Was it really just ten weeks ago that the Seattle Seahawks world seemed about to explode? Did Russell Wilson actually want out? Was it possible that Pete Carroll and John Schneider could truly move on from Seattle’s most successful quarterback ever?
The short answer to all of the above is: yes. The relationship between the Hawks and Wilson clearly was at a crossroads. The battle lines were drawn; for a few tense weeks, it didn’t seem they were simply drawn in the sand but in concrete. It was reported by multiple outlets that #3 had stormed out of a meeting with coaches. Reportedly, he asked for more influence on the team’s offensive philosophy, and his suggestions were ignored. 12s began to choose sides in the mushrooming debate.
Next up, Wilson supposedly had given Seattle a shortlist of the teams he’d consider as his new home. Those destinations changed when Mark Rodgers, Wilson’s agent, provided a new list, still just four teams. Now things were looking serious. It’s one thing when the rumor mill puts out four names, but the tone of the conversation completely changes when the agent releases information.
Now let’s slow things down a bit. Rodgers made it clear that Russell Wilson was not demanding a trade. Regardless, it was still possible, something the Seahawks (and I’m sure all good 12s) would never have considered as the slightest possibility for a moment. The Chicago media, in particular, seemed to fall in love with the prospect of bringing Russell Wilson to Soldier Field. Listen, if I had Mitch Trubisky, I’d want to make a change, too. Trubisky may prove last year was his new standard, but his best year is about the same as Wilson’s worst.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were never really that far apart
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Okay, back on topic. My initial response to the trade talk was that it was utter nonsense. Okay, what I wrote was complete nonsense, but you get the point. I saw it as one of the league’s best quarterbacks finally voicing his frustration with playing behind an offensive line that didn’t match his performance. As Bob Condotta pointed out in this excellent analysis for the Seattle Times, Wilson does get sacked at times when he extends plays. Here’s the key: DangeRuss has been sacked 290 times when it was solely due to poor pass protection. That’s the ninth-worst performance in the NFL. So yes, Russell Wilson has a very good reason to complain.
Sadly, the news didn’t get any better. There weren’t any signals from the two sides that there had been a rapprochement. We at 12thManRising, along with everyone else, speculated on potential trades. Dallas, Chicago, Miami…there were ways to make it work. Yes, I know Miami wasn’t on the official list, but the Phins were one of the teams mentioned at first. Things were looking grim.
And then I realized there actually was a lot of good news coming out of the Seahawks camp. Some of it had started long before Wilson voiced his frustrations publically. Seattle hired the Rams passing game coordinator Shane Waldron as their new offensive coordinator. Yes, I was an early supporter of Brian Schottenheimer, and I think he exceeded expectations. But I love the hire of Waldron. More to the point, Russell Wilson should, too. His new OC is a passing game wizard.
Since then, the Hawks have added an excellent pass-blocker in Gabe Jackson. They re-signed running back Chris Carson – gotta balance the passing game with a running threat – and extended the contract of the invaluable Tyler Lockett. DK Metcalf is a game-changer, but Lockett is a game saver. Seattle has worked on shoring up the pass rush, too, bringing Carlos Dunlap back and bringing in Kerry Hyder. After all, a better defense means fewer shootouts, fewer pass attempts, and fewer sacks.
In my view, all this should make Russell Wilson a very happy man. The Seahawks should be happy as well. Did their quarterback’s very public frustration lead to these moves? Probably not, for the most part. But it certainly didn’t give Carroll and Schneider any reason to think the status quo was just fine, either. Who won? Come on, 12s, you already knew the answer: we all won this fight.