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
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is getting a lot of criticism among fans. Is it deserved? What's up with those short yardage calls with an empty backfield?
I was not a fan of the fade to Doug Baldwin on 4th and goal but otherwise, I believe that Darrell Bevell generally does a good job of play-calling. A lot of fans want to see the Seahawks "open up the playbook" and pass the ball more often but that doesn't fit their personnel. This is a team that is built on the dual running of Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson, an offensive line that can pave holes and defense. The deeper drops that would lend itself to more aggressive passing would put pressure on Seattle's banged up offensive line and steal from the running game's effectiveness.
I, too, would prefer a back with Wilson in short yardage situations. I believe that is the Seahawks' most effective look. The unexpected loss of Max Unger last week, however, limited Bevell's options. I think he opted to go no backs to add extra blockers along the line of scrimmage and quick targets out wide to give Wilson time and opportunity to make plays. That, unfortunately, played into the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs and their terrific pass rush at Arrowhead.
The Seahawks added former Atlanta Falcons DT Travian Robertson. Good addition?
I think it is a good addition as Robertson has size (6-4, 304) and is strong at the point of attack. Though the Atlanta Falcons' base 3-4 scheme is different than Seattle's 4-3 on paper, the Seahawks ask their defensive linemen to two-gap a lot more than most four-man defensive teams. Therefore, Robertson's transition shouldn't be too demanding.
Robertson, who played his collegiate ball at South Carolina, impressed me at the 2012 East-West Shrine Game. He's surprisingly quick given his broad, stout frame. He's not going to replace Brandon Mebane on his own but could offer more run-stuffing ability than Jordan Hill. Kevin Williams quietly played very well in the second half last week as Mebane's primary replacement.
The Seahawks couldn't stop Jamaal Charles last week. I remember you comparing Andre Ellington to Charles when he left Clemson. Could he be just as effective as Charles against Seattle this week?
In terms of size agility, acceleration and hands out of the backfield, Ellington (5-09, 199) and Charles (5-11, 199) are very similar and therefore, Arizona does present a difficult matchup in the running game again this week.
That said, while Andy Reid likes to rely on Charles and short passing from quarterback Alex Smith, Bruce Arians is one of the most aggressive play-callers in the NFL. He uses the run to complement the pass, rather than the other way around.
The fact that the game is at Century Link and that Bobby Wagner is expected to return this week is reason to believe that Seattle will be able to contain Ellington in this game and put the pressure on Drew Stanton to beat them with his arm. Make no mistake, however, Ellington can fly and if Seattle's linebackers struggle to wrap up this week like they did against Charles, Arizona's back can gobble up chunks of yardage too.
Let's say the Hawks don't make playoffs. Do you think Green-Beckman might fall to middle of 1st? Hawks need a big WR like that.
Frankly, every team needs a receiver like Dorial Green-Beckham, my top-rated receiver potentially eligible for the 2015 NFL draft.
He's a redshirt junior who is currently on Oklahoma's roster after being released from his scholarship by Missouri. Obviously, he'd be coming with character red flags that would need to be investigated to even consider but if the 6-5, 225 pound wideout did, indeed, make himself eligible for the 2015 NFL draft, his talent certainly warrants first round consideration. For a big man, DGB plays with remarkable body control. He has great speed and adjusts well to poorly thrown passes.
I believe the Seahawks' current receiving corps is better than the sum of its parts. I do not believe, however that is contains a true No. 1 target. Green-Beckham has All-Pro talent.
Why would the Seahawks release Marshawn Lynch before his contract is up? He's their best player!
A blind man can see the impact Lynch has for the Seahawks. He's their engine. And while he very well may be their best player in some regards, he's not their most valuable player; Wilson is.
With Wilson's rookie contract up and the Seahawks expected to reward him the biggest deal in franchise history, money is going to have to come somewhere. Running backs - even ones as good as Lynch - are among the most expendable positions in today's NFL. Fans shouldn't take the relative lack of playing time by Christine Michael as an indication that he's disappointed the staff. On the contrary, the Seahawks may simply be saving him.
That said, I don't think it is a foregone conclusion that Lynch is released after the season. The front office realizes his importance and popularity. If Lynch continues to play at an All-Pro level, jettisoning him in the off-season would be quite a gamble for a team that once again should be in the Super Bowl hunt in 2015.
Lynch, Bevell, 2015 WRs... Weekly Mailbag!
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