Q&A with MBK

Hello Seahawks Nation!

I’m sure you’re all as eager as I am for the season to begin. Watching training camp here at VMAC has been a treat—as fans, we have plenty to be optimistic and excited about looking towards the season.

I’ve been Tweeting from practice a bit (and as soon as I master Twitter, I’m sure I’ll Tweet even more!) so make sure you’re following us! @SeahawksSpin

I’m pumped to get back into your mail because I know you all must have a ton of questions, so I’ll do my best to give you some insightful answers. I’ll be answering a few questions every day or two, depending on what we’ve got going on schedule-wise.

Glad to see you all back here on Seahawks.com.

Mary Beth

From: Neil

Even though Matt Hasselbeck is fully fit and ready to go, do you think the Hawks will contemplate using some of the extra draft picks they picked up this year to trade up for one of the big-name college quarterbacks if they are available in the draft next year as the franchise QB of the future?

All the best, Neil.

Neil,

It’s too bad you live in Scotland, because if you could come out to a practice and watch Matt throw, I’m pretty sure you’d be convinced that he’s got plenty of life left in his batteries. I agree that at some point in the next few years, the Seahawks will probably need to start thinking ahead to the next franchise quarterback, but I definitely want to point out that Matt’s arm, mobility and present overall good health suggests that it could be a while before another franchise QB is asked to step in.

I would imagine that the coaches are viewing Seneca Wallace as more of an all-purpose player (which is just fine with me, because Seneca is a dangerous weapon all over the offense, and I think he’ll be utilized well this year). We saw last year that he’s capable of running the offense.

You’ll remember that the Seahawks drafted Rutgers QB Mike Teel this year. Is he the quarterback of the future? That, I really can’t answer until we all see him in some real-life game situations, so look for him during these preseason games. In practice, he shows flashes of real comprehension of the playbook and exhibits tendencies that suggest he could be a great QB. But he is a rookie, and sometimes it shows a bit. Only time will tell.

If, at the end of this season, the coaches aren’t convinced of Teel’s potential, or they think that another quarterback in the draft could be a better fit in the system, their two first-round draft choices will be excellent collateral to move into the top 10 and possibly snag a quarterback.

However—and this is a big ‘however’—remember what GM Tim Ruskell said time and again leading up to this past draft: the Seahawks make it a priority to take the best player available, and try not to base their selection on needs. And since I don’t see them being desperate for a quarterback a year from now, if they selected a QB, it’d be because he was the best player left on the board, not because it was a necessity to have a new guy out there.

-Mary Beth

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From: John

Big time Seahawks fan from the East Coast — My question is, we know Seattle has beefed up their defensive line and wide receiver situation this year. What do you think might be the Hawks’ Achilles heel this year?

John,

Mighty pessimistic question for the preseason, wouldn’t you say? But I’ll take a stab at it…

The two things that could be difficult—and I’m not sure I’d call them ‘Achilles heels’—are mastering the new systems and keeping the offensive line healthy.

With a new offensive coordinator, a new defensive coordinator, and a new head coach, the systems—from schemes to plays, right down to terminology—are a lot different than they’ve been in the past. Hasselbeck has mentioned that he’s been practicing calling plays and saying the new terminology in the car while driving, just to get the extra practice to get it down right. During the preseason, while the players really implement the new systems for the first time, it’s possible there could be some snafus. Would it trail over into the season and become a chronic problem? Highly, highly doubtful, but certainly not impossible. There are a lot of veterans on this team who have been playing with the same terminology and playbook for a lot of years, and old tendencies could sneak back in here or there.

The offensive line takes a serious beating in every practice and every game. These players are making rough contact on every single play, so wear and tear happens. The makeshift line that the Seahawks finished with last season due to injuries did get the job done, but as any good coach will tell you, one position group that really thrives on cohesion is the offensive line. In this new zone blocking scheme, it’s so important that each lineman knows what the guys to his left and to his right are going to do on each play. If someone gets injured and has to be replaced for a game or more, that could be a tricky situation for the Hawks. While there’s certainly not a noticeable drop-off in talent amongst the linemen, keeping the front five healthy will be a focus of the team this year.

On the bright side, you’re right: the wide receiver group looks stronger than it has in a long time (years, maybe!) and the defensive line really looks both agile and imposing. As I said, Seahawks fans have a lot to be optimistic about going into this season.

-Mary Beth


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