Danny O’Neil hosted a live Seahawks chat Tuesday, as he does each week during the season. The full transcript can be found here. Highlights are below.
TCHawk asked what play from Sunday’s game the Seahawks would like to have back.
O’Neil: The one play Seattle would want back is certainly the pick-6. I think the Josh Norman sack turned out to be the second-most important play. No. 3, I would say, was Greg Olsen’s catch from Cam Newton in the second quarter. And that’s not a criticism of Seattle. That was a hell of a play by the Panthers. And then I would say the overthrow of Doug Baldwin. Yes, the Seahawks scored on that drive anyway, but if Seattle has 14 points on the board that early in the third quarter, it might have helped shift more pressure on Carolina.
An anonymous guest said improving the pass rush should be an offseason priority, noting that the Seahawks’ failure to generate much pressure Sunday was indicative of a season-long issue.
O’Neil: You’re not wrong here. The question is how you improve that. Bruce Irvin is probably going to get big money in free agency as a pass rusher, and Seattle didn’t see him as a pass-rusher first type of player. What does that tell you about the market?
An anonymous guest said “good riddance” to running back Marshawn Lynch, contending that he quit on the team before its playoff game against Minnesota.
O’Neil: Well, that’s a pretty unfair characterization of a guy whose toughness has been pretty evident and whose only real shortcoming was that he couldn’t recover from abdominal surgery quick enough for your liking. He didn’t quit on the team. He may not have communicated with his bosses clearly enough about his status, but believing he jaked it is ridiculous.
mediocre asked if the Seahawks might trade strong safety Kam Chancellor.
O’Neil: This is entirely theoretical. I haven’t had anyone tell me anything concrete here. It’s me talking out of my hindparts (and some experience covering the league). I don’t think Chancellor is getting a raise from the Seahawks this offseason. I don’t know if he’s going to feel any less adamant about wanting it.
Holy Roller asked if Chancellor’s and/or defensive lineman Michael Bennett’s bargaining power will be affected by what happened this season or if they’re in different situations.
O’Neil: Very different. Bennett had a great year. He’s certainly worth more money. that said, he’s got two years left on his deal. Is he going to be satisfied with having some money moved around inside those two years a la Lynch in 2014 or is he adamant about the new deal?
Alaska Air flightcrew contended that the Seahawks should part ways with tight end Jimmy Graham and spend elsewhere the money they would have paid him.
O’Neil: I think Seahawks coaches look at how Russell Wilson threw from the pocket in a timing-based passing game over the final six weeks and wonder how great Graham would be in that situation.
HawksNorth asked whether cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste has a shot to start at cornerback next season?
O’Neil: Yes. I think he does have a chance. They love the way he’s built. But the first hope is that Tharold Simon is back. I talked to him yesterday. He’s not completely healthy. He did have a similar operation on his other foot.
jim asked if the Seahawks will be better next season.
O’Neil: I don’t know. I really don’t. I think that this offseason will help more than the previous two with Seattle given more time to recover and there being a different type of finish to the year. On the other hand, that’s a load of unrestricted free agents to have, and you certainly feel that Seattle needs to make additions, not just avoid attrition this year.
Holy Roller asked if it was a staged move by the Panthers for quarterback Cam Newton to throw a 12th Man flag after Sunday’s game.
O’Neil: I don’t care. It didn’t seem like it was a Seahawks fan holding the flag. Looked like it was handed to him by a Panthers fan. I think Seahawks fans are totally within their rights to be mad and hate Cam Newton forever. Being “hurt” by it is absolutely silly, though. Get mad, don’t get sad. You’re talking about a fan base that had no issue with Richard Sherman’s pro-wrestling-style promo after the NFC championship Game and now you’re mad about the way another opponent celebrated.