DANNY ONEIL

‘Hawk Talk’ highlights: Will the Seahawks’ defense be better in Year 2 under Kris Richard?

Jul 28, 2016, 11:25 AM
While Kris Richard is the coordinator, Danny O'Neil says Seattle's defense still belongs to Pete Ca...
While Kris Richard is the coordinator, Danny O'Neil says Seattle's defense still belongs to Pete Carroll. (AP)
(AP)

Danny O’Neil hosted another edition of “Hawk Talk” on Tuesday. Here’s the transcript. Highlights are below.

howker asked if the Seahawks’ defense could be expected to be better in 2016 simply because coordinator Kris Richard will have a year of experience under his belt.

O’Neil: I think it’s reasonable to expect them to be better for a number of reasons: 1) Earl Thomas is not coming off shoulder surgery; 2) Kam Chancellor is expected to be present from Day 1; 3) They have the deepest D-line that we’ve seen since 2013. While another year of experience for Richard certainly should be an asset, let’s not pretend that he was some independent contractor on the sidelines. That’s Pete’s defense. And there’s nothing happening with that defense that doesn’t have his supervision or oversight.

Ricky R asked if cornerback Tharold Simon can start opposite of Richard Sherman assuming he can stay healthy.

Danny O’Neil: Yes, Simon can start opposite Sherman. I don’t know if he necessarily will, but if he is part of the nickel defense he would come in on the outside and Jeremy Lane will slide inside. Simon is not a great fit as the slot cornerback.

Ross asked if Jermaine Kearse will be looked at as having the best NFL career from an ex-Husky wide receiver in 15 years.

Danny O’Neil: Very decent chance of it. Right now, who would get that distinction? Eric Bjornson (though he was a tight end in the NFL)? Anthony Allen? I refuse to list Reggie Williams because he was disappointing.

D Line guy asked if the defensive line will miss free-agent departure Brandon Mebane.

Danny O’Neil: Sure. The team definitely would be better with Mebane on it. However, the question is whether Jarran Reed will play better than Mebane, which is a distinct possibility. Also, Reed has more potential upside with the possibility he’ll develop some pass-rush capabilities.

Mark asked who out of Simon, Jordan Hill, Luke Willson and Mike Morgan needs to improve the most in 2016 heading into free agency next offseason.

Danny O’Neil: Simon has the most to prove. He’s missed two of the three seasons he has been in the league. I think of those four guys, Morgan has the lowest ceiling, but he’s going to have a job in this league for several more years. At least.

RegisHawk inquired about Seahawks personnel not winning awards like Coach of Year, Executive of Year and MVP.

Danny O’Neil: It’s really strange, and kind of fluky that has never happened. There’s two reasons Carroll has not won it: 1) Lots of people around the league – especially in media circles – see him as phony or overly optimistic and the mythic lore demands a football coach who is emotionally pained by what he does; 2) The year the Seahawks made the leap from also-ran to playoff contender, Bruce Arians was the interim coach with the Colts and was a lead-pipe cinch to win it. He was filling in for a coach with cancer, for crying out loud.

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