Quarterbacks will remain a leading storyline with Smith in the playoffs, Whitehurst likely on his way out of Seattle, Jackson and Kevin Kolb likely returning to their teams and Seattle considering its options in the draft or, possibly, through a trade.
A few highlights:
Keith from Seattle asks whether the Seahawks might take a hard look at Green Bay Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, allowing them to use their first-round draft choice for a defensive end.
Mike Sando: That makes sense because Matt Flynn and Seahawks GM John Schneider were in Green Bay together. However, never during the Seahawks' pursuit of a QB previously -- think Charlie Whitehurst -- did Flynn's name ever come up. If Schneider came to Seattle thinking Flynn could be a starter, he presumably would have tried to acquire him, right? I have no knowledge that he ever did. That could be telling. Seattle's perceptions of Flynn might have changed in light of the way Flynn has played subsequently. That is possible. For now, though, it's more connecting of dots than anything.
Andrew from Seattle asks how the San Francisco 49ers' offense might be difference with Colin Kaepernick.
Mike Sando: It's funny you should bring this up. I was reading a Chuck Klosterman piece called "Speed Chess" yesterday and perked up when he referenced the Nevada offense among those that cared more about running a limited number of plays too quickly for the opponent to keep up than it cared about taking the time to get into the most favorable play before each snap. The 49ers with Alex Smith seem more deliberate. It think he's doing quite a bit before the snap to get the 49ers into favorable plays, particularly runs. That is where his experience and football smarts would come into play. Kaepernick has none of that experience and has not played in this type of offense. So, from that standpoint, the offense might not look the same (or, at the very least, Kaepernick would have some adjusting to do). That is my read based on limited information.
Mike Sando: Losing Lloyd to another team during the UFA signing window would help them in the compensatory equation. But if they signed some big-money free agents from other teams, those signings would work against whatever they might have gotten from Lloyd or any other UFAs signing elsewhere.
Mike Sando: Great question, and a fair one. I also like Washington. You are not way off-base in saying Washington is better. We could probably find NFL people on both sides of that one. Bowman stood out playing for a superior defense. You can pick one of those guys and I'll take the other. Both are going to be on my all-division team for defense.
Bowman and Washington both appeared on the NFC West all-defense team along with Patrick Willis. The NFC West has good young talent at inside linebacker. James Laurinaitis has already made an impact in St. Louis. The Seahawks expect good things from K.J. Wright, who became a starter as a rookie in 2011 (and filled in at middle linebacker).