Seahawks Russell Wilson: exactly why was he “over-trying”, Pete?

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14 , 2018 (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14 , 2018 (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images) /

Pete Carroll is praising his quarterback for his improved play, as he should. But whose fault was it that Russell Wilson was “over-trying” early on?

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was practically giddy in his praise of quarterback Russell Wilson in his recent press conference. And he should be. After Seattle’s 0-2 start, Wilson has been superb in leading the Hawks to a 3-1 record since then. He definitely made some mistakes in those first two games, but it wasn’t all on him. And I’m not talking about the offensive line, either.

Wilson’s passer rating after the first two games was a pedestrian 89.3. For reference, Derek Carr’s passer rating stands at 89.4 right now. That’s a big part of the trade rumors swirling around him in Oakland. That, and he has a terrible coach. Nice investment there, Mr. Davis.

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Back to our quarterback. Since those two games, Wilson has been firing on 12 cylinders. He’s thrown eight touchdown passes and just one pick. His passer rating for the last four games is 116. That’s better than Jared Goff, Patrick Mahomes, Phillip Rivers, better than anyone except for that young kid down in New Orleans, Drew Brees. For the season, Wilson’s rating is now 104.8, eighth in the league.

And now back to Pete. Andy Patton reported in The Seahawks Wire that Carroll was singing a very different tune about his quarterback than he was just a month ago. At Tuesday’s press conference, Pete had nothing but praise for Wilson.

"“Russell’s doing more than he’s ever done before. He’s orchestrating and controlling the play-calling, the adjustments at the line of scrimmage when he can. He’s just been brought to a different level of responsibility and he’s doing a nice job with it.”"

Pete Carroll of the Seahawks
DENVER, CO – SEPTEMBER 9: (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Wilson wasn’t calling the Seahawks plays in those losses

That’s a very different line from the one Carroll was giving a month ago, when Wilson was struggling. Carroll was on the Brock and Salk Show, and squarely put a lot of the team’s struggles on his quarterback, not the offensive sieve that gave up a dozen sacks in their 0-2 start. As quoted by Mike Vorel for The Seattle Times:

"“I’m finding Russ over-trying a little bit,” Carroll said on the Brock and Salk Show. “He’s pressing in difficult situations to try and see if he can come up with a way to make something happen instead of just getting rid of the football.”"

We agreed, Wilson was trying to do it all for the Seahawks. He struggled to adapt to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer’s schemes. Wilson is in his seventh year in the league. He knows when to get rid of the football. But when you basically are the entire offense, isn’t it natural to try harder, to even “over-try”? That’s where the last bit of blame comes in.

That falls squarely on Schottenheimer and Carroll. Russell Wilson wasn’t the guy who called just 16 running plays in the game at Denver. Wilson didn’t forget that he had running backs behind him for the entire third quarter in Chicago, either. The Seahawks coaches were the ones that forced Wilson to carry the entire offense. Thankfully, Carroll finally remembered he had two solid backs in Chris Carson and Mike Davis. He even figured out his first round pick, Rashaad Penny, could play a little. Amazing what a balanced offense can do, isn’t it?

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It’s great that Carroll is applauding Wilson for his tremendous play over the last four games. He should. Wilson looks like, well, like Russell Wilson now. So while Pete is heaping praise on his resurgent quarterback, he should apologize, too. He’s the one that put his quarterback in the position where he felt he had to do everything. Russell Wilson is headed back to the top, and as long as his coaches remember they have running backs, he’ll keep climbing.