Hawk Talk highlights: Justin Britt and the Seahawks’ pass protection

Dec 16, 2014, 4:07 PM | Updated: 4:18 pm
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Highlights from the latest edition of “Hawk Talk” with Danny O’Neil:

Andy Reid asked why the Seahawks opted run one more play instead of attempting a field goal with 8 seconds left at the end of the first half on Sunday and whether Doug Baldwin would have even scored had be caught Russell Wilson’s pass.

O’Neil: Great question. At the time I had zero problem with the decision. In fact, Justin Myers of “Nightwatch” fame asked if he should just kick the field goal. My thought was that you had time to give a heave to the end zone. But after watching the replay of the game, I’m inclined to think that no, in fact, Baldwin wouldn’t have scored had he caught the ball. Now, it’s possible that his route didn’t go deep enough, but even then, that ball was caught at the 1. All in all, not the best decision-making sequence. But frankly, I put that more on the players than the coach.

tom page noted that Justin Britt has struggled of late and asked whether coach Pete Carroll is “covering” for the rookie right tackle in his public comments.

O’Neil: The shortest answer: Yes. I think that he’s covering for the fact that Britt has hit a steeper part of the learning curve here. They’re also asking him to be alone on the edge against some pretty good speed rushers. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about his adequacy or lack thereof just yet, but he’s definitely got some work to do.

12th in DEN asked whether the issues with Seattle’s passing game could partly be attributed to injuries at tight end.

O’Neil: Yes, I think injuries have something to do with it. I also think pass protection has something to do with it. I also think the fact that Wilson is always tempted to go sandlot in the pocket and buy time has something to do with it rather than trusting his first read and letting it rip. His two best throws the past two games: the touchdown to Baldwin and the 47-yard throw to Jermaine Kearse. Both were made on instant reads.

Vegeta asked what the Cardinals’ game plan will be.

O’Neil: Try and score on defense. I’m not joking. I am legitimately more concerned about Arizona’s defense scoring a touchdown than its offense. I’m tempted to say that the team that scores a defensive touchdown is 75 percent likely to win.

tom page asked what the Seahawks’ playoff chances would look like with a loss to Arizona.

O’Neil: Not great. The Seahawks at that point would have no chance of winning the division. They’re down to a wild-card race. At which point Seattle will be best served rooting for Dallas against Indianapolis. Except that also happens to be the toughest opponent for any of those teams this weekend. I think it’s still more than 50-50 that Seattle gets in based on tiebreakers, but it’s hardly a lock.

MmmYesQuite asked whether the Seahawks will re-sign defensive end Cliff Avril.

O’Neil: A month ago I would have said, “No.” Now? I’m pretty undecided. How would you rank the following three players in terms of priority: linebacker Bobby Wagner (entering final year of deal), linebacker K.J. Wright (unrestricted free agent) and Avril (also a UFA)? The premium position is defensive end, but you look at the difference that Wagner has made and it’s hard not to answer him.

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