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Hawk Talk highlights: Doug Baldwin’s opportunity

By Brady Henderson

Doug Baldwin was targeted a season-high 10 times while leading the Seahawks with six catches for 75 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay.

It wasn’t just the volume of receptions but where Baldwin made them that was significant as Seattle re-evaluates the roles in its receiver corps now that Sidney Rice is out for the season and Percy Harvin is nearing his return.

That was among the topics discussed in the latest edition of “Hawk Talk” with Danny O’Neil. The transcript can be found here. Highlights are below, beginning with a question about Baldwin’s role.

Normally a slot receiver, Doug Baldwin could see more time in the flanker role previously filled by Sidney Rice. (AP)

aiiye asked whether Baldwin has done enough to be Seattle’s starting flanker opposite Golden Tate.

Danny O’Neil: The most noteworthy thing from the offense last week as both that Doug Baldwin got a high number of plays on the outside, and he was productive in those. I think the coaches have generally put Doug Baldwin in the box that he’s a slot guy, but this is a chance for him to show that he can play outside.

Joshua asked why Luke Willson isn’t being used more. The rookie tight end has 10 catches in nine games.

Danny O’Neil: Well, his playing time has been cut into by the return of Zach Miller. Also, when you’re having the blocking issues that Seattle is in pass protection, there’s fewer opportunities to release out into the pattern.

Brandon in Pullman said that if coach Pete Carroll truly believes in competition then rookie left tackle Alvin Bailey and linebacker Malcolm Smith should be playing more.

Danny O’Neil: I ask this honestly: Do you think he is consciously not playing guys that he thinks could be better? Or is it the fact that he has seen enough of those players in practice to have an accurate assessment of what that player would do on the field?

Beast noted a headline stating that former Seahawks guard John Moffitt had decided to quit football.

Danny O’Neil: A player has to endure quite a bit to play football professionally from the wear and tear on the body to the focus it takes mentally. And if a guy doesn’t want to do it, he is by far better off just saying so. That said, most guys I know – as soon as they leave – miss it immeasurably.

tom page asked whether linebacker Bruce Irvin has been a liability against the run.

Danny O’Neil: At times, there’s no doubt. He has been out of position. But it’s Bobby Wagner that has been spotlighted as a potential problem moreso by people who know way better than I do.

Brandon in Pullman asked about offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s play-calling, specifically the decision to go with a play-action pass (that was intercepted) on first-and goal from the 3 against Tampa Bay.

Danny O’Neil: Truthfully, It obviously wasn’t the right play. It didn’t work. But in terms of the scale of how egregious it was, I categorize it as a logical football decision that didn’t pay out. I don’t think it was proof that Bevell has no business coaching. In fact, I think Bevell called a pretty good game on Sunday.

IAmTheWalRuskell asked for reasons to be confident that the Seahawks will beat the Falcons in Atlanta Sunday.

Danny O’Neil: How about that fact that Matt Ryan is in the midst of a horrific slump. Or that there is zero chance the Seahawks don’t enter that game bubbling with vim and vigor, determined to rectify last year’s playoff loss. Or that the Falcons are such a mess that Atlanta’s mascot – Freddie Falcon – had to apologize for joking about suicide on Twitter. Yes. That actually happened.