Seahawk Mailbag: The Future At QB, Running Back Depth & More – Seahawks.com

Seahawks.com Senior Reporter
It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Seahawks mailbag before we turn our focus to Seattle’s Week 6 game against the Cardinals. As always, thanks to everyone who asked questions this week, and apologies if I couldn’t get to your question this time around. And remember, if Twitter isn’t your thing, you can also submit questions online at Seahawks.com/mailbag.
A: As well as Geno Smith has played so far this season, it’s definitely worth considering that he could be a long-term option for the Seahawks, and the team is no doubt considering that and all other options at quarterback, including, as you mentioned, the 2023 draft. It is worth remembering that, as of now at least, the Seahawks don’t have a quarterback under contract beyond this season, as Smith is on a one-year deal and Drew Lock is in the final year of his rookie deal he signed with Denver. And even if the Seahawks do re-sign Smith, a possibility that seems more and more realistic with each strong outing, it could still make a lot of sense to draft a quarterback as well. We’re a long, long ways off from knowing what the Seahawks might do at quarterback in 2023 and beyond, but it’s a sign of how well Smith is playing that a lot of folks are now talking about him as a possible long-term solution.
A: I’ll start with the second question first—based on everything Pete Carroll has said, Penny is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to play again next season, he just won’t be recovered in time to come back this season.
“He’ll come back, he’ll be able to play again and all of that,” Carroll said on his weekly radio show. “It’s a really clear surgery process and all of that, but it just does take a long time.”
As for who steps up beyond Walker, who is expected to take over the starting role, I would imagine the bulk of the playing time will go to DeeJay Dallas, who has experience in the third-down role, which is one that asks a lot of that position in terms of pass blocking and pass catching. Carroll said Travis Homer is expected back in a couple of weeks when he is eligible to come off injured reserve, so he will add to the depth there as well. In the meantime, the Seahawks just added Tony Jones Jr. via a waiver claim this week, and have Darwin Thompson on the practice squad.
A: Be loud.
But besides that, Lumen Field is blessed with a lot of good food and beverage options that allow you to eat and drink local, so be sure to sample plenty of good food and local beer. Oh, and make your way to the upper concourse on the west side of the stadium to enjoy some pretty great views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
Oh, and lastly, plan on being early and if possible, not driving to the game. With the Mariners potentially hosting a playoff game that day as well, it could be very crowded around the two stadiums on Sunday.
And be loud.
A: You are correct that Mafe has been impressive in limited action, and as a result his playing time has been increasing, from 29 percent of Seattle’s defensive snaps in Week 1 to 45 percent, as well as a start at outside linebacker, in Week 5. Considering Mafe’s percentage of snaps played has gone up every week, I’d expect we’ll see his role continue to grow, though it’s also worth remembering that both Carroll and defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt have talked about wanting to keep their pass rushers fresh, so I don’t think you’ll see Mafe or any other edge player suddenly on the field for every play. Either way, what Mafe has done early in his career has been promising and it bodes well for Seattle’s future, as does the play of Seattle’s rookie class as a whole.
A: This is the big question right now for the Seahawks, who have given up 84 points in their past two games. While big overhauls, both in scheme and personnel, just aren’t realistic in the middle of a season, the Seahawks are no-doubt trying to do anything and everything they can to get better on that side of the ball. We saw some personnel changes last week with Ryan Neal and Boye Mafe moving into the starting lineup, and coaches will continue to try to fine-tune what they’re asking of their defense. But more than anything, the Seahawks need to clean up two big issues—the big plays they’re allowing, and the crucial drive-extending penalties we’ve seen called on defensive backs, particularly on third downs.
If the Seahawks can keep potential modest gains from breaking out for huge plays—opponents have four 50-plus yard plays in the last two games—and if they can stop committing drive-extending penalties, the numbers could improve significantly in a hurry by simply changing a handful of game-changing plays.
Go behind the scenes with team photographer Rod Mar as he shares moments from Week 5 vs. the New Orleans Saints on October 9, 2022 at Caesars Superdome. Eye On The Hawks is presented by Western Washington Toyota Dealers.
