Thanks to Kenny over at SB Nation’s Seahawks blog, Field Gulls, for taking the time to answer a few of my questions ahead of Saturday’s preseason game. The Chiefs have signed a few former Seahawks players and they are deep so I would pay close attention to the players he mentions here.
Here are my questions and Kenny’s answers:
1. Who is one offensive Seahawk to watch out for?
The backfield has been plagued by injuries, which has given fourth-year running back Christine Michael and fifth round rookie Alex Collins a real chance to put the spotlight on themselves and each has stepped up in a big way. Reports about Michael being more mature this year seem genuine, while Collins has given fans reason to believe that his storied career at Arkansas was no fluke. However, Collins has missed some practice this week with a sore ankle, so I'm not sure how much he'll play. Given that it's the first preseason game, you might see a few carries from George Farmer, a cornerback from USC who has been the third down running back due to all the injuries. Even deeper cuts would include receiver Deshon Foxx (though he wasn't practicing Wednesday, so perhaps Kenny Lawler, Doug McNeil) and tight end Brandon Williams. You'll get a very healthy dose of quarterbacks Trevone Boykin and Jake Heaps, who are in a heated battle to win the backup job.
2. Who is one defensive Seahawk to watch out for?
Outside linebacker Eric Pinkins was a safety at San Diego State when the team drafted him in 2014 and his transition to a new position has taken perhaps a bit longer than expected. However, now that Bruce Irvin is out of the picture (FA signing by the Raiders), Pinkins is in a battle for his starting job at the SAM position against fellow 2014 draft pick Cassius Marsh and veteran Mike Morgan. Keep an eye on that outside linebacker/SAM/Leo spot during the game.
3. Rank your favorite Seahawks-turned-Chiefs: Jeron Johnson, Spencer Ware, Ron Parker, Jaye Howard, David King, Drew Nowak
For me, Howard's been the toughest loss. He was a fourth round pick in that epic 2012 draft class after Irvin, Bobby Wagner, and Russell Wilson.You knew he was going to be really good but after a season, the numbers weren't working in his favor. His breakout in 2015 was no surprise. Seattle could have really used Ware at the end of last season, right when he was scoring all those touchdowns at the end of the year. Parker and Johnson couldn't have broken through to the other side in this secondary and I'm happy for them to continue making plays elsewhere. I don't know anything about David King and I still place him above Nowak.
4. Do you remember when the Seahawks were no good and the Chiefs would beat up on them? That was a lot more fun.
Given that the Chiefs have won each of their last three matchups and six of the last eight, and 20 of the last 26, I'm not sure what you mean "Do I remember when..." Yes, I remember from right now. I'd have to have Memento disease to not remember the last time the Chiefs dominated the Seahawks.
5. Who in the NFC is better than Seattle?
I don't think anyone is better than the Seahawks. I think there is a tier I and a tier II and a tier III and perhaps a tier IV. The Seahawks are on tier I and in that group, someone is 95% likely to win the Super Bowl. Every so often a team from tier II will win the Super Bowl (hello, Giants), and I guess once every 25 years a team from tier III (also the Giants, probably), but mostly it will be one of these tier I teams and I count Seattle among them for sure. I wonder how the Carolina Panthers will perform this season because last year I think they were about as good as a 12-4 team, but they won 15 games. What if that three-game swing goes in the other direction this season and they go 9-7 or 10-6? And how big is the loss of Josh Norman? There are a number of questions I have there but they still have an incredible amount of talent on the defense and a very tough-to-stop quarterback. The Cards are also on tier I, as is Aaron Rodgers. I could see Washington heading in that direction but more than likely, the Cowboys could be a tier II-swing up-to-tier-I team when Tony Romo is healthy. So I don't see anyone as being better than Seattle, but there are four or five other teams in the NFC that could definitely knock them out of the playoffs.