‘Hawk Talk’ highlights: Why Jimmy Graham is the Seahawks’ biggest uncertainty this season

Jun 29, 2016, 11:51 AM | Updated: 2:09 pm

The Seahawks are taking it slow with Jimmy Graham's return from a torn patellar tendon. (AP)...

The Seahawks are taking it slow with Jimmy Graham's return from a torn patellar tendon. (AP)


Danny O’Neil hosted a live Seahawks chat on Tuesday as “Hawk Talk” continues into the offseason. Here’s the transcript. Highlights are below.

Tom Page asked how well tight end Jimmy Graham will perform coming back from patellar tendon surgery.

Danny O’Neil: I think it’s the single biggest uncertainty about the Seahawks this season. You can put together a pretty strong argument in either direction. That goes for both his fit in the offense as well as his health. My opinion is that his health is a bigger question than his fit with the offense. I think that the offense – the way it functioned in the second half of last season – is going to function in a way that features Graham.

Marc followed up by asking if there could be more uncertainty about the offensive line than in regards to Graham.

Danny O’Neil: Honestly, with the O-line, I don’t think there’s going to be anyone who thinks it’s going to be great. With Graham, you can make the argument that what happened at the end of 2015 will make him a featured, All-Pro level pass catcher once he’s back. I think the best-case scenario for Seattle’s offensive line is that it struggles mightily with pass protection for the first half of the season, but by the end of the regular season is a force in the run game.

AIIYE asked if running back Christine Michael will make the roster out of training camp if Thomas Rawls is able to play Week 1.

Danny O’Neil: I don’t think so, but I will warn you that I tend to have a more negative impression of Michael than other analysts do. I look at Michael and see a guy that the team turned to last year only after its top two running backs went down with injury, and even then, Derrick Coleman got the start before Michael got a turn. And while the team certainly had a high opinion of Michael when he was drafted in the second round, the fact that the Seahawks didn’t tender him a qualifying offer this offseason – thereby allowing him to become an unrestricted free agent – shows that he wasn’t a priority to re-sign.

VegasTee asked who would be next in line to start at running back if Rawls isn’t ready.

Danny O’Neil: I think Alex Collins. But that’s a “think” and we didn’t see Zac Brooks all that much in offseason workouts.

Gantiz asked if the Seahawks’ defense has the teeth to lead the league in scoring for a fifth straight season.

Danny O’Neil: I think this defense will be better than either of the previous two seasons. I think the depth of the D-line will be evident.

Efren Herrera asked if Paul Richardson, if healthy, will get enough work to pan out as a future part of the receiving corps.

Danny O’Neil: He can. Absolutely. It’s not like they’ve got so many able-bodied receivers that he won’t be able to get any time. That said, he’s going to have to earn any opportunity he gets. And I say this: Kasen Williams has been moving better during offseason workouts than any time since his freshman season at UW.

Andrew B. asked how well second-round pick Jarran Reed will step in for Bradon Mebane at nose tackle.

Danny O’Neil: We’re going to have to wait and see on that one. The hope is that it’s seamless, and I think the Seahawks are optimistic that – long-term – Reed will be more of a pass-rush presence.

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