The entries coming into the once-overflowing mailbag have turned to a trickle. So let’s end the week by tackling what’s there.
You didn’t ask, but there will be three more OTA practices next week – Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. That should spark another run of questions.
Q: How has Mike Hass been performing in the minicamps and will this be his year to show the NFL what OSU Beaver fans and the Pac-10 know about his ability to catch the ball? – Troy, Philomath, Ore.
A: Unfortunately, Troy, Hass still is recovering from the shoulder injury that ended his 2009 season in the only game in which he was active – Dec. 27 at Green Bay. He has been taking part in the individual drills in the most recent practices, but has yet to be cleared for team drills. That likely won’t happen until training camp starts in late July.
While Hass has been on the mend, the pile at wide receiver has grown to include second-round draft choice Golden Tate and the free-agent additions of Mike Williams, Ruvell Martin and Sean Morey. Nate Burleson left in free agency, but T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Deion Branch, Deon Butler and Ben Obomanu are back.
That’s all another way of saying that Hass is up against it in his hunt for a spot on the 53-man roster. But what else is new? That has been the story of his NFL career. Still, it’s difficult to shake the notion that he should be getting a shot on some team’s roster, as we explored in this story last season.
Here’s a question for you: How many teams have a pair of Biletnikoff Award winners? With the Seahawks, there’s Tate, last year’s winner; as well as Hass, who won it in 2005.
These now-teammates are in very select company, since the list of past winners also includes the 49ers’ Michael Crabtree (the only two-time winner, 2007 and 2008), the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald (2003), the Patriots’ Randy Moss (1997) and Bobby Engram, who won the first award in 1994 and then played seven seasons with the Seahawks.
Q: The Seahawks have too much talent at linebacker to get everybody on the field at the same time. What would you estimate the chances of us trading a linebacker for a solid pass rusher? – T. Byrd, Tacoma
A: Hate to use the old slim-and-none line on you, T. Byrd, but if it was going to happen it already would have. The way general manager John Schneider has been wheeling and dealing, and signing and releasing, if there was that deal to be made he would have made it.
Besides, the talent at linebacker also is needed, because Leroy Hill is not participating in any team activities while the club awaits word from the NFL, so David Hawthorne and Will Herring having been working at his weak-side spot.
Hawthorne also is the backup to three-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu, who is coming off a shoulder injury that ended his 2009 season after five games. So there isn’t as much depth as it might appear by looking at the situation on paper.
Q: I was disturbed by the lack of the deep pass last year. There were maybe only two deep-pass touchdowns all year. Will Pete Carroll change that? – Robby, Canada
A: The Seahawks will not become the old vertical-stretch Raiders under Carroll, Robby. The system being installed by coordinator Jeremy Bates is closer to the version of the West Coast offense that Mike Shanahan ran in Denver, because Bates worked for the Broncos from 2006-08.
The idea in the West Coast offense is that the higher-percentage short-to-intermediate passes become longer gains with the run after the catch by the receivers. Also, as accurate as Matt Hasselbeck is at those types of passes, the deep ball never has been his forte. That’s why Tate’s ability to run with the ball in the open field was so attractive to the Seahawks.
Q: When are the Seahawks going to have training camp in Kelowna? It is only approximately five hours North of Seattle. Kelowna is known for sunshine and the best weather in Canada. It is Seahawks country! GO SEAHAWKS GO!!! – Greg, Kelowna, B.C.
A: Sorry, Greg, but despite your overwhelming enthusiasm, the Seahawks won’t be summering in Kelowna – or anywhere else, for that matter.
One of the big selling points of moving into their state-of-the-art digs on the shores of Lake Washington was that training camp can be held at the same location the team trains at during the season. There are three outdoor fields in addition to the indoor field.
Another requirement for training camp is the proximity to an airport, because the team needs to fly to its road preseason games. When training camp was held at Eastern Washington University, the team also had to fly to its home games. But the Spokane airport was a short bus ride away.
The move of training camp to Renton last summer also allows fans to attend practices. Keep an eye on the website for details on how to register to attend training camp practices this summer.
Q: The last mini-camp is June 22-24, and training camp starts Aug. 3. Are there any team events for the month of July? – Tom, New London, Conn.
A: Actually, Tom, it’s more likely that training camp will start in late July – last year it was July 31.
But between the final minicamp practice and the first practice of training camp, there will be little activity. The rookies continue their offseason conditioning from July 1-9 to make up for the time they lost in May. But July is time for the players and coaches to get away – and get refreshed – for the start of what is a long haul once training camp opens.
Q: With New York getting the OK to bid on the 2014 Super Bowl, do you see Seattle putting in a bid to host the Super Bowl in the future? – Jeremy, Honduras
A: No, Jeremy, I don’t. The New York bid comes drenched in special circumstances. First, it’s New York – or New Jersey, actually. Then it’s a joint bid by the Giants and Jets. Also, they will be sharing a new stadium. And – it’s worth repeating – we’re talking New York, and the Giants and the Jets.
I covered Seattle’s bid to land the 1992 Super Bowl while at the Post-Intelligencer. True, the Seahawks played in the Kingdome at the time. True, they now have one of the best stadiums in the league – if not the best. But the same problems persist: the Seattle weather in late January/early February; the size of Qwest Field; and the fact that it’s an outdoor facility. It’s unlikely the Seattle contingent could overcome these factors to generate enough support to make a Super Bowl bid worth the time and effort – not to mention the cost.
I’ve covered Super Bowls in Minneapolis and Detroit, and the weather was a definite downer in each city. But both stadiums are covered. And those bids went to teams with revered owners, which the host committees used to their advantage in securing the games.