SeahawkFootball.com Weekly Mailbag - Nov. 12

Weekly Mailbag: Have questions for longtime football scout and life-long Seattle-area resident Rob Rang? He’ll answer five questions per week for SeahawkFootball.com. Send in your questions for possible inclusion in a future article to his Twitter account @RobRang

Weekly Mailbag: Have questions for longtime football scout and life-long Seattle-area resident Rob Rang? He'll answer five questions per week for SeahawkFootball.com. Send in your questions for possible inclusion in a future article to his Twitter account @RobRang

Is Mebane's injury a season-changer? What can the Seahawks do to replace him? -- @HawksfromDay1

There is no sense in disputing that the loss of Mebane is a significant one. However, I do believe that the combination of Kevin Williams and Jordan Hill can adequately replace Mebane on the inside. They can't get hurt, themselves, however, and that is a concern given Williams age (he's 34) and Hill's struggles with durability in the NFL, thus far. Not having starting middle linebacker Bobby Wagner this week against Kansas City doesn't make things any easier.

That said, while Seattle may lose something against the run with the loss of Mebane, more playing time for Williams and Hill could actually improve Seattle's pass rush. Williams' length in the middle could result in more tipped passes. He's recorded 65 tipped passes over his career, two of which have come in his limited duty this season. Mebane, by comparison has just eight, including none this season.

Hill's quickness should result in some interior pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Frankly, he hasn't played up to his third round selection two years ago. Now he has the opportunity to do precisely that.

What's up with Russell Wilson's poor accuracy the last few weeks? -- @AgentJaspor

Only he can answer that, unfortunately. There is no question, however, that Wilson has been less accurate in 2014 than in his previous two seasons as the Seahawks' starting quarterback.

Some are brushing this off as a sign of heightened expectations. I'm not in that camp. I watched Wilson throughout his days at North Carolina State and Wisconsin, as well as in person at the 2012 Senior Bowl. Whether it be the missed shot-put to Cooper Helfet vs Carolina or the air-mailed deep post that sailed over Jermaine Kearse last week against New York, Wilson is missing some passes this season.

How concerning is Christine Michael's seeming inability to carry with his LH? If he can only carry RH how does future role look?-- @NatonGodBaseball

Frankly, I'm much more concerned about Michael's inconsistencies in pass protection than what hand he uses to hold the football.

From a ball-security standpoint, keeping the football nearer the sideline and away from presumptive defenders is the correct technique. Plenty of effective runners have relied upon their dominant side, however, and still been successful. Some coaches, in fact, believe that it is better to keep the ball in one hand rather than switch it over. The speed of defenders in today's NFL means that it is quite likely that the ball could be punched out from behind even as a runner believes he's broken into the clear. Switching hands loses the points of contact that every coach stresses - if only for a second.

As for Michael as a future franchise back, he still has roughly half a season to earn Seattle's trust. The Seahawks don't appear likely at this time to invest a draft pick on a running back next spring but the 2015 class looks remarkable at this position.

From your perspective, how much authority does Russell Wilson have to change plays at line of scrimmage, and how often does he do it? -- @HawksChronicle

This would be tough to put a number on, but there are occasions when it is clear that Wilson reads a suspected blitz and changes the play. Most veteran quarterbacks with a demonstrated understanding of their offense have this option and they often will check into a safe play. In Seattle's offense, this is often a read-option or QB waggle in which the protection slides to allow Wilson time on the move to survey the field. Audibles are especially difficult when a team is struggling with injuries along the offensive line, as Seattle has all year.

Rob, what is your favorite #Seahawks moment?- @Chawkers253225

Covering the Super Bowl in New York last year for The Sports Xchange was certainly a highlight but I'd have to go back a few years to Marshawn Lynch's Beast Mode run. Lynch was certainly the star that night, but I remember walking off the field following Matt Hasselbeck.

While most remember Lynch's legendary run, Hasselbeck was also terrific. He entered the game with a sore hip that sidelined him a week earlier and simply tossed four touchdowns, outplaying Drew Brees.

It was Hasselbeck's last game in Seattle and most paying attention knew it. His contract was up at the conclusion of the season and most expected that to be this game. The 7-9 Seahawks were considered no match for the Saints (even in front of the 12s) and the Seahawks were widely expected to nab a quarterback in the offseason. (As it turned out, they added two, including one guy in the drafted name Wilson).

I distinctly remember the final seconds of that game. Over the loudspeakers, the Black Eyed Peas were singing "I Gotta Feeling." As Hasselbeck walked off the field triumphantly he saw his family rushing to him. He picked up his son, propped him on his shoulders and walked - no, strutted - off the field.

It was as close to an athlete walking off into the sunset as I've ever seen and a moment I will never forget.

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