Danny O'Neil is off and running as 710Sports.com's new Seahawks beat writer. On Friday he hosted a live chat, something that will be a staple of our Seahawks coverage. The full transcript can be found here. Below are some highlights.
iamfromanisland asked about the possibility of moving Kam Chancellor from strong safety to outside linebacker later in his career, assuming he signs a long-term deal to remain in Seattle.
Danny O'Neil: I don't think that's something in the works here. Kam said that an assistant coach told him – and I agree with this – that he should actively resist any attempt to move him from safety. That defensive back is where his value is.
Matthew asked whether offseason addition Cliff Avril will be used in a Julian Peterson-type role in Seattle's defense.
Danny O'Neil: This is a great question, but I think the parallel is actually to the way the defense tried to use Aaron Curry in 2010 when Pete Carroll came on. If Avril does line up with his hand down – which is still an "if" – then he would be on the line defender like Curry was. Of course, the difference between Avril and Curry would relate to a fully functioning football IQ.
Chris asked whether 2013 is a make-or-break year for defensive end Red Bryant after injuries limited his effectiveness last season.
Danny O'Neil: Do I think they'll release him after the season if he has a so-so year? That is a dramatic overstatement. I think that it's important to see if he's going to measure up to the expectations you had when he was re-signed last year. But I don't know if it's a sink-or-swim type moment for him personally. I think it's more accurate to say that Seattle's chances at winning the division and advancing to a Super Bowl depend on Bryant getting back to his 2011 form.
Michael Robinson, the Seahawks' starting fullback and a special teams captain, is scheduled to make $2.5 million in 2013. (AP)
Danny O'Neil: Well, he has come in and really solidified the fullback position, and you watch the headlong abandon he takes into blocks, well it's hard to think it's not a long future. I mean, I expect the team to keep bringing in other candidates at the position, but I don't see a reason why Robinson can't beat them out. Mack Strong made a career out of it. And while Michael Robinson isn't nearly as big as Mack Strong, he's got a similarly seminal role in the locker room.
It is a lot, but at the same time, you already got rid of one special-teams captain in Leon Washington and that unit is a strength since Carroll's arrival. It was the reason the team made the playoffs in 2010, and while it slipped in 2011, it was top-notch last year, too.
driez206 thinks cornerback Walter Thurmond has played well when healthy but asked about his future with the team given his inability to stay on the field.
Danny O'Neil: The team has had a very high opinion of him, but that injury history is something that makes it tough to count on him, and at this point, he is playing for his job in training camp. Nothing guaranteed.
Rhodehouse wondered whether we've seen the last of Marcus Trufant in a Seahawks uniform.
Danny O'Neil. I don't want to rule it out, but it would really surprise me. He's an unrestricted free agent, and last year, the team didn't have a specific role to offer him until Walter Thurmond suffered another injury, opening up that nickelback spot.
Randy asked whether the Seahawks should draft cornerback Tyrann Mathieu from LSU if he's available in the third or fourth round.
Danny O'Neil: I wouldn't, but I might be too conservative in that regard. I don't know how good a cover corner he is. I think he really projects as a slot guy and return specialist, and while that might not fit, I'd really be worried about a guy you've seen for the past year can't stay right even when his career is on the line.
Homechix asked whether wide receiver Stephen Williams, signed to a futures contract earlier this offseason, will make an impact this season.
Danny O'Neil: He could. He is a big, physical receiver and Pete Carroll has shown an interest in that kind of player going back all the way to USC. Mike Williams. Braylon Edwards. And right now, there's no one that would fit that bill on the roster. Williams was someone the Seahawks wanted to sign after he went undrafted in 2011, but he went to Arizona and made a huge impact.
Homechix followed up by asking what Josh Portis must do to secure the backup quarterback job.
Danny O'Neil: He's going to have to showed dependability and maturity. I don't think the issue is talent. He's got a very quick release, big arm, and Brock Huard noted that Portis was Russell Wilson's shadow in the film room when he was with the team.
Jesse is unimpressed with quarterback Brady Quinn's career numbers and wondered why Seattle signed him to compete for a backup role.
Danny O'Neil: They feel his study habits and work ethic are a really good fit with Russell Wilson. To be honest, I also think that there is a little bit of the Seahawks that feel he's a bit of a wounded bird that they can nurse back to health. John Schneider mentioned on Wednesday that Quinn is someone who had just put too much pressure on himself in his previous situations. That he came in as a first-round pick in the franchise in the state where he grew up and he put too much scrutiny on himself. I think they can bring him back.