It is a big week for the Seahawks and the NFL. Plus, some other team named the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. On Sunday, the NFL will play its first real football game in Germany when Seattle plays Tom Brady and the Bucs.
But you know all that already. You will either stay up all night in anticipation of a 6:30 am PT game or wake up really early on a Sunday. Let’s just hope, of course, that Seattle wins the game because either way tiredness follows and it’s better to be happy tired than sad tired, I imagine.
Besides the novelty of the game, however, there is lots of other stuff going on. These things partly include some Seahawks having a real chance to win some awards after the season should they continue their excellent play. Also, and by far the most important, why didn’t Russell Wilson want to wear the wristband?
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OK, let’s be honest. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll took a swipe at former Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson this week and it was true. On Monday on Carroll’s show on Seattle Sports 710 AM he said about Geno Smith
"If you notice, Geno’s going off the wristband, and that’s a big help. It’s smoothed things out, sped things up, cleaned things up. And that’s part of (the offensive success), too. We never did that before. There was resistance to that, so we didn’t do that before."
The “resistance,” of course, came from Wilson. Maybe Wilson felt like he had been in Seattle long enough that he knew the players around him so well that he didn’t need to wear a wristband with play calls on it. But there is no doubt that the offense is running smoother and quicker (so many fewer snaps go down to the very last second of the play clock) and this appears to be making the offense more efficient and productive.
Wilson responded to Carroll’s comment on Wednesday by saying he won a lot of games while with the Seahawks and he “didn’t know winning or losing mattered whether you wore a wristband.” But here’s the thing: Wearing a wristband might actually help a team win or be a reason why it loses. Possibly not directly as the wristband isn’t catching any touchdown passes (though that would be awesome to see), but if plays are getting run more quickly and there is better communication from the sideline to the quarterback, that takes out some of the stress during high-tension parts of a game, right?
We all watched over the years just how many times the play clock would almost strike zero when Wilson was the quarterback, especially late in close games. Now, why Seattle still snaps the ball a bunch under 10 seconds, there appears to be more intention late in games for Smith to snap the ball close to zero. But for most of the game, Smith is getting the play underway and keeping the offensive rhythm going.
Wilson’s new team, the Broncos, lead the NFL in delay-of-game penalties this season. Their offense is a mess. The Seahawks’ offense is not even though Geno Smith hasn’t been a full-time starter in seven years. Maybe what would help Denver is if Wilson wore a wristband with plays on it now. That isn’t meant as a slight. He’s working in a new offensive system and it isn’t working well.