Aug 11, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; NFL: Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks Matt Flynn (15) and Russell Wilson (3) walk on to the field for pregame warmups against the Tennessee Titans at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-US PRESSWIRE

The Seattle Seahawks QB Dilemma


The Seahawks have a real dilemma on their hands at the QB position. Rookie Russell Wilson appears to be clearly in over his head at the moment, and no, that isn’t a reference to his height.

Before I get too far into this, I need to say that the losses aren’t Wilson’s fault. I’m not trying to pin them on him at all. There’s plenty of blame to go around, including the play calling and the receivers, and only a small portion rests at the feet of Wilson. The problem is that the Seahawks inept passing offense can drag down this team and eventually lead to a lot more losses if it doesn’t get better, and the only way it’s going to be better is if it gets more production out of its QB.

The Seahawks currently rank last in the league is passing yards, and 2nd to last in yards per attempt. Despite the fact that Wilson isn’t being asked to do much besides not turn the ball over, he’s down at 27th of 32 starting QBs in terms of QB rating.

The advanced stats aren’t any nicer to Wilson. ESPN’s total QBR has him 31st in the league. Pro Football Focus says his VOA is 28th. Advanced NFL Stats has him 32nd in the league in WPA.

All of this is despite that fact that the Seahawks currently have league’s leading rusher in Marshawn Lynch to carry the load and be the focus of the opponent’s defense.

A lot of fans want to place the blame on the offensive line, but despite the line having a rough game against the Cardinals to open the season, they are the 9th best in the league with only 8 sacks. Even you you factor in the lack of passing attempts, the Seahawks are right at league average at 12.5 passing attempts per sack. The Seahawks offensive line hasn’t been great at pass blocking by any measure, but they haven’t been the cause for the Seahawk’s offensive passing struggles either.

I keep reading and hearing fans say that the Seahwks just need to “open up the offense” and that will fix the problem. I don’t buy that. There’s a reason why the Seahawks, and every team with a rookie QB for that matter, restricts the playbook. Its to keep things simplified for the young player. The goals is to make it easy on the youngster, to avoid confusion, and thus to help limit the number of mistakes.

The problem for the Seahawks is that Wilson isn’t making the correct reads now. He’s being confused by defenses, not seeing open players, and making poor choices already. How is making things more complicated and confusing going to make any of that better? It like a taking a new chef that is struggling to fill all of the orders at his restaurant in a timely manner, and saying “you know what will fix the problem, lets double the number of customers we’re getting.” While it might speed up the learning of the young cook, it certainly wont be good for the restaurant or its customers.

Keeping things simple for Wilson is the best option right now. He needs to show he can handle what’s being put on his plate before being given more to chew on.

Another problem is that Wilson is also showing a major lack of pocket presence right now, which was one of his strengths in college. He steps up into pressure when there’s no outside pass rush to make him do so. He run away from the pocket when he has room to step up. And he repeatedly ran into, instead of away from, sacks last Sunday.

Ultimately though, Wilson is the answer at QB for the Seahawks. Matt Flynn’s elbow is still bothersome, so even if the team wanted to bench Wilson is can’t do so. I don’t think they want to, and I believe they are right to stay with him, at least for now.

Wilson is one of the hardest workers you’ll find. He studies. He learns. Eventually all that work will pay off.

I just hope it happens before the Seahawk’s playoff hopes have been completed chewed up and spit out.

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Tags: Russell Wilson Seahawks Seattle Seahawks

  • Ron Grummer

    The only QB controversy in Seattle is in the small minds of the people trying to start a controversy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=10716205 Michael Bernazzani

    I just think by “loosening the reins” means letting him throw earlier & more often. QBs need to get into a rhythm. Hard to do when you run, run, & pass when everyone in the building knows you’re going to. When they only have to cover on 1 down, it’s much more difficult for WRs to get separation. IMO

  • Hawk_Eye

    Everyone needs to take a “chill pill”. Go back and look at some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks like Peyton Manning and John Elway among others. Most of them had bad to average rookie years. Russell Wilson is as good now after his first 4 games as Tarvaris Jackson was with 6 years experience in the NFL.

    I think we should have won the game against Arizona. But, was it Russell’s fault 3 of our wide-receivers could not make a catch in the end zone? We should have won against the St. Louis. Was it Russell’s fault the Rams scored on a fake field goal?

    We are 2-2 with a rookie quarterback. This is a team game. Russell Wilson doesn’t block the pass rushers. He doesn’t make the lame play calls. He doesn’t get open down field and doesn’t make the catches. We must give him the chance to grow and get better, just like any other rookie quarterback.

    We all need to take a “chill pill”.

    • 12thMan_Rising

      The seahawks have the worst passing offense in the league. Using win/loss record to make excuses for him is the same nonsense that Tim Tebow’s fans use.

      Wilson hasn’t been good, and there’s no denying that. but as I said in the article, I’m not ready to make a move yet. He needs to show some serious improvement, and soon.

      • Hawk_Eye

        We are a defensive, running team. We will always be in the bottom third of passing offensive, no matter how well the quarterback plays. Stats don’t tell the whole picture. Look at San Francisco. They rank 30th in passing. They too, are a defensive, running team.

        • 12thMan_Rising

          it’s not the total passing yards that is bothersome, because they seahawks don’t run enough passing plays to be in the top half of the league in that catagory. The problem is that the team is doing so very very little with the passing plays that they do run.

          • Hawk_Eye

            NFL defensive coaches are very smart. How many time did we have 2nd and 1 or 2 and yet we never threw on those downs? When you only throw on third downs and everyone in the stadium knows it, what do you think your percentage is going to be? We should have thrown on those 2nd and short downs, and if you made a big play, great, and if you don’t, you turn around and run on 3rd downs. I personally thought the way we were running the ball, averaging 5 yards per carry, that we should have run on many of those 3rd and 3, 4 and 5 yards downs that we were passing on. The Seahawks offensive is just too predictable.

          • 12thMan_Rising

            That’s true, but it bothers me that we went shotgun or empty backfield on 3rd and 2 so many times. The Rams didn’t even have to honor the threat of the run. The game plan was broken.

            And while all of that is true, it doesn’t change the fact that the Seahawks have the worst passing offense in the league. 32nd. even if the game game plan is hurting things, this team wont make the playoff having the worst passing offense in the NFL.

            The players need to make more plays.

  • Hanley H. Bonynge

    Seattle is a playoff caliber team in all realms except passing. Why is it so urgent that Russell Wilson start now and go through rookie mistakes when the rest of the team is already there. Why not use someone who has some, if limited, NFL experience and at least has been studying the pro-level for several years. I just don’t logically see why we need to go through this process and possibly hold the entire team back in doing so. 2-2 is not a winning record. Seattle is 0-2 in the division. It wasn’t the defense or running game that kept us from scoring at the end of the Arizona or St. Louis games.