back on the 53 could easily be made by an injury or something else.
But at the moment, Seattle has nine defensive linemen and likely wouldn’t go to 10. And if nothing changed, Branden Jackson is likely at most risk, especially as L.J. Collier starts to develop and Ziggy Ansah starts to play.
Seattle has just three true tackles on its roster: Poona Ford, Bryan Mone and Al Woods, with Quinton Jefferson able to play both inside and out. I think they’d keep Mone around as a fourth DT once Reed comes back, and Jackson might be the most logical of the ends at that time to release to create room, giving Seattle four tackles, four ends and a hybrid player in Jefferson (with ends such as Collier and Rasheem Green also able to play tackle in nickel situations).
Q: L.J. Collier’s debut? Rating?
A: Speaking of Collier, he indeed saw his first NFL action Sunday against the Steelers.
Given that he hadn’t played in the preseason and hadn’t missed basically all of training camp with a sprained ankle, he’ll need a little time to work his way into things. Collier played 16 snaps and did not record a statistic.
“He’s rusty, he’s getting going,” coach Pete Carroll said Monday. “It’s good that he got started, and no marks, or no pressures or anything like that. But, good start for him.”
I think we may need a few more weeks to make any fair evaluation.
Q: Evaluation of Michael Dickson so far this year. Getting the same amount of hang time as last year? Stats actually seem a bit better on 2019. Am I already taking him for granted?
A: There is probably a huge risk of everyone beginning to take Dickson for granted. Dickson was the focus of a ton of attention at this time a year ago, when he began a season that saw him end up in the Pro Bowl.
Through two games this year, his stats are almost the same as a year ago.
Dickson is averaging 48.4 yards on 12 punts, which is just above his 48.2-yard average last year that was a team record and second in the NFL (he’s currently seventh in average.) And his net of 42.9 yards per punt is just above his 42.5 of last year that was also a team record.
As I wrote in my review of Sunday’s win, I thought Dickson turned in one of the game’s quieter big plays. After after a quick three-and-out in the third quarter and the Seahawks down, 10-7, Dickson’s punt went 59 yards and pinned the Steelers at their 19.
A short punt there and maybe the Steelers start at midfield and have a much softer landing for quarterback Mason Rudolph, who took over on that series for the injured Ben Roethlisberger. Instead, Dickson’s punt went out of bounds with no possibility of a return, and three plays later Bradley McDougald intercepted a Rudolph pass, leading to a Seattle touchdown that put the Seahawks ahead for good.
There’s nothing to indicate Dickson isn’t the same weapon that he was as a rookie, even if now that he’s in his second year, it’s come to be expected.
Q: Why don’t we rotate RBs more between (Chris) Carson, (Rashaad) Penny and (C.J.) Prosise (and maybe Travis Homer)?
A: The running back rotation Sunday actually was much more fluid than it had been in Week 1, when Carson got almost all the snaps and the work.
Carson played 39 snaps in Week 1 to Penny’s 14 with Prosise getting none. In Week 2, Carson played 43 snaps and Penny 26 with Prosise getting 10.
I think what you saw Week 2 is largely how the Seahawks will do it. The Seahawks can’t ask Carson to play as much as he did Week 1 — when he got 76% of the snaps — every week.
Prosise’s 10 snaps came almost solely during the two-minute drill to end the first half, which was effective until the play when DK Metcalf got two penalties and pushed the Seahawks back. Prosise had three catches for 13 yards and one run for five yards as the Seahawks moved from their 8 to the Steelers 34 before the penalties.
“C.J. was ready, didn’t get enough action but he got some and he did some good things when he had his chance,’’ Carroll said Monday.
Two-minute drills may remain Prosise’s primary role. But again, teams also always have to think about the big picture of making it through a 16-game season and the potential of injury. And in that view, the biggest positive is that Seattle has three tailbacks it feels good about at the moment.
Homer, for now, is likely to remain mostly a special-teams player — he’s gotten 19 snaps. But given the way most NFL seasons go, he’s probably going to be needed at some point.