On Saturday, players walk through the hotel to buses waiting to take them to their Saturday walkthru. From left are Jordyn Brooks, Uchenna Nwosu and Christian Jones.
Safety Ryan Neal supports the Seattle Mariners and wears their cap on Friday as the Seahawks flew to New Orleans while the baseball team opened the playoffs in Toronto.
Seahawks players board the Delta charter flight to New Orleans.
Seahawks players deplane after arriving in New Orleans late Friday evening.
Members of the equipment staff load equipment from the belly of the plane into trucks that will take the Seahawks gear to the stadium for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.
Safety Ryan Neal points up to the light ring in the Caesars Superdome as he and cornerback Michael Jackson examine the stadium on the team’s Saturday visit.
On Sunday monring, safety Josh Jones is greeted by members of the coaching staff on the way to breakfast in the team’s meal room.
Linebacker Josh Onujiogu supports the Mariners as he walks to the buses the day after the Mariners won their wild-card round series over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Quarterback Geno Smith walks to the bus.
Geno Smith warms up near midfield in the Caesars Superdome. Hours later, Smith would launch a touchdown strike to Tyler Lockett from nearly the same spot on the field.
Seahawks president Chuck Arnold signs a Seahawks Crucial Catch flag before the game. During the month of October, the NFL amplifies it’s misson to fight cancer through early detection and risk reduction.
Seahawks fans had a message for quarterback Geno Smith, echoing his statement from earlier in the season.
Seahawks offensive lineman Stone Forsythe prepares in the locker room.
Members of the equipment staff Dan Cramer and Austin Bui help Stone Forsythe don his shoulder pads in the locker room.
Linebackers coach John Glenn reviews notes in the cramped visitors locker room.
A fan takes a photo with Seahawks legend K.J. Wright on the sideline before the game.
Running backs Rashaad Penny and Kenneth Walker III talk on the field during pregame.
Defensive linemen including from left, Quinton Jefferson, Shelby Harris and Bryan Mone go through their pregame warmups.
The NFL Crucial Catch sticker is visible on the back of linebacker Jordyn Brooks’s helmet.
Quarterback Geno Smith hands off to running back Rashaad Penny during the final phase of pregame warmups.
Cornerback Michael Jackson focuses in the locker room in the quiet moments before the team heads to the field.
Seattle’s Quinton Jefferson wore cleats with the number of Seattle Mariners Hall-of-Famer Ken Griffey, Jr.
Seahawks offensive linemen wait to leave the locker room for kickoff.
Seahawks captains Al Woods, Nick Bellore and Quandre Diggs (not shown) watch the opening coin toss.
Defensive tackle Al Woods drags down New Orleans’ Taysom Hill.
Cornerback Coby Bryant breaks up a pass early in the game.
Seattle’s DK Metcalf turns and looks for the end zone on this reception from Geno Smith that resulted in a touchdown.
Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III picks up the blitz at left and quarterback Geno Smith launches a touchdown strike to DK Metcalf.
Seahawks defensive coordinator Clint Hurtt consults with head coach Pete Carroll on the sidelines.
Seattle’s Coby Bryant jars the football loose on a tackle by Ryan Neal.
Seattle’s Tariq Woolen scoops up a fumble caused by teammate Coby Bryant (8) as the defense scrambles towards the loose ball.
Seattle’s Tyler Lockett catches the first of two touchdown passes from Geno Smith.
Seattle defenders fly in to make a tackle.
Offensive line coach Andy Dickerson gives instructions on the sidelines.
Seahawks celebrate Tariq Woolen’s interception.
Seahawks receiver Tyler Lockett catches his second touchdown from Geno Smith.
Tyler Lockett falls into the end zone with his second touchdown of the game.
Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III heads to the end zone on a 69-yard run as Tyler Lockett begins the celebration behind him.
Seattle’s Kenneth Walker III leaves all defenders in the dust on his 69-yard rushing touchdown in the Superdome.
After the game, Pete Carroll addresed the team in the locker room.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll takes on a serious tone when asked about the injury to running back Rashaad Penny in his post game press conference.
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You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.
You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.
You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.
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You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.
You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.
You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.
You had Seahawks questions; we have answers.
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