“You know what heals all things? Winning.” – Russell Wilson
That’s all we need to know about the state of things between the Seahawks and their longtime Pro Bowl quarterback.
Even though he claims things are peachy now between him, Pete Carroll and the club, Wilson confirmed it was indeed a tumultuous offseason – and Wilson’s future in Seattle still seems to depend almost entirely on whether the Seahawks make it back to the Super Bowl. In every response Thursday about his drama-filled offseason, Wilson circled invariably back to the theme of winning.
“Coach Carroll and I spent a lot of time together one on one, and we’re on the same page,” Wilson said. “We’re here to do what we’re meant to do, and that’s to win it all. I’m excited. I’m excited about who we have, the guys we have. I’m excited where we are. Coach Carroll and my relationship couldn’t be any stronger. My focus is to win. Winning is everything to me.”
All of the key figures on the Seattle offense have now weighed in, and Tyler Lockett hit the most important factor in the Seahawks rebounding from their dud finish in 2020: “You have to learn how to evolve; you have to learn how to adapt.”
Like Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf before him, Lockett admitted the Seahawks did not adjust well to defenses that took away their deep throws in the second half of last season. The question is whether they will all be on the same page under new OC Shane Waldron as they look to avoid a similar fate and advance deep into the postseason in 2021.
Russell Wilson picked a strange year to call out the Seahawks for not protecting him, considering the 2020 line was one of the best he has had and he was responsible for a career-high 14 sacks – nearly a third of the 47 times he was dropped.
So it’s fairly disingenuous of him to put the blame on the line and John Schneider — this year anyway — when he bears a third of the responsibility. Yeah, he mentioned he needs to get better, too, but you know he is not going to change certain aspects of his game at this stage of his career. He is always going to be a double-edged sword, and 2020 was the ultimate example of that.
In his first comments since the Seahawks hired Shane Waldron to run the offense, Russell Wilson said he was “adamant” about finding an OC who would maintain a dynamic offense and he said he already has talked to Waldron several times about how they are going to do that.
In his radio spot, he also said the Seahawks became “passive” in the second half of last season – due in part to offensive line injuries and his own uneven play.
The best thing Shane Waldron said Tuesday in his first public words as Seattle’s new offensive coordinator is that he wants to have an “attacking mindset” and to “be the one that puts the foot on the gas pedal.”
That’s music to the ears of Seahawks fans and Russell Wilson, who enjoyed the offense’s fast start in 2020 and want to continue to score early and often all the way to the Super Bowl.
That’s apparently what the Seahawks were thinking when they reportedly decided to hire Shane Waldron to fix an offense that diminished by 11 points per game in the second half of the 2020 season (from 34 to 23) and flamed out against Waldron’s Rams in the playoffs.
Waldron’s task will be simple (OK, simply defined anyway): Get Russell Wilson to sustain his excellent play into December and January, get the offense to play well against good defenses in the postseason and get back over the hump and into the Super Bowl.
As Pete Carroll looks for Russell Wilson’s third offensive coordinator in 10 years, DK Metcalf has given his two cents about what happened to Seattle’s offense and Mike Holmgren has told us what the new coordinator needs to do to help Wilson.
Metcalf confirmed what we all saw: “Teams just started to figure us out. We’ve been running deep pass ever since Pete got there. Play-action. Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball, go deep. Teams just said, ‘We’re just not gonna let you all go deep.’”
Of course, a good OC would have worked around the Cover 2 schemes that oddly stymied Wilson and Brian Schottenheimer for the final two months of 2020. Holmgren, a first-generation West Coast offense disciple, said it is on the OC to adjust.
There’s still a lot of analysis going on about what went wrong with Seattle’s offense, which bottomed out against the Rams’ stellar defense in the playoffs.
The bottom line is Russell Wilson’s effectiveness faded in the second half of the season, and Brian Schottenheimer was not creative enough as they faced a number of good defenses. Some don’t think Schotty should have been fired, but he could not right the ship in the second half and his unit ended up costing Seattle a playoff win in the first round for the second time in three years.
One of the big keys to an OC is feeling his QB’s performance and adjusting to help him when things are off kilter. Schotty was not very good at making adjustments during games, had too many predictable play-calling patterns (e.g., running on every second-and-10) and simply did not use his personnel to best effect. So, yeah, Pete Carroll was justified in firing him.
If the Seahawks don’t fix their offense this week, they are in deep trouble the rest of the way. As in, they could go 1-4 in December and January, finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs.
Washington’s upset win over erstwhile undefeated Pittsburgh on Monday showed the team formerly known as Redskins will be maybe the toughest of the NFC Least clubs the Hawks face. WFT has perhaps the best defensive line in the league, and comeback QB Alex Smith has gone 3-1 as the starter.
The Hawks will go to DC after hosting the winless Jets this week. Then come the tough division games against the Rams in Seattle and the 49ers in a place to be determined (the 49ers are playing this month in Arizona). Those last three games will be challenges for a Seattle team that has been struggling on defense all season and has lost its offensive power over the past month.
Don’t let a two-game winning streak fool you. The Seahawks’ offense still has not recovered its rhythm.
While the defense had its way with the dysfunctional Eagles offense in Seattle’s 23-17 win Monday night, Philly’s stout defensive front gave the Seahawks trouble and showed Russell Wilson and Co. are still trying to rediscover their early-season mojo.
It will be important to find that again if they are going to avoid a stumble in this run against the NFL Least (Eagles, Giants, Jets, WFT) and actually beat good teams when it matters – i.e., the Rams and any playoff foe